Do men & women view infidelity differently?

I mean the justification, but we don’t have to limit the discussion to that. I got to thinking about this last night. We were watching a TV show (I wont mention names in case I spoil it for someone)and the main character on the show discouvers his SO cheating. My wife said “Well, I wonder what he did, maybe he was neglecting her”.

Well to say the least, I was astonished. But the thing that really bugs me is that I’ve heard women express this sentiment before. Several on this board.

I think cheating is wrong. Under any circumstances. If I felt the need to move on I’d express that and do so. But i can’t understand trying to justify it. Thoughts?

Note to Mods: Not actually sure it belongs here or IMHO

Well, I am female and I certainly don’t think that infidelity is something the person who has been cheated on is to blame for.

I mean, there are always extenuating circumstances, but cheating on someone is pretty much a terribly crappy thing to do.

Umm… I’m not sure if this sparking a debate or just opinion, but shrugs

I’d say different people view it differently.

Thanks wringyou’re right.


I have seen the opinion expressed, that when a woman is cheating on a man, that perhaps in someway that the man has done something to justify that betrayal.

Huh, I’ve always heard that stereotype the other way: if men cheated it was because they weren’t getting enough sex at home.
Blaming the wronged party is reprehensible.

see you in IMHO.

I have pretty strong feelings about this subject, having had first hand experience with the heartbreak and feelings of betrayal infidelity brings, I would have to agree that nothing justifies it. (I’m a monogamist, my first wife wasn’t.)

Anyway, am I reading you correctly. Are you asking if women in general have a tendency to blame their infidelity on their husbands?

I think it’s dangerous to make gender-based, (or race-based, or anything-based) generalizations, but it has been my experience that in our society many, women do blame much of their current unhappiness on the men in their lives, or men in general.
I mentioned to a female co-worker the other day that I didn’t read Marilyn Vos Savant’s (you remember her) column any more because she had made what I considered a very sexist comment to the effect that all the evils in the world were perpetrated by men.
She (my co-worker) just gave me that look and said “of course.”

Anyway, to wander back to your OP,

I’ve seen that too, way too often.

I think people should take responsibility for their own actions.

My 2 cents.

Men and woman both view infidelity the same, I think, on the whole.

Most would say they are not big proponents of it, but both genders do it anyway.

I think the question is whether the genders reasons for comitting infidelity are the same or not.

Yeah, the reasons are the same…they are hot for someone who isn’t their SO.

Then they justify it anyway they can.

I think that is a bit oversimplified…I really do think that one of the main reasons for cheating can be dissatisfaction with their current marriage/relationship. I am not saying that justifies their actions though. It is clearly about the least honorable way possible of dealing with this dissatisfaction.

I don’t think that anyone cheats just “because they’re hot for someone.” The relationship that one is cheating on has something wrong with it, a level of dissatisfaction which culminates in cheating.

What would be interesting is seeing what causes satisfaction and if this is the same across both genders.

I don’t think theres a way to generalize this topic much at all except to say that ‘generally when there’s infidelity in a marriage there’s some unhappiness at some level some where with some body’.

Some people cheat 'cause they’re hot for some body else.

Some people cheat 'cause they’re jerks.

Some people cheat 'cause they’re unhappy/dissatisfied in their current releationship

Some people cheat 'cause it was Saturday and the game wouldn’t be on for another hour.

Frankly, I’ve even heard of some people who don’t seem to mind that their spouses cheat.

The tragedy occurs when one spouse cares about fidelity and the other can find justification for infidelity.

Sometimes you just wanna do the wild thing with someone else.

It depends on how much you link sex and love, i could easily love one person but have a one night rumpy session with someone else.

Only one life…

I think that men and women view infidility the same but their reasons for infidility are different.

I think that some men (not all men, just some) cheat because they like having different sex with a different person. I think that some women cheat because they find someone to give them whatever is lacking in their relationship. I also think that a lot of men view a good relationship as one that has lots of sex. I think a lot of women view a good relationship as one that has lots of love and affection, sexual or not.

From my own personal experience, I’ve been cheated on and I’ve also cheated. Neither one felt very good. I was cheated on by someone whom I loved (thought I loved would be more accurate) and trusted and it hurt. He said that he wasn’t unhappy with me or our relationship or our sexlife, he just had a moment of weakness. Well, moment of weakness my ass. He had the opportunity to fuck someone else and he did it, hoping he wouldn’t get caught. Had he not been caught, I don’t think he would have been sorry at all.

