Infidelity is a major source of tension between married spouses. The damage to the relationship may be so serious that the spouse who feels betrayed may seek a divorce.
Infidelity is not always sexual in nature. Emotional infidelity occurs when someone forms an intense but nonphysical connection with someone outside the relationship that he or she tries to keep secret from his or her spouse. According to Psychology Today, defining emotional infidelity is more difficult, with men and women frequently giving different definitions. However, there are some signs that it may be an issue in a relationship.
1. Emotional absence
It is not enough to be physically present in a relationship. Sometimes a spouse becomes emotionally absent. This manifests as distant behavior and a lack of affection.
Another sign that someone is emotionally absent due to nonphysical infidelity is a failure to object to a decision on the part of his or her spouse that would typically have upset him or her. This is an example of negative emotional absence.
Frequent distraction may indicate a preoccupation with the object of the spouse’s nonphysical affection. As a result of distraction and preoccupation, the unfaithful spouse may not pay adequate attention to his or her own family and household.
A spouse who becomes secretive or wary about sharing information with his or her spouse may be emotionally unfaithful. This may involve being vague about talking about the events of the day without sharing very many details.
Secrecy is a primary ingredient in marital infidelity whether it be physical or emotional.