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We Asked 2,400 People What Counts as Microcheating. Do You Agree With the Results?

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Ever sexted with someone who’s not your partner? Followed an ex on social media? Shared secrets with a “work spouse”? Many women would say this is cheating, an exclusive Men’s Health poll found.

Of course, a gender gap appeared: Women are more likely than men to call given behaviors cheating. (There’s even a term for these less egregious forms of cheating: microcheating.)

What’s clear: Lust and temptation are eternal, and modern life makes it easier to succumb. Of course, intercourse and oral are considered cheating by nearly 100 percent of men and women. Kissing? For 95 percent of women and 81 percent of men, yeah, that’s cheating.

But beyond that, it’s complicated.

Related: 7 Things Other Than Sex Women Count as Cheating

There’s new thinking about why we cross the line into a real affair. Therapist Esther Perel sets out to bust myths in her new book, The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity. Such as: that an affair means the relationship is bad — or the cheater is. The motive is often a yearning for a lost part of your identity. “It isn’t so much that we’re looking for another person,” she notes in a TED Talk, “as much as we are looking for another self.” Other myths, she tells us: that men cheat out of boredom and that a marriage can never recover from infidelity.

Marty Klein, Ph.D., a California therapist for more than 30 years, says many of his patients want to make marital sex as exciting as affair sex. “It isn’t a realistic comparison,” he says. But you can learn from cheaters. Treat your partner like a paramour: Prepare for sex (prioritize, visualize), be present (savor it), embrace novelty (break your normal routine), and make your partner feel attractive, desired, and excited.

Infidelity is when you secretly do something meaningful that you know your partner doesn’t want you to do, says Robert Weiss, L.C.S.W., author of Out of the Dog House. We asked some 1,600 men and 800 women which behaviors are cheating. Beyond the obvious (intercourse, oral), opinions vary. So ask your partner.

We Asked 2,400 People What Counts as Microcheating

Men’s Health
1

Watching porn by yourself vs. watching a camgirl by yourself

Conflicts over porn are skyrocketing, Klein says.

We Asked 2,400 People What Counts as Microcheating

Men’s Health
2

Dinner with someone you’re attracted to

We Asked 2,400 People What Counts as Microcheating

Men’s Health
3

Having a work “spouse”
We Asked 2,400 People What Counts as Microcheating

Men’s Health
4

Keeping your dating profile
We Asked 2,400 People What Counts as Microcheating

Men’s Health
5

Sexting

Technology gives us lots of ways to cheat — and to get caught. (Texts are what trip up most cheaters, says therapist Paul McCandless, M.F.T.)

We Asked 2,400 People What Counts as Microcheating

Men’s Health
6

Sending racy photos
We Asked 2,400 People What Counts as Microcheating

Men’s Health
7

Following an ex on social media

Straying on social media, like messaging an ex, is linked to lower relationship satisfaction among married couples, a study found. The more personal a message, the more risky it is, says McCandless. “If the level of discourse is, ‘Gosh, sounds like you’re having a hard time with your wife,’ that’s a red flag.” Even worse: Not telling your partner about the exchange.

The article We Asked 2,400 People What Counts as Microcheating. Do You Agree With the Results? originally appeared on Men’s Health.


Source: Women’s Health Mag

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