As humans, the relationships we form with other people are vital to our mental and emotional wellbeing, and really, our survival. A positive relationship can be shared between any two people who love, support, encourage and help each other practically as well as emotionally. People with poor relationships are more likely to suffer from depression, and loneliness is powerful enough to weaken our immune system. Their blood pressure rises, and they suffer emotionally.
What is considered cheating in a relationship?
Cheating is a common problem in many relationships. When one partner discovers that the other is cheating, there are heart-wrenching emotional effects. Unfortunately, cheating cannot always simply be defined as having sex with someone outside of your relationship. Cheating comes in a variety of shapes and forms, but they are all equally devastating. Broadly, cheating can be defined as being emotionally or sexually unfaithful to your partner with who you are in a closed relationship with. Having intimate physical or emotional contact with another person is typically considered cheating.
According to Annette Lawson, a sociologist affiliated with the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Stanford University, said various studies suggest adultery has been increasing, with 25 to 50 percent of married women and 50 to 65 percent of married men now having at least one liaison at some time in a marriage.
Why do people cheat in a relationship?
Perhaps one of the most common reasons someone is faithless in a relationship can be traced back to a lack of open communication between partners. Being open about both the good and the bad things in a relationship means both partners feel safe expressing their emotions and sexual desires.
What are The Forms of Cheating?
Simply put, physical cheating is the act of being sexually intimate with someone other than your spouse or significant other. It is one of the most common forms of cheating. Although physical cheating is common among men and women, it seems to affect men and women in different ways. Men view physical cheating as emasculating and a form of physical rejection. Women, on the other hand, may be more likely to see beyond the physical indiscretion if they perceive that emotions were not involved.
Emotional cheating may include physical intimacy but not necessarily so. Emotional cheating may begin as an innocent friendship. Eventually, an emotional cheater finds himself intimately confiding in the person, sharing thoughts, dreams, and an emotional closeness that would normally be reserved for his mate. In some ways, emotional cheating is more crippling to a relationship than physical cheating. With physical cheating, the cheater may still feel emotionally connected to his partner and may only be seeking to fulfill a sexual fantasy. With emotional cheating, however, the cheater’s heart may no longer be in the relationship.
With the popularity of the Internet, cyber cheating is becoming a more common problem among couples. Cyber cheating can come in a variety of forms. Cyber cheating includes Internet pornography, online dating, and flirting with other people on social networking sites. Cyber cheating is harder to catch than other forms of cheating. It requires the couple to have access to one another’s computer passwords and to pay close attention to conversations each person is having on the Internet.
Text Message Cheating
Text message cheating, also known as chexting, has come to the forefront due to the high-profile affairs of celebrities who were caught cheating via text messaging. According to Fox News, this is a new form of cheating because it supplies the physical proof of infidelity. “Chexting” includes sending sexually explicit messages or pictures and texting to arrange dates. Even simple messages that seem innocent, such as asking how someone is doing, can be considered chexting if the intention of the person sending the text is to hook up with the recipient.
What are the Health Effects Of Cheating On Your Spouse or Partner
It can ruin your mental and physical health
Infidelity can have serious consequences for a person’s mental and physical health. The situation has been associated with depression, anxiety, and unhealthy coping mechanisms such as disordered eating and substance misuse. Infidelity has even been associated with heart problems. A number of studies have found that men who cheat are more likely to have heart attacks, while ‘broken heart syndrome’ (stress-induced cardiomyopathy) is real – it typically affects older women who have experienced emotional trauma.
Some people are more susceptible to this kind of fallout than others. A recent study, involving 232 college students who’d been cheated on, found that women who blamed themselves for the infidelity were more likely to turn to unhealthy coping strategies. Reactions can also be stronger when people have been through similar experiences in the past. “If you’ve had this happen in a previous relationship or one of your parents had an affair when you were younger, the effect can be magnified, Some people can’t come to terms with infidelity because it’s linked to an unresolved grief.
It exposes you and your Partner to Incurable Sexually Transmitted Diseases Including HIV
Illicit affairs can have huge sexual health implications particularly in the case of a drunken one-night stand that didn’t involve condoms. One study, which compared people in monogamous relationships with those who had multiple sexual partners, found that both groups were at similar risk of STIs. The researchers concluded that this was due to infidelity. More than 30 different bacteria, viruses, and parasites are known to be transmitted through sexual contact. Eight of these pathogens are linked to the greatest incidence of sexually transmitted disease. Of these 8 infections, 4 are currently curable: syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis. The other 4 are viral infections that are incurable: hepatitis B, herpes simplex virus (HSV or herpes), HIV, and human papillomavirus (HPV). Since a number of STIs are symptomless and can have serious consequences if left untreated, it’s always best to come clean immediately if you might have put your partner’s health at risk.
The Impact Can affect your Children For Life
Children suffer when their parents engage in extramarital affairs, even when the parents succeed in keeping the affairs secret, therapists and sociologists are finding. While an affair is taking place children sense that the parent is expending emotional energy outside the family, the specialists say. As a result, the children may become anxious or frightened, or they may sense rejection and feel they must have done something wrong. Moreover, experts found that such children are prone to have affairs themselves when they marry.
The common assumption has been that unless a marriage is in jeopardy, a discreet affair has little if any impact on a child. But increasing clinical evidence and a recent study suggest that the subtle changes in an adulterous parent’s behavior can unsettle children, regardless of whether the truth leaks out and even if the children are too young to understand what is happening.
When parents are in crisis, their children are also in a crisis. When a house burns down, the children along with the adults become homeless. The same is true when infidelity plagues a family. Children feel and experience turmoil, fear, uncertainty, and anger. The tears, the withdrawal, the accusations, the distraction, the fighting of the adults affect everyone in the family, and in particular children who by nature are very sensitive and dependent upon their parents for emotional and physical stability and safety.
Cheating Affects The Way Your Brain Works and How You think
The scientific study, published in Archives of Sexual Behavior, compared brain activity in monogamous and nonmonogamous men by showing them images while scanning their brains with an fMRI machine. The researchers showed each group of men (one group who identified as monogamous, one group identifying as nonmonogamous) romantic and sexual pictures and recorded which areas of the brain were activated. Results indicated that monogamous men showed more reward-related neural activity when viewing romantic pictures compared to nonmonogamous men,” the study says. “These results demonstrate that the neural processing of romantic images is different for monogamous and nonmonogamous men.”
Cheating Inflicts Pain On Another Human Being
It is quite common to hear people asking why cheating is so excruciatingly painful to the person who is being cheated on. Many say that it’s because it is one of the worst forms of betrayal of trust. Research shows it takes about eighteen months to two years to heal from the pain of your partner’s infidelity. Knowing that the pain isn’t going away overnight can be helpful, and knowing that it will eventually end is also valuable in the healing process.