Is Micro-Cheating Causing Divorce?

Infidelity is one of the most common reasons that couples get divorced. However, while you may consider infidelity to mean engaging in sexual intercourse with someone other than your spouse, certain behaviors can be regarded as cheating, even if there is no physical relationship. Micro-cheating is a term that refers to behaviors ranging from subtle flirtations to engaging in a more intense emotional relationship with another person.

What Are Examples of Micro-Cheating?

There are a range of behaviors that a spouse may engage in that are not technically considered cheating, but that can erode trust and cause irreparable damage to the relationship. The following are some of the most common examples of micro-cheating:

  • Flirting
  • Contacting an ex on social media
  • Pretending to be single
  • Maintaining an active account on dating sites
  • Secretly meeting up with people
  • Lying about their whereabouts
  • Sharing their phone number and contact information
  • Sending inappropriate messages or photos

What Are the Common Signs of Micro-Cheating?

While no one wants to look for signs that their spouse is micro-cheating, by recognizing these signs, you can take control of the situation and address the issue with your spouse. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to discuss your concerns and try to repair your relationship or consider a divorce if your marriage has been damaged beyond repair. The following are common signs of micro-cheating:

  • Your spouse is overly protective of their phone. If your spouse never leaves their phone unattended or seems to be hiding messages or pictures from you, this may be a sign that they are micro-cheating.
  • Your spouse constantly talks about another person. If your spouse continually brings up a colleague or an ex and talks about them in a way that makes you uncomfortable, this could be a sign of micro-cheating.
  • Your spouse prefers to go to events alone. If your spouse attends an office party, house party, vacation, or other events you would normally participate in together, this may be a sign of micro-cheating.
  • Your spouse becomes defensive when you address the issue. If you bring up your concerns about your spouse’s behavior towards another person, and they get defensive, try to gaslight you, or deny doing anything wrong, this may be a sign that they are micro-cheating. 

What Should I Do if My Spouse Is Micro-Cheating?

Even if your spouse’s actions have not progressed to an actual physical affair, micro-cheating can be just as devastating, particularly if your spouse has developed intense feelings for another person. As painful and upsetting as this realization may be, there are effective strategies that can help you cope with this challenging situation, including the following:

  • Try not to react emotionally. As difficult as this can be when you feel angry, upset, and betrayed, take time to cool down, think about your spouse’s actions, and discuss that matter when you are ready.
  • Discuss the issue with your spouse. Once you have taken the time to consider the situation, explain to your spouse how their actions have made you feel and why you think it is a violation of your trust. Allow your spouse to justify their actions.
  • Redefine the boundaries of your relationship. Once you have had an open and honest discussion with your spouse about micro-cheating and its impact on your relationship, discuss what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior moving forward. If your spouse has different expectations and priorities, you may want to consider a divorce.
  • Work on your relationship. Micro-cheating does not always mean that your marriage will end in divorce. If you can work through your issues and rebuild the broken trust, you can strengthen your bond and leave the micro-cheating behavior in the past.
  • Consider couples therapy. Any form of infidelity can harm a marriage, even if there is no physical relationship. It can be very painful and traumatic to experience that kind of betrayal. Discussing your feelings with a professional couples therapist can benefit you and your spouse.

Freehold Divorce Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Help Clients Navigate the Divorce Process

If you are seeking a divorce, speak with our Freehold divorce lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. We will guide you through every step of the divorce process and protect your legal and financial rights. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 908-575-9777 or contact us online. Located in Somerville, Morristown, and Freehold, New Jersey, we serve clients in Somerset, Woodbridge, Morristown, Parsippany, Rockaway, Short Hills, Chatham, Randolph, Madison, Morris Plains, and Monmouth County.