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Why do women cheat instead of breaking up?

185 Answers
Last Updated: 03/30/2022 at 11:55pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Jessica McDaniel, LPC, LCPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I have been practicing cognitive behavioral psychotherapy since 2007 with a diverse group of adult clients with various diagnoses, all races, and socioeconomic classes.

Top Rated Answers
June 17th, 2015 5:32pm
Maybe they are afraid of losing their value if they are single. Your worth never depend on anything or anyone. Cheating is a mistake but you can learn a lot about yourself and your point of vue about yourself based on why you cheated.
June 22nd, 2015 6:44am
Women cheat because they want to stay with the person they're with, they're just sick of the way they do things and they want something different, or they're to afraid.
October 6th, 2016 9:17am
Some women cheat instead of breaking up because they can't actually watch their partner go. Despite the fact that they are unhappy and find comfort with the person they are cheating with, they still have strong feelings for their partner. They also know their partner is better than the person they are cheating with and most other guys out there so would prefer cheating and still have the 'one' still around them
February 8th, 2017 10:11pm
Women can be as hyper-sexual as men are sometimes. But we also love hard. Sometimes this can get us into tough situations if not being satisfied properly/regularly by our lover. It's a cruel thing to cheat on anyone, it shows irresponsibility, desperation, and lack of communication. I can't say that I have never cheated, but I can say that seeing the person I love hurt over someone who may be less important is painful. Personally, I've been loyal since I became an adult. It takes a person to really look inside themselves to see what the really want or need, so that their partner will know how to keep you satisfied or book it if it's too much pressure.
February 1st, 2018 12:42pm
When a man is seriously in love but never gives acceptance to his lady love and impose things on her just because he loves her then the women wants to seek for some other person who accepts her. So rather than breaking up she choses to cheat as she's afraid of the reaction of the man too. As sometimes man may take things on their ego. So with this assumption ,they do so.
April 12th, 2015 3:18pm
They don't Always do that. Sometimes thay talk about ther feelings It's important to talk About how you feel.
April 30th, 2015 12:57am
For the same reason men do: they are looking for something that their current relationship doesn't give them.
June 22nd, 2015 12:12pm
Women cheat instead of breaking up because they are still unsure if they want to leave the relationship due to a variety of reasons (love, habit, security etc) or not, but they already feel unhappy or incomplete.
January 29th, 2017 7:12am
Probably the same reason as to why men cheat instead of breaking up. They dont want to lose their lover but wish to find someone else that they feel can complete whatever their lover is lacking
February 26th, 2017 1:22pm
Not all women do this and not only women do this. Some people of both genders cheat instead of breaking up because they are simply dishonest people. Perhaps they want to stay with their original partner but have the benefits of an extra relationship. If this is the case, they should have asked for a polyamorous or consensual non-monogamous relationship instead of lying to somebody and pretending to be faithful only to them. Some people view having multiple partners as an ego boost and don't care how it makes the people feel. Some people like the idea of having their partners fight each other for their attention, claiming that it means that they are highly desirable or that their partners are weak and needy - neither is true. They may have a sociopathic desire to see other people suffer, and cheat only for that reason, not out of attraction. Some people simply become attracted to - or even in love with - another person, and since our society only allows for monogamy, they don't know how to keep both these partners, whom they both love, in their lives, without being dishonest. They don't intend to hurt people, but they do, and the proper strategy would be to be honest about their feelings for the second person, and ask if their original partner is okay with it. Of course, they feel afraid to do this because their first partner, who they may still love, might leave them. Some women have abusive partners and are afraid to break up with them because the abusive partner may attack them for it, but want to have a healthy new relationship in the meantime, and so they feel they must cheat in order to get that. Also, some abusive men consider the relationship still on even though the woman officially ended it and moved away. They then accuse their ex wife or girlfriend of "cheating." For more information on polyamory, Google Franklin Veaux or the More Than Two blog. For more information on abuse, Google Lundy Bancroft or read Why Does He Do That.
March 15th, 2017 7:09pm
Sometimes it's easier to find an excuse for ending the relationship, rather than just ending it. Bad choice though, since it's usually done without thinking of the harm it will bring to both people.
