Why Emotional Cheating Hurts More For Women Than Physical Cheating

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Sad woman on bed with her husband in the background

Cheating is hurtful, period. Cheating means there is a secret, a double life of some sort. However if you are asking me, a marriage therapist who has worked with thousands of couples dealing with infidelity, what hurts more – physical or emotional cheating, I have a clear answer. Emotional cheating hurts more; actually significantly more. Betrayal is hurtful enough; however when the female believes that the male has deep feelings for another woman, that hurts even deeper. Most women thrive on the emotional connection with their partner. That is the foundation of their aliveness; not the sexual connection.  The sexual connection flows directly from the emotional connection. I have seen women respond painfully but overall not as painfully when they hear the words -” I had no feelings for that woman; it was pure sex.” Not good but clearly not as devastating for most women. Feel free to agree or disagree and respond with your own comments back to me via email or posting.

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5 Comments

  • I agree, for the many hundreds of couples I have counseled and mediated their divorces if they so decided to separate, and having done research in putting together our book, “Conscious Coupling: Positive insights for Long lasting relationships shared by two divorce mediators”. The emotional cheating was the determinant to ending the marriage. When the spouse understands that he/or she may have cut off communication, or has done something to cause a barrier to intimacy and therefore the infidel strayed, then there is the hope that the couple and the relationship can be saved, as long as the couple are willing to bridge the communication gap that led to the infidelity int the first place

  • Carroll Straus says:

    Am I the only woman on this planet who (when this issue arises) says “whoa-this means something is wrong in our relationship-we need to address this”?

    • Todd Creager says:

      Carroll- I hope not! There are people though that specialize in looking the other way and avoid facing the problem.

    • Elizabeth McKervey says:

      Carroll,

      No, I too say this. To my clients, to my friends and do I get into trouble. The truth is you are right, it is a symptom not the cause.

  • Why Emotional Cheating Hurts More For Women Than Physical Cheating - CheatingSupport.com says:

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