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Can “Emotional Cheating” be Worse Than Sexual Betrayal?

This episode (#208) is in response to a very vulnerable and heart-felt submission by a PBSE listener. Here's her situation—

"You may have already covered during previous episodes and I have just not been able to find it, but could you do a podcast on emotional cheating? This was a big part of my relationship and devastated me more than finding out about his pornography habits. This woman wasn’t something he turned to occasionally, she was someone he contacted daily. All day. Even much earlier in the morning than I’d hear from him. While he was lying in bed next to me. As soon as he’d leave my side. He claims it was not an intimate connection, just his codependent need for validation, but I’m not sure I believe that. Regardless, she’s now in every memory I had with him. Even the ones I thought were good, which brings me great pain. To make matters worse it was with his ex wife who he co parents with, so he was unable to cut ties with the person he was cheating with. I’d love to hear expert advice on how to heal from it. I’m already journaling and seeking support, taking care of myself and mental health, doing all the things one can to move past it. But I wake up everyday with a literal pain in my heart that’s so heavy. I carry it around like a rock in my chest all day. I had not previously believed people when they said, emotional cheating can be worse, but I do now. Maybe you can also touch on how too much contact with someone who’s not your partner can be damaging so that addicts understand what it is as well. I’m sure partners could benefit from that as well. Thank you."

We SO appreciate this listener bringing this extremely difficult and painful situation to our attention. This is a topic for which Mark and Steve are extremely passionate and have a LOT to say!

— What is "intimacy"? Is it more than just "sex"?

— What is "Emotional Cheating"?

— What is the responsibility of the partner who engaged in emotional cheating? What does "real" change and amends look like?

— What is the healthiest approach for the partner who has been betrayed?

— What is a couples best chance to move through and forward from emotional cheating?

Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—

Find out more about Steve Moore at:  Ascension Counseling

Learn more about Mark Kastleman at:  Reclaim Counseling Services

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