What’s Emotional Dishonest? Specialists on how the pandemic has elevated the danger of infidelity

“An emotional affair can make it less motivated to work on problems in the current relationship, which prolongs the effects of an unhappy relationship on individuals and children (if any),” said Chen.

Emotional cheating also undermines trust between a couple as it introduces deception between them and undermines the very foundation of a marriage.

“The discovery (by the wife of the wife) of such an act leads to a loss of self-esteem and self-worth, sometimes even some form of trauma for the individual due to the emotional and psychological pain of being deceived, cheated and lied to,” explained Lim.


While modern technology makes it easier for people to stay connected, it also makes it easier for people to cheat, especially with such easy access to dating apps.

“These offer the opportunity to establish an intimate connection remotely,” said Dr. Chow.

“While a sexual affair requires someone to find time from their partner to meet with someone else, an emotional affair can happen via text messaging at any time of the day,” Lim said.

Additionally, some dating apps and sites also market themselves as platforms for people looking to cheat, facilitating and normalizing this option as a lifestyle.


With work-from-home (WFH) arrangements, couples now spend more time together in the same room, which could negatively affect their marriage.

“Before the pandemic, time in the office gave some couples much-needed respite … to take a break from family stressors or conflicts,” Lim said.

“The overlap of personal and professional lives can create additional stress, which serves as a potential spark of conflict that could drive partners emotionally apart if they are not careful to improve relationships after an argument,” he added.

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