Navigating the complicated and ever-evolving dynamics of a relationship, especially in the day and age where social media has become such an intrinsic part of our lives, can be tricky and, as much as we’d like, there’s no manual to it.
Over the past few years, experts have begun identifying trends and new patterns that couples in relationships exhibit, like pocketing or delicate dumping. Another new phenomenon that has been identified is ‘micro-cheating’.
Everything To Know About Micro-Cheating
What is micro-cheating?
Unlike normal infidelity, where a person’s physical or emotional involvement with someone who is not their partner is more overt, micro-cheating is not as obvious and is more subjective. Essentially it’s when the actions or behaviour of your partner, conscious or otherwise, start making you question their commitment to the relationship.
It can happen when your partner starts prioritising someone else’s feelings over yours or with instances like keeping in regular touch with an ex or someone who they find attractive.
How to identify signs of micro-cheating?
Relationships are unique and each one has a dynamic that’s decided by the people involved in it so it’s hard to narrow down clear signs of mico-cheating. However, there are a few ways you can identify whether or not your partner is micro-cheating on you, especially if they have a history of infidelity.
One of the most obvious ways that could tell you if you’re being micro-cheated on is if you keep uncovering seemingly harmless secrets about your partner’s friendships. These could range from informal meetings that you don’t know about or the level of emotional involvement on both sides. Other examples could be if your partner continues to message or be in touch with someone they know is attracted to them, lying about your relationship status, or cyberstalking an ex or a crush.
Why is it important to know if your partner is micro-cheating or not?
Micro-cheating is almost as harmful as normal infidelity. It erodes trust in a relationship and, if left unresolved, can cause feelings of emotional neglect, betrayal, and inadequacy that could ruin the relationship completely.
What to do if your partner is micro-cheating on you?
If you’ve identified the signs, there are two ways to go about it. First, you can give them the benefit of the doubt, especially if they’ve never given you any reason to suspect their commitment to your relationship and let it go. The second way is to confront your partner.
Before you jump to choose the second way, know that it should be preceded with proper processing of what you’re feeling and the situation. The signs of micro-cheating are ambiguous and you’ll get nowhere if you jump to any conclusions without being clear about what you want from the confrontation.
What you need to do here is to emotionally separate yourself from the situation. Then take some time to go over your partner’s past behaviour. Have they ever given you a reason to doubt them? Is there a pattern that you’ve noticed in their behaviour that has led you to question whether they’re micro-cheating or not? Are you too, knowingly or unknowingly, hiding information from your partner? Once you have the answers to questions like these, then raise it with your partner.
Make sure to keep your tone accusation-free and give your partner a chance to respond to your doubts. Communication is the only way you can get to the other side of this with a positive outcome.
Remember, all relationships are different and it’s important to be open about your expectations from the relationship with your partner.