The lines can easily be blurred. Have you ever been in that type of situation? If you have, you might have wondered about the line between emotional cheating vs friendship. Is it blurrier then you originally thought?
It happens. But how you deal with this situation is key in terms of whether your relationship will survive the turmoil or not. Every single person on this planet of ours has a totally different definition of what cheating is. For me, kissing is a red line. For another person, that might be totally forgivable. We all know what friendship is. There is no romantic intention involved. For instance, I have friends who are literally family to me. We turn to our friends during times of need because our friends know us well and understand us.
Compare in your own mind what you think. To me, emotional cheating is when a partner turns to another person for their emotional needs, but they have other intentions. They may not know this at first, but they develop romantic feelings and the connection goes a little beyond friendship, e. Sometimes it is genuine friendship. Simply, a conversation between partners will fix the growing rift. Think carefully about your relationship and what it means to you. Evaluate it carefully.
Work on your relationship. Consider what is wrong and what you can change. Talk to your partner and reignite the spark. A friendship never has a feeling of butterflies attached to it. At the end of the day, friendship is something we should cherish, and it helps us through hard times. Sometimes an outside perspective can be all it takes to help you solve the issue. The best measure? Ask yourself how you would feel if the boot was on the other foot.
If your partner was close to someone else in the same way, would it make you feel uncomfortable? Would you have a problem with it? Stop before things worsen. In that case, why are you putting your partner through it? Emotional cheating vs friendship can be a difficult debate.
Share Post:. Leave a Reply Cancel Reply. Recent Posts. Recent Comments.A relationship without sex can be just as intense, or more so than a sexual one. To understand the intensity of emotional infidelity, it helps to see the dynamics as an addiction, a form of addictive love.
Seeing the problem as an addiction also gives you access to proven steps to identify and break free of the toxic patterns.Friends CROSSING The LINE in Their RELATIONSHIP (r/AskReddit)
Albeit temporary, there is also pleasure from lowering or numbing pain, shame or guilt, as it provides distance from taking responsibility to resolve the real issues of life and marriage which risk failure. The very words are dangerous to your marriage. This rationale allows you to make excuses, or more plainly, to tell lies to yourself and others about something you know in your gut is wrong.
Regardless how strongly TV and entertainment promote the idea of opposite-sex friendships and this is part of the problem!
Treating them as a confidant, sharing intimate issues. Sharing thoughts and deepest concerns, hopes and fears, passions and problems is what deepens intimacy; it builds an emotional bond between two people, time better used in marriage relationship. Giving this away to another person, regardless of the justification, is infidelity, a betrayal of trust.
This is especially true when you consider that emotional intimacy is the most powerful bond in human relationships, much stronger than a sexual one. Discussing troubling aspects of your marriage and partner. And, like gossip, it creates a false sense of shared connection, and an illusion that you, your happiness, your comfort and needs are totally valued by this person when, in truth, this has not been put to the test!
Comparing them verbally and mentally to your partner. Obsessively thinking or daydreaming about the person. This sense of expectation, excitement, anticipation releases dopamine in reward centers of your brain, reinforcing toxic patterns. Obsessively thinking about the person is an obvious signal that something is wrong.
It always appears this way in affairs and romantic encounters at the start. Pulling out of regular activities with your partner, family, work. As a result, you begin to pull away, turn down, or make excuses for not joining regular activities with your partner and family. Family members notice you are withdrawn, irritable and unhappy. Keeping what you do secret and covering up your trail.
Secrecy itself is a warning sign. It creates a distinct closeness between two people, and at the same time grows the distance between them and others. Secrets create a special bond, most often an unhealthy one. Keeping a growing list of reasons that justify your behaviors. It builds a dangerous sense of entitlement and forms a pool of resentment from which you feel justified to mistreat your partner or do what you need to increase your happiness without considering the consequences.
Fantasizing about a love or sexual relationship with the person. At some point, one or both persons begin to fantasize about having a love or sexual relationship with the other. They may begin to have discussions about this, which adds to the intensity, the intrigue and the intoxicating addictive releases of neurochemicals that make the pattern more entrenched.
