As if dealing with a partner who is physically cheating on you wasn’t enough, there are many ways your partner cheats and according to research, women find emotional cheating worse than physical intimacy.
What do you pin down as cheating in your books? Are there levels to the deception you’d feel based on what the action is?
Whichever way you choose to look at things when it comes to relationships, sex isn’t the only infidelity that could derail your relationship. Let’s decode the different types of cheating and how this could affect your partner.
Let’s start with the obvious one, sex with someone who isn’t your partner. Unless you’re in a polygamous or open relationship, it should come as no surprise that being physically intimate with someone other than your partner be considered unacceptable.
If you’re on a break or separated, you may get away with it. That’s if you both amicably agreed to see other people during the relationship hiatus. Sex isn’t the only form of physical cheating either. So the grey area may just get more complicated if you consider kissing, oral, touching, or cuddling someone else as deceptive.
Fantasizing about another
So you think imagining yourself doing the nasty with your crush, whilst getting it on with your partner is innocent? Well, it may be.
According to most relationship experts, having fantasies about people you find attractive is normal, whether you are in a relationship or not. It definitely becomes a problem when your fantasies push you to adulterous behaviour. Like if you start lying to your partner about the gorgeous marketing intern.
Making excuses for why you have to work late. Meetings and deadlines become routine and your lies continue.
Whether the intention is purely just to get to know him the person better or to take your fantasies a whole fifty shades up, if you feel the need to lie about it, you have cause for concern.
We all need a bit of moral support, at home and at the office. What do you do when your partner is unavailable to hear all about the latest office scandal? You tell your “work spouse” of course. In fact, you share more than you should with your office spouse while your actual partner remains in the dark. You two are practically a team. You do everything together. Lunches, coffees, walks around the block to clear your mind. It’s great that you have a confidant but where do you draw the line?
You’re an online flirt
The world wide web opens up a can of worms with the endless platforms that one has at one’s disposal. Making it easy to chat to virtual strangers the world over. You may think there’s no harm in a bit of playful banter or liking their sexy, suggestive profile picture but because there’s no actual barrier, you can become overly intimate before you even realise it. Before you know it, you’re in DMs, exchanging digits. Online flirting is still an emotional investment.
An emotional affair usually begins as innocently as a friendship. The relationship slowly becomes more of a companionship and before you know it, you’re spending more time investing emotionally in this ‘friendship’ and hardly any with your partner.
This person becomes your go-to for everything. Often, it’s the emotional support, shoulder, and judgement-free zone that people are looking for.
According to a University of Pennsylvania study by John Sabini and Melanie C. Green, sexual infidelity was associated with anger and blame, but emotional infidelity was associated with hurt feelings.
Women were more upset about the emotional infidelity than men were, holding their degree of upset about the sexual infidelity constant.
The idea here is that women believe, rightly or wrongly, that men have sexual affairs without emotional attachments but do not have emotional affairs without sexual attachments.
This is why cheating is viewed differently between the genders.