We tend to only think of infidelity as being physical. If our partner has sex with another person, that’s cheating. If our partner kisses someone or touches them suggestively, that’s cheating. But in our modern world, where whole lives can exist online, there are many more ways to be unfaithful. Even offline, there are ways to cheat without ever even touching someone.
Sexual affairs are the most well-known type of infidelity. When we have sexual intercourse or sexual relations outside of our relationship, we are unfaithful to our partners. Additionally, some people consider masturbation or watching porn to be a part of sexual infidelity.
An object affair is when our partner develops such an unhealthy obsession or pursuit of an interest, goal, or object that it leads them to neglect their relationship. Object affairs are seldom discussed or connected to infidelity, but the pain and loneliness that one feels when their partner is finding more satisfaction chasing an object are more than comparable.
A cyber affair consists of sexting, chatting or video chatting with a sexual context, and texting someone other than your partner, and consists entirely online. Cyber affairs are becoming increasingly more common, as individuals can harbour entirely different lives in the online world. Though no physical sex is involved in a cyber affair, the sexual context of the communication qualifies it as infidelity.
When our partner becomes emotionally attached to someone other than their spouse, going as far as sharing deeply personal facts about themselves, their lives, or their relationship, it is known as an emotional affair. When we begin to rely on people other than our partners to find solace or happiness, we are taking our attention off of our relationship and away from our partner. Confiding with our partners is an essential component of a healthy relationship.
One of the most important things to remember about infidelity is that it means something different to everyone. What one person considers cheating, another may not. Being honest with yourself and what you believe, as well as communicating your needs and beliefs with your partner, is incredibly important when you begin a new relationship.