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Cheating & Infidelity

7 Different Types Of Infidelity And Cheating Explained

types of infidelity and cheating

While many think that infidelity and cheating is just about having physical affairs, it is a broad topic that involves several aspects that can be categorized as cheating. There are many types of infidelity and cheating, from emotional cheating to physical cheating. All these types will always be a bump in your relationship or marriage if you find out that your partner has involved themself in them.

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While most relationships categorize physical intimacy with lovers as the only form of cheating, research shows that most women will actually get more upset when they find out about their partner’s emotional cheating.

Each type of cheating is different and fulfills a different need from the other Although knowing what kind of infidelity and cheating your partner committed will not end your pain, it may help you move forward from the situation and learn the lessons.

Types of infidelity and cheating


types of infidelity and cheating
Source: Dining-OUT

You may be wondering why people in happy marriages or relationships cheat. Opportunistic infidelity is the reason. It occurs when your partner is still attached to you, probably still loves you but the temptations and opportunities make them cheat on you.

Opportunistic infidelity is driven by circumstances that make cheating easy for them. Opportunistic infidelity is common around workplaces, with colleagues who spend more time together and away from their partners.

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Cheating does not always occur due to issues or dissatisfaction in a current relationship. It may happen even when your partner gets drunk and succumbs to the temptations when opportunity throws itself at them.

Consider Peter, who decides to offer his female workmate a ride home one evening after a busy day at work. They decide to pass by a local restaurant for some coffee but take a few more drinks. Under the temptation, both can easily succumb to them and take advantage of the opportunity.

The effects of opportunistic infidelity are so severe to the cheater that they will feel guilt after the act, especially when they are in love with their partner so much.


This type of infidelity can also happen when your partner is still in love with you and no issues in your relationship. Many people who commit obligatory cheating do it for approval or recognition and identify with a particular group.

For instance, your friends or colleagues are cheating and boasting of their body counts. This puts you under pressure to cheat on your partner so that you are recognized as part of the ‘gang.’ 

In simple words, your partner may cheat not because they want to but because they fear rejection.


Affairs may also be romantic and turn to be “matters of the heart.” Romantic affairs occur when your partner has little emotional attachment towards you. They may blame love for fading. The connection and the intimacy you used to share is no longer there. Although they may be committed to marriage and make it work out, they may find themselves finding romance somewhere else. This is due to the urge to connect with someone of the opposite sex, something missing in their relationship.

Most romantic relationships, however, are just short-term and do not lead to breakups due to commitments. 

Conflicted Romantic Infidelity

types of infidelity and cheating

Yes. It is possible to love more than one person at a time. When this happens, your partner may cheat on you with the other person and still love you. Despite our beliefs of having only one true love, many have claimed that there are different types of love. Your partner may love you for your personality and character, that you blend so well with each other, but still, connect their sexual desires and emotions with another person. They love their affair partner for the sexual experiences. Most people finding themselves in this situation are deemed selfish since they fear ending one relationship for another because both partners fulfill their desires differently.

Conflicted romantic infidelity is so complicated that cheating partners do not know how to end an affair. So, they end up hurting every party.

Emotional Infidelity

Even though emotional cheating does not involve sexual intimacy with the affair partner, it undermines the relationship. If your partner is in an emotional affair with someone, they invest a particular closeness to someone else and cultivate a non-sexual intimacy with them. People emotionally cheat on their partners when they are lonely and feel their partner cannot end the loneliness by being close and friendly.

Emotional cheating can quickly turn into a sexual affair. This makes emotional cheating just as threatening as any form of cheating. Even if it does not reach the sexual phase, the effects of emotional cheating are so severe to a relationship when discovered. Most people claim the impacts of emotional cheating are so intense than physical cheating.


An online affair that occurs on dating sites, texts, emails, and chats. Even when the parties involved are anonymous or communicate to the point of meeting up, it is still one common type of infidelity.

Sometimes, it also occurs between individuals who know each other, friends, and even know your partner. 

Even if the affair partners do not meet in person, the emotional affair is often enough to cause issues in their committed relationships.

Secret Spending

types of infidelity and cheating

As controversial as it may seem, hiding your spending habits from your partner is also considered a type of infidelity and cheating. This is mostly when the spending affects the relationship, and yet the person still holds their spending a secret.


Now that you know the different types of infidelity and cheating, it’s up to you to decide on the next steps to take. However, depending on the kind of infidelity your partner is committing, you can always work things out and save your marriage or relationship.

But sometimes, it is only best to end things up and open doors for the next life. An opportunistic cheater may always cheat once they have the opportunity, regardless of how many times they can be discovered and forgiven. If your partner cheated in other forms, it doesn’t mean they cannot cheat again.

What makes the difference is how you approach issues after cheating and the efforts to save the relationship.

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