Love is a wonderful bond between two people who promise to nurture and value each other in good and bad times and to support in each other's professional, emotional and spiritual growth. Unfortunately present day hectic life has not been very kind on our intimate relationships. People find it more and more difficult to give time to these relationships and to connect with their partners. Love like any emotion needs to be nurtured for it to really thrive. Whether it is the lack of time, the hectic pace of life or the plethora of opportunities available, more and more couples find themselves facing the ugly possibility of infidelity ruining their bliss. Unfaithfulness in the traditional sense has always been looked at as a situation where a person indulges in sexual intimacy with someone other that his/her partner. However unfaithfulness can also include emotional infidelity.
Emotional infidelity occurs when a person shares a deep bond and real attraction together with emotional intimacy with someone other than his/her partner. No physical intimacy is involved in emotional cheating and people may or may not even meet each other in person. Internet has allowed people to make friends and quite often the anonymity of internet allows people to get emotionally attached and eventually indulge in emotional infidelity. Physical unfaithfulness on the other hand refers to the situation where a person indulges in physical relationship with someone other than his/her spouse. Physical unfaithfulness may be an affair or even a no-strings attached one night stand. Emotional cheating is steadily on the rise and in as many as 50 percent of the cases, emotional infidelity is eventually followed by physical infidelity. The most basic of all human needs is to feel loved, accepted and validated. Often people who indulge in cheating or infidelity feel their emotional needs are not being met in their relationship with their partner. This could be among the primary reasons for infidelity. This often allows the person who is cheating to unfairly put the blame on the partner and thereby allows him/her to carry on with the infidelity. Some other reasons for infidelity may include the availability of opportunities and also the sheer adrenaline rush that these relationships provide. The fact that physical relationship may not be involved makes many people feel that emotional cheating is somehow not that bad. However both physical and emotional unfaithfulness can put immense strain on the relationship of the couple. There are some warning signs that can help people identify emotional and physical infidelity and seek help for the same. Warning signs of emotional or physical infidelity include:
- In emotional infidelity the beginning of the infidelity is through a friendship. It may start at the workplace or through a chat room on the internet but it is always through the formation of a close, deep bond of friendship. Initially this friendship may not seem to be of much threat particularly if it is in the official set up. However the warning sign is when the person involved starts withdrawing from the spouse and is unduly concerned and particular about his/her appearance. He/she may seem rather preoccupied, distant and the relationship with the partner may seem emotionally disconnected. In physical infidelity such friendship may or may not exist since many people also indulge in one night stands but the person is all the more preoccupied with his/her appearance.
- Eventually the person indulging in infidelity may spend more and more time with the "friend". These meetings may be kept secret from the partner/spouse of the individual. The time that was initially meant for the family or for the relationship would either be used to meet the "friend" or it may seem as if the time is being spent out of some duty and not genuine love and affection. The meetings may be casual over the internet or business lunches but the fact would be that the person would seem rather disinterested in spending time with his/her spouse. Emotional and even sexual intimacy may seem problematic between the couple. When the person indulges in physical infidelity work is often used to cover up for long absences.
- A person involved in emotional infidelity will often share his/her most intimate feelings, emotions, desires with the "friend". Such an individual will also share his/her personal and even marital/relationship problems with this "friend". The spouse/ partner will feel largely ignored or that the individual is unapproachable. If such an individual is confronted about any problems in the relationship he/she will ordinarily deny the same immediately. If the partner/spouse confronts the individual about his/her relationship with the "friend", he/she may seem rather defensive and vehemently insist that "they are just friends".
- For a person indulging in emotional cheating, time spent with the "friend" will be of paramount importance and such a person may also find reasons to give frequent gifts to the "friend". Such a person may feel as if the "friend" understands him/her better than the spouse/partner. The individual may also sometimes compare his/her partner/spouse with the "friend".
- The person may also spend unusually long hours on the internet and may be extremely secretive and keep his/her computer and cell phone password protected. This also often occurs where a person in involved in physical infidelity.
- Another sign of an affair is when the person become exceedingly loving towards the partner/spouse. This may be just to cover his/her own tracks and to assuage feelings of guilt that may besiege such a person after physical infidelity.
- A person indulging in physical infidelity may mention new places, new friends that have not been a part of his social life up until now. The person may seem a changed individual to his/her partner with different or new likes and dislikes. There will be marked changes in his/her daily routine and behavior.
- Where the person is indulging in an affair there may be considerable amount of expenses that will be kept hidden from the partner. These may include restaurant bills and money spent on gifts. The person may become excessively secretive about his/her finances and may not share any information about money with the partner/spouse.
- A person indulging in infidelity may be excessively critical about the partner’s appearance and may seem to be disinterested in having physical relationship. There may be tell tale signs of such an affair in the car of the individual and such a person may also smell differently on occasions.