When it comes to infidelity, things can get a little unclear and murky sometimes.
He might argue that what he's doing is not cheating and tell you to stop overreacting. She might claim that you're just being jealous or crazy and that her actions are “no big deal.”
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You may start to question yourself and what you're seeing when you suspect that your partner is having an affair. If you've confronted your partner about it, you've possibly heard all kinds of excuses, defenses and dismissals...and you are still left not knowing what is going on.
And, whether or not you are being duped and lied to!
There are many things that you and your partner could have different viewpoints about. What constitutes cheating could be one of those things that causes countless arguments and keeps you up at night worrying and wondering.
“Is it an affair?”
If you are asking yourself this question over and over again and not getting a definitive answer, consider this...
There are 3 types of affairs:
This is not a definitive list, but a broad categorization of the ways infidelity often plays out. All forms of infidelity are damaging to trust, can feel hurtful and like a betrayal.
1) Physical/sexual affair
This is what is often traditionally considered to be an affair. There is physical, sexual contact and sexual intimacy between two people who are already in committed relationships (or perhaps only one is in a committed relationship). There might not be sexual intercourse, but kissing, touching and other sexual interactions are shared.
2) Emotional affair
An emotional affair is more difficult to identify. There has not been-- and may never be-- any sexual or romantic contact between the two people. They may profess to be “just close friends,” but there is something deeper going on.
It's just not always easy to see.
The classic signs of an emotional affair include: wanting to spend more time with the “friend” than with the partner; confiding on a more emotional level with the “friend” than with the partner; secretiveness or lying about time spent with the “friend” and more.
3) Online affair
Just like an emotional affair, this kind of affair is often discounted because it does not involve literal physical contact between two people. All interaction takes place online, in text messages or in other “distance” modes.
An online affair can be very explicit, graphic and sexual-- either personal or more impersonal and anonymous. It can also be more like an emotional affair and not be sexual, but be very intimate nonetheless.
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Review the verifiable facts as you know them.
Start out by reviewing what you know about your partner's behavior and your relationship. If it helps, make a list of what you suspect and the evidence you have to support your suspicions that your partner may be cheating. Circle those items that are verifiable and that are backed up by information and focus on those.