What Is Micro-Cheating, and Are You Guilty of Doing It?

Do you stalk your ex's Instagram profile? Do you have someone in your phone listed in "code" so you can communicate without your S.O. finding out? If you're guilty of these, among other things, you may be micro-cheating and not even realize it.

Read on to learn about this harmful habit and figure out how you can avoid it.

Couple talking

(Courtesy of Clem Onojeghuo via Unsplash)

What Exactly Is Micro-Cheating?

Micro-cheating is a term that describes actions that don't follow traditional cheating patterns, but that can hurt a relationship and break down trust. For example, secretly meeting up with an ex while you're in a new relationship constitutes as traditional cheating. Obsessively checking your ex's Instagram profile in secret is considered micro-cheating. Other behaviors for micro-cheating can include texting, saving people under different names on your phone and downplaying the status of your relationship.


How Do You Know If You're Doing It?

If you feel the need to hide certain actions from your partner, chances are you're currently micro-cheating. There are many gray areas with this term, but if something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Before taking on a behavior, ask yourself: Would I do this if my S.O. was sitting next to me? Would I be embarrassed if somebody called me out on this behavior?

Sad girl

(via Unsplash)


How Do You Know If Your Partner Is Micro-Cheating?

Secrecy is the one ingredient necessary for micro-cheating. If you find your partner has changed their phone passcode out of the blue, that may be cause for suspicion. Do they run various Instagram accounts? Do they minimize their onscreen chats everytime you enter the room? If so, it may be a good time to approach the subject. Although it's tempting to cause drama, don't do it! Take a deep breath and calmly explain to your partner how their behavior makes you feel. Show them you're willing to talk through things and that you strive to give them the utmost respect and expect the same in return.

sad girl

(via Unsplash)


What's So Wrong With Micro-Cheating Anyway? Don't We All Do It?

There are certain levels to micro-cheating and some may be hurtful to a partner while others may be benign. For instance, reaching out to an ex to mark an anniversary of a special occasion between you two may be incredibly hurtful to your partner. On the other hand, your partner may not care if you periodically check out your ex's profile. Micro-cheating needs to be stopped when it starts hurting the relationship. It's true that a lot of us micro-cheat to a certain degree, but when it has the potential to hurt somebody in the relationship, it's a behavior that must be stopped.


How Do I Talk About Micro-Cheating in My Relationship?

If micro-cheating is something you suspect or are worried about, it's totally valid to bring it up to your S.O. First, pick a location that's neutral territory. Second, start by calmly explaining to your partner how certain behaviors make you feel. Help them understand why these behaviors are hurtful and how you'd prefer if they didn't take them on. Talk to them about how they feel taking on these behaviors. A calm conversation will go a long way. It will also ensure that both of you are in a happy and comfortable relationship for a long time to come.


Now that you know about micro-cheating, click HERE to find out if jealousy is in your relationship.