I have often been asked whether emotional or physical cheating is worse. In my opinion, it’s emotional cheating. Why? Because emotional cheating is ongoing. If a spouse is stupid and has a one-night stand, it seems self-contained. But an emotional affair requires time and a meaningful connection to develop.
Now, you’re probably going to experience a crush on somebody other than your spouse every now and then. That’s normal and natural. There are differing opinions on whether or not you should share that feeling with your spouse. I say keep it to yourself because I don’t think you should bring up things that will hurt your spouse or add mistrust to the relationship. There are certain burdens you should carry by yourself and not unload on your spouse.
How do you know if a crush has turned into an emotional affair? Here are some of the signs:
1. If you have to ask, “Is this cheating?”, the answer is probably yes.
2. You’re hiding something. Everybody needs a private life, but if you’re going out of your way to make sure your spouse doesn’t see your texts or emails, you’re up to no good and you damn well know it.
3. You spiff up your hair, clothes, or makeup for someone other than your spouse.
4. You fantasize about someone else. Having random fantasies is only human. But if you’re consistently fantasizing about someone else, it’s going to interfere with your attraction to your spouse and do major damage to your relationship.
5. You communicate with your crush more than your spouse.
6. You downplay the situation. When asked about the other person, you lie and say that he or she isn’t good looking or that you don’t like them.
7. You bitch about problems in your marriage. Sometimes it’s OK to confide in friends, but if you’re bitching to a romantic interest instead of dealing with your spouse, that’s cheating.
8. You flirt. Flirting is a betrayal of your spouse and a misrepresentation to the person you’re flirting with (unless you’re willing to leave your spouse). Don’t use other people to boost your ego.