Guest Blog: Unfaithfulness is Not Just Physical
In popular culture, unfaithfulness is defined as the act of disloyalty to a partner. More specifically, it is known as having sexual relations with someone other than your wife, husband, girlfriend, or boyfriend. However, with the emergence of social media, secret messaging apps and dating apps, cheating has been given a new definition. Dating and Relationship Coach Jonathan Bennett thinks it’s no longer only about having sex with someone else. Emotionally investing in other people other than your significant other can be considered cheating, too.
Emotional infidelity is unique to every couple. But generally, it’s when your partner’s connection with someone else makes you feel uneasy or upset. If you’re not sure if your partner is emotionally cheating, here are three of the most common signs:
They seem very secretive
If they often avoid directly answering your questions about something or someone and they have suddenly become more secretive, it could be that they’re emotionally cheating. Offering negative sharp responses and over-explaining could mean they are hiding something. A shift in communication style can also be a sign of emotional infidelity. If your partner has started taking you for granted and is no longer invested in communicating with you, there could be a problem.
Their tech habits have changed
Does your significant other spend a lot of time on their phone but takes forever to respond to your messages? Do they fiercely guard their phone and computer from you? It could be that your partner is starting to build an emotional connection with someone else. If they evade questions about who they’re communicating with, Gail Saltz M.D. says it could be a subtle admission of guilt. “On some level, he knows what he’s doing isn’t quite right,” she said.
They seem disconnected
A general feeling of disconnection could mean many things, but the most common cause is emotional cheating—especially if you know that your partner isn’t going through a personal crisis. When your partner no longer has that same interest in you than they did before, they could be getting the emotional connection from someone else. Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne says the lack of intimacy is one of the early signs of cheating because if everything is going well in your relationship, there is no reason for your partner to withdraw their attention from you.
All these three signs have one thing in common: a change in behavior. However, not all changes in habits constitute emotional cheating, which is why communication is key. We seek connection in an abundance of applications, but can feel disconnected from the people that really matter. Pop culture, through social media and TV, show us what we can have but do not have—the perfect life, the best partner and a high-paying job. You may see someone more interesting online than the person you’re with, which makes being in a relationship even more challenging. Popular television shows like Big Brother and The Bachelor aren’t helping either as these shows thrive in duplicity to reel in the audiences. If anything, they’re making it worse by glorifying and sensationalizing unfaithful behavior, as it brings up ratings.
Matchmaking shows like The Bachelorette Canada are always a hit with audiences, but a closer look reveals how they too, play into the attraction of deceit amongst couples, which is probably why couples don’t make it after the show. Firefighter Kevin Wendt who received the final rose and proposed to Jasmine Lorimer in the latest season of the show broke viewers’ hearts when he announced his separation with Lorimer, only five months after their engagement. It goes to show that while the program’s followers can accept the fantasy of finding true love in a couple of weeks, without the television glamour these relationships often come to a quick end.
Love Island finalists Josh Denzel and Kazimir Crossley are also a good example. Denzel failed to stay loyal to Georgia Steel, dumping her for Crossley. Denzel and Crossley are still together at the time of writing, but everyone is keeping a close eye on how their relationship will progress. In a reality show environment, it may seem like cheating is justified by a ratings surge. Rarely does any TV program show the real consequences and the emotional impact of cheating.
It does sound like it’s easy to get away with it because an emotional affair is not yet grounds for adultery, but the team of divorce lawyers here on Jones Divorce & Family Law emphasizes the consequences of seemingly innocent actions. It can break you and your partner’s trust, which can lead to separation—a costly one if you’re married. If you suspect that your partner is having an affair or is emotionally cheating on you, maybe it’s time to sit them down and have a calm and open chat about what you’re worried about.
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