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Wives Who Cheat: Guilt-Free Affairs

Husbands, beware. It's quite possible your wife is cheating on you AND she feels no guilt.

At least one study claims that more than half of all wives cheat on their husbands at some point in their marriage. Those were the eyebrow-raising findings of a team of German researchers from the Hamburg-based GEWIS Institute for Social Research. Reuters reports that in a survey of 1,427 men and women between the ages of 25 and 35, fully 53 percent of women said they had been unfaithful to their partner, compared with 59 percent of men.

But surely they must feel guilty? Wrong. Susan Shapiro Barash, a gender studies professor at Marymount Manhattan College, interviewed 50 women who cheated on their husbands. She says 90 percent felt no guilt, a finding that even surprised her. "They felt very entitled and felt entitled because they had been so unhappy in the marriage. It's a fantasy, it's just much more liberating," she explained recently on ABC's "Good Morning America."

Barash wrote all about it in "A Passion for More: Wives Reveal the Affairs that Make or Break Their Marriages." She said that while 65 percent of the cheating wives said sex was better with their lover than their husband, fully 45 percent of the cheaters stayed married despite their affairs.

Why do wives cheat? Barash told "Good Morning America," "Often the lover is actually a catalyst to leave the marriage and a bridge to the other side." In her book, she says that extramarital affairs can liberate a woman, reawaken her desire, and sometimes help save a marriage.

Barash has identified four types of affairs that she describes in "A Passion For More":
Empowering Affairs

With more opportunities for women in all aspects of life, they have increased experience of younger men and of workplace affairs.

Sex-Driven Affairs

The marriage becomes old and sex declines. This type of affair compensates for that lack. It is by definition the most passionate, lacking boundaries or rules and can almost seem like an out-of-body experience for the woman.

Love Affairs
Unanticipated and heartbreaking, these affairs happen when women least expect them. Often they break up the marriage or are used as a wake-up call for the husband to battle for his wife to stay.

Self-Esteem Affairs
Consumed with the responsibilities of child care and household duties, women have lost their way. A lover makes them feel special in a way their husbands do not.

Why do wives have affairs? Because they can. There is attraction. There is proximity. There is opportunity. Husbands, beware.

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