May 3rd, 2017 5:23pm
Act of cheating and reason behind it depens from a woman to a woman so that can not be fully correct answered. But most women cheat instead of breaking up for this reasons: 1) they don't want to hurt their boyfriend with breaking up but they want to be with that other guy too 2) if their boyfriend cheated on them first, they may be cheat him too - for revenage 3) sometimes they just want fun with other guy, but want to have stable relationship with their boyfriend 4) it can happen that woman cheated unintentionally (under the influence of alcohol etc.) but they countinue to cheat because that guy is threating to tell her boyfriend Whatever it is, cheating is WRONG!
September 3rd, 2017 11:20am
I would like to rephrase your should ask 'why do some people cheat instead of breaking up' .I know you might have had experiences that have led you to believe that most women do so..but the truth is its not about women .cheating can be done by person of both the genders.its related to what kind of a person they are..the answer to this question is that people who do so aren't very truthful to themselves and so they are the same way with others..also they are not very considerate about feelings of others and cannot easily understand the consequences of their actions..their motive is not to live a life based on truth..and so they do not give much emphasis to honesty and empathy .and cheating is not related to a particular gender..its related to the person's self.
November 19th, 2017 1:56pm
The feeling of being wanted is something everyone craves for in a relationship,and If they don't get it from their partner,they look for other people who do.
November 29th, 2017 3:24pm
People cheat because they don't want to lose what they already have while being unhappy enough to try something else. Sometimes it's just like an insurance policy. Sometimes they really prefer to stay in the relationship, just that they like the excitement of something new. It isn't just women, it's anyone in any relationship.
March 4th, 2018 11:24pm
in my experience we feel as though the relationship isn't as fun as it was and we needing for attention something that makes our heart skip a beat but at the same time we don't want to let go just yet so we go for the option of cheating although its not right both sexes do it.
April 7th, 2018 7:36pm
It's not just women, and most of the time is b/c they're not emotionally happy or feel neglected in their relationship.
May 23rd, 2018 8:44am
Some women cheat, just as some men cheat. Not all people cheat as cheating is a cowardly, dishonest and hurtful behavior. Women and men may cheat for different reasons due to biology and social expectations. Cheating women may feel stuck in an emotionally unfulfilling relationship more often than for quick sexual release and excitement when compare to men. Women may cheat due to insecurities just as some men are, they want their cake and eat it too.
July 12th, 2018 3:58am
I believe that many people in general are afraid of hurting others. When breaking up with someone, they may ask why, and having to say that you want someone else can be extremely hurtful. To avoid that, I guess people think sneaking around is easier for the time being, until they are caught of course. In which case the person is still hurt. This may not be the best explanation, but that's what I gather.
July 19th, 2018 8:48am
First of all, not all women do this. You just have had the worst luck. A lot of women break up when they feel safe. But when they don't, they try to find someone to feel safe with or a better reason to break up. But of course there are always the cheater types, but those exist in all genders. Maybe you haven't had the best luck, or maybe something wrong is going on in your relationships (scared, mistrust, lack of communication).
July 27th, 2018 6:19pm
Women cheat because some women are too afraid to break up with their partner because they worry on what can happen.
August 12th, 2018 1:14pm
I would say the reason they don't break up in the first place is because they are either scared of not having a special someone, a safety net, or they really love their s.o. Maybe they feel like they are not made for this kind of relationship and just snap at some point. Or they feel frustrated by a specific part of the relationship which this one person "doesn't seem to be able to deliver", but the rest is great so they wouldn't want to end it over that.
January 25th, 2019 11:27am
The questions feels highly prejudiced. It would be better to address the issue of cheating directly. From my experience and observations, I feel that one of the key reasons people end up cheating instead of respectfully ending the relationship is because they don't feel safe talking about their feelings with their partners. They might be fearing anger, judgement and/or bad treatment from the other person. It is important to base a relationship on a healthy platform where there is a safe, non-judgemental space for discussion. Both partners should respect the other person's feelings and should be ready to accept the other person's feelings and opinion even when you don't share the same feeling. You can try communicating better and trying to understand the situation inorder to see if there are possibilities of change/growth. But if it's the case of at least one of the partners really wants to move out of the relationship, the other partner has to be respectful of that choice. If this "respect" is guaranteed, if the person feels that they won't be attacked/thrashed/judged for wanting to break up, chances are high that they will be honest and avoid you being cheated upon.
