Is emotional infidelity as bad as sexual infidelity?
Do not be mistaken by its seemingly innocence. Emotional affairs are indeed as destructive for your relationship as physical cheating.
Emotional affairs usually start out as friendships. But there is a line where friendship stops and an emotional affair begins. From there on it is a slippery slope towards a sexual relationship. This form of infidelity happens to people that never even intended to be unfaithful but are unwittingly crossing the line from friendship to romantic relationship.
In this article you will read about the signs that can help you tell whether something is going on.
What is an emotional affair?
But first, what exactly is an emotional affair?
An emotional affair might seem harmless. It is like a close friendship, right?
Well no. An emotional affair might start out as a friendship but will surely and rapidly progress towards becoming an emotional affair, which again might turn into a sexual affair.
There is no innocence in sending late night texts saying “I’m thinking about you” towards a ‘close friend’.
An emotional affair is best described as a so called ‘affair of the heart’. It’s like a platonic friendship but with sexual chemistry. During the emotional affair it is highly likely that intimate secrets will be shared that would normally be discussed only with the partner. As a result the primary relationship deteriorates.
Emotional infidelity signs: Is your partner having an emotional affair?
These are the signs that you should keep an eye on in order to identify if something is going on with your partner.
1. Is your partner hiding something from you?
Sudden secretiveness is never a good sign in a relationship. Your partner might think it is clever to keep things from you, but you will likely find out that something is going on.
Signs of sudden secrecy are:
- Your partner takes his or her cell phone into the bathroom.
- Your partner stops texting as soon as you walk in.
Changed computer passwords or deleted browse history are also strong signs.
This sudden secrecy will undoubtedly leave a mark on your relationship. You wonder what is going on, but no matter what you tell your partner, he or she will not open up about it. Perhaps one of the best things you can do now is keep a close eye on your partner and be on the lookout for more emotional infidelity signs.
2. More time on phone and social media
Does your partner suddenly spend way more time on his or her phone or social media?
Did your partner previously only check his or her feed very infrequently and now that has suddenly changed?
Keep in mind that these social media platforms might be one of the only ways for your partner to be in contact with the ‘close friend’. For them this makes the relationship easier to hide. And for you it’s harder to detect the relationship, besides from the changed behavior of your partner.
Snapchat is an absolute favorite for emotional cheaters. But even LinkedIn is well known to be used for emotional infidelity among co-workers.
3. Loss of interest in you
When your partner receives attention and emotional reinforcement from someone else, he or she might no longer need it from you. As a result your partner can start detaching from you. The strong emotional bond that you used to have seems gone.
Your partner might stop complaining about bad days or problems, because your partner already told someone else about his or her problems.
But it is not just limited to emotional detachment, physical detachment happens as well. If your partner keeps fantasizing about the other person there will be less physical contact between the two of you.
4. Your partner mentions the other person – repeatedly
If you keep hearing the same name over and over again, it could be that this person is the one your partner is emotionally cheating with.
Feelings tend to spill out sooner or later. This is exactly what happens in this case. Your partner has become so emotionally attached to the other person that he or she does not even intentionally mention the other person, it just happens automatically.
Is your partner aware of personal details from another person that might seem unreasonable for him or her to know?
5. Your partner starts putting you down
Besides decreased physical contact and emotional detachment your partner can start becoming more critical of you, or even putting you down. This is another common sign of emotional infidelity.
The part where your partner becomes critical of you is due to the fact that he or she is comparing you with the other person in his or her life.
Also be keen on how he or she reacts towards negative responses about the other person. Does he or she become extremely defensive? This might be another tell.
Are you having an emotional affair?
When your partner is bonding with someone else emotionally what will happen with you? Some partners make the same mistake – they also go to a friend or co-worker and share their intimate secrets, personal problems and so on. In this way, the cycle repeats once again.
Make sure you don’t fall prey to emotional infidelity yourself, watch out for these signs:
- Do you share many personal thoughts or stories with him or her?
- Do you feel great emotional intimacy with him or her?
- Do you compare him or her to your partner?
- Do you look forward to your next interaction or conversation with him or her?
- Do you change your daily activities in order to spend more time with him or her?
- Do you keep the activities involving him or her a secret from your spouse?
- Do you spend large amounts of time alone with him or her?
Don’t just keep an eye out on your partner, be careful of your own intentions and actions as well. Battling emotional infidelity is hard work and requires both commitment and perseverance – but you can overcome it!