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Is There a Such Thing as Verbal Cheating on a Girlfriend?

by Anna Green

Affairs can take many forms, including verbal cheating. Cheating does not necessarily need to involve physical contact. Although each couple may define betrayal differently, is it possible to cheat on a girlfriend verbally. This time of adultery might include intimate details about one’s life, having sexual conversations or forming emotional bonds that one typically reserves for their primary partner.

Relationship Expectations

Every couple sets different limits and expectations for their relationship. “What may be acceptable for some couples may be unacceptable for others. Similarly, what's tolerable for one partner in a relationship may be intolerable for the other," explains Family Solutions Counseling Center. Thus, it is important for you to understand your girlfriend’s expectations for your behavior—for example, whether she is okay with you talking to other women about intimate and private issues.

Emotional Affairs

Any type of relationship that limits the intimacy of a boyfriend or girlfriend may be considered emotional adultery, explains clinical psychologist Seth Myers in the "Psychology Today" article, "How to Define Emotional Infidelity: Different Types Cheating." This type of verbal cheating might mean building a relationship with another woman that limits your closeness with your girlfriend by taking away your time and energy. These verbal and emotional relationships do not need to be physical to constitute cheating. They can consist only of in-person conversations, text messages, email or online conversations, states Dr. J.R. Bruns in the Psychology Today article, "Is An Emotional Affair The Same As A Sexual Affair?"

Is it Cheating?

One sign that a relationship may rise to the level of a verbal affair is whether the offending partner feels comfortable telling his girlfriend about it. Although couples do not necessarily need to share all of the details of their outside friendships with one another, when one partner feels the need to hide a relationship with another woman, then this is a red flag that this interaction is a form of verbal or emotional cheating.

Intentions

Regardless of a partner’s intentions in sharing private, intimate or sexual discussions with another person other than his girlfriend, such conversations may constitute verbal cheating. Even if such conversations took place innocently, if the girlfriend feels betrayed, hurt or mistrustful, this behavior can damage a relationship seriously. Having a candid discussion about the intent behind such intimate yet inappropriate discussions may help repair the relationship, however. That said, emotional infidelity or verbal affairs can erode trust in the same was as a physical affair, explains Therese J. Borchard of PsychCentral.

About the Author

Anna Green has been published in the "Journal of Counselor Education and Supervision" and has been featured regularly in "Counseling News and Notes," Keys Weekly newspapers, "Travel Host Magazine" and "Travel South." After earning degrees in political science and English, she attended law school, then earned her master's of science in mental health counseling. She is the founder of a nonprofit mental health group and personal coaching service.

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