Are you or your spouse having an emotional affair? If so, your marriage may be at risk!
Many people are unaware of what constitutes an emotional affair and mistakenly believe that if they are not having sex outside of their marriage, that they are not having an affair. However, if you feel that a third person can fulfill something in you emotionally that your partner cannot give you – and you are getting your emotional needs met by this other person instead of your partner – then you are engaging in an emotional affair.
Most people who are having an emotional affair will deny that anything is wrong and will continue in this type of friendship without feeling guilty. After all, you’re not having sex with this other person, so what’s the problem?
The problem is: an affair is an affair is an affair! Emotional affairs are a form of deception and a betrayal of trust that can weaken or destroy your marriage.
Are You Having an Emotional Affair? Here are 10 Questions to Find Out!
- Do you keep meetings and conversations secret from your spouse?
- Do you feel a sense of excitement about the secrecy?
- Do you find yourself anticipating a meeting or conversation with this other person?
- Is the time you spend with this friend more rewarding and satisfying than the time you spend with your partner?
- Do you dress up to meet this other person?
- Do you act in markedly different ways with your friend than you do with your partner?
- Do you talk about things with your friend that you don’t feel comfortable sharing with your partner?
- Do you depend on this time with your friend for emotional highs and good feelings?
- Would you feel guilty or uncomfortable if your partner saw the two of you together?
- Is there a sexual attraction or flirtation happening between the two of you?
Although most people are not looking for an affair when a friendship begins, it is easier than you may think to get involved in an emotional affair and keep it going. For example, men and women who work and travel together for business can easily develop relationships based on their shared experience of work. Additionally, social networking sites make it a breeze for people to reconnect with friends from years past, as well as to find new people who may share common interests not shared by a partner. Intimacy can then quickly deepen due to the ease of communication that we now have by being able to text, email, phone, or send an instant message to another person anywhere in the world.
The hallmarks of an emotional affair are depending upon a third person in order to feel good and the need to maintain secrecy around the friendship. It is okay to have a good friend, but as your dependence on the good feelings you experience with a friend grows stronger, know that the risk of an affair rises.
The Road to Recovery
Not getting involved in an emotional affair is a matter of being aware of your actions and thinking ahead. Notice if you flirting or being flirted with, or if you feel uncomfortable about inviting this friend to spend time with you and your partner together. If the friendship is, indeed, innocent you should be comfortable having your spouse with you as well. Being in a group of people can also help guard against sliding down the slippery slope of an emotional affair.
If you are not feeling connected or loved by your partner, it is much easier to begin to look for good feelings and connections with others outside of your relationship.
Speak to your partner about your feelings if your needs are not being met in your relationship. If this isn’t possible, seek professional support so you can explore your feelings in a safe setting.
If you discover that you are having an emotional affair – and you want your marriage to last – think about what you are getting from this other person that you are not getting in your marriage. Then sever that friendship and concentrate on healing the rifts in your marriage.
Being open and honest with your partner will start you on the road to recovery, but working with a couples therapist is highly recommended due to the deep level of betrayal and hurt that often occurs after an emotional affair has taken place.
Take responsibility for your actions: you can get your relationship back on track!