Cheating in a relationship can take its shape in various forms. Although the most popular image is engaging in some type of physical relations with someone outside of the relationship, unfaithfulness can mean different things to different people. What you might consider to be harmless and innocent could actually be really offensive and hurtful to your partner. You may assume that what you’re doing is fine, but your partner might be seeing it as an act of betrayal. Cheating has become infinitely more complicated because of social media and other new forms of technology, but that still doesn’t mean we get a free pass to be ignorant about it. In fact, there are many ways in which we can be engaging in one or more forms of cheating without even realizing it. Listed below are six forms of cheating in a relationship that don’t involve being physical.
Forms Of Cheating That Don’t Involve Being Physical
1. You Flirt Online And Offline – Virtual relationships where we can communicate with many different people at once are much easier to sustain than one in real life. Therefor, virtual polygamy could easily co-exist within the context of offline monogamy. This is happening because the internet is an easy place for emotional involvement to occur between strangers. In many ways, the internet facilitates the same type of relationship-building opportunities we have in real life. Nevertheless, anonymous online flirting, as well as offline flirting, is still an affair. But, the good news is that you can use social media and other apps to strengthen the existing relationship with your partner and reduce emotional distance. Healthy internet use between partners builds bridges instead of boundaries and it facilitates online socializing as a couple. This type of communication in a relationship can be a healthy mode of supplementary communication.
2. You Cross The Line With Strangers – Emotional infidelity is as dangerous as adultery because it’s intense, but invisible. Of course, you may love your partner, but when some of your small actions cross the line of infidelity, you’re at risk of losing someone important in your life. Taking a solo trip over messy territory can cause you to do things you wouldn’t normally do – like cheat. For example, you meet this nice guy at a bar and he flirts with you, flatters you, and gives you something you’re not getting in your primary relationship. That must be a warning sign that something’s not going well between you and your partner! If you need someone, especially a stranger, to fill whatever void you have in your primary relationship, you’re entering the territory of emotional infidelity. Although it’s invisible, it can also be the most painful form of cheating for your partner.
3. You Dream Of Other Lovers – One of the fatal flaws of our culture is that we take everything at face value. We want to believe that every nighttime dream is a direct reflection of reality. So, when you have a dream that involves other lovers, our first response is to panic and think, “Oh, no! This must mean I don’t really love my partner!” Instead, keep calm and relax. It’s perfectly fine to have occasional fantasies about Jason Momoa’s 6-pack abs or Irina Shayk’s body. But if you’re consistently dreaming or imagining an intimate partner other than your spouse, this could be leading to an emotional (or even intimate) affair due to disconnection from your spouse. The only way to control it is to openly talk to your spouse about your fantasies and what you like in bed. Then, have them share the same with you. Get back to the fun of intimacy with your spouse, and it’ll be difficult to imagine anyone else!
4. You’re Having An Affair With Your Phone – Today, most of us wake up and check our phones before we even tell our partner “Good morning.” This type of behavior can be dangerous because it makes us think we are close to someone when in fact we might not be. According to one recent survey, nearly 4 in 10 millennial’s consider their cell phone more helpful than their significant other. That creepy statistic exemplifies an issue of reality which we all deal with in today’s world. Instead of talking to your partner, friend or family members, people are diving into virtual reality with funny cats and mean tweets. The biggest reason our attempts to spend less time on our phones usually fail is because we frame our efforts in the same way we do with diets: as acts of self-deprivation. No one likes to restrain themselves and that’s what makes it so hard.
5. You Have A Secret Friend – Normal friendships tend to be pretty open, and having your partner stumble across a text thread from your BFF is unlikely to arouse any suspicions. It’s not fair or realistic to expect your spouse to fill every need. With this in mind, meeting a friend for a drink or to hang out for a while is totally fine! But there’s one little problem – if you’re going out of your way to cover up everything you do, then it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that you feel at least a little guilty about an impulse to hide your friendship from your partner. Maybe you feel that your special friend might threaten your relationship and don’t want to admit this fact. If you’re so wholly relying on one person for emotional support, and that person is not in a loving relationship with you, you’re setting yourself up for some trouble with your partner.
6. You Lie About Your Finances – They say a relationship without trust is like a car without gas. You can stay in it as long as you want, but it will never go anywhere. According to the results of a poll that surveyed some 23,000 online users, more than 60% of both men and women consider financial infidelity to be just as heinous as a physical affair. What’s more, one-third of respondents felt that financial infidelity could lead to other types of infidelity as well. The biggest problem with financial (as any other) lying is that trust is lost and when that happens, the relationship becomes stagnant. As a result, most couples either separate or divorce, because it’s just too hard to live with and rely on someone who you cannot trust. Remember, the love you feel from the dollars in your bank account is nothing compared to the love of a trusting spouse!
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