What is mental infidelity?

Had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day, that kept me thinking. Is there something called mental infidelity and if there is, how common is it?

A lot of us are married to people we love and people we have willingly chosen to be with. Originating from a place of attraction ( sexual and otherwise), these people, have walked the path with us, and have now become an integral part of our lives. But does it ever happen that a few years down the line ( or from the start), one starts to associate with someone else much more mentally and emotionally? Is this then infidelity and does it amount to cheating on your partner?

In our conversations cheating on one’s partner is, more often than not, associated with a physical relationship one is having beyond the boundaries of an existing relationship. While it is not my place to judge the individual or the circumstances of the situation, this is something that is clearly demarcated and  fits into one’s sensibility of right or wrong. But how does one define if someone is cheating on one’s partner emotionally and if it is an acceptable thing to do vis-a-vis the partner?

As a couple grows and matures in their relationships, they often tend to develop into personalities that are quite different from what they were when they first met. This is an integral facet of human nature and no matter how much one wants, this is a change that is bound to happen. Some are more drastic than the others. Small things like ” he wasn’t so rude earlier” or “she was a happier person when I knew her” actually have deep-rooted connotations if one was to dig deep and analyze. Individuals change with time,  circumstances and situations and therefore in my mind it is not absurd when one finds a “connect” with someone else beyond a spouse at perhaps a later age in their life. This bond, though perhaps, not entirely derived from lust and desire could grow to be immensely strong and aim to threaten the relationship one has with his/her spouse. Is this then infidelity, though it is not aimed to be so? It is not an intended transgression of trust and fidelity and yet it is a connect that might weaken the bedrock of which one’s existing relationship is based.

I am on the fence on this one and the verdict is still waiting in my mind on this.

3 thoughts on “What is mental infidelity?

  1. It is infidelity, and in my book scores ‘higher’ than physical infidelity – because, in a sense, you are ‘rejecting’ the person your partner is (rejecting probably not the best word, but I can’t think of a better one right now), whereas physical infidelity can still be put down to lust/ momentary desires. However I do think this works differently for people (usually depending on their gender) – there are people for whom the physical angle is not possible without some mental/emotional bonding, and in that case by default a physical cheating indicates mental infidelity as well.
    Very nice and honest piece!

    Like

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