The percentage of wives cheating on their husbands rose by almost 40 percent during the last two decades—to 14.7 percent in 2010—while the number of men admitting to extramarital affairs held constant at 21 percent, according to the latest data published in Bloomberg Business Week.
Possible causations to the increase in women's sexual misadventures are often discovered and explored, such as financial stability, social media, a changing sexual culture, and the realization that women have an equal sex drive to men. Many media outlets focus on infidelity like it's a curse and socially shame those that step out on their spouses. But fear not: Infidelity is not an epidemic, nor a behavior that necessarily needs a solution or cure.
We tend to ask why people cheat instead of asking whether monogamous, long-term relationships should be our natural state. Our culture places high social standards on fidelity, demonizing the seemingly natural behavior of diversifying one's sexual partnerships.
Monogamy's stronghold on our belief brings ostracism and judgment to anyone who questions or strays from its boundaries. The main point is that men have a strong urge for quick, frivolous, unattached sex, while thriving on the emotional monogamy and continued love of their wife.
Quick sex here, stable marriage there. This view appears just a bit skewed, as it reflects the biological male imperative for both sexual variety and an emotional home base, while completely leaving out the female's point of view from both a sexual and emotional standpoint
Anthropological and biological evidence that humans are designed to seek variety in their sexual experiences should also be pointed out. The idea that "you should be completely happy, completely fulfilled with one partner for 50 years" is... a myth. That's not the design of the human organism, according to researches.
Adultery has been documented in every human culture studied... If monogamy is such a natural state, why are so many people driven to cheat? Many of our modern ideas about matrimony and monogamy can be traced back to Darwin and a Victorian understanding of sexuality. To support this theory, early human cultures and those of remote tribes that don't place a high value on monogamy were examined. Some peoples believed babies could receive genetic material from multiple fathers, so women were encouraged to have sex with men who could pass on different positive characteristics.
Sounds like our male and female anthropological and biological story enjoys its thrills and pleasures.
Interpersonal bonding, a community, and team work provide safety and security and promote the continuation of the human race. Yet monogamy, with its tendencies to provide financial security, stability in raising a family, emotional comfort, and more, is a choice.
Why do most people assume that all non-monogamous relationships are destined to fail? Because we only hear about the ones that do. If a three-way or an affair was a factor in a divorce or breakup, we hear all about it. But we rarely hear from happy couples who aren't monogamous, because they don't want to be perceived as dangerous sex maniacs who are destined to divorce.
Monogamy can be a surprisingly difficult commitment, one that may be against the story of our human history. Practicing it faithfully is a choice—but the only one. A woman can love a partner and eye another, have a sexual romp, and return to her commitment at home. After all, we no longer live in the Victorian Era.