It all starts quite innocently and looks like an ordinary friendship. You communicate with a person, exchange messages, go for a walk or snowboard together, share problems and experiences. And then suddenly you realize that you will spend the evening with more pleasure texting with “just a friend” than watching a movie with your own husband or wife. And this connection, which suddenly became unexpectedly strong, destroys your relationship with a permanent partner.

What can be considered emotional betrayal

Emotional cheating is when a person is married or in a serious relationship, but gives someone else more time, energy and feelings than their partner. With this “friend” he shares his innermost thoughts, he prefers to turn to him for support, warmth and emotional strokes. In other words, looking for emotions on the side.

45% men and 35% women admittedthat were emotionally unfaithful to their partners. How do you know if you are one of them? Psychologists and marriage experts allocate the following signs:

  • You are moving away from your spouse/partner. It is difficult for you to talk with him about something other than everyday household issues.
  • You think about your friend all the time, you can’t wait to meet him.
  • You are not interested in intimacy with your partner, both emotionally and sexually.
  • You spend less time together than before.
  • You share your thoughts, feelings and experiences with a friend, not with a partner.
  • You are looking for a reason to give a friend a gift or something else to please him.
  • It seems to you that a friend understands you better than a partner.
  • You would rather spend time with a friend than with a husband or wife.
  • You keep your friendship a secret, do not tell your other half what you are talking about, hide that you went to a meeting, and prefer not to mention this relationship at all.
  • You feel attracted to your friend.
  • You often quarrel with your partner because of your relationship with a friend.

And here are the alarm bells that indicate that your partner or spouse is emotionally cheating:

  • He avoids you, behaves aloof, often criticizes you.
  • He has become secretive, hiding the phone or putting a password on it and slamming the lid of the laptop if you suddenly entered the room.
  • He developed unexpected interests and hobbies.
  • He says that he is working with a friend or girlfriend on some project and they often need extra time.
  • He constantly talks about his boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Usually you are not jealous, but now you feel in your gut that something is wrong.
  • When you try to discuss the situation, the husband or wife acts hostile, attacks you, or tries to make you look crazy.

There are several fundamental differences between platonic friendship and emotional betrayal. Infidelity begins when a “friend” becomes closer than a spouse or partner. When traitors have secrets from their halves. And when there is sexual attraction between “friends” – conscious or not.

Why Emotional Cheating is Dangerous

Many people think that there is nothing to worry about: this is not sex, which means that it is not considered cheating. But it’s not like that at all.

1. Emotional intimacy is just a prelude

Psychologists and marriage consultants they say that such an emotional connection is also a kind of betrayal, albeit without sex. Because this “just friendship” over time can easily end in bed. Between two people, if they have become so close, there is almost certainly a sexual attraction.

2. Emotional betrayal hurts and leads to a breakup.

Such cheaters often do not feel guilty, but their spouses or partners think quite differently. A close emotional connection with another person is no less painful than the fact of sex on the side. True, the attitude to this issue depends on gender.

Researchers conducted interview and found that women are more afraid of the emotional betrayal of a partner, and men – sexual. In any case, both of them feel deceived and betrayed – because close people hide from them an important part of their lives, and lies and concealment destroy trust and harm relationships. As a result, the case may end in a break.

3. Emotional infidelity harms everyone involved.

A friend who has been drawn into this peculiar love triangle also has feelings. The cheater, in fact, gives him hope that someday they will be together, and actively feeds it – with warm messages, joint gatherings and walks, meaningful glances and, as it were, random touches.

But at the same time, he doesn’t seem to be going to develop these relationships, he doesn’t call what is happening a novel and he doesn’t think about leaving the family. That is, he puts his “just friend” in a strange, ridiculous and almost humiliating position. And it hurts.

And finally, this whole situation causes suffering to the traitor himself. He is forced to suppress his feelings, to lie, to dodge, to be torn between two people close to him.

What to do if you change

Understand the reasons

Maybe you lack care, support and attention. Perhaps your spouse or partner does not spend enough time with you, admires you a little, often criticizes you. Or does not share the interests that are important to you.

Perhaps you need strong emotions, adventure and a shake-up. And it also happens that there is no longer love and warmth between you and the relationship has come to an end, although you refuse to admit it. Be that as it may, try to figure out why you began to look for emotions outside the family.

Realize that cheating is ruining your relationship

That all the energy, affection, even love you give to another person. That you are deceiving your partner, moving away from him. All this causes pain and suffering to all parties to the conflict and may eventually end in a break.

Talk to your other half

Talking about how you have feelings for another person is probably not worth it – unless, of course, you are planning to get a divorce. But we can discuss the reasons why this happened. For example, you lack support and admiration – tell your partner about this, ask him to devote more time and attention to you. Or go on a journey together to strengthen your marriage and get the experiences you’re missing.

Decide what to do with “friendship”

Be honest with yourself and think about whether you can return this relationship to an exclusively friendly channel. If not, such a connection will have to be broken – and as soon as possible. Explain to a friend that this union harms your relationship with your husband or wife and you are forced to cut off communication. Try not to meet this person again, cross him out of your life, at least for a while – do not write or call him, unsubscribe from him on social networks.

Fill in the blanks

Sometimes “platonic betrayals” happen where there is not enough joy and bright positive emotions. Think about where else, besides a relationship with a friend, you can get them. Maybe you should get out more often, or it makes sense to start a new hobby, travel more, do art or sports.

Ask for help

If you can’t handle the situation but want to keep the relationship going, look for a good family therapist and start attending sessions with a partner.

How to Protect Your Relationship from Emotional Cheating

Some family consultants quite categorical on this issue. They believe that if you are married, you should avoid any contact with members of the opposite sex (or your own if we are talking about homosexual people). This will be the prevention of treason.

This opinion echoes the traditional patriarchal views – when the husband opposes any communication of his wife with other men. But this approach assumes that one of the spouses – most often the husband – does not trust the other and violates his freedom. And such relationships can no longer be called healthy and equal. In addition, the desire to isolate a partner from communicating with friends – sign emotional abuse.

Healthy relationships built on friendship, trust and mutual respect are in themselves a defense against cheating. So try the following.

Spend more time together

Go on dates in cafes, restaurants, theatres, movies or walks. Use every opportunity to be alone.

Talk about what worries you

Do not accumulate resentment, anger and irritation. Don’t expect your partner to figure out why you’re unhappy. Talk about your feelings, discuss what you don’t like, try to find a solution. If you were rude, offended, hurt – do not forget to apologize and discuss what happened.

Generally talk to each other as much as possible

Not only about everyday issues – about shopping, bills, repairs and leaking taps. But also about what fascinates you – about books, TV shows, about your hobbies, cultural and political events. And of course, share your feelings and experiences.

Support each other

Be sure to take the time to listen to your loved one, cheer him up, tell him that you love him and believe in him.