Types of infidelity and how they impact marriage


Infidelity in marriage is not only about physical-sexual contact with a third party. Did you know that? Well, there are several types of infidelity in a relationship. So, you may be being unfaithful without even knowing it.

Most people associate marital infidelity with sexual affairs. But, in the context of relationships, infidelity is about breaking a commitment of loyalty, sincerity, and respect towards your partner. And it does not only involve the sexual plane.

On this occasion, let me guide you to differentiate unfaithful friendships from unfaithful relationships. Let’s move on!

Types of infidelity in marriage

When we talk about the types of infidelity in marriage, we specify the different ways of breaking the loyalty and trust of the spouse. Infidelity is those actions or habits that interfere with the firm and constant practice of respect, commitment, and devotion to the couple.

These actions or habits can be located in the physical or emotional plane or as a combination of both. Below, we detail each of these.

Physical Infidelity

We speak of physical infidelity when there are physical encounters with the third person. This occurs with the interest of satisfying physical desires without establishing emotional bonds. And, these face-to-face encounters may involve only an “innocent” affair or an affair that includes sexual contact.

  • Sexual contact

As its name indicates, in this type of infidelity there are physical encounters where the sexual act is consummated. This mode can occur with pleasurable encounters without any kind of sentimentalism in between.

It is important to clarify that this sexual contact can be only kissed, only caresses, only kisses, and caresses, or contact with the fullness of their bodies. In this sense, we can name some types of infidelity involved:

  • By Hedonisms; when the person has no deficiencies in their relationship and is moved only by desire. Therefore, they want to be unfaithful.
  • By sex addiction.
  • By impulse, when seeking to satisfy physical desires or personal needs such as reaffirming their attractiveness or self-esteem, insecurities.

Emotional Infidelity

Occurs when an affective connection between the unfaithful partners is present. The person leaves the committed relationship to satisfy their emotional needs with another person. Here there are deep conversations such as personal problems, goals, desires or fantasies, and common interests.

This is one of the types of infidelity that is often underestimated. However, this “innocent” beginning can deepen into feeling the desire to end up between the sheets and consummate sexual infidelity.

This emotional connection can be established in a physical-emotional or virtual-emotional way, and does not necessarily culminate in sexual intercourse.

  • Face-to-face mode.

I am referring to those face-to-face encounters motivated by the desire to see and be with that person. Here there is satisfaction in talking, sharing common hobbies, or having conversations that should reserve for the partner with whom you commit.

  • Virtual mode.

That is, it occurs completely online and there is no physical contact. It is also called sexting. Contact with sending or exchanging text messages, emails, videos, or erotic images using electronic devices.

Physical-emotional infidelity

The unfaithful spouse becomes completely involved with their lover. For many people, it is one of the types of infidelity that leads to the thought that the committed relationship loose.

It may begin with a seemingly innocent contact (virtual or face-to-face without sex) that fosters emotional connection and deepens the desire for sexual contact. Then desire, having conceived, gives birth to sin. (Santiago 1:14, 15).

Why talk about emotional infidelity?

Because sharing a close relationship with someone we consider more attractive or more understanding jeopardizes the marriage pact.

This type of romantic closeness generates a certain emotional dependence that would pave the way for a possible sexual encounter. It is also worth asking:

  • If emotional infidelity is not cheating, why does the content of extramarital conversations or encounters remain hidden?
  • Does that virtual conversation or innocent encounter please your partner, or would it break trust?

What types of infidelity cause the most damage to commitment?

Some spouses view infidelity as a sexual affair and think that emotional “affairs” are not cheating. However, the types of emotional infidelity can profoundly impact the relationship.

On the other hand, the impact will also depend on the considerations of the spouse who has been cheated on. According to studies, a large percentage of women easily forgive a sexual infidelity without emotional attachment and men have greater difficulty forgiving a sexual infidelity.

Above all, both forms of infidelity are a major breach of trust and marital commitment.

The impact of infidelity on marriage

Any of the above types of infidelity can generate confusing and very painful feelings in the  victim, such as:

  • Feeling of abandonment.
  • Sudden jealousy.
  • Confusion and personal insecurities in the face of frequent questions of how? When? Why?
  • Feeling of having been used, betrayed, and mocked.

Likewise, visualizing the spouse in contact or enjoyment with a mistress is disturbing and causes resentment to reappear. The whole situation makes it difficult for the spouse to trust again in a normal way.

Fidelity and the marriage covenant

“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame.”  (Song of Solomon 8:6).

And what does that mean?

That between husband and wife a strong emotional bond should be formed in altruism, trust and mutual respect. When a couple commits to form a loving and romantic bond, they do so by establishing physical and emotional exclusivity. Being one flesh does not limit to sexual intimacy (Proverbs 31:11, Ephesians 5:28,33).

If you have the desire to deepen in the subject, do not hesitate to contact me by dialing 407 618 0212.

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