What Is Considered Cheating?
The most serious issue among spouses is cheating. Almost everyone has witnessed or experienced this situation, whether directly or through someone they know.
However, the general question that arises in everyone’s mind is what indications should be regarded as adultery. Here is a more detailed study of how it starts and what is considered cheating in a relationship.
What Is Cheating?
The straightforward answer to this question is that infidelity in a relationship is defined as being disloyal to a spouse sexually or emotionally.
Most people believe that any physical contact with someone other than their spouse is considered cheating. However, it is not a deceitful act to grab lunch together with your colleague. On the other hand, many actions you may not have considered can be common types of disloyalty. Some of them are:
Kissing on your friend’s cheek is a friendly gesture, but if it involves something sensual, like kissing with the tongue, it is cheating.
Although it is not complete sexual activity, a sexual touch such as passing your hand over someone on specified body parts, oral sex, or any other sort of sexual touch is various levels of cheating.
Sending sexual content or text is known as sexting and is a form of cheating. Even if you don’t have physical intercourse with someone, sending sexual messages to someone who isn’t your partner is called emotional infidelity.
It’s very similar to sexting. If you’re in a long-term relationship, having phone sex with someone else is also considered cheating.
There isn’t much else to say about it. It’s deceptive if you’re already in a committed relationship and have sex with someone else, even if it’s only once.
Being Too Close to a Friend
If you’re too close to a friend, you might be keeping your secrets from your partner and sharing them with your friend. Regardless of how much love you have for your spouse, it is considered emotional cheating. Moreover, if your friend is of the opposite sex.
Flirting Online Is Considered Cheating on Social Media
This is one of the most common tactics since it is quite easy to connect with numerous people online simultaneously. Compared to a real relationship, an online relationship is much easier to maintain. Even basic internet flirting and chatting for the sake of flattery has been classified as cheating.
Erotic Text Conversations
Are you texting someone and sending them some sensual photographs with the excuse that you’re just expressing yourself? Are you comfortable if your partner sees all of these texts, or would you delete the texts or photos to avoid being caught? This is what is considered cheating on someone.
Lying About Your Relationship Status
You have the “single” status on all of your social media platforms. You’re even keeping your relationship a secret from a close pal. Even if you don’t cheat, pretending you are not in a relationship with a partner is a form of cheating.
Imagining a Relationship with Someone Else
Whenever you are in a confirmed relationship, imagining having a romance with someone else can be considered disloyalty. Maintaining a healthy connection with your partner while dreaming about someone else is not a viable option.
Other Behaviors That Many Consider to Be Cheating
It’s difficult to spot the real signs of infidelity, according to Kelly Campbell, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology and Human Development at California State University. It could be different for each person. When their partner is physically intimate with someone, men become upset. Women, on the other hand, are unhappy because of emotional infidelity. As a result, different people perceive various demeanors as cheating. Here are a few examples that may raise eyebrows:
Yes, if your partner sends nude images or is sexting someone other than you, this is what qualifies as cheating. People do this to entice someone to become physically attracted to them. Whatever the reason, it all simply comes down to the boundaries you and your partner set for one other.
If you’re getting too close to someone other than your partner, feeling the urge to hug them, you must be crossing the line. Because why would someone in a good relationship want to cuddle an absolutely insignificant person?
Masturbation and sexual involvement are two very different things. Masturbation is not a kind of infidelity, and it has no bearing on their sex lives with their partner. Then, what defines cheating in masturbating? In certain situations, it could be a symptom of increased sex drive. In a study on masturbation, researchers discovered that the more a person masturbates, the more sex partners he or she has.
Going to a Strip Club
Visiting a strip club with friends once in a while is not considered a deceitful act. However, if the frequency is increased over time, the action must be closely monitored – maybe, spending the night in a strip club is more than a pastime.
Looking at Pictures
Caroline Madden, Ph.D., a licensed marriage and family therapist and author, says you don’t have to quit enjoying life on your own if you’re in a committed relationship. Noticing attractive photos is a natural human trait that has nothing to do with cheating. It’s not acceptable, though, if your partner keeps an eye on a specific profile and then contacts them.
Getting a lap dance
It is a sexual activity to do lap dancing. It is a kind of cheating if your partner engages in lap dancing with someone else. However, if you both agree on this, everything will be OK.
Many couples enjoy taking long walks while holding hands. It provides them with physical contact as well as a sense of security. Although holding hands amongst friends can happen for no cause at times, if it is done on purpose, it is one of the clear forms of cheating in a relationship.
Liking Someone Else
Dating coach James Preece thinks it is natural to be drawn to others even if you are in a stable relationship. Being in a happy relationship, a person can still live in a fantasy world. According to clinical psychologist Marc Hekster, liking someone is entirely harmless as long as you stay within the defined boundaries.
Fantasizing About Someone
No, you are not betraying or being unfaithful to your loved one. Having fantasies during sex is a common occurrence. It aids in the development of orgasmic states by increasing sexual desire. According to a survey of more than 1200 people conducted by a British sex toy company, about 43.5% fantasized about having sex with someone other than their partner. Tanya Koens, a clinical and somatic sexologist and relationship counselor, claims that partners with persistent sexual fantasies have higher sexual satisfaction and can easily enter orgasm.
