The 3 Types Of Cheating That Will Break Hearts And Marriages

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Even in a toxic, sexless, and failing marriage, I never physically cheated, on my now ex-wife. I came very close on one occasions and can see how easily it happens.

I was in absolute turmoil. Desperate for closeness and intimacy. I just want to be wanted, and desired again. There was also a deep longing to feel a sense of oneness with a woman. There was one thing stopping me – a very deeply held value of monogamy. It was torture. My body was aching to follow through on my sexual arousal, but my head stopped me. It was the quintessential, rock and hard place (forgive the pun)! My capacity to be with this dynamic was seriously stretched and I was close to falling out of integrity with myself, and my then, wife.

Little did I know at the time, that I was cheating on my wife on a daily basis. I thought cheating was purely a physical act. Once I realised the different aspects of cheating, and the consequences, I began changing my behaviour and cleaning up my act.

I was, and still am, shocked at how easily, and freely, men cheat on their wives. My first experience of this was when I joined the armed forces. Whilst away on detachment, my colleagues would regularly seize the opportunity to play away from home. I just couldn’t comprehend how they reconciled their behaviour. Through my eyes, I could never live with the guilt and shame that would have arisen. It would have been written all over my face. My partner could have smelt it a mile away.

I led a pretty sheltered upbringing, and was never exposed to infidelity through my parents, or my friend’s parents (I’m not saying it didn’t happen but I just never heard about it). I held the idealistic view that extra marital affairs didn’t happen, or at least not in my world.

My circle of friends held similar views about cheating to me, so I was in good company. Numerous boy’s holidays to infamous destinations in Europe, and not once, did I break my code of loyalty.

What She Doesn’t Know Doesn’t Hurt Her

Plenty of my colleagues, and some friends, over the years have lived by this moto. The boys would go on holiday or detachment and it would be prefaced by “What Goes On Tour Stays On Tour”. This gave them an excuse for their ugly behaviour. It allowed them to totally disregard the sacredness of their relationship, and their relationship vows, and take zero responsibility for their sexual charge. The pay off? A story to tell the boys on your return, a release of sexual tension, the memory of the encounter which you can use to further fall out of integrity with yourself and your partner when you use it for your masturbatory fantasies or worse still, think about whilst having sex with their partner. The consequences? Guilt, shame, a busy mind (trying it’s best to justify the lack of alignment with your values), lack of presence with your partner on your return, a lack of intimacy (due to your partners six sense).

Is the short term gain, worth the long term pain? Not in my book, but many men continue to stray for the short term pay off of an affair.

The excitement of the chase, and the thrill of undressing a woman for the first time stimulates a huge download of chemicals and feel good hormones. What does she look like naked? What does she smell like? What underwear is she wearing? This is one of the most intense natural highs that a man will experience in his life. Perfect to distract himself from the pain of your failing relationship, terrible to help you sort out the problems, and move towards a deeper, more mature intimacy with your partner.

The main aspect that’s effected by any kind of cheating is what I refer to as the relational container. This is the invisible glue that binds the duet in the middle. It’s made up of the invisible relational aspects of trust, and safety. Once the container is established, love and connection can flower. The more success you want in your relationship the tighter this container has to be. Cheating on any level will effect this in a negative way. Once cracks begin to appear in your relationship container you are on a slippery slope to a messy breakdown in love.

So how do we attain, and maintain, the tightest of relational containers that will allow the most intense amount of love and intimacy to flourish?

Below are the 3 different types of cheating that, if engaged in, will not only distract you from the problems in your relationship, but will create a whole lot more – leaving you straddled between 2 women, distancing yourself from the very thing you crave – love and connection.

Energetic Cheating – This type of cheating is largely invisible to the naked eye, although sometimes it will spill over into observable action.

Examples of energetic cheating include:

  • Inappropriate thoughts, and visualising, about other women.
  • Masturbating about someone other than your partner.
  • Fantasizing about other women as you are sleeping with your partner.
  • Visiting certain places, knowing that a woman, you are sexually attracted to, will be there.
  • Seeking eye contact with a woman you are sexually attracted to.
  • Surfing women’s Facebook / LinkedIn profiles that you have a sexual interest in.
  • Watching porn (especially if you’re partner doesn’t know about it).

