Do You Believe in Emotional Infidelity?

September 13, 2016

Infidelity typically refers to when one of the members in a committed relationship becomes intimately involved with someone else. We usually identify infidelity with sexual contact between our loved one and another person. However, lately another type of cheating has come on the scene: emotional infidelity.

What is emotional infidelity?

Emotional infidelity is any bond with a person who is not one’s partner, even without physical intimacy. 

With the impressive technological development that has occurred within the field of communications, with cellular telephones and the internet, customs have changed a lot and the definition of cheating or infidelity has expanded and now includes behaviors such as:

  • The exchange of intimate messages with someone through the use of cellphones.
  • Meeting someone through the internet.
  • Maintaining a close relationship through any available nonphysical source.
  • Visualizing pornographic material through any means or device.

Why does it happen?

What is the cause of emotional infidelity? Obviously, each case is different and presents its own characteristics. In general there is a desire to escape from a relationship (which can sometimes become a bit routine and boring), but a reluctance to break up with your partner. Emotionally unfaithful people tend to hide behind the argument that their actions weren’t necessarily cheating.

How is it different from cheating?

The main difference lies in physical contact. Traditionally, cheating means physical intimacy between two people that have met up in the real world. Emotional infidelity, on the other hand, doesn’t imply intimate closeness. Instead, sometimes the two people don’t even know each other personally. The contact can take place over the phone or the web.

Different opinions on the subject

If asked, many people who are committing emotional infidelity don’t think they are being unfaithful. They base this opinion on the fact that there was no real physical contact. Others also believe that it’s simply a mind game and that they don’t have the intention of leaving their partner.

However, others believe that there is no difference between physical and emotional infidelity. According to this other point of view, emotional cheating has the same behavioral components of traditional cheating. The emotions, desires and feelings that come into play are the same. In fact, they can occur with great intensity.

When someone cheats, they use many techniques such as flirting, seduction, compliments and usually with utmost discretion. The truth is that the cheating spouse places their attention and interest on another person. Therefore, although the relationship is restricted to an emotional level, it could still be manifesting some deficiencies or unmet needs within the relationship.

And what do you think? Can someone be considered unfaithful if there hasn’t been any kind of physical contact? Do you believe in emotional infidelity?