The number of women who report having being unfaithful is reportedly increasing dramatically — and the reason, according to journalist and author Kim Brooks, might simply be because marriage doesn’t make women happy.
A new book from Belgian psychotherapist Esther Perel, State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity, claims that the number of women who reported having extramarital affairs has increased by 40 percent since 1990 — even as the number of men who reported affairs remained the same. Writing for CNN, Brooks revealed that a number of her friends had confided having had affairs — despite the fact that they were in outwardly functional marriages.
Her friends’ experiences, Brooks wrote, was echoed in the work of sociologist Alicia Walker, who had found that many women grew resentful of their partners over time because they were being asked to do more “of the invisible labor that went into maintaining their lifestyle.” One woman in Walker’s upcoming book, The Secret Life of the Cheating Wife: Power, Pragmatism, and Pleasure in Women’s Infidelity, described her husband as “another child to clean up after,” while one of Brooks friends said that while household chairs were distributed fairly, she felt she was left alone to “[manage] many of our relationships.”
Other reasons for a rising infidelity rate among married women might be more subtle. More than half of married twenty-something women say they want more sex, according to a survey from Cosmopolitan, and other surveys have found that women’s sex drive may reach its peak from age 36 and on. According to some scientists, monogamy itself might even run contrary to human instincts — not to mention that throughout history, infidelity in marriage has found varying degrees of acceptance depending on the the time-period and geographic location.
Read the full story at CNN.