Infidelity, by definition, is being unfaithful to a moral obligation. In the context of relationships, this is the act of breaking a promise that you made to remain faithful to your partner.
People typically associate unfaithfulness with sexual affairs, but there are other types of infidelity, too.
Object affairs: When something else becomes the priority
Care Corner Counselling Centre’s manager, Jonathan Siew, recalls a previous case where a man in his 40s approached him for marriage counselling as his wife felt “lonely and ignored” by him, so wanted a divorce.
He had made her feel neglected throughout the years while he worked and did not spend any time with her even when he was at home.
With the countless distractions that we are faced with each day, it isn’t surprising that addiction to objects also counts as a form of infidelity.
Object affairs happen when the cheating partner focuses his or her time and energy on something other than the relationship. It could be work, social media, or even your smartphone.
Do you spend more time on your phone than with your spouse? This could count as cheating!
If you find yourself reaching for your phone the moment you wake up, sifting through Facebook posts at the dinner table, and liking and commenting on Instagram photos before bed, know that your actions fall under the different types of infidelity.
An object affair may seem harmless, but it can result in a lack of attention, communication and intimacy in your relationship. These negative effects caused by being addicted to distracting things show that, truly, sex isn’t the only way to cheat.
Financial infidelity: When money comes between you and your spouse
Keeping secrets from your partner about your income or expenses could mean that you are committing financial infidelity!
It is not uncommon for money matters to spark conflict in a relationship, especially when lying about money is involved. This situation is considered as one of the types of infidelity, and if you aren’t careful, your negative money habits could quickly progress into financial infidelity.
But what exactly is considered as financial infidelity? The Business Insider lists out the money lie that could destroy your relationship:
- Lying about how much money you make.
- Lying about how you earn your money.
- Lying about your debt.
- Lying about the things you buy.
- Lying about loaning money to friends and family.
- Lying about having bank accounts your spouse or partner doesn’t know about.
Psychologist, Richard Lim, who has counselled clients on this issue explains that financial infidelity could hurt a marriage or relationship just as much as having an affair.
His says, “My advice is simple. You wipe the slate clean and confess. At most, you’d have a nagging spouse or partner.”
Emotional infidelity: When things are too close for comfort
You may think that it is harmless, but becoming emotionally attached to someone else could be bad for your marriage.
If you are taking extra time getting yourself ready just to impress a co-worker, or are constantly sending text messages to them, or even having lunch with them on a regular basis and are hiding it from your spouse, this is considered as having an emotional affair.
Violating your spouse’s expectations of emotional fidelity may actually be even worse betrayal than sexual infidelity.
One of the biggest reasons emotional infidelity is dangerous is because it is easily hidden. It isn’t easy to prove that your partner may be engaged in an emotional affair.
When Joanne found out about the blossoming friendship between her husband and his former schoolmate, she struggled to keep her cool.
“This evokes the worst kind of jealousy, especially after I find out from his text messages that they’ve been meeting for coffee quite often”, she shares.
When it comes to emotional infidelity, the connection is more about feeling desired, understood and even loved by someone else.
These types of infidelity can do as much damage to your relationship as sex, maybe even more. So couples beware, though you may feel that what you are doing is not a big deal, it could mark the beginning of the end for your marriage.
(Republished with permission from theAsianparent Philippines)
What other types of infidelity have you experienced? Share your comments below.