20 Best Movies about Cheating Wives & Husbands (2022 Update)

20 Best Movies about Cheating Wives & Husbands

Nothing hurts more in life than grief and heartbreak. Despite the fanfare and grandeur associated with marriage ceremonies, which seem to be filled with genuine love, a fair number of married people end up with unfaithful spouses.

Ironically, this has resulted in great content for scriptwriters and filmmakers who have taken to screens beautiful yet tragic stories. Scandalous celebrity affairs, unsavory divorce drama, and even murder in cold blood have all been a part of the drama Hollywood has depicted exists whenever partners are involved in adultery. 

In this list, I will cover the 20 Best Movies that explore Cheating Husbands and Wives and where you can watch them. Note: movies on this list are not something you would like to watch with your family.

20. The Painted Veil

20 Best Movies about Cheating Wives & Husbands (2022 Update)

Release Date: 2006

Where Can I Watch It: Hoopla

The Painted Veil is a drama film about a British bacteriologist, Walter, who travels with his newly-married wife Kitty to a remote village in China in order to fight a cholera epidemic. Walter is a reserved man who prefers solitude over the company of others, while Kitty is an outgoing woman who enjoys reveling in the social life of the affluent British class.

This makes them poorly matched, and Kitty has an affair with a married British diplomat. When Walter finds out, he threatens to divorce her unless she accompanies him to China on his medical mission. The story then unfolds as Kitty attempts to adapt to a challenging life in China, all while trying to mend her marriage.

19. A Fall From Grace

20 Best Movies about Cheating Wives & Husbands (2022 Update)

Release Date: 2020

Where Can I Watch It: Netflix

Grace is a law-abiding citizen who lives in a town in Virginia that finds herself accused of murdering her newly-married husband, Shannon. She wants to plead guilty, but her only request is that she is incarcerated in a prison near Malcolm, her only son.

Her case lands on the desk of Jasmine, a public defender, who is told by her boss that her only job is to get the plea signed and submitted and nothing more. However, Jasmine suspects that there is more to the case than it initially seems, although Grace insists that she killed her husband because he was an abusive con and was having an affair. The story then unravels, with secrets becoming revealed and relationships becoming ruined.

18. Fatal Affair

20 Best Movies about Cheating Wives & Husbands (2022 Update)

Release Date: 2020

Where Can I Watch It: Netflix

Fatal Affair is a thriller about Ellie (played by Nia Long), who soon finds herself the mark of a dangerous stalker David (played by Omar Epps), who just happens to be a friend from the past. It’s clear from the beginning what the film is trying to relay when a woman walks into the bathroom expecting some romantic encounter with her lover only to find him dead in a blood-filled bathtub. Then an unknown figure grabs her from behind and the film cuts to the present day with an entirely new set of characters.

17. Fatal Attraction

20 Best Movies about Cheating Wives & Husbands (2022 Update)

Release Date: 1987

Where Can I Watch It: HBO Max

Fatal Attraction is a psychological thriller revolving around Dan Gallagher (played by Michael Douglas), a lawyer from Manhattan who is happily married to his wife, Beth, and the two have a daughter, Ellen. While at work, Dan meets Alex Forest (played by Glenn Close), a beautiful, coquettish editor.

One weekend while his family is away, Dan and Alex have dinner, and it leads to an erotic sexual affair. However, Dan loses interest afterward, causing Alex to become clingy and turning the affair into an unhealthy, terrifying relationship. Fatal Attraction is one of the most successful films of 1987 and paved the way for modern films about toxic sexual affairs.

16. Indecent Proposal

20 Best Movies about Cheating Wives & Husbands (2022 Update)

Release Date: 1993

Where Can I Watch It: Fubo TV

David Murphy (played by Woody Harrelson) and Diana Murphy (played by Demi Moore) are a happily married couple who have been together since high school. Everything seems to be going well until the recession destroys their financial standing. In their final shot to restore their financial crisis, they decide to gamble in Las Vegas, where they meet John Gage (played by Robert Redford), a very rich man, who offers them a million dollars to spend the night with Diana.

Out of desperation, they both agree to do it on the condition that they both forget about it forever. However, as expected, the decision comes to haunt their relationship, and troubles arise that drive them apart.

