What Is Emotional Cheating? How Does Emotional Cheating Impact Your Relationship?

Emotional cheating takes place when your partner develops a strong emotional bond with someone else. This can easily blur the lines of friendship, advancing towards physical cheating. To know more about what emotional cheating is and how emotional cheating impacts your relationship, follow this article.

Emotional cheating happens when your partner breaks the trust you put in them by being emotionally close to a third person. We may think that this is not a major form of cheating, only being involved with someone sexually is cheating. But when a person starts involving a third person in their relationship, they are breaking the trust their partner has on them. They are deliberately sharing the secrets of their relationship with someone else.

There is a huge difference between being someone’s friend and emotionally cheating on your partner. As you get close to the other person, the line of friendship starts to fade, this can lead to sexual cheating and ruin your relationship with your partner forever. Emotional cheating can have a huge impact on your relationship.

Follow this article to know more about what emotional cheating is and how emotional cheating impacts your relationship.

What is emotional cheating?

Emotional cheating is a type of cheating that happens in a relationship when one partner fosters a profound association with somebody outside the relationship, past the limits of friendship. It includes sharing thoughts, sentiments, and encounters with the third individual. It will create a strong bond that rivals the emotional connection with the partner.

However there probably won’t be any physical closeness included. Emotional cheating can be harmful to the trust in a relationship. It frequently prompts feelings of betrayal, insecurity, and emotional separation between the partners.

Perceiving the indications of emotional cheating and tending to its underlying causes are pivotal for keeping up with the wellbeing and soundness of a relationship. Emotional cheating often emerges gradually, starting innocently as a friendship but gradually evolving into a more significant emotional attachment.

What makes emotional cheating especially harmful is the break of trust and emotional intimacy in the relationship. At the point when one partner gets to another person to satisfy emotional necessities or share personal experiences. It can prompt feelings of insecurity in the partner who is abandoned.

The effect of emotional cheating can be significant and dependable. It can dissolve the trust and security that is imperative for a sound relationship. Emotional cheating might develop a distance between the partners prompting a breakdown in intimacy.

What are the root causes of emotional cheating?

Emotional cheating can stem from various factors within a relationship. These root causes can lead one partner to seek emotional connection outside their relationship. Following are some of the root causes of emotional cheating that needs to be addressed.

  • Unmet emotional needs
  • No satisfaction from relationship
  • Poor communication
  • Stress
  • Sense of excitement
  • You feel trapped in your relationship

Unmet emotional needs:

Unmet emotional needs within a relationships can drive individuals to seek emotional connection outside the relationship. When one partner feels emotionally neglected or unsupported, they may turn towards someone else to fulfill their emotional needs. The desire for attention and appreciation , when these needs are ignored, can create a sense of vulnerability. Making the individual more receptive to emotional fulfillment from someone else.

No satisfaction from relationship:

Relationship dissatisfaction can arise from various sources, such as unresolved conflicts, lack of emotional intimacy, or a sense of being taken for granted.

Poor communication:

Communication problems can lead to dissatisfaction within a relationship, paving the way for emotional cheating. If partners struggle to express their feelings, desires, and concerns openly, it can create emotional distance and a lack of emotional intimacy. Unsettled clashes and feelings of being underestimated can additionally dissolve the emotional intimacy between the partners.


Managing stress from work, financial troubles, or family issues can place a strain in your relationship. During difficult times, people would need somebody compassionate near them, somebody who figures them out and supports them. Assuming they can’t find that in their partner, this will make them more inclined towards forming emotional connections with another person.

Sense of excitement:

The desire for excitement can be another root cause of emotional cheating. The excitement experienced during the initial stages of a connection with someone new can lead individuals to seek emotional fulfillment. The thrill of secrecy makes emotional cheating seem exciting, even if it is harming your relationship with your partner.

You feel trapped in your relationship:

Emotional cheating can serve as a form of escape for some individuals. When faced with conflicts within their relationship, an individual might seek relief from an outsider. However, this temporary escape can ultimately lead to more significant problems and harm the stability of your relationship with your partner in the long run.

