Today's Evil Beet Gossip


“When we were making it, the arguments on set were just amazing about whether mental infidelity is better or worse than physical infidelity. There was a huge gender divide on the question. Every single woman said that mental infidelity is 10 times worse than [an emotionless assignation]. And most men I spoke with said that it’s the physical act that would be the ultimate betrayal.”

– Keira Knightly in the new issue of Elle, on her upcoming film Last Night.

Since we love talking about cheating bastards over here, let me ask you the same question. What’s worse: A physical or emotional affair?

40 CommentsLeave a comment

    • Is worse… I mean…. I speak from experience. It’s worse. Because you know… I’M THE BOSS. If a guy needs someone else to talk to, to tell secrets, to discuss personal things with – what does he need me for?

      Sex in contrast………….. happens

  • I could care less about an emotional affair vs. a physical affair, but doesn’t Kiera look gorgeous in this pic? Her hair looks ab-fab.

  • They both suck, but emotional affairs don’t put an unknowing partner at risk for stds. Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I’d sooner forgive someone for emotional infidelity than physical.

      • It’s being in love with someone else. Sharing with them all the things you once shared with your wife or girlfriend (or whatever) and leaving your “official” significant other with a severe lack of affection and stimulating conversation. You know, that kind of thing.

      • So it’s some kind of chick thing that guys don’t understand? Not trying to be flip here, trying to learn, bond and grow.

      • Yes, totally a chick thing. I guess. Although I don’t think my boyfriend would be cool with me being in love with someone else. But, sure, a chick thing.

      • Emotional love is a tough thing. I fell in love with a stripper once but was broken hearted when she fell out of love with me after I ran out of 20 dollar bills.

      • Uh no, it’s not “a chick thing”. It’s hurtful for anyone to have the person they love being personal with someone else.

      • agreed. And many times, emotional infidelity leads to physical infidelity. It’s hard to define them as COMPLETELY different, because a lot of times there is a bit of both present, or one leads to the other.

  • I’m female and I think it’s worse when he has a physical affair. That’s a deal breaker for me. Talk to whoever you want…but don’t bring any STDs home or surprise me with the news that you’ve gotten someone pregnant, etc.

  • they’re both pretty bad… i’m gonna say physical though. like, eww where has he been putting that? sick.

  • Team both. They are both complete deal breakers, for different reasons, but it all comes down to the fact that I would never be able to forget or trust again. Forgive, I highly doubt, but once the trust is gone, there’s no point. Besides, hard to respect a cheating spouse, no matter the reason. If it’s that bad, then leave the relationship, don’t put your significant other through something so uncool.

  • Evolutionary Psychology (a subfield of the big field of psychology…of which a majority does not do therapy but investigate “normal” human behavior) argues that the gender difference is not surprising given our unequal parenting responsibilities. Women must carry and care for (i.e. feed) each baby they produce, whereas men are capable of creating lots and lots of babies without so much as a phone call afterward. So women must be vigilant to signs that the father (or potential father) to their children will abandon them, hence emotional infidelity being so problematic. However, men are always vigilant of cuckolding (raising another man’s baby) and so are particularly sensitive to physical infidelity.

    This is not to say that we need to have decided that we want kids with the person we’re with, but simply that members of each sex that were vigilant in these ways were able to pass on their genes more often than those who just didn’t care.

    Take it with a grain of salt though, since it’s always easy to spin a story once the gender differences present themselves. This claim lacks the ability for actual experimental testing (which is what psychologists usually do).

      • Sure. If we want to have the SAME OLD TIRED dialogue about this that’s on a million other blogs and in lame self-help books. Although I have to say, EB is using a great topic to get users to engage…kudos to them.

      • I’m not actually sure why you comment, considering this post and your “emotional cheating is a chick thing” post. Maybe you should start thinking before you start spewing crap. Give a viewpoint calling someone a dumb ass because they can think more than you and give a longer point makes you look like an idiot.

  • A betrayal is a betrayal, they both hurt the same. Emotional cheating is easier to forgive because you can still maintain and build your intimate relationship, which can in turn benefit your emotional relationship. A Physical cheating damages both the aspect of physical intimacy and the emotional (even if a guy says “it was just sex” a woman will never believe that).SO in that light, they hurt the same but there is room for redemption with emotional cheating because the point of no return has yet to be crossed.

