7 Reasons Why a Woman May Be Unfaithful

Knowing the reasons that lead a woman to be unfaithful can help us to prevent infidelity or to work together to overcome it after it occurs. Here are the main ones.
7 Reasons Why a Woman May Be Unfaithful
Elena Sanz

Written and verified by the psychologist Elena Sanz.

Last update: 26 July, 2022

The definition of infidelity is not the same for all people and for all couples. There are those who circumscribe it only to sexual encounters with third parties and those who extend it even to Internet messages. In any case, it’s a fact that this betrayal of trust generates great emotional damage. In this regard, today we’re going to talk about the reasons why a woman may be unfaithful.

There’s a deep-rooted belief that male infidelity is much more common and frequent than female infidelity. Once upon a time, this was true, since women (and not men) faced serious and grave consequences in case of adultery. However, today and in Western societies, both genders have been found to engage in infidelity at similar rates.

It’s estimated that about 25-30% of people in committed relationships have been unfaithful to their partner at some point. And although men and women are unfaithful in similar proportions, their motives may differ. So, what drives women to infidelity?

The reasons why a woman may be unfaithful

It’s not possible to generalize. In fact, each case, the underlying reasons for infidelity may be different. However, these are usually some of the most common reasons why a woman may be unfaithful.

Like this article? You may also like to read: The 7 Types of Infidelity that You Should Know About

1. A lack of emotional connection with her partner

If male infidelities are generally caused by a sexual motivation, in women, they’re more likely to be caused by a lack of affection. When the emotional connection with her partner is poor or when the woman feels neglected, lonely, and undervalued within her relationship, she may seek to fill the void with another person.

This may occur after the first two or three years of the relationship when the passion and emotional intensity of falling in love fades and gives way to more mature and calm emotions. Some women interpret this transformation as a problem and seek to find that euphoria again with a new person.

Most commonly, these feelings of emotional deprivation are promoted by the feeling that the partner takes the relationship for granted, does not cultivate intimacy and complicity, and does not nurture his partner emotionally.

reasons why a woman may be unfaithful
The lack of emotional connection after some years of a relationship can facilitate the search for that rush of new love in another person.

2. Low self-esteem

On many occasions, infidelity has more to do with the unfaithful person than with the bond itself. This is the case for women who suffer from insecurity and low self-esteem and who have an anxious attachment style.

For these women, the need for external approval is great. That’s why they may resort to infidelity to feel valuable, important, and desired.

3. Reasons why a woman may be unfaithful: Sexual dissatisfaction

Although this is thought to be the exclusive domain of men, many women are also unfaithful because of the sexual dissatisfaction they experience with their partners. If sexual encounters are scarce, of low quality, or become routine, they may seek the spark and pleasure in the figure of a lover.

We think you may be interested in reading this, too: 5 Signs that You’re Ready to Start a New Relationship

4. Anger and a desire for revenge

Another of the main reasons why a woman starts to be unfaithful is the desire to take revenge on her partner or punish him or her. This may happen because the partner him or herself has been unfaithful in the first place or because the woman feels that he or she doesn’t behave as they should or doesn’t meet her expectations.

Perhaps the partner is cold and uninterested, fights constantly, or is controlling. Perhaps he or she is judgmental and critical and doesn’t offer quality time or positive reinforcement.

In all of these cases, dissatisfaction and helplessness can lead to seeing infidelity as an avenue to retaliate against the other person.

5. Reasons why a woman may be unfaithful: Tedium and routine

It’s also possible that the woman is unfaithful because her life in the relationship has become monotonous, tedious, and routine. There’s no more excitement, passion, or novelty.

If the enthusiasm has disappeared, a new romance can bring that extra dose of excitement that the person feels she needs.

6. She has a need for self-affirmation

At certain times in her life, a woman may go through an identity crisis that leads her to need to reassert herself. It’s no secret that society exerts great aesthetic pressure on women; that’s why feeling desired by others can reaffirm one’s own value.

During adolescence and due to immaturity and age-related complexes, a young woman may feel that a greater number of suitors increases her personal worth. However, something similar may occur as her midlife crisis approaches. In this case, the woman may feel that she needs to make up for lost time or reaffirm that she’s still attractive. Infidelity serves to satisfy this desire.

Mala relación de pareja lleva a la infidelidad.
The fact of not feeling valued or approaching an age in which one wishes to reaffirm one’s self-esteem are common causes of infidelity.

7. Problems with her partner

In most cases, it is problems in the main relationship that lead to female infidelity. Love is composed of passion, intimacy, and commitment; the absence of one of these components (or the subjective perception that they are missing) can awaken a woman’s desire to seek them in a different place.

If the main bond does not bring security, well-being, and satisfaction – and on the contrary, causes pain, uncertainty, or suffering – infidelity is more likely to be committed.

The reasons why a woman may be unfaithful are not justifications, but they can help us move forward

The above are the main reasons why a woman starts to be unfaithful. However, they do not constitute a justification of this behavior.

In any case – and in the face of any problem – the way forward will be to talk with your partner, seek solutions (and do this with professional help if necessary), and decide to end the relationship if it isn’t working.

The betrayal of trust that infidelity entails leaves deep emotional scars. That’s why it will never be the solution.

However, it’s also important to remember that we’re all human, and no one is perfect, so knowing these reasons can help us prevent infidelity and take action in time. Even if infidelity has already occurred, understanding why it happened will help us make the appropriate changes and prevent it from happening again.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Fincham, F. D., & May, R. W. (2017). Infidelity in romantic relationships. Current opinion in psychology13, 70-74.
  • Martínez, A., del Carpio, P. S., & Quintero, Y. A. (2022). Estilos de apego e infidelidad. Una revisión de la literatura. El Psicólogo Anáhuac22, 7-16.
  • Riso, W. (2003). La fidelidad es mucho más que amor. Editorial Norma.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.