Our Love Partners are a Piece of Our Soul and it makes us doubt our existence when they cheat us emotionally. Emotional Cheating can burn the soul of a person and lead to even the end of years of a relationship. Are you getting emotionally cheated upon? Has it occurred to you that maybe your partner is no more behaving the same as you? Read on to find out more.
What Is Emotional Cheating
When we utter the term cheating, the very first term that crosses our mind is an ongoing affair, infidelity, or maybe sexual betrayal. However, cheating is not only about one-night stands and secret affairs. Cheating also means breaching a person’s trust. It is important to figure out the signs of emotional cheating and act accordingly.
The definition of Emotional Cheating is a particular state in which a person is more involved with a partner who is not their primary love partner (spouse or Girlfriend/ Boyfriend). The intimacy can be platonic (non-sexual) as well but most importantly the closeness of the person with this secondary partner leaves a deep and undermining impact on the person’s primary relationship.
Stages Of Emotional Affairs
Many people are not ready to believe that there can be something as an Emotional Affair, however, it is widely prevalent around us. The irony is that the person who is engaging in an emotional affair with someone other than their partner already knows that their partner would not be quite comfortable with it. Yet they cannot refrain from the act. Let us try to understand something more about emotional affairs and their stages:
Stage 1: The Friendship Stage: This stage is innocent. It all starts with a common ordinary friendship. The person could be a colleague, a common friend, or even a social media friend of your partner.
Stage 2: Infatuation Stage: During this stage, things have gone beyond friendship. One of the persons or most of the time both the persons develop an infatuation that is a sublime feeling of attraction.
Stage 3: Secrecy Stage: This stage is quite close to deception. During this phase, your spouse may plan to meet that person secretly. They may plan trips and dates without your knowledge of the course. They shall try to hide any details of that person from you.
Stage 4: Emotional Dependence Stage: In this phase, your spouse or partner has already become emotionally dependent on that other person. There is often a sexual passion development during this phase. There is emotional addiction between the two people.
Signs Of An Emotional Cheating Wife Or Husband
Dr. Srinivas Dannaram, a popular MD Psychriatist says that “Emotional Cheating often is triggered unconsciously when a person seeks to find emotional dependence in someone other than their partners and they look forward to fulfilling their unmet desires through this person”. Here are some emotional cheating signs to identify that your partner is emotionally cheating on you:
There is a sudden emotional void created between you and your partner. You feel that the intimacy and the true feelings and connection that existed between your partner and you have all of a sudden dissolved away
There are drastic changes in the behavior of your partner which are emotional infidelity signs. They may intentionally distance themselves from you. The marriage therapist Melissa Schacter explains that: emotional dependence or addiction on a person other than your partner cannot happen overnight. It takes time to grow, develop, and mature.
In today’s world, most emotional cheating instances wave flags from social media. People meet so many new people on the internet and start to communicate. Many times, they tend to find an appropriate partner on social media platforms with whom they love to communicate and share their emotions.
Your partner will no more be comfortable with you if they are emotionally cheating on you. They will now find emotional comfort with someone else. Their new infidelity partner shall now be their peace of mind. This is one of the major emotional affairs signs.
Sudden Lack Of Desire
Desire or passion is extremely important for a relationship to keep moving forward. If your partner is emotionally cheating on you, you can easily notice a lack of desire in them. They will no longer be interested to connect with you emotionally.
If your partner is emotionally cheating on you, they will become irritated at almost everything you do. You shall be surprised to see how the person who used to admire you so much will now become irritated at even how you breathe.
Comparing You To Someone Else
Try to understand one simple thing: Your partner has become emotionally dependent on someone else because they think you are not the ideal one to be addicted to. So, in such cases, your partner will always try to compare you with others and prove how you are lacking or how you are not an ideal person to share their life with
Secrecy is indeed one of the most important factors that come along with emotional cheating. According to the survey conducted by America’s Health Testing Centre, 22.1 % of people who have cheated on their partner either emotionally or sexually never admitted it to their partners and took all precautions to hide the instance from their partners.
