Everyone’s views on cheating are different. Some people think a kiss is crossing the line, while others think sex has to be involved, but most people aren’t too worried about emotional affairs… until they actually happen. Whether it’s a coworker you casually started having lunch with everyday or you’re chatting with strangers online, if you are building intimate relationships behind your partner’s back, you’re cheating. Here are 10 reasons emotional affairs are still affairs and can be the most painful form of cheating for your partner.
- They’ll inevitably lead to sex. If you were having this secret relationship with someone in a nonsexual way, it would just be considered a friendship. You might have gotten caught before you landed in a shoddy hotel room with your pants down, but that’s definitely where it was heading.
- You were hiding it from your partner. Have you been telling your partner about all of your amazing lunch dates and the hilarious conversations you and your new “friend” have on Gchat everyday? Didn’t think so. If you have to keep it a secret, it’s because you are obviously doing something wrong, and the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy isn’t gonna work here.
- The trust has been broken. Sooner or later, your sex life will diminish (or at least become less active), but your emotional connection is what is supposed to keep you together forever. Once you tamper with that, you’re doomed to fail as a couple. Even if he stopped before things went too far, why should you believe him now when he’s been lying all this time?
- Intimacy is about so much more than sex. Sure, sex is a HUGE part of it, but so is knowing (or believing) that you’re only sharing certain things with each other. If an emotional affair is taking place, the new person in the equation is probably more in the know than you are, which will leave you feeling like the third wheel in your own relationship. Three’s a crowd.
- There isn’t a condom that can protect your feelings. Condoms can protect you from the STDs your partner has potentially exposed you to when they were unfaithful, but they can’t protect your heart from breaking. In a lot of ways, having a random sexual encounter with a stranger can be a lot less damaging to a relationship and easier to bounce back from.
- Feelings are more complicated than sex. Sex is a very, very simple thing driven by our animal instincts, which makes it easy to see (yet not accept) how some people can’t control themselves in a monogamous relationship. Emotions, on the other hand, are multifaceted, and are supposed to prevent you from wanting to stray.
- It’s a bigger investment. For the same reason that premeditated murder is a larger offense than a crime of passion, a lot of time and planning has gone into not only keeping this affair going, but also keeping it a secret.
- No one cheats because they’re addicted to talking. People have sexual affairs when their needs aren’t being met at home, and some even like to use the excuse that they’re addicted to sex. Be that as it may, no man is addicted to talking, and if he is spending all of his time talking to someone else, he’s going to have even less to say to you.
- It embarrasses your partner. Even if (against all better judgement) you decide to believe him when he tells you he was only on Ashley Madison to talk to people or see what it was all about, EVERYONE you know now knows he was doing that and it’s humiliating no matter the circumstance. And even if he was smart enough to keep his indiscretions off a website and the whole world doesn’t know, someone does, and that is just as mortifying.