Research has consistently shown that infidelity ranks among the top two leading causes of divorce worldwide.
Infidelity, in all its forms, is universally regarded as a grave sin, condemned by every major belief system and societal norm.
Its consequences are nothing short of devastating.
When infidelity rears its ugly head, it places the victim in an unsafe situation emotionally and physically as well.
It shatters trust, inflicts wounds on love, and leaves a trail of emotional wreckage.
The weight of its impact is felt not only by the individuals involved but often reverberates through their families and social circles.
Many people are unaware that there are various types of affairs extending beyond the two most commonly known.
In this blog post, we aim to inform you about seven distinct forms of affairs that can ultimately lead to the dissolution of a marriage.
7 Types of Affairs That Lead to Divorce
1. Romantic and sexual affairs
This is the most common and well-known type of affairs.
Romantic and sexual affairs are what we call physical affairs.
Physical affairs are what we usually think of when we hear the word “affair.”
It’s when one person in a relationship gets romantically or sexually involved with someone other than their partner.
Let’s say you’re in a committed relationship or married, but you find yourself drawn to someone else.
Maybe it starts with flirting, and then it escalates to intimate encounters.
That could be a one-time thing, like a passionate night, or it could become an ongoing secret relationship.
Physical affairs are the breaking of the rules of your relationship.
It’s hurtful and damaging because it’s not just about the act itself, but it’s a major breach of trust.
Your partner thought you were exclusively theirs, and when you break that trust, it can be tough to rebuild.
They also put your partner in the danger of STDs and infections.
In the end, physical affairs can turn your world upside down.
They often lead to heartbreak, anger, and confusion, and they can be a big reason why marriages end.
The pain from these affairs can be intense, and healing from them isn’t easy.
2. Affairs in the heart and mind
This is simply emotional affairs.
An emotional affair might sound intangible, but it’s a big deal.
It’s like when one person in a relationship starts sharing their deep feelings, hopes, and secrets with someone other than their partner.
It’s not physical like kisses or hugs, but it’s forming a super close bond with another person who’s not your spouse.
You’ve got this best friend at work or from the neighborhood.
You begin to text them constantly, share all your daily dramas, and maybe even start to keep some secrets from your partner.
It’s a secret world you’re building with this other person, and your partner might not even know.
That’s an emotional affair.
The problem is when you’re supposed to share all these deep things with your partner, and you don’t, a little piece of your connection with them starts fading away.
It can create a major gap in your relationship, and sometimes, it’s even harder to fix than a physical affair because it’s inside you.
Emotional affairs are tricky because they’re all happening in your heart and mind.
But they can be just as hurtful and destructive as physical ones because they eat away at the trust and intimacy in your marriage.
If you ever catch yourself getting too emotionally close to someone else, it’s a good idea to take a step back and rebuild that connection with your partner instead.
3. Serial affairs
Serial affairs are a recurring nightmare in the world of relationships.
These are the situations where one person just can’t seem to stop themselves from cheating.
They’re the repeat offenders of the affair world.
You discover that your partner has cheated multiple times with different people.
It seems they’re stuck in a cycle of unfaithfulness, and it feels like a never-ending flow of betrayal and apologies.
What makes serial affairs so damaging is that they show a pattern of behavior that’s hard to break.
It’s not just a one-time mistake; it’s a choice to keep stepping out of the boundaries of a relationship.
The pain and heartache this causes are like a deep wound that keeps getting reopened.
It’s also tough for the person who’s cheating.
They might have a hard time understanding why they can’t stop themselves from cheating, which can lead to feelings of guilt and frustration.
Somehow, serial affairs are a marriage’s worst enemy.
They can keep happening until one person finally decides to put an end to it, or the marriage itself collapses under the weight of all the hurt and betrayal.
Flings are best called one-night stands.
Have you heard of one-night stands in movies, or songs, or maybe from friends?
It’s when someone in a relationship has a brief, impulsive fling with another person.
It’s usually unplanned and often happens during a night out, like at a party or when people are tipsy.
You’re in a relationship, but one night, you find yourself in a situation where you end up having a physical encounter with someone else.
Maybe it’s just a passionate kiss that goes too far, or it could be a more intimate encounter.