Gifts From Unknown People
You need to check whether your partner is receiving gifts from unknown people or not. Remember that they will try their best to hide it from you. Do not force them to admit but keep a check. The signs shall automatically reveal the presence of a third person in your relationship.
Loss Of Priority
Needless to say that with the advent of a new person in life who is now their favorite, your partner will no longer prioritize you. They shall pay less importance, and dedicate less time to you. At times, they shall even ignore your emotional status and go ahead with their emotional cheating partner.
When the connection and mental bond has vaporized, one can hardly expect intimacy to stay in place. There is a drastic lack of intimacy and desire. The void of passion affects all other aspects of the relationship.
Examples Of Emotional Cheating In a Relationship
Emotional infidelity is devastating. Here are a few short examples and signs of emotional cheating in a relationship:
- When a person shares their insecurities, problems, and fears with someone else other than their committed partner
- When a person tries to fulfill their unmet desires through a person other than their committed partner.
- When they like to spend more time and open their heart to any other person
- When a person starts comparing their partner to a person they are emotionally involved with and accuses their partner of being incapable to be in their life
- When a person does not feel the urge, intimacy, and passion of being connected emotionally with their present committed partner
Reasons Why People Emotionally Cheat
This is one of the most commonly asked questions by many people across the globe. The question is: Why does a committed person need someone else to emotionally depend upon? The answer is the lack of emotional satisfaction in their lives.
According to a study by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, 35% of wives and about 45% of husbands emotionally cheat their partners. There are quite a few reasons decoded for this behavior. Let us have a look:
- Emotional intimacy in the marriage or the relationship is scarce. Over the years, the intimacy in the marriage decreases, and a person craves some worthy reciprocation of their feelings from their partners. When they do not find it from their committed partners, they seek out someone else for it and that gives rise to emotional cheating.
- The person who is cheating emotionally may have been deprived of human connections and sexual pleasure for a long time. This encourages them to establish new relationships with other people and this attraction work like a narcotic for them. They get addicted to emotional cheating.
- The cheater does not think that this is a form of cheating so they are not guilty of it
What To Do When Your Partner Is Emotionally Cheating
Having a partner who cheats on you emotionally is indeed a heartbreaking experience. It can break down your confidence and make you feel worst about yourself. Psychiatrist Gail Saltz admits that it is one of the worst types of devastation that people may feel when their partners emotionally cheat on them.
Here are a few things to do when you find out that your partner is emotionally cheating on you:
- Try to figure out the emotional affair. Try and identify the person and also find out from where it all started. Do not neglect the warning signs of an emotional affair.
- Communicate with your partner about the problem rather than creating a mess.
- Identify the true problem. Things may have gone worse but you can still bring them back on track only if you understand the gap and try to bridge it.
- Take the help of any counselor or marriage therapist if needed. Since they are professionals, they can help you and your partner to put your relationship back into mainstream
Emotional cheating can begin with a simple conversation followed by strong emotional addiction toward the person
Emotional cheating usually happens when someone tries to fulfill their unmet emotional needs through a person other than their committed partner
Texting someone else is not emotional cheating. However, the content of texting will make a significant difference in this case.
Stay strong and confess it to your partner. You can also talk about the real causes of what made you emotionally cheat. An understanding partner will try to assess the cause without creating a scene.
Yes. Since a commitment or marriage is not all about physical intimacy rather emotional bonding counts to be more valuable, emotional infidelity is a grave form of cheating.
An emotional affair can last for life long. There are several instances of emotional cheating continuing for years especially when unnoticed by the partner.
The signs of an emotional affair at work are:
– Spending long hours with co-workers even when there is no work needed.
– Sharing all the minute details of life with them
– Helping them in every possible way in the office even crossing the line at times
– A strong emotional dependence and infatuation that is quite visible
One can never have an infatuation or sexual attraction to a friend. However, one of the core features of emotional cheating is infatuation toward the other person or feeling a strong desire or attraction.
Daniela Gilbert is a relationship psychologist and author aged 31. She has a degree in clinical psychology from the University of Southern California and a social psychology Master’s and Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at UCSB.