The 7 Types of Infidelity that You Should Know About

Simple flirting, conversations and interactions loaded with chemistry or even sexual tension, can be infidelity. In this post you'll find out about 7 types of infidelity.
The 7 Types of Infidelity that You Should Know About
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Curious as it may be, there are, in fact, different types of infidelity.

When we think of infidelity, the type of behavior that both shocks and skews the balance of an affective relationship, the classic image comes to mind: one member of a couple who deceives the other with a third person by having had some sexual encounter comes to mind. However, it’s necessary to bear in mind that there are many ways to betray a partner.

Fidelity is more than a mutual commitment wherein it is agreed not to have sexual relations with other people. Fidelity is a bond based on respect, intimacy, personal and emotional recognition, dedication, interest and care.

They are small bonds that give stamina and solvency to that couple’s relationship. It’s there where it’s sometimes enough that some aspect fails, leading to fear and distrust.

The 7 types of infidelity

We must be clear that infidelity appears in both men and women. However, there is not always a “sexual” component that characterizes the most common deceptions. There are other dynamics that also violate that essential focus in a relationship: trust.

1. Emotional infidelity

A man flirts with a girl while his partner looks on.

We will start this list with one of the most common and, at the same time, most dramatic types of infidelity.

We are aware that it hurts if our partner has an affair with another person. It’s a reason for breaking up in most cases. However, what happens when our partner emotionally connects with someone in a more intense way than with us?

There is no physical contact, but nevertheless, that bond based on complicity, trust and intimacy can be very revealing. It may be so much so that we can consider it to be  an “emotional affair” and as a full-fledged infidelity.

2. Relationship through new technologies (Cyber ​​Affair)

This is very common these days, without a doubt. Virtual relationships, or those established online through contact pages or the classic mobile apps, provide a whole universe where someone can have one or several parallel relationships.

In this case, it’s not necessary that there’s physical contact or a sexual relationship. The mere fact of engaging in courting behavior, exchanging images, conversations and interactions loaded with flirting or even sexual tension implies infidelity.

3. Infidelity through the bond

We’re still talking about the type of infidelity in which there is no sexual encounter with another person, but still causes a deep feeling of betrayal. This can completely undermine the concept of affective relationship, no matter how much the idea surprises us.

In this case, one of the members of the relationship is no longer in love with the other. They maintain the relationship out of habit, for fear of loneliness, or mere indecision when it comes to taking the step to be honest with themselves and with their partners.

These are situations loaded with falsehood that have a high emotional cost.

4. Secrecy and lack of honesty

A girl smiles while looking up.


Can we consider the lack of honesty as a type of infidelity? Of course! We mentioned it at the beginning, since the trust of the couple is violated, it prevails as a type of deception, a betrayal.

If our partner is used to lying, hiding (omitting the truth) and is, in addition, constantly dishonest, we must be clear: we are with an unfaithful person.

5. The absent partner

The absent partner is the person who isn’t there when we need him and who invests his time and interest in areas that go beyond the scope of the relationship. Here, for example, we would have the person who works excessively. He does it because he likes the status that his work position gives him, thus, he always puts his work before his own partner.

We also have the person who lacks loyalty, who is not there when we need support, who is not present for the day to day where couples build their relationship through routines and the simple things in life.

6. Infidelity based on distain

There are people who tend to criticize or put down their partner when they’re with other people. Whether in a meeting of friends or at work, someone speaking badly about his or her partner always causes concern. It’s not appropriate, logical, or respectful.

If we love someone, we have respect for them. If we love someone, we defend and value them whether or not they’re present. Not doing so is an infidelity to one’s established commitment.

7. Infidelity from a love affair

Another type of infidelity: an affair.

We now arrive at the most classic type of infidelity. It’s the type that separates many couples, entails greater emotional distress, and makes it necessary to see therapists and have time to think and to manage and to overcome the pain.

The deceptions that take place after carrying on a long love affair with someone or after having a specific sexual encounter is something we’re all afraid of suffering.

Many of these affairs are deliberate and planned. Others, on the other hand, are causal and not foreseen. However, whatever it is, the person is always aware that what he is doing is betraying and deceiving his partner.

The answer about what to do or what not to do is only yours. No one else’s.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Vanegas Osorio, J. H. (2011). La dinámica vincular celos-infidelidad. Pensamiento Psicológico.

  • Jomairy González Galarza, A. M.-T. y D. M. O. (2009). Factores Psicologicos de la InfidelidadFactores psicológicos asociados a la infidelidad sexual y/o emocional y su relación a la búsqueda de sensaciones en parejas puertorriqueñas. Revista Puertorriqueña de Psicología.

  • Espinoza, A. V., Correa, F. E., & García, L. F. (2014). Percepción social de la infidelidad y estilos de amor en la pareja. Enseñanza e Investigación En Psicología.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.