Emotional Infidelity

Emotional Infidelity

Last update: 30 July, 2018

Emotional infidelity can actually be more harmful than a more traditional, physical type of infidelity, even though it doesn’t consist of sexual encounters with another person.

People often believe that infidelity only happens when there’s a sexual encounter between one partner and another person. However, infidelity can happen without there being any physical contact. Emotional infidelity happens when one partner breaks the agreement the couple had, regardless if there was a physical encounter or not. Emotional infidelity leads to the deterioration of the relationship in many more cases than physical infidelity.

What is emotional infidelity?

Emotional infidelity happens when one partner has intimate moments with another person, provided it’s emotionally-related and breaks an implicit or explicit agreement. Usually, there’s an emotional exchange during these intimate moments.

Emotional infidelity can also exist without any inappropriate or emotional exchanges of any kind with a third person. If one partner falls in love with another person, even if they didn’t act on it, it’s also emotional infidelity.

Falling in love with someone else can be emotional infidelity

Emotional infidelity is, in many cases, a step towards physical infidelity, since it creates a solid relationship between two interested parties. This relationship can lead to physical intimacy. In some circumstances, the unfaithful person ends the relationship because they may have stronger feelings for the new person.

Causes of emotional infidelity

How does emotional infidelity happen?  The causes are varied. What usually happens is that there’s a lack of emotional exchange between the couple, which makes the relationship deteriorate. The lack of affection, intimacy, or trust creates a need in both partners, and one of the members (sometimes even both members) end up trying to meet these needs with another person. It shows a lack of communication between partners.

A healthy relationship is rarely doomed to fail due to emotional infidelity. In a healthy couple, the communication channels remain open and neither member is afraid to confess what aspects of the relationship have caused dissatisfaction. Because this requires a lot of open communication, one of the main causes of infidelity stems from communication issues.

How to avoid emotional infidelity

Open communication in a relationship is fundamental. A healthy relationship requires work to create and maintain trust, friendship, and understanding. The couple consists of two friends who decide to share their lives and also are sexually attracted to one another.

Since emotional infidelity doesn’t have a sexual component, usually the cause of infidelity doesn’t stem from a couple’s sex life. A couple can have a healthy sex life and still have a problem with emotional infidelity. However, the emotionally unfaithful person may end up being sexually interested in the other person.

What do you do when faced with emotional infidelity?

The signs of emotional infidelity vary between couples, but these are a few signs that your partner may be cheating emotionally:

  • Your partner is distant and doesn’t share their emotions and problems.
  • They don’t ask you to participate in things happening in their life.
  • There’s a lack of intimacy and affection in your relationship.
Emotional infidelity can lead to physical infidelity.

Remember that this doesn’t mean you need to introduce your partner to everyone you know and tell them everything you do all day. It’s important that both you and your partner have experiences and friendships outside the couple. However, if the person you tell your problems to isn’t your partner and there’s someone else you would rather talk to, there may be a problem. If this is the case, you should work on communication and try to deepen your relationship.

In the case of confirmed infidelity, there are two solutions: staying together or breaking up. In order to make this decision, you need to find time to speak with your partner sincerely. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what decision you make. If the unfaithful person doesn’t want to break up, they need to stop the emotional infidelity and work hard to get the relationship back on track. And, of course, this all depends on whether the person who was cheated on wants to stay together.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.