It's safe to assume that having an affair is not something on the forefront of anyone's mind. It happens, but it isn't something most people desire or plan on. However, that doesn't mean you haven't already done it and not even realize it.
Having an affair, or cheating on your spouse isn't only used to describe a sexual indiscretion. It can refer to any time a person devotes his or her time, thoughts, emotions or body to another who is not his or her partner. Here are five ways you may be cheating on your spouse and not realize it:
Aside from having a physical relationship, you can physically cheat on your spouse by admiring or obsessing over another's physical body. It is normal and OK to notice beauty and note your attraction to someone even when you are in a committed relationship. Just because you are taken doesn't mean you are blind to everyone else. It is not OK, however, to obsess over that attraction. You may be physically cheating on your spouse by indulging in pornographic material, lusting after or flirting with those you find appealing or comparing your spouse to others.
To be happy and content in a relationship, it is vital to feel emotionally fulfilled. By giving your time to someone else, you might find it unnecessary to share certain things with your partner. Your partner should be the one that you share your dreams, worries, successes, hardships and every happiness with. Being open with your spouse can only bring you closer together. If you have someone else in your life that you immediately turn to when you need someone to talk to, you might be emotionally cheating on your spouse.
It is easy to get wrapped up in today's fast-paced world. More than ever, couples may find that materialistic things are getting in the way of their relationship. Whether it be your smartphone, tablet, computer, recreational vehicles, clothes, or just about any other distraction, you are taking time away from your spouse or family to focus on something that is trivial. Being concerned with social status or possession of material items can become all consuming, leaving no time to focus on building and maintaining what is truly important; personal interaction and connection.
When entering a union with another, in most cases, you made a vow before God to honor, love and cherish your spouse. In turn, you covenanted to honor God. So, what happens when you break the vow with God? It is not uncommon for one or more in a relationship to forget their commitment to God. Depending on your level of spirituality, God plays a role in the marital covenant. By forsaking that covenant, you have forsaken your partner and the foundation of your marriage or commitment.
Additionally, it is possible to spiritually cheat on your spouse by obsessing over or devoting all your attention to a church or church group. It is very feasible that one can become too devoted to a higher power or belief. This can also cause your spouse to feel second or cheated on.
Words are powerful. Use them wisely in your relationship. Just as they build someone up, they can tear them down. Verbal comparisons or slander can make your partner feel violated, less than others or insecure. This is cheating. You are not committed to the relationship. In particular, comparison to others (especially to those your spouse knows) is detrimental to your relationship. By saying "My buddy's wife cooks him dinner every night." Or "[Insert Name] doesn't do that," you are showing your spouse you prefer someone else, or he is not good enough. It might not be how you mean it, but it is how he can perceive your comment.
You might THINK you would never cheat, but that doesn't mean you haven't fallen into it and not even realize it. Don't be a subconscious cheater. Relationships require commitment, hard work and sense of self-awareness in order to be faithful and true.