My first novel is about 3 women who travel together to Paris. They’re all in relationships back home, yet they all misbehave somewhat in the city of lights… Ergo, I’ve been researching infidelity.

couple-1190902_640There’s so much talk about the cause & effect of cheating in a relationship. But, aside from the addict (sex, adrenaline), what’s really going on in a relationship that makes a good woman cheat?

But first, what makes women not cheat? They feel satisfied in their relationship. Women are not as likely to stray if they are happy with their partner—not even with a gorgeous pursuer. Most studies agree.

But unhappy women? They’re much more likely to cheat than women in satisfying relationships. Like, twice more likely to do the deed. Data from the University of Guelph in Canada finds women who are unsatisfied with their relationship are 2.6 times more likely to cheat on their partner. And, women who are sexually unsatisfied are 3 times more likely to cheat. Ouch.

A more recent study adds other factors to consider. Women (men, too, but this article is about women) with a narcissistically heightened sense of their sexual skillfulness are more likely to cheat. And women (men, too) who narcissistically believe it’s their right to engage in sex are more likely to cheat (see Sexual Narcissism and Infidelity in Early Marriage by McNulty & Widman).

If you’re wondering why the other common reasons aren’t being discussed here—such as loneliness, abuse, neglect, falling out of love, revenge, low self-esteem, boredom—it’s because this is the capsulated version of “why.” Thus, the aforementioned is placed under the broad umbrella of being unsatisfied with the relationship.

Why do men cheat? It’s a bit different for men. I’ll cover that in the next article.