Emotional Cheating: Is It Always A Dealbreaker?
Good question, tough answer. We all know what physical cheating constitutes, but emotional cheating has a trickier definition, and lines tend to be more blurred. However, there are definitely some big red flags to look out for. Let’s go over them.
Signs You’re Emotionally Cheating/Having An Emotional Affair
You find yourself constantly thinking about a person who’s not your partner.
- It might feel like you have a little “crush” on them.
You find yourself fantasizing about kissing them or touching them.
- In extreme cases, you might even find yourself having sexual fantasies.
You wonder if maybe they’re The One instead of your current partner.
- This feeling might be pretty intense, and lead you to feel disconnected from your partner.
You secretly believe or wonder if you would be happier with them than you are with your partner.
- This could lead you to having even more unhealthy fantasies about them.
You have feelings of sadness when you think you might never be with them.
- You might even fantasize about dumping your current partner for them.
If it’s a coworker, you jokingly call them your “work wife” or “work husband,” but secretly it’s not a joke to you at all.
- You might even genuinely wish for a deeper relationship with them.
Signs Your Partner Is Emotionally Cheating
They try to hide text messages and emails from you.
- If their phone is always face down, it might be a bad sign.
They compare you to the other person and make you feel inadequate.
- The comparisons are often more glowing for the other person.
They seem detached or disconnected from you in general.
- This may be more obvious after they’ve spent time with the other person.
They’ve stopped talking to you about the deeper issues they always shared before.
- It might be concerning if they no longer vent to you about work or other problems.
They tell you you’re “too sensitive” when you complain about the other person.
- They might even lash out at you or shut down when you bring it up.
It’s important to remember that even if you have never so much as hugged the person you’re emotionally cheating on your partner with, you are still betraying your partner in a very real sense. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself if you’d be okay with your partner constantly thinking about someone else. You would most likely feel a sense of betrayal knowing that your partner is so invested in another person. Emotional cheating can also be seen as a gateway to full-blown physical cheating.
Is It Always A Dealbreaker Though?
The answer to this question depends entirely on the couple dealing with emotional cheating. Since there are definitely degrees to emotional cheating, some of the lines crossed might be forgivable and others not. In many cases, emotional cheating can be just as hurtful as a more “traditional” affair. It might very well end up being a dealbreaker for many couples.
How To Deal With Emotional Cheating
If you suspect your partner of emotional cheating, try to open up a dialogue first. DO NOT snoop through their phone or email though. You will almost certainly find something you don’t want to see. You’ll also be violating their privacy. There are more mature ways to go about confronting your partner. Talking it out, as hard as it can be sometimes, is the right thing to do. If your partner’s emotional affair is the milder sort, there’s hope that the relationship you have can be salvaged. If it’s on the more extreme side (they are actively having sexual fantasies about the other person), maybe you need to reassess the whole relationship. Maybe you need to go to couples counseling. Maybe it’s time to call it quits. Only you can make these decisions, however.