The 7 Types of Affairs (Everything You Need to Know)

I never knew there are 7 types of affairs before my husband had an affair.

All I was is scared.

Sure, at first I wasn’t. The first feelings were rage, resentment, disgust, shock, confusion, numbness and helplessness.

But the bottom line is when I looked deep down – I was terrified.

7 types of affairs

Terrified of losing my family, of facing the unknown, of my life falling apart. I felt completely out of control in my own life.

And since I “knew” that there was no way my husband loved me (husbands who love their wife don’t cheat, right?), I felt unloved and alone.

I didn’t understand what exactly I was up against and what I can do to deal with it and heal from it.

What is an Extra Marital Affair?

The Miriam-Webster dictionary defines an extramarital affair as “being sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her spouse (adulterous).

But I would extend this definition to include emotional affairs, which many times turn to a physically intimate relationship as well.

A broader definition would be a sexual relationship, romantic friendship, or passionate attachment between two people, when one or both of them are married, and without the betrayed partner’s knowledge.

 Why Do Extramarital Affairs Happen?

How would you feel if you KNEW the real reason for your husband’s affair? If you knew what it MEANS about your husband’s character?

How would you feel if you KNEW what to expect to happen next? If you knew whether he will leave you for her? If you knew the odds of saving your marriage?

How would you feel if you knew specifically how to increase the odds of surviving the affair?

You will stop being a victim. You’ll have options to act, feel, and think differently. You will regain a tremendous feeling of personal power.

You will truly realize his affair was not your fault. That you are not “defective”. You will have an educated guess as to the outcome of this crisis.

This is what you’ll gain from knowing the 7 types of affairs.

These 7 affair types were discovered through the research of Dr. Robert Huizenga, a long-time marriage coach and the author of “Break Free from the Affair”

I thought this could be helpful for you, so here are the 7 affair types (and what to do about them):

The 7 Types of Affairs

When your husband tries to explain his infidelity, which one of these “excuses” did he give you?

1. Our Marriage Made Me Do It

“Our marriage is dead”; “Our marriage is lousy”; this is what you’ll hear from a cheating spouse who believes his marriage “made him” have an affair.
He will claim no intimacy, no sex, and no excitement. He’ll say you’ve grown apart, that nothing is “happening” in your marriage” and thus the affair “just happened”.

2. I Can’t Say No

We all can say no. But some of us haven’t developed that capacity or reached the ability to say no and mean it. They are “stuck” and seem unable to be consistent to act on the “no”.

His history, personal development, and internal “blocks” play a role here.

3. I Don’t Want to Say No

Some people just don’t want to say no, whether they admit it or not. They believe they just don’t have to. Here the old term of “philanderer” applies.

These people’s relationships are marked by a series of sexual conquests and they live for the thrill of the score.
Was your husband like this BEFORE you were married? Chances are he never really changed.

👉 Read: my husband left me for another woman – Can I Get Him Back?

4. I Feel Out of Love 

According to Dr. Huizenga, this is more common for young couples, in their mid or late 30s or younger.

Usually, the cheater reports “falling out of love” and is truly disturbed by this “shift”.

He wants to recapture feeling in love (a feeling that always fades) and has, by chance, found a significant other who has awakened these feelings again so he feels “in love” again.

These people will not settle for a less-than-ideal relationship, which means, of course, feeling “love feelings”.

5. I Want to Get Back at Her

This is the revenge affair. It happens in a marriage in which the cheater feels slighted in some manner and looks for revenge by engaging in an affair.

This type of affair is less about moving towards the other woman and more about moving away from his spouse.

👉 Read: will he cheat again? (serial cheaters personality traits)

6. I Need to Prove My Desirability

Most of us are pretty shaky when it comes to our sexuality, let’s face it. How can we measure up to the models on TV and in magazines, ever?

This affair type has to do with the degree to which the cheater feels wanted. After “familiarity” sets into a marriage, self-doubts can be rekindled easily.

If your spouse doesn’t understand the stages of marital growth and lacks a core sense of self-esteem, he becomes easy prey to confusion and disenchantment.

7. I Want to Be Close To Someone

It seems that marriage is like an endless dance. We move close to try to be as one and after a while, we move apart to claim our own space and uniqueness.

Intimacy is the ability to move comfortably between joining together and individual expression.

This affair type applies to those who want to get close to someone, other than, or instead of, their spouse.

However, a relationship with a 3rd party is never intimate. And this is exactly what the cheater subconsciously wants. To NOT be intimate with anyone.

What Do the Affair Types Mean?

Each of these affair types has different motives, patterns, and characteristics.

For example, the “philanderer” affair type demands different actions than the “I want to Get Back at Her” affair type.

Once you’ve identified the affair type in your marriage, you will feel the first wave of relief.

In his guide (which I highly recommend), Break Free from the Affair“, Dr. Huizenga reveals the characteristics of the person

who engages in that kind of affair, what you can expect to happen, whether they will live happily ever after, what are the odds of

saving your marriage, how to know if you want to save it, and how to make it happen as fast as possible.

The reason I recommend this to you is the bottom line. The bottom line is no more fear. No more helplessness and loss of control.

You are no more a victim. No more feeling like you’re frozen in time.

Knowledge is relief, hope, and power. And power means having options.

And you need it now. Before this crisis destroys you (and I’m sure it threatens to already).

Rooting for ya,


3 thoughts on “The 7 Types of Affairs (Everything You Need to Know)”

  1. What if he used multiple excuses? I feel like #1,2 or 3 (both),5, and 7 all apply to my husband. We only spoke a couple of times since I found out, but he had a long term affair that started when we separated 14 years ago and only ended when the other woman told me. He claimed they were “just friends” when I first heard about her after we had reconciled, and then claimed that he would end their “friendship”, yet never did. He also claims that it only started because he thought I had cheated (I never did) while we were separated, so it was revenge. I feel like he just gave any excuse that would justify 14 years of infidelity. Do I need to try asking again? Is it even worth asking at this point?

  2. have you seen the book “Private Lies” by Frank Pitman. He lists four types – the accidental one-night stand, the romantic affair, the philanderer who will never be faithful, and the affair that’s the ticket to the way out of a marriage. Your seven likely have some overlaps with his.


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