Long before physical cheating happens within a marriage there are episodes of mindless, careless actions couples begin doing. These are not thought of as cheating, but they are a betrayal and when you’re the partner of someone who is engaged with one of the “casual forms of cheating” you feel worthless, unloved and disrespected. Many couples don’t talk about their feelings and they dismiss them as not being important, or related to a bad mood or a bad day at work. But being treated as replaceable or second best by someone you love the most hurts and is a breach of trust even though it doesn’t qualify or have the intensity of physical cheating.
Below are subtle forms of cheating that happen in a relationship. Taking notice of these and asking yourself if you’re guilty of committing them can help strengthen your relationship and help you be the spouse you promised to be.
- You complain about your problems in marriage to your opposite sex co-worker or friend. The only person who should hear about your marriage problems is your partner, therapist or minister.
- You flirt with others besides your partner.
- You hide money from your partner. If you have to hide money within your marriage; your marriage has a problem.
- You dress nicer or try to attract more attention from others than you do for your partner.
- You use the silent treatment, eye rolling or withdraw intimacy when you’re upset or not getting your own way. These behaviors are hallmarks of contention, conflict and poor communication style between two people. It is a predictor of divorce.
- You talk down to your partner in front of your friends or out in public.
- You’re dishonest about your true feelings. Being dishonest is breaking a fundamental essential trust in a relationship.
Casual or subtle cheating happens after years of marriage and taking one another for granted. Marriage can survive casual cheating if the partners are aware they’re doing it and change their behavior. Left unattended it makes marriage miserable and divorce likely.