Los Angeles Christian Counseling
Have you ever wondered if flirting with a cute waitress, having deep emotional conversations with a co-worker, or interacting with an ex on social media counts as infidelity? If so, this article on what is infidelity may be for you.
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. – Matthew 5:28
What is infidelity?Infidelity is the act of engaging in an emotional or sexual relationship with someone other than your spouse. It involves secrecy, deception, disloyalty, betrayal, and the breaking of the bond of trust your partner had in you and the exclusivity of your relationship.
Types of infidelity
Physical infidelity is having sex with a person other than your spouse. It can encompass anything from a one-night stand, to phone sex, to a long-term affair, and may or may not include romantic or emotional involvement.
Emotional infidelity is having an emotional connection with someone other than your spouse and having inappropriate conversations with him or her behind your spouse’s back. At first, they may just be vents about relationship problems at home, but then gradually become more intimate as you start sharing deeper thoughts and feelings and celebrating accomplishments and successes with him or her rather than sharing those wins with your spouse.
Cyber infidelity (also known as digital cheating) is interacting with someone online or through your phone who is not your spouse. Rather than meeting in person, you swap explicit photos or videos through social media or text, engage in sexual fantasies, and/or spend hours chatting online.
Cyber infidelity may also include engaging in chats or forums with sexual content, viewing erotic stimuli online, and/or being unfaithful to your spouse via pornography.
Object. Object infidelity is putting all your time and energy into something such as work, a special interest, or a hobby, that distracts you from your relationship and causes you to be focused elsewhere.
Micro cheating refers to seemingly trivial actions that would not normally be considered infidelity, but that share some of its features such as secrecy and deception, and that cross relationship boundaries of trust and fidelity.
Some examples would be flirting, cyberstalking an old flame, lying about your relationship status online, joining your boss for happy hour behind your spouse’s back, or regularly communicating with your ex even though you know it makes your spouse uncomfortable. These behaviors can elicit feelings of hurt and betrayal and lead to relationship issues down the road.
Financial infidelity involves being deceitful about money matters such as hiding expenses, how much you earn, how you earn it, how much debt you owe, or having money hidden away in cash or other bank accounts that your partner does not know about.
Common causes of infidelity
- Feeling something is missing in your relationship.
- Having a fear of commitment.
- Sexual dissatisfaction.
- Having an unfulfilled need that is not being addressed.
- Feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem.
- Feeling neglected.
- Not feeling heard or understood by your partner.
- Craving sexual variety.
- Falling out of love.
Red flags that your spouse may be cheating on you
- You have a gut feeling that something is wrong.
- There is a growing list of criticism coming at you out of nowhere.
- They’re constantly looking at their phone instead of paying attention to you.
- They’re always on social media and abruptly shut the computer down when you enter the room.
- They try to hide text messages and e-mails, and keep their phone face down when you’re around.
- They whisper when on a phone call or move to a different room.
- They seem unusually distracted and emotionally distant.
- They seem detached or indifferent during heartfelt conversations.
- They become defensive or angry with you over small, insignificant things.
- There are significant changes in your sex life.
- They are paying more attention to their appearance than usual.
- They are spending more time away from home.
- They are not sleeping well.
- They are secretive about their activities and get angry or defensive if you question them.
- They have stopped filling you in on the details of their day.
- They give conflicting explanations for where they are and what they are doing.
- Working late becomes a new normal, at a job that doesn’t require it.
- There have been sudden changes in their spending habits, such as large cash withdrawals.
If you have questions about this article on what is infidelity or would like to learn more about how individual or couples counseling may be able to help you, please give us a call today at Los Angeles Christian Counseling in California.
WebMD Editorial Contributors. “Signs of Cheating.” WebMD. December 13, 2022. webmd.com/sex-relationships/signs-cheating#1-2.
“Sunset”, Courtesy Siim Lukka, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Yellow Flowers”, Courtesy of Ankhesenamun, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Yellow Rose”, Courtesy of Stephanie Mulrooney, Unsplash.com, CC0 License
DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this article are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please contact one of our counselors for further information.