What's wrong with this picture?
Thea moves to a new city with her husband. Her husband settles into a job that requires long hours and high focus. Thea feels lonely and abandoned. Her husband has a full day of social contacts; she does not even have friends.
Her solution: she joins a website called Ashley Madison, whose purpose is to facilitate extramarital affairs. Of course, she succeeds in finding what she was looking for.
Analyzing Thea's situation, Tammy Worth opines on WebMD that Thea was looking for attention and affection. Her husband was so involved in his new job that he had been neglecting her. Link here.
See also this article from CafeMom site: link here. Via Instapundit.
Thus, her action is simply a reaction to her husband's increased distance. Given that he has a full life and she has an empty life, what's a girl to do?
Perhaps, she envies her husband his life; perhaps she resents the competition his new job presents; perhaps she blames him for taking her away from her friends and family. At some level, she seems to be trying to get back at him.
One should mention here, as the article does not, that if her husband discovers her affair, or even if he senses it, this will probably cause him no small amount of emotional turmoil. And this, in turn will make it more difficult for him to devote himself to his new job.
Just a thought.
Anyway, as I said: What's wrong with this picture?
First, if she is feeling lonely and bored, why doesn't she go out and get a job? And if she does not want to work, what prevents her from making new friends. Is she the only woman who is at home during the day in her neighborhood? Are there no possibilities for volunteering at local hospitals or involving herself in political activity?
If we remain within the parameters set by the article, these are the most obvious questions. And yet, they do not address the issue that the article does not mention, even in passing. The dog that didn't bark, the elephant in the room, is: why she does not think to have a child?
But then again, she may have a child or children. And the children might be at school all day. The article tells us nothing about this married couple's reproductive status.
About this question we can barely speculate. The article is so politically correct that it attempts, no matter what the cost, to eliminate the reproductive aspect of her decision-making.
We do not know why this couple does not have children, whether they want children, whether they can have children... and so on.
To say that what is missing from the marriage is an emotional connection is simply a convenient way to obfuscate the reproductive issue and, effectively, to blame her husband and his job.
Thanks to a poorly researched article we do not know the answers to any of these questions. We are left in the dark.
Let's take this occasion to remind ourselves of the basic Darwinian explanation for why women cheat. Amazingly, it is the one explanation that Tammy Worth does not bother to mention. Simply put, women cheat because they are looking for better genes.
Darwinian theory has an easy explanation for why men cheat: they want to produce the most offspring, to spread their genetic material far and wide.
It's not about-- the more the merrier-- the notion that the more there are the more likely are some to survive. That must have been the question at the dawn of humanity.
As we know, men are more likely to cheat because they can more easily walk away from the aftereffects of their actions.
But that feels like a truncated version of human reproductive psychology. Men are also programmed to protect and provide for their offspring. This means that they need to know whether said offspring are really theirs. Men who discover that their wives have tricked them into protecting and providing for a child that is not genetically theirs often react very badly.
As we know, and as Tammy Worth and her experts make clear, a woman who cheats is running a much higher risk than is a man. Biologically, a woman has much more difficulty walking away from the possible consequences of extramarital sex than does a man.
Thus, women are much more thoughtful about choosing when, where, and with whom to commit adultery.
Again, according to Darwinian theory, a woman is looking for the best genes, but she is also looking for a man who will stay around to protect and provide for her children. Thus, she will require an emotional connection, but she will also be attuned to evidence of good character in the men she might choose.
Yet, finding both in one man requires something of a compromise. A man's willingness to stay around and help care for children must involve his willingness to compromise of his impulse to spread his seed.
I would mention in passing that a woman might cheat with a man because he is physically prepossessing, but is not good husband material. The fact that he does not want to settle down does not make him unattractive.
A woman might feel that she is programmed to respond to such men. On the other hand, she will also feel an enduring sexual attraction to a man who is also trustworthy and reliable.
Sometimes a woman will marry a man who appears to be trustworthy and reliable, only to discover that he is not.
If so, she might feel a need to protect herself by looking elsewhere. If her husband is emotionally detached, she will read that as meaning that he is otherwise involved. Risking abandonment, she might well seek out a new man with better character.
Then again, if her husband is too attached to her, if he is too clingy, that might mean that he is compensating for his inability to provide for her and their children. Thus, she might be motivated to seek out a man who is a better provider. Then, she may look for a man who is emotionally more distant.
All of which to say that this issue is far more complicated than we imagine.