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Which kind of affair is worse?

Published on June 3, 2009 by johannalyman

I'm taking an informal poll here, please share your thoughts. Which would be worse for you in a relationship/marriage: if your partner had a one-night stand and had sex with someone they didn't know and didn't care about, or if your partner engaged in an "emotional affair" where no intercourse occurred but they had deep feelings, maybe even love, for another person? Also, would you want to know? Thanks everyone!


Well, to answer your poll question, both are horrible for very different reasons.

  1. The physical cheating is a health risk. So many don't use condoms, and so many women aren't on birth control, it's risky. I personally would hate to catch an S.T.D from my partner(currently, I'm single and S.T.D free!). Then there's the chance of pregnancy.

  2. The emotional cheating would be devastating on a mental/emotional/trust/self-worth level. I would feel as if I weren't "good enough" for my partner. Perhaps I may lack in the areas of intelligence, culture, class, social skills/savvy, or my partner may be ashamed of me for some reason or another. If there was a history of conflict whether resolved or not, a partner may not leave for any number of reasons, because they may feel they have to remain in the relationship at the time. The other half may go outside to find common ground with another, and that would be more painful and harder to overcome.

For me, odd as it sounds, the physical cheating is worse. I don't claim to be the perfect man for who I'm with, and if they were to find someone that suits them better then at least I feel like they are moving forward with their lives towards something good, which would stem more from an emotional affair.

When its just physical I feel like I was used, even though they were really just using someone else. Its kind of like, "you couldn't care about me enough to keep your legs closed?!?" Its kind of hard to put into words, even though it has happened a couple times already. A physical affair has no emotion to it, nothing but instinct and desire on a purely physical level, and it tells me that the person I'm with has no control over themselves, has no desire for a future, and cannot be trusted.

The worst kind of relationship is that they had sex with someone they didn't know and didn't care about.

Hoo, you have muddled several questions here. I presume you don't mean "morally" worse but what would FEEL worse.

A man feels more guilt for having sex than he does for having an emotional affair. If he has sex and says it meant nothing, it really meant nothing. A man can cope with a woman's emotional infidentliy but not her physical infidelity - beacuse that is the way he feels himself.

A woman suffers more if her man has an emotional affair, because that is how she feels herself, that it is more meaningful to have an emotional affair even if there is no sex, and most women will not have sex without emotion being in place.

It's all to do with the biological imperative. man spreads sperm around to givehim the best chance of a future for his genes: woman keeps with one man to give her genes (offspring) the best chance of being nurtured to maturity.

If your question really means which sort of infidelity should you be most upset about, then you should know that your man is still more likely to be committed to you if he has sex than if has sex with emotion attached.

Would I want to know? a bithard for me because i am in an open realtionship and that works for us, bjut, assuming you are not, then, yes, even then Iwould want to know, because knwing is honesty and that can help you work through anything wheareas lying or hiding is destructive. Always face your issues if you want them resolved.

Amd stop worrying about your man. He may play away one day or he may not. If he does, it may not necessariy mean yo are doomed. In fact it is unlikley to mean that. nless it is you who cannot cope iwth the way men are and you choose to dump all the good bits for the sake of one bad element. Your choice.