What are the major signs that your partner is involved in emotional cheating?

Emotional cheating can be challenging to detect, as it often involves subtle changes. However, being aware of the signs can help you identify emotional infidelity in your relationship. If you notice any of these signs in your partner’s behavior, it might be an indication that they are involved in emotional cheating.

  • They are distinct
  • Increased secrecy
  • Frequent communication with someone else
  • Hiding their messages from you
  • They are becoming defensive
  • They are prioritizing the other person over you
  • No interest in your relationship
  • Always comparing you with the other person
  • Guilt

They are distinct:

Emotional cheating often results in a noticeable emotional distance between you and your partner. You might observe that they are less engaged in conversations and interactions with you. They may seem preoccupied or distracted, not fully present with you. Your partner may avoid discussing their feelings or sharing personal experiences with you, which can create intimacy loss in your relationship.

Increased secrecy:

A significant sign of emotional cheating is when your partner becomes more secretive about their interactions with others, particularly concerning a specific individual. They might hesitate to share details about their conversations and you may notice them guarding their phone or becoming anxious when you are also present with the other person.

Frequent communication with someone else:

Emotional cheating frequently prompts an expansion in correspondence with the third individual. Your partner might be in consistent contact with them, whether through messages, calls, or social media. The consistency and power of this correspondence can be a serious indication of emotional cheating.

Hiding their messages from you:

If your partner is deleting messages or actively hiding their messages with the other person, it can be a clear sign of emotional cheating. They may be trying to cover up their interactions to avoid suspicion and keep their emotional connection a secret.

They are becoming defensive:

At the point when asked about their way of behaving or questioned about their relationship with the other individual, an individual engaged in emotional cheating might be defensive. They could divert the discussion, deny any emotional inclusion, or downplay the meaning of their association with the third individual.

They are prioritizing the other person over you:

Emotional cheaters may prioritize the emotional needs of the other person over your own. They might offer support, understanding, and care more readily to the other person, leaving you feeling like their emotional support has shifted away from the relationship.

No interest in your relationship:

As emotional cheating intensifies, your partner might exhibit a decreased interest in your relationship. They may seem disengaged or uninterested in spending quality time with you, as their emotional investment is focused on the other person.

Always comparing you with the other person:

You may notice your partner making comparisons between you and the other person they are involved with. They might praise certain qualities of the third person, or even criticize aspects of your relationship based on this comparison.


Emotional cheaters often experience feelings of guilt about their behavior. They may recognize that what they are doing is not appropriate or is hurting the relationship, but they may still struggle to break away from the emotional connection they have formed. They may try to justify their actions or overcompensate by being overly affectionate towards you.

What are the major points of differences between emotional cheating and friendship?

Following are the key differences between emotional cheating and friendship. By recognizing these distinctions, individuals can maintain clarity in their relationships.

Emotional Cheating Friendship
Involves a deep emotional bond with someone outside the relationship, surpassing the intimacy with the partner. Involves a strong emotional bond with a friend based on mutual trust, respect, and shared experiences.
Emotional intimacy is heightened and can rival or exceed what is shared within the relationship. Emotional intimacy is present, but within platonic boundaries.
May involve feelings of romantic attraction or emotional infatuation towards the third person. Absent romantic attraction, the connection is not driven by romantic interest.
There is a possibility of physical intimacy being involved. No physical intimacy is involved beyond hugs.
Often involves secrecy, as the emotional connection may be kept hidden from the partner. Transparency and openness about friendship, there is no secrecy.
Emotional cheaters may maintain their relationship while emotionally connecting with someone else. Friends are committed to each other’s well being, but not in a romantic sense.
Can lead to emotional distance and erosion of trust and intimacy within the relationship. Strengthens the existing bond between friends, it does not negatively affect your relationship with your partner.

How does emotional cheating impact your relationship?

