Recently you've noticed a change in the dynamic of your relationship. You’re noticing your partner act, well differently. There’s a disconnect in the relationship and now the person you once felt the closest to has become a stranger. You’ve noticed a recent connection your partner has made with someone they deemed as “a friend,” and their interactions are becoming more uncomfortable. You’re starting to suspect your partner is cheating on you, and while you may think the cheating is physical, it could very well be another form of cheating- emotional cheating.

When thinking about being cheated on, it’s natural to jump to the conclusion that the relationship is physical. But, cheating isn’t always physical; in fact emotional cheating can often hurt worst. Here are some signs to be on the lookout for when you suspect your partner is an emotional cheater.

They’re sharing a lot less.

One of the best things about being in a relationship is having that special someone to go and talk to. You’re able to passionately vent to that person and talk to them about anything, no matter how big or small it is. It can be a hard pill to swallow when you start to take notice of your partner not holding conversations with you like they once were. The first sign of an emotional cheater is they’re starting to share less with their partner.

In any healthy relationship, it’s normal to talk openly about what’s going on in each other’s lives. If you find yourself forcing your partner to have a regular conversation with you, and they’re shutting it down with minimal word exchange, that’s a red flag. When your partner is sharing less and less with you, it could be because they’re sharing more with someone else.

They’re talking about this person……a lot.

Often times your partner will let you know they’re an emotional cheater before you even realize its happening. If this supposed friend’s name is coming up frequently in conversation, this is something you should not take too lightly. When your partner is constantly talking about this person, it’s obvious this person is crossing their mind a lot and that can be an indicator of a deeper fascination.  When someone is getting emotionally involved with a person, often times those feelings spill over into other areas of their life.  Once their “platonic” friendship enters you’re one-on-one time, it drives a wedge in your relationship, and suddenly you have become the outsider. Regardless, your partner’s sudden thrill for this person is not okay.

They’re protective over their phones.

When your partner starts positioning themselves away from you to use their phone, rest assured there is something they have in it they don’t want you to see. If your partner becomes more protected over their phone, changes the passcode, always has it in their hands, and anxious when they can’t find it, these can also be alarming signs of secrets. Watching your partner walk out of the room to talk with this “friend” on the phone is something to also be wary of.

An increase in texting or social media use is also a sign of a possible emotional cheater. It’s not that your partner isn’t allowed to get distracted by their phone; we’re all guilt of that sometimes. But if you find yourself competing for their attention against their phone, you have a reason to be suspicious. A majority of emotional cheating situations start with texting or online messaging and involve over time.

Sudden changes in schedules and daily routines.

After a while of being with someone, you both will naturally become in tune with each other’s weekly and daily schedules. If you’re noticing your partner is starting to have later nights at work or socially, this could be another indicator of emotional cheating. If your partner has never been away for work and suddenly finds a need to travel for business , that definitely raises concerns for questioning .They may be looking for ways to separate themselves from you in order to dedicate the time and energy to the person they have become invested with. You’ll notice date nights start to become infrequent and any suggestion for quality time is shot down with endless excuses.

You don’t feel like a priority anymore.

The icing on the cake when suspecting your partner is an emotional cheater is that as you continue to take notice of the behavior’s,  you realize that your partner hasn’t been prioritizing you or your relationship . It can be hurtful to know that your partner doesn’t prioritize you, especially if you really want to be with them. If you are feeling alone in your relationship more than you feel connected or together, that’s a problem you can’t overlook.

Relationships require constant effort from both parties, so if your partner isn’t making time for you, they’ve made it clear where you stand. When you become desperate for the attention and affectionate from your partner, they are not prioritizing you. Craving love from a partner can take a toll on a person’s self-esteem. Even the most emotionally in tune people can be left feeling insecure.

How to address  an emotional cheater.

So, this list of signs confirms your suspicion of your partner being an emotional cheater, now what? First it’s important to be open in dialogue with your partner. Tell them exactly what you’re feeling and the behavior’s you’ve observed. Explain to them how those behaviors affect you and if they’re open, as well as empathetic, there’s a good chance you will be able to work through this together.

Be mindful that if you and your partner are working to stay together, it’s not going to be easy. There will be things that trigger you along the way and bring up those feelings of mistrust. It will take some time to regain trust again, but with complete transparency from both parties, the relationship can be salvaged. If there aren’t any positive indicators of the relationship being saved, walk away from it knowing that when something didn’t sit right with you, you listened to your gut and confronted the issue.

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