Sexual Dalliances & Emotional Affairs

This is part of a dating series I was running on another site…it’s being moved here so that I can continue it with everything in one place. Enjoy!I can get caught up thinking about things that don’t have a definite answer and I just bounce back and forth between my conclusions. This is just such a topic. What is cheating? I’ve heard it all; A kiss isn’t cheating, It’s JUST SEX, Emotional affairs aren’t really affairs at all…the list goes on. First response is hard to say because it all depends so much on the situation…doesn’t it? Or…is cheating just cheating? I like to put myself in both scenarios and see how I feel. The two that always hang me up are sexual and emotional cheating. It seems that these two little situations are always being judged against each other.

Scene 1- You know how it is; things are rough and without even realizing it, you’re leaning on your best guy friend who used to have a crush on you in college. Emotionally leaning if you will. You share all of your deepest feelings with him because your significant other no longer seems to have the time and this friend gets you. He becomes the first person you want to share with but you have done nothing physical. Maybe you even want to but have held yourself back. Why? Because you don’t cheat. You hang out all the time and do things together that if you were dating would be considered dates. But you’re not dating so it’s just what…? Too close?

Scene 2- Then you have the sexual dalliance. It could be that you were caught up on a passionate moment that came out of nowhere. Maybe it didn’t mean anything on the surface (whether everything means something is another topic altogether) but it happened, it was over, you love your special person more than words and hey...mistakes happen. But you did let someone else put their P in your V* yes? That’s pretty intense right? Let’s make it even more and say that you continued sleeping with this person. Just sex (to keep things a little even here) with no emotional strings. You rendezvous then head back to your loved one to live your life together.

Which is worse? Is one worse than the other? Is it a matter of personal feelings and dependent on all the nuances of your relationship? I flip-flop back and forth on this one. Sometimes I feel strongly that sex really can be just sex but giving all of your emotions to someone else…well that’s crossing the line. Other times I think emotionshmotion I’m the one they come home to every night and choose to share their life with but SEX…that’s something I can never come back from. That’s the problem…I still can’t find which is worse.

PS: There is no definite answer because its all relevant. To you and your significant other. I’m just not sure how I personally feel about it all. Heave.

*I wrote this entirely from the perspective of a girl and guy relationship and I also wrote from the perspective of the girl. I did this for two reasons 1) I was lazy and wanted to skip all the he/she & him/her stuff annnnnd 2) I really wanted to say “P in your V”. I know, I know. I’m disgusted too. And sorry to all those I left out. I hope you can insert yourself in comfortably enough!

What do you think? Is emotional cheating worse than sexual cheating or are they both equally wrong. Is it pretty straight up that cheating is cheating and there is no hierarchy level? Help a girl out :)


18 thoughts on “Sexual Dalliances & Emotional Affairs

  1. I think both emotional and sexual cheating are somewhat of a double edge sword. One can argue that sexual cheating is less worse (although I think even though it’s sexual, there are some emotions involved in it, even if it’s a tiny amount). Regardless whether it’s emotional or sexual, that is still an indication that there’s something wrong with the relationship.

    • I agree…I don’t think it’s possible to feel absolutely nothing with sex and with emotional I think there is an sort of attraction too that can be sexual. You said it perfectly…it’s definitely an indication of something else. These things require a closer look! Something to think about. And I can’t wait to see what you thought of the interview!

    • Nice answer. I think its something that should be discussed by the people in a relationship. Whatever is agreed upon, anything exceeding that, is cheating. Interesting enough, from what I’ve observed and with myself, I don’t think its discussed before the fact enough. You know, boundaries being set or discussed, and then its like ‘I assumed you knew that ___ was cheating.’ Something for me to think about :) Thanks for your thoughts!

      • They are the same, share your emotions or body with someone other than your partner and it destroys everyone involved!!! Spouse, children, family and friends are all subject to the life shattering pain of betrayal!! So don’t put your P in the V unless you talk it over with your spouse, and if you think your affair partner cares more or is a better listener also ask your spouse first, you might be pleasantly surprised by their answer and you will save many people lots of grief!!!

