Exploring the Different Types of Infidelity
Understanding the different types of infidelity and signs of each type of affair.
Infidelity is a universal issue that affects nearly every human being. Whether you are the cheater, the partner being cheated on, or a family member/ friend of someone that is affected by infidelity in their marriage or relationship, we have all been affected by cheating in our lives at some point in time.
An affair can cause severe destruction and damage in a marriage or relationship. This is not to say that a marriage is not salvageable after an affair but the path to healing after infidelity has been discovered, can be a long and arduous journey for both the cheater and the partner that was cheated on with no guarantee that the marriage or relationship will be salvageable at the end of the path.
Many people struggle with the boundaries between platonic friendships and infidelity. In addition, it can be difficult for both partners to agree upon appropriate boundaries for friendships. Although this is not an easy conversation to have, it is very important to set clear boundaries in your marriage or relationship as to what is acceptable behavior and what type of behavior is unacceptable and crossing the line.
There are several different types of infidelity that can occur in a relationship. It is important to understand these types of affairs and the signs of each type so that both partners can set boundaries to ensure that their relationship is a thriving union between the two individuals. A great relationship will always take work.
There are two main categories of infidelity: Emotional and Physical Infidelity. An affair can be a combination of the different types of affairs and is not limited to just one type. For example, a person can be having a physical sexual affair while also committing emotional affair with the same person (that they are cheating with).
Object Affair: This affair happens when one partner is pursuing an outside interest that may be to the point of obsession. This almost-obsessive interest in this outside person is causing the partner to neglect his/her relationship. While it is important for both partners to have interests outside of the relationship (and these outside interests should be encouraged by both parties), this newfound interest can become a major issue when it becomes all-consuming and takes top priority in one partner’s life.
Cyber Affair: A cyber affair is an act of infidelity that happens on the World Wide Web. This type of affair can exist in many different forms, including but not limited to: chatting, emailing, texting, sexting, or video chatting in a sexual context with someone outside of your marriage or relationship. On the other hand, cyber activities with your partner or spouse can be very healthy for the marriage or relationship and should be encouraged. For example, sexting your spouse or partner throughout the day can be great foreplay and help strengthen the romantic bond between you and your spouse. It is also a great way to stay connected to your spouse throughout the day.
Emotional Affair: This type of affair happens when one partner becomes emotionally attached to someone other than his/her spouse. If a partner starts to spend more time communicating with an outside person about very personal issues and/or has inside jokes with this outside person, this is an emotional affair and can be extremely damaging to the main relationship, even though there is no physical infidelity present. When one starts to share problems, issues, life goals, and dreams with someone other than your partner, it takes time and attention away from your relationship and can leave your partner feeling very hurt and insignificant in the relationship.
Sexual Affair: A sexual affair occurs when a partner has sexual relations outside the marriage or relationship. Many times, there is no deep emotional attachment to the sexual affair partner. Sexual affairs can cause deep trust issues and are usually an indication of a bigger issue in the marriage or relationship (that is not being discussed). Women are more likely to forgive a sexual affair as it usually means there is no emotional bond while men are not as likely to forgive a sexual affair (according to recent studies).
It is important to note that not everyone agrees that emotional affairs are an act of infidelity. Some believe that infidelity only happens if sexual intercourse is involved and emotional affairs are not cheating. Infidelity and what counts as cheating are important issues that you and your spouse need to discuss and communicate openly about. It is important to set marriage boundaries that both parties agree upon in order to have a happy and successful marriage.