It is simply a one-time thing, and there’s usually no emotional connection involved.
Now, one-night stands are a beast.
They sometimes cause a confusing rush of emotions.
The person who cheated might feel guilty, and the person who was cheated on can feel a mix of anger, betrayal, and confusion.
While a one-night stand may not have the same long-lasting impact as some other affairs, it can still be a breach of trust.
It’s like someone crossed a line they shouldn’t have crossed, even if it was just for one night.
It can damage a marriage, and it’s often a sign that something wasn’t right within the relationship in the first place.
5. Long-term affairs
Long-term affairs are the marathon runners of infidelity.
These are the kind of affairs that don’t just happen once and then go away; they stick around for a while.
In fact, they can sometimes last for years.
They are king of double lives and deep secrets in the sense that you are married, but you’ve got a secret life on the side.
You’re deeply involved with someone else, emotionally and physically.
You’ve got your partner, and then you’ve got this secret lover.
It is one person living a double life.
Long-term affairs are a big deal because they involve a lot of lies and deception.
The person having the affair is hiding this other relationship from their partner, and that involves a ton of lies, sneaking around, and covering tracks.
Maintaining two separate worlds that never collide.
For the person who’s being cheated on, this is especially painful because it’s not just a one-time mistake.
It’s a continued choice to betray the trust of their partner over an extended period.
This brings feelings of betrayal and heartbreak.
The thing about long-term affairs is that they erode a relationship from the inside out.
The partner who’s left in the dark might start to sense something is off but can’t quite put their finger on it.
It’s a slow poison that seeps into the relationship, gradually weakening it.
6. Affairs as a payback
This happens when one person in a relationship cheats on their partner as a way of getting back at them for something they did or something they believe their partner did.
It’s like an act of revenge in the world of infidelity.
It happens when something happens in your marriage that deeply hurts you.
It could be your partner cheating on you, lying, or even just hurting your feelings
In response, you decide to have an affair yourself, not because you want to be with someone else, but as a way to make your partner feel the same pain you felt.
The thing about revenge affairs is that they’re often driven by anger and a desire for retribution.
You think your partner hurt you, so now you are going to hurt them back.
But the fact is, it doesn’t solve anything.
It just creates more hurt and chaos.
When both partners start cheating on each other out of anger and revenge, it becomes a never-ending cycle of betrayal.
It leads to even more damage in the relationship and makes it harder to rebuild trust.
Payback affairs might seem like a way to balance the scales, but in the end, they usually lead to more complications.
7. Affairs in the digital world
This has many other names.
Social media affairs, cyber affairs, online affairs, online dating, and so on.
This type of affair is different from the traditional kind.
In many ways, they are a reflection of the digital age we live in.
They blur the lines between what’s considered cheating and what’s not.
But the impact they can have on your relationship is very real.
The emotions involved are genuine, even if they’re expressed through screens.
They happen in the vast realm of the internet and involve emotions and sometimes even physical interactions with someone you’ve met online.
It is when you start chatting with someone online, maybe through social media or a dating app.
As time goes on, those conversations get more intimate, and you start sharing secrets and dreams and even engage in romantic or sexual talk.
One thing different about this type of affair is that the affair is primarily happening through screens and keyboards.
It might stay as an online thing, or it could escalate to in-person meetups, which starts the complications.
Cyber affairs often start innocently enough; that’s why it’s so tricky.
Maybe you just enjoy the attention or the excitement of a new online connection.
But things can quickly spiral into deeper, emotional territory.
The problem with online affairs is that they happen in the digital shadows.
You can be beside your lover, you might not leave your home at all, and you’d be cheating on your spouse.
You are maintaining a parallel online relationship that your partner does not know about.
Why are we even discussing this painful stuff?
Well, the truth is that understanding the different faces of affairs is knowing your enemy in a battle; it can help you prepare and protect your relationship.
Infidelity is a storm that can hit any relationship, and it’s not something any of us want to face.
It’s a very bad experience that can tear apart a once-loving marriage.
Aside from the broken vows, it shatters trust and leaves behind deep emotional wounds.
We laid out these types of affairs not to sensationalize or glorify the pain but rather to make known the complexities involved.
We want you to know these so you can be aware of boundaries you should not cross.
Your well-being is important to us.