Many times infidelity has nothing to do with sex… however, when most people think of infidelity, they often times think of having sex with another person.

You may be surprised, but I actually work with many couples where this is the situation…the infidelity has nothing to do with sex.

However, there are many other kinds of infidelity. It is important to remember that infidelity is about a secret, it is about deception, it is about keeping information from your partner.

Just in the past week, I have had couples where infidelity had nothing to do with sex.

In one case it had to do with hiding the fact that a person was taking drugs or alcohol, another was hiding the fact that a person was taking male enhancement pills, another was hiding the fact that a person had another checking account that he did not tell his wife about, and lastly-another couple where the person hid that he had an emotional affair with another woman. (Actually, I had several of those).

Let’s start with the last statement I made about emotional affairs.

Emotional affairs are a classic example of where infidelity has nothing to do with sex. It happens when one of the partners is getting some emotional needs met through another person without their intimate committed partner knowing about it.

I’ve seen people have needs for attention or needs for understanding or needs for affirmation of some kind. They have not had any physical contact nor have their text or email suggested any sexual intent.

In these cases…let us not make any mistake about it, this is betrayal and this is infidelity and this is very hurtful to the other person.

It is the secrecy, the break of the intimate bond that is the problem.

There are always underlying reasons why people cheat in whatever way they do but the bottom line is that I encourage my clients to find more creative and honorable ways to deal with those problems.

When it comes to emotional infidelity, that can oftentimes be even more painful than let’s say for example a person who has a sexual one-night stand or even several one night stands where there’s no emotion involved.

I am not saying that having a sexual affair is okay when the heart is not involved. I am just saying that this emotional affair can be just as if not more devastating to the other partner.

Whether a person is hiding drugs that he or she is taking, or hiding a checking account, the bottom line is that both members of the relationship are getting ripped off.

The person who is being betrayed of course is getting ripped off because that person is being deprived of important information that would lead to this person possibly making a different decision about his or her life.

I have talked about this before when I use the phrase ‘’an interpersonal crime” because it is stealing from that person the right to accurate information that could lead to decisions that work for that person.

At the same time, it also rips off the person who is having the secret because this person is acting like a shameful little child who doesn’t want to be in trouble with their partner.

So not only is it breaking the bonds which deprives that person and of course both people of a healthy intimate relationship, but it also deprives the person who’s cheating of the feeling of being accepted and loved for who that person is.

When a person is hiding, he or she is becoming invisible.

This individual is hiding flaws or his or her needs and is not being direct and asking for what is wanted up front or reaching out to the other person. So both people lose out in significant ways.

So a very important question is why do people lie?

Everyone does whatever they do for a reason so that’s a very important question. There are a number of answers so I will stick to what I see is the most common reasons why people lie.

They have learned to avoid conflict and please people so they hide parts of them that they feel will be judged. This could end up leading to a pattern and even a lifestyle of lying to avoid being rejected.
The person is run by the emotion of shame. This leads to hiding and at the same time also leads to what I call a self-fulfilling cycle of shame and doing behavior that they can feel more shame about.
The person is not getting what he or she wants in the relationship and lacks the skill or the willingness to be open about it and deal with it as one adult talking to another intimate adult.
The person has learned from a parental figure or significant other in their life that the way to get what he or she wants is to act like a ‘soloist’ and be self-absorbed and not need to tell the truth.
The person grew up in a family where emotions were not shared. Family members were very distant to each other. This person can then get into an intimate relationship where he or she feels so disconnected that lying can be justified in his or her own mind.
Those are my top five reasons and feel free to make a comment if you can come up with another reason that people lie. I am sure that is not an exhaustive list.

In other articles, I will talk once again about what to do about these problems to begin the healing process.

This article is about giving a voice to the people who are betrayed when it is not sexual infidelity but it is still painful infidelity nonetheless. It’s also an opportunity for the person who is hiding to see how this person is depriving not only the partner but him or herself as well.

Lastly, it is an opportunity to see if any of the reasons listed why people lie resonated or if you can think of another reason.

If you are reading this and are experiencing this either as the person who’s doing the hiding or the person who is discovering that you have been betrayed in some way, I am here to help.

I have helped many individuals and couples heal and find better ways to deal with their emotional challenges. Feel free to contact me.

Author's Bio: 

Mr. Creager is educated and trained as a Marriage and Sex Therapist and spends much of his time helping partners in long-term relationships learn how to create passionate, alive and nourishing interactions. He provides unique and powerful insights that lead to powerful breakthroughs which result in his clients getting closer to realizing their full potential.

He founded his practice in 1982 in Tustin CA, and has since helped thousands of individuals and couples learn how to bring the best out of others to achieve their goals. The biggest joy in his career is witnessing clients increase their capacity to receive more from life as well as others.

He has developed the gift of helping couples and individuals move past their resistance to have the relationships and love they crave. His specialties include helping couples heal from infidelity, helping couples rekindle passion and helping individuals break free from their earlier toxic relationships and dysfunctional families. He does this in a variety ways including specialized programs that are powerful and effective as well as seminars, workshops, speaking and informational products.

Todd’s practice in Huntington Beach, CA has been helping couples and individuals all around Orange County including Long Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Corona del Mar and Seal Beach – for over 30 years!