Energetic cheating may seem harmless, but it will insidiously rot your relationship from the inside out, and begin to permeate the container of your relationship. Physical cheating will always begin with this type of cheating so it’s good idea to nip it in the bud at this level so things don’t really get out of hand. Many men claim that this type of cheating, is not cheating at all. They’ll claim that there is nothing wrong with it. At this point, I like to pose the moral question of “How would you feel if your partner were doing the same”? This is usually enough to stop a man in his tracks, and make him rethink his moral duty.

Emotional Cheating– An emotional affair is characterised by an inappropriate friendship with a woman. You are “just friends”, but there is sexual tension between you and you divulge intimate and confidential information about your marriage and ask your “friend” for relationship advice. When the going gets tough in your relationship, you begin to seek, support, advise, and attention from your lady friend, as a way to distract yourself from the challenges in your relationship. Women can often be much more forgiving of men who have had a one-night stand, than if they have embarked on an emotional affair.

Below is a checklist to see if you are involved in an emotional affair:

  • There’s sexual chemistry between you and your “friend”.
  • You are not sleeping together, but there is flirting.
  • You prefer spending time with your “friend” rather than your partner.
  • There are flirtatious text messages, and / or other types of social media contact.
  • You begin to compare your “friend” to your partner, and begin listing why your spouse doesn’t add up.
  • You long for, and begin to look forward to your next meeting, or conversation.
  • You spend significant time alone with your “friend”.

An emotional affair is tempting and easy to fall for. You get a lot of the payoff of a fully blown physical affair, without the guilt and moral dilemma. Ask yourself how you would feel if your partner had a similar relationship to the one you are involved with, and how that would make you feel.

Physical Cheating – This type of cheating speaks for itself. Inappropriate physically touching, kissing, sex. This is always the culmination of energetic and emotional cheating. Physical cheating doesn’t happen without first thinking about it, and then acting on it. If men learn to catch their sexual arousal early enough and disengage the mind, then it’s going to be impossible for things to go any further. This is not an easy path, but it’s a very doable path with enough self-awareness, discipline, and moral intelligence.

Let’s Take A Look At The Cascade of Cheating and how it might play out in a man’s life

Controlling your Sexual Arousal

Becoming sexually aroused is outside of our control but what we do with that arousal, is totally in our control.

Picture this: You’re married and are out in a bar with friends. An attractive woman walks into the bar and you notice her and feel your sexual desire awaken. At this point, this is perfectly innocent and no form of cheating has taken place. You could choose, at this point, to unplug from your sexual charge with some mindfulness practice or just turn back to your mates and unplug from your thoughts.

But instead you choose to amplify your sexual charge by indulging in your thoughts. You look at her breasts and then her bum. In your mind’s eye, you begin to visualise underdressing her and what underwear she might be wearing. You continue to look over in her direction and hope to catch her eye and spark a connection from the other side of the bar. She obliges, and energetic cheating is now in fully swing.

Things don’t stop there though. You approach her and offer her a drink. She accepts, and the conversation begins. The chit-chat comes easily and the banter flows and there is a surge in sexual hormones and energy between you. You begin to divulge intimate and confidential information about how your relationship is currently in crisis and how your wife just doesn’t understand you. Now you have just entered the territory of emotional cheating.

One thing leads to another and you leave the bar together, find a hotel room and complete the trifecta, and end the night by physically cheating. Many men will not take responsibility for their actions and say things like “What’s a man supposed to do” or “I’m only human aren’t I…” Or worse blame the women for what she was wearing and / or her part in the flirting that led to the final act in the hotel room. The truth of the matter is that the man could have, and should, have caught his sexual charge at the point of inception, taken responsibility for that, and not participated in the energetic cheating that ensued. Sex only occurs if one, or both, of the other forms of cheating have taken place first (even if you are sleeping with a prostitute).

So take total responsibility for your actions and their outcomes. You don’t just accidentally slip into bed with someone. There is a path that you take, and you have the power to change that path.

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