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Micro-Cheating Is on the Rise and Here’s How to Spot It

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An unfortunate trend in relationships is reportedly on the rise. Called micro-cheating, it involves tiny ways through which people become unfaithful to their partners.

According to Australian Psychologist and consultant Melanie Schilling, micro-cheating is a series of small actions in a relationship that indicate someone is physically and/or emotionally focused on someone else other than their partner. The signs may be too subtle to be noticed.

Some people may not even be aware they are micro-cheating or are being micro-cheated on.

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Schilling, who spoke to FEMAIL about the matter, was quoted as saying:

“You might be engaging in micro-cheating if you secretly connect with another person on social media, if you share private jokes, if you downplay the seriousness of your relationship to your partner, or if you enter their name under a code in your phone. These are all signs that you are conducting a ‘covert flirtation’ and keeping it from your partner. If you feel you have something to hide – ask yourself why.”

Schilling describes micro-cheating to be a subtle form of betrayal that uses secrecy as its fuel.

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And so the easiest way to spot micro-cheating is to see changes in your partner’s behavior, particularly when they start keeping things a secret. Here are more examples from Schilling:

“Other things you should look out for are if your partner is having private conversations or online chats that he/she quickly shuts down when you enter the room, or if they are reaching out to an ex to mark an anniversary or other significant shared. Perhaps they are offering compliments to other guys/girls that they don’t say to you, or maybe they meet up with someone of the opposite sex under the guise of a business meeting, when you discover no business was actually done.”

At times, there’s a thin line between micro-cheating and innocent friendships.

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But according to Schilling, there will always be something to set the two apart. Micro-cheating will always involve secrecy, while real friendships will show openness and honesty. It also pays to trust your gut and communicate with your partner. She told FEMAIL:

“It’s the secrecy and deception that accompanies the communication that defines it as micro-cheating. Your partner may have a perfectly platonic relationship with a friend and they may be up-front and open about talking to them and seeing them. This should not ring alarm bells. However, if they start to conceal their relationship from you or lie to you about it, then start considering the appropriateness of their connection.

“You have intuition for a reason and it tells you when things are not right. If things don’t add up, if you catch your partner in a lie, if they are behaving in an uncharacteristic way, bring it up. They key here is to be objective and rational, rather than subjective and emotional. Slinging empty accusations and insults will get you nowhere.”

What can you say about micro-cheating? Have you experienced this? Let us know in the comments below!

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