They may no longer need you to satisfy their emotional needs because someone else is doing it for them.
Infidelity isn't just about physically cheating on a partner with someone else. Emotional cheating can often leave deep, and sometimes deeper scars, thank physical infidelity. Emotional cheating may seem hard to detect but most often an individual can "sense" it although they may not be able to pinpoint the exact signs.
These are the classic signs of a partner is having an emotional affair with someone else.
Even the slightest change in their behavior could indicate that they have something to hide. "Often these emotional affairs start as micro-cheating: texting, instant messaging sorts of dances that expand from there," Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D., professor of psychology at California State University, told Woman's Day. When your partner is having an emotional affair, not only do they spend more time on their phone but they might also become overprotective of it. They might change their phone's password or get very anxious when you ask them if you can use their phone.
Suddenly, your partner might start talking about a new coworker in their office or a new friend they met in the park. There is nothing out of the ordinary when a partner talks about someone they know. But when you start hearing the other person's name more often than usual, and you notice that your partner drops their name in casual conversations they have with you, it shows how the person is constantly on your partner's mind. "It’s a subtle and insidious way that people will start to try to normalize the relationship," said Kate Balestrieri, certified sex therapist and founder of Modern Intimacy.
Seeing your partner start dressing differently or spending more time in front of the mirror than they usually do could indicate a new priority on their mind. They might also start talking about wanting to lose weight and possibly even getting a new kind of haircut. If you see these changes completely out of the blue or they have never expressed this kind of interest in their appearance before, they could "be trying to please someone else," says psychiatrist, Abigail Brenner, who wrote for Psychology Today.
Hearing your partner say that your friend is more understanding or that a coworker is more sensitive to their feelings could show how they are forming a connection with someone else. "Comparison can actually be an indicator that there’s some kind of new loyalty being formed somewhere else and that you may have been deprioritized in some way," Balestrieri told Woman's Day. "The comparison is a subtle form of humiliation and an unconscious plea for: ‘Why can’t you be more like this?'"
In the past, if your partner had a bad day, if they had something on their mind, or if they needed to get something off their chest, you would be the first person to know what was going on. But someone who is emotionally cheating with someone else will no longer such things with their partner. Their conversations seem superficial where they address only the mundane things like the grocery list or chores to do, but not really about what is going on with them.
"They withhold communication of their feelings and share them with an outsider..." said Dr. Fran Walfish, a Beverly Hills family and relationship psychotherapist, according to Redbook.
Lately, you might notice that they are spending more time at work, more "nights out with their friends," or more hours at the gym or wherever else they tell you that they usually go to. You might notice that they always have some excuse to not spend time with you. Even when they do spend time with you, you find that their mind is somewhere else and they're not giving you their full attention. In these situations, "Ask yourself if you’re being treated fairly and whether your partner’s behavior seems off," Melissa Schacter, a licensed marriage and family therapist told Women's Health.
There is almost always a reason when something seems off or your partner seems aloof or distant. When your partner is sharing their thoughts and feelings with someone else, even if it has to do with a complete summary of the day's event, they start pulling back from you. They might no longer need you to meet their emotional needs because they have found someone else to do it for them. "The intimacy gap is widening emotionally and physically. Your spouse is often missing in action, either too busy or too tired to make time for you. They may seem distracted, far away, cold, or disinterested," Brenner wrote for Psychology Today.
Disclaimer: This article is based on insights from different sources. The views expressed here are those of the writer.