Post # 1
So Fiance and I were having one of our many late-night discussions and emotional cheating came up. Being the communication and boundary geeks that we are, we attempted to come up with a rule of thumb for how to determine if something is emotional cheating. Alas, we couldn’t come up with anything because there were just so many qualifications. For example, a lot of the stuff I do with my totally platonic guy friends, which is fine by both Fiance and me, would probably be inappropriate if I had feelings for the person I was doing it with.
What do you guys think about emotional cheating? What is it? What isn’t it? Have you and your SO ever talked about it and set firm boundaries? Stories please!
Post # 3
The person is feeling romantically about their friend, or, feels closer to their friend than their spouse.
We haven’t had a need to clarify exact boundaries on this topic yet… nobody is getting near them.
Post # 4
That’s a toughie but I say emotional cheating to me at least is putting yourself in a situation whether it be talking, texting, pictures what have you and hiding that from your SO.
Post # 5
@MrsDPal811: Yes I second this.
If you would not want your SO to be privy to what’s going on between you and this “friend”, you are probably doing something wrong.
Post # 6
I consider it emotionally cheating if that person (of the opposite gender) is occupying a space in my mind that my Fiance should be occupying.
So, for example, if I lean on a male friend of mine for all of my emotionally hard times (like when a relative dies) instead of my Fiance, that would be emotional cheating.
If Fiance goes to a female friend of his in order to have fun and go on silly outings and he is no longer going on outings or having fun with me, that would be emotional cheating.
Post # 7
@joya_aspera: Yeah see we talked about that. We came to the conclusion that there’s never going to be a way to avoid being attracted to other people, friends, acquaintences, or strangers. We think that’s just a natural part of being human. We think it would have to be something active (so choosing to do something) rather than something passive (having something happen to you, like a crush).
@MrsDPal811: We did get onto the thread of having something you would hide from the other person.
The conclusion we kind of came to was that we should tell one another if we have developed feelings for someone with whom we have to spend a good deal of time with in a situation where something could potentially happen. Not, like, every time he thinks someone is good looking he has to tell me. But more of a “if I was single I would probably date this person” kind of a thing.
Post # 8
The obvious of having a romantic or sexual interest in your friend. I also think that if you ever feel the need to hide the friendship or lie about the friendship then you’re emotionally cheating. The act of hiding things or lying means you think you’re doing something wrong in the first place.
I feel a good rule of thumb is if you would be upset if your SO was behaving the way you are towards a ‘friend’ then you’re probably emotionally cheating.
I also think that anytime you are neglecting the needs of your partner and relationship for a friend then you are crossing the line into emotionally cheating. I should also point out, that in my opinion, you can emotionally cheat with a same sex friend, regardless of your sexual preference. If you start acting towards a same sex friend in a way that you or your partner would be upset about if it was an opposite sex friend then it’s still crossing the line into emotional cheating territory.
Post # 9
@joya_aspera: Nailed it. It’s when you’re feeling closer to the person than to your spouse, and start to envision them as a potential sexual/life partner. This second part is crucial because the relationship you have with your BFFs, no matter what gender, is not emotional cheating. Love given is not love halved — but when the love you’re giving and receiving starts to challenge or diminish your primary relationship…then it’s a problem.
Post # 10
‘If something stinks, its probably rotten’ probably applies to this situation. I don’t think there is a definite line you can draw with this topic, but I would say anytime you are turning to someone else for emotional support/love/affection (physical or verbal)/quality time/etc instead of your SO, its emotional cheating.
Post # 11
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
Depends. You may have one definition while your SO may have another. It may also vary from situation to situation. Basically, it is whatever you would consider to be cheating other than an actual sexual encounter (which is clearly cheating unless you and your SO have previously agreed otherwise.)
