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Emotional Infidelity

In recent times many relationships have gone through crisis as a result of what individuals perceive as infidelity on social media.   More and more people are uncovering inappropriate messages on cell phones that are posted or received by their partners.  This is referred to by some as emotional infidelity. 

A person is considered to have committed emotional infidelity when he/she breaks the boundaries of one’s own relationship to become emotionally involved with someone else with or without having sexual intercourse. Partners decide the boundaries of their own relationships. That can either be by active or by passive agreement, in other words, they either openly speak about those boundaries or they are determined by the way they have interacted with each other, without an open discussion. 

People in intimate relationships invest much emotional energy.  If this is outside of their regular relationship and is on social media, much time and effort is often expended there also.  Even if a person does not initiate the online intimate friendship, their reception to the advances of the other social media person still creates a sense of insecurity and mistrust that their partner feels.  Emotional infidelity may begin innocently as friendships.  However, over time the frequency texting and messaging brings social media friends closer to each other; almost without the parties recognizing the affinity that is developing between them. 

As this new relationship forms, the existing relationship often experiences hurt, loneliness, neglect and communication difficulties.  The spouse in the relationship feels deceived, betrayed and lied to when the activities are discovered.  Many times emotional infidelity is revealed when the spouse rummages through the cellphone or emails of the partner. It is then that all hell breaks loose.  Trust is the first cherished component of the relationship that is sacrificed when this happens. Communication, if it has not begun to break down, takes a big hit next.  

The guilty partner, often pleads innocence saying that it was only words being passed back and forth or they were only flirting and nothing really ever happened.  This provides no consolation to the grieving partner.  To that partner, emotional infidelity could be just as devastating as sexual infidelity. 

Some of the clues for emotional infidelity could include the following:  keep in mind that doing any of these does not conclude infidelity. They are ONLY clues.

  1. When your spouse always keeps their cellphone on their person.  As if guarding it dearly.   
  2. The use of passwords that the spouse has no access to.
  3. Discovery of a second cellphone, which the spouse never knew existed.
  4. Hiding to send texts and/or receive phone calls.
  5. Constantly deleting text messages and pictures
  6. Names stored in the contact using codes or a male listed as a female and vice -versa. 

Remember, these are not concrete evidence to conclude emotional infidelity. So do not be too hasty to jump to conclusions.  Use them to be alert, but, do not be naïve and be caught unawares.

For private and confidential counseling contact: michaelatstewarttlc@gmail.com tel. 868-480-0080

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