3 Types of Affairs That Can Destroy a Marriage

Today, up to 60% of married persons commit some infidelity in their marriage. This often leads to separation or divorce, which can cause long-term emotional damage.

Affairs occur for many different reasons that stem from different issues within the marriage. As such, we can have many different types of affairs. 

What do these entail and how do we spot the signs?

Read on to find out!

1. The Emotional Affair/Emotional Infidelity

Having an affair can include other components besides hookups and sex. In reality, emotional affairs may prove just as, or even more, painful than their physical counterparts. They make up with an intense emotional connection for what they lack in physical intimacy. 

Emotional affairs often begin innocently, as friendships, before they progress into something deeper. They can even develop into physical, romantic affairs. Some warning signs include:

  • Sharing information with someone that we withhold from our spouse
  • Venting or confiding in someone else about our relationship problems
  • Emotional disconnection with spouse
  • Lying to our spouse about the other person
  • Fantasies about the other person

Overall, this marital affair destroys trust (as with any affair) and crosses the line between friend and romantic partner.

2. The Sexual Affair/Physical Infidelity

This affair manifests in several different ways. One-night stands often lie at the top of this list. Poor self-esteem, peer pressure, and other factors influence these extramarital affairs. 

Some people blame alcohol or drugs, others take advantage of business trips and alternative time away. This type of affair results from various reasons and “opportunities,” which makes it harder to pinpoint the exact reasons why. Thus, it can become difficult to get help and cause many couples to sweep it under the rug.

3. The Revenge Affair/Physical Infidelity

The revenge affair occurs when we believe that our spouse has hurt us in some way and that we must retaliate. This perceived hurt can result from infidelity or otherwise. Regardless, we typically ensure that our spouse knows we’ve cheated on them. 

Thus, revenge affairs get messy quickly. Intense arguments; violence; and long, drawn-out divorces may ensue. Regardless, intention characterizes this affair best. We intend to hurt our spouses, we intend to play the victim, we intend to make whatever comes next unnecessarily difficult.

How to Heal

Once we have everything laid out, we must ask ourselves: what now?

How do we heal? 

We all figure out how to heal after cheating differently. Some people focus their energy on work or hobbies. Other people need therapy. 

We must eventually learn to accept what has happened and learn to forgive ourselves. Then, we can move forward with our lives.

A Word on the Types of Affairs

All in all, we’ve discovered several types of affairs. They can turn out emotionally, physically, or in some combination. Either way, they all wreck trust and destroy many relationships.

Thus, we may all grieve, heal, and even learn from this heartwrenching time. That said, we can still heal ourselves and rebuild trust, whether within our current relationship or a new one.

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