Giving Your Number to Someone
Whether or not sharing your phone number with someone is considered cheating depends on who you share it with. If it is for business purposes, you must share for the sake of your company’s future. Giving your phone number to start a new relationship without your existing partner’s knowledge is infidelity.
It entirely depends on your partner’s reaction when you are pretending. So, if you’re doing it because you enjoy portraying a character and doing it with your loved one, it’s fine; however, if you do it because you are very bored with your relationship and can’t tell your partner about it, it’s cheating.
Looking at Other People
When you are already in a committed relationship, continually glancing at other gorgeous and smart people whenever you go outdoors with your partner is wrong. It makes your partner feel insecure and unvalued. If this occurs regularly, your partner will feel betrayed.
What Is Micro Cheating?
What is micro-cheating? This is a sort of emotional disloyalty that is done with someone other than the current partner, according to Ty Tashiro, psychologist and author. Nowadays, the most prominent medium for micro-cheating is the online world.
Micro-infidelity takes many forms, such as using a dating app, texting, or sexting. However, the same behavior can constitute micro-cheating for one partner but not for another. According to Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT, and CEO of Seeking Integrity, micro-cheating may not appear to be a problem initially, but it can soon lead to a deeper level of infidelity. Here are some of the commonly observed micro-cheating actions:
- Flirting on the social media platforms
- Having fun with the opposite sex in your partner’s absence
- Flirting in public places
- Still connecting with the ex
- Keeping dating profile updated
Why Men and Women Cheat on Their Partners
Several dating websites, such as AshleyMadison.com and VictorialMilan.com, claim that a common reason for infidelity in both men and women is that they both require affection. The fundamental question is, “How does cheating starts?” M. Gary Neuman, a marriage counselor, discovered that 93.4 % of men’s infidelity is not caused by sex. The cause of the issue is that the individuals are emotionally estranged from one another. The partners still loved each other, but the caring attitude vanished.
Emotional cheating is one of the newer types in which one partner becomes emotionally attached to someone other than their relationship. Emotional infidelity can sometimes devastate a happy relationship. It can occur via a dating app, online chatting, or over the phone and does not require physical closeness. Because emotional infidelity does not entail physical touch, most individuals do not consider it to be a betrayal.
Holding hands, kissing, and finally, having intercourse with someone else while in a relationship is referred to as physical cheating. Physical connection, according to Yvonne, a therapist, is “the use of the body to feel that connection; they want to get in touch with each other.” It is mostly used to achieve sexual enjoyment. Physical cheating can be defined by the couple, and they can set limits.
Reasons People Cheat and What to Do
Emotional and physical detachment are two of the most prominent causes of infidelity. Sometimes, there is almost zero communication between partners; instead, they suffer from a hectic job schedule, a busy family life, a robotic existence, and so on. When you confront your partner about their infidelity, they repeat the same replies. They can defend their cheating activity with a plethora of justifications. Some of the most common reasons are as follows:
They Crave Variety
Saltz claims that if your partner provides this kind of justification, they are looking for something fresh and interesting in their lives. Some of the common factors of a desire to start a new affair include sexual unhappiness and an unwillingness to try something new in their sex life. If both partners are willing to mend their relationship, they should figure out how they may revitalize it in this situation. While adultery is an unforgivable attempt, compromise is the only way to keep the relationship alive.
They Feel Neglected
A partner’s loneliness, according to Saltz, might be caused by their spouse’s emotional and physical neglect. Neglected persons seek greater attention from others, which leads to more adultery. Naturally, a new relationship is exciting and enjoyable. It’s difficult to keep a relationship charming once the honeymoon period ends. Life returns to normalcy; no more thrilling gifts, praises, or surprise candlelight dinners. This causes a person to feel neglected and enticed to enter a new relationship in the hopes of receiving attention, thus engaging in unintentional adultery.
They Are Trying to Sabotage the Relationship
Cheating is sometimes deliberately used as a stepping stone to get out of a relationship. People want to break up with their spouses but are hesitant to speak up to avoid a confrontation. As a result, they adopt a middle way to maintain their current relationship while also beginning a new relationship with someone else.
What to Do?
Although it may be difficult to accept, extramarital affairs do not fully end a relationship. If your partner truly regrets their cheating conduct, wants to end the affair right away, and you both agree to restore your relationship, you should move forward and begin repair work quickly. A betrayed individual will find it tough to forgive their betraying partner, but proper talk and counseling will help restart the new journey of trust and happiness.
What Counts as Cheating, According to a Psychologist
Cheating, according to psychologists, is an act of violating the established boundaries of a healthy relationship by involving a third party. It’s a unilateral decision by a partner to satisfy their needs outside the relationship. According to Mary C. Lamia, Ph.D., Psychologist, only via healthy communication can both partners’ needs be understood. This conversation can address plenty of issues and resolve unexpressed desires, fears, and wants.
What Do You Do if It’s Already Happened in Your Relationship?
Healing isn’t easy or quick. But, according to Amanda D. Mahoney, a marriage and family therapist, if you can be genuine with your partner and stop playing the blame game, your relationship can be repaired quickly. It is possible to move forward and continue your relationship after infidelity incidents with love and romance.