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What Is Micro Cheating?

Often when we imagine cheating in relationships, we associate it with physical infidelity — an extracurricular sexual relationship. However, there’s “between” territory — which can involve emotional affairs and other behaviors outside your relationship that your partner wouldn’t be okay with. The name of it is micro-cheating. Micro-cheating is pretty much anything that crosses expected and healthy boundaries in a relationship but stops short of physical infidelity.

How to Know If Your Partner Is Having An Emotional Affair

While physical cheating is clearly much more black and white, micro-cheating involves subtle signals and patterns that show that you are not 100% focused on your partner. Apparently, the area in which these behaviors lie is far more grey. These inappropriate acts or covert micro-aggressions are risky because they can often lead to something more and seriously damage the primary relationship. Although these awful behaviors may seem like a gray spot, they are normally executed without the partner’s knowledge.

A few examples of micro-cheating include telling someone else that one is attracted to him or her, late-night texts or messages, lying to a partner about dinner drinks with someone else, lying about their relationship status on social media, or intentionally leaving one’s wedding ring off.

There is a form of dishonesty, whether the person is omitting truth or straight out lying. In these cases, loyalty is often thrown into the wind. Most people who exhibit these behaviors would be crushed to discover their partners were behaving similarly behind their backs.

Micro-cheating can also be that time away with a co-worker for work, they start to socialize and drink, and one thing leads to another, not necessarily physically cheating but definitely cheating emotionally and mentally.

Micro-cheating isn’t easy to identify, so there are some ways to see if your partner is involved in this behavior.

If your partner is deceptive on the topic of a co-worker who texts/calls often, it can be a warning. If a partner is holding their phone with them all the time and using it where you can’t hear or if a partner is often working late abruptly or spending a great deal of unexplained time online—something probably isn’t right.

You may notice they suddenly are not wearing their wedding ring, and when you ask, they may say something like, “I took it off to go to the gym” or “I forgot.”

Above all, signs of shady behaviors and secrecy are what you should be looking for.

If you sense that your partner is withholding something, you should face them about it. When people seem like they’re hiding something, they normally are. Remember, the chief difference between innocent flirtation and micro-cheating is the intention behind the actions. Proving their intentions when considering the action with your partner will provide you with understanding the situation better if they indeed are emotionally cheating or not.