For example, a lot of people consider having sex with or kissing someone as cheating, and two thirds of Brits say the same for sexting. But there are other grey areas to consider - is liking another person’s Instagram post of them in their underwear cheating? What about having a ‘work husband’ or ‘work wife’?
Redditors have opened up about the small betrayals that, in their world, could still be construed as cheating: from watching a TV show without their spouse to playing with another man’s beard, here’s what they had to say...
1. “I am an accomplished watercolour painter and one of my favourite things to do is make pieces for my SO [significant other]. I always tell him that if there is ever a specific thing he wants painted, to let me know and I will make it specially for him.
“Few days ago I found out he commissioned another painter for a painting that I would have LOVED to do for him. I know it’s not cheating in the slightest and I tried not to show my jealousy, but fuck did I feel betrayed.”
2. “Watching a TV show we planned to watch together without me. How rude.”
3. “Taking part in something that someone recommended, even though I recommended it first and they never bothered. ‘So Jim said Game of Thrones is really good! I think I’ll start watching it now!’ Fuck you, Jim.”
4. “Having your SO suddenly light up when the other person enters the room/calls them/texts them, despite having previously been in a shitty mood all day and not responding positively to anything you try to cheer them up.”
5. “I don’t consider it cheating per se, but I felt the same kind of feeling seeing my wife play music with another violinist. A little background, me and my wife are both violinists, it’s how we met in high school. She was always considerably better than me, she accelerated early on, so it just clicked. One day during rehearsal her and another equally good player were playing a song together. It started with the three of us playing together but an especially tough part and I had to stop playing, because I was literally missing every note.
“They continued playing, hitting note after note without a miss, while I kinda just awkwardly stood there. It’s not rational but I felt betrayed, like she was having the intimate experience with someone else while I was just watching in the background.”
6. “Spending all day on your phone when we are together and then not wanting to text me when we are apart because you ‘don’t want to be chained to your phone’.”
7. “Communications that aren’t transparent. It’s cool if you have lunch once per week with “Jason from work” and he’s helping you deal with your grandma’s Alzheimer’s because he recently went through the same situation. It’s NOT cool if that same scenario happens and you fail to mention it for months.
“Keeping platonic relationships a secret is very suspect.”
8. “Skipping planned ‘us time’ to hang out with friends. Especially if that ‘us time’ was a meal that you specifically said you would be home for, so I cooked enough for two, but then you went out to dinner with friends instead, and now I have two portions of a meal that I’m only going to eat one of, and I’m going to be extra-salty while I eat my portion so I’m not going to enjoy it anyway.”
9. “When they a have a bad day and instinctively call another person first.”
10. “Telling someone something about your SO that would make your SO angry if they knew.”
11. “Honestly anything you feel you need to hide from your partner.”
12. “Instagram likes/comments. As ridiculous as I know it is, I was pretty damn sad last night when I saw my boyfriend commented the fire emoji on his friends picture of herself in a bra. I keep reminding myself that it’s literally just a comment on a stupid online platform and means nothing, but she did tell him she wanted to hook up a while back, so I guess that’s where the concern stems from. I trust that he’s not screwing around with her, but it still hurt to see.”
13. “Playing with another dude’s beard.”
14. “Work spouses. What the hell is that even? Just... no.”