When it comes to cheating in a relationship, men and women have very different ideas on where the line is crossed.
A new study published in the journal Sexual & Relationship Therapy found that women were more likely than men to class both physical and emotional acts as cheating.
Despite this difference in opinion, it revealed that both genders were likely to be most upset if a partner emotionally cheated on them.
A questionnaire was given to 272 women and 82 men to assess what they believed constituted as cheating in a relationship, as well as their sensitivity to rejection.
It found that women had a broader view of what constituted as cheating compared to men, who tended to solely view more physical acts as cheating.
Women scored higher than men when it came down to how likely they were to form and maintain positive bonds. As a result, the authors said it was unsurprising that women were more likely to have a broader view of what was classed as infidelity.
When participants were asked about what kind of infidelity they found the most distressing, the majority indicated that emotional acts were by far the worst.
This study comes just months after a poll found that 35% of people did not believe sending explicit or flirty messages to another person was classed as being unfaithful.
Almost half of women (49%) compared with just over one third of men (34%) considered sexting to be a form of cheating.
“We have seen a rise in the number of clients coming to us who think their partner has crossed the line and committed adultery, but not in the traditional sense,” said Rupi Rai, family lawyer at Slater and Gordon, who conducted the poll.
“What some might consider sending flirty messages or explicit pictures, others consider to be detrimental to their relationship and cause as much hurt and upset as physically cheating.”
Rai added: “The research is a real warning to couples about being careful not to cross that line.”