Are You Microcheating on Your Partner?

Posted by on Aug 15, 2018 in Couples Counseling | Comments Off on Are You Microcheating on Your Partner?

Naturally, just about everyone agrees that having sex with someone else besides your romantic partner is considered cheating. Yet, there are more subtle ways that a person can betray their partner. Maybe you had lunch with a friend but didn’t tell or your partner. Or, you recently have reconnected with an ex-partner online. These are examples of what is called microcheating.

It includes what you may consider seemingly small behaviors that, when you take a step back can indicate that a person is emotionally or even physically cheating on their romantic partner. Note that this is not a new phenomenon.

However, with social media and smart-phone technology, it has become much easier for microcheating to occur. If left unaddressed it can do serious damage to your relationship.

Examples of Microcheating

Some examples of microcheating include:

  • Lying about your romantic status on social media
  • Connecting with an ex-partner or lover without telling your current partner.
  • Relating with an ex-partner on topics other than children
  • Becoming too friendly with a coworker at the office.

These behaviors may not be a problem individually. However, they do become a problem when an emotional/physical line has been crossed. Just because you are chatty with the cashier at the grocery store isn’t necessarily cheating. Yet, if you ask for their phone number and don’t tell your partner, then that becomes more of a problem.

Questions to Ask Yourself

It can be a slippery slope as to when a behavior seems perfectly harmless but can then morph into something else completely. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you are worried that you are microcheating:

  1. Are you keeping communications (calls, texts, email messaging, etc.) with someone else secret from your partner?
  2. Do you send hearts or other playful emoji to someone else besides your partner?
  3. Do you disclose information to someone outside of your relationship that should really be shared with your partner?
  4. Does your partner think what you are doing is a problem, or would they if they knew about it?
  5. If the roles were reversed, would you have a problem with what your partner was doing?

What You Can Do About Microcheating

If you answered yes to most or all of these questions, then you need to take a hard look at your behavior. Remember, microcheating doesn’t mean that the relationship is over.  However, it does mean that you need to do some serious work to improve the situation. Consider these suggestions:

  1. Come clean with what has happened and disclose all of the details to your partner.
  2. Work to reestablish trust with your partner and refrain from engaging in inappropriate behaviors.
  3. Figure out why the microcheating occurred. What was the attraction? What appealed to you cheat? Consider how you felt when it happened.
  4. Figure out with your partner the relationship boundaries. What is partner ok/not ok with?  As we get older, our perspectives change. Having lunch with a coworker when you and your partner were younger may not have been considered appropriate. However, now that you are older that may have changed.
  5. If necessary, seek out professional help to address the microcheating issue.

Consider this:  If something was wrong with your car, you’d take it to an expert to get it fixed. They would help you to solve the problem and to get you back on track again. The same can be said for seeing a therapist with expertise in relationship problems.

Far too often, people let problems like microcheating go on far too long until something in the relationship breaks. Don’t let that happen to you and your partner. If you are struggling with microcheating, get the help you need now.

Online Therapy Available NowRead More