Saturday, September 12, 2015

Emotional Infidelity:How Faithful Are You?


The allure in most relationships is the exclusivity. The ability to physically and emotionally be connected is what most of us seek and hope to get when we will our hearts out to another. 

We go into relationships not seriously considering bad bargains. We expect utmost faithfulness and loyalty, and nothing less. Many of us vow to uphold this expectations too but time has taught us differently. 

Despite the expectations, stories of infidelity trail many relationships.

In fact, short of being told to turn a blind eye, we have been conditioned to expect it. I read of yet another pastor involved in the Ashley Madison scandal and I know for a fact that this subject, like a terrible plague, cannot be wished away. We don’t have a choice but to talk about it as what it is, hoping we find a lasting solution along the line.

I was chatting with a friend of mine when a question popped up as to what could be termed as cheating. She mentioned the case of a man and a woman who were lovers but broke up as a result of conflicting genotypes. The man and the woman got married to different people but kept on seeing themselves occasionally just to hold hands and talk. Her question was whether what they were doing could be termed as cheating since there was no sexual intercourse.

This is also like the question that was posed at the break of the Ashley Madison scandal. There were talks about whether the bulk of the users (predominantly male) of the Ashley Madison site actually cheated. Going by the analysis that most of the female profiles could be fake, it is right to assume that some of these relationships didn’t go past online texting and perhaps sexting.

In both instances cited, could the people involved be termed as unfaithful even if there was no physical connection? The answer to this question is YES.

Many times affairs are discussed in the light of sexual infidelity but it is not limited to that. People have been known to give attention and affection that ought to be given to their partners to a third party they feel more connected with. It is called emotional infidelity and it is capable of causing more hurt than a partner that had a fling. Those trailing this path are quick to say they are not cheats because sex is not involved. But if presented with the opportunity, it would be only a matter of minutes before they get overwhelmed by built up emotions.

To be fair, some people find themselves in such messy situations before they realize how deeply they have gone. So as not to be that person, check if any of the underlisted things check out;
  • If you find yourself constantly comparing your partner to the other person 
  • If you find yourself consciously dressing up just because you might see the other person
  • If you find yourself sharing details of events, dreams and feelings, that ought to be shared with your partner, with the other person
  • If you start having sexual thoughts about someone else thereby constantly flirting or sexting with such person
  • If you find yourself always looking forward to speaking or spending time with the other person
  • If you start feeling compelled to hide the details of your closeness or you find yourself deleting chats so your partner doesn’t see/discover how close you are to the other person, then you are on that path and you need to check it fast.
If you are in any of the situations cited above, then you need to retrace your steps very fast before things get totally out of hands. Such acts are capable of making your spouse feel alienated, thus creating a bigger void between you two. Every marriage has its issues and yours isn’t peculiar to you.

Affairs go to the foundation of a relationship and it might be very hard to rebuild trust after the cheated spouse finds out.

If you feel bored or neglected by your spouse, seeking for affirmation or attention outside your marriage shouldn’t be the answer to filling such void. Ask yourself what it is you are unsatisfied with. Whatever it is, work and talk it out with your spouse. Call the attention of your spouse to the situation and consciously work together in strengthening your marital bond. It is alright to fall out of love sometimes but you should never forget that you both are in the business of fanning the embers should the flame go dim.

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