The Real Slim Shady: Signs of Emotional Cheating

It’s not all too uncommon for a woman to find lipstick marks on her husband’s collar or the faint stench of a woman’s perfume on his neck.  These are probably the classic signs of cheating which have gone down in history and have been played up in many a soap opera episode.  It’s the type of hedonistic cheating associated with the physical.

Apart from that though, there is what’s called emotional cheating.  It’s when you develop deep emotional connections with someone who isn’t your partner.  Although it doesn’t constitute hooking up or sneakily getting jiggy behind some dark alley, it’s just as harmful to any relationship as the type of cheating we have all been used to.

What are the signs that your platonic friendship with your opposite-sex friend is turning into something which raises a red flag in your romantic relationship?

Tiny special things.  If you find yourself leaving him notes on his desk, or sending him a photo collage of the two of you on your last trip together, that may signal something.  Giving him mementos or objects showing that you care may mean that you want him to keep thinking about you.  This is also a subconscious invitation for him to return the favor.

Clandestine communication.  Whenever you hear the message alert on your cellphone go off, you feel your heart skip a beat, secretly hoping it was your “friend” who texted you.  Normally, you should be communicating more with your partner than with anybody else.

Spending more time with your “friend”.  Those office lunches are beginning to stretch from one-hour breaks to an hour and a half, and you find yourself extremely looking forward to the 12noon mark every single workday.

Sneaky behavior.  Hiding things from your significant other is a clear indicator of emotional cheating.    If there are certain things going on between you and your “friend” which you don’t feel comfortable sharing with your partner, then you are teetering on the edge of emotional infidelity.

Basically, if you do or feel anything for another person which you would- or rather, should- normally do or feel for your partner, that’s a sign that relationship repairs have to be done.

About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

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  1. Cheating is such a horrible thing. To me, I think that emotional cheating is just as terrible as the good old fashioned type.

  2. Right on. This is exactly how many affairs begin. Emotional cheating is really the same as physical. It’s only a matter of time before it becomes physical.
    Funny, I wrote about a similar topic this week!

  3. Any form of cheating is horrible. Thank you for sharing this important post about some of the possible red flags.

  4. Bart W. Miles says

    While the cases I cited, and other indiscretions that evoke rage from my female clients do not necessarily have to do with sex, all carry strong hints of secrets, betrayals and sexual tension between male and female. Emotional cheating is not about the act of sex but it is about becoming intimate with a member of the opposite sex. The men focus their energy, attention and daydreams towards someone other than you. You begin to feel deceived, unattended and discounted. While you are concerned about the possibility of sex, it’s the friendship that he’s developing with ‘her’ that leaves you feeling hurt the most: Why is he talking to her when he should be talking to me? Why is he focusing thoughts on her when he should be thinking of me and the kids? What does she have that I don’t?

  5. Cheating is a cop-out from resolving an underlying issue in your relationship. It’s not acceptable in any fashion.

  6. Such wisdom in this post! This is a great definition of emotional cheating. It’s something that can sneak up on you if you don’t set up “hedges” around your marriage.

  7. Emotional cheating may be easier to get over than physical, but it’s still damaging. You’ve got some good signs here for others to recognize, and for people to recognize in themselves if they’re emotionally cheating (though realistically they probably already know what they are doing is wrong and are pooh poohing it away with justification).

    This was an interesting topic to approach, I like it. :)

  8. Also, when one is more inclined to confide to the “friend” and enjoy this “friend’s” company rather than one’s own partner, that’s a sure sign as well. Emotional bonding is a serious matter.

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