Now, an emotional affair doesn’t necessarily mean they’re having a physical relationship with that person. You don’t need to have sex to be emotionally attached to someone. They could be fantasizing about this person without ever having sex with them. But, usually, with time, the emotional affair becomes physical. It’s really only a matter of time. So, if you’re wondering how to get over emotional cheating, it’s a good thing you came here.
How to get over emotional cheating
You may have heard your partner or someone on TV say, “it wasn’t an emotional affair; it was just physical.” Okay, but what does that really mean? Well, even though both forms of cheating are bad, there is a difference.
A physical affair is when someone has sex with a person outside of their relationship. We all know that.
[Read: How to deal with the pain of betrayal when people hurt you]
An emotional affair is when someone is emotionally connected with another person outside of their main relationship. They have intimate feelings for this other person, while still in a relationship with their partner.
Are you ready to forgive an emotional affair and move forward?
#1 Give yourself some time and space. Before you make any rash decisions, give yourself some time to process what’s going on. If you want to heal from this experience, don’t jump the gun and say or do things you’re going to regret. You don’t necessarily need to end your relationship if you don’t want to. [Read: Should you ever forgive a cheating partner?]
#2 What do you want? So, you found out your partner was emotionally cheating on you. It’s a hard thing to accept, but it happened. Now all you can do is think about the next step. What do you want? Are you willing to stay in the relationship and work things through? Or do you want to process the situation and move on from them?
#3 You both need to recognize the fantasy. With affairs, they’re exciting. It’s a new relationship, the chemistry is wild, the hormones are bouncing off the wall, and this is why people usually enter these relationships. They’re fulfilling a void. An emotional affair, or really any affair, isn’t based around reality. There isn’t any daily drama involved or stresses that would appear in a usual relationship. [Read: Why do people in happy relationships still cheat?]
#4 Grieve. Many of us try to suppress our emotions and push them away, but that doesn’t do anyone any good. If you want to get over emotional cheating, you need to grieve. It’s okay to be sad or angry, feel those emotions, and use them to help you emotionally process what happened.
#5 Talk, talk, talk. The only way you two can truly heal from the experience is by talking about it with each other. Why did your partner emotionally cheat on you? What drove them to do that? This doesn’t mean the blame is on you; it simply shows there could be areas in your relationship that need work.
#6 If you want to stay together, they need to cut ties with the other person. There’s no way they can continue a friendship with the other person they emotionally cheated on you with. That’s just crazy. If they really want to work on the relationship, they need to cut ties with this person. They need to work on getting your trust back. And having the other person around isn’t going to work. [Read: Do emotional affairs ever stop? A guide to break the connection]
#7 They need to tell you everything. If you ever want to get over what happened, your partner needs to be upfront and clear with you about what happened. They cannot leave anything out of the story. Of course, if you don’t want to know specific things, that’s fine. But, your partner needs to open up about what happened. That way, you can decide what you want to do. [Read: How to get over trust issues in your relationship]
#8 If you want to stay together, commit to it. If you decided to stay together, commit to making the relationship work. Though your partner made a huge mistake, a relationship is a two-way street; you’ll need to put effort into it too. If you want to make it work, commit to it.
#9 Gaining trust takes time. You’re not going to trust your partner overnight. If anything, it’ll take you a long time before you can start to trust your partner again. And that’s okay. Give yourself time to feel the situation, and with time, you’ll slowly be more trusting towards your partner. Don’t rush the process.
#10 Seek therapy. Healing from something like this isn’t easy. Sometimes, you just need a helping hand to guide you through this time. Therapy is amazing and can really help you and your partner get through the experience. You probably have unresolved issues from way before the actual affair, and they need to get dealt with.
#11 Go on dates with your partner. Work on bringing back the intimacy and the spark in your relationship. Commit to having a weekly date night where you can simply be together and reconnect. It’s clear you are out of sync and need to get back on the right track. [Read: How to rebuild trust after even the worst type of betrayal]
#12 You may change your mind. You may be doing everything right, but realize you don’t want to be with your partner anymore. That’s okay. Just because in the beginning, you wanted to stay with them, doesn’t mean that’s going to happen. Understand you may change your mind and want to become single. Whatever choice you make, as long as it’s what you want, is a good choice.
[Read: How to know when you should breakup using these guiding signs]
So, how to get over emotional cheating? It isn’t easy to accept or process. Decide whether you’re ready to continue your relationship and make it work or move on.
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