According to studies from the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, rates of reported female infidelity spiked by nearly 40 percent between and , while the stats for men have more or less stayed the same. And while there is no one reason why women or men cheat, it does seem like the current circumstances of our gender are a factor for some.
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Namely that for women who feel suffocated by the impossible expectations of modern womanhood where "having it all" can feel like not just an opportunity but a mandate , infidelity has emerged as an unlikely but potentially effective release—cheaper than a luxury spa, easier than ever thanks to the Internet and maybe not even at odds with happily ever after. Walker, an assistant professor of sociology at Missouri State University, spoke to 46 women who had cheated on their partners via ashleymadison.
Going into her research, Walker expected to hear a lot about terrible partners, but, instead, in every single case, "the women talked about their affairs as [being] an exercise in power or personal authority. It's a power, she says, from which many of them feel disconnected in their day-to-day lives: "They feel locked into these roles and social expectations [around] what it means to be a wife and a mother.
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Walker tells me that for her subjects, having an affair was a form of self-exploration—a way to indulge a side of their personality that they generally suppressed. I joke that it's like the end of Grease , when goody-goody Sandy transforms into a smoking motor cycle mama clad in black leather. And then she changes back," says Walker, which reflects what she identifies as the most surprising takeaway from her research: "These women were cheating not as a way to get out of their relationships but to stay in them.
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Take the pregnant mom of three: Her transgression was a private self-indulgence before re-entering the world of diaper duty. One former colleague refers to her sexting with a subordinate as "blowing off steam" before she goes home to her husband. In the modern infidelity lexicon, this qualifies her as a "micro-cheater," a term for the grey area between flirting and being unfaithful. The Belgian psychotherapist and reigning global infidelity expert based her research on the revolutionary premise that people in happy relationships cheat not because they want to leave the marriage but because they want to leave the person they've become.
Of course the people who say they are acting out are going to justify it in their own minds. And they believe this wholeheartedly. So basically the conclusion I draw is that Alice Miller is unbelievably stupid in her analysis. It leaves out massive chunks of the commentary from the likes of Patrick Carnes and from people who have learned how to not act out in this area. Personally I think a much better analysis can be found in the book called the truth an uncomfortable book about relationships by Neil Strauss.
Aug 22, Graham rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: those interested human sexuality, infidelity, sociology, or social constructs. Alicia Walker examines one of the most depressed and ignored aspects of our society: women's infidelity. It has become common and almost accepted for men to have affairs of any type, but there has never been a large discussion or study performed on whether and how women engage in affairs.
Using a sample from Ashley Madison, Dr. Walker interviews and surveys women who for one reason or another choose to remain in their marriages while taking an outside In The Secret Life of the Cheating Wife, Dr. Walker interviews and surveys women who for one reason or another choose to remain in their marriages while taking an outside sexual partner. These women "break the binary" in the sense of participating in what is commonly believed and understood to be a male-only or male-dominated activity.
These women share stories of their generally unexciting, standard daily lives and their participation in activities that allow them to be sexually satisfied and experience a sense of power they may otherwise not have experienced. A well composed and thought provoking read, The Secret Life of the Cheating Wife will cause readers to question the social constructions of society today and re-frame their thoughts surrounding gender stereotypes, the portrayal of women's sexuality in media, and give insight into the details surrounding women's infidelity.
A highly recommended book for anyone interested in human sexuality, infidelity, sociology, or our current social constructions regarding relationships and marriage. Apr 16, Caroline rated it liked it. Provocative arguments haha about gender and sexuality. Definitely made me think about gender roles and the restrictive nature of monogamy, which is so engrained I had to keep reminding myself to try not to judge these women!
However, the sample size and source of participants make it difficult to say how applicable it is to the general public. Aug 23, Reiley M rated it it was amazing. I would highly recommend this book to everyone. The women in this study show an interesting view on modern marriages that are not seen very often. This book would be an amazing read to men and women alike. This book has been a great addition to academia! This is surprising revelation of a modern marriage. It offers a new solution besides a divorce for marriages that aren't working for the women.
Hats off to these brave women that will find a way to meet their own needs without putting their children through a divorce or destroying the parts of the marriage that works. Its something to contemplate. This is not the story of infidelity in the 's. Jun 19, Aynur Aslanova rated it did not like it. The writer just gives couple of statements from some women who used the website and are happy. For this kind of book, a longitudinal study would be best, which will examine later lives of those women. And because cheating is clearly associated with lying, I would like to see studies about lying and human psyche.
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. About Alicia M. Alicia M. Assistant Professor of sociology at Missouri State University. This kind of behavior, however, is a reflection of something deeply rooted inside of them. Julia Guerra. Facebook Icon The letter F. Link icon An image of a chain link.
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The Secret Life of the Cheating Wife
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