Emotional cheating occurs when you allow an emotional bond to develop, which often happens between friends of the opposite sex, when you allow your friend to satisfy emotional needs that should be taken care of by your spouse or significant other. Emotional cheating often ends in sexual infidelity. Are you at risk of becoming an emotional cheater?
Friendships between two people of the opposite sex can be completely platonic and do not always lead to an inappropriate relationship, but this can happen if you do not watch out for the early warning signs. If you start looking forward to seeing your friend more than any other friend or taking extra care of your personal appearance in the hopes that your friend will notice, this is a sign that you are already leading down the slippery path of emotional cheating.
Another early warning sign of emotional cheating is the extent to which your friend fulfils your emotional needs. Do you turn to your friend more than your spouse when you are having personal problems? Or do you let your friend know about your marital disputes? If you would feel uncomfortable letting your spouse know about your friendship, this is also a sign of emotional cheating, as it shows that you are ashamed or that you have something to hide that your spouse would not approve of.
Emotional intimacy with someone who is not your spouse or significant other only progresses at the rate you allow it. That means if you are spending far too much time pursuing a friendship with someone of the opposite sex at work and use all your free time leaning on them for emotional support, flirting with them each morning at the copier or touching them as you talk, you are displaying emotional intimacy, and risk going even further.
It is all too easy to lean on a friend of the opposite sex for emotional support, especially when you are experiencing trouble at home. However, the danger of leaning on someone else for emotional support is that you will turn your innocent friendship into an inappropriate one. Some of the early warning signs include looking forward to seeing your friend more than any others, confiding in them before your partner, and leaning heavily on them for emotional support.