What Are The Common Definitions?
‘Cheating’ is a commonly used definition to mean depriving someone of something
that is expected of them.
A ‘fling’ is defined as a short unrestrained pursuit of an individual's desire.
‘FWB’, a.k.a. ‘friends with benefits’, refers to a casual and sexual
relationship with no emotional commitment.
Some other commonly known expressions such as ‘messing around’, ‘fooling
around’, ‘playing around’, ‘trying out’, ‘wandering’
and ‘straying’, have being used by many to reduce the seriousness of infidelity
and cloak the emotional hurt of an other.
‘Adultery’ can be interpreted as committing a sexual relationship with someone
else other than his/her own spouse. ‘Adultery’ is also a legal or religious
term used by many people.
‘Infidelity’ simply means unfaithfulness or disloyalty. In religious terms, infidelity
is defined as a lack of religious faith.
An ‘affair’ usually refers to an illicit relationship.
It is important to understand that not every affair is the same
Societal attitudes of people have changed over the past few decades and such changes have
greatly affected the perception and mindset of a relationship, marriage and family.
Research shows that approximately 44 to 50 percent of men and 28% of women have committed
extra marital affairs, and the
rate for women increasing. In most infidelity cases, the extramarital affair is the
main cause of divorces.
Nevertheless, infidelity will inevitably create a ripple effect that shakes the peace and
sense of security of family members.
What Are The Types Of Affairs?
Affairs vary according to the emotional involvement that the unfaithful spouse has towards
his/her lover. Short-term affairs with minimal or little emotional involvement affairs
are considered ‘flings’ or ‘serial affairs’. Affairs with high
emotional involvement are known as ‘love affairs’, and affairs on a higher
level than that are deemed ‘long-term affairs’ which can stretch for many
years, decades or even a lifetime in a marriage.
At any juncture, a fling may lead to a higher-levelled romantic affair, which in turn may
grow into a long-term affair or a relationship.
Serial affairs can be many occurrences of one-night stands. In most serial affair cases,
the spouse will avoid emotional involvements and intimacy; it is just for the thrill
and sex. Such affairs take place at a distance from friends and family - a location where
no one will accidentally encounter them.
Research has shown that serial affairs may range from months to years. The optimistic side
of it is that the affair partner does not mean anything to the spouse. However, the downside
is that the spouse may have multiple involvements of such affairs.
Usually when the first act of infidelity is discovered, the spouse will be guilty and remorseful
and will also give the assurance of staying faithful, but after some time, he/she will
bounce back with a different partner.
If the spouse is unable to stop his/her behaviour, it is very likely that he/she is addicted
to sex and the couple should seek professional help. It is a downward spiral whereby
an individual’s obsession with sex further leads to anxiety and tension. Such concerns
can only be reduced when the individual manages to overcome it.
Private investigators are able to perform covert surveillance on your spouse's movement,
drawing out the greater evidence needed for confrontation and if possible,
reconciliation. Nevertheless, serial affairs may also conclude naturally due to major
events such as the loss of jobs, loss of occupational positions, or death in the family.
A fling is another type of infidelity categorised by the lack of emotional involvement, which
is similar to serial affairs. It is a casual one night stand which may be for a few months,
but it is usually a one-time event that does not bear any commitments to both partners.
Although flings may escalate into a threat to a marriage but it is of a least-serious type
Long Term Love Affair
A ‘love affair’ or a ‘long term affair’, categorized by high emotional
involvement, usually lasts for many years or even over the lifetime of a marriage life.
Such long-lasting affairs are normally due to the spouse and the involved partner being
unable to commit to common decisions.
In certain cases, the spouse who is married to another in such a relationship may eventually
give in and accommodate to the spouse’s ‘lifestyle’ due to various
reasons such as religion, children and finances. Those who are involved in long-term
love affairs however, are generally ‘more married’ to their long time lover
rather than their legal and lawful spouse.
In some marriages, the women are aware of the ongoing affair but they do not acknowledge
it and dismiss it as such, "My husband takes care of me and the children and is a good
spouse. I shall close an eye to what you are doing outside". In other words, a silent
In others, the husband could be a highly revered religious minister in a worldwide ministry
and the wife would then have to put up with the husband's external affair for the sake
of her children, family values and other moral obligations.
A spouse may also successfully commit to a secret long term affair. The truth is only revealed
when the unfaithful spouse passes away. Such a scenario will lead to frustrations and
feelings of betrayal, with the inability to confront the unfaithful spouse directly.
To sum it all up, it is essential to identify and understand the type of affairs that the
spouse is involved in to determine its seriousness, as it may serve as much help in the
decision-making of your ongoing marriage.