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Emotional Cheating: Am I Guilty Of Committing Emotional Infidelity?

Emotional Cheating: Am I Guilty Of Committing Emotional Infidelity?

Emotional Cheating
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Emotional cheating can bring have in your relationship or marriage – it can ruin your whole personal life. Your emotional energy is not all-encompassing – it’s limited. If you begin to focus your energy somewhere else, it can have a detrimental impact on your romantic relationships with people who are close to you. 

Do you know what’s more weird? Opening up so much to another person always comes with the potential to make the whole ‘thing’ between the two of you something more. This becomes even more true when you are opening up to someone who is your ‘type’ – someone you find attractive and would have gone for if you weren’t in a committed relationship already. 

Of course, friendships are all right. However, it is vital to identify when things might begin to cross relationship boundaries. There are several signs or behaviors that will point out whether you or your partner is committing emotional infidelity. 

In most cases – we have no clue that we are in the middle of an emotional affair. It seems harmless when it begins before spiraling into something deeper and intimate. It can also escalate into an emotional dependency of sorts. 

Today, let’s explore all the signs that indicate you or your partner is having an emotional affair – stay tuned! 

But First, What Is Emotional Cheating?

What Is Emotional Cheating

So, what is emotional cheating, to be precise? 

An emotional affair is basically a non-sexual relationship that involves a similar level of emotional bonding, much like a romantic relationship. Emotional affairs start out harmlessly – it could be just someone you like talking to and opening up. 

Moreover, these almost start out as friendships or healthy camaraderie if they start at your workplace. While there are some platonic partnerships that gradually morph into intimate and deep bonds, others might become sexual later. 

So, when you find someone attractive, or you share sexual tension (and chemistry) with this person, you will face a slippery slope that constantly pulls you away from your partnership or even marriage. 

Generally, there is no intention for such bonds to actually become anything substantial. Regardless, the boundary between emotional affairs and close relationships is so thin that it tends to get blurry from time to time. 

Moreover, emotional relationships can lead to incessant flirting as well as sexual encounters quickly. 

After all, any emotional and meaningful connection forms the foundation for any relationship. Additionally, friendships can easily evolve into a full-fledged emotional affair when lines start blurring suddenly. 

Signs You Are Guilty Of Emotional Cheating:

Signs You Are Guilty Of Emotional Cheating

Most of the time, the lines between an emotional affair and a platonic friendship become so blurry that you won’t even be aware of what is happening until you are in too deep. As a result, it is only normal that you are probably not sure whether you are having an emotional affair or someone is just being a good friend to you. 

So, here are the biggest signs that you are probably guilty of emotional cheating.

1. Frequent Contact:

Emotional affairs are typically all about being in contact with each other as much as possible. This not only includes spending plenty of time together but also staying in touch frequently when the two of you are apart. 

For instance, you have communicated with each other at inappropriate and questionable hours. In fact, you frequently devote plenty of time video calling, emailing, and texting this person. Moreover, it is also possible that you have been neglecting your family, partner, and other obligations to stay in touch regularly with your ‘friend.’

It is the neglect, specifically, that turns this type of behavior from a platonic friendship into a cause for worry. For instance, think about how you would feel if you saw your partner neglecting you on date night because they are busy texting someone else. 

2. Frequent Sharing:

Emotional affairs also come with this tendency to focus on the emotional relationship to a point where you might confide in them much more than your actual partner. In fact, this person might be your ‘first call’ when you have some news to share. 

For instance, if you have something exciting to share or you are having a bad day then you or text them. In fact, you might not even share much with your partner at all. 

It’s not like you are intentionally keeping things away from your partner, but it is the lack of basic communication that indicates how your partner has no clue about what is happening in your life. It also might be a signal that you are not focussing on your relationship.

3. Constant Thoughts:

When you are in an emotional affair with someone, you won’t be able to stop thinking about them. This person will take all over your mind and thoughts. You will also see that you are having a difficult time focussing on things that do not actually include this person. 

