If the married person or someone in a relationship begins to have non-physical intimate involvement with a third person then it is called an emotional cheating or an emotional affair.
A relationship can move past many hurdles, however, one hurdle that’s especially hard to ‘jump over’ is cheating. It disrupts the trust and loyalty in a relationship, leaving it open to constant doubt, fights, and a lot of heartaches. The most common form of cheating that’s usually talked about is physical cheating- aka sexual relations. However, often a much more heartbreaking affair is an emotional affair.
Emotional affairs might be different for various people based on the boundaries they’ve set for themselves. Regardless of what those boundaries maybe, once those lines are crossed, it hurts just as much for everyone. This is because, with emotional cheating, you start to lose the very basis of the genuine human connection that brought you and your partner together in the first place. Instead, you start to replace that bond that you had with your partner with someone else.
Now, do you think your partner is having an emotional affair? Perhaps you might be on the edge of starting an emotional affair with someone? Well, keep on reading to find out!
What is an Emotional Affair?
Simply put, emotional cheating is when you form close, intimate relations with other people in your life while simultaneously drifting apart (emotionally detaching) from your partner. This can happen over time with someone you might have initially just considered a good friend. But after spending a lot of time talking to them, your relationship with them just keeps getting better and better. When you have something important to discuss, you turn to them instead of your partner. When you’re feeling down, you start to seek their comfort instead of your partner’s. Over time, you start to feel closer to this other person and drift away from your partner.
Signs of Emotional Cheating
Before getting into some of the most common signs of emotional cheating, we would like to point out that every relationship is different. Hence, you and your partner need to lay down your laws. Have an open, honest conversation with your partner when things start to get serious and draw the line for things you’re comfortable within a relationship and what you’re not. This way, you’ll be aware of what lines you can’t cross in that relationship, and if that happens, it gives you full rights to call your partner out for something you specifically mentioned would make you uncomfortable, and vice versa.
How to figure out if you’re emotionally cheating on your partner?
The simplest way to figure out if you’re emotionally cheating on your partner or not, is to ask yourself “Will my significant other be comfortable with the intensity of my relationship with this person?”
Along with that, we’ve got a whole list of signs to help you realize whether or not you’re cheating on your partner.
- You prefer sharing news with the other person rather than your partner
When it comes to important events in your life such as job promotions, pregnancies or family losses, one of the first people you should want to share that news with is your partner. However, if in such times, you prefer to turn to someone else, and have them be the first to know, that shows signs of a weakening relationship with your partner. It could stem from the fact that you’ve spent more time talking to this other person, or you feel more comfortable with them. Regardless, this can be a sign of an emotional affair going on between you and this other person.
- You start to depend more on someone else than your partner
When you’re down in the dump, who’s the first person that you want to rant to? If it’s your partner, then you’re all set. However, if it’s some other person that you turn to, to complain and seek comfort on a usual basis, then you’re driving down the road of emotional cheating.
- You display classic ‘puppy love’ behavior around this other person
You know that initial puppy love behavior you used to display when you first started liking your partner? Well, are you having those feelings for someone else now? Maybe you start to act all nervous around them, blush up, fumble with your words, and act a little flirtatious. All of these acts seem very innocent at first but can lead to emotional cheating as that shows you’re starting to develop feelings for someone else.
- This ‘other person’ becomes a very touchy subject
If this other person in your life has become a very touchy subject to bring up around your partner that only indicates that your partner doesn’t like that particular person and is jealous of them. This also means that there’s something about that person and your relationship which is setting your partner off.
- You want to continue hanging around with said person despite your partner’s disapproval
Are you disregarding your partner’s wishes for you to stop hanging out with this person? No one should control the people you’re interacting within your life. But you should also make a conscious effort to respect the boundaries laid down in your relationship and not purposefully develop intimate relations with people that your partner finds uncomfortable as this could threaten your relationship.
- You lie about how important someone else is in your life
Have you been lying to your partner about how important someone else is in your life? Whenever your partner asks about them, have you been saying things like “Oh I don’t even know him/ her that well anyway!”, or “Oh umm, they’re just a colleague!”, when you’ve actually spent hours texting said person daily?
If you’re starting to constantly tone down a person’s importance in your life that comes underlying which is regarded as cheating.
- Your conversations with someone else involve a lot of inappropriate jokes
Once again, ask yourself if the jokes/ talks/ texts with this other person are appropriate enough to show your partner? If yes, then you’re not doing anything wrong. If not, then these inappropriate jokes/ talks can be the sign of an emotional affair; especially if you’re encouraging them.
Signs that your partner might be having an Emotional Affair
If you have suspicion over your partner being involved in an emotional affair then the following symptoms may help you figure out if your partner is really involved in an emotional affair or not:
- Your partner seems more emotionally distant
Has your partner been very emotionally distant? Whether it’s through happy days or rough ones, does your partner seem uninterested in holding a substantial conversation with you? Either they say they’ve already talked about it too much with someone else, or shut off completely when they’re down. Not everyone is comfortable with opening up about things that get them down but if your partner seems more reluctant or too tired to share things with you anymore, they might be talking about it with someone else.
- They want to spend more time with a new special friend than with you
Canceled date nights and returning home late because they simply have other plans, even if they aren’t physically cheating, could be a sign of emotional cheating.
- They are spending more time texting or calling this new friend than with you
While you get 3 or 4 one-worded texts a day from your partner, someone else seems to be getting hours of conversations with your partner instead. Even when they’re physical with you, they spend more time talking to someone else through calls or texts. While texting is a common way for friends to keep in touch with others, if this gets to the point where your partner seems to be more emotionally invested in someone else, they’re having an emotional affair.
- Your partner is suddenly comparing you to someone else
“Why couldn’t you be more like so and so?” We don’t mean to say these things but when they come out accidentally in arguments or brawls, it’s a clear indication of the fact that your partner is also infatuated with someone else. You are being compared to this other person who is suddenly very important to your partner and you apparently can’t seem to live up to how much more interesting, or pretty or funny this other person is!
- A lot of your conversations end up being about this other person
Is your partner suddenly beginning to talk a lot more about a certain person, even in conversations or instances surrounding just the two of you? For example, if you’re talking about a movie, your partner ends up going on and on about how a said person is such a big fan of that movie. Basically, a lot of your conversations get turned around and end up being about your partner’s friend rather than you on a daily basis. This can be a sign that your partner is showing an increased interest in this person and might be having an emotional affair with them.
Getting over an Emotional Affair:
Affairs of all sorts are very hard over for a couple to get over. The only way to do so is if both parties are willing to work on themselves and the relationship. This could involve a couple’s counseling or some time apart from each other, or deep and honest conversations, etc. It’s a long and hard process but if you truly love each other, and want to be with each other, more often than not, you’ll find a way to make it work. However, don’t be too disheartened if it doesn’t work out! We all know that some things are just not meant to be and at the end of the day, your happiness and well being takes top priority!
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