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  • Writer's picturePamela Beattie

What is Emotional Infidelity?

Emotional infidelity or cheating is the act of forming an intense emotional bond with someone outside of a marriage or partnership.  This type of infidelity may not involve a sexual relationship and can even occur between two people who have never met in person.  It is, instead, about connecting with someone on an intimate level that is typically reserved for a spouse or partner.  For example, talking about problems in the marriage, sharing thoughts and feelings that would normally be shared with a partner, and keeping the extent of the relationship a secret. 

Why is emotional infidelity becoming more common?

Emotional cheating has seen an increase in recent years with the popularity of social media.  With the increased opportunities to work from home, many people turn to social media to connect with old friends or exes or to engage in some “innocent flirting” with someone new.  But what starts as a friendly conversation can become much more than intended and sometimes, it is not until the spouse discovers the affair that the extent of it becomes clear. 

Can marriages recover from emotional infidelity?

All types of infidelity come with specific challenges and the road to recovery is different for each couple.  Trust must be rebuilt, and the relationship strengthened.

Affairs are frequently a response to problems already occurring in the relationship and they need to be addressed to prevent future harm.  Couples counseling can help to get to the root of those problems and facilitate the healing that must occur.  In many instances, a couple can not only survive an emotional affair, but their connection can deepen, and their relationship become stronger in the end.

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