Emotional infidelity: Where do you draw the line?

Monday, June 24, 2019

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AN affair does not always start with sexual attraction. Relationship experts have pinpointed the “emotional affair”, in which a person looks outside of their relationship for emotional support and provides the same for a person or persons outside of their relationship or marriage. This may or may not lead to a sexual affair, but the participants feel a strong connection regardless.

But where exactly does emotional infidelity start? Do you feel cheated once your partner has another female friend or does it depend on the parameters of their friendship?

All Woman asked a few women for their take on this, and this is what they said:


Tamara, 31, entrepreneur:

It's only cheating if there is a relationship. I'm not going to search my man's phone to watch who he is talking to, regularly, or anything like that. That's crazy! As long as he is not having a relationship with anyone else but me, he can talk to whoever he wants to.


Kerry, 30, reporter:

From the moment he starts flirting, it's already infidelity, because he is creating an opportunity that may lead to sex down the road. If you are committed to me, then there is no need for you to be flirting with anyone.


Maya, 25, marketing officer:

I draw the line at anything that makes me look stupid, or like I'm lacking in any way — whether it's with another woman privately, around his family members, or out in public. You cannot say and do things to make it seem as if I'm inadequate, or you are unhappy with me, unless it is to me.

For example, if another woman asks if you are okay, the answer should be yes. Saying no will lead to them trying to comfort you. If your family asks about my cooking, you should tell them it's great. Saying anything less would lead them to criticising me. If I need to work on something, say it to me.


Marsha, 23, student:

The problem starts when he feels like he needs to start hiding things from me. If you don't want me to know about it, clearly you know that you are doing something wrong or you are about to do something wrong.


Keisha, 28, customer care agent:

You cheat on me emotionally when you start telling other people things you should be telling me. That's a clear sign that the relationship is going nowhere, because once the mind goes, the body will soon follow.


Jeana, 24, beautician:

Definitely flirting. Why are you window shopping for women if you have a good one at home? I've never heard a man cheat then when the woman gets interested he says, “Okay, I'm going to stop now because I'm happy in my relationship and I don't want this to go any further”.


Sara-Lee, 27, accountant:

I think it depends on the stuff he is telling the other woman and the kinds of conversations he is entertaining. Nothing is wrong if my man has a female friend, as long as it's not deeply personal or leading to anything sexual.

— Candiece Knight

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