It’s not just the classic physical affair that blossomed out of a friendship that leads to divorce.
There are several types of affairs, some more obvious than others, that are cited as reasons for divorce.
Here is an explanation of 7 types of affairs that lead to divorce:
7 Types of Affairs That Lead to Divorce
1. The Classic Ongoing Physical Affair
This is the type of affair that most people think of when they think of an affair. It involves long-term, physical intimacy with someone other than your spouse.
This type of affair often leads to divorce because it is the most obvious and blatant form of infidelity that many couples find hard to overcome.
It’s rarely just about the physical intimacy though. A stronger bond forms over time, as does the level of distrust that builds the longer the affair lasts.
2. Emotional Affair
This type of affair is often overlooked or dismissed as not being as serious, but emotional affairs can be more damaging than physical affairs.
An emotional affair is when you form a deep, intimate connection with someone other than your spouse.
It’s often more about the quality of the relationship than the quantity of time spent together.
Emotional affairs can lead to divorce without it becoming physical.
The trust that is broken can be hard to rebuild, and the emotional connection that was formed with someone else can be hard to let go of.
3. Casual Physical Affair
A casual physical affair is one that is not as serious or committed as a full-blown affair, but it still involves physical intimacy.
This type of affair often starts as a one-time thing but can lead to more frequent meetings if both parties are willing.
Casual physical affairs are incredibly damaging as it demonstrates a willingness for the parties to spontaneously have relations with someone other than their spouses.
4. Online ‘Cyber’ Affair
Online affairs are more popular than ever before, with the rise of social media and dating apps.
An online affair is when you form a romantic or intimate relationship with someone online.
It’s often more about the fantasy of the relationship than anything else – especially in the beginning.
The physical distance between the parties involved makes it easier to keep the affair a secret, but it can also lead to feelings of disconnection and loneliness.
While online affairs may not seem as damaging as a physical affair, they can have a profound impact on the relationship if they are discovered.
It’s deceiving, but the feeling of betrayal can be just as strong, if not stronger, than a physical affair.
5. Serial Cheating Addict Affair
This type of affair is less about the act of cheating and more about the person who is doing the cheating.
A serial cheater is someone who has a history of cheating on multiple partners or multiple times with the same partner.
This type of affair almost always leads to divorce because it’s difficult to trust someone who has a proven track record of being unfaithful time and time again.
There are various reasons why someone would cheat over and over, it’s usually because they have an addictive personality or they don’t value commitment.
Either way, it’s hard to overcome the betrayal of a serial cheater.
6. Double Life Affair
A double life affair is when someone is living two separate lives – one with their spouse and one with their lover.
It’s an affair that is hidden from both parties involved, and although it feels like it would be almost impossible to pull off – it happens.
It’s usually made possible when one spouse has a job that keeps them away from home for long periods of time.
The double life affair is difficult to recover from because it makes both parties in their life question if they’re the most important person in their life.
It creates a feeling of insecurity and jealousy that is hard to shake.
7. Getting a Needs Met Affair
This type of affair is less about the act of cheating and more about what the person is getting out of the relationship.
People who have a need for attention, validation, or love are often the ones who cheat to get those needs met.
It’s not that they don’t love their spouse, but they feel like they’re not being loved in the way they need.
This type of affair can often be resolved if the person is willing to work on getting their needs met by their partner, but as with any betrayal of trust, it’s a long road to recovery.
Do Affairs Always Lead to Divorce?
No, affairs don’t always lead to divorce. Sometimes couples are able to overcome the affair and rebuild their relationship.
However, it’s not easy and it takes a lot of work from both parties to make it happen.
It’s impossible to give any specific advice if you or your partner has had an affair, as the healing process is going to be different for everyone.
What I can say, however, is that you should always fight for your marriage if you love your partner and want things to work out.
This doesn’t mean you should allow anyone to take advantage of you, but it does mean that you should try to work through the rough patches in your relationship.
If you’re both willing to put in the effort, then there’s a good chance you’ll be able to overcome the affair and come out stronger on the other side.
Which Type of Affair Can Be Forgiven?
There’s no easy answer to this question because everyone is different.
Some people are able to forgive a one-time physical affair, while others will never be able to forgive any type of affair – no matter how small it may seem.
The important thing to remember is that you should never stay in a relationship if you don’t feel like you can forgive your partner.
If you’re not sure if you can forgive them, it’s important to talk to a therapist or counselor who can help you work through your feelings.
They’ll be able to help you decide if staying in the relationship is the best decision for you, or if you would be better off moving on.
No matter what you decide, always remember that you have the power to choose what’s best for you and your life.
Image credits – Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.