Cheating is a very sensitive and critical issue in a relationship. It can have devastating consequences, and it is a sign that your relationship may be on the road to serious trouble. There are many different types of cheating, but the most common are emotional, physical and sexual. If you’re looking to get a more in-depth look at what infidelity means, this article will help you understand things better.
What is Cheating or Infidelity?
In simple words, it is the betrayal of a partner’s trust and causes significant distress in a relationship. Regardless of the causes, the common identifiers within different types of cheating always contain some form of secrecy, sexual activity, and emotional connection. As clearly defined by Esther Perel, in her book The State Of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity.
Historically, cheating was favored by men but this gender gap is closing now. What actions and types of cheating are considered cheating is still up for debate. As shown by studies men and women have different ideas regarding what is considered infidelity. Men are more concerned with physical cheating and women get more affected by emotional cheating.
Since there is no universal answer to what engagements people consider as a form of cheating in a relationship, we will be explaining the 5 most widely acknowledged types of cheating observed within couples. Next, we will list the top 5 habits of people qualified as cheating.
1. Emotional Cheating
Generally known as romantic cheating, Marriage Therapist Dr. Sheri Meyers calls it ‘affair of the heart’. It occurs when a person has an intense emotional attachment with someone other than their partner. It usually lacks sexual intimacy but can later lead to physical affairs.
Basically, your partner is replaced with someone else for emotional fulfillment. People involved in emotional affairs often share personal details they are uncomfortable sharing with their partner. These affairs may be a form of safely venting out against their partner when they do not want to face the hard struggles of relationships.
It may be hard to distinguish between a true friendship and an emotional affair, especially between the opposite sex. Common signs of cheaters are late-night texting, acting secretive about the correspondence, and being protective of their communication devices. People having a romantic affair tend to exclude their partner from meeting such a close and dear friend.
2. Physical Cheating
The most publicly recognized type of cheating is physical cheating. It has been in our midst since humans have existed. The actions are purely for physical pleasure. They include touching, all sorts of kisses, and sexual activities.
Surprisingly, there are grey areas that exist within a physical affair. Couples involved in open relationships may allow certain physical acts with other partners. Dating Coach, Jo Barnett explains, the ‘level of cheating’ considered as infidelity depends on the couple and their agreed-upon terms.
3. Cyber Cheating
American Psychology Association has stated that cyber affairs are one of the most common types of cheating. It has resulted in the failure of relationships more than the traditional form of cheating.
Cyber cheating is defined as the exchange of sexual content among two people not involved in real life relationships with each other. Additionally, it lacks any form of emotional obligations. The content may include sexual pictures, online sex, consistent flirtation and even watching online pornography.
Despite people convincing their partners that cyber cheating is nothing serious and they are faithful to them, it always results in unhappy relationships. Eventually, the real-life partners of cyber cheaters end up leaving them because the damage caused is very intense. Intimacy is the core of any relationship and should be reserved for their partner.
4. Micro Cheating
Relationship expert and founder of H4M Matchmaking, Tammy Shaklee, describes micro-cheating as small seemingly insignificant acts that are almost cheating. It is walking the fine line between fidelity and infidelity.
In contrast to other types of cheating, there is no emotional or sexual investment by micro-cheaters. The cheater simply justifies their actions as having fun or enjoying a good time with no intention of further developing these actions into a committed relationship. This has become increasingly common; most of us have developed toxic social media habits. Similarly, a small peck on the cheek as a goodbye, exchanging flirty comments, getting too friendly with strangers, allowing more favors to an attractive employee, active old tinder profiles are all examples of micro-cheating. The easy test is, if your partner will not approve of such gestures, you have crossed the line into micro-cheating.
5. Object Cheating
Object Affair is the type of cheating that is hardest to explain and rationalize. It occurs when a person is obsessively absorbed in something other than their relationship. Some people have a hobby or a possession they hold dearer to them than their partner. Also, they will intentionally choose to invest more time and effort than on their partner frequently.
Object cheating can have severe consequences. For example, a person obsessed with pornography will no longer be satisfied with their partner. Similarly, a person fixated with their motor vehicle hurts their partner deeply as they are unable to connect or understand this level of material relationship.
Top 5 Habits Those are Qualified as Cheating
Everyone says that monogamy is the best way to live a romantic relationship, and it is indeed beautiful, but not many people are able to cope with it. They always try to think of ways how to get around their partners, and they will do anything to achieve their goals. However, there are some habits that qualify as cheating no matter what the context is. These are the top five habits that people consider to be cheating no matter what:
1. Secret Spending
The root of cheating lies in secrecy. If you are hiding your transactions such as income and expenses details with your partner, you are showing signs of dishonesty and surely guilty of financial cheating.
2. Secret Social Media Activity
Social media cheating is an online pandemic, as you spend more time online than with your real-life partner. Read the 15 habits that are considered social media cheating. It can take different forms, sexual attraction for strangers or active contact with previous lovers, using fake profiles, and uploading sexual content. Is texting cheating? It depends on the content being shared via texts, whenever you substitute your partner for emotional or sexual stimulation, it is considered cheating.
3. Sexual Fantasies
Fantasies can add fun to a relationship but if it is something you would not share with your partner then it can be alarming. If you are extensively fantasizing about a coworker, it may lead to spending unnecessary late nights at the office and dinners together. Such behavior is a type of cheating, subsequently, it causes sexual and emotional feelings to develop.
4. Keeping Late Nights
Late night cheating is displayed in two forms. Firstly, having secretive late night conversations where you share sexual or personal information with someone other than your partner. Secondly, you spend late night doing activities with someone you find attractive in absence of your partner; these do not necessarily include physical acts of love.
Passing flirty and suggestive comments to the waitress or co-worker is a big No-No in the dating world. You may pretend it is harmless but the other person is generally unaware of your intentions and may consider your advances seriously.
There is no specific set of rules for a relationship and the types of cheating vary from person to person depending on their dating history and emotional experiences. This concludes that for a healthy relationship to last, transparency is the key. Both partners need to have a frequent discussion about their behaviors with individuals outside of the relationship and the boundaries which are acceptable to them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cheating is an ugly word, and a reprehensible action. Unfortunately, many people do it these days without even realizing it.
Is flirting cheating?
Yes, flirting involves a person displaying some degree of sexual attraction to another person. If a person is making sexual advances behind their partner’s back it is a breach of their trust. It is considered a type of cheating because it is a sure way to hurt your partner and their feelings.
Are all types of cheating the same?
No, all types of cheating are different. A cyber affair may be called harmless without physical contact but sending overly sexual pictures and videos can have devastating effects on a relationship in comparison to a person occasionally flirting with the bartender.
How can you stop your spouse from cheating?
You cannot control another person’s actions or force them. If you find any evidence of cheating, confront them directly. Your spouse should be willing to stop all forms of cheating causing you pain and committed to staying faithful to you alone. But if they continue their previous behavior and cheating habits you have the right to leave a toxic relationship.
How do you catch a cheating boyfriend?
It starts with investigating and observing your boyfriend’s behavior to get some proof. Read here, how to find out if your boyfriend is cheating. Your boyfriend most likely shares his stories with close friends, mutual friends can indicate if he is going down the wrong path. Other options include using spy apps that can be helpful in tracking the correspondences.