Does It Make A Difference If A Man Cheats With A Younger Or An Older Woman?

By: Katie Lersch: Sometimes, I hear from wives who are particularly upset over the age of the other woman. Quite often, the infidelity is particularly painful because the other woman is younger. This can cause a very direct hit to the wife’s self esteem and she can begin to wonder how her husband would ever be attracted to her again when he has access to someone with a smooth face and a youthful body. On the other hand, women whose husbands cheat with someone who is older can have a difficult time too because they worry that their husband might be serious about the other woman. Since he obviously isn’t chasing youth, then why else would he pursue her other than the fact the relationship, or his feelings, are genuine?

Common comments are things like: “the other day, I went out to lunch with a couple of my girlfriends. And, as it always does, the conversation went back to my husband’s affair. These ladies are so sweet to humor me and to listen to my problems. We began talking about the other woman, who is actually a couple of years older than us. One of my friends said that it is better that she is older because my husband will probably get bored with her much more easily. But the other friend disagreed. She said that when a man cheats with a younger woman, then this is obviously a mid life crisis that is going to pass. Her theory is that the man will generally wake up one day and understand that he is acting like an old fool. But a man who cheats with an older woman is more likely to think that he is pursuing something real and he is more likely to actually try to make a relationship with the other woman work. Who is right here? Does it matter if she is older or younger? Or is it infidelity cheating regardless of the other person’s age?” I will tell you my opinion on this in the following article.

My take on this is that although cheating is cheating regardless of the cheater’s age, the age of the other person can sometimes (but not always) give you some clues about the cheater’s mindset.

Gauging The Mind Set Of The Unfaithful Spouse: People who cheat with those younger than themselves are usually trying to hold back the perception of their own age, at least in some ways. This cheating usually comes at a crisis point in their life or when they are coming face to face with mortality or the frailty of life. Being involved with someone younger can improve their perception of themselves or can prove to them they are still desirable or that they still have something to offer. It can also offer some momentary relief from self doubt.

On the other hand, people who cheat with someone their own age or who is older are more likely to be looking for someone who understands and appreciates them.  They are also a bit more likely to see the relationship as one that might last (although plenty of people who cheat with those who are younger may also hope that the relationship lasts.)

Healing Is The Same Regardless Of Age: So what does all of this mean? I think that it could potentially help you to pinpoint your spouse’s potential motivation for cheating, but, in the end, the healing process is the same for both types of cheating. You will still need for him to completely end the relationship and to recommit to your marriage. You will still need to reestablish the trust and intimacy. You will still need to improve the way in which you address issues as they crop up and before they leave you vulnerable. And you will still need to uncover any issues that might have left you vulnerable to the cheating and then  fix them. These things are true regardless of the other person’s age.

Also, I don’t think that the age of the other person necessarily affects your ability to move on. I am not sure that it’s easier to move on if the other woman was older or younger. Either way, your self esteem and trust can take a huge hit. It is still a betrayal regardless.  But that doesn’t mean that you can’t move past it, although it often takes work, self love, and time.

I know that it can feel as if healing is so far away, but please hang in there and always give yourself what you need so that you can move forward, even if you have to take tiny baby steps.  If it helps, you can read about my recovery on my blog http://surviving-the-affair.com

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