Think about your friends frequently to the point where they are the last thing on your mind when you go to sleep and the first thing on your mind when you wake up. Moreover, you think about them at odd hours during the day. Additionally, when you are dressing up, you can’t help but do it for this person, provided you meet each other every day at work or university. 

While most emotional affairs start non-sexually, it is normal to start developing sexual or romantic fantasies about this person. 

4. Feeling Understood:

You think this person actually ‘gets’ you, and that, too, in a way, your partner doesn’t. In fact, you might start to feel like you have a lot in common with them, like shared interests, hobbies, etc. 

This might sound like a platonic friendship, and it might be just that! But if you think that this intimacy is impacting your connection with your partner, then it might be time to rethink and reassess how you have been behaving. 

Moreover, there is no single sign that shows you are definitely committing emotional cheating. Instead, there are plenty of feelings, behaviors, and actions that come together to indicate that you are guilty of emotional infidelity. This becomes even more relevant when it starts to impact your present romantic relationship. 

5. Inappropriate Sharing:

Emotional affairs might start with conversations about normal things (work, for instance). But, often, the topics of conversations shift into relatively more intimate details about your personal life. 

You will find yourself talking about your life, personal issues, your sex life, and even your relationships. 

Moreover, it is also possible that you frequently discuss personal topics like the problems you have been facing in your present relationship. Additionally, you will find yourself sharing most of your problems and worries with this person.

While doing so, it is possible to become unhappy with your existing relationship and even your partner. Moreover, the worst part is you are venting to another person, but you are not taking the vital steps to repair issues in your present relationship. 

6. Less Time For Your Partner:

You spend more time with your new friend and less time with your partner. Whether it is less affection, time, or communication, you are giving more time and focusing more on this other person. 

Sadly, this person has begun to occupy space in your thoughts and innermost world – the space that used to be entirely occupied by your partner. 

Spending time with anyone and forming emotional bonds with others outside your relationship is not a problem normally. It is when you connect with a person who ends up taking over your whole life that it becomes a major problem. After all, this bond you have formed is interfering with your actual relationship and has become something that you feel like hiding. 

If you are going through any such phase, it is vital to ask a question: would you be worried if your partner was this intimate with one of his friends (of the opposite gender)?

7. Secrecy:

Of course, you are keeping this friendship a secret from your partner – you are lying at times. Lying here typically involves omitting certain details from the conversation. 

You are not telling your partner about the phone calls, texts, lunches, meetings, and conversations with your new friend. In some cases, it is also normal to take steps and hide such communication. For instance, you may delete texts or even deny having a conversation with this person when asked. 

You are lying or hiding things when you are aware deep down that such behavior is not fine. Would you be embarrassed if your partner read the spicy texts? If so, then that’s a major sign things have gone too far. 

The Impact Of Emotional Cheating:

The Impact Of Emotional Cheating

Emotional cheating can seem like an escape from your daily monotony. It’s like you share your best version with this person, and you get their best in return. After all, you don’t have to spend all your time with them and find out about their less attractive features or bad habits. 

Moreover, your idea of them primarily depends on an idealized persona and fantasy, which undoubtedly makes the whole equation alluring. 

Some ways in which emotional cheating can impact your relationship include:

  • Feelings of anger, shame, and guilt. 
  • Divorce.
  • Difficulty in building future relationships.
  • Hurt and betrayal. 
  • Reduced self-confidence.
  • Loss of trust.
  • Worsened communication between the two people in a relationship. 
  • Damaged relationships with family, including children. 

So, if you think you are guilty of emotional cheating, then it is time to seriously evaluate your existing relationship’s present state. 

Even when emotional affairs cross lines and become something sexual, the impact is equally damaging, if not more. It puts your existing relationship in danger. 

Moreover, the intimacy involved in such affairs can regularly have a deeper level of intensity as compared to that of a sexual affair. This is because people are more invested emotionally in emotional affairs. 

