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Physical vs. Emotional Affairs - What's the Difference?

Dec 11, 2014


The definition of cheating can vary from couple to couple. Cheating basically refers to one person in a committed relationship that becomes sexually involved with someone other than their partner or spouse. In recent times, the definition of cheating has evolved to cover emotional affairs.

Emotional affairs refer to infidelity through having thoughts and feelings for someone other than your spouse or partner. With the increase of technology and routes in which communication is expanding, the definitely of cheating has evolved. Here is a look at physical and emotional affairs and what the differences are.

Physical Affair

A physical affair is different from emotional affairs because it requires actual, physical contact. If you are meeting someone in person and the interaction becomes physical, this is a physical affair. Some physical affairs are a one-time occurrence that was caused by feeling neglected in the marriage. Other physical affairs are long-term in which one spouse is regularly seeing someone else and keeping their marriage while in a relationship.

Emotional Affair

An emotional affair is one in which you are having thoughts and feelings for someone outside of your relationship. Having intimate conversation with someone on the phone, maintaining a personal relationship outside of your marriage or meeting someone online are all examples of emotional affairs.

Even though a phone call, text message, internet chatroom or sending pictures may seem harmless, it will cause the two people to develop a bond and develop romantic feelings that are intended for your spouse. This type of relationship can be debated as an affair because usually the person involved doesn’t think they are doing any harm but usually it is really cheating. Paying more attention to someone other than your spouse is removing oneself from the commitment of marriage.

The other issue with emotional affairs is that they typically turn into physical affairs. After getting acquainted and sharing deep dark secrets and personal information will eventually lead the two to crave more time face-to-face which will lead to the physical affair. Emotional connections are more dangerous to marriage than physical connections.

Be sure to keep friends as just that and make your spouse your top priority.

Category: Issues in Marriage

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