I cheated while I was married and I have my reasons for it but I’m not going to share them because it seems to be a lot of people’s opinions here that cheating is never justifiable. I don’t see it that way. Was cheating the right way to handle my situation? Maybe not. At the time, I thought it was. Hind sight’s 20/20. If I had it all to do over again, would I? You bet I would. I have no regrets about it.

Rachelle You’re right, the phrase “never justifiable” has the wrong association. I have a lot of women friends, my wife included. There seems to be a general consensus amongst them that if the woman is cheating on her SO, then the SO bears some responsibility for it. Maybe he was to distant, worked to hard, didn’t show love enough, you get my point?

Well this seems a little backwards to me. Doesn’t both partners deserve equal role in the state of hapiness in a realtionship?

I’m trying to move away from the generalizations, so If someone picks up on what I mean, I’ll glady accept you rephrasing. FTR, I think Satan is getting the drift of what I’m trying to discuss.

Yeah Bumbazine that’s what I’m saying.

I think there’s a general perception (or misperception) that men and women take different paths to infidelity.

Women: unfulfilled at home, they ease their loneliness/alienation in a casual friendship with someone that ripens into affection that turns into an affair.

Men: Some hottie shakes her tatas and nature takes its course.

That’s a gross oversimplification, and unfair to everyone involved (even the hottie with the tatas) but it does give rise to the perception by some women that the man is somehow at fault if a woman steps out of the marriage.

BTW, I’ve seen that same sort of perception involved in divorces. I know many more women than men who automatically assign blame when a marriage breaks up – and they invariably blame the man. (Note: I’m aware that personal anecdotes are not statistically accurate, but go with me here.)

So are you now looking for:

women who cheat blame their spouses, and women whose husbands cheat also blame the man whereas men who cheat blame…???

Nah. I think you’ll find **some ** people who cheat will blame their spouses (for not being there, for being there, for getting fat, for not having sex often enough, for frying the wrong egg). and others who will blame themselves for the cheating etc.

In some cases, the relationship is having problems, and one or both spouses may cheat as a partial result of the problem.

In other cases, the relationship is having problems **because ** one spouse is cheating.

In yet other relationships, one or both spouse cheats and neither is bothered by it, hence no concept of problems etc.

Blaming the faithful partner for infidelity certainly goes both ways–however , I can see one difference that has more to do with the media than gender. In the 80s and 90s (and possbly the 70s, I wasn’t there) women’s magazines and self-help books started to publish many articles on how your SOs infedility was not your fault ans that you shouldn’t feel guilty, you should feel angry. This was in reaction to the common idea that if a man went outside of the marrige for sex, it was because he wasn’t getting what he needed at home. So women today have grown up hearing repeatedly that when a man cheats, it is his fault, not thiers. I don’t think that these magazines meant to imply that when a woman cheats, it is also the man’s fault, but since men’s magazines weren’t telling men not to blame themselves if there wife cheated (since they were generally short on relationship articles of this type), basically one half of this attitude got stamped out and the other still lingers.

Another thing I’ve noticed in the media is that more times than not, t.v. shows and movies show a woman cheating… but rarely show a man cheating. I’m kind of curious to know some statistics on who cheats more, men or women. I may have to do some research and see what I can come up with.

I can imagine two distinct scenarios. One in which a couple sees themselves as equals. In this case, infidelity would be hard to measure as being different under the assumption.

However, if it is a couple where the couple mutually sees themselves as the man as master and the women as slave (for argument sake), then the man would see infidelity as his dutiful moral right to be decided by him, and the women would see it as her subversive right, to be avoided not morally but physically, upon punishment. In this case, the man experiences the decision involving the want of infidelity, decided by him, and the women experiences the value or need of infidelity, morally decided by another man (which can mean that she submits to any other “master” to be subversive, which explains why such men blame each other and complicates the problem of male moral desire). Basically, it comes down to the moral difference between aggressive versus passive or submissive aggressive (which is seen as wrong in a master society). The women has all the moral shame, the man has all the moral honor or dishonor for being unfaithful, which is begging the term. That’s why such master-slave societies have two different status for women, one legitimate, one prostituted.

Darwin would say that when you cheat its because you are ( even if you don’t think about it or use contraception ) trying to get better kids.

BUT I would argue, with modern society that well, sometimes, you just want to try with someone else.

I have met both men and women who either prefer a steady partner or different ones so I don’t think the idea of a strict gender split is valid.