  • both of them are equally bad for similar reasons and can be easily avoided if people would stop treating their lives like it is an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

  • Speaking from personal experience having it done to me more then once…* I went through an obvious bad phase dating losers until I found my husband and perfect mate* I”ll say this:

    Emotional Affairs hurt the worst. Physical is just the cake topper. But when your man is able to share everything with another woman and turns to them instead of you— then they aren’t your man at all. You cant fix that. When it comes to sex, there’s a lot of misunderstandings & lack of communication or fulfillment that leads a person to stray. It can be fixed!

    • MissRachael,
      I agree that you were dating losers if you were made to believe that ‘misunderstandings & lack of communication’ is what caused them to stray. They’re just trying to share the blame with you and that’s not fair.

      On another note… my 2 cents: I think the human heart is resilient and can ‘get over’ both types of infidelity, whether the person chooses to stay with the cheater or not. However, there’s no ‘getting over’ a bad case of herpes or many other STDs that someone can knowingly or unknowingly spread to you.

  • Has anyone actually had both types happen to them? That’s the only way one can fairly answer this question, otherwise it’s just speculation.

  • DAMN! That´s a hard one… I think ill have to say an emotional affair is worse on paper, cause why would the bastard be with u if he doesnt love u, but how would you ever find out really? I mean… if there isn´t a physical infidelity? I think physical is more humiliating,cause everybody around u is bound to find out(sometimes before u even) but you’ll get over it after a while after discovering it;The emotional affair on the other hand will make u unhappy for as long as the relationship lasts…or maybe even longer… so i guess… TEAM EMOTIONAL!

  • I think physical and emotional needs differ for both sexes over time. I think by and large most women are less fulfilled in the bedroom because our bodies are so complicated for men to figure out. So we latch on to that emotional bond. Men on the other hand take pride in successfully, physically pleasuring a woman. So if their woman strays in that department, I think their egos take a huge hit. But as men and women age, due to hormones and such, things start to swing the other way. By the time women hit their 30s – 50s their libido hits an all time high and they crave sex; and perhaps less emotional stability with the man because they have grown up and become more independent. Men on the other hand as they age can’t get it up as often or for too long, so they crave more emotional intimacy. I don’t know….that’s just my theory on it all. I think in the end it comes down to what you value in your relationship, how important your partner is to your life and what a person needs out of the relationship. But I have heard that couples who swing or have an open relationship usually split up because one of the partners has fallen in love (emotionally) with another person. The sex wasn’t the wedge. I know I’ve generalized and that the rules are not written in stone. Some people don’t care about sex and prefer an emotional connection/companionship…and look the other way if the other person strays because they know their partner is just seeking physical release. For me, if my man were to have a closer emotional relationship with another woman it would be the end for me because I need that emotional connection to have a good sex life with them.

  • oh, and sorry evilbeetdouche….it’s hard to tell how long a post will look until I hit submit. just scroll on by. :)

  • All of your comments have kind of floored me. I’ve had an emotional affair before. Never consummated it physically and always felt above board because of that fact. I completely terminated the friendship/affair or whatever it was when I felt it was too immoral for us to have those feelings when he was married. But we never physically did anything and so I don’t beat myself up about it too much. But after all of your comments… I’m feeling like quite the jerk.

    • It’s good you didn’t move on to anything physical. In those situations you have to ask yourself how you would feel if his wife or your boyfriend.. whoever it is.. found out about all of it. Read all of the texts, knew about all the feelings, etc. It would really hurt, and even if you feel like that wouldn’t hurt you too badly, you can’t make those decisions for someone else. I’ve been on both sides and it sucks either way. When I thought it was just innocent flirting with a married man it ended badly, and when my boyfriend thought he was innocent as well, it hurt like hell when I read all of the text messages, emails, etc. He didn’t understand what ‘the big deal’ was, but I was miserable. When someone is putting effort & energy into a relationship beside the one you have with them, it takes away from what you have together, and that’s not fair.

      Good for you, though, for ending it. That was the right decision and I’m sure it was tempting to continue on with it.