15. The Bridges Of Madison County

20 Best Movies about Cheating Wives & Husbands (2022 Update)

Release Date: 1995

Where Can I Watch It: HBO Max

A mature romance film, The Bridges of Madison County is a story about Robert Kincaid (played by Clint Eastwood, who is also the director), a photojournalist who goes to Madison County to photograph its bridges. There, he meets Francesca Johnson (played by Meryl Streep), a housewife whose marriage has become stale. While her children and husband are away, Francesca starts an affair with Robert which, despite its ending, changes her life forever.

14. Notes On A Scandal

20 Best Movies about Cheating Wives & Husbands (2022 Update)

Release Date: 2006

Where Can I Watch It: Hulu

A tragic story, Notes on a Scandal is a romance film based on a book of the same name by Zoë Heller. Sheba Hart (played by Cate Blanchett) is a high-school art teacher who has an affair with one of her students but gets discovered by an older teacher, Barbara Covett (played by Judi Dench), who has a history of stalking. Being a lonely woman, Barbara uses this secret maliciously to manipulate and blackmail Sheba.

As one of the best entries on this list, Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett’s performances earned them an Academy Award nomination.

13. The Girl On The Train

20 Best Movies about Cheating Wives & Husbands (2022 Update)

Release Date: 2016

Where Can I Watch It: Fubo TV

The Girl on the Train is a psychological thriller based on a book of the same name by Paula Hawkins. The story follows Rachel (played by Emily Blunt), a divorced alcoholic obsessed with her ex-husband who takes the train every single day, often intoxicated, with her joy seemingly being brought by observing Scott (played by Luke Evans) and Megan (played by Haley Bennett), a young married couple. However, she finds herself involved in a missing person investigation as she believes that she saw Scott murder Megan.

12. Unfaithful

20 Best Movies about Cheating Wives & Husbands (2022 Update)

Release Date: 2002

Where Can I Watch It: Buy / Rent

Unfaithful is a drama-romance film that revolves around Connie Sumner (played by Diane Lane) and Edward Sumner (played by Richard Gere), a New York suburban couple with a beautiful home and a son. However, tragedy strikes the family when Connie meets Paul Martel (played by Olivier Martinez), a good-looking French bookseller. Obsessed with him, she starts an affair with him, which she hides from her husband despite feeling guilty about it.

11. Locke

20 Best Movies about Cheating Wives & Husbands (2022 Update)

Release Date: 2013

Where Can I Watch It: Hulu

Ivan Locke (played brilliantly by Tom Hardy) is a devoted family man and thriving construction manager. One day, he receives a phone call on the eve of the biggest construction challenge of his career about something from his past that sets in motion a series of events that threaten to destroy his career, marriage, and family.

10. Fireworks Wednesday

20 Best Movies about Cheating Wives & Husbands (2022 Update)

Release Date: 2006

Where Can I Watch It: Tubi TV

One of the earlier works of Iranian auteur Asghar Farhadi, Fireworks Wednesday tells the story of an aristocratic married Iranian couple whose lives are wrecked by a disquieting revelation. Suspecting her husband of cheating with her neighbor, the wife enlists the help of a woman to confirm her suspicions. In a twist of the tale, we come to learn the shocking truth about the relationship between the husband and the neighbor.

9. American Beauty

20 Best Movies about Cheating Wives & Husbands (2022 Update)

Release Date: 1999

Where Can I Watch It: Hoopla

Lester Burnham (played by Kevin Spacey) is a married man facing a midlife crisis, which can be attributed to his problematic wife Carolyn (played by Annette Bening) and rebellious teenage daughter Jane. During a cheerleading session where Lester and his wife are watching their daughter, they meet Angela Hayes (played by Mena Suvari), and Lester, caught in impulsive lust for Angela, decides to change his life.

8. Deep Water

20 Best Movies about Cheating Wives & Husbands (2022 Update)

Release Date: 2022

Where Can I Watch It: Hulu

The latest entry in this list, Deep Water star Vic (played by Ben Affleck) and Melinda (played by Ana de Armas), a young couple living in a small town whose loveless marriage exists only through a shaky understanding that allows Melinda to take any number of lovers as long as she remains devoted to her family, thereby avoiding a messy divorce.

However, when Vic takes credit for an unsolved murder of one of Melinda’s former lovers, he becomes a prime suspect in the disappearance of her subsequent lovers.

