“Hey! Where are you engrossed? Who are you texting??”
“Oh! Nothing, just an old friend! Was just catching up”
For that half-an-hour or so, you only concentrate on the conversation and it is making you forget your partner’s presence in the same room, it is making you smile, you are praising them, giving compliments, you are enjoying being in that ‘virtual world’.
Your partner gets hold of your chats and is clearly not comfortable and when confronted you simply laugh at them, get angry and mock them for over-reacting. There is nothing wrong in it! That is not cheating after all!
Fine! Let’s have a look at this scenario.
You are at home alone and you invited someone of the opposite sex, to have a ‘conversation’ in the privacy of your bedroom with doors locked.
Your spouse suddenly walks in! You are immediately guilty.
Clear act of cheating! Right?
Well, what is cheating anyway?
An obvious answer to this is physical infidelity or starting an affair with someone outside your relationship.
Well of course yes!
But what about the gray areas of having an ‘emotional affair’! Something most of us do almost ‘unknowingly’ like how our mind wanders and pretty soon we are on facebook or WhatsApp messaging someone other than your significant other? Is it fun, a harmless flirting, or is it evidence of infidelity?
Maybe it’s your best friend that you’ve known for years, or your junior from college, or colleagues, fact is you’re texting them a lot lately. The conversations have gotten a little too flirty (so many winky faced emojis!), you’re in bad territory.
Infidelity occurs much before having actual sex with someone and in today’s culture it can very well initiate with ‘one harmless text conversation’.
You would agree that kissing another women or man would be a huge no, if you are in a relationship but on the contrary sending kiss emojis to another women and men is completely cool in virtual world. How is that not cheating?
The tell-tale sign that you’re possibly cheating is that you feel the need to hide it from your significant other, you delete entire conversation or individual messages, you know they would get angry if they read the entire conversation, so you start blaming them for the ‘not trusting you’. If you’re trying to hide something there’s the element of betrayal. Not only does this mean you feel guilty, it shows that you’re potentially looking for something elsewhere and you know it’ll hurt their feelings.
The simple fact is that people who cheat, lie. If you’re covering your tracks so your partner can’t catch you in the act, you’re being sketchy and unfair, whether sex is involved or not.
The question many of us might ask is why do people flirt? It makes them feel young and attractive and has the power to put them back on a-game. However, we need understand that this all leads to an ’emotional affair’. It might seem like flirting but it’s not! Messages that blur the line between teasing and intimacy, or that replace feelings you should be getting from your partner, can quickly violate relationship boundaries, even if you don’t recognize the situation as dangerous.
One of my closest friend caught her husband texting a friend and sharing details about his work life and that he was disturbed and work stressed. Something my friend knew nothing about! She got paranoid and was deeply hurt.
If you look at this from a wider perspective you might not agree for this to be cheating but having a closer look, I would agree with my friend’s opinion!
She told me while I was consoling her “Relationships are about finding someone you can share life with, not just your body, but your emotions, your insecurities” she continued. “I am heartbroken to found out he was sharing his deepest thought with someone else and was keeping it from me.”
Isn’t that true for all kind of relationships? Relationships are based on trust and honesty and the boundaries of being monogamous need to be set by partners themselves.
Key thing to remember is, what begins innocently enough is pushed and forced to its bitter conclusion, cheating. Better to remove the temptation before you cause incurable damage!