Are you putting your relationship in jeopardy without knowing it? Find out how.
Relationships are wonderful and enriching, but nevertheless sometimes messy and confusing.
While there are certain things that are clear cut (which can be understood in black and white), more often than not, when it comes to relationships, we tread on a lot of gray areas. And not knowing the boundaries of these gray areas may put you, your partner, and your entire relationship in jeopardy.
For example, many have asked, “What constitutes cheating?” And we’re not simply talking about having sex with someone else (the answer’s quite obvious!), but rather being unfaithful emotionally. This adds a new dimension and makes cheating more difficult thing to define.
Hoping to shed some light, we’ve gathered 10 ways you may be cheating on your spouse and not know it.
Some say flirting is harmless. It’s playful banter that means nothing. However, flirting always conveys a certain attraction and intimacy. It is placing a different kind of attention on a particular person. And when it’s directed towards someone else (other than your partner), you’re putting yourself in a dangerous position.
2. Spending time alone with someone else
You may have friends of the opposite sex, and your history/ friendship goes way back. Before the marriage, the high school flings, and puppy love, they were already your friends.
So perhaps, yes, a little trust and faith can be requested from your partner. However, you yourself have to be careful. If you’re spending more time with that “friend,” or you prefer the company of that person over your own partner, then you may be unknowingly being unfaithful to your spouse.
3. Confiding in someone else
If you need to vent out about your marriage, work problems, and life in general, it’s understandable to want to run to your friends. But a true relationship and commitment, such as marriage, is finding love, support, and strength in each other.
If you’re looking for emotional support in someone else, you may be cheating.
4. Chatting online
Even if it’s anonymous, even if you use fake names, even if you’ve never met or have no intention of being physical with that other person online, the moment you try to encourage something more than just friendship with someone else, that’s cheating.
5. Addicted to online porn
Is watching porn considered cheating? Our answer: It depends. Some couples like to watch naughty vids to “liven” the mood in the bedroom, but they usually do it together.
If you find yourself logging onto sites and preferring to immerse yourself in that virtual world for sexual release (rather than engaging with your partner), that’s being unfaithful.
6. Daydreaming/ fantasizing
Who hasn’t fantasized about Leonardo di Caprio or Benedict Cumberbatch? Daydreaming and fantasizing are acceptable, natural, and even healthy things to do.
But if we are immersed in our fantasies more than real life, and are setting unrealistic expectations – For example: “I would be more attracted to my spouse if he had Channing Tatum’s chiseled bod.” – then we are being quite unfair to our partners.
7. Putting your children before your spouse
When you started your family, much of your energy was spent on raising the kids, which every mom knows is a 24/7 job.
It’s understandable that it becomes a bit difficult making time for your partner and tending to each other’s needs. But if you’re choosing to put the needs of your children first, before your own partner, you are being unfaithful.
8. Putting parents and family before spouse
In many Asian families, it’s typical for a young couple to live with their parents or in-laws during the first years of marriage, or until they can get a home.
To show their gratitude and respect, they usually give way to the wants and needs of the elders. However, if you are more focused on tending to the needs of your family/ parents/ in-laws – and are forgetting the needs of your own spouse – you’re being unfaithful.
9. Texting or sending personal notes to someone else
In this day and age, communication is just so convenient. You have emoticons and gifs and funny pictures that you can post to get your message across.
But when you’re texting someone more personal notes – such as “I think you looked cute in your suit last Sunday” or “If you need someone to talk to, we can grab coffee”, things which you wouldn’t normally send to anybody else, then this may be considered unfaithful.
10. Dressing to impress
All of us want to look our best, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good and feel good. But when you’re dressing TO ATTRACT, wanting to gain the attention of someone else other than your husband, yes, you may be cheating.
Admittedly, there is a large gray area when it comes to defining emotional cheating. But the easiest way to determine if you’re being unfaithful is to consider the following.
1. Am I preferring the company of this person more than my spouse?
2. Would I behave this way with another person like a family member or someone I’m not attracted to?
3. If I showed my partner this text/ message or behaved this way in front of him, would I be comfortable with it? Would he be comfortable with it?
4. If the tables were turned, and it was my husband doing this, would I be mad and/or uncomfortable?
If the answers lead to the possibility of your partner being disappointed or if reading this makes you try to rationalize your behavior, then you are being unfaithful.
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