December 10th, 2019 7:07pm
Women cheat instead of breaking up because the affairs are not meant to last and when that affair ends they still have a man they can rely on for support. Or if their "steady relationship" disintegrates then they can rely on the man or woman they are having an affair with. No woman likes being alone. Having a relationship helps with that. However, everyone knows that sometimes relationships don't work out. Thus, women like to keep their options wide open. Another reason would be that women don't want to cause a fight with their boyfriend by breaking up with them. Or, they don't want the constant badgering from an ex that hasn't moved on from them. Having an affair is nonphysical slap in the face. And it serves to make the other person keep their distance.
December 26th, 2019 12:33pm
I believe that the causes for a betrayal are so diverse that it is difficult to define one, and can vary from horny, moral deficiencies to losses and faults that the person feels inside. I think as long as she does not believe that the official relationship has been completely exhausted anyone will tend to maintain it. Now comes a part that I think is more important than questioning why women don't separate from us, I think we can think about what we're not giving or what she can't see that makes her feel the need to cheat. Perhaps attention and affection is lacking, so she tries to fill that lack with extramarital relationships. Maybe she has a need for "adrenaline" and marriage no longer offers that kind of emotion anymore ... sad to think about it, but I think the husband should take some actions to make his relationship always active and warm, being a partner and favoring a healthy relationship! We are all constantly learning to live better but first of all we should know that we are free from mistakes, but if we make mistakes we should see this as a way of inner improvement and not make mistakes habits. We are free to do what we want in our lives, but not to demean, humiliate or diminish anyone!
January 16th, 2020 6:59am
I think a lot of people (irrespective of gender) tend to cheat when they feel unhappy or unsatisfied in their relationships, and while cheating isn't the right thing to do, it becomes an outlet to have those needs met through someone else. It could be that they are lonely or feeling neglected by their partner, misunderstood, or the relationship has lost its spark and run its course. Those may not be the only reasons. Some people also cheat when they are attracted to someone else other than their partner, and it gives them the opportunity to experience some excitement with that person without any commitment. Either way, why do they cheat instead of breaking up? Possibly because it's much easier to do so, instead of having a confrontation with your partner or hurting them. I believe some people also avoid breaking up, as they don't want to lose the security that the relationship brings.
April 30th, 2020 3:49am
Wow that's tough to say and unfair to generalise it on women. But people cheat because they can. Their morals are weak. In today's world it is very tough to find stable relationship. It's very important to have trust. I wish people can communicate fully and be honest with each other. But men cheat too. We can't put this fully on the women. People have different needs and sometimes physical needs and sometimes emotional needs. They just want instant gratification. It can made easy by good communication skills and build trust. I just want everyone to be happy.. thanks.
May 15th, 2020 12:53pm
It is not always a woman who cheats man do it too and if sources are to be believed men do it more than women do but that is not we must focus on. Cheating has nothing to do with gender but there are quite a lot of signs that come in handy such as putting a lock on the phone, getting anxious when the partner takes their phone, hiding details while going out by saying something like "this is a new friend, you don't know about them", not wanting to have heart-to-heart conversations, avoiding/getting annoyed when the partner initiates cuddling, kissing, etc. and these sign must be taken into consideration (if any). Also, the fact as to why they cheated in the first place comes into the picture too because different people have different reasons to do so. However, neither of them can justify this behavior. In my opinion, cheating is inhumane. It is better to leave your partner than to cheat on them. And I highly believe that most of the partners instead of breaking up cheat in their relationship because they don't wanna leave their partners but they also wanna cheat out of infatuation, attraction, and whatever the reason maybe.
September 29th, 2021 7:04am
For the same reason anyone cheats instead of breaking up. Breaking up is about being responsible, about having serious conversations, potentially about arguing, and losing someone they might still care about. On the other hand, cheating makes them feel desired, makes them feel ALIVE again, makes them feel any number of things they may not have been feeling with their partner for a long time. The most often cited reason for women cheating in research is that they "feel emotionally neglected". We do not always do what is 'RIGHT', we usually do what FEELS right, even when it's WRONG.
May 26th, 2015 5:30pm
What if we can't really mindread the situation which will vary depending on the circumstance which is quite unique depending on the context - country - culture - a lot. For, not everyone does it, and the same applies for men equally. - Why do some women cheat instead of breaking up you mean? - Well That's their choice and they will have their reasons. The best I believe is to choose Your way of Life and Make it yours a model and be happy with it. Enjoy :)