Emotional Affairs vs. Sexual Affairs

Emotional Affairs vs. Sexual Affairs.  I believe it is a breach of fidelity when inappropriate relationships and behaviors are kept secret from a significant other; such as communicating online, using sexual innuendos, sexting, flirtatious banter, and sharing deeply personal thoughts and feelings.  When two people share personal information it makes them vulnerable, and vulnerability leads to intimacy and emotional connection.

An affair is the act of behaving unfaithfully and cheating on a spouse or significant other.  Sexual intercourse may or may not occur.

People who share their marital and sexual problems with a friend of the opposite sex begin to feel emotionally close to that friend, and sometimes that emotional affair leads to a sexual one.  In Marriage Counseling, I work with couples who are struggling with these challenges.

Victoria Milan, a dating site for people seeking affairs, asked 5,000 of its members how they feel about a sexual affair versus an emotional one.  “Many people are searching for affection, a deep connection that can lead to real feelings, not just sex,” said Victoria Milan, CEO Sigurd Vedal.  “What kind of cheating is more painful?  It totally depends on the individual, and maybe on gender as well.”

As you can see from the results listed below, men and women have very different ideas about what is forgivable and what is not.

Their findings include

  • 72% of men said sexual affairs were worse than emotional affairs.
  • 69% of women said emotional affairs were worse than sexual affairs.
  • 76% of women would forgive their partner for a strictly sexual affair.
  • Only 35% of men would forgive their partner for a strictly sexual affair.
  • 80% of men said they would forgive an emotional affair.
  • Only 30% of women would forgive an emotional affair.

Researchers from the University of Michigan found that women viewed “forming a deep emotional bond” during infidelity a much bigger concern than did men.

Whatever your views on the subject, betrayal never feels good.  As a Marriage and Couples Counselor, I specialize in Affair Recovery and believe that affairs are symptoms of other issues affecting the relationship, not the least of which may be a partner who is inherently promiscuous.  I enjoy helping people learn why they do what they do and how to stop hurting themselves and their relationships.

For more information please contact me at (858) 735-1139

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