Women who step out on a husband or significant other — male or female — do so for any number of reasons, the five most common of which are listed below:
- She feels underappreciated, neglected, or ignored. A woman who feels more like a housekeeper, financial provider, or nanny than a wife or girlfriend is more vulnerable to finding an external situation that brings attention and appreciation for who she is rather than the functions she performs.
- She craves intimacy. More so than men, women feel valued and connected to their relationship partner through non-sexual emotional interaction such as touching, kissing, cuddling, gift-giving, being remembered, and most of all meaningful communication. Women who aren’t getting their intimacy needs met by a primary partner may look elsewhere, trying to meet those needs through sexual/romantic relationships. Some of these same women may also engage in alcohol/drug abuse, compulsive spending, binge or consistent overeating, etc., to compensate for the emptiness they feel.
- She is bored and/or lonely. Women who find themselves alone at home for long periods of time, perhaps when caring for young children or even after children are grown and gone, can feel that their lives lack meaning, and they may use casual sex or deeper romantic affairs to fill the void. Women who have spouses or partners who are absent for long periods of time related to work (military service, for example) may also turn to sex and affairs to fill what feels like an untenable emptiness.
- She never feels fully loved and appreciated. Some women have unrealistic expectations about what a long-term spouse or partner should offer them emotionally and in other ways. Those who are more narcissistic and emotionally immature may expect a significant other to meet their every single need, and also to be a mind-reader in terms of knowing what those needs are. When their human and imperfect partner inevitably fails them, they feel justified in seeking attention elsewhere.
- She has an intimacy disorder. Early childhood trauma and/or sexual abuse often lead women (and men) in adult life to problems with addictive sex and/or serial cheating. Such women repeatedly seek emotional intensity rather than relational intimacy. Women with unresolved childhood trauma as well as those with emotional instability — women who carry an uneven and disjointed sense of self — can seek consistency and feelings of importance through intensity-based romantic and/or sexual activity.