Often, when one partner cheats on the other, trust is lost and there is little chance of regaining it — this is likely not news to anyone.
But there is more than one category of cheating.
First, there is sexual cheating, where the man feels no emotional connection with the woman and is basically only interested in her for sexual purposes and the excitement that sleeping with her may offer.
The second type of cheating is emotional, where a man finds himself becoming emotionally connected to another woman. He may greatly enjoy her company, talking to her, and sharing his concerns and thoughts about life with her. He will begin to feel as though he would rather spend his spare time with her than with his girlfriend or wife.
In a survey I recently conducted, a little over 75% of women said that emotional cheating would leave them feeling more betrayed than sexual cheating. However, many of the women also reported that it is very hard to separate the two types of cheating because both would affect their feelings for their partner on both levels of the relationship.
Let’s look specifically at what women think about each kind of cheating.
Emotional cheating is the type of cheating that most women find more destructive for their relationship. Women know that there are many other attractive women out there and that men are very visually stimulated by nature. Not that this condones sexual cheating, but it is well known that some men have a hard time controlling their sexual desires.
The situation is more hurtful to a woman when her partner finds someone else whose personality he enjoys more. She often sees this as a sign that she no longer is interesting to him and that she is not fulfilling his emotional needs.
This is also the type of cheating that has less rigid boundaries. It’s easy to tell if someone is cheating sexually — they are either having sex or they aren’t — but what defines emotional cheating from a woman’s point of view?
What are some examples of emotional cheating?
One example would be if a man were to regularly take one particular coworker out to lunch or dinner meetings. In most cases, it would be safe to assume that she offers him more than just a discussion about work. She is probably also providing him with emotional companionship, giving him an opportunity to share his thoughts and feelings.
Men who are cheating emotionally often begin to question whether or not they should be seeing that one particular woman as much as they are. They know deep down inside that she means more to them than just a regular female friend would and thus feel a degree of guilt for seeing her.
Another example of emotional cheating that is becoming more common is that of online cheating. A man may find that he is logging on more and more to talk to a specific person, and that his wife or girlfriend is complaining that he is spending too much time on the Internet. He may feel more drawn to talking to this person than he is to the woman he is currently seeing — a classic sign of emotional investment.
This example illustrates pure emotional cheating; if the man has not even seen the woman before, he is much less likely to be influenced by the thought of sexual gratification.
Why do women feel betrayed by emotional cheating?
When looking for a mate, women tend to look more at a man’s emotional and intellectual qualities, including his ability to be a good father, to provide a stable home life and to interact with her on a daily basis. Men, on the other hand, usually tend to focus more on physical qualities in a mate in order to ensure that a woman is capable of producing offspring and satisfying his sexual desires.
That being said, since a woman invests heavily in the emotional aspects of the relationship, cheating in this form is generally very hard for her to handle, as she may feel completely betrayed by her partner.
The second type of cheating is sexual infidelity.
While this may not be as hard for most women to take as emotional cheating, it is still very destructive for a relationship. When a man has sex with another person, his wife or girlfriend will start to question her own skills in bed; she will wonder what the other woman is offering him that she is not. This will make her very self-conscious about her own performance and will often turn her off of sex completely, thus only serving to exacerbate the problem.
It is almost like a destructive circle: the man cheats, which results in his girlfriend not wanting to have sex with him at all, which can lead him to want to cheat more. In short, it is a very good way to end a relationship.
Is it easier for a couple to recover from sexual cheating?
This type of cheating is solely about physical satisfaction and often comes in the form of a one-night stand. The man feels no emotional connection with the woman and does not wish to spend time with her apart from performing the sexual act. He usually feels just as emotionally connected to his wife or girlfriend as he was before; he may simply feel bored with his sex life or find that he wants to explore other opportunities.
Often, his partner will not even give him a chance to explain and will just break things off as soon as the truth comes out, as she will question how she can possibly trust him again. A solid relationship should not involve such uncertainty and makes dealing with this type of cheating very difficult.
Can you predict how she’ll react?
How does a woman’s personality affect her reaction to cheating?
The previous was a good general guideline; however, it is not black and white. There are some women who place more emphasis on sex than on any type of emotional involvement. Usually, these women are either very involved in other aspects of their lives, such as their careers, or they tend to place their worth more on superficial aspects, such as their looks (as opposed to personality traits).
This type of woman will be more offended by a man cheating on her purely sexually, as this is why she believes he is attracted to her in the first place. She will think that since he no longer views her as sexually attractive, he will no longer want to be with her and will most likely end the relationship.
Women who find sexual cheating worse may also view men as sexual tools that only exist to satisfy their desires. Therefore, they take cheating as a sign that their partner has vested interests somewhere else, either purely sexually or both sexually and emotionally, and usually choose to move on to their next pursuer.
You can generally spot these types of women, as they will not invest as much in a man on an intellectual level. She may not connect with you and discuss her thoughts and feelings as much as previous girlfriends have, and you may find that the relationship itself tends to be more focused on the physical aspects.
If this is your case, then your girlfriend or wife may view sexual cheating as the most harmful kind.
What should you do if you’ve cheated?
If you have cheated on your girlfriend or wife, you have two options. You can choose not to tell her and hope it remains in your past, or you can come clean and admit to your crime.
If you choose not to tell her, you will have to deal with what you have done, and it may affect how you act around her since you will have the burden of your secret on your shoulders. Also, if it ever does come out, chances are the problem will be much worse, since she will not only be upset that you cheated, but also that you lied.
If you do choose to tell her, your conscience will be set free, but you will have to be prepared to deal with the consequences. If you cheated on her emotionally, it may be harder to work through, as the bond you have with the other woman will most likely be harder to break. However, if you cheated sexually, especially if it was a one-night stand, you might be able to get her to forgive you and work through it. Whatever her reaction, expect the worse.
At this point, however, you are going to have to fully commit to her. She may forgive you once, but twice is unlikely.
TO CHEAT OR NOT TO CHEAT
If you feel yourself drifting away from your partner, try to reconnect on an emotional level (if you are tempted to cheat emotionally), or else find new and interesting ways to spice up your sex life (if you are not feeling sexually satisfied). You will be surprised to find that most women are more than willing to put in the effort to improve these aspects of your relationship. But if you simply can’t help cheating, perhaps it’s time to break it off and move on.
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