There has been a lot of debate as to whether emotional cheating is as bad as physical cheating or whether it can even be counted as cheating.
Physical cheating is what we’re all most familiar with. It entails the cheater getting physically intimate in one way or the other with someone else. Most people agree that physical cheating is a betrayal of one’s partner and is unjustifiable and sometimes unforgivable.
The subject of emotional cheating is however another matter. What is less discussed and less clear to many is emotional cheating — the building of emotional and psychological intimacy with someone other than one’s partner, even while remaining physically faithful. Is emotional cheating actually cheating? Some say no, others say maybe, and I say yes.
First, let’s see how women and men view affairs and cheating.
Men say: Physical cheating is more painful than emotional cheating, as men relate to everything in a physical way first. Men are naturally protective of their possessions.
Women say: Emotional cheating is far worse than a sexual affair. Women are far more inclined to forgive a one-night affair than an ongoing emotional connection. The thought of a man’s connection with another woman, telling her his intimate secrets, without even physically touching her is worse than a one night stand.
It’s not easy to categorically say what constitutes emotional cheating. The best way to define it is that, in the case of emotional cheating, the erring party has feelings for someone other than their partner, but they don’t do anything to physically pursue that attraction.
Emotional infidelity ranges, for example, from “innocent” dates, to online chatting or talking on the phone until 3 am. Emotional cheating is about sharing your intimate thoughts and feelings with someone other than your partner. In fact, you can be in the same room as your mate and be having an emotional affair with someone else!
Emotional cheating is a new term, and not as black and white as a physical affair. With social networks, chatting and the explosion of the internet, the temptation is everywhere. If you’re unhappy in your relationship or marriage, you can escape to an online paradise island with the man of your dreams without even leaving the comforts of your own home.
Not only is emotional cheating as much of cheating as physical indiscretions are, It is the most more common form of cheating. Emotional affairs seem to be the way out for those who are no longer satisfied with their formal relationship but will not or can not be physically intimate with another.
By creating closeness with someone else the cheater renews the spark of romance and feelings they once had, without the disruption of ending their current relationship or worrying about being caught cheating.
It is my view that emotional cheating is as bad or even worse than physical cheating. Neither are preferable, but emotional cheating violates a relationship at the deepest level. By having an emotional affair, a cheater takes away from the intimacy of their relationship and is less emotionally available, if at all.
What their partner is left with is the shell of a relationship, little of substance remains. One may say the relationship no longer exists once the cheater checks out emotionally. Relationships may be dealt with in the physical realm, but they are created in the emotional realm.
Having an affair is wrong. Whether emotional or physical. And in my opinion, if you are so unhappy with your partner that you are constantly seeking love elsewhere, then it’s time to leave that relationship or work on yourself and that marriage.
What are your thoughts? Is emotional cheating still cheating and how does it compare to physical cheating? Please state your opinions in the comment box.