What percentage of people cheat on their spouses and significant others?
Common wisdom says it’s about one in five, but few have faith in the stats.
After all, most folks don’t admit to affairs, even when participating in studies.
Ultimately, the bottom line is that cheating happens more often than we’d like to believe.
But when you search for articles about infidelity, the majority focus on men.
So today, to balance the scale a bit, we’re examining what it looks like when wives cheat.
What are the signs, and how do you know when your wife is cheating on you?
11 Characteristics of a Cheating Woman
What are the personality traits of a cheater? It’s a question frequently asked by people who suspect their partners are having affairs.
But it’s also a difficult question to answer accurately — because life is complicated, and even thoughtful, kind people sometimes make poor choices.
Many psychologists are branching out from the so-called “dark triad” model — narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy — to explain infidelity.
They are embracing the Five-Factor Ocean model, which considers a metric involving openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.
Caveats aside, here are 11 personality traits that cheating women may display.
1. Being Overly Self-Focused
Destructively self-focused people don’t think long and hard about how their actions may negatively impact other peoples’ lives. As such, they’re more likely to be moved by impulse.
But it’s important to remember that we’re all a bit self-focused. It’s human nature. So don’t jump down your partner’s throat for putting themselves first occasionally.
2. Feeling Insecure
It may sound counterintuitive, but insecurity is a leading indicator that someone will cheat.
In the not too distant past, people treated insecurity as an easily controllable personal fault.
But as society becomes more sensitized to mental health struggles, folks are becoming increasingly aware that insecurity is often a product of trauma, and it maintains a tight grip on people navigating its insidious trenches.
Insecurity can trigger frantic states of mind that frequently lead to poor decision-making.
Moreover, people who grapple with insecurity have an instinctual need for acceptance, and if someone is willing to show them some, they lean in and lap it up.
3. Being Scatterbrained or Reckless
Scatterbrained men and women don’t always think things through to their logical end. So when faced with temptation, they’re likely to make a more reckless choice than someone with ordered thinking patterns.
4. Being Emotionally Immature
Immaturity is a significant infidelity predictor. There’s a reason why the phrase “young and dumb” has stood the test of time! People exploring sexual boundaries in their teens and twenties cheat more frequently than folks in other age demographics.
Heck, our brains aren’t fully developed until our mid-20s! But by middle age, people usually begin to realize how destructive affairs can be and tend to think twice before straying.
5. Having a High Libido
The traditional tropes aren’t accurate. Females can enjoy sex just as much as males, and many cheating women have higher than average sexual drives.
When individuals with high libidos aren’t sexually satisfied at home, they may step out.
6. Needing to Feel Powerful
In most cases, cheating has nothing to do with love — but power dynamics often play a role. If a woman feels subjugated in other parts of her life, she may exert her dominance via sexual behavior that falls outside of the norm.
7. Being an Extrovert
Peer-reviewed studies suggest that people who score high on the extroversion chart are statistically more likely to cheat on their spouses and significant others. Behaviorally speaking, it makes sense since extroverted people crave more attention than introverts.
8. Seeking Novelty and New Experiences
Experience seekers also score high on the infidelity probability chart. After all, people who constantly chase new adventures and experiences are also more willing to chase after new people.
We’re not suggesting that all experience seekers should be watched like a hawk, but combined with other infidelity indicators, it may add up.
9. Possessing Narcissistic Traits
People with narcissistic personality disorder live in bubbles of their mind’s own making where all their actions are justified and correct. As a result, they’re more likely to cheat than other people.
Plus, contrary to most assumptions, malignant narcissists are deeply insecure people who use sex in a misguided way to court acceptance.
10. Being Detached
Some people can deeply bond with other individuals and typically score high on the empathy scale. Other folks, however, struggle to form strong connections. In a word, they’re detached.
It may be the result of trauma — or it could just be their “wiring.” Either way, people who fall into this category may be more likely to conduct illicit affairs because the emotional stakes don’t register.
11. Differing Brain Chemistry
A paper published in the journal “Evolution and Human Behavior” suggests that people with fewer oxytocin and vasopressin receptors in the brain are more likely to cheat on their partners.
The two hormones significantly affect how we feel about ourselves and other people. In short, people with weaker re-uptake mechanisms for these chemicals may pursue physical pleasure more aggressively than others.
18 Signs of A Cheating Woman
Spouses who suspect their wives may be cheating often ask: “What are the physical signs of cheating?” Again, things differ from person to person, couple to couple.
However, to help make sense of the quagmire, we’ve outlined a list of 18 potential signals that a woman may be stepping out on her relationship.
1. Her Schedule is Different
Suddenly, apropos of nothing, your wife or significant other is often away from home. This type of schedule change is one of the most common cheating indicators among both males and females.
However, don’t jump to conclusions if your partner has a new job or a new work project! They could just be busier at the office.
2. She Improves Her Appearance
Is your wife or female partner wearing makeup uncharacteristically? Is she newly concerned with her wardrobe and how she looks in it? These are tell-tale signs that she may be stepping out on you.
Granted, women go through periods of self-care and enjoy a glow-up every now and again. But if that’s the case, she’ll usually talk about it openly.
3. She Starts Dressing Differently
Completely changing one’s look is another commitment breach indicator — especially if they’re making the leap from dowdy to rowdy.
