Do even good women have affairs?
I think there’s a misconception that only bad people in bad marriages have affairs, but that’s not true.
I’ll explain more about that, plus some reasons I suspect why more women having affairs, in this article.
As many of you know from reading my story;
13 years ago I did what I thought I was never capable of doing-
I was unfaithful to my husband.
I’d always been a ‘good, rule following girl’.
We’d always had a good marriage, but after a vulnerable season in my life and marriage,
I allowed myself to slowly slide into an inappropriate friendship that turned into an affair for about a year.
I emphasize slowly slide because that’s an important piece to understanding the answer to my first question:
Do “good women” ever have affairs,
“or is it only ‘bad women’ or ‘bad people’ who are unfaithful?
It’s never a huge one time leap into infidelity.
There are always small compromises along the way.
But I’ll get to that in a moment.
The shame from what I’d done was unbearable, and it almost destroyed me.
I didn’t understand how I got myself into such a terrible situation.
I soon confessed the affair to my husband,
but my inability to stop the affair at first meant my marriage was on the brink of divorce, until my eyes were opened.
God eventually showed me the precious family I was ready to lose, in exchange for the fantasy life that was destroying me.
We decided to give our marriage a second chance (or actually by then more like a 10th or 11th chance);
and I fought with everything in me to do whatever it took to save my marriage, and help my husband heal from what I’d done.
It was hard work, but we recovered.
My husband found the strength to forgive me and now we’re completely restored in trust and love.
Sharing the hope that a marriage and a woman CAN really be restored after infidelity, is my life’s mission.
I firmly believe, if both spouses really want the marriage to heal, and are willing to do whatever it takes
and lean on God to help restore them, they can be restored.
I’m so grateful we didn’t give up on us, and that God gave us the strength when we didn’t have any left.
Infidelity is a terribly lonely and shameful experience. Especially when the wife was the unfaithful spouse.
There’s not nearly as much help and information out there for the couple when the wife was the unfaithful spouse,
and for the husband who was betrayed.
Most betrayed husbands go through their own suffering and shame,
and it’s incredibly hard for them to talk to anyone about it.
If they can’t find a way to get outside help and talk about it with a trusted pastor or counselor, it will be very difficult to
work through the pain of betrayal on his own.
Society stigma says “Only bad women have affairs”.
The unfortunate stigma in society is that “only bad people commit adultery”.
I say unfortunate because I believe when we put labels on people,
we stop any dialogue, or desire, to reach those people and help them through it.
Labels separate us from “those people” and it helps us elevate ourselves in pride,
because we can silently reason “I would NEVER do that.”
Thinking things like “Look at her and what she did…she’s a terrible person for having an affair”
is great for gossip, but it will never help restore that person, or their marriage.
As gossip prevails, kindness fails.
Frankly, for so many years I believe I also had that kind of pride in my heart,
as I believed the lie that I was too moral, or above doing anything like that.
Until I wasn’t.
I’ve learned to never say never, especially when it comes to acting consistently moral, in our own strength.
God showed me that I had always found my identity in being a ‘good girl’, and because I’d always done the right things,
I thought I was above anything as terrible as committing adultery.
Somewhere along the way, I stopped leaning on Jesus for my strength to live honorably and
the secret thought in my heart was “I’m too good for that kind of extreme moral failure, it’ll never happen to me.”
Have you ever thought that?
Or, have you ever done anything that you never thought you would do and later wonder how you even got ‘there’?
But I’m here to warn you my friend that…
The path to even extreme moral failures never happens in one huge leap.
It occurs very slowly, over time, and it usually begins when we allow little thoughts to come in without stopping them.
The thought could be any number of things but these are some common ones:
“This is just an innocent friendship, nobody will get hurt, he understands me and listens
when my husband doesn’t, I feel desirable and needed when we’re together, we have a connection,
I’m just sharing my marriage problems with him/her as a friend would…”
And on and on the lies will come if we don’t put a stop to them.
Once we open that first door looking for the greener grass somewhere else, and with someone else,
we can easily be trapped by the addictive clutches of infidelity.
Yes, affairs are a trap, and even good people who didn’t mean to hurt anyone, can fall into them.
I’ve been doing this long enough, and heard enough stories from very good, kindhearted and caring women
to believe that only bad, evil people have affairs.
Any one of us can fall.
It’s important everyone of you reading this understand that; to dispel any myths or labels.
Because as I said earlier, labels separate us into groups that we can’t identify with.
They make us feel ‘safe’ because we don’t see the danger of being just like ‘them’…but
that safe separation also creates a false sense of security.