7. Eyes Wide Shut

20 Best Movies about Cheating Wives & Husbands (2022 Update)

Release Date: 1999

Where Can I Watch It: Hulu

The final work of the late Stanley Kubrick, Eyes Wide Shut is regarded as the best film in his massive collection. The film revolves around a Manhattan doctor Bill Harford (played by Tom Cruise) and his wife Alice Harford (played by Nicole Kidman) who live in Central Park West with their daughter. After his wife reveals that she had contemplated having an affair a year earlier, Bill embarks on a peculiar, night-long sexual odyssey.

6. The Great Gatsby

20 Best Movies about Cheating Wives & Husbands (2022 Update)

Release Date: 2013

Where Can I Watch It: HBO/HBO Max

The Great Gatsby is a historical romantic film based on a book of the same name by renowned author, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Set in the 1920s, an ambitious stockbroker Nick Carraway (played by Tobey Maguire) moves to New York and is befriended by a secretive millionaire named Jay Gatsby (played by Leonardo DiCaprio).

Enchanted at first by the flamboyance and glamor of his new environment, an unexpected chain of events leads Nick to become completely repulsed by the reckless demeanor of the affluent elite and their questionable morals. The film was a commercial success and earned 2 Academy Awards.

5. Silver Linings Playbook

20 Best Movies about Cheating Wives & Husbands (2022 Update)

Release Date: 2012

Where Can I Watch It: Netflix

Pat Solatano (played by Bradley Cooper) is a divorced man who has lost everything because of his rage – his house, his job, and his wife, who was having an affair. After being released from an institution, he goes back home to live with his parents. Resolved to rebuild his life and get back together with his ex-wife, he meets Tiffany Maxwell (played by Jennifer Lawrence), a peculiar woman with issues of her own, and that’s where things start to become complicated.

Silver Linings Playbook was a huge commercial and critical success that garnered Jennifer Lawrence her first Academy Award for the Best Actress category.

4. In The Mood For Love

20 Best Movies about Cheating Wives & Husbands (2022 Update)

Release Date: 2000

Where Can I Watch It: HBO Max

Regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, In The Mood For Love is a romantic drama film directed by renowned filmmaker, Wong Kar-Wai. Set in Shanghai in the 1960s, it tells the story of two lonely neighbors who discover that their partners are both having extramarital affairs. The two bond over their shared similarity and end up falling in love with each other but decide against acting on their urges, keeping their relationship platonic, so they can avoid stooping to the level of their unfaithful partners.

3. Gone Girl

20 Best Movies about Cheating Wives & Husbands (2022 Update)

Release Date: 2014

Where Can I Watch It: Netflix

A young Missouri couple lives a great life with no kids, but it all changes on their 5th wedding anniversary when Nick (played by Ben Affleck) realizes that his wife Amy (played by Rosamund Pike) has gone missing. He calls the local authorities to report the situation and file a missing person case.

However, when Nick is questioned by the police, his blurred version of the story makes him a prime suspect in killing his wife. Now, Nick finds himself in a challenging place as he struggles to convince the media of his innocence. Directed by David Fincher, Gone Girl is a critical and commercial success that has gained a cult following.

2. Brokeback Mountain

20 Best Movies about Cheating Wives & Husbands (2022 Update)

Release Date: 2005

Where Can I Watch It: Netflix

A film that faced a lot of backlash for its depiction of the LGBTQ+ community, Brokeback Mountain is a deeply emotional film that was released ahead of its time. Directed by Ang Lee, the film tells the story of Ennis Del Mar (played by Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (played by Jake Gyllenhaal), two cowboys who, while working at a ranch together one summer, develop a sexual and emotional relationship which they maintain over the course of 20 years, despite marrying women.

Despite its criticism and censorship by conservative media, the film won 3 Academy Awards and was selected for preservation in the US National Film Registry.

1. Marriage Story

20 Best Movies about Cheating Wives & Husbands (2022 Update)

Release Date: 2019

Where Can I Watch It: Netflix

Directed by Noah Baumbach and featuring spectacular performances from Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story is an apt portrayal of two people who once loved each other and are now going through the heartbreaking and messy process of separation and divorce with a son torn between them.

The film received 6 Academy Award nominations and won 1 for Best Supporting Actress, achieved by Laura Dern.