What is Micro-Cheating?

What is Micro-Cheating?

Posted By: Team Intrigued Date: 08-27-2018 Comments: 0

For a relationship to work, both members need to be fully vested physically and emotionally. Most people believe that cheating only occurs when someone is physically intimate with another person outside the relationship. While that’s pretty high up the list, there is another form of cheating that can consume you or your partner emotionally. Indeed, micro-cheating can happen even without you or your partner fully realizing what you’re doing. And the consequences can be quite significant.

What is Micro-Cheating?

Sheri Meyers (author of “Chatting or Cheating”) defines micro-cheating as channeling the bulk of your emotions and desires to someone outside the relationship. It typically happens when you turn to someone else to obtain something that you’re missing in your relationship.

Micro-cheating starts off as a series of small actions directed towards someone else. These actions (such as texting, chatting, and stalking someone else on social media) typically lead to a breakdown in trust and cause tension within the relationship. It starts off with smaller actions that eventually build up to more widespread secrecy, deception, and even physical cheating. Therapist Sheri Meyers also uses the term “emotional sex” to denote behaviors that signal you or your partner becoming emotionally invested in someone else.

Signs of Micro-Cheating

How can you tell if you or your partner is engaged in micro-cheating? It’s important to know the warning signs, as you may be doing it without even realizing. Some common signs of such behavior include:

  • Lying about your relationship status (in person or on social media)
  • Liking old social media posts (especially from previous relationships)
  • Sharing personal secrets with someone outside the relationship
  • Saving a friend’s number under a secret name
  • Keeping your profile active on dating websites
  • Contacting an ex and regularly chatting with them

While you may think that constant communication with your ex is harmless, it can draw you away emotionally from your current partner. It can also serve as the foundation for bigger things to happen down the road.

How Emotional Cheating Impacts Your Relationship

Perhaps the biggest downside of micro-cheating is that it results in misdirected emotions within the relationship. You or your partner may be channeling their feelings to a third party, thereby compromising the strength of your relationship.

What you may think is “harmless fun” may slowly build up to a fractured bond over time. In most cases, someone engaging in micro-cheating wouldn’t want their partner to know their actions. This often results in deleted text messages, hidden phone calls, and privacy settings on social media. Even worse, micro-cheating often forms the stepping stone for physical cheating, affairs, and other forms of infidelity.

Avoid The Pitfalls Micro-Cheating

Avoiding the trap of micro-cheating starts with understanding what is drawing you away from your relationship. Communicate in an open and honest manner about areas where your partner may be falling short. This will allow him/her to improve on their shortfalls and reignite the flame of your bond. But make sure you always base your communications on sincerity, trust and love.