As I listened to The Today Show with Katie Couric and Matt Lauer while getting ready for work this morning Katie spoke of the Hollywood drama between Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie and I heard a term I had never heard before in reference to cheating in a relationship. Katie explained that there are two types of cheating, physical cheating and emotional cheating. Physical cheating is something I had heard of and seen before. It is easy to define since there is an obvious physical action related to this kind of cheating. I had never heard of emotional cheating before so I did a few simple web searches and found a wealth of information on the topic which instantly confirmed that it truly does exist as a form of cheating.
The fact that I found a web site that has a emotional infidelity directory which aggregates articles on the topic further supported how common emotional cheating must be in everyday life. I found this blog post by Wilco tries to define emotional cheating and is worth a read. While another post on Bumblebee Dreams defines emotional cheating as, "...cheating is anything that diminishes the primary relationship. This means both things you do as well as the things you don't do." In my findings it seems that emotional cheating, "depends on what you and your partner agree upon as cheating". The article titled When Does Flirting Become Cheating? describes this in more detail and talks about the how subjective emotional cheating is in saying, "I think it's up to the individual to define if he or she feels he or she is actually being an 'emotional cheater.'"
The bottom-line is that emotional cheating is difficult to define since the actions are not as blatantly obvious as with physical cheating. Katie Couric explained in her report today that emotional cheating is when a couple are in a relationship and a third person has a strong emotional bond with one of them. She explained how this can be destructive to the relationship of the couple in the relationship. In my readings I determined that emotional cheating seems dependent on the couple and the details, severity, frequency of the emotional cheating and the most importantly the tolerance level of the person being emotionally cheated on. What one couple considers emotional cheating could not even been considered in another couples relationship. I think if couples in a relationship concentrated solely on their current relationship (and not past or potentially future relationships in the form of emotional bonds) while following the golden rule, then they will eliminate any stress that could be put on a relationship by an outside emotional relationship. Sounds simple enough, but it is probably easier said then done. But what do I know about emotional cheating anyway? I just learned about it today.