What is Emotional Cheating? Five Signs to Help You Know

what is emotional cheating

Are you wondering, what is emotional cheating?  Maybe you are feeling lonely in your relationship or marriage.  But it seems like your spouse is focused elsewhere.  He or she may have a very “special” close friend, maybe at work or in your social network.  And you wonder if they are having an affair.  It seems like there is nothing sexual going on between them.  But then again, when you find evidence that your partner is so loving, so interested in, so responsive, so eager to see the “special friend,” it feels like a loss to you.  You find yourself being jealous and not wanted them to spend time together.

You may worry about when their next interaction is going to occur.  Is there a text message from the friend?  A special email?  Requests for help?  You may feel like you are running number two, while the special friend is getting the number one treatment from your partner.  And you may be resentful or quite angry about the whole matter.  These are all signs that your partner may be emotional cheating, which is quite destructive to your relationship.  Ok then. Let’s look at five signs that will help you know if your relationship is in trouble.


What is Emotional Cheating?  Sign #1:  A “Special” Friend is More Important than You

When his or her friend calls needing a hand with something, does your partner respond and leave you in the lurch?  Does he or she turn attention away from you or abandon the projects you are working on together?  Do you feel like your needs and wants are not top priority to your partner?  That you are not top priority?  This is a strong sign of the presence of emotional cheating in your relationship.

What is Emotional Cheating?  Sign #2:  You Fight with Your Partner Again and Again about His or Her Friend

The two of you have repeated conflicts about the person who has come between you.  The fights never resolve.  They just repeat over and over, with no end in sight. Even though you explain that the “special” friend is causing the problem, your partner can’t quite see it. If fact, your partner may blame you for having a problem!

What is Emotional Cheating?  Sign #3:   You Feel Ongoing Resentment and Jealousy About Your Partner’s Friend

This sign assumes that jealousy is not part of your typical issue when it comes to love relationships–which is a whole other story!  Given that this is not the case, read on:  If you almost always feel resentful or angry about this third person being in your lives, this is a strong clue that your partner is emotionally cheating on you.  Ditto if you feel jealous when your partner interacts with their special friend.  Their relationship is causing you to have ongoing suffering.

What is Emotional Cheating?  Sign #4:  You Have Asked Your Partner to Cut Back or End the Relationship with His or Her Friend and are Met with Resistance or Refusal

You come out and ask for you partner to have less interaction with this person or end the relationship altogether, as it is causing so much trouble for the two of you.  Your partner either pays lip service to doing it or hides having contact with the person and sneaks around behind your back.  Or refuses outright to nix the friendship.   This sign means your relationship may be in serious trouble due to real emotional, and possibly physical cheating.


What is Emotional Cheating?  Sign #5:  Your Relationship is Going Downhill

Do you feel like your relationship is getting more and more distant?  Are you fighting more?  Having more angry exchanges?  This may mean that your love relationship is sliding down hill—another BIG red flag.  Do you have angry times where you freeze each other out and don’t talk?  Fights where he is totally defensive and blames you for any problems?  Is he hyper critical of you?  Is this getting worse and worse over time?  These are serious red flags that emotional and possibly physical cheating is going on to such an extent that it may result in you breaking up with your partner or spouse.   This is definitely time  to work on your love relationship so that you do not lose it.


So there you have five answers to the question, What is emotional cheating?  Since so much attention, energy and good will are going out of your relationship when there is emotional cheating, it absolutely can lead to a breakup. You need to take action to help circumnavigate this obstacle and come together in a new way with your partner.  Which can be done!

If you are having these issues, and in particular, your partner refuses to cut back or end his or her “special” relationship and things are truly going downhill (signs 4 & 5), I would highly recommend  you take advantage of one of our free Breakthrough-to-Love  Coaching sessions.  It can begin a journey that turns things around and help you come back to your relationship with your Beloved better than ever.


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  1. Attila Zeck on May 13, 2020 at 9:49 am

    Thank you, good article and nice blog in general

  2. mercy JULIE on June 22, 2020 at 3:02 am

    thanks for this article, quite informative.

  3. Isht Gupta on July 5, 2020 at 2:53 am

    Thank you for sharing knowledge.

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