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Is Emotional Infidelity Killing Your Relationship?

Have you crossed the line?

BY Mercy Kipchilat

Jan 25, 2023, 07:13 AM

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When most people think about cheating in a relationship, the first thing that comes to mind is picturing their partner in bed with another person. But did you know that there are other forms of infidelity besides the physical stuff? Yes, emotional infidelity is a thing. 

Emotional infidelity happens when one partner forms a strong emotional bond with someone outside of the relationship. 

Most emotional affairs usually begin as innocent friendships. You meet a guy; he knows you are married and you know that he’s married too, but that’s okay- you are just friends and you are not looking for anything physical. 

However, as time goes by, you realize you are confiding in him about things you wouldn’t tell your partner; you are texting him all the time, and he is always on your mind. 

You have crossed the line but you don’t know yet because you have not hooked up with him.

Signs Of Emotional Infidelity

It is not quite easy to know when you are having an emotional affair since there is a thin line between close friendships and emotional infidelity.

These 10 signs can help you self-reflect and identify if you are having an emotional affair. They can also help you identify if your partner has an emotional affair.

  • You spend a significant amount of time texting, emailing, or video calling this person. 

  • You open up to this other person about things that you haven't told your partner.

  • You confide in this person about all or most of your problems and concerns including problems in your relationship. As you do, you become more dissatisfied with your partner.

  • You've become less intimate with your partner.

  • You frequently make comparisons between your partner and this person and you even get angry at your partner for not doing things like the other person.

  • You spend less time with your partner and more time with this person.

  • You become secretive about your relationship with this person. You lie to your partner about them and you delete messages and call logs with this person.

  • You become sensitive and very defensive whenever your partner questions your relationship with the other person.

Effects Of Emotional Infidelity On Your Relationship

Like physical infidelity, emotional affairs have adverse effects on relationships and can ultimately lead to the breakdown of relationships.

Over time, an emotional affair can undermine the emotional bonds you have built with your partner and make you question the purpose of your relationship with your partner.

This can impose feelings of hurt, betrayal, anger and mistrust on your partner and even result in separation or divorce in the long run.

How To Deal With Emotional Infidelity

In order to save your relationship with your partner from being destroyed by emotional infidelity, it is important to re-establish boundaries and work on restoring emotional bonds with your partner.

If you’ve identified that you are exhibiting the signs of emotional infidelity listed earlier and are looking to save your relationship, here are helpful steps you should take:

  • Acknowledge the reality. Accept that you are developing an emotional attachment to someone other than your partner.

  • Establish new boundaries. End the emotional affair and cut off ties with the other person.

  • Talk to your partner. Even if you choose not to tell your partner about your emotional affair, try to re-establish the connection and communication with your partner. Bring back small talk with your partner, keep them updated about your daily activities and events and listen to them. Also, communicate your emotional needs with your partner.

  • Spend time with your partner. Create quality time for your partner. Go on dates and find ways of having fun together again.

  • Seek professional help. Last but not least, try to seek help from a licensed marriage counsellor or any mental health professional to help you address the underlying issues that might be clouding your relationship.