Giving or receiving personal gifts from the person. Another flag is when the obsession affects your buying behaviors, so that you begin to think about this person when you are shopping, wondering what they like or would show your appreciation.An emotional affair generally starts innocently enough as a friendship.
What Is Emotional Cheating? Here’s What 13 People Had To Say, Because It Can Get Blurry
Through investing emotional energy and time with one another outside the marital relationship, the former platonic friendship can begin to form a strong emotional bond which hurts the intimacy of the spousal relationship.
While there are those who believe that an emotional affair is harmless, most marriage experts view an emotional affair as cheating without having a sexual relationship. Emotional affairs are often gateway affairs leading to full-blown sexual infidelity. About half of such emotional involvements do eventually turn into full-blown affairssex and all. For some individuals, the most hurtful and painful consequences of an emotional affair is the sense of being deceived, betrayed, and lied to.
Any part of one's life that is essentially kept a secret from a partner is dangerous to the trust between spouses. An emotional affair is when a person not only invests more of their emotional energy outside their marriage but also receives emotional support and companionship from the new relationship.
If you believe that a person's emotional energy is limited, and if your spouse is sharing intimate thoughts and feelings with someone else, an emotional affair has developed. Although cheaters are often guilt-free in an emotional affair because there is no sex involved, their spouses often view an emotional affair as damaging as a sexual affair. Much of the pain and hurt from an emotional affair is due to the deception, lies, and feelings of being betrayed.
A platonic friendship can evolve into an emotional affair when the investment of intimate information crosses the boundaries set by the married couple. An emotional affair is opening a door that should remain closed. Another key difference is that people involved in an emotional affair often feel a sexual attraction for one another. Sometimes the sexual attraction is acknowledged and sometimes it isn't. If you answer "yes" to more than 3 of these questions below, you are courting disaster in your marriage by being in an emotional affair.
Although there are differing views on how to protect your marriage from being hurt by an emotional affair, we think your marriage is best protected from an emotional affair by the two of you working together to have a marriage built on a strong foundation of friendship and trust.
Some may agree or disagree with the often-made suggestion to limit your interpersonal relationships or friendships. Gary Neuman's bookEmotional Infidelity: How to Affair-Proof Your Marriage and 10 Other Secrets to a Great Relationshiphe makes some controversial statements: "Insulate and protect your marriage against emotional infidelity by avoiding friendships with members of the opposite sex. One of the reasons some people question this suggestion to limit certain friendships is because it can create a sense of isolation for couples.Before I ever even asked myself, " What is emotional cheating?
I once had a partner who had an emotional affair. At the time, my partner was 21 years old, and I was still about six months from my 21st birthday, so they started going to a local bar without me. I trusted them, so I didn't sweat it until they started coming home later and later after the bar had closed. It turned out they had developed a friendship with the bartender, and they were staying and chatting for hours after the bar closed, and developed a close, intimate friendship that they lied about and tried to hide from me for months.
It eventually made its way back to me through mutual friends. My partner always swore that nothing sexual happened, but I was still totally devastated. I felt betrayed and lonely and lost. I knew that a line had been crossed, I didn't have the language to describe what had happened, but I knew it was some kind of cheating.
My story is all too common, in part because what constitutes emotional cheating can be so unclear, and people cross that line without realizing it exists, only to face the consequences on the other side. So, what is the actual definition of emotional cheating? And I speak from experience when I say it's every bit as painful perhaps even more so than a sexual affair.
That still feels a bit vague, so I turned to Reddit to see what other people consider to be emotional cheating, and honestly, I agree. Here's what they had to say. Some of these behaviors are pretty obviously crossing a line, while others may feel a bit more like a gray area — not to mention they can often create a slippery slope effect.
She adds, "Increasing secrecy is certainly a red flag. Another is looking forward to the specialness of contact with this other person more than the daily-ness of being with your partner. It turns out that feeling understood on the level of the soul is far more sexy than sex itself.
