Emotional cheat­ing

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With China's di­vorce rate ris­ing in re­cent years, chugui – mean­ing cheat­ing on one's part­ner – is of­ten dis­cussed, with some ex­claim­ing that loyal, exclusive mar­riages are be­com­ing rarer by the day. Wei chugui (mi­cro-cheat­ing) is the new it-term. It refers to a form of cheat­ing which is not sex­ual in na­ture, but is a sub­tle be­trayal of the heart.

With “wei” mean­ing mi­cro, and “chugui” lit­er­ally de­rail, wei chugui is de­rived from an old Chi­nese metaphor that casts cheat­ing on one's part­ner as re­sem­bling a train which has run off its tracks.

No one can say ex­actly where the term came from or how it achieved pop­u­lar­ity, but it has prompted many on­line to con­trib­ute to a grow­ing list of be­hav­iors which con­sti­tute wei chugui. Maybe you posted a selfie on­line in the hope that a cer­tain per­son – not your part­ner – would see it and “like” it. Per­haps you posted about your bad day hop­ing to elicit a re­sponse from that per­son. You might even spend ex­ces­sive amounts of time talk­ing to them on the phone or on­line.

Some joke that few peo­ple world­wide could be said to be loyal to their part­ner based on those cri­te­ria. How­ever, some re­la­tion­ship experts say these be­hav­iors set off alarm bells. Wei chugui could very well trans­form into real chugui if not con­trolled. And so the list is con­sid­ered a good start­ing point for self-re­flec­tion by those who are won­der­ing if their re­la­tion­ship is at risk.

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