Author claims it's more socially acceptable for women to have an affair than to admit feelings for someone else
One author believes it’s more socially acceptable for women to have ‘deceitful affairs’ than to admit to having feelings for someone else.
British writer, Mary Loudon, recently published her latest novel ‘My House is Falling Down’, which tells the story of a married mother-of-two called Lucy who finds herself falling for a man 20 years her senior.
But instead of keeping her feelings secret, she decides to tell her husband about the situation and even goes so far as to ask for advice.
The tale inspired a Woman’s Hour debate on the topic last week and has been praised by critics for its refreshingly honest exploration of marriage and longterm relationships.
“These things happen, but they’re not talked about,” Loudon told The Telegraph. “Until we can broaden our conversation about love affairs and the fact that women also transgress and fall in love, and that some men wait in the background the way, culturally and historically, women are supposed to have done, we’re not going to get as far as we need to.”
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Described as “a love triangle where no one is actually lying to anybody”, the novel explores the notion that women can transgress the stereotypical boundaries of marriage - a rare exploration of society’s expectations when it comes to female infidelity.
“My hunch is that it is more socially acceptable for a married woman with children to have a deceitful affair, than to admit openly to loving someone else,” she explained.
Loudon adds that we are content to excuse men's infidelities, as something we dismiss in a way “we might swat away a fly at the window, but when a woman stretches the boundaries, people react as if she is undermining the fabric of our society.”
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Interestingly, the male characters in the book also push society’s boundaries, as husband Mark supports his wife’s decision.
“One problem is that men are expected to behave aggressively when their partners let them down, yet there are plenty of men who wait, when waiting is the sanest thing to do,” Loudon explains.
A recent study found that 39% of women in the UK admitted to cheating on their partner while a further 35% have considered it last year.
Findings also indicated that 43% of women’s extramarital relationships were purely physical while 54% commit adultery after having children.