But again, if a woman expresses interest in making some aesthetic changes and is open about the shift, you probably have nothing to worry about.
4. She Stops Talking About a Future Together
There was a time when you two would lovingly discuss the future. But lately, she’s not interested. Her whole demeanor toward you and the relationship seems to have slipped into an icebox.
This could be a sign that she’s cheating — or simply isn’t as enthused about the relationship as she once was.
5. She Accuses You of Cheating
A guilty conscience has a way of projecting its misdeeds onto others. In other words, people who cheat tend to accuse their partners of doing the same. Be honest with yourself, though.
If you are cheating and your partner points a finger, don’t assume they’re doing the same.
6. Her Body Language Shifts
Does she flinch when you touch her? Does she turn away? Has she adopted the habit of defensively crossing her arms in front of herself whenever you’re around?
These sudden body language shifts may signal that she’s no longer interested in intimacy with you because she’s found it elsewhere.
7. She Flirts To Distract From Serious Conversations
Flirting is an ingenious way to wheedle your way out of many undesirable situations — including difficult conversations about cheating.
Innocent people accused of infidelity generally don’t switch to flirtation mode when confronted. Instead, they grow serious and aim to discredit the imputations.
8. She Grows Unreceptive To Intimacy
Has your sex life suddenly taken a dive? Is your wife or significant other constantly turning you down when, in the past, they were an enthusiastic partner?
Sometimes, illness and stress can lead to decreased sexual drive. But if nothing else has changed in a woman’s life, and she simply stops wanting to couple with you, infidelity may be to blame.
9. She’s Meaner
When women make a sexual connection outside of their central relationship, they may begin acting unpleasant to their official partner. The reasons are varied. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of misplaced guilt.
Other times, when a wife cheats with a woman for the first time, she may experience sexual identity issues that give rise to general frustrations about society and expectations involving traditional marriage.
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10. She Appears Happier for No Reason
Some people grow meaner when they’re cheating — and others suddenly seem a lot happier. Women who fall into the latter category can feel renewed by their affairs. But again, we must caution that life is a roller coaster, and when things are going well in peoples’ lives, they tend to be more pleasant.
Assess your partner’s situation. Are there reasons, other than cheating, that they’d be in a better mood? A new job, apartment, home, raise, or good news may all lead to a happier spouse or significant other.
11. She Plays the Victim
Some women who cheat play the victim. Why? Well, it’s human nature to see ourselves as underdogs. Nearly everyone does it in one way or another. And when we’re in the wrong, our egos have a sneaky way of distorting self-perceptions and placing us in the victim’s position.
However, this is once again a situation that requires self-reflection. If you’re treating your wife or significant other abusively — either physically or emotionally — she is a victim!
12. She Defends Infidelity
Infidelity is wrong. So if a spouse or significant other starts defending the act when she once lambasted it, you’re in the right to raise an eyebrow or two. Uncharacteristic talk of polyamory or exploring the possibility of an open relationship are also red flags.
13. She’s Overly Protective of Her Phone
Phones are personal devices, and it’s not OK to rifle through someone else’s without permission. However, if your partner grows anxious and nervous anytime you’re near their phone, something may be amiss.
Do they snatch it out of your hand for simply moving it? Is this new behavior? If so, there’s likely a reason — and it probably isn’t a wholesome one.
14. There’s Increased Hostility
Hostility festers at the feet of malfeasance, and when individuals lie about affairs, the untruths can metastasize into a ruinous tumor. Enmity erodes relationships — as does infidelity. They go hand-in-hand.
But again, make sure not to mistakenly conflate a desire to leave the relationship with cheating.
15. You Notice Unexplained Expenses
Are your finances merged with your wife or significant other? Have you noticed unexplained expenses popping up? When you inquired about them, was the explanation less than believable?
Or did your partner grow agitated over the questions? People don’t get flustered by legitimate expenses. So, if they do, it could be a sign of something untoward happening behind the scenes.
16. She’s Frequently Unreachable
Sure, people cannot always answer their phones or return texts immediately. They may be in transit, at a meeting, checking out at the grocery store, or driving.
But if it starts to become a pattern, and you cannot reach your partner repeatedly, week after week, that’s not an encouraging sign — especially if she’s exhibiting other behaviors linked to infidelity.
17. She’s No Longer Bothered by Certain Things
A common infidelity indicator for a mature cheating wife is a sudden shift in attitude about previously bothersome things.
For example, if your wife has been hounding you to clean the garage for months and then suddenly stops one day, even though you didn’t complete the task, you may ask why.
If she explains that she hired someone who’s coming to handle it next week — you probably needn’t worry about cheating. If she gets flustered or doesn’t have a good explanation, you may want to watch for other infidelity signs.
18. Her Friends Start Acting Weird Around You
Are your partner’s friends acting strangely around you? Typically, women will confess their extramarital relationships to friends and close siblings. So keep an eye out for pitying looks.
Also, be on alert for people suddenly treating you like the villain. In those instances, your wife or significant other may be telling lies about you to justify their bad deeds.
Infidelity is a difficult hurdle to clear, but many couples succeed. Others cannot. At the end of the day, every situation is different, so do what feels best for you.