Ever since the day you’ve met them, you’ve always seen your spouse as the kindest and most beautiful soul to ever walk the earth. From the moment you held their hand for the first time, they’ve been someone you can’t live without. But human as you are, your every day is a constant battle against temptations. Sometimes, you succeed in resisting them.
Sometimes, you don’t.
Years into the marriage, you find yourself seeking someone else’s attention other than your spouse’s. You crave the touch of someone other than the person you exchanged rings with years ago. You realize you are cheating on your spouse, and so you try to pull yourself together. Then you go back to their side and ask for forgiveness. You try to rebuild trust in the relationship and save your marriage. It all works out.
But this kind of ending isn’t what everyone gets. While asking for forgiveness should be the first step one should take, it’s not the first move for everybody—not for those who have not even realized something’s off.
8 Seemingly Harmless Ways You Are Being Unfaithful to Your Spouse
It’s easy to fix an issue if you are aware of it. But it’s a whole different story if you don’t even know you are cheating. You see, infidelity has many faces, but not every form of unfaithfulness is visible enough.
There are ways you are being unfaithful to your spouse—without even realizing it.
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1. Confiding your problems to someone other than your spouse
When you share your concerns and deepest thoughts with someone, you are putting yourself in a dangerous and vulnerable situation. It may seem harmless, after all, you just need someone to listen. What you don’t realize, your heart is in its weakest state when you are hurting that it easily becomes comfortable with the first person to offer empathy.
If there’s anyone you should talk about your problems with, it’s your spouse, especially if it’s about your relationship. If that doesn’t work for you, call a trusted relative or therapist, not someone who may consider your helplessness as an invitation for intimacy. You can deny and call it friendship at first, but it never stays that way.
2. Talking negatively about your spouse and your relationship
Talking bad about your wife or husband with your friends is also one of the ways you are being unfaithful to your spouse. If you have issues with how they have been behaving lately, talk it out with your partner. Besides, no one can fix your relationship problems other than the people involved and that’s you and your partner. Talking negatively will only add fuel to the fire. Also, your friends will just give you intrusive pieces of advice that are purely based on what you tell them. If, by any chance, you talk about your spouse with other people, always focus on the good things.
3. Dressing up to attract the attention of someone else
Dressing to impress is never a bad idea, unless it is for someone else. Spending hours trying to look more presentable so the new girl or boy at work will notice you screams unfaithfulness, you just don’t realize it. As a married person, your partner should be the only person you have to allure every day. Doing it for people outside the relationship is one of the ways you are being unfaithful to your spouse, even though it comes out as harmless at first.
4. Flirting with another person
Having a little fun with a colleague can’t be too bad, but it’s extremely menacing. If you entertain the idea of flirting with the person you see for the most part of the day, chances are you’ll develop feelings you never thought you’d have. The person who was once just a coworker seated next to you will soon become your secret lover.
It’s worth noting, though, that flirting isn’t all that bad. What makes it bad isn’t the act itself but the intention behind it. According to relationship counselor Denise Knowles, you can never say flirting is cheating outright. It is its intention and effects that make it a threat to the relationship.
She told The Independent, “It’s only when it starts to cause harm or the intention is to harm or when you’re hiding, that’s when the betrayal happens and that can be very harmful.”
Either way, be very careful. No one plays with fire without getting burned.
5. Meeting people online
Not only does going online consume the time your are supposed to be spending with your spouse, the Internet is also filled with temptations that may cause turmoil in your marriage. There are so many apps and websites that seemingly open doors for unfaithfulness. And there’s lesser chance you’ll get caught too. Chats are inaccessible from other mobile phones, and messages are automatically deleted once the other person replies.
You can justify the act all you want, but there’s never an acceptable reason for striking intimate conversations with people online when you are very much married. And even though you have never met and will never meet the person you are speaking to, the conversations are real, so it isn’t impossible for feelings to blossom out of that.
6. Not disclosing the fact that you are married
You don’t need to tell every person you meet that you are married, but should you find yourself in a situation where your relationship status is relevant, you must. If someone asks if you are married and you intentionally deny it, you clearly need to evaluate your intention for doing it. Concealing the fact that you’re taken is easily one of the ways you are being unfaithful to your spouse, even though you probably don’t even know it.
7. Telling white lies
Most couples think they have to tell white lies to avoid serious fights. Simple questions like “Who were you with?” and “Where have you been?” are common queries that often get white lies as responses out of fear that the truth might leave the relationship in ruins.
Telling white lies is just one of the ways you are being unfaithful to your spouse. Making some things up, even if they seem harmless, can seriously damage your relationship. Always be truthful. Whatever reaction the truth draws from your partner, accept it and understand where they are coming from. Listen to what they have to say. Avoid having ugly arguments by keeping your cool and opening your ears and not just your mouth.
8. Having feelings for another person
You might have never physically flirted with another person since you got married, but that doesn’t mean you haven’t been unfaithful to your spouse. It can be that you are still holding onto your past lover’s affection. This is one of the least noticeable ways you are being unfaithful to your spouse. You often think about the life you could be living right now had you chosen to stay with your ex. You have a lot of what-ifs and what-could-have-beens. And that’s not very healthy.
Although you are not with someone else physically, if you are still yearning for the touch of someone from your past, you are still being unfaithful. The cruelest fact about emotional affair is, it is the hardest one to break.
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