A healthy and happy relationship is what most of us want in life when it comes to finding that one special person that we're meant to be with.
But relationships can become complicated when cheating is involved, especially when the couple can't agree on what cheating is.
Kansas State University recently released a study where nearly 500 college students were asked different questions about the type of cheating that would upset them the most. The study showed that men were more upset about the physical act of cheating, and women focused more on the emotional act.
"With males, they'll tend to be more physically focused and start to visualize that they're competing with another male," said Doctor Gary Vann, a Traverse City Marriage and Family Psychologist. "The women seem to be more emotionally focused as to whether their partner is emotionally connected in a love relationship with the opposite sex."
"Men are out there killing animals and planting their seed and making children," said Clinical Therapist, Annette Goodyear. "That's what they were born to do and women want the emotional need. They're nurturers by nature and we need that emotional connection with people."
Men and women were asked the following questions in an online poll:
1) Would you be able to forgive your significant other for emotionally (Developing an Online Relationship, Flirting, Texting/Phone Calls, Nothing Physical) cheating on you?
Men: 58 percent said yes. 42 percent said no.
Women: 33 percent said yes. 66 percent said no.
2) Would you be able to forgive your significant other for physically cheating on you?
Men: 35 percent said yes. 65 percent said no.
Women: 20 percent said yes. 80 percent said no.
Sixty men and 196 women participated in the survey. The study showed that a higher percentage of women than men viewed emotional cheating to be just as bad as physical cheating. The clear majority of both sexes said that they would not be able to forgive their partner for physically being with somebody else.
Goodyear and Dr. Vann say that research can only take us so far. They say it doesn't really matter if the partners agree on the definition of cheating, but rather that they understand and respect each others opinions.
"I don't think we will ever get rid of couples cheating on one another but I think that a lot of issues with couples can be solved with the communication piece, talking to each other," said Goodyear.
Researchers at Kansas State University determined that the explanation for the differences in opinion were strictly related to gender. Dr. Vann and Goodyear agree that your sex does play a big roll, but say the different opinions can also be based on life experiences.