People tend to think cheating only involves being physically intimate with another person. Previously, I’ve talked about how there are different types of intimacy.
This decrease in intimacy level can occur in any type of intimacy, not just physical intimacy. Emotional cheating occurs when there’s a substantial decrease in the emotional intimacy between partners in a committed relationship.
What qualifies as emotional cheating?
If your partner decreases the level of emotional intimacy with you and increases it with someone else beyond acceptable levels, they’ve committed emotional cheating.
What does that look like?
They build a deep emotional connection with someone else that they should be building with you. They talk about and share things with someone else that they should be talking about and sharing with you.
Emotional cheating vs. friendship
Where does one draw the line between emotional cheating and friendship?
What if your partner is just being friendly with someone, and you’re seeing it as an emotional affair?
That’s entirely possible. Jealousy can totally make you accuse your partner of emotional cheating.
Other times, your accusation might be justified. They crossed boundaries with their ‘friend’ and it rightfully hurt you.
This is why emotional cheating is such a tricky topic. Knowing what signs to look for can help you decide whether or not your partner is emotionally cheating.
Signs your husband is emotionally cheating
While both husbands and wives can engage in emotional cheating, it’s more damaging to wives. They may be able to forgive a one-time, irresponsible hook-up but know that emotional intimacy takes time to develop.
So, if your husband is emotionally cheating on you, you know that this third person has wrapped their claws around your husband’s soul. It’s only a matter of time before they snatch him from you.
1. He’s become emotionally distant and unavailable
We humans have limited emotional capacities. It’s hard for us to emotionally invest in multiple people at the same time and invest heavily. So, if your husband is emotionally investing in someone else, you’ll feel that investment being taken away from you.
If he’s not investing in you emotionally, he’s probably investing in someone else.
2. He keeps things superficial with you
You may have tried to connect deeply with him, but he was dismissive of it. Again, if he’s connecting deeply with someone else, he can’t do the same with you. He has to keep things on a superficial level with you.
You’re no longer the first person he shares his good news and setbacks with. You’re no longer the person he seeks comfort from.
3. He’s become secretive and defensive
He hides his text messages from you. He goes into another room to talk on the phone with this third person. He’s trying to hide the inappropriate conversations that occur between him and this third person.
If you voice your concerns, he becomes defensive. He doesn’t want you to explore the issue because he doesn’t want to face his transgressions.
4. He’s become more irritable
Often, people emotionally cheat because they’ve lost respect for their partner. Or they’re unable to meet their emotional needs from within their romantic relationship.
If he’s emotionally cheating on you, he’ll get irritated by the slightest things you do because he no longer likes you.
If he’s emotionally cheating on you, he’s seeing this third person as a potential partner. So, he’ll likely compare you to them and tell you how he wishes you were more like them.
6. He shares a lot less with you
And a lot more with the person he’s emotionally involved with. Not just the emotional stuff but also personal, private stuff. If this third person knows things you should know, it’s almost guaranteed that your husband is emotionally cheating on you.
7. He doesn’t talk about the future with you
When we plan to spend the rest of our lives with someone, we naturally talk about the future with them. If your husband has stopped discussing the future with you, he’s probably thinking about spending his future with someone else.
This is because he, subconsciously at least, perceives this third person as a potential partner.