Why Do Good Women Cheat?

Published on December 23rd, 2014

A couple of years back, my friend Lola (no, that’s not really what her mama named her, but I had to change the names of everyone involved to protect the innocent) disclosed that she just been put out of her house by her husband, Leroy. She gave me an abbreviated version of the events that led to her, um, eviction, over the phone—how she had been caught having an affair with one of the church deacons—and then asked me to bring both a listening ear and a bottle of wine to her hotel room so that she could cry in the company of a sympathetic friend. After I picked my bottom lip up off the floor, I grabbed my keys and made a purchase from the package store just as she’d asked. But instead of feeling sympathy for Lola as I pulled up to the Holiday Inn, I was ready to kick her ass myself for cheating on her man.

As I listened to her talk, though, I started to have a change of heart. Hearing Lola’s story made me wonder, for the first time in my life, if cheating is ever justifiable. I felt sad for Leroy because he was heartbroken to discover that one of the church clergymen had been routinely examining his wife’s cervix with his third leg. But on the other hand, I felt that Lola was a damn good woman with some—shall we say—compelling reasons for doing her dirt. With the exception of this indiscretion, Lola is what most of us would consider to be a good woman by even the strictest of standards. She is a professional woman with a good job, is active in the church and community, is a loving wife to Leroy and a soccer mom to two boys, looks great, dresses nicely, and displays kindness to all who cross her path. And still, she had just been caught bumping uglies with a man to whom she was not married. So while I promised Lola that I would not share her specific reasons for straying, I vowed to capture the most important moral lessons, fact check them with a few women and men whose opinions I value, and summarize them for the benefit of all couples everywhere. Fast forward to now. Here we go.

Top 5 Reasons Why Real Women, Good Women, Women Who Really Don’t Want to Cheat, Might Still Cheat Anyway

1. She has outgrown her man.

She was a kitten when they fell in love. Now, she’s a full grown feline with dreams that are bigger than yarn balls. Garfield is no longer funny to her, nor is lasagna her favorite food. He refuses to travel anywhere outside of southwest Atlanta, while she has been dreaming of visiting the Canary Islands for years. He doesn’t support her efforts to enroll in a jewelry-making class, obtain a passport, learn Spanish or make investments in the stock market.

Jody, however, frequents Spain, speaks three different languages, and teaches classes on retirement readiness.

It’s not her man’s fault that she grew up. But it’s not hers either.

2. She’s full of anger, hurt and resentment toward her man.

She never quite got over that affair that he had last year.

Enough said.

3. She is in need of some serious sexual gratification.

She has a drawer full of toys that he’s never even seen before, has read Fifty Shades of Grey about fifty times, and has a scratch-n-sniff tattoo on her inner thigh that he’s never scratched or sniffed.

4. She’s seeking validation. Preferably from her own man, but at this point, any will do.

A good woman will take a lot of shit from a no-good man if she loves him. But the minute she meets someone who is loving, patient, and gives her his undivided attention, Mr. No-Good is in trouble. If Jody stimulates her mind in ways that remind her that she is a woman—not a mop, not a cook, not a wet nurse, but a woman—then Mr. No-Good might soon find that his woman is up to no good.

5. Humans are still animals with instincts.

Call it social Darwinism. Or perhaps you fancy the phrase survival of the fittest. The point here is that we can shave our hair and put on all the cologne and perfume we want, but underneath all that, we’re still animals. Which means that a lot of what we do is based on instinct, and the biological need to feel secure and protected is very real.

Think about it this way. When a woman sees a man who appears to be well-groomed, well-spoken and who appears to live well (read into this as you wish), she instinctively reasons that he can potentially take care of her well, thereby securing the well-being of her offspring. And if her own man isn’t keeping the roof over her head from leaking, then he might want to call a repair man. Quickly. Or if her car needs some new brakes, it might be time for him to call the mechanic. Quickly. Likewise, if the weather channel suggests that a storm is coming, then he may want to board up her windows. Quickly. You get the idea.  The reason why the alpha male lions always get the first and finest pick of lioness is because they protect the pride (and I won’t even tell you what I saw male and female elephants do during their documentary). Watch Animal Planet if you still don’t know what I’m talking about.

And it’s all that simple. Keeping a good woman from cheating is entirely preventable with regular maintenance. Think of it sort of like going to the dentist—you may have to invest some time, a little money, help her with a little cleaning and perhaps perform some occasional drilling—but it’s manageable.  I didn’t know all of this in time to save Lola and Leroy’s relationship, but I’m sharing it with you so that it might save yours.

Did I miss anything?

And yes, we can talk about why a good man might cheat also. I have a few ideas about that too. But that’s another story for another day…



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