While the most common image associated with a cheating spouse is men exhibiting animalistic behavior at bars and clubs with complete disregard for their wife or girlfriend, the fact is women initiate affairs as well.
The real question is what motivates a woman to cheat, and how does that drive compare to their male counterparts.
Cheating, like most actions, begins with a thought that typically is the result of unhappiness. Women who feel unappreciated, unlike their male counterparts, may voice their displeasure over this issue. This is largely because most women are better at communicating and expressing their feelings with their significant other. Men on the other hand, are prone to internalize emotions, often resulting in pent up stress and/or outbursts of aggression.
When a man fails to demonstrate appreciation for his spouse or withdraws from the communication which is vital to a relationship, women can interpret this lack of communication or emotional distancing as a signal or precursor of a pending breakup. Since the woman views the relationship as all but technically concluded, she may attempt to move on mentally and physically, even before the break up occurs. Therefore the next step for her is to find a new relationship, either by actively seeking out a new partner or being open to spontaneously meeting someone while out with friends.
Similarly, if and when a woman feels unappreciated or not sexually appealing to her spouse, she may seek self-validation of these traits via an affair. Women need certain level of attention, and if they aren’t receiving it at home, they are sure to look elsewhere after their standards are not met.
Another possibility, which is based on a similar concept, is the idea of using cheating as a mechanism to usher in the end of a downward spiraling relationship. A woman who “reads the writing on the wall” and determines that a relationship is doomed for failure may, intentionally sabotage that relationship. In this scenario cheating provides a quick fix expediting the conclusion of the relationship while also minimizing any potential lingering emotional fallout.