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Emotionally Cheating Creates Its Own Challenges In Relationships

I’ll admit that I’m guilty of cheating. Not in the physical sort of way as in the “emotional” aspect department. It’s too easy now-a-days to do so.  As there are so many dating apps, “friend finders”, and websites that it makes it difficult not to cheat. The stereotype is that men are more likely to cheat and women are likely to do it at the emotional level.

The issue is that you like him and he feels the same allowing for joking, flirting and having conversations for hours. Feelings are shared that don’t come up with your significant other and your attention is focused specifically on that person.

Behaviors may change as you might dress nicer if meeting for lunch. This person could be your ex, a coworker or a friend you’ve known for a long period of time. The issue is that it’s not your significant other.

Emotional affairs occur when one partner is channeling physical or emotional energy, time and attention into someone other than the person they are in a committed relationship with to the point that their partner feels neglected.

What makes emotional cheating more damaging than its physical counter part?

Cheating sexually is more often than not just that – sex. “Most people, I’ve found, can recover from sexual infidelity more readily than from the fact that they were lied to,” says Peggy Vaughan, author of The Monogamy Myth: A Personal Handbook for Recovering from Affairs. 

Finding out your partner’s been emotionally attached with someone else makes you think, “What can I believe about our life together?The big red flag is the secrecy. Emotional cheating is about breaking trust with your spouse, not having sex with someone else,” she adds.

Why does the emotional cheater insist on no wrong doing?

They can validate their innocence because they’re not being physical with the person.

Many people have a hard time seeing what’s so wrong about this type of friendship. Culturally, we tend to believe that cheating is having sex with someone other than your spouse, period. Emotional affairs tend to escalate in slowly, from e-mails to lunch to drinks. As it gets more serious, it’s still easy to think of it as innocent because it’s “only” lunch. Before you know it, you’ve got a stack of secrets you’re keeping, and an emotional entanglement with someone else.

Can it mean the end to your relationship?

No. If your significant other decides to stay with you, rebuilding the trust will be difficult. Especially if you fell in love with that other person, with or without sex, it can be very painful for your spouse. Couples counseling could be very helpful in this situation. With guidance from a counselor, you both can learn to rebuild the trust and get past this.

What should you do?

If you haven’t gotten caught, back off as soon as possible. Cold turkey that other person. Stop responding to texts and emails. If they’re your coworker, let them know that from here on out it’s a professional relationship only. If needed, get transferred. Should you tell your significant other? Probably not. Just stop what you’re doing and pour all your love into the relationship with your husband, wife, girlfriend, or boyfriend.

How to prevent the affair?

Communication with your spouse. If you’re feeling ignored emotionally, let them know. If they’re something lacking in your relationship, confront it. If there is no hope in the relationship, leave. It’s simple as that. There are no excuses for cheating. You’re only going to do some major damage to the other person and yourself.


Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

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