Is Emotional Infidelity Cheating?

When it comes to marriage and relationships, love can be complicated, and few couples skate by without any issues. While each couple may have different views as to what exactly qualifies as cheating, most people agree that having a sexual relationship with someone other than one’s spouse is cheating.

Of course, a physical betrayal is incredibly painful for the innocent spouse, and there are countless self-help books that teach couples how to cope after a spouse cheats, but what about an emotional affair?

Social Media Made Matters Worse

With the explosion of digital technology, namely social media such as Facebook and Twitter, emotional infidelity has spread like wildfire among married couples.

With a quick Google search, unhappy spouses can reconnect with an old flame on Facebook, or even go so far as to join an online dating website. With a touch of a button, they can send risqué photos on their smartphones or Snapchat.

Some people contend that an emotional relationship is worse than a sexual one; that’s because it involves a “connection,” on a higher level. Also, when a spouse is having a mental affair with another person, it can plant seeds of doubt about their marriage and it can insidiously unravel their relationship with their spouse.

Emotional infidelity is when a spouse gets emotionally close to someone else, often discussing the possibility of sexual intimacy one day. Many spouses have secret relationships when there is a mutual attraction, especially with today’s social media making it so easy to connect with co-workers, friends and former partners.

An emotional affair can be harder to detect, especially if your spouse deletes their texts and doesn’t give you access to their Facebook and email accounts. Since they haven’t had a rendezvous in a hotel room, you can’t go looking for hard evidence, such as hotel receipts in the trash.

Is your spouse emotionally cheating with an old friend or someone they work with? It can be very difficult to tell, unless you can find a digital trail. One of the best things you can do is consider their moral character and integrity.

Has your partner cheated in the past? Are they loyal to their friends and family? Or, do they have a history of being dishonest?

Usually, spouses rely on their gut instincts to guide them. It never hurts to gently bring this up with your husband or wife and ask them what they consider cheating. You should both agree that cheating can be physical or emotional.

Has cheating led you down the path to divorce? If so, contact Cutter & Lax to schedule your initial consultation with our Board Certified family law specialist.