What Is Emotional Cheating? By Rachel Shatto. Anything you have to lie to your partner about re: level of closeness to another person. I don't expect to hear all the private details of discussions a partner has with others, but once hiding aspects of the relationship comes into play there's a problem.
When your partner's priority is no longer you, it's someone else.
This happened to me with my ex husband.It's no surprise that being emotionally cheated on feels terrible, arguably even WORSE than regular ol' cheating. And part of that comes from simply not knowing for sure. There are no sexts or misplaced undergarments to uncover; instead, you have agonizingly smaller clues to go off of, constantly wondering if you're just being paranoid and clingy.
However subtle they may be, here are nine ways to tell if your partner has romantically checked out—and possibly moved on to someone else:. This can be anything from strategically angling their body away from you to suddenly getting very annoyed at you using their phone to check the time.
Susan Krauss WhitbournePh. Again, if they've always been on social media, it's much harder to tell if anything's going on. But Dr. Whitbourne says if your boo is suddenly ultra-invested in an app, like Snapchat, that conveniently erases potential evidence, or is out-of-the-blue into storying everything and frantically checking who saw them, well.
Whitbourne says. She also notes to go in with an open mindset—they genuinely could be realizing, for the first time, how addictive Twitter is, and not necessarily cheating. But it's good to listen to your gut.
They text a LOT when you're on dates together and don't provide an explanation. It's not that your partner is never allowed to get lost on their phone when they're at dinner with you.
Bosses e-mail, and group chats drop juicy goss at the worst times—hey, it happens! But the main thing is that they apologize and tell you why you have to wait a minute. And again, if your partner used to hold your hand during coffee dates and now spends half the time on their phone, look out for that.
Generally, one of the best parts of being in a relationship is you have someone you can recap all the parts of your day to—even the super-boring, not-so-great ones. So when your partner goes from passionately venting about their day to an automated, "It was fine," that could be cause for alarm. It's doubly suspect if they then say nothing to you but will immediately hop on their phone and text someone else. The obvious sign is that they never initiate sex anymore or seem really detached when you do have it.
Whitbourne says a core lack of intimacy in general—less kissing, hand-holding, hugging, or touching—can be a red flag if it feels like an abrupt change. Unless they have a disorder or crisis you're aware of that's making them withdraw out of nowhere, people usually don't dramatically cut down on cuddles if everything's fine in the relationship.
Yup, them insisting on only spending one-on-one time with their work spouse is, uh, obviously not a good sign. Whitbourne says being snubbed doesn't always happen because your S. If your S. And that's deeply unfair to you as a partner, when you're the one in the relationship while the crush gets to be in the unattainable-fantasy stage. Do you really need to hear how Kendall seems to always be in a bubbly mood while you're supposedly a perma-grump? If you find that your spats as of late are borderline-ridiculous and you have no idea how they start every time, oof.
They might even go as far as to ask you if you're cheating or wanting out of the relationship. They want you to get so fed up that you're the one who breaks up with them, sparing them the difficult, messy task of sitting you down and ending your partnership because they like someone else or want to be single. They'll drop dinner with you to grab drinks with their new friend, but when you bring up a weekend trip, they're suddenly not sure if they have the time or money.
They're now more cautious about carving out space for you, especially if it involves anything in the future. Keeping you at arm's length without making any big promises, lets them emotionally test the waters with someone new while having you as a backup option. Ok, so this list confirms your fears, and you want to confront your partner. What now?It's a scenario that happens all the time: You've met a new friend or co-worker and you instantly feel a connection.
The two of you just click and soon, the text messages are flowing freely. You're cracking inside jokes, you're very subtly flirting and you're thinking about him or her all the time. It sounds like the start of a very promising new romantic relationship. The only problem? You're already in a relationship -- and it may instead be the start of an emotional affair. What's that, you ask? Below, relationship experts offer an explainer on emotional infidelity: what it is, what it isn't and what to do if you have a sneaking suspension you're having an emotional affair.
