For many people, having “out-of-the-box” feelings for another person isn’t always about satisfying physical needs.
Chloe encourages her husband to change jobs, unexpectedly in a new environment, he changes in a way she could not imagine. “In the past, he was always the man of the family. But now, he leaves early, returns late,” she said.
Chloe only found out the reason when she went to work to visit her husband. “My heart broke when I saw him chatting intimately with his female colleague. He shared with her all the secrets and aspirations, the things we used to share together,” the 49-year-old wife, said. . She also discovered that they had a secret and very intimate conversational language.
By the time Chloe found out about her husband and another girl, they had been married for 12 years and had a three-year-old son. She believes her husband and female colleague have no physical relationship, but after 15 years, it still leaves a wound in her heart.
Anneka, 31, is suspicious when her boyfriend is often glued to his phone and tries to keep her from seeing. She felt a strange relief when she knew exactly what his relationship was. “I proved I was right. I had a very long time wondering if I was crazy and overly controlling,” she said. Like Chloe, Anneka is confident her lover does not cheat physically. But for her, it was also betrayal.
Daphne, 25, broke up with her boyfriend because of his texts with a former co-worker. “They talked like two lovers. It hurt more than he got drunk and had a one-night stand with a woman on a long trip,” she said.
Technology is helping people stay connected around the clock and in secret. It leaves them vulnerable to falling into the gray area between the two concepts of “friendship” and “beyond friendship”, a relationship that is easily denied as betrayal because it does not include sex.
According to a study by YouGov (market research and data analytics company) in 2015, of 1,660 adults in the UK, around 20% confessed to being unfaithful to their partner. Among them, 15% said there was no sexual relationship.
In a poll by the Guardian (UK), readers said that this type of affair is as damaging as a partner having extramarital sex.
However, according to a YouGov survey, only 44% consider a “no sex” relationship with the opposite sex as an affair. Some people even actively let their other half find another person to solve psychological problems.
Sarah Calvert, a love therapist in London, says the concept of infidelity depends on one’s perspective. “But if you tell your secrets and deep feelings to the opposite sex and don’t want your partner to know, that could be betrayal. Ask yourself: Would you dare let your lover know? your relationship with a third person? How much time do you spend thinking about that person?”, the expert said.
In addition, betrayal stems from deep problems in the relationship, such as unhealed past hurts or unmet needs, according to experts.
Dr Gayle Brewer, a senior psychology lecturer at the University of Liverpool, said that if your partner confides in someone else, you often see it as betrayal. Emotional infidelity often occurs when we are not heard and supported by our partners.
According to Brewer, the impact of not being understood on women is often greater. Women suffer more from love than sex, while men do the opposite.
“Men often ask their partners: ‘Have you slept with him?’ while women ask, ‘Do you love him,'” Brewer said.
In addition to expert opinions, survey participants in the Guardian said that the causes of “non-sexual infidelity” could stem from education, difficulties in pregnancy, psychological illness, physical substance, the loss of a family member, or a change in work or life
A 29-year-old man said he felt panic when he received a text message wishing his ex-girlfriend’s birthday a happy birthday, even though she was about to get engaged. He immediately opened the message to read and reply. “I can’t explain why. It took me six years to dream about this wedding,” he said. Another person named Yvonne was married but had an affair with a co-worker. “Emotions with him are really addictive,” she said.
Sex therapist Sarah Calvert thinks the third person is idealized in the eyes of the “non-sexual adulterer”. “They are the people you imagine. They seem to understand you very well, but you can’t fully understand them because the two have no real relationship,” she said.
Experts say that facing these emotional problems is also an opportunity for couples to reconsider. It can be the catalyst for a shocking change, but a re-establishment of trust.
Caitlin, 37, is an example. She said her husband’s relationship with a colleague “was a real hit”. At the time, the couple worked long hours and raised a young child, with no joy in life or time together. After the story of her husband having a third person broke up, they moved, determined to make amends.
“The marriage is better now than ever. We remember really liking and loving each other. We’re so glad we’ve been through so many things together …”, Caitlin said.
Chloe said that her husband’s love affair led to a divorce. “I slowly rebuilt myself by going to therapy to get through it,” she says. Currently, Chloe has remarried and has another child. “My ex-husband’s relationship made me more understanding. I wouldn’t have become a new version of myself today, if it weren’t for that,” she said.
Intelligent Update (Follow Guardian)