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Have you heard of micro-cheating? | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis

In the age of technology, how we choose to interact has also opened avenues and provided opportunities that were absent before. This has led to non-sexual forms of cheating, now being referred to as micro-cheating. The best way to describe it is that grey area where one is walking a thin line trying to stay loyal to their partner and trying hard not to commit infidelity — sexual or otherwise. It’s not always sexual in nature, as a result it has changed the very definition of what constitutes as cheating on a partner.

The definition of cheating now

Psychiatrist Dr Hemant Mittal says, “Earlier, hiding the fact that one is married, sexual and emotional affairs, not being there for your partner was described as cheating on them and the focus was always on sexual infidelity. However, as time has passed that definition too has evolved to include watching or reading erotica on the sly, checking out someone other than your partner, communicating with an ex without your partner’s knowledge and keeping secrets from them about your finances, expenditure, etc.”

Clinical psychologist Seema Hingorrany,  echoes this and adds, “There are different types of cheating and it’s no longer limited to sexual infidelity, and what many are now labelling as ‘micro-cheating’. These forms of cheating are equally traumatic as they cause emotional scars and can also result in severe anxiety and depression.”

Are you guilty of micro-cheating?

Cheating as established earlier is no longer about sexual infidelity, instead it has evolved to encompass a set of actions done consciously and on the sly. If you are hiding or feel the need to conceal something from your partner, it can be constituted as micro-cheating. This can cover interactions via texts or email, using apps, covertly meeting someone and interacting with them daily, without letting your spouse know about any of it. All of these hidden actions and gestures — however small could break the bond you and your partner have grown into. The bottomline being —  the need for secrecy and deception even from your partner constitutes as micro-cheating. It’s a subtle betrayal, which is on the rise.

How does one deal with it?

The best way is to discuss and set boundaries which are acceptable to both partners. If you are sure that your partner is guilty of micro-cheating and it’s something that’s bothering you, go ahead and voice what you are feeling, discuss what he or she can do to make up for it. For example, If he or she is indulging in what they consider a harmless flirtation or texting emojis to someone you know or don’t, let them know that their actions are bothering you. Don’t take the accusatory stand but at the same time make sure you communicate what you are feeling.

Ultimately, while the definition of cheating may change, relationship boundaries don’t. And if anyone crosses those boundaries there’s bound to be some heartache. In the end it does not matter whether there was heartburn because of cheating or micro-cheating. What it boils down to was one partner choosing to do things on the sly, intentionally keeping the other in the dark and that cannot bode well for any relationship.

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