Part 2: Types of Infidelity
The Affair First Response Guide was written to be the first step in navigating the turbulent waters after infidelity is discovered in a marriage. Part two of this guide was created to help you understand what infidelity is by definition and how to identify behaviors that are often considered unfaithfulness to a relationship.
Types of Infidelity
What is infidelity? No matter what you call it, infidelity, cheating, unfaithfulness, this type of behavior manifests itself as one or more of the following categories:
- Sexual Affair
- Emotional Affair
- Sexual Addiction
- Same-Sex Infidelity
Viewing pornography may or may not include masturbation. Use continues despite risk of negative consequences and / or attempts to stop.
- Sexual expression involving pain
- Bondage / Sadomasochism / rape enactment
- Fetishes: sexual expression associated with non-sexual objects
- Anal sex
- Bestiality (sexual behavior involving animals)
- Sex dolls
Hebephilia: A strong and persistent sexual attraction in pubescent (early adolescent) individuals, typically between the ages of 11-14 (not DSM V diagnosis).
Ephebophilia: A strong and persistent sexual attraction to those in later adolescence approximately ages 15-19 years old (not DMS V diagnosis).
Incest: Incest refers to sexual activity with a close relative (parent, sibling, grandparent).
Looking for love in all the wrong places (sexual addiction)
These affairs are committed by those with an ongoing patter of sexual betrayal such as frequenting topless bars and/or adult bookstores, viewing pornography, compulsive masturbation, prostitution, repetitive encounters with sexual partners, and other behaviors that are destructive to both the individual and to the marriage relationship. Interestingly, this category of affairs is not about the marriage, and often the betrayer will state they do not want their marriage to fail. Betrayers often feelhopelessly trapped by their behaviors.This type of betrayal is especially difficult for the spouse because their suffering is not just from the betrayal, but also from their inability to understand their mate’s behavior. What the addict has done seems so foreign the spouse cannot comprehend it. Or they are in shock when they discover the sheer magnitude of the compulsive behavior (like the husband who visited more than 300 prostitutes).
- It is common for the betrayer to have made past efforts to stop the behavior, and to have actually been successful for a season, only to relapse after they believed things were better.
- Typically, the betrayer wants to save their marriage, but has a compelling drive to look elsewhere to meet their needs.
- Often these behaviors began before marriage, stopped after marriage, and then began again after the addict realized the marriage couldn’t meet the need met by the addictive behavior.
Having your cake and eating it too
This is an affair where the betrayer is involved with a single person, but at the same time he or she does not want to leave their marriage. To them, the affair partner is a “soul mate”. These affairs frequently spring from relationships where two individuals share something in common they don’t share in common with their mate. It is as if this person develops two lives.
- Individuals want to stay marriedo
- However, betrayers do not want to give up the affair partner
- The betrayer’s life is divided into two very distinct parts; the relationship with the affair partner and their relationship with their spouse
- You’re not my lover; you’re my friend
This relationship is commonly referred to as the emotional affair. Although some would not consider an emotional entanglement an affair, this type of relationship can be just as devastating and destructive as a sexual affair. If a mate is closer to a friend than to their spouse, then it’s already an affair.
Boundary issues are a factor
Betrayer keeps secrets with their friend instead of their spouse
Betrayer wants to stay married but does not want to choose betweenthe friend and their spouse
Affair Recovery Guide.
A five part series to help you pick up the pieces after an affair.