Cheating is devastating no matter how you look at it. There are some people out there that think unless there is a sex act is involved it is not cheating. Emotional cheating is real, and it is just as painful if not more so.
There is a difference between physical cheating and emotional cheating but it makes it no less real. You can cheat with someone on social media half way across the country that you have never seen before. At least with physical cheating there is the natural human weakness for sex to blame, not that it helps the pain. With emotion cheating it is a deeper wound, and it is also a far more personal one.
Cheating comes in several different forms, but all fall into one category or the other. Where physical cheating can be a kiss, fondling or some sort of sex act, emotional cheating is a bond you form with another person. This is someone you are giving time, attention and feelings to. This often starts quite innocently, but turns into something far more complicated. This can happen between friends, coworkers or online, and it often leads to physical cheating.
When the emotional cheating is discovered this is often the end of the relationship. This is much harder to get over than a one night stand. It is complicated for both parties, because with an emotional bond this means that your partner has a part of them that wants to be with this other person.
Keep in mind that men are visual creatures and women are emotional. Women see things a lot differently, and what constitutes cheating to one gender may not to the other. Make sure you understand the lines, because they are serious and quite possibly relationship ending boundaries that should not be crossed.
To a woman if you have an emotional bond with another woman then she is left reeling with questions like, is she better than me? What didn’t I give him that she does? Is she prettier, funnier? What is wrong with me? Does he love her? Did he ever love me?
While people react very differently to these situations almost all have said in a survey that motional cheating is a more severe violation. A lot of them say that is the deal breaker. This violates trust on the deepest level. Even if you are forgiven, this is a foul that is never forgotten. Nothing will ever be the same, and eventually it is the demise of the relationship if not at the moment of revelation.
Knowing whether or not your partner is truly sorry can be difficult. If you decide to give it another shot it is advised to seek the help of a professional. There are issues that will stay with you forever if you don’t. The likelihood of the relationship thriving is pretty grim without this intervention.
You can get through this stronger, but it will take time and work. It will take understanding from the one who committed the violation. Healing has to come, and that won’t happen overnight. Paying one wrong back with another is never recommended. The old saying “once a cheater, always a cheater” is not necessarily true, so giving it another chance if you are really in love may be worth it in the end. If it is done a second time, then it is time to let go.
If you are not happy then you need to move on from the relationship. This is in general or if you see you cannot overcome a wrong committed by the other person. If you cannot be with someone without seeking out affections elsewhere then you need to move on. Why keep hurting them? If you see you will never get passed the infraction then you need to let go, because it will only drag out the inevitable.