Infidelity vs cheating. Any relationship that has existed has had infidelity. If there has been infidelity, romantic partners have argued over what constitutes cheating. Does watching porn constitute cheating? Can you flirt with a coworker even though you know it won’t result in anything? Is it possible to define what constitutes emotional infidelity in the context of a close friendship? Does cheating depend on who you ask? If you’re in an open relationship, how would cheating look to you?
The answer to the question of what counts as cheating is that there’s no one right or wrong way to behave in a healthy relationship and no one, singular relationship. To get a deeper understanding of what fidelity, infidelity, and cheating mean, we spoke with psychologists, relationship advisors, polyamorists, and divorce lawyers — who helped us define fidelity, infidelity, cheating, and how partners can draw boundaries responsibly, and how conflicts can be resolved. What does cheating mean? Check out what they said.
What is Cheating?
It is undeniable that cheating is horrendous. For the person who has been cheated on, it is despicable and emotionally draining. It’s very tricky to define what constitutes cheating; some call flirting cheating while others complain about their partners’ one-night stands. It is essential to understand and know what exactly constitutes cheating to avoid unnecessary or extra emotional pain.
What is infidelity?
The act of infidelity violates a couple’s emotional and/or sexual exclusivity, which is commonly accompanied by anger, jealousy, and rivalry. Depending on the expectations in the relationship, infidelity may or may not be considered. The assumption of exclusivity in marriage is commonplace.
A case of infidelity fulfills a different need in every case. Although understanding why a partner cheated won’t ease any pain, rationalizing and defining the behavior will alleviate some confusion. In addition, it can give you a better sense of how to move forward from this situation-whether it’s healing your relationship or moving on if you decide to separate.
How does a psychologist define cheating?
The act of infidelity generally refers to a violation of the standards or boundaries of a relationship between romantic partners by a third party. The act of infidelity can be defined as the unilateral decision taken by one romantic partner to become involved with a third party in response to a perceived or real limitation in the relationship.
It is best to approach agreements about relationship boundaries to explore desires, values, and limitations together. Opening a dialog about what a partner may be reluctant to express is perhaps more important than discussing what a partner can or cannot do. Couples are inhibited from expressing what they desire, need, or need from a partner when they feel shame or fear of shame keeps them from disclosing what they feel is lacking in their relationship.
It is often a result of avoidance of shame that a partner meets his or her desires outside of a relationship. Communication can only be improved by understanding what inhibits it and finding ways to have a healthy dialogue. Unfortunately, the focus is often on the shame experienced by one partner due to the other partner’s interest in someone else, the other person’s profile, and what they offer by comparison; or the shame of the partner who committed the infidelity.
Ultimately, this obscures the myriad of issues that should have been addressed in the first place, allowing the couple to learn how to move forward in their relationship. The shame people felt in their relationship before and after it broke down is too late when they cannot admit it.
What is the difference between cheating and infidelity?
The act of cheating is often regarded as an “accident” or a one-time event
The term affair refers to a relationship outside the main relationship. In my opinion, an “accident” is something that can be worked out and discussed, while both are forms of cheating. An affair has the potential to destroy a relationship, trust, and love between two people. The affair might not have been the result of a lot of love in the first place.
It depends on what type of infidelity occurred and how much effort you’re both willing to put forth whether your marriage or relationship survives infidelity. Common sense tells us that opportunistic cheaters cheat no matter how many times they are discovered and forgiven. Keep in mind, however, that any other reasons why your spouse cheated do not guarantee that they won’t do it again in the future.
When my partner cheats on me, what should I do?
Every person can become a victim of cheating at some point in their lives. Your partner’s body, mind, and soul are betrayed when you cheat on him or her. When you are cheated on, it is difficult to understand why it happened or what you should do. Sometimes, cheating isn’t just about sex, it’s about emotional infidelity as well. You shouldn’t draw conclusions without concrete evidence if you suspect your partner has cheated on you. It is important to remember that these behaviors may have other causes.
Getting away from your spouse and staying on your own is the first thing you should do if your spouse cheated on you. Take some time to think alone. Feelings or what you want to do. Decide after thinking it over for a while. You should then meet with your partner and let them express themselves. Once you have discussed your wishes with your spouse, let them know what you want to achieve and set rules. If you want a divorce, don’t waste any time. You can get support from relationship therapists even if you want to manage the process more professionally.
Conclusion: infidelity vs cheating
The only way to find out if your partner is cheating is to ask them directly or catch them in the act. What might be a warning sign in one relationship might not be a problem in another. Infidelity usually shows up in subtle ways. Only when the lies and stories stop adding up does the cheating usually come to light.
Dealing with unfaithfulness doesn’t need to be done alone. Whether you decide to end your marriage together or alone, it’s wise to seek relationship therapy before you make any decisions. Even an online program may be more convenient for you.
External resource: Wikipedia