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Micro-cheating: 6 potential signs of digital unfaithfulness

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15th May 2020

1.Deep Liking

This action can give very subtle signs to someone that you may have an interest in them beyond what is appropriate. This involves scrolling through the archives of a social media profile and ‘liking’ things that were posted years ago. This lets the individual know that you’ve been looking through their photos, videos and comments without explicitly saying anything. Regardless of motive, at best it can come across as a little creepy. At worst, it could send confusing signals to someone. As with most items of this list, this action in and of itself isn’t always bad but it’s certainly something to be mindful of.

2. Contacting an ex online

Different relationships have varying views on ex-partners. Some married people may still have regular contact with an ex and their spouse might be totally fine with it. But for others, this won’t be the case. Contacting an ex online and especially concealing it is a behaviour that could lead to something more, so it’s a pitfall to watch out for. Online contact could start as a harmless message about a delightful memory that Facebook has highlighted but if left unchecked, it could lead to regular contact which could potentially be harmful.

3. Sexting

Sexting is sending a text to someone with a sexually explicit photo or message – this one speaks for itself.

4. Repeated profile visits

As with previous entries, this act doesn’t immediately spell unfaithfulness but if you find yourself repeatedly searching for an individual on Facebook or Instagram, the question must arise, ‘Why?’ Showing regular interest in someone you know who isn’t your spouse should be a bit of a red flag. Of course this can just be curiosity about someone’s likes, interests and such but another helpful question to ask in this scenario is, would you be happy for your spouse to know? If the answer is ‘no’, then the action isn’t something to continue with.

5. A contact with a fake name

If you were to scroll through the contact list in your phone, would you see any names that don’t actually exist? This is one of the more obvious signs on this list. Any behaviour that falls into outright deceit is very dangerous. Maybe a colleague from work is saved under the pseudonym of  ‘John GARAGE’ or ‘Zoe INTERIOR DESIGNER’. Well, what do you do if you have such a contact? Probably best to delete it.

6. An active dating profile

Dating websites and apps are extremely prevalent right now. Some are very harmful – others are great and lead to genuine long term relationships or lasting marriages. The issue here is when people find a relationship but keep their dating profile active – almost keeping a foot in the door of other potential romances. There is no set rule but if a new relationship is going well, perhaps remove the dating tool and see how things go.

We have a  marriage event called It Takes two. Click here to find out more!

Much of this list is common sense but maybe something in it has prompted you to reconsider a behaviour you’re currently acting out. For over 30 years, marriage support has been at the heart of our work but sadly, despite seeing many marriages restored and strengthened, we’ve also had no shortage of people coming to us for help in the wake of an affair. Sometimes they come to light because a spouse confesses to the other, but more commonly, they become known because of obvious signs. If you feel like you may have strayed into one of these areas and you’d like to talk to someone, we have a support line available and we’d love to talk things through with you.

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