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.
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.
will inevitably create a ripple effect that shakes the peace and sense of security
of family members.
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
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 of
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
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
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
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.