Why Do People Commit Emotional Cheating?

Why Do People Commit Emotional Cheating

While writing about why women cheat, we found out that a majority of women cheat because there is a lack of emotional satisfaction in their romantic relationships. 

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As a result, we had to go deep and understand why people commit emotional infidelity. If your partner is guilty of emotional infidelity, then you might be thinking, why is anyone doing so? Is it because they are in love with this outside person secretly? Have they stopped loving me? Is it because there is something wrong? Is your relationship over?

Sometimes, one partner’s unilateral decision to cheat emotionally is made strategically and consciously. But typically, it is more about small, well-intentioned, unconscious, and cumulative boundary slippages. 

It is something that any partner indulges in thoughtlessly when they share their thoughts, passions, frustrations, feelings, dreams, hopes, or other aspects of their inner life with someone else, unknown to their partner. 

In many cases, emotional affairs is a way that someone is trying to get a much deeper requirement met. It could also be about protecting themselves from a scary scenario. 

But isn’t it normal to open up to your partner? How come you are sharing your innermost thoughts, fears, and vulnerabilities with someone who is not your partner? These are pretty big questions with complicated answers that can vary. 

Maybe you have tried getting close to them, but they have been unavailable, judge mental, and dismissive. Maybe you are afraid of driving them away with your ‘neediness.’ It is also probable that depending on them scares you.

There could be multiple reasons, and these could overlap as well as shift with time. 

How To Handle An Emotional Affair?

How To Handle An Emotional Affair

Emotional cheating just doesn’t happen out of the blue. It takes effort and time to build an emotional bond with someone else. 

If you actually believe that you are doing things that indicate you are having an emotional affair, then there are things you can do to re-establish boundaries to protect your existing romantic relationship with your partner. 

By discussing and acknowledging your emotional affair directly and openly, you can actually work together to understand why it really led to it, express your concerns and feelings, figure out how to repair them, rebuild trust, and finally make your relationship strong. 

Avoiding emotional infidelity does not mean restricting communication with people or not sharing any emotional connection with your close ones. Those are essential relationships that are crucial for your psychological well-being and social support. 

Here are some strategies that can help if you think you are guilty of committing emotional infidelity. 

1. Create Boundaries:

Establish as well as maintain your expectations or boundaries for how you or others will actually behave in romantic relationships. For instance, staying in touch with your close ones is very essential, but there should be times when you focus on your family and partner. 

2. Communicate With Your Partner: 

Communicate with your partner about basic details of your personal life – from your personal feelings about different things in your life to the daily events of your day. 

3. Spend Time Together: 

Set aside some time for spending quality time with your significant other. Moreover, you should consider getting in touch with a mental health expert if your emotional infidelity is causing issues in your relationship. They can actually help you address difficult issues that may cause you or even your partner to seek emotional connections with people in the first place. 

Emotional Cheating Vs. Friendship: Two Very Different Things!

Emotional Cheating Vs. Friendship

Emotional cheating and platonic friendships involve a sense of closeness and emotional intimacy but differ in their daily executions. In emotional affairs, a partner typically crosses boundaries that harm their existing romantic relationship. 

Contrastingly, platonic friendships will not lead to any possibility of physical contact or sexual infidelity that will have a negative impact on the existing relationships of the involved parties. 

Of course, people in long-term partnerships need to have relationships outside the romantic one they share. As a result, couples should emotionally invest in coworkers, family, close friends, and others. 

Moreover, emotional cheating typically takes place when your partner is not comfortable with how much attention and time you give to another partner at the expense of your partner’s well-being. 

So, if you or even your partner is guilty of emotional cheating, then it is vital to maintain communication with your partner. 

When you avoid having a conversation with your partner or start keeping secrets from them, it can only make things worse between the two of you. As a result, it is vital to talk about the problem – you can also consider couples counseling if both of you want to fix your relationship. 

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