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While men are often pegged as the more promiscuous gender, it appears that women who step out of their relationships glean more satisfaction from their affairs, a new Missouri State University study found.

Research lead, Alicia Walker, Ph.D., surveyed cheating enabling site AshleyMadison.com users, and discovered women who cheated were more likely to be happier over time.

“Females having affairs are more likely to be happy than men,” Walker explained to Marie Claire. 

“It’s the ‘monogamy malaise.’ Existing research shows the longer women are in a sexual relationship, the more their desire drops over time, and they become less and less interested in having sex with their primary partner. However, if they take on a new partner, their sexual desire returns to its previous high level.”

“Lots of women find joy in cheating because they genuinely believe it’s saving their marriage,” Walker continued.

“If women believe they have to have an affair to stay married, it increases the happiness.”

The uptick in happiness for women could also be linked to increased autonomy in their lives due to the infidelity. Patriarchy has burdened women with the onus of relationship success since the beginning of time, so women who break free from these constraints may feel more overall joy.

“These affairs are spaces where women set the boundaries and the rules and they create them to focus on their own needs,” Walker described.

“They purposely vet partners and only get involved with men who will cater to their wants, needs, and desires. These are spaces unlike any others in their lives.”

Even with these study results, cheating should not be the go-to relationship resolution solution. Couples could opt for therapy (couples AND alone)  to work through their issues, or simply decide to split. Just because cheating may bring the woman cheater more joy, the long-term effects of betrayal and deception on their partner probably won’t net out to a better life longterm for both parties involved.

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