This is a collaborative post
We often think that infidelity only happens when there is a sexual encounter between your partner and another person. However, there is also emotional infidelity, which does not require a physical encounter and also breaks the agreement that both of you accepted when starting a monogamous relationship.
Discovering that someone is emotionally unfaithful to you can be even more damaging than a conventional or physical betrayal, since it further damages the relationship. Although it is true that each couple is different. While some allow dating other people, others see this as a total betrayal.
What is emotional cheating?
In general, infidelity involves intimate physical contact of one member of a couple with a third party. Currently, this concept is redefined to be able to contemplate emotional deception.
Emotional cheating is one that does not involve physical contact, however it is one of the main causes of the destruction of trust between established, committed and closed couples.
This type of emotional deception is carried out through a feeling or thought without physical contact occurring. It can be through fantasies, with a person who is not your partner.
The most common expressions of emotional cheating involve exchanging messages where feelings are expressed towards another person outside the relationship, such as:
– Sending and receiving text messages with intimate content
– Meeting new people through any dating website and have intimate conversations.
Each of these cases has its own characteristics, but in general, people who start having these types of activities to meet other people have a relationship where they are dissatisfied. They have problems and deficiencies with their partner. In addition, it is certain that respect and communication no longer exist.
Signs of an emotional affair
Among the most common signs of emotional adventures, the person seeks to avoid conflicts, intimacy, lack of affection and routine with their partner, to alleviate their dissatisfaction. This obviously occurs without ending their relationship.
In many cases they do not get to know each other personally with that third person, so they do not consider it infidelity, since there is no physical contact, but it does represent a lack of respect with the person who thinks they are in an established relationship. Emotional deception is seen as the starting point for a physical relationship to exist between two people.
Currently one of the main tools for emotional deception are electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets and PCs. These emotional deception text messages include from feelings, exchange of ideas, opinions, to intimate messages. Flattery, flirtation and risqué photographs.
At the moment that an emotional infidelity is discovered, it is important to pay attention to the relationship and talk honestly with the couple, to determine what are the causes that have generated this situation, to decide if you want to end or continue with said relationship.
Examples of emotional cheating
Some examples of emotional cheating can help to better understand what this couple problem is about. Here we will see some common ones, but we must bear in mind that some couples tend to reach consensus on sex-affective exclusivity.
With that said, let’s look at a few examples of emotional deception that often happen.
- – Flirting on social networks or dating websites with other women,
- – Finding a stranger to have the opportunity to get to know better and assessing their potential as a partner,
- – Establishing a friendship with someone while hiding that we have a partner,
- – Proposing a romantic date to another person who is not your current partner.
All of these behavior patterns are signs of emotional deception in most situations, in which the couple’s relationship rests on a monogamous model.
But there are some behaviors that may look like emotional cheating but some may say are not, for example watching adult videos in a relationship may fall short of emotional cheating for some as you don’t directly interact with anyone except your partner. You are actually in front of a screen. And according to some experts, watching adult videos helps normalize different sexual tastes and makes it easier to discover your sexual orientation, not to mention how exciting it can be to watch adult videos with your partner.
Does emotional cheating have a solution?
We can say yes, as long as the couple decides to go to therapy with a specialist. A couples therapist helps people who suffer from emotional infidelity by offering techniques and strategies that are adapted to each case. There are no magic recipes to solve the problem.
However, some of the most common tasks to help couples who have experienced emotional infidelity are the following.
Seek consensus and expose complaints
This task is very important throughout the therapy process to find a solution to emotional infidelity. It helps the person who has suffered infidelity to express everything they feel, without feeling judged and without having to hold back so as not to cause discomfort.
Detect possible causes
Although emotional infidelity is always the responsibility of the person who commits it, in therapy the case can be analyzed to detect aspects of the person’s day-to-day life that may predispose them to break with the commitment. For example, drug use, pointless arguments, etc.
Recognize responsibilities in the damage caused
It is necessary that the person who has committed emotional cheating understands the damage he has caused, without denying his responsibilities in it. This helps forgiveness to occur, although sometimes it is not enough.
Repair and establish new goals
Any relationship requires a certain degree of commitment and trust. However, when emotional cheating occurs, this trust is broken or severely damaged, and to repair it requires making new resolutions and showing that they matter to both of you.
Conclusions over emotional cheating
Finally, it is necessary to forgive an emotional infidelity and forget it. If there is no forgiveness and forgetting, regardless of whether or not you want to recover the relationship, both members of the couple will not feel good being trapped in rancor and resentment.
It is essential for the mental health of the cheated to have the ability to forgive and the unfaithful must ask for forgiveness. Only then can both continue with their lives, both together and apart. If you stay together, you should never bring up the subject again, nor constantly ask for forgiveness. An emotional infidelity must be forgiven and forgotten.