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Dear Poll: Which Kind of Cheating Is Worse?

We all know that cheating is wrong and it hurts people, but unfortunately that doesn't seem to stop people from doing it. As if cheating wasn't bad enough, the line can easily be confused when factoring in the different ways people can be unfaithful — emotional cheating verses physical cheating. They are both detrimental to any relationship, harmful to egos, and most importantly, they can destroy families and friendships forever.

Some people argue that physically cheating is far less of a blow than emotional cheating, since men can so easily separate sex from emotions, while others would vehemently disagree on that notion. I know they can be equally damaging, but ladies, tell me, what kind of cheating do you think is worse?


Join The Conversation
Arctic-Cat Arctic-Cat 7 years
I don't understand how people are claiming that love is not something you actively take part in but rather something that just happens. Sure lust and attraction are feelings that might just pop out of nowhere and you cannot be blamed for these feelings but it is your responsibilitiy how you act on them. Love is not something that just happens. You allow yourself to develop an intimate connection with another. So I don't buy that emotional cheating sometimes cannot be avoided. If there is someone that you feel vulnerable about falling for than it your decision to either allow yourself to be in situations where emotions might grow or to keep your distance and focus on the love that you are in a relationship with.
redhed1156 redhed1156 9 years
I hsve caught my boyfriend telling another woman that he couldn't stop thinking about her. This hurt me worse than anything because love is deeper than sex and this was something he pretty much didn't tell me anymore (we've been together 3 years). If you find out a man cheats on you physically it's more cut and dry, you leave them, whereas with emotional cheating it's more turmoil...does that make sense?
LikeThoseShoes LikeThoseShoes 9 years
cheating is cheating... no denying that... but i posted that i would rather it be emotional than physical. If my mans gonna cheat he better make it worth it and have it be with a woman he's actually having strong feelings for. i could deal with knowing that im being left for another woman. but to know that he's just in it for sex and coming back to me and POSSIBLY even giving me some sort of STI is just bad for my head and my health. not to mention thats just sleeeeaaazzyyy cheating.
sunshowers83 sunshowers83 9 years
Though both are horrible, I'd say emotional cheating is much worse. Sex, you can get from anyone, anytime. Sex can be casual, like bootycalls and one-night-stands. Hell, you can even pay for sex if it comes down to it. Sex is something that all animals do. I'm not saying that sleeping around is okay in the context of a committed relationship, I'm just saying that sex isn't solely within the realm of committed relationships. But that intimate connection between minds and hearts is supposed to be absolutely unique and special. It's something that might come only once in a lifetime for some people. Love is what inspires people to go to the ends of the earth and back, while sex is something you could find on a streetcorner. You CAN have several sexual partners at a time, but you can't be truly in love with more than one person. For me, to know that my SO was giving his heart to someone other than me would be a thousand times more devastating. Don't get me wrong, our relationship would clearly be over if he was screwing around, but to me it would just hurt so much less.
amkc amkc 9 years
I have to agree with happiness80 - you can't help who you fall for.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
Both are bad and I don't think I could say which would be worse since it really depends on the circumstances. For me emotional cheating would be worse cause physical isn't the most important thing to me. I'd have a much harder time if my husband loved someone else.
Kalle11 Kalle11 9 years
For me the physical cheating is worse although they both hurt very much. It is very plausible to argue that one can not decide with whom they fall in love with. But they do control their decision of physical cheating, if they don't love you anymore and cheat before they brake it off with you. Now there's the bastard for me. (I'd like to stress though that both are horrible!)
Wow, how can someone say that if you're not married it's not cheating?! Is that just what you tell yourself when you sleep with other girl's boyfriends? Tisk, tisk!
I agree that cheating is cheating. However, your man isn't gonna bring home an STD from his emotional affair, therefore, physical is worse! Emotional cheating is just as damaging to any relationship, but the possibility of not being able to have children in the future cuz your man slept with some floozy, worse!
thorswitch thorswitch 9 years
Both are wrong, and emotional cheating can (though it doesn't always) lead to physical cheating. We may not always be able to control what we feel for someone, but if we know that we're starting to have inappropriate feelings for someone other than our spouse, then we have to take whatever steps we can to avoid being around that person, even if it's painful or awkward. It's one reason why my husband and I have a mutual agreement that when we're online, whether its in one of our role-playing games or in a chatroom or whatever, we will not engage in flirting with someone and we will definitely not engage in anything that could even be remotely construed as "online sex." That way we have a very firm line as to what is ok and what isn't, and we don't run the risk of getting "drawn into" something and not recognizing it until we're already in over our heads. It's worked pretty well.
pinaychic5 pinaychic5 9 years
i've been emotionally cheated on and to this day, i have major trust issues and it sucks. emotional cheating is worse i think because of the pyschological issues that comes with issues, low self esteem, etc. that can really affect one's future.
Liss1 Liss1 9 years
Cheating is cheating! My BIL told my SIL he was having just an "emotional" relationship with a girl when she found evidence and of course it was "physical" also. He should have been honest with her from the start but instead he dragged her along they had the most bitter divorce and here it is 3 years later and we still have to listen to her b*tch about him. I think if you fall in love with someone else than you should be upfront about it and not lie and cheat on your spouse. Tell them before it becomes physical. I would not be happy either way but the thought of my husband being with some one else and then me makes me sick. Sorry for the rant. SIL is coming for easter and i am preparing my self for the all the b*tching.
bbkf bbkf 9 years
I could forgive physical cheating (once!), but forming an emotional bond with another woman would end the relationship for me.
Hex Hex 9 years
Physical. To me, the worst part about someone cheating is not having the nerve to end the relationship in before it comes to that. Developing feelings for someone else is something that can not be avoided. You can’t make yourself feel any certain way.
lolalu lolalu 9 years
emotional is much worse. It would be must easier to get over physical cheating than emotional in my opinion.
Meike Meike 9 years
Both emotional and physical cheating are equally wrong in my book. As others have said, if you have one or the either in your relationship, something is clearly amiss. Also, I think there is misconception of what real emotional cheating is. Falling in love with someone else and keeping it to ones' self while in your current relationship does not denote emotional cheating. Falling in love and having that love reciprocated by that other person despite having no physical relations IS emotional cheating. Either way both scenarios are huge indicators that your current relationship is failing somewhere just like with physical cheating.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
oh and just something to think about ... I told my boyfriend about this poll and he told me that in one of his psych classes (he's a psych major) his professor told them that there has been a study done like this. And men answered about 50/50 and that women answered about 80% = emotional cheating is worse.
rgerscharm rgerscharm 9 years
Both are equally bad. Being in any serious relationship involved commitment to that one person. If a man can't commit both his emotions AND his physical attraction then he's one not worth it at all. Yes, it's true that men can easily separate sex and emotions, but physical cheating entails a complete disregard for the other person's feelings. It jeopardizes trust in the relationship. Ultimately, it's not fair to the woman if she can't have both.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
Thanks cvandoorn. I was hoping to get my point across. I just still don't get what marriage has to do with anything. (except maybe legal purposes or something) Because to me if you've been in a monogamous committed relationship for say 10 years it doesn't matter if you have that piece of paper or not.
Joelgasm Joelgasm 9 years
I think all cheating is horrible. >:|
jen22 jen22 9 years
They are both bad.
cvandoorn cvandoorn 9 years
Well said kikidawn!!
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
Both are equally bad and serious.
iamangiepooh iamangiepooh 9 years
I think cheating is cheating, but I do think that emotional cheating would hurt more. I would never want my boyfriend to have the same, strong, emotional bond we share with another woman. That would crush me compared to the physical.
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