When it comes to having friendships outside of a relationship, it is a risky business, especially when you treat your friend better than your partner. That is when emotional cheating comes into play.
When a partner chooses someone other than their partner to meet his/her emotional needs, it is called emotional infidelity. It is more common than and as damaging as a physical affair.
A person feels alone, jealous, and neglected when their partner rather invests their attention, emotional energy, and time into someone else. According to a study, people can get over a physical affair, but as far as emotional affairs are concerned, they are much harder to digest. The research also revealed, that in heterosexual couples, the average man is prone to get upset by sexual infidelity (54%), whereas an average woman is bothered by emotional cheating (34%).
The problem with affairs is secrecy and hiding the fact that you have feelings for someone else or have a more intellectual, emotional, or spiritual connection with them. You become sneaky and try to hide your chats and emails as that is where most of the conversations take place. What you fail to realize is that your partner might find out.
They can become suspicious to the extent of installing a monitoring app on your phone to find the truth. If you have been engrossed in your phone more than usual and have become possessive of your phone, chances are that your partner is already suspicious of you. Emotional cheating has become rampant, and because of that, spouse monitoring apps have emerged in huge numbers.
Take the example of Xnspy monitoring app which runs stealthily in the background of a phone it’s on. Your partner can access your text messages, call logs, emails, multimedia, and locations. They can access your social media chats and even your web browsing history. They just have to install the app on your phone and wait for the information to transfer from your phone to an online web account. From there, your partner can see everything, including Wi-Fi logs, your keystrokes, and location history.
If things get super-sneaky, they can even remotely turn on the ambient recording feature of the app and switch on your phone’s microphone. Imagine how your partner would feel when you are having deep conversations with someone when you don’t even bother them asking if they had a good day.
Also, there is another feature which is pretty cool and creepy at the same time. The app lets you make a Watchlist of certain contacts, words, and locations. So, whenever any of those words/contacts appear in the chats, the app will send an automated alert to your partner.
So, even though you might not take it as a form of cheating, but remember that the moment you think that your partner should not know about the kind of conversations you are having, that is when you have already crossed the line. Many people fail to acknowledge emotional infidelity as a form of cheating. These actions are equally or even more damaging to their relationship than physical infidelity.
But there is no physical intimacy?
The thing is that people place a lot of stress on the physical intimacy of a relationship. But the emotional connection takes longer to build. A few drinks, a bad fight, anger, and clouded judgment could make us act irrationally and give in to our primal desires. But sex doesn’t always build an emotional connection. What matters is securing a profound emotional bond and maintaining it.
Yes, physical affairs are bad. You break your partner’s trust and disrespect them by choosing someone else over them. No doubt sexual infidelity is damaging, but once broken, you may never be able to build that emotional connection again. Any two people can get in the heat of the moment. They can get drunk and give in to their carnal desires even though is there is no love between them. Sometimes it is a one-night stand, and an affair could be over in a few weeks or months. An emotional affair takes longer to form and even longer to break. That is why it is usually more devastating.
But people yearn for a deep emotional connection which can last for a long time and not everyone has it. You are supposed to protect the emotional integrity of the relationship you share with your partner seeing above the physical aspects.
What does Emotional Affair/Cheating do to your relationship?
There is nothing wrong with having friends. Being in a committed relationship doesn’t mean that you cannot have friendships. But an emotional affair threatens the emotional bond between two partners. We make friends and are drawn to people because we share the same likes and dislikes. And even if we are complete opposites, we respect their different personality traits. But friendships don’t ruin relationships. If they do, they are not friendships but emotional affairs. An attraction becomes obsessions and eventually an affair that harms everyone in the relationship as well as the people around them.
The term cheating now has a broader definition with the advent of the internet and smartphones. You can text, email, use social media, or instant messaging apps to emotionally cheat on your partner.
Here are a few reasons why emotional affairs are worse than physical affairs:
Hard to Communicate
If you are in a sound relationship and your partner ends up sleeping with someone else, you will be hurt and angry. You might lash out and discuss what is wrong with your sex life that led your partner to go to someone else. As for emotional affairs, they are harder to talk about and you might sound as if you are trying to control who your partner talks to and meets with. Even though you catch a whiff of an emotional affair.
More Secretive than Physical Affair
Emotional infidelity is more dangerous because from the outside, or how your partner wants you to think of it, it seems harmless and innocent. Because your partner can deny the physical affair, but the emotional distance between the two of you could be destructive.
It is hard to bear
According to Today.com, most people would be more traumatized by their partner falling in love with someone else rather than having a one-night stand. It is a violation of the relationship’s emotional intimacy.
The Internet helps with these affairs
Two people have to be close to each other physically to continue their physical affair. But an emotional affair does not have geographical boundaries. Online affairs allow a person to fantasize a romantic relationship that might be lacking in their own life.
They sometimes make one think of non-existent problems
If you are seeking deeper connections outside your relationship, it could sometime indicate problems in your relationship. But not always. Emotional affairs sometimes make you see faults in your partner for no reason, and you become critical of them and everything they do.
Usually, people become protective of their phones when they are in an emotional affair. It may be difficult to catch, but if the other partner resorts to using Xnspy, the truth gets out in no time.
Can you avoid an emotional affair?
If you find yourself in an emotional affair without meaning you, the first thing is to break the pattern. It is crucial for the restoration of faith and the trust your partner had in you. If you have realized your mistake, the road back to normalcy would be bump-free.
Here are a few tips:
- Never meet alone. Always see each other in groups so that you don’t get the time to share intimate problems or have deep conversations.
- In the past, you might have had personal discussions that made you realize that it is leading to an emotional fling. Find a polite way to discourage such behavior. You guys must have bonded over sharing the things you both went through. To stop sharing personal feelings is the most important thing to do. This will make you more in control.
- The more you avoid spending time together, the better. So, do not meet them away from your workplace. Go for ordering food in rather than dining out.
- Be honest with yourself. Be cautious of your actions if you are feeling drawn towards someone. Ask yourself the reason for this behavior. It all boils down to how deeply you want your marriage/current relationship to work. So, if you can find the reason why you became attracted to someone, identify it, and seek it in your partner.
- No physical contact of any sort should happen. Avoid cordial hugs or kisses.
If you are on the verge of starting an emotional affair, take a pause, and think. Ask yourself if this is something you would want in the long run? How would it affect my happiness? Be considerate towards your partner’s feelings.