When someone thinks of infidelity or cheating, they automatically assume that it is something of the physical nature. The partner stepped outside of their commitment and had a sexual tryst or affair with someone else and the physical boundaries of the relationship have been compromised. Because we as a society focus on the physical aspect of cheating, many times we overlook the emotional form of cheating. So long as our partner doesn't sleep with someone else, we are okay. The thing is cheating in any form should be prohibited because it is problematic. Emotional betrayal can be just as damaging, if not more damaging than physical betrayal.

Emotional Cheating In A Nutshell

Emotional cheating is you gift wrapping your heart to someone else. Instead of dealing with your partner and sharing your joys and/or concerns with them, you share it with someone else. You become emotionally invested in the other person. It may start off as you venting or even more minute,  a casual conversation. You find yourself keeping your conversations a secret from your partner. You start to desire more than just conversations. Your actual relationship becomes neglected. You become so invested in watering this other patch of grass, your grass at home dry up and wither away.

The Reason Emotional Cheating Occurs

We can paint emotional cheating as a “lack of” problem, but it’s really a character flaw. Just as physical cheating demonstrates a character flaw, so does emotional cheating. Instead of bringing your concerns to the table, you go find solace in someone else. You can say “this person gets me,” but the reason they are getting you is because you are communicating effectively with them and spending the needed time to groom a relationship. If you spent that time and effort, your partner could “get you” as well.

InStyle shared these signs to help determine if your close friendship crossed the line. You’re emotionally cheating if: 

You keep secrets about things that have been said or done with this friend from your partner.

You tell them about fights or personal information about you and your partner.

Your text messages are flirtatious and involve a lot of emojis.

You find yourself erasing communication with the other person because you don't want your partner to see.

You share thoughts, feelings, and information with this person that you do not share with your partner.

When something good or bad happens in your life, the first person you want to tell is this friend, not your partner.

You seek this person out for comfort instead of your partner.

If you find yourself in this predicament, it may be in your best interest to terminate the relationship and tell your partner. Some believe they can reinstate boundaries, but if you’re trying to move forward with your partner it's wise to end it. It's one step in the right direction toward working on your relationship with your partner without any interruptions or influence from anyone else.