      • I think what you said is most important…you should ALWAYS just communicate with your partner about anything happening outside of your relationship. Cheating (as you explain) can have monstrous results and we can forget that not only the couple involved suffer from it. Good points! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Pingback: Sexual Dalliances & Emotional Affairs | Being Her, (the other woman)…

  3. I think that it depends on the person being “cheated” on….what their insecurities are….and how they define cheating on a personal level, that may not have ever even been discussed between themselves and their significant other. However, I also believe that men and women are very different when it comes to what upsets them THE MOST about cheating. I think that as a woman, if my spouse were to cheat on me, and had strong emotional feelings for the other woman, that THAT would be worse, than say….him going to Vegas, getting drunk and accidentally (term used lightly) having a one night stand. To me, it seems as if the “accident”, or maybe the one time mistake, would be much easier to get over, than a long term affair with feelings involved.

    For men however, I personally think that MOST men, have a HUGE issue with the idea of their wife, having sex with another man, at all. I think that whether it was maybe a one time slip up, or a long term emotional affair WITH sex….doesn’t really matter to them. It seems that most men I know (my husband included) would NEVER be able to get over the idea of THEIR wife….well, having another P in her V. I do know some husbands who have taken their wives back, after BOTH scenarios ( a strictly emotional affair and also a physical affair) and to this day….they struggle horribly.

    I guess my thoughts don’t answer the exact question as well as I thought they would…LOL! But for ME, I think that I would have an easier time forgiving a one time event, as opposed to a long term affair, whether it was emotional OR sexual. I know my husband though, would NEVER forgive me for having sex with anyone else, regardless of the situation and would probably be able to potentially move on from an emotional type affair, ONLY IF, he sort of didn’t really “get” the depth of it. Meaning, as long as he thought it was more of a friendship that had an element of attraction and then it STOPPED, he could “maybe” forgive me. Otherwise….I think he’d have a hard time either way. I just think in the end, it comes down to each particular person involved, how their own relationship is working and how they are made up. Great post though. Definitely something to ponder!

    • I love all of this!! I really want to delve into this whole topic because so many things stand out when discussing cheating. I’ll definitely agree that from what I’ve personally seen in my own life men and women have different views on sex v emotional. Like you said men generally seem to be much more offended by the idea of sex than women and women are more easily upset by emotional attachments. Not in every case but most. Something to ponder like you said!

      How fascinating! Like – is it because we are led to believe men are more sexual creatures? Or because emotional attachment (even if strong) doesn’t mean as much to men? I really want to spend some time thinking about all this now.

      I also think you hit it right on the head…it seems that a slip will be less offensive since it was quick and of the moment. We all understand that passion can overtake us with a completely disarming force. Momentarily. But a long drawn out affair takes thought and avoidance. You need to plan and constantly lie. It is a series of assaults v one mess up and then (I would assume) less overall lies to cover the tracks.

      Someone said that the issue isn’t the act of sex of feeling emotionally connected...its the break in trust that causes all the problems. I think maybe, ultimately that’s whats hardest to move past and takes the most forgiving. What do you think?

      I’m so happy you stopped by and shared your thoughts! Sorry it took so long for me to get back to you. I love all the points you made and think you answered it really well! That’s the whole point…there isn’t a definite answer for everyone…just observations on how these things would work in our own lives.

      Also, congratulations on pulling off the P in the V line so flawlessly. I’m proud :)

  4. I have to ask! What if you are emotionally involved (EA), and having some type of sex (PA) with another person who is otherwise committed to someone else?. If you think you love them, and you want to spend your life with them what does it make you?

    • I’m obviously not privy to all of the details but from what you shared I would say you aren’t anything but a person who is in an unfortunate love situation. I’m certainly not going to call you any names or condemn you for any of it. We can’t control how we feel or how our body reacts -we can only control how we ACT upon what we feel. As anyone who has ever been in that situation knows, it is a pull that’s extremely hard to fight. I would recommend taking a step back and looking clearly (as possible) at the whole situation to see if that’s really what you want before continuing in it. I’m not an expert on love or anything though :) It it is you, I hope it all works out for you! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. As a married woman who has been in an emotional/sexual affair with a married man for a little over three years, i have to say, i believe both hold the equal amount of betrayal. What started as a completely sexual escape, over time, grew to be so much more. We love each other, but we would never leave our families for each other. We’re stuck in an endless cycle of selfish need: emotional, physical need. Yes, i konw the key word is selfish… Many times, we’ve tried to leave each other – neither one of us can let go. How do you stop it? How do you just walk away?

