When it comes to cheating, we usually think of sexual intercourse with a third party outside of the relationship.
Do we only cheat when we have sexual intercourse?
If feelings such as liking, love, desire are fed to the opposite sex other than our partner, is it cheating?
So, is emotional cheating or sexual cheating more hurtful for couples?
According to studies, 2/3 of cheating consists of both emotional and sexual cheating.
Emotional cheating is when an individual experiences an emotional intimacy with another person, falls in love with someone else, or shares a private relationship with someone else while having an ongoing relationship; Sexual intercourse with another person while still having a romantic relationship is defined as sexual cheating. In previous studies, they stated that while sexually-oriented cheating is more common in men, emotional and sexually-oriented cheating is more common in women.
Many studies have examined the effect of gender on causal attributions that individuals make for extramarital affairs. According to these studies, men describe their relationships more as sexual and women as emotional. At the same time, it was found that there was more sexual intercourse among men, and more men reported having sexual intercourse outside of marriage. Emotional union was found to be higher in women. Among the participants who had an extramarital affair, men stated that they experienced less attachment or no emotional attachment than women.
In our society, women state that they find it more acceptable that it is about love, not sexual intercourse that can be offered to extramarital affairs. Usually, men distinguish between love and sexual intercourse, but it can be observed that women often believe that love and sexuality go together. A woman who realizes that her partner is in a sexual relationship automatically thinks that her partner is no longer in love with her but with someone else. Because love is a reason they will use to have an extra-marital affair. Men, on the other hand, find it difficult to believe that this relationship does not have a sexual side when they realize that their partner is in emotional intimacy with another person. Like this attribution of love in women, the attribution of sexuality in men stems from their own dispositions.
In a study called “jealousy in close relationships” conducted in 2004, it was concluded that women are more jealous of emotional cheating and men are more jealous of sexual cheating. When men realize that women attribute emotional intimacy to sexuality, they may feel more jealous in the case of sexual infidelity, and women are more jealous in the case of emotional infidelity than in sexual cheating, since men generally associate sex with excitement and physical relaxation.
Even if men suspect that their spouses are cheating on them sexually or are aware of the existence of an extramarital affair, unfortunately sometimes causes domestic violence and sexual coercion.
Various studies among heterosexual university students have proven the hypothesis that men will react more strongly to sexual cheating and women to emotional cheating.
Today, sexual deception has become a social problem for many societies. In no previous period of history has this problem been as common as in the modern world. In summary, we can generally say that while women experience infidelity due to emotional deprivation, men cheat due to sexual desire.