Keeping a marriage afloat requires team effort, and both Maricar Reyes and Richard Poon know this to be true.

It is unfortunate when couples break up because of a third party, but as Maricar points out in her latest blog entry on RelationshipMatters.ph, cheating sometimes begins with seemingly-harmless acts.

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Maricar looks back on a past experience when she unwittingly committed “emotional cheating.”

She writes, “Years ago, I had a boyfriend and our relationship was having problems. Then a common friend introduced me to Steve (not his real name) at a party. I enjoyed talking to Steve that night, relieved to be away from the problems I had with my boyfriend.

“Days after, we exchanged some ‘harmless’ messages: ‘Stuck in traffic! What u doing?’, ‘Hey I just passed by your school!’, ‘Know any good restos in QC?’ , ‘Bored! ‘Musta?

“I didn’t want to admit it back then, but Steve’s messages weren’t ordinary to me. May konting kilig, so I felt guilty.

“I’d make myself feel better by thinking, ‘I’m not doing anything wrong. Steve is just a friend.’”

But that kind of self-excuse is already a sign of emotional cheating.

Maricar continues, “I looked forward to Steve’s messages more than my boyfriend’s. I was becoming emotionally tangled with Steve. Looking back, this wasn’t as harmless as I thought.

“Would I be OK if my boyfriend was exchanging messages with a girl that he had some ‘kilig’ for? It’s absolutely NOT OK…

“Today, stories like mine remind Richard and I of how vulnerable we are to feel-good emotions like kilig…

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Given this, Maricar and Richard have been their at their best “to guard each other against increasing levels of emotional attachment to another person, especially in a committed relationship.”

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Whenever one of them finds someone “attractive,” they tell each other.

“Admitting the truth makes the kilig emotions less powerful. Hiding it from each other makes them stronger!

"(Secrets —> more mystery —> more kilig!)

“We also help each other keep our distance, and make sure we don’t have long conversations alone with the ‘attractive’ person.”

What's your take, ladies? 

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This story originally appeared on Pep.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Femalenetwork.com editors.

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