Types of Infidelity

In my last blog, “The Trauma of Infidelity”, I spoke about how infidelity can be a traumatic experience for a couple, and how they can heal from it. But what if a couple isn’t sure they’ve experienced infidelity? Here are a few categories of common types of infidelity.


Infidelity is defined as the act or state of being unfaithful to a spouse. There are many different types of infidelity that can occur in a relationship. From my experience with couples, the acts of infidelity fall within three categories: sexual, but not emotional; emotional, but not sexual; and sexual and emotional. Regardless of what type of infidelity is committed, all forms have the potential to be devastating to the partner.


Sexual, but not Emotional

Sexual infidelity is the most talked about. Some examples may include flirting, strip club activities, watching porn, and one night stands or casual sex with other people outside of your spouse. These acts of infidelity are hurtful of course, but may mean nothing to the spouse who is committing them.


Emotional, but not Sexual

To some, infidelity is only a sexual act. However, emotional infidelity can be just as hurtful. Some examples of emotional infidelity can include consistent online and text conversations, financial infidelity (spouse spending money on other people, not family related), and falling in love with someone else, even if you haven’t had any sexual relations with them.


Sexual and Emotional

This type of infidelity is typically seen as the most hurtful. In addition to your spouse, having a sexual relationship with another person, emotions are involved as well. Situations like this may consist of a partner being in love with two people. Another example of sexual and emotional infidelity is online sexual relationships, where not only are sexual acts shared, but a relationship forms as well.

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