Emotional Cheating

September 11th, 2023

What is emotional cheating?

When you think of cheating, you may think of a physical or intimate relationship that you or your partner may be involved in. Emotional cheating can be even harder to define or recognize. An emotional affair may be as little as a spouse depending on someone outside of the marriage to fill emotional needs, or even creating an emotional attachment to a third party. The effects of emotional cheating can lead to damaged relationships, broken boundaries, as well as create tension within the relationship.  In the unfortunate case that a marriage experiences this, know that there are ways to overcome this and heal. It is still possible to nurture a healthy relationship with your partner with time, trust, and communication.


Recognizing emotional cheating can be hard if you are unsure of what to look for. If your partner is emotionally cheating, they may do things such as hide their phones or emails from you. They may seem more distant; not wanting to share something with your or seem like they are confiding in you less. There may be less intimacy in the relationship as there once was. Your partner may be hanging around or communicating to someone you have never met or heard about. Someone who is involved in emotional cheating may seem more irritated or easily aggravated by you.

Moving on

How do you move on after an emotional affair? What if you were the partner responsible for the affair? Here are some things that may be helpful to you in your healing process. Cutting off the affair is the first place to start; you or your relationship will not move forward if you are still communicating with someone outside the marriage.  Ask yourselves if the relationship be repaired.  If so, then take steps such as marriage counseling, talking to your pastor, or having meaningful conversations with your spouse about what happened.

 As devastating as this conversation may be to hear, it is a crucial part of understanding. Knowing how to recognize emotional cheating within the marriage may help you repair the marriage before something more serious occurs.