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What is emotional cheating?

Infidelity can have a devastating impact on a marriage. However, not all cheating involves physical affairs.

According to Healthline, relationships are also negatively impacted by emotional cheating. While falling short of physical infidelity, emotional affairs can have the same impact as other types of cheating. If you suspect your spouse’s affections lie elsewhere, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Signs of emotional cheating

While no two relationships are alike, many instances of emotional affairs involve:

  • Knowing there is an attraction there, but choosing to pursue the relationship anyway
  • A lack of communication between you and your spouse
  • More time spent communicating with the other party than you
  • A decrease in physical and emotional intimacy
  • New hobbies or interests that seem to arise from nowhere

The difference between emotional affairs and platonic friendships

Individual friendships are important in a healthy marriage. It is even OK to be friends with people that might otherwise be an accepted romantic interest were you or your spouse single. The problem arises when your spouse hides their relationship with the other person. This signals that they are aware that the relationship is inappropriate.

How to set boundaries

The first step is to explain what exactly makes you uncomfortable about your spouse’s relationship with the other person. You must then set hard boundaries around the relationship, to which your spouse must agree. Boundaries can range from not seeing the person at all to limiting how often your partner texts or messages them during the day.

Infidelity does not have to spell the end of a relationship. Some couples are able to work through issues and eventually improve their marriages. However, if your spouse is unresponsive to your concerns or refuses to cut ties with the affair partner, divorce is probably the best option.


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