What Is Cheating in a Relationship: Forms and Types?


Marital relations and civil unions imply sexual exclusiveness. This condition makes the partners special and unique for each other. It also creates prerequisites for secure affection — one that gives a feeling of safety and confidence and does not bring pain. A violation of the agreement on sexual exclusiveness leads to devastating consequences. But still, betrayals occur. And the reasons are different – as well as those experiences that arise in people. What is cheating in a relationship? What are its forms and types?

how common is cheating

What Are the Root Causes of Cheating in a Relationship?

Unfortunately, many couples face the problem of cheating in a relationship. Such misbehavior can both disturb confidence and fundamentally destroy a marriage. Let's consider the reasons for adultery in men and women.

Why men cheat on their women

Different sexual appetite

People are individuals. Therefore, a man and a woman can have a different sexual appetite. So, a man may need regular sexual discharge, and a woman may have decreased interest and be remote. For her, it is enough to make love twice a week, and sometimes even less often – once a month. Sexual coldness on the part of the woman pushes her man for cheating.

Desire for diversity

A man wants to get new impressions and feelings in the period when his sexual life becomes boring and uninteresting. Why do men cheat on their wives? Most often, it happens due to monotony in sex.

Unexpected event

Mild alcohol intoxication increases sexual desire and removes inhibitions. Some men consider drinking alcohol as the main reason for cheating.

Feelings for another woman

In this case, the extramarital affair is a completely natural act because it is a part of a relationship based on love. Unfortunately, there is nothing to be done, such things happen.


For men who have not realized their career ambitions, it is typical to inflate their sense of self-importance by the number of sexual victories. In this manner, they try to compensate for their professional failures.


This is the opposite of the previous situation. A man has achieved phenomenal success in his career – he is happy, lucky, and rich. Therefore, he takes a lover and cheats on his woman, believing that he deserves it and considers it to be a kind of bonus to his success.


A lot of men hate cheating girlfriends. Some men have affairs because of the desire to exact revenge upon their women for cheating or humiliation or to confirm their own freedom.

Temporary separation from a woman

The long absence of a beloved woman, who went on business or somewhere for a holiday, is often perceived by a man as a good reason for looking for her temporary replacement.

emotional cheating vs friendshipWhy women cheat on their men

Bad sex with a partner

Disappointment because of the skills and sexual preferences of a partner is one of the main causes of female adultery. And in this case, women's cheating is purely physical. If a woman is happy with her man in all other aspects of life, then the break-up of relationships is highly doubtful. As men say, "This is just sex, baby!"

A man and a woman switch the roles

Families, where a man is an ordinary specialist, and a woman is a big boss, today are no longer uncommon. In such relationships, a woman often becomes a leader not only at work but also at home. She often lacks male power from her partner. It often pushes a strong woman into the arms of an even stronger man. It may be a business partner, city official, or even a business competitor. The chances that their relationship will go beyond sex and grow into love are considerably larger than in the first case.

Lack of attention

If a man is a busy person who often spends long hours at meetings, presentations, or business trips, his woman gradually begins to feel lonely and abandoned. She accumulates discontent from forced loneliness and thinks that the man has stopped loving her. In this case, the betrayal of a woman is highly probable. Thus, she subconsciously proves to herself that she is desired and loved.


In a situation when "he started it first!" that is, a man has cheated on his wife, a woman can resort to a retaliatory step without much hesitation. Moreover, such betrayal may even lead to divorce. Having experienced betrayal and cheating on by herself, a woman may begin to experience disgust for her man. Thus, further relationships will become impossible. No wonder that among women, there is a popular joke that women's cheating does not exist – it is either revenge for men's affairs, or "my new love."

I deserve better

According to experts, this is the most inexplicable, but at the same time, the most common cause of female adultery. It includes almost all of the above. A woman is not satisfied with her husband, but she lacks the courage or determination to end the relationship. Therefore, even having cheated on her loved one, a cheating woman will not feel much guilt. In this case, breaking the relationship may be the best way out.

What Is Considered Cheating?

Most people in the world know first-hand what cheating is. The pain of frustration makes a person feel this negative experience for a long time and leaves an imprint on subsequent romantic relationships. Thus, trust in the opposite sex is gradually disappearing. Cheating in a relationship is always perceived as betrayal and deception, and whatever the reason is, it is always painful for someone who was cheated on.

How common is cheating? According to research, about 25% of men and 15% of women had sexual relationships outside of the marriage. At the same time, 55% of men hide their affairs and deny them, even when their woman has an evident proof of cheating. Psychologists conducted a study, on the basis of which it was established that men and women perceive the word “cheating” differently. It turns out that not all people associate this concept with sexual contacts on the side. Let's find out what is considered cheating in a relationship and discuss existing points of view on this issue.

Scientists Identify 5 Classifications of Cheating

  1. Fleeting acquaintances ending in intimacy. In this case, the relationship of lovers does not continue after the first sex, and there is no emotional attachment between them. It is the most popular forms of cheating in a relationship.
  2. Relations between lovers acquire a continuous nature (up to 1-1.5 years). The cheater wants neither to give up his mistress nor destroy the family.
  3. Sexual relations with many partners, besides a loved one.
  4. Cheating that occurs due to the problems in marriage. Thus, one of the partners fills the void that has occupied their life because of frequent family quarrels.
  5. Emotional cheating. There is a strong emotional connection with someone on the side. However, this relationship is friendly; there is no sex.

Representatives of the stronger sex perceive this problem conservatively. What is considered cheating in a relationship according to men?

  • extramarital affairs;
  • sexual fantasies, when during a sexual intercourse a woman dreams about another man;
  • communication on dating sites.

The fair sex gives a wider meaning to the concept of "male cheating." So what is considered treason in a relationship according to women?

  • cheating in a relationshipcommunication with another girl on the phone or via the Internet;
  • flirting on the side;
  • sexual affairs;
  • visiting a theater, cinema, or cafe with another woman;
  • kiss with another girl;
  • virtual sex.

At the same time, women are more flexible in this matter. They take seriously not all the listed forms of cheating in a relationship. Many women forgive extramarital affairs of their chosen ones, especially if the betrayal occurred with a woman of easy virtue or under the influence of intoxicants.

Emotional vs. Physical Cheating

Physical cheating is a direct intimacy and sexual relationship with another partner, apart from a loved one. Emotional cheating is a non-platonic intense relationship with another person that weakens the bond between spouses or people in love.

There are cases when one of the spouses gets a friend on the side, and their friendly relations become very close. Although there is no sex there, the partner is so much interested and absorbed by a new friend that they cease to be interested in their loved one. If we consider the theory of energy exchange between people, it turns out that part of the energy is taken away from the family and given to another person. As a result, the emotional bond between the spouses weakens.

People often “choose” emotional cheating when they do not want to work on family relationships. Such social connections give the necessary charge of energy. Thanks to them, one of the spouses compensates for desires and needs that are not realized in the family union.

Also, you should understand the difference between emotional cheating vs friendship. True friendships rarely bring disagreement and quarrels into family life. Everything is simple here – this is my friend and that's it. A loved one always knows about the friends of their partner and sometimes even spends time together with them. In the case of an emotional relationship with the opposite sex, things are different. Such relationships are often hidden from the partner.

Intimate friendship with someone, even though communication via telephone or the Internet, can cause serious problems in romantic relationships and damage the marriage as much as physical cheating and even more. Therefore, love each other and do not cheat on your beloved one! Otherwise, you can regret throughout your life!

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