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Does emotional cheating mean my relationship is over?

Dr. Stan Tatkin, MFT, PsyD
Marriage & Family Therapy
No, but it certainly means that the relationship’s safety and security system is broken. One of you is not fully strapped in for the ride. Infidelity is not just about cheating. It’s about something much more. The fidelity of your relationship is your agreements about how the two of you will do business together as a couple. Do you agree to tell each other everything? Do you agree to have each other’s backs and protect each other in public and private? Do you agree that the two of you are primary partners and third people, things, or tasks are not allowed to infringe or disturb the peace? If there has been emotional cheating, it may mean that your relationship has not yet begun!
 
Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner's Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship

More About this Book

Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner's Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship

"What the heck is my partner thinking?" is a common refrain in romantic relationships, and with good reason. Every person is wired for love differently, with different habits, needs, and reactions to conflict. The good news is that most people's minds work in predictable ways and respond well to security, attachment, and rituals, making it possible to actually neurologically prime the brain for greater love and fewer conflicts. Wired for Love is a complete insider’s guide to understanding your partner’s brain and enjoying a romantic relationship built on love and trust. Synthesizing research findings on how and why love lasts drawn from neuroscience, attachment theory, and emotion regulation, this book presents ten guiding principles that can improve any relationship. Strengthen your relationship by: Creating and maintaining a safe “couple bubble” Using morning and evening rituals to stay connected Learning to fight so that nobody loses Becoming the expert on what makes your partner feel loved By learning to use simple gestures and words, readers can learn to put out emotional fires and help their partners feel more safe and secure. The no-fault view of conflict in this book encourages readers to move past a "warring brain" mentality and toward a more cooperative "loving brain" understanding of the relationship. This book is essential reading for couples and others interested in understanding the complex dynamics at work behind love and trust in intimate relationships. While there’s no doubt that love is an inexact science, if you can discover how you and your partner are wired differently, you can overcome your differences to create a lasting intimate connection.
Paul  Hokemeyer, PhD
Marriage & Family Therapy
No. Emotional cheating can be fairly easily repaired once open dialogue and true feelings begin to re-enter the primary relationship. In contrast, physical cheating requires huge efforts to repair the breach of trust, sense of betrayal and ego injury that it generates. It is much harder to repair a relationship where there is a physical betrayal.

And while the emotional and physical cheating may be happening simultaneously, emotional cheating typically occurs between two people who are not physically attracted to one another. So a straight women can become emotionally intimate with a gay man.

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