If you can’t identify the potential within you to fall into that same trap, or the possibility that you could ever
get caught up in an affair, then your pride has blinded you -and you’re more at risk then ever.
Yes it happens…even to an otherwise good woman (even a Christian woman)
from a good marriage, with good kids and a good life.
Shocking? Don’t let it be.
Women’s infidelity is on the rise.
Although infidelity has traditionally been thought of as a man’s issue,
studies have shown that married women having affairs has increased by 40-45% in the last few decades.*
The surface reasons why women are having more affairs, can be that more women are working outside the home,
they have an increase in their own income, more social media opportunities then ever, etc.
The reasons women have affairs, are as individual as the women themselves.
I believe that those women who are willing to end their affair and are remorseful and wanting to be restored, should
find that restoration and forgiveness and not have to live under the weight of shame and condemnation the rest of her life.
Don’t misunderstand my “not condemning” with “condoning”.
But before you decide to send me hate mail by thinking I’m condoning adultery…think again.
I am as pro-marriage and pro-faithfulness and honor, as anyone can be.
I’ve seen the other side of infidelity personally, and also by working with hundreds of women who’ve fallen into the trap too;
and I know the depth of pain, shame and regret they feel after making that choice to follow deception.
So don’t misunderstand my not condemning adulterers with condoning adultery, or even excusing it.
I’m certainly not.
But I think the world, as well as the Christian church as a whole, could use a lot more grace and forgiveness to help
restore those who are truly repentant and wanting restoration, instead of throwing stones of condemnation at them for their past.
Now that I’ve established that even a good woman can get caught in the trap of an affair, the deeper question is why.
Why are more ‘good’ women having affairs?
I speak from my own personal story of infidelity,
as well as the overall consensus of the women I’ve worked with when asked why they did it.
No matter what type of affair it is, the most common reasons I see for why good women get caught up in an affair
stems from their search for something missing within themselves, not knowing or a boredom with life in general,
more then for what was lacking in their spouse.
This is especially true of the woman whose marriage was not ‘bad’ before the affair occurred.
It might start innocently enough as a friendship with the opposite sex, but suddenly they’re captivated by the attention from another.
Before they know what is happening, they’re making choices that quickly entrap them into an affair;
especially if they’ve had difficulty accepting their own worth and value before.
A woman can also feel she’s lost a part of herself over the years,
and an affair can become her escape from boredom and routine.
It’s often a (subconscious) attempt to connect with parts of herself that she might have forgotten, or never experienced before at all.
Many women experience this struggle after giving so much to their husbands and children that they become disconnected
from a part of their youthful self; they can feel they’ve lost the sexuality and attraction they once had.
An affair becomes her one dark secret that makes her (temporarily) feel alive again. Until it all comes crashing down.
Affairs give the illusion of a deeper connection, yet it’s based on a fantasy.
Many women believe their affair partner is their soulmate, and think they’ve never felt this way before.
In reality, affairs give the illusion of a deeper connection with the other person,
when actually it’s not based in real life situations or stressors of a marriage and family, it just becomes a fantasy world of escape.
Secrecy is one part that fuels the intensity of an affair which can often feel as difficult to end as an addiction is to break free from.
For many women, an affair allows them to be someone completely different.
They can act in ways they never would otherwise, and it can awaken something about themselves that they
have a hard time letting go of, when they attempt to end their affair.
Still, there’s never a good reason to have an affair; and many women find out too late,
the price they paid for it was higher than they ever imagined.
But if she’s going to end the affair for good, and break free of its destructive cycle,
it will be important for her to understand that it’s often more about her being afraid of losing that hidden part of herself,
then it ever really was about the affair partner because affairs are usually not really about the other person at all.
She can rediscover herself-finding her purpose and value, plus rekindle adventure in her life and marriage- without needing the affair to do so.
To end an affair, there has to be no contact with the other person; not even attempting to remain friends.
Until that happens, a couple cannot even consider working on their marriage.
But there is help and resources out there for her.
I have a private Facebook group for women who were unfaithful,
and are seeking help and support to end their affair and be restored.
The Facebook group is called AMA Women.
If interested in joining, please answer the few questions first and be sure you’re the unfaithful wife, not the betrayed.
Also I don’t accept newer FB accounts for privacy of my members.
But if you join with your regular account and then want to create a new
one, I DO allow that if I know that.
You can read more about this FB group here.
More posts you might be interested in:
An open letter to a Christian woman who had an affair.
I came across your website today when I googled how long does it take to recover from an affair. I believe God brought me to your website. Everything I am going through you have brought up in your articles. Reading these have been very freeing for me. I did sign up to become a member of the Facebook group ama. Thank you for helping.