Emotional cheating can have a profound impact on a relationship. When one partner  becomes emotionally involved with someone else, it creates problems in the relationship. Let’s explore the major impacts of emotional cheating on your relationships.

  • Shatters the trust
  • Emotionally distinct
  • No communication
  • Loss of intimacy
  • Betrayal
  • Insecurity
  • Low self esteem
  • Trust issues
  • Resentment
  • Leaves a lasting impact
  • Impact on other relations
  • Impact on mental health

Shatters the trust:

Emotional cheating shatters the trust that partners have built over time. The betrayed partner may struggle to trust their emotions and perceptions, leading to a sense of insecurity and doubt in the relationship.

Emotionally distinct:

As emotional cheating intensifies, the emotional distance between partners increases. The partner involved in emotional infidelity may become emotionally withdrawn, making it challenging to bridge the gap and reconnect.

No communication:

Emotional cheating often leads to a breakdown in communication between partners. Honest and open communication may be replaced by defensive or avoidant responses. There is a lack of transparent communication, which can lead towards emotional distance between partners.

Loss of intimacy:

Emotional intimacy erodes the emotional intimacy shared between partners. The betrayed partner may feel emotionally disconnected and struggle to rekindle the same level of closeness that was present before everything happened. There is no trust in the relationship and the individuals avoid each other all the time.


The betrayed partner often experiences feelings of hurt. They may question why their emotional support was not enough for their partner, leading to a profound sense of emotional pain. These feelings can take a toll on their mental and emotional health.


Emotional cheating can evoke feelings of insecurity and jealousy. They may compare themselves to the third person and worry about not measuring up to the emotional connection shared by their partner and the other person. This sense of inadequacy can intensify the feelings of jealousy and self doubt.

Low self esteem:

The betrayed partner’s self esteem may suffer as they internalize the emotional cheating as a reflection of their inadequacy. They may struggle with feelings of worthlessness and self doubt, questioning their value within the relationship and their partner’s commitment to them.

Trust issues:

Rebuilding trust after emotional cheating is challenging. The betrayed partner may have difficulty believing that their partner will not repeat the same actions in the future, which can prolong the healing process. Forgiveness can also be a daunting task as the emotional scars from the betrayal mat take time to heal.


The betrayed partner may harbor feelings of resentment towards their partner for their emotional cheating. This lingering resentment can create barriers to reconciliation and hinder the ability to move forward as a couple. The emotional baggage from the betrayal can impact future interactions and decision making within the relationship.

Leaves a lasting impact:

Emotional cheating can significantly impact the dynamics of the relationship moving forward. They may find it difficult to fully trust someone after what happened to them in the previous relationship. The person will be more guarded and they might each and everything.

Impact on other relations:

Emotional cheating can have a ripple effect on relations with family and friends. When emotional infidelity comes to light, it may lead to discomfort and tension within the family or mutual friends. Additionally, emotionally cheating can lead to social isolation or strained relationships with friends who are close to both partners, as they may feel caught in the middle.

Impact on mental health:

Emotional cheating can take a toll on one’s mental health. The betrayed partner may experience a range of emotions including sadness, anxiety, and depression. The emotional pain caused by the revelation of emotional cheating can lead to stress and exhaustion.


Emotional cheating is a complex and emotionally charged issue that can have a profound impact on a relationship. The act of forming a deep emotional connection with someone outside the relationship can lead to a breach of trust, emotional distance, and loss of intimacy. It often involves sharing personal thoughts, feelings and experiences with the third person.

The impact of emotional cheating extends to other aspects of the couple’s life, including their family and friends. The aftermath of emotional cheating may lead to discomfort and tension within the family or mutual friends who may become affected by the situation. Recovering from emotional cheating is a challenging process that requires open communication, empathy, and commitment.

Emotional cheating is a sobering reminder of the importance of emotional connection in a relationship. By understanding the impact of emotional cheating and addressing its consequences, couples can create a strong and resilient bond that is built on genuine emotional intimacy.