Emotional Cheating Fact Sheet

What is Emotional Cheating?

Emotional cheating is an intimacy between two people who are in a committed relationship with other persons; it does not initially include a physical/sexual relationship.

It typically starts innocently, as a friendship that evolves into an emotional closeness with communication about deeper issues that would usually be reserved for a partner or spouse with whom there has been an expressed commitment.

If a partner is getting what she or he needs emotionally outside of their relationship, then they are less likely to try to work on their first relationship.

How can a relationship be considered cheating if there is no sexual activity taking place?

All human beings need emotional support and communication. This leads us to seek out relationships that will satisfy these needs.

Emotional cheating is a problem when you are getting your emotional needs met by someone other than your partner.

When can Emotional Cheating oc¬cur?

Emotional cheating often happens when communication has broken down between a couple, and the partners or spouses feel starved for attention.

How Can I Avoid Emotional Cheating?

• Save emotionally intimate conversations for your partner. If you find yourself turning to your friend for emotional support instead of your partner or spouse, then you are probably going down a dangerous path.

• Set rules and expectations for your platonic friendship. Some people believe that men and women cannot have attachments. A man and woman can be friends. However, those in committed relationships should be careful to have firm limits that you and your partner or spouse agree on. Secret texts and calls, or frequent interactions at home are usually a bad sign.

• Be careful of online relationships and office relationships. Online links are not innocent simply because you are not face to face. Office relationships are not automatically protected since you are in a work situation. Your interactions should have strict boundaries, and intimate conversations should be avoided. Flirting and innuendo are not appropriate for either party.

• Do not discuss intimate details about your committed relationship or complain about your partner to your friend. This only opens the door for discussions that could be harmful. Since emotional cheating often happens when communication has broken down between a couple, both partners are more at risk during times of relationship stress. Work your problems out together.
(Emotional Cheating, National Healthy Marriage Resource Center)

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