How To Get Over Emotional Cheating: 10 Practical Tips

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Practical Tips On How To Get Over Emotional Cheating

Finding out that the person you love the most is in love with someone else can be one of the most heartbreaking experiences. Emotional cheating can not only shatter a relationship, but it can also traumatize and emotionally break the other partner. Let’s learn how to get over emotional cheating and start the healing process

What Does Emotional Cheating Mean?

Also known as emotional infidelity or emotional affair, it refers to a relationship where one person falls in love with, becomes emotionally intimate or develops a romantic bond with someone else outside their primary relationship or marriage. The affair may or may not be physically consummated.

As a result, the cheating partner becomes emotionally unfaithful to their primary partner or spouse. Being emotionally intimate with someone outside the marriage or committed relationship often leads to a breach of trust, lies, secrecy and, in many cases, an eventual relationship dissolution. 

So what does emotional cheating mean? While on the outside emotional infidelity may appear as an innocent friendship or a casual connection, in reality, it is a strong and deep emotional bond that can make the cheating partner believe that they are in love with the third party. 

They may feel deeply comfortable and happy sharing their innermost thoughts, feelings, aspirations and dreams with the third party, while maintaining secrecy about the affair. 

Related: The #1 Cause Of Cheating In Relationships

However, when the truth is revealed it can have a devastating psychological and emotional effect on the partner being cheated on, resulting in feelings of-

  • Betrayal
  • Deception
  • Trauma
  • Inability to trust others
  • Low self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Heartbreak 
  • Inability to build romantic relationships in future

Researchers have found that emotional “emotional intimacy is an element that contributes powerfully to satisfaction in the relationship.” In fact, emotional intimacy tends to have a stronger impact on relationship satisfaction than sexual intimacy by itself. That’s why it is crucial that we learn what does emotional cheating mean and how to get over emotional cheating. 

How to Get Over Emotional Cheating

While forgiveness is important, it will definitely not come easy when you have been cheated on in a relationship. You will feel like shouting, screaming and repeatedly asking for explanations, secretly begging your partner to understand the pain in your heart and the heartbreak they have caused. But that is the worst thing you can do for yourself and your relationship. 

Here are a few healthy strategies on how to get over emotional cheating and start your healing journey. Let’s take a look –

1. Acknowledge Your Feelings

The key to overcoming emotional cheating is understanding and controlling your emotions. Identify, acknowledge, accept and address your emotions caused by your partner’s emotional affair. 

Be honest with yourself and make sure not to judge yourself. It is normal to feel angry and sad while navigating through your partner’s affair as it is a mandatory and crucial part of healing.

2. Communicate Openly

Now here comes the difficult part – honest, open and healthy communication. Sit down with your partner and have a heart to heart conversation without resorting to aggression, blame-shifting, guilt-tripping or abuse. Express yourself openly and actively listen to your partner. Understand their thoughts and emotions and encourage them to do the same. 

Yes, it is easier said than done but the calmer and empathetic you remain, the better your chances will be for healing and recovery. Let them know how hurt you have been by their actions and listen to what they have to say. 

The goal is to rebuild trust. So use your words, not your voice. This is one of the simplest and most effective tips on how to get over emotional cheating.

 3. Seek Professional Support

As the relationship dynamic may become extremely complicated after an affair, it can often be difficult for the partners to sort through the issues and reach a positive resolution. This is when it becomes crucial to seek professional help. 

Talking to a therapist or a couples counselor with experience in relationship issues can help you get the necessary help and guidance. 

Related: 6 Warning Signs Of An Emotional Affair

4. Setting of boundaries

Clear and strict boundaries form the basis of rebuilding relationships after emotional cheating. Setting boundaries gives you a better chance at re-establishing trust in the relationship. 

Openly communicate what is acceptable for you in the relationship and what is not. Also make sure to understand and respect your partner’s boundaries as well. When both partners agree upon each other’s terms, they can feel safe and secure in the relationship once again, paving the way for love, faithfulness and trust. 

5. Practice Self-Care 

Healing always starts with yourself. Understand that you may have been deeply hurt and emotionally wounded by the experience. So it is absolutely essential that you show some love to yourself and practice self-care. Understand and address your needs, be more independent and in charge of your own happiness. 

Eat clean, get healthy, build some positive habits and pursue your passions and hobbies. Do things that you enjoy and re-discover yourself as an individual outside of your relationship. 

This will help you heal and regain personal strength. This is one of the best tips on how to get over emotional cheating.

6. Letting Yourself Heal

The keyword that you should focus on when dealing with this topic is “healing”. Healing for yourself and healing for your relationship, and your partner (in case you want to continue the relationship).

However, healing takes time, effort and determination. Allow yourself to grieve the heartbreak and loss of trust and be patient with yourself. Through self-discovery, personal growth, and exploring who you truly are inside, you can finally heal yourself.

