Is micro-cheating treason? Here’s what it is and why it can ruin a couple
Often, when people talk about a love affair, they imagine betrayal as something black or white.
Sure, sleeping with someone outside of one’s monogamous relationship is undoubtedly considered cheating. But there are many facets of it.
For example, is frequent dating someone to whom you are sexually attracted cheating? The latter and darker scenario could fall under the term-umbrella micro-cheating.
Let’s find out what it is and why it could (unknowingly) ruin the couple.
**What if cheating is good for the couple? Here’s what experts think**
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What does micro-cheating mean?
Micro-cheating (literally meaning small betrayals) is the act of cultivating, in more or less small ways, intimate but inappropriate connections outside one’s relationship.
This subtle form of cheating does not involve physical intimacy with each other, but it involves actions that break a couple’s agreements on romantic exclusivity in other ways.
Many people do not consider emotional urges to be cheating since there is no sex or any other physical act, writes sex therapist Jessa Zimmerman, But it is the secrecy and betrayal of trust that creates serious damage to a relationship.
What behaviors can be considered micro-cheating?
Is micro-cheating therefore cheating? The answer depends on how you define cheating in your relationship.
However, there are some behaviors that can be classified as micro-cheating by most experts.
For example, maintaining your online dating profile even when you have a partner, but also constantly interacting with a specific person and paying more attention to someone who is not your partner.
Also delete a message exchange so that your partner does not find out who you are chatting with or omit conversations or facts that have occurred. But also dressing differently when you see a particular person because you want to attract his or her attention.
Sharing personal details about sexual tastes and fantasies with someone who is not your partner is also considered micro-cheating.
What effect micro-cheating has on a relationship
There are many reasons why people cheat.
According to American sex therapist Tammy Nelson: A woman might cheat because she likes who she is when she is with her partner, but she might feel sexier, smarter, more charming, and more alive when she cheats. With her spouse at home, she might feel invisible, boring or old.
Jess Zimmerman explains that this more subtle form of cheating often begins by accident.
What starts as a work dinner, a text from an old friend, or a shared workout at the gym can turn into a flirtation and an intimate relationship.
Many people have these interactions without it turning into a physical betrayal. This happens because often, especially those who are not completely satisfied with their relationships, begin to indulge in feelings of validation, attraction and excitement.
Micro-cheating therefore may be caused by a momentary lapse in judgment, but it could also be a sign that the relationship is not the right one.
That said, a relationship is not necessarily over if there has been micro-cheating.
If both people are open to learning about their own contribution to the problems in the relationship, if they are willing to learn to take responsibility for themselves, then they can actually overcome micro-cheating and create a much better relationship than they had before.