Men stepping out on their wives (and women stepping out on their husbands) is nothing new. We’ve even read references of this in the Bible. Keep clicking for insight from a top relationship expert, real women and more on the age-old issue of infidelity.
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Lauren Lake, relationship and life coach who penned the book, “Girl! Let Me Tell You…” (Lovelake Books), thinks that ultimately the issue of men cheating on their wives is bigger than “the other woman.”
“Why is it that we always look to the other woman? I encourage women to be less critical of one another. Women need to start to recognize and make this less about the single woman versus the married woman,” advises Lake, who happens to be a newlywed.
“Married and single women have to be more cognizant of what they’re tolerating,” she adds.
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Lake has choice advice for women who feel the need to constantly keep tabs on their significant others.
“Some women are just so insecure without just reason. If you constantly feel the need to check, you need to check yourself. You don’t feel like you’re worthy enough. If you have to track him down, put a radar on him, then you already know. You’re just creating activities to prolong the drama. As long as you prolong the drama, you’re still with him. If you were really ready to go, you would just leave,” explains Lake.
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A Man's Point of View
Steve Harvey’s relationship book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” quickly skyrocketed to the top of the New York Times best-sellers lists. He says one of the biggest questions he got from women was: ‘Why do men cheat?’ His response was simple: Because there is always a woman who will cheat with them.
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The Other Woman
“Yes, I have dated a married man before and I am dating one right now. I am not a fool and I know he is another woman’s man and that I am wrong. I do feel bad, but at times we single women get lonely, and if a man shows some form of attention we accept it until the pain actually sets in about the whole situation.”
—Carla F., 34, Detroit*
*Names have been changed
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The beloved film “Soul Food” uncovers a cheating husband and and a questionable cousin. Is all really fair in love and family?
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The Lover and the Secretary
As showcased in the box-office hit “Obsessed,” starring Beyoncé and Idris Elba, sometimes it really is important to keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
However, it’s more important to always remember that a man cannot be “taken” unless he wants to be.
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Low Down Dirty Shame
“I have had two women take my man. We had been together for two years, lived together, shared a car, dogs, everything, and the whole time he was stepping out with two females. One who was supposed to be a high school friend. And to top it off, both females are pregnant by him and due in November and December. One put holes in the condom.”
—Dawn G., 27, Houston
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Lake advises attached ladies to remain the woman your husband married. Strive to be the woman he wants to come home to rather than the woman he has to come home to.
“Women often lose themselves in marriage. Keep yourself together for yourself. Not just to keep a man. Strive for excellence on your own. Confidence is not about makeup and stilettos. We focus too much on how to keep a man. If he’s gonna cheat, he’s gonna cheat. Focus on you. That is what makes you more attractive. As soon as you appear needy, it’s a wrap.”
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Art Imitates Life
Who can forget the indignant throwback Salt-N-Pepa cut “I’ll Take Your Man”? Or the redemptive Shirley Murdock track “As We Lay”? Women have been using the art of music to help deal with the issue of infidelity for years.
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Loving You Is Wrong
In the 1996 hit film “Waiting to Exhale” Whitney Houston’s character Savannah Jackson falls for a married man (Dennis Haysbert). She holds on to the dream he will one day leave his wife and daughter, and her own mother tells her to stick by him. Finally, the reality sinks in he probably won’t ever leave, and if he did, she would one day be in his wife’s shoes.
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Strive to be Number One
Lake’s advice for women who are involved with married men:
“Girl, let me tell you, a married man is married until he’s divorced. Just repeat that until your light bulb goes off. If you’re not okay with being number two, three, four, then he is not the man for you.”
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Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful
“I have been accused of being a man thief, but I have never sought after another woman’s man. I have no control if your man is attracted to me. I’ve dated men who had affairs, and I feel if he did it to me what makes her think he is not going to do it to her. There are too many fish in the sea. If I have to take another woman’s man that says very little about me.”
—Ariel K., 29, Atlanta
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Second Time Around
“I am the other woman and I’ve watched this guy for the last 10 years. He had this mysterious roughness to him and I was attracted immediately. I did not think I was on his level so I never made a move. He and I both got married to other people. I recently divorced and I found out he and his wife were on the rocks and reached out. We went out and he could probably feel the heat coming off of me and we clicked immediately. He has sped up the divorce from his wife. He is sexy and it might work!"
—Sandra O., 30, Los Angeles
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Let Him Go
“While my husband and I were separated he dated a woman much younger. We are now back together rebuilding our home and she will not let go. She calls his family members to check on him. She called my cell phone number and left a voice mail of a conversation with my husband. Women should learn how NOT to deal with a married man!”
—Jackie L., 39, Boston
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“I hear men say all the time that ‘My wife turned into a mommy.’ A marriage is an exchange. I agree to honor, support and love and you agree to do the same for me. Couples that have children need to regularly revisit that contract,” explains Lake.
“Wife and mother are two separate titles for a reason. They have two different sets of duties. If you can’t take on both, then don’t do it,” warns Lake.
Share your own story of infidelity with us.
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