Dr. Michele Lastella, a sleep researcher at Appleton Institute for Behavioural Science at CQ University, has been investigating the link between sex and sleep. Based…
Why Are You Micro-Cheating?
In the UK, one in five people has had an affair, while 22% of people admit to romantically kissing someone else while they are in a relationship. If you have been cheated on, or have cheated yourself, you’ll know first-hand that cheating can erode trust, damage relationships and lead to painful breakups. However, with the new form of cheating, known as micro-cheating; are the four out of five people claiming to stay faithful in relationships actually guilty of these mini infidelities?
What is micro-cheating?
Micro-cheating is a new term for all of those small acts that could be seen as infidelity, betrayal or disrespectful to your partner. Micro-cheating is often considered the ‘warm-up’ before anyone crosses a physical line. However, it can take you into a dangerous territory where you are not truthful to your partner or perhaps draw you into emotional cheating.
Micro-cheating is, in fact, nothing new. Even as far back of the 18th century, there is evidence of people sending flirtatious messages or sharing inappropriate thoughts and actions in diaries. However, in the digital age, this form of cheating is perhaps more commonplace. It is the direct message here, the liking of a sexy photo there.
Many see micro-cheating differently, which is where boundaries are blurred as to what is acceptable and not in a relationship. For some, this form of cheating is ultimately showing that you are emotionally and physically available to others, whereas, for others, it is simply harmless banter.
Are you a micro-cheat?
All of these actions may be classed as micro-cheating;
- Removing your wedding ring before a night out
- Going way back in someone’s social media feed to like posts, showing that you’ve studied their profile in great detail (also known as ‘deep liking’)
- Repeatedly visiting someone’s profile
- Lying about your relationship status
- Concealing the fact that you are talking to an ex
- Having a dating profile
- Listing a person as a fake name in your contacts
- Claiming your relationship is less serious than it is
- Sexting or sending intimate pictures to someone who isn’t your partner.
While cheating is often going behind someone’s back, alarmingly, many people are micro-cheating when they are with their partner. If you and your partners are both on your phone, it becomes easy to be drawn into a connection online, and it is easy to do this without your partner’s knowledge.
Is it harmless fun?
Every relationship is different, and each couple will have their own boundaries. However, as we now have even more tools and methods at our disposal to be unfaithful or commit infidelity, is it possible to say; we are only cheating ‘a little bit’? Can you brush off your actions as harmless fun?
The best way to determine whether your actions may be cheating is to think about your reaction if it was the other way around. If your partner did the same thing, would you believe they had crossed the line? Would you feel upset?
Another way to think about it is whether you’d feel uncomfortable telling your partner what you are doing. If you do, you could be harming your relationship.
The only way you can ensure the way you and your partner are both acting with the best intentions for the relationship is to discuss your boundaries and agree on the set limits for what works for both of you.
Why are you micro-cheating?
There are lots of reasons why people dip their toes into the world of cheating, some of the most coming include;
People who are struggling with their identity, perhaps feeling lost or wanting to create a new identity can often cheat. Micro-cheating enables people to live out the repressed parts of themselves. It is not that they are looking for someone else instead of their partner. Moreover, it is that they are looking for themselves.
- If only!
Some people cheat because of their worry about missed opportunities. Their current situation may feel stagnant or limited. Micro-cheating allows people to live out and indulge their curiosity of what might have been.
- Attraction + Obstacles = Excitement
This equation in Jack Morin’s The Erotic Mind is a great example of people cheating for the ‘forbidden fruit’. As society usually frowns upon cheating, it makes someone want to do it more. Many people want to push their limits and experience emotions that may be new or exiled. However, with this, the cheaters will often feel the negative emotional release just as much as any positive feelings. It is a mix of pleasure and pain.
Before it’s too late
So, if you’re micro-cheating, it may not signal a problem with the relationship you have. Instead, it may be an issue you have with yourself. Whether you are stuck in a rut, need an emotional release for feelings you are repressing or are struggling with your identity. To ensure you don’t cause unnecessary damage to your relationship, it is essential to really know yourself and understand your actions.
As a hypnotherapist who specialises in relationships, it can be really helpful to address any of the problems that may be lurking in your relationship or your own self before you tread too far into the murky world of cheating. My blended therapy sessions can really help clients to know themselves and understand their actions so that they can make the right decisions for their happiness and wellbeing.
Get started today by booking your first free consultation by emailing [email protected].