5 sorts of infidelity and fraud

If you’ve ever been a victim of infidelity, the first question you likely asked was “Why?” The consequences of infidelity are numerous, and it is only natural to know why your partner cheated, even if you know why you are not getting relief. There could be any number of reasons, and there are many types of infidelity and fraud, which could shed a little light on those reasons.

What is infidelity?

Infidelity or cheating is the act of infidelity towards a spouse or other partner. It usually means entering into sexual or romantic relationships with someone other than your significant other and breaking an obligation or promise in the act.

Each case of infidelity is different and fulfills a different need. Knowing why a betrayed partner is unlikely to provide pain relief will help relieve confusion if you can rationalize and define the behavior. It can also help you feel more secure about how to get out of the situation – whether that means working on healing your relationship or moving on if you decide to break up.

Learn more about the five types of cheating and what to do if you are a victim of infidelity below.

Opportunistic infidelity

Opportunistic infidelity occurs when one is in love and attached to one’s partner, but succumbs to sexual desires for someone else. Typically, this type of fraud is determined by situational circumstances or opportunities, risk behavior, and alcohol or drug use. As social psychologist Theresa E. DiDonato says: “Not every act of infidelity is deliberate and driven by dissatisfaction with a current relationship … Perhaps you have been drinking or otherwise taking advantage of an opportunity you did not expect.”

Not every act of infidelity is deliberate and driven by dissatisfaction with a current relationship … Perhaps they were drinking or otherwise taking advantage of an opportunity they did not expect.

The more a person is in love with their partner, the more guilty they will feel about their sexual encounter. However, feelings of guilt tend to subside as the fear of getting caught subsides.

Think of Andy, who travels monthly for his work. Andy often cheats on Amanda during these trips away from home. He’s a great husband and father, but if Andy has the opportunity to “step aside,” he takes advantage of it. Andy is an opportunistic scammer who is likely devoted to and deeply committed to his family because he feels guilty about what he does on these business trips.

Compulsory infidelity

This type of infidelity is based on a fear that resisting a person’s sexual advancement will lead to rejection. People may have feelings of sexual desire, love, and attachment to a partner, but end up cheating because they have a strong need for approval. Additionally, their need for approval can lead them to act in ways that contradict their other feelings. In other words, some people cheat not because they want to cheat, but because they need the consent that comes with the attention of others.

Take Jeff, who is in the Air Force. He is closely related to his flight crew and wants to be seen as one of the boys. In fact, it is very important to Jeff that his crew see him not as their commanding officer, but rather as someone they can relate to.

That’s why Jeff is cheating. When he’s not home and he and his crew are out picking up other women, Jeff follows suit so he can be seen as a gang member. Jeff believes he is building a bond with his crew. Instead of setting an example for his crew, he decides to encourage undesirable behavior for fear of being different.

Romantic infidelity

“Sometimes (but not always) a deficit in an existing relationship leads people to have extradyadic matters,” says DiDonato. This type of infidelity occurs when the cheater has little emotional attachment to their partner. They may be committed to their marriage and make it work, but they crave an intimate, loving connection with someone else. Most likely, their commitment to marriage will prevent them from ever leaving their spouse. Romantic infidelity means pain for the other man or woman and the deceiving partner. This rarely results in a long-term, committed relationship. Marital problems must be very serious before a spouse leaves marriage for another person.

Take Carolyn, who has been married for 19 years. Although she is committed to her marriage, she does not feel close and emotionally attached to her husband. Carolyn longs for such a bond with a man. This longing leads Carolyn to discover what she thinks is a connection that is missing in her marriage.

In the past six years, Carolyn has had two long-term relationships with two different men. Her affairs are short term solutions to a long term marital problem, but Carolyn needs a solution to her marital problem other than cheating.

Conflict romantic infidelity

This type of infidelity occurs when people experience real love and sexual desire for more than one person at the same time. Despite our idealistic notion of having only one true love, it is possible to experience intense romantic love for several people at the same time. While such situations are emotionally possible, they are very complicated and tend to generate a lot of anxiety and stress. In this case, fraudulent partners often harm everyone in their attempt not to harm anyone.

Commemorative infidelity

This type of infidelity occurs when a person is in a committed relationship but has no feelings for their partner. There is no sexual desire, love or attachment, just a sense of obligation to hold the couple together. “A lack of love and a lack of commitment to a current romantic partner are both related to the general feeling of dissatisfaction in the relationship,” says DiDonato.

Lack of love and commitment to a current romantic partner are both linked to general feelings of dissatisfaction in the relationship.

These people justify cheating by telling themselves they have a right to look for what they are not getting in their current relationship. Unfulfilled sexual desires can easily come to play here. “Perhaps individuals in their established relationship are not concerned with the frequency of sex, sex style, or certain sexual behaviors they want,” adds DiDonato. “This can add to their reasons for fraud.”

For the sake of appearance, it is important that the current relationship is permanent. The cheater doesn’t want to be seen as a failure, so they stay in an unhappy relationship and try to meet their needs outside of the relationship.

Next steps after the scam

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Now that your confusion has hopefully been eased, it is up to you to decide what steps to take next. Marriages and relationships can survive infidelity, but whether yours survives or not depends on the type of infidelity that has taken place and how much work the two of you are willing to do. It is just common sense to know that an opportunistic cheater will cheat no matter how often their cheating is discovered and forgiven. However, other reasons your spouse cheated on them don’t mean they won’t cheat again. So keep that in mind when deciding what steps to take next.

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