We all know that sleeping with someone when you’re in a relationship is considered cheating but what about when emotions come into play?
When Married at First Sight aired earlier this year it was the topic of discussion on everyone’s lips when Dean and Davina started texting and seeing each other on the side.
FEMAIL spoke to Australian relationship expert, Samantha Jayne, about the rise of emotional cheating and what it entails.
‘People are working longer, they travel more for work, spend more time on social media and being away from the home,’ she told FEMAIL.
‘Focusing your energy on other things and not much on your relationship opens up the flood gates for emotional cheating.’
When Married at First Sight aired earlier this year it was the topic of discussion on everyone’s lips when Dean and Davina started texting each other on the side
Samantha Jayne shared her thoughts on emotional cheating
Dean and Davina didn’t think they did anything wrong simply because they didn’t kiss or have sex, but their partners, Ryan and Tracey thought differently.
Even at the commitment ceremony all of the other contestants thought emotional cheating was just as bad as being physically intimate with another person.
Samantha explained that one of the reasons why people may engage in such behaviour is because they need something that they’re not getting from their relationship.
‘It is a human need to love and to feel valued and appreciated by your partner,’ she said.
‘When your partner doesn’t do that or you don’t do that for them, that is when there could be potential for them to go elsewhere to meet their needs.’
Samantha explained that one of the reasons why people emotionally cheat is because they need something that they’re not getting from their relationship
Signs you’re having an emotional affair
– You tell the other person more personal details than your partner
– You reach out to the other person for support
– They know a lot of personal details about your relationship
– You think about the other person a lot more than your partner
– You spend a lot of time together
– You talk about your relationship discontent with your current partner
– You think the other person ‘gets’ you more than your partner
– You fantasise about a life together and long for their next communication
Samantha said that one of the reasons a relationship is at risk of emotional cheating is when a person puts their friends or family members before their partner.
This often results in their partner feeling like they aren’t valued.
‘Due to the lack of emotionally availability, the partner being left for other people starts to feel neglected, lonely and craves attention,’ she said.
‘Emotional affairs are often a two way street.
‘You need to invest in connecting with your partner for the relationship to be strong.’
Of course, different relationships have different boundaries and you need to talk to your partner to figure out what exactly they are.
Samantha also explained that sometimes emotional affairs can happen without the other person actually being involved.
Dean and Davina didn’t think they did anything wrong simply because they didn’t kiss or have sex but their partners, Ryan and Tracey thought differently
Even at the commitment ceremony all of the other contestants thought emotional cheating was as bad as being physically intimate with another person
SIGNS TO LOOK FOR
– Sudden change in behaviour
– Being criticised
– Suddenly disconnecting
– They stop opening up
– They get angry
– Hiding intimate conversations
– Something doesn’t feel right
‘They could simply be a ‘fantasy’ that the person is feeling connected with someone else,’ she said.
‘This can be a sign that they are detaching and have given up on the relationship.
‘Emotional affairs create distance in the relationship and are dangerous territory and can destroy marriages.’
Samantha said that there are a variety of tell-tale signs that you are being cheated on and signs that you could be doing the cheating yourself.
If you find yourself telling someone else more personal details than what you tell your partner or you’re reaching out to the other person for support, then you could be the guilty party.
Samantha said that there are a variety of tell-tale signs that you are being cheated on, such as a sudden change in behaviour
Of course there are certain things you should pay attention to if you think you’re partner could be the one being unfaithful.
One of the main telltale signs is if there’s been a sudden change in behaviour.
‘If your partner starts to drastically change their behaviour towards you or have a sudden interest in their physical appearance and are less interested in spending time with you, it’s alarm bells,’ she said.
‘If your partner is criticising you frequently as you are not doing things as they expect, it could be because they are idealising the other person and comparing you with them.
‘The criticism could be small such as the tonality of your voice not being excited enough, or they want you to have a certain belief, or if they become extremely defensive and pick on you. It’s a sign they could be comparing you to someone else.’
Samantha also explained that an important aspect of figuring this out is trusting your gut instinct.