Can emotional infidelity be more devastating than physical one?


If you ask this question to a hundred of couples, a large number of them would give you an answer in “Yes”. This means that a person in a relationship can probably stand a physical infidelity coming from her or his partner but when it comes to an emotional one it is actually more painful.

What is the difference between physical and emotional infidelity?

Though many would argue that the two are interrelated and go hand in hand but the fact is physical infidelity is more “superficial” in nature than an emotional one.

One fine day the husband was overdrunk and he felt like getting intimate with a lady who works in his office. This is infidelity, but, do you really think that this man is in love with the lady he spent his time intimately with? The answer is undoubtedly “no”.

However, when it comes to emotional infidelity one may not get involved physically with a person outside the primary relationship, but, it has a deep impact. Every day when you see your partner getting prepared for the office he is taking an extra effort to ensure that he looks impressive. He is always on the phone and there are things which he does not share with you but is found sharing with the other person. You can be assured that he will not get intimate physically with this person but what happens to the “bond” which is getting stronger day by day.

Why does a partner forgive physical infidelity and not an emotional one?

The answer is quite simple. As a partner you know that your trust is broken but it was all momentary when your partner got involved with a person outside your marital bond. You know it for sure that emotionally he still banks upon you and he is regretful for the mistake he made.

You are more than sure that he would not repeat the same error again and he is deeply committed to the family and the bond he shares with you.

But when you find your partner being involved with someone else who has taken your place and your husband is living with you for the same of living, then it is quite dangerous. Such a situation takes away the integrity of the bond and exposes your relation to the fear of putting a “false show”. Under these circumstances your role in your husband’s life gets reduced to a “stranger” rather than a partner or a mate. And it makes your job of forgiving and forgetting your spouse even tougher.

Infidelity in any form hurts a relationship because the sole axis of trust on which a relationship banks upon gets disturbed. And this disturbance could be so huge in nature that you may not be able to trust your spouse again in life. In the process the relationship becomes a “machine” rather than a reason to live together. Physical infidelity can still be forgiven but it takes a life time to forgive an emotional one.