Emotional Cheating Vs. Physical Cheating. The Debate.

October 2, 2009 50 Comments TAGS: Marriage, Relationships, Sex & Sexuality, Stress

I will never betray this woman’s trust or confidence, but a girlfriend of mine a few weeks ago told me she has been “sexting” and having an emotional affair with a man for two years. Her husband and children have no clue. She says it isn’t cheating.

Let’s look at this together. I’m interested in topic.

Firstly, let’s review a few studies together and see how women and men view affairs and cheating.

Men say: Physical cheating is way more painful than emotional cheating, as men relate to everything in a physical way first. Men are inherently cavemen, and are protective by nature of their possessions. I quote one study where a man says, “The reality is that while we don’t care with whom you shop, talk, eat, or text, we do care deeply about who looks at you, smells your hair, holds your hand, and takes you to bed.”

Women say: Emotional cheating is far worse than a sexual affair. Women are far more inclined to forgive a one-night affair than an ongoing emotional connection. The thought of a husband’s connection with another woman, telling her his intimate secrets, without even physically touching her is way worse than a one night “f&ck.”

You may have your own opinion, but I’m just telling you the research.

And so just what is an emotional affair anyhow?

Emotional infidelity ranges, for example,  from “innocent” daily coffee breaks to the office cafeteria together, to online chatting or talking on the phone until 3 am. Emotional cheating is about sharing your deepest and darkest thoughts and feelings with someone other than your partner. In fact, you can be in the same room as your mate and be having an emotional affair with someone else!

Whatever your thoughts may be, cheating is no doubt both hurtful and harmful to a relationship. It’s truly devastating. Emotional cheating is a new term, and not as black and white as a physical affair. With chat rooms and the explosion of the internet, the temptation is everywhere. If you’re unhappy in your relationship or marriage, you can escape to an online paradise island with the man of your dreams without even leaving the comforts of your own home. This is dangerous. This is scary. This is tempting if you’re not happy.

So I ask you, if you knew your partner was “connecting” with another woman in an emotional way, and not a physical one, how would you react?

And just when does flirting become emotional cheating? A glance, a stare, a wink, a gentle touch, they can all be signs of innocent flirting. But how far do things have to go before they aren’t so innocent anymore? A married woman I know once said, ”It gives me a little rush when someone flirts with me when I’m out for dinner with my girlfriends. I feel like, yeah, I still go it!” For me, this girl is heading down a slippery slope. Now I’m not prude or anything, I just know how fast things can escalate. I’ve heard first hand how it starts out innocent, and before you know it, you’re in a full blown lying and cheating affair.

So, ladies, what can you do if you feel yourself or your spouse getting too close to another person even if you nor they are actually having sex with this person. STOP BEFORE IT ESCALATES. Just think, if my spouse knew what was going on, would they approve? If the answer is no, then put the brakes on. Having an affair is wrong. And in my opinion, if you are so unhappy in your marriage that you are constantly seeking adulation elsewhere, then seek counseling to work on yourself, or leave your marriage. But don’t cheat. Cheaters suck.

Which leads me to another day and other related topics…  Are women worse than men when it comes to this topic? Are we monogomists by nature? And another one to come that many of you have emailed about; do you stick around because of the kids? All “fence” issues…

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Thank you for all your visits and comments. I love reading them.


And tell us, what’s worse for you; the physical or the emotional cheat? Would you leave your relationship if your partner emotionally strayed but never had the physical affair? We want to hear!

P.S. New website coming soon! When it’s up, I need your feedback!


    1. Charlie BrownNo Gravatar says:

      Ok so here is my input on the matter as I am currently on the situation that I am about to express.

      I started dating this beautiful girl over 1 year ago. She has 2 kids is divorced and we got introduced because of my hobby. Well we started dating and fell in love with this girl. Later on about 6 months found out she was talking to other guys on her phone and I was of course upset and we were about to break it off. She insisted it didn’t mean anything and she never did anything with them and of course I forgave and started again. (emotional cheating) I didn’t have a problem with that portion as I really believed nothing happened. Time continued and we had a really really rough time; we got pregnant and I was extremely happy as this would have been my 1st child. Unfortunately I never got to see any sonograms or went to any doctors appointments as we still had a bunch of issues and fights and we ended up not together for couple weeks. Later on got back together and she ended up miscarrying. Now I never went to any appointments or anything but I was still pretty sad and this was pretty heart breaking for both of us. 3 months into it, she believed that I was cheating on her with some co-worker because we talked about my personal life outside of work and we just chatted. The other party was married with 5 kids and I was never attracted to that person and that was a huge issue. Lost that friendship at work to show nothing was going on. Couple months later I find out she had been cheating physically now multiple times with at least 3 different guys. (physical) Now this completely tore me up killed me inside not only because I found out but because I actually got to witness it and that can’t be undone. I could not sleep for weeks , lost weight, and out of all I was still in love with this girl.
      I still forgave her and we tried but the trust isn’t there anymore. It wasn’t because of the emotional cheating it was more because of the physical cheating and how I could not get over the fact of her being in somebody elses arms mean while telling me that she loved me. There is so much more to this story that I have not mentioned because it would be like a novel but currently I am still trying to maybe work things out with this girl even now because love sucks! I wonder what other people out there can say about my story or comment on it. I have no been with this girl 15 months and its been a rollercoaster.

    2. CrystalNo Gravatar says:

      Mental cheating is worse than physical. Physical is for a short time and mentally is for the long hall!!! We want our men mentally first and then physically attracted to us!!! Yeah sure I’m sure my looks got him looking but mentally is where the heart is!!!

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