Infidelity: Definition And Types

Nana Osei Bonsu/ August 13, 2018/ Relationship & Dating Tips/ 0 comments



What is Infidelity?

Several types of infidelity exist,but before i proceed,what is infidelity? Infidelity  can be defined as a violation of a couple’s assumed or stated contract regarding emotional and/or sexual exclusivity. Other scholars define infidelity as a violation according to the subjective feeling that one’s partner has violated a set of rules or relationship norms; this violation results in feelings of sexual jealousy and rivalry. Infidelity is synonymous to cheating, adultery, being unfaithful, or having an affair).

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The literal definition of “infidelity” is simply broken trust or broken loyalty.Infidelity destroys relationships. We normally see infidelity as only cheating your partner sexually but infidelity goes beyond sexual affairs outside a relationship.The following are some types of infidelity:

types of infidelity

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 Types of Infidelity

Infidelity can be categorized under object, emotional, cyber and sexual/physical. Here are the various types of Infidelity:

1.  Object affair: This is the neglect of a relationship to pursue an outside interest. The pursuit may reach a point of near-obsession. This interest will eventually reach a point of neglecting one’s partner and the relationship entirely or partially. It is absolutely fine to pursue an interest but it shouldn’t be at the expense of your relationship. A balance of the two is encouraged.

2.  Cyber Infidelity:This is infidelity committed through social media, online, sexting, video calls and chats. It may stay online and never reach the point of sexual intimacy, but sometimes it can leads to sexual affair. This type of affair might also include the watching of pornography. With the advent of social media and the web, this type of infidelity has become rampant and common.

3. Emotional Infidelity:This occurs when one partner becomes emotionally attached to someone else (of any gender). The person might spend hours talking to this person other than their partner. An emotional affair can negatively impact a relationship. Someone in an emotional affair may discuss relationship problems with the person outside the relationship. They may also neglect to do this with their partner. Sex is not always part of an emotional affair.

4. Sexual or physical Infidelity:This happens when a partner has sex outside the relationship. he or she often do not experience deep or little emotional attachment to that person. Examples include one-night stands or hiring a prostitute.

Some Sexual/Physical Types of infidelity:

4.1 Opportunistic Infidelity: 

Opportunistic infidelity occurs when a partner succumbs to an opportunity to have  sexual intimacy with someone else. Typically, opportunistic type of infidelity is driven by opportunity, situational circumstances or risk-taking behaviour.

4.2 Romantic Infidelity:

This occurs when the cheater has little emotional and sexual attachment to his/her partner. he or she (the cheater) may be committed to his or her relationship but will long for an intimate, lust or loving connection with another person.Sex is often involve in this type of infidelity.

4.3 Multi-Romantic Infidelity:

This  occurs when people experience genuine love, lust or sexual desire for more than one person at a time. It is possible to experience intense romantic love for multiple people at the same time. While such situations are possible, they are very complicated and tend to create a lot of anxiety and stress.


It is important to discuss with your partner what constitute infidelity during premarital counselling or during the course of the relationship. This will help avoid future disagreements, issues, or hurt. It will also help set boundaries for both partners. Infidelity often leads to divorce and break ups, but it is possible to overcome infidelity and move forward to create a stronger, successful, happy and healthy marriage.

Product Recommendations:

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About Nana Osei Bonsu

Nana Bonsu is an Educationist who enjoys writing about relationships and romance. He also likes offering advice to people with relationship difficulties and hurdles.

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