Just as how everything starts from humble beginnings, the act of cheating is no exception. At first, it may seem small and harmless. A flirty text to a high school crush, meeting up with a member of the opposite/same sex without your partner’s knowledge – it’s not bad as long as nothing serious happens right? Subconsciously however, by consistently pushing your own moral boundaries, little by little, you are in fact inching closer to cheating. Slowly but surely, you are exposing yourself to more temptations to cheat, especially on impulse.
Micro-cheating can be described as a series of small actions that belies a shift in emotional or physical focus within a relationship, moving away from one’s partner and instead resting on an outside party. The truth is that while small changes in affections might not do much damage to a serious relationship, it can pave the way towards rationalising full-blown acts of infidelity.
Despite its relatively innocuous name, micro-cheating can be incredibly insidious due to its minor stature. Specifically, small acts – regardless of the intent behind them – can influence the way we act and think. A perceptive partner will be able to pick up on these subtle changes, which can lead to insecurity and jealously. The cheating partner is also prone to feelings of guilt, negatively affecting the lines of communication between both parties. In both instances, the integrity if the relationship is jeopardised.
Some estimate that in over one-third of marriages, one or both partners admit to cheating. After all, as human beings, we are curious and seek new sensations. The prospect of trying something fresh or exciting (particularly if it’s something that’s considered taboo) with someone new can be tempting. This has become alarmingly easy as technological advances have made the world a more connected place and has also made it easier for past and new lovers to connect. This ease of access can even accelerate the rate at which micro-cheating can develop into a much more detrimental and blatant form of cheating such as an extramarital affair.
However, someone may not be aware that he or she is committing acts of micro-cheating given how subjective it is. As such, partners will need to adopt an open mode communication and talk about their own definitions of cheating. Different couples have different tolerance levels and benchmarks for what constitutes to cheating. If there are any disagreements, third parties may have to be removed from the equation to ensure a greater sense of relationship fulfilment and prevent conflicts in the long run.
At the end of the day, trust, love and honesty is required from both parties. By ignoring, dismissing or neglecting your partner’s emotions, you are putting your relationship and each other’s feelings at great risk. Rome may not have been built overnight, but all it took was for one person to set it all ablaze.