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Infidelity 101

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The expectation of monogamy or exclusivity is common, even though this is not something partners in a long-term commitment would necessarily adhere to. Hence, when this expectation is not met, it would be quite likely that emotional damage would occur, including feeling rage or severe anger. In the case of infidelity, some people have been known to experience a loss of trust in their significant other or even feel betrayed. In certain cases, these feelings would be coupled with a loss of self-esteem and personal confidence.

In the case of infidelity, it can often become difficult to set clear boundaries as the lines would tend to become blurred. For this reason, some people would find it difficult to differentiate between infidelity and platonic friendships. So, while the instance of maintaining a casual friendship with the opposite gender would not be considered to be a deal-breaker, the issues of betrayal, deception, and faithfulness would most definitely be.

What is the True Meaning of Infidelity?

Infidelity, also commonly known as adultery or cheating, would help describe the act of engaging in sexual or emotional intimacy without an individual who would come from outside the confines of one’s relationship or marriage. In simple words, infidelity refers to the third person or outsider who would be existing in a relationship or marriage. In the case of infidelity, it may or may not involve being sexually involved. However, it could most definitely happen either face-to-face or online.

What is an Example of Infidelity?

Movies and TV shows, in general, have given people a distorted idea about what infidelity entails. Infidelity is not about someone sneaking out to a hotel and having a wild sexual encounter. In the case of infidelity or cheating, it has been known to take many forms and would not always involve encounters in person. Hence, it would be important to consider that one person’s perspective and opinion regarding infidelity would not hold the same meaning and value for another person.

Regarding an example of infidelity, some people might think that watching porn would be a form of cheating, whereas others might consider it acceptable and normal. Hence, the main point that needs to be driven here is that it would be up to each couple to clearly outline the do’s and don’ts of their relationship, along with which certain activities would constitute a boundary being crossed or violated.

What is the Difference Between Cheating and Infidelity?

Even though cheating and infidelity would be used interchangeably, certain differences tend to exist. In the case of cheating, it would be an act of imposition, imposture, trickery, or fraud. As for infidelity, it would be unfaithfulness that would take place in a committed relationship, that too, without the consent of the other partner.

What is the Difference Between Adultery and Infidelity?

Adultery specifically refers to physical and sexual acts that would take place outside of committed relationships. The difference between infidelity and adultery could change depending on the context of a specific debate that would be taking place. However, infidelity would always be found to be easier to define and understand than adultery. In addition, adultery might also sometimes be used as a religious or legal term, thereby taking on a completely new and different meaning and context.

Why Do People Engage in Infidelity?

The majority of people would be under the mistaken belief that infidelity only happens to people who find themselves in unhappy or restrained relationships. However, infidelity could also happen due to an addiction to romance or sex or low self-esteem. In other cases, infidelity could also happen due to particular personality traits, such as societal and cultural norms regarding relationships and sex, that would support infidelity or a liberal attitude towards sex.

Different Types of Infidelity

Even though each kind or type of infidelity would be considered different as it would help fulfil a different need, it would still be helpful to educate oneself about the different types of infidelity. This would help in alleviating confusion and rationalising the decision to some extent.

Opportunistic Infidelity

This kind of infidelity would occur when one would find themselves attached to and in love with their partner but still succumb to their primal instincts. This kind of infidelity would typically be driven by opportunity or situational circumstances like drug or alcohol use or risk-taking behaviour.

Obligatory Infidelity

Obligatory infidelity would be based on the basic fear that resisting another person’s sexual proposals would ultimately result in rejection. So, even if someone has feelings of attachment, love, and sexual desire for their partner, they would still cheat for the basic need of approval.

Romantic Infidelity

When a person’s relationship lacks in the romantic department, they would seek out other opportunities or avenues where they would be able to fulfil this deficit. So, even though they may be committed to their marriage and trying to make it work, they would crave a loving and intimate connection with another person.

Conflicted Romantic Infidelity

This kind of infidelity has been known to occur when a person would be experiencing romantic feelings for more than one person. Even though society would train our minds to believe in the concept of one true love and soulmates for life, it would be quite possible for someone to experience intense romantic feelings for multiple people, that too at the same time.

Commemorative Infidelity

Commemorative infidelity occurs when a person is committed to their relationship but has no emotional attachment to their partner. They would be in the relationship due to the social obligation of being together.

Signs of Infidelity

  •     Feeling significant changes being brought into the sex life
  •     Partner would become less interested in engaging in sexual activities
  •     Trouble becoming sexually aroused
  •     One partner would be more interested in sex than the other partner
  •     One partner might want to engage in sexual activities which would not be acceptable to the other partner
  •     Trouble sleeping with a partner
  •     A partner may be more private than normal
  •     A partner may be spending more time away from home
  •     Difficulty in connecting with a partner.

How to Cope With Infidelity

Even though the damage resulting from infidelity could not be minimised, it would be recommended that people undergo relationship counselling if there would still be some hope to salvage the relationship. Undergoing relationship counselling with a trained therapist could be effective in helping couples move on from past infidelities, heal, and establish firm boundaries to ensure that infidelity and affairs would not become a recurring problem.

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