National surveys show about 20 percent of married couples cheat or have practiced infidelity.
Cheating among dating and married couples isn’t something new. For as long as these romantic relationships have existed, people have always had an appetite for extra-marital affairs.
But what exactly is infidelity in marriage? As times evolve, so does the nature of our relationships. In today’s modern times, for example, it’s increasingly becoming common for couples to have consensual extra-marital relations, something that was unheard of in the old days.
In this article, we’re digging deeper into this issue, fleshing out the main forms of infidelity in marriage.
Let’s slice it open.
Sexual or Physical Infidelity
Of course, the first thing that comes to mind when you think of infidelity in marriage is someone who is having a steamy sexual affair without the knowledge of their spouse.
Forms of Sexual Infidelity
Sexual infidelity can take various forms, including one nightstands, long-term affairs, and even online relationships that have a sexual element.
A one nightstand only happens once. The people involved have sex one time – though it doesn’t have to be at night – and that’s it. Some people forget about it like it never happened and can even continue having normal relationships with their spouses.
Long-term affairs can go on for several months or even years. In most cases, both the person practicing infidelity and their partner in the affair acknowledge that it’s only an affair and they can’t be anything more. Often, there’s an effort from both sides to keep the affair as secretive as possible.
As technology brings us closer than ever before, having an online relationship is easy. Although the parties may not have physical sex with each other, they can engage in sexting, sending each other nude videos, and engaging in virtual sex that involves masturbating.
So, what makes having extra-marital sexual relations an act of infidelity? Shouldn’t anyone just have sex with whoever they wish, whenever they want?
Firstly, adultery laws make across many U.S. states make extra-marital sex illegal. It can be grounds for divorce and you can be fined or even go to jail.
Emotional cheating among married couples can be a bit more complicated, especially because it’s difficult to read human emotions.
Generally, in a marriage, the spouses are supposed to commit to each other emotionally. Emotional commitment is the fuel that keeps all the other aspects of a healthy marriage alive. Without a strong emotional connection, for example, it’s difficult to sustain a thriving sexual relationship.
As such, when one spouse starts developing a similar emotional connection with another person, they can be said to be cheating. Click here to learn more about the many nuances of emotional cheating in marriage.
Infidelity in Marriage Can Takes Different Forms
Infidelity in marriage is a complex issue, no doubt. Although having a sexual affair is what most people consider cheating in marriage, there are other dimensions to it, such as emotional cheating. With this guide, we hope you now have a better understanding of what marital infidelity is.
It takes a lot of effort and learning to have a thriving marriage. Explore our blog for relationship and marriage advice.