Emotional infidelity or cheating takes place when someone forms a close and intimate connection with another individual, who is not their partner. Whilst the line between emotional infidelity and simple friendship may not always be clear-cut, the former involves some form of romantic attraction.
This type of infidelity may be deemed harmless at first, due to the lack of physical contact. With that said, emotional cheating can damage an existing relationship, destroying foundations and diluting commitment towards one’s spouse or partner.
Cheating can be defined in different ways and is normally associated with the physical, which is why emotional infidelity may not be the first thing one would think of.
In a general context, emotional cheating takes place when the contact one has with an individual impacts the time spent and relationship with the existing partner or spouse. The impact becomes material when one focuses more on the connection with the new individual, rather than the established partner. In a nutshell, you would be able to identify that the relationship has extended beyond simple friendship by a number of factors. This would include spending more time talking and thinking about this individual rather than the established partner. Another sign is when one keeps this individual a secret from his or her current partner. With emotional infidelity, one may feel less attracted to his or her current partner. One way to test whether the friendship boundary has been surpassed is by considering whether you would feel comfortable if your partner viewed the conversations that you are having. If you would be comfortable, it is most likely just a friendship.
Emotional infidelity can be quite tricky. One would feel an emotional attachment yet may be unsure on how to act upon it, or whether their partner is being betrayed. It can break existing trust and have similar repercussions to physical cheating.
Social media also plays a role today when it comes to emotional infidelity. In a world where we are always connected, you can chat with people who are miles away on the fly. Through social media, you can build conversations and interactions through Likes, follows and comments. Social media allows one to re-connect with people, including past lovers and casual flings. Continued discussions with such contacts may imply more than a simple catching up.
What are your views on emotional infidelity? Do you think that it is as serious as physical cheating? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.