    • Somehow this comment slipped past me sorry! Oh, god. This sounds like such a horrible situation for you. Not because its wrong or anything but because that must be really hard on both of you. I don’t know what to say about how to stop it but along those lines I’ll say…Its really fucking hard. I know from personal experience that the pull can be so strong and it can feel like there is absolutely no way to stop the cycle of love and pain. I don’t want to sound cheesy about it but its a precarious position. I think the key to walking away would be deciding what is worth the possible outcomes. Sometimes hard and painful decisions must be made. But that’s probably not helpful. I know people tend to crack off advice about this type of thing…like it’s so easy to just end it. Like just because its the right thing, if you were a decent person, you could do it no problem. But I know that’s not true and its not ever easy and so all you can do is know and accept that either choice (ending or continuing it) is going to be hard. And decide which is best for you before making a choice. I hope everything works out for you! And I hope however it goes your happy in the end. That was a lot, sorry, but I’m glad you stopped by!

  6. In respons to JSims….for me, in that situation ( which I can totally relate to) what you have to keep in mind is….as the woman, you may be the one blamed more harshly and left alone, if or when the spouses find out. Nine times out of Ten, the wife is going to freak, blame you and then eventually take her husband back. I was just reading another article yesterday that discussed that “most” times ( I don’t know your husband or his nature) a husband has a very hard time and doesn’t usually take his wife back. They were discussing the double standard of men…..well, he’s a man and he messed up….and women….she’s a slut, homewrecker and horrible mother.

    I guess for me also, I am not sure that I could live like that FOREVER. I think that if you guys both still LOVE your spouses and enjoy sex with them and a normal life with them….then for you guys anyway….maybe it works. The other factor to consider is that IF this was found out and both spouses learned just how long it was going on, and if things at home are still pretty normal and functional, there is going to be A LOT of emotional fall out…..I read about the other side of the fence all the time and it seems that the betrayed spouse tends to have a very difficult time wondering just how much of their marriage was a huge lie, when a long term affair is discovered, versus a one time incident.

    In my case, my husband and I have a loveless and sexless marriage…..and it doesn’t mean I would have wanted it out there at the time….but I just didn’t carry guilt over him. Also b/c he was emotionally abusive to me for our entire marriage, I guess that gave me a “reason”, even though morally I felt it was wrong. In the end, I never asked MM to leave and we both professed our love for one another and I did believe him, but I also wanted to be with him. So I let him go, accepted my role in the situation, learned from it and remained friends with him. He still says he thinks we’ll end up together, and maybe we will, but I knew that I couldn’t live a double life forever, mostly b/c my “real” life was so miserable. I had to stop putting a bandaid on that and let go and try to find happiness on my own. But my MM WAS the love of my life….and probably always will be. We seemed perfect together. But obviously, we weren’t!

    Good Luck. You are in a tough spot.

  7. Just wanted you to know that I’m “back”, although I’ve pared down my blog and put it at a new address. And I’m changing my approach. This new blog will be a lot less about me and my story, and more about the topic of infidelity in general.


  8. My comment here — I wrote about a blog about cheating, and how it means different things to different people. I think it comes down to this — a couple has to agree on boundaries. They have to agree what constitutes cheating. If you have a big gap here, you have problems. There is no one definition. It’s a very personal thing and needs to be negotiated and agreed to like other things in a relationship/marriage.

    • I like how you put that. And I agree. I’ve thought about it a lot since writing this and heard what everyone had to say and the number one thing to come up was communication of boundaries. Alsooooo…I already looked at your site and think the whole idea of having a space dedicated to this stuff is AWESOME. I can’t wait to see what topics pop up :) Thanks for the heads up!

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