You may only be aware of two types, but there’s definitely more than that. Despite what some would have you believe, not all affairs are alike, and the likelihood of bouncing back up afterward largely depends on the type(s) that they or you are involved in. In this article are the 6 common types of affairs and descriptions for each. Note that there are hybrid affairs—those having the characteristics of more than one, especially over time.
6 Types of Affairs
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Can you call it an affair if there is no sex involved? Typically, an affair is considered a betrayal of trust. So yes. This type of affair has been known to be just as, if not more, destructive than the types of affairs that involve sex. The cheater usually uses the lack of sexual involvement to justify that it’s not an affair. But emotional affairs include sharing a very intimate and emotionally close bond, secret dates, flirting, innuendos, phone calls, and texting. Worse, all of these are done without the partner’s knowledge. This is obviously because if they were, the partner wouldn’t be pleased in the first place.
Emotional affairs can also easily evolve into sexual affairs and be just as threatening to the primary relationship.
One-night stands, vacation time-outs, nights out, “business trips,” and so on are affairs of lust. Often the thrill of the moment makes them act on impulse, and when the fun’s over, it’s back to reality. Alcohol or other recreational drugs may contribute to the situation. This casual relationship usually fizzles out when they discover that there isn’t much in common between them beyond sex. The vast majority of people who engage in this type of affair want to stay in their marriages and are plagued with guilt or a fear of being found out.
One-time affairs, because of its nature, are among the most dangerous types of affairs and can often become serial in nature (e.g., one encounter after another as the opportunity arises).
If a partner had an affair, then the other might think it’s the perfect opportunity to get a freebie and get even. This way, he/she could possibly feel the pain that they’ve endured because of what they’ve done. In other cases, in the absence of requested affection, a partner might try to “teach the other a lesson” by showing them that there are many potential partners out there. Other betrayed spouses are narcissists who intend to maintain the upper hand in the relationship. Narcissistic rage is fueled by thoughts such as How dare they do that to me! The narcissist is also likely to have an affair with a spouse’s relative or someone whose closeness with the spouse would make the discovery of the affair especially traumatic.
It’s not the first, second, or third time this person has cheated. Flirtatious comments on social media? Inappropriate photos, messages, and emails? Various sightings reported from your friends? You name it. This type of betrayal is an ongoing pattern of sexual behavior such as frequenting strip clubs, viewing pornography, masturbating compulsively, spending for prostitutes, repetitively engaging with sexual partners, and other destructive behaviors. These serial cheaters have never been able to find complete fulfillment because they are enslaved by their obsessive needs and compulsive behaviors. They are powerless over their extramarital attachments to people or objects.
The married sex addict often do not really have deep-seated problems in their marriages. Most likely, these infidels would have pursued the same behavior regardless of the person they married. It’s an addiction and, more often than not, an illness. Among the many types of affairs, this one is surely headed for disaster, especially if the partner is strictly monogamous.
Love addicts are the highly idealistic cheaters who believe in the existence of a Mr. Right or Ms. Right. They tend to move from one relationship to the next, feeling very uncomfortable or lost if the relationship loses its initial intensity. The goal of the love addict is to find that one right person, except they never seem to be able to find that person. It is a hopeless search for “falling in love” with “the one” who can help them sustain the intense emotional feelings generated by only the first stage of a relationship. When the next stage of a relationship arrives, which involves disagreements after finding out each other’s individual differences, they are heartbroken from disillusionment. They will always feel as if they married the wrong person and will be in constant search for the perfect mate.
In this situation, the cheater has no intent to leave the marriage or to stop the affair. They want the benefits that come from having both their mate and their affair partner. At times, the betrayer even financially supports the secret lover to maintain the relationship. It’s common for the lover to believe that the cheater will leave their spouse for them. These relationships can go on for years.
The cheater believes that marriage is both too safe for them to leave and too boring to stay. If opportunities present themselves, this spouse will get their needs met through someone else. They’ll try to keep it secret so that their marital arrangement, even as imperfect as it is, is not disturbed. They rationalize it in their minds. Soon, they become masters of deception to keep it going.
The marriage has been on life support for some time now. To some unhappy spouses, the affair is the perfect way to exit the relationship. The cheater will intentionally do little to cover up the cheating and can be very direct in what is going on or in expressing dissatisfaction to justify their actions. This type of affair typically begins as a friendship that develops into romance after a mutual disclosure of unhappiness in their respective marriages.
The affair is usually long-term, in which the lovers think they are in love and talk about a new life together. Fortunately, the odds of them having a successful lasting relationship together are usually very low.
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Credits Video to affair recovery