Men, Women and Affairs
As with any gender-related differences these do not hold up across the board but are just some generalizations that may be helpful in some cases.
Please keep in mind that there are many role- reversed marriages where a lot of the gender material has to modified in order to be meaningful.
1. Gender generalizations about affairs:
1) Women tend to have affairs because their emotional needs are not being met in the relationship and they are seeking attentive connection (some of the latest research may be indicating this is shifting a bit and that there are more varied reasons for women’s affairs today such work-place opportunity and availability) whereas men may have affairs more for the physical attraction.
2) An emotional affair for a man can be more serious since men can have sexual ‘flings’ that are not very emotionally meaningful for him and from which he easily detaches.
3) A sexual affair for a woman can be more serious because she often will not proceed to having sex without a certain level of commitment and love. (Obviously this does not include one-night stands and other such impulsive choices)
2. Gender generalizations about reactions to a partner having an affair:
1)Women tend to feel their partners had an affair because she is somehow inadequate as a relationship partner (e.g. not ‘a good wife’) whereas men are more likely to think their partner had an affair because he is deficient in the sexual arena (e.g. not good in bed)
2) Women tend to blame themselves and get depressed (one definition of depression is anger turned inwards)
3) Men tend to blame others (the wife, the affair partner, etc) and express anger outwardly.
There is more information available on this topic, if you still have questions not answered by this section please call me. I’m usually available within 24-48 hrs to answer questions, schedule phone coaching sessions or office coaching/therapy sessions, or direct you to other resources.
Remember: Research / statistics on infidelity indicates that receiving counseling after the discovery of an affair is the single best predictor of recovery.