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The Truth About Micro Cheating: The Little Things That Add Up

In recent years, the term "micro cheating" has gained popularity and sparked debate in the world of relationships. While some may say that micro-cheating is acceptable, more see it as an emotional infidelity that can erode trust and weaken the foundation of a relationship.

Micro cheating refers to small behaviours or actions that may seem harmless on their own, but when taken together can create a sense of betrayal or emotional distance between partners.


Micro cheating refers to small behaviours or actions that may seem harmless on their own, but when taken together can create a sense of betrayal or emotional distance between partners. Micro cheating includes hiding phone messages, maintaining secret friendships with exes, or even regularly checking out someone else's social media profiles.


While the concept of micro cheating may be new, the underlying issues it brings to the surface are not. Trust, communication, and emotional connection have always been essential components of healthy relationships. By exploring the nuances of micro cheating, we can gain a deeper understanding of what it takes to build and maintain meaningful connections with our partners.


Signs of Micro Cheating


While the signs of micro cheating may not be as jarring and obvious as infidelity, there are tell-tale signs for it. These are some actions and traits that may indicate your partner being emotionally or physically focused on someone outside of your relationship.




Secrecy

They become secretive about their phone, messages and even their social media accounts, it could mean they are trying to hide something from you. Some may even keep a secondary phone which you might not be aware of.

Flirting

Keeping a backup

Emotional intimacy with others

Comparing you with others

Lying

Undermine the impact their actions is having on the relationship

Although if your partner shows one of these signs, it does not necessarily mean that they are micro-cheating . However, if multiple signs are present, it may be time to talk to your partner about your concerns.


Impact of Micro Cheating


Micro cheating may seem harmless at first, but down the road, it can have a significant negative impact on relationships. The act of micro cheating can cause emotional distress to the partner, leading to feelings of mistrust, jealousy, and insecurity. It may also erode the intimacy and connection between partners over time.

For example, the husband frequently likes and comments on the pictures of other lady friends/colleagues/strangers on social media, this can lead to feelings of insecurity and jealousy for his wife. Similarly, hiding texts or messages from someone of the opposite sex, even if not explicitly romantic, can breed mistrust and a lack of transparency in the relationship.

Although micro cheating may not involve physical intimacy or sex, it is still widely regarded as a form of infidelity and is undoubtedly damaging to a relationship in the long run.

Micro cheating can also be a slippery slope towards more significant acts of infidelity. When small, seemingly insignificant actions are overlooked, it can lead to a gradual erosion of boundaries and an increased risk of crossing the line into more significant betrayals of trust. Although micro cheating may not involve physical intimacy or sex, it is still widely regarded as a form of infidelity and can be damaging to the relationship down the road.


How To Avoid The Trap


When it comes to avoiding micro cheating, the key is to maintain open and honest communication with your partner. Here are some practical tips to help you stay on track:

Set Clear Boundaries

Have a conversation with your partner about what you both consider to be acceptable behaviour. Being on the same page will help to avoid future misunderstandings and unnecessary fights.

Avoid Temptation

Practice Self-Awareness

Communicate Openly

Prioritize Your Relationship


Key Takeaways


Micro cheating is the grey area of cheating. However as a rule of thumb, if you are wondering if your actions are micro-cheating, they most likely are.

And we cannot emphasize it enough. Communication is key in any relationship.

Bringing up the topic of micro cheating, and discussing boundaries and expectations with your partner really goes a long way.


  1. Watch out for signs: Pay attention to your partner's behaviour and look for signs of micro-cheating, such as secrecy around their phone or computer use, being emotionally distant, or suddenly becoming more interested in their appearance.

  2. Have an open and honest discussion with your partner: Approach your partner with your concerns in a calm and non-accusatory manner in a neutral space and time. Express how their behaviour makes you feel and why it's important to you.

  3. Listen to your partner: Give your partner the chance to explain and share their side of the story and listen to what they have to say without judgement or getting defensive.

  4. Set boundaries: Together with your partner, establish clear boundaries around what constitutes micro-cheating and agree to stick to them. This may involve limiting contact with certain people or agreeing not to engage in certain behaviours.

  5. Focus on building trust: Work together to rebuild trust in your relationship. This may involve being more transparent with each other or finding ways to strengthen your emotional connection.

  6. Practice forgiveness: Forgiveness is an essential part of moving on from micro-cheating. Although it may be easier said than done, try to let go of any resentment or anger you may feel towards your partner and focus on building a positive future together.

  7. Consult a professional intimacy or relationship coach for help: If you're struggling to manage micro-cheating on your own or even find it hard to forgive your partner, consider seeking the help of a professional intimacy or relationship coach. They can provide you with guidance and support as you navigate this challenging issue.

Sources :

1. Skurtu, A. (2018). Helping couples overcome infidelity: a therapist’s manual. Routledge.

2. Mark, K. P. (2014). Extradyatic Relations. In A. C. Michalos (Ed.), Encyclopedia of quality of life and well-being research. (Vol. 3). Springer.

3. Fife, S. T. (2017). Extramarital affairs and infidelity. In J. Carlson & S. B. Dermer (Eds.), The sage encyclopedia of marriage, family, and couples counseling (Vol. 2, pp. 585–588). SAGE Publications, Inc.

4. Guitar, A. E., Geher, G., Kruger, D. J., Garcia, J. R., Fisher, M. L., & Fitzgerald, C. J. (2017). Defining and Distinguishing Sexual and Emotional Infidelity. Current Psychology, 36(3), 434–446. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-016-9432-4

6. Infidelity. (2016). Aamft.org. Retrieved from: https://aamft.org/Consumer_Updates/Infidelity.aspx

7. Bisignano, A. (2018, August 22). Is Your Friendship Becoming an Emotional Affair? GoodTherapy.org. Retrieved from: https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/is-your-friendship-becoming-an-emotional-affair-0822184

8. Moller, N. P., & Vossler, A. (2015). Defining Infidelity in Research and Couple Counseling: A Qualitative Study. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 41(5), 487–497. https://doi.org/10.1080/0092623x.2014.931314


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