No one ever wants to think about their partner having an affair … but unfortunately, no relationship is “cheat proof.” And while it is possible for a relationship to survive infidelity, it’s something that none of us ever want to face. And unfortunately, affairs aren’t always black and white. There’s more than one way to cheat on your significant other.
So, how likely is an affair to happen, anyway? Sadly, cheating is more common than most people realize. According to some recent statistics, 22% of men say that they’ve cheated on their significant other, while 14% of women admitted to having an affair. And if over 1/3 of marriages, both partners say they’ve strayed.
Next: How are people cheating?
Types of infidelities
When most people think of an affair, they think of one partner sleeping with someone else in secret. But that’s just one style of cheating. An emotional affair involves falling for another person and confiding in him or her more than your other half, and having a “work spouse” sometimes crosses the line (if you become too emotionally attached and start dressing up for the other person, for example). Some might even say that fantasizing about someone else is cheating.
Next: More people are meeting online.
The rise of the online affair
Over the last several decades, online affairs have grown in popularity. In fact, 10% of affairs now begin online. And while the concept of the online affair is nothing new, there’s a new kind of technological infidelity popping up, and it’s becoming increasingly common.
Next: The new affair on the block.
Micro-cheating is a new term that has been circulating recently. Coined by psychologist Martin Graff, it involves excessively liking or commenting on someone else’s social media post, obsessively checking for updates, and “cyber stalking” to the point of obsessively thinking about the other person.
Basically, micro-cheating is s series of seemingly small things that, when added up, end up being a pretty big deal. It’s a new form of infidelity that combines an emotional and online affair.
Next: The backlash has been harsh.
Is the term ‘micro-cheating’ ridiculous?
Obviously, liking and commenting on someone’s Facebook posts or Instagram photos seems pretty innocent. So it comes as no surprise that there has been some backlash to this theory. Relationship columnist Dan Savage insists that micro-cheating isn’t real — in fact, he claims that it’s a sign of a controlling and borderline abusive partner.
Next: It’s ridiculous, until it isn’t.
Micro-cheating is just another kind of emotional affair
Not all people dismiss the term as easily as Dan Savage does. While engaging with someone online, even someone you find attractive, certainly isn’t cheating, it can quickly lead to an emotional affair. If you’re obsessively checking someone else’s social media feed, direct messaging the person frequently and lying to your partner about it, or lying to the person you’re talking to about your relationship status … you’re probably guilty of micro-cheating.
Next: This is the key to stopping micro-cheating in its tracks.
Know when you’re crossing the line
They key to prevent micro-cheating, or any cheating, is to be wary of crossing the line in your relationship. Each union is different, and what’s acceptable to one couple may not be to another. If you know for a fact your partner would be upset by what you’re doing, or if you have to hide things, that’s a clear sign that you should stop. And when it comes to your other half, all you can do is pay attention to the telltale signs of infidelity and encourage honest dialogue.
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