For me, I get uncomfortable when my FH used to text an ex girlfriend late at night when we first started dating. I felt like he was missing something in our relaitonship that he got from texting her late at night. We had a conversation and I made it clear that it was unacceptable behavior and I wouldn’t put up with it and it stopped.
I think it’s a great idea to sit down together (before any issues crop up if you can) and lay out what each of you think constitutes cheating and make up rules that you both can live by. Since we had that “State of the Union” conversation we both on the same page in regards to what is and isn’t cheating and what the consequences are for cheating.
Post # 12
@AdriannaJean: I think there’s a difference to thinking someone is attractive and having a genuine sexual or romantic interest towards them. Typically thinking someone is attractive. You genuinely should not be carrying on a friendship with someone you would want to date if you were single, that is just playing with fire, it’s extremely difficult to carry on a completely platonic friendship with someone you are romantically or sexually interested in, within eventually crossing any boundaries.
Post # 13
@AdriannaJean: Yeah, but I wouldn’t be friends with the person I was crushing on if that happened. It seems like I’d just be asking for things to get messy.
If I was already friends with them beforehand (not something I foresee) I’d stop spending time with them, and probably use some kind of white lie to them about it. Make it look like I’ve got some weird problem, not that I’m attracted to them (yeek, what if they returned the feeling…. drama central!!) or that they did something wrong. Let them think I’m a kook or something. It comes secondary to my marriage.
Post # 14
If he wouldn’t want me to see it or hear about it, it’s probably in the cheating realm.
Post # 15
I think it’s a hard line to draw, but I can say I’ve definitely emotionally cheated before (on an ex boyfriend). Basically I fell in love with another man, and by semi-pursuing this other person, I drove a wedge between my ex and I. I would rather spend time with this other person than him. I went to this other person for advice, or when I was feeling down. I loved being near him because it felt good, y’know, butterflies and all. It didn’t help that my ex treated me badly, so I found the other person overall much more appealing than he was (not that that is a good excuse).
I think it’s pretty much determined by your feelings and how you act on those feelings.
Really if I hadn’t had any feelings for this other person it would have been fine. We only ever did platonic things together. However, not only did I find any excuse to be near this other person while spending less and less time with my ex, I also hid things from him. I acted indifferent to this other person when my ex was around. I hid how often we actually communicated. I’d agree that it’s cheating as soon as you hide anything from your partner. No matter how “innocent” a few extra texts are, you betray the emotions behind it by hiding that stuff.
Later in life, I did have feelings for someone else again when dating a different ex. I got butterflies when that person was near and found him very attractive, but I never emotionally cheated because I never acted on it in any way. I only communicated with him when I had to (we went to school together) and that’s it. It stayed in my brain where it belonged.
If I ever feel attracted to someone other than my husband, I will immediately separate myself from that person indefinitely.
Post # 16
My definition of emotional cheating: I’m not sure yet. When I was living with my ex he was sending e-mails to his ex begging her to come back, telling her that he still loved her and once he even plagiarized a poem I wrote for him and mailed it to her in his own name. The only reason he couldn’t rekindle that romance was because she flat out refused (although she, too, wrote him back romantic messages). He later on met her at a party and a bunch of people ended up sleeping in the same room including him and her. He said he didn’t have sex with her so maybe it wasn’t cheating in the physical sense but emotionally I consider it as a betrayal.
Later on he used to have phone sex and all sorts of inappropriate conversation with another friend of his. It was cheating in my books, because he used to ask me to be quiet during the conversations, which he had in another room. At that time I thought he was talking to his boss/colleague/client but later on when he confessed (even bragged about the contents – to show how desirable he was) I came to know it was that girl. He talked to her every night.
Third time was when I caught him chatting with his facebook friend. He was flirting with her, and this after the previous two instances had been disclosed and we went through a lot of tears (me) and drama and I finally was learning to forgive him.
Till date he maintains that he hadn’t slept with anyone but me the whole time we were together. I don’t know whether to believe him or not. I don’t trust him anymore.