In a nutshell, what is an emotional affair? How is it any different than a close, platonic friendship? Unlike a platonic friendship, there's sexual chemistry between the two of you -- and there's definitely s ome fantasies playing out in your head, she said. You may even share unflattering details about your relationship with this new person -- and naturally, you don't say a word about any of this to your S. Eventually you may become more deeply invested in imagining what could be with this person, said David Wygant, a dating and relationship coach.
12 Warning Signs That It’s Emotional Infidelity – And Not ‘Just Friendship’
At some point, your actual partner can't possibly compare with the other man or woman in your life, said Gal Szekely, the founder of the Couples Center for therapy in Northern California.
So by that definition, I'm not having an emotional affair if we're just friends, right? Of course it's OK to maintain some privacy and forge new friendships while in a relationship. You just want to establish boundaries and maintain transparency with your partner, Szekely said. Meyers agreed. And ultimately, you should be able to tell if your behavior is veering on the shady side, Wygant said. If you recognize yourself in the descriptions above, the good news is you haven't taken the relationship to a physical level yet.
You can press pause on your budding quasi-relationship, disengage and work on your actual relationship, said Meyers. Only after you address the weaknesses in your relationship "can you bring stable footing to your relationship and start infusing it with the love, attention, appreciation, and affection you and your partner both deserve," Meyers said.
And if you're not willing to fix what's wrong in your existing problems, maybe it's time to reevaluate your relationship status, said Wygant. Ask yourself: Am I willing to work on the relationship -- or am I just going to have a series of emotional affairs until I finally end the relationship? News U.When you think of cheating, your mind probably jumps to sex—and the thought of your partner in bed with someone else.
But with the advent of dating apps, Snapchat, and constant communication at the tip of your fingers, experts say emotional affairs are becoming more prominent. An affair is defined as a perceived betrayal of a sexual or erotic nature, she explains.
You might look forward to talking to someone else more than your partner, tell someone else those funny little things that pop up, or find yourself complaining about your actual relationship to your emotional affair partner.
The key elements of emotional cheating: secrecy, sharing intimacy, and sexual chemistry. Of course, in order for the behavior to be cast as true infidelity, it has to have the sense of betrayal and some sort of intimate, emotional, erotic, or sexual overtone, adds Zapien.
The first stage is usually friendship, adds Rodman. A rule of thumb? Over time, emotional cheating chips away at the deep connection you once shared, putting out the fire.
Consider these the red flags:. In fact, your partner may have already told you about their affair. Listen: Is your other half rambling about their awesome new coworker who they get lunch with every day? They may be trying to get you to notice or care, Rodman notes. Ask about the person in question, and they might even snap back—a sign they genuinely care for the person and are dedicating emotional energy to them. Enter: that lack-of-a-spark feeling.
Your S. Real secrets are a big-time sign of an affair, notes Zapien. You can work through any kind of cheating, Zapien says, but every affair, person, and couple is different. So what you do varies depending on you are and what your goals are. Step one, though, is addressing the affair itself. No matter where you do it—at home or in the presence of a therapist—think of it as a conversation, not a confrontation, Meyers suggests.
There are three key points to include:. This helps diffuse defensiveness and starts an ongoing discussion, Meyers explains. Then, take a look back at the past. Outline what both of you were disappointed about pre-affair maybe one partner felt lonely in the relationship then talk about solutions. The solutions depend on the particular situations and issues at hand.
3 Major Signs Your Partner Is Having an Emotional Affair
No matter what you choose, be prepared to put in the work. Type keyword s to search. Today's Top Stories. Vladimir Vladimirov Getty Images. What is emotional cheating, anyway? Astarot Getty Images. PeopleImages Getty Images. Related Stories. Cassie Shortsleeve Freelance Writer Cassie Shortsleeve is a skilled freelance writer and editor with almost a decade of experience reporting on all things health, fitness, and travel.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below.