(Closed) How do you define "emotional cheating"?

posted 6 years ago in Emotional
  • poll: What do you consider emotional cheating?
    I don't think such a thing exists/counts/matters : (2 votes)
    1 %
    Checking out others (more than "noticing" them, but noticing and then continuing to stare) : (7 votes)
    3 %
    Flirting : (40 votes)
    18 %
    Sexting : (82 votes)
    38 %
    Porn : (17 votes)
    8 %
    Strippers/strip clubs : (20 votes)
    9 %
    Private stripping/lap dances : (42 votes)
    19 %
    It doesn't count unless there's some touching : (4 votes)
    2 %
    It doesn't count unless there's a physical response of some sort (erection?) : (3 votes)
    1 %
  • Post # 3
    9673 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I think if it’s something you wouldn’t tell your partner about or would hide from them then you shouldn’t be doing it. 

    Anyway I would consider emotional cheating to be if my SO was talking to someone else (as if they were interested in more than friendship) or sharing things with them that should only be between the people who are in the committed relationship (sexting, intimacy, talking about the “two of you,” etc) .  So yeah I would believe in emotional cheating because there isn’t anything physical going on…yet.  However, emotional or physical, cheating is still cheating.

    Some people are ok with porn, strippers, or public lap dances and some people would consider that cheating so that is entirely dependent on your personal preferences and what you have made clear to your SO.  I think everyone would consider sexting to be cheating unless you are in an open relationship.  I don’t think harmless flirting is cheating.

    Post # 4
    401 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    none of these fit my idea of emotional cheating, which is (essentially) falling in love with someone else. I don’t see how:

    “We’ll assume there’s no “intentional emotional interest.” Like your SO hasn’t been talking to this person a lot otherwise, or really knows them personally.”

    can overlap with that at all?

    Post # 5
    11747 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Cheating (emotional or otherwise) for me is anything said/done/etc. that you would not want your partner to find out about.  What is considered cheating varies greatly from relationship to relationship, some think strippers are cheating, others don’t.  

    Post # 6
    309 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    I vote “Other” and more specifically, if there is an emotional attachment greater than friendship.  If my SO thought about another woman and wanted her to be his girlfriend.  If he values her friendship more than mine.  Emotional cheating can be completely lust free.  I consider it cheating if he adores this woman and cares more about her than me.

    I think flirting, within reason, is fine.  Everyone flirts and it’s natural.  My SO can tell one of his girl friends that she looks nice, hug her, etc.  I’m okay with this because I’m confident he prefers me over her.  Emotional Cheating is when your SO starts thinking about other women the way he is supposed to think of you.  haha does that make sense? 

    Post # 7
    1798 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    I think emotional cheating is different from the options that you posted. It’s a little tough to define, but to me emotional cheating is getting to a point of having strong emotional/romantic connection with someone else. It’s sharing intimate details with someone other than a partner. It’s when you get butterflies in your stomach when interacting with someone other than a partner.

    Post # 8
    309 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    I think @msfahrenheit @CountryRose and @kes18 all said it better than me! so +1 to you all!

    I’m not so good with the words 😛

    Post # 9
    862 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I think it’s important to point out that there is a difference between emotional cheating and physical cheating, but it is possible to be doing both at the same time if your partner is in love with the person (s)he’s cheating on you with.  Physical cheating is all about inappropriate touch and/or sex.  There may not necessarily be any emotional strings involved in physical cheating, but where physical cheating is grounded in the purely physical and sexual aspect of cheating, emotional cheating is more a matter of the heart.  In cases of emotional cheating, your partner may not be touching the other person at all, but they might be spending more time with them than they do with you, they might treat that other person better than they treat you, they might care more about that other person than they do about you, they think more/fantasize about that other person that they do about you, they talk to that other person more than they do to you, the other person is their confidante and shoulder to cry on instead of you, your partner keeps choosing that other person over you, etc.  In physical cheating, your partner might not care too much (if at all) about the other person because it might ONLY be about the sex and nothing else, but the cheater always has an emotional connection with the person if it is emotional cheating and that connection might be even stronger than the connection that (s)he has with you. 

