Though most people commonly assume that infidelity must include physical or sexual contact with someone other than one’s chosen partner, the reality is that people can be unfaithful to their partners in a wide variety of other ways as well. It is quite possible (and unfortunately also quite common) for a person to betray his/her partner without ever crossing any physical boundaries at all.
Let’s take a look at a few of the different kinds of infidelity that often plagues romantic couples.
- Emotional infidelity - Some people argue that emotional infidelity is sometimes even more devastating to a romantic relationship than sexual betrayals. Emotional infidelity occurs when one partner develops a stronger emotional bond with someone outside of the relationship than he/she has with his/her own partner. Many people who are guilty of emotional infidelity may not even recognize it as a betrayal simply because physical boundaries haven’t been crossed. If you confide more frequently in, spend more time with or share more intimate details of your life with someone other than your partner than it is probably safe to assume that you have wandered into the emotional infidelity danger zone. Other signs of emotional infidelity include being secretive with your partner about the time you spend or the things you do with your “friend” or insisting on spending time alone with your “friend” even if it makes your partner uncomfortable.
- Online infidelity - As accessibility to the offerings of the World Wide Web continues to increase, so will the opportunities for people to be unfaithful to their partners. Due to the anonymity that the Internet affords its users, a new era of infidelity has been born. Online infidelity occurs when one partner uses the Internet to engage in behaviors that his/her partner would likely deem to be inappropriate. What does and does not constitute inappropriate behavior is something that will obviously vary from one relationship to another. It is probably safe to assume, however, that if you are being secretive with your partner about certain online activities then there is a pretty good chance that you are engaging in something that could potentially be destructive to the relationship if discovered. Some signs of online infidelity include, but are not necessarily limited to, participating in sexually charged conversations via email, IM or chat rooms, sharing intimate details and/or photos online, developing strong emotional attachments through online interactions, or participating in online dating services.
- Phone/text infidelity - Not unlike the kind of infidelity that goes on through the Internet, phone or text infidelity involves using phone calls or text messages to participate in sexually charged conversations or exchange very intimate details of your life with someone other than your partner.
- Sexual infidelity - As the name obviously implies, sexual infidelity occurs when somebody engages in sexual activity with someone other than his/her regular partner.