7. Regaining Trust

Trust is the first thing that goes out the window when one partner decides to engage in an emotional affair outside their primary relationship. And once trust breaks, it can be really difficult to rebuild it. 

However, when both partners are willing to put in the work and be patient with each other, trust can form once again with enough love, care and affection. The partner who engaged in emotional cheating needs to accept their role in the breakdown of the relationship and be genuinely remorseful for hurting their primary partner. 

The victim partner must not hold on to grudges, let go of the past and forgive their partner. It is only by working together can both partners rebuild trust in their relationship.

Related: Why Infidelity Is Good For Your Relationship

8. Emotional Closure

While closure may be hard to find, it plays an important role in helping you heal emotionally. If it is challenging for you to get closure, then have a detailed discussion with your partner. 

Ask them about the details of their affair to gain more clarity about the extent of damage, ask any question that may pop-up in your mind but be respectful towards your partner, and focus on seeking answers to understand, not to blame or react.

While you may find the answers offensive initially, it will help you reach a resolution in the long run. Remember that healing can only come from facing the truth and acknowledging reality. Understand your partner’s motivations and work on it to make sure it does not happen again. 

9. Focus on Creating Emotional Intimacy

Once you start working on rebuilding trust, shift your focus away from the emotional cheating and focus on building a strong and positive emotional connection with your partner. Emotional affairs are often driven by a lack of emotional intimacy in the committed relationship. 

When someone feels neglected or ignored, they are more likely to seek validation and affection from people other than their partner or spouse. The best way to overcome emotional cheating is to build strong emotional intimacy with your partner. 

Make them feel heard, understood, loved and cared for. Be there when they need you and be supportive while being assertive about your own needs. Share your goals, dreams, insecurities and emotions and listen actively to theirs.

10. Forgiveness and Letting Go

Forgiveness helps you build the base on which your relationship can heal. Whether or not you decide to stay with your partner in the future, forgiving them is more about releasing yourself from the pain and negativity of experiencing cheating than about the other person. 

So how to forgive emotional cheating? Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting what has happened. It simply means you choose to let go of the bitterness, resentment and grudges so that you can focus on building a better future for yourself.

Forgiveness helps you find inner peace and help to improve your mental health. It can also encourage self-compassion and understanding towards your partner as they try to win your trust back. This is how to get over emotional cheating.

Related: Why People Cheat: Investigating The Root Causes of Infidelity In Romantic Relationships

How to Forgive Emotional Cheating

While it may not seem like such a big deal to people who don’t know what does emotional cheating mean, the reality is emotional infidelity is often worse than a physical affair. 

Realizing that your partner loves someone else can be deeply wounding and crippling. And that is why forgiveness can be a seriously challenging process. However, it mostly depends on the individuals, their chemistry, relationship dynamic, and their level of interest in healing the relationship. 

So how to forgive emotional cheating? Forgiveness can begin when both partners acknowledge and accept their true feelings regarding the whole issue and by expressing their genuine thoughts about the ordeal. 

The cheating partner should honestly explain why they cheated as it can help to identify cracks in the primary relationship that both partners should work towards. The other partner should openly express how they have been hurt by the affair and set strict boundaries for the future.

Another crucial aspect of how to forgive emotional cheating is seeking professional help. Consulting a couples therapist or a relationship counselor can also be helpful as they can provide practical advice on how to deal with the complex situation and difficult emotions. 

It is also important that the victim partner prioritizes self-love, self-care and self-compassion in order to protect themselves from becoming a victim again in future and to avoid getting trapped in a toxic, abusive relationship.

Regardless, forgiveness is important both for healing the self and the relationship. While it may take a lot of time, effort and understanding, healing is possible and both partners can once again rebuild the relationship in a healthy way, if both of them are willing to put in equal efforts.

Takeaway

Being cheated on in a committed relationship is undoubtedly one of the worst experiences one can go through. However, it is possible to heal from it if both partners are willing to invest time, effort, dedication and commitment.

While making mistakes is human nature, focus on understanding your role in the ordeal and what motivated your partner to take such a drastic step. 

When all has been said and done, work together with your partner as a team and equal partners to rebuild your relationship from scratch and focus on moving forward, instead of looking back at the past.

Live in the present moment, breathe deeply and follow your heart. True love, love for yourself and your partner, will show you the way forward.

Related: How to Rebuild Your Marriage After Infidelity


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Can a relationship recover from emotional cheating? 

Yes, it is possible if both partners want to. Recovery can be possible with commitment, communication, counseling and dedicated efforts to rebuild trust by both partners.

How do you forgive yourself for emotional cheating? 

The person cheating can forgive themselves by taking accountability for their actions, showing true remorse for hurting the other person, and by seeking therapy to become a better individual.

How do you make amends after emotional cheating?

One can make things better once again by having open communication, being regretful and apologetic, taking constant positive actions towards rebuilding the relationship and by focusing on healing.

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