    Post # 10
    4272 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: April 2012

    I voted sexting and other…

    Mainly because, to me at least, emotional cheating dosn’t really have to involve any of those things listed or anything physical. It can be as simple as constantly meeting up with someone behind your SOs back or sharing intimate details with that person.

    Post # 11
    5177 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: January 2010

    Emotional affairs for me are when someone prioritizes their connection with another over their primary partner. It can involve lusting over the other and/or sexting or fantasizing sexually, but not necessarily. It can involve a romantic connection, but not necessarily. It also involves dishonesty with their primary partner (keeping secrets, telling other person what they won’t tell primary partner, etc). To me flirting, or finding someone else attractive, or discussing emotional topics are not emotional affairs or dishonest unless you do not share those experiences with your partner and/or have agreed those are beyond your expectations and boundaries together.

    My husband and I both have many friendships, including with the opposite sex. However, we have a commitment to putting our relationship first, and not sharing with others that we won’t share with each other either before or after.  We tell each other everything, which I had found many think can be rather strange, but really value this and find it fosters our connection. It also tends to remove taboos or the excitement that many seem to find attractive in pursuing “secret affairs”. Openness and honesty is integral to our relationship.

    I consider emotional affairs just as dangerous, destructive, and beyond my own boundaries for a relationship, as a physical affair (often of course there is also overlap so affairs are both physical and emotional).

    Post # 12
    862 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    Personally, I would find it much easier to forgive my husband if I caught him kissing or sleeping with another woman than if I ever found out that he’s been involved in an emotional affair because physical cheating could just be a one-time mistake–it would hurt horribly and it would take me a long time to trust him again, but it could EVENTUALLY be worked through if the other woman didn’t mean anything to him and he was determined to never let it happen again.  An emotional affair, however, would have to have been going on for quite some time and I would feel like there would be no point in even trying to work it out because, as far as I’m concerned, the marriage has already been destroyed if his heart belongs to someone else.  Love and emotion are so much more important to me than just the physical stuff.  I could probably forgive a one-time mistake, but I could NEVER forgive my husband falling in love with someone else.

    Post # 13
    8041 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2013

    @yanamari:  I think having an emotional affair involves having conversations with a person that is not your spouse that you really should only be having with your spouse. Like in a really unhealthy way… wishing that you were with this person, talking about a future together or a hypothetical scenario where you’re together… that sort of thing. Just really inappropriate stuff where real feelings are involved, and given the right circumstances, something physical could occur. I think if you let yourself become this close to another person on an emotional level, it’s extremely damaging to your current relationship/marriage.

    I am not talking about a one-off flirtation or even a situation where it’s fairly regular, like you flirt with the barista who makes your coffee every morning or whatever. I think that sort of thing is relatively harmless. Some people are just naturally flirty. But if you go home and think about this person and start emailing or texting them and create a sort of romantic bond with them… that’s what I would consider emotional cheating.


    Post # 14
    4464 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: February 2012

    I’m confused by the poll. My definition of emotional cheating is carrying on an emotional closeness with someone who is not your wife or husband. Someone you are interested in beyond a normal friendship, who is somewhat filling an emotional need you have – instead of turning to your spouse, you turn to this person. Flirting is not emotional cheating in my book, and obviously anything physical would not be considered emotional cheating. There can be an emotional component with physical cheating, but at that point, I’d just say they cheated. I like the way RayKay defined it: Emotional affairs for me are when someone prioritizes their connection with another over their primary partner.

    Post # 15
    3170 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    In my opinion, emotial cheating doesnt have to do with the physical aspect. Sure, it can include sex and other things but it’s all about the emotions. If a spouse starts a relationship (friendship) with another person and falls in love with them, that’s emotional cheating.

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