Warning Signs Of An Emotional Affair 

An emotional affair is one that may become physical, but not necessarily. Emotional affairs can sometimes be even more damaging to a relationship than sexual affairs. Emotional affairs take away from intimacy within the relationship and create a wedge between two partners.

Sometimes people think a relationship is innocent if nothing sexual is going on. Relationships that start out as a friendship with someone of the opposite sex can lead to an emotional affair, even without the parties intending them to. The relationship is often a “slippery slope” that becomes more intimate and secretive over time. As the emotional affair progresses in intimacy, the marriage suffers.¬†

Warning signs of an emotional affair include secretive behaviors. A person engaging in an emotional affair says things and does things with someone that they would not be comfortable doing and saying in front of their spouse. Private time is arranged with the person and intimate secrets are shared that are not shared with the spouse.

People engaging in an emotional affair continue withdrawing from their spouse as they spend more time daydreaming about the object of their affection. Emotional and physical intimacy within the marriage dwindles. Behaviors are justified by repeating “we’re just friends” when asked about the relationship. Sometimes the friendship is kept secret from the spouse.

The person having the affair begins to feel that the person they are having the affair with understands them better than their spouse. Secret conversations continue as the affair progresses, and personal gifts are sometimes exchanged. Finding private time with the person continues to be important, and sometimes conversations turn sexual in nature.

An emotional affair can happen at the office or with a friend’s spouse. They also happen online. Sometimes people engage in conversations in chat rooms or via email with people they have never met and they begin to romanticize the relationship. Online affairs can be equally damaging to relationships as affairs that happen in person. Emotional affairs are all about causing a lack of intimacy within the marriage.

If you suspect your partner is having an affair, talk to your partner about your suspicions. If you have found yourself engaging in a relationship that is headed toward an emotional affair, end the relationship. If you or your partner is engaging in an emotional affair, counseling may be needed to help try to repair the marriage. Emotional affairs lead to many hurt feelings and many problems within the relationship.

3 Responses to “Warning Signs Of An Emotional Affair”

  1. Jennifer mcculloch on April 27th, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    This article just made me realize that I have been in several emotional affairs since I have been married to my husband!! We have only been married a year! I want counseling but he does not! What should I do?? How can I get him to come?

  2. Jennifer, sometimes it is best to not pressure your spouse into counseling. Rather, you can seek it on your own. In the upper right hand of this blog, there is a dropdown box. Find your state and seek a therapist who deals specifically with your issue. If you do not feel comfortable with a local therapist, you can always seek an online counselor. The important thing is that you get the counseling that. Once your husband sees that it is improving your life, then he may want to come too.

  3. This is right on the money with what just happened to me. I caught my wife in an emotional affair with a long time friend of hers. I do realize I am partially to blame – my wife has been warning me about her needs that I have not been filling, and when I didn’t properly address her needs she got closer and closer to her friend. She fell in love with him and out of love with me (although not necessarily at the same time). This is still very raw – she is beyond sorry for her part in this and has vowed to end all contact with the other man. This will be hard for her because they have been friends for 20 years (we are 40). We’ve been married for 15, have 3 kids, and this is devastating. We both want to work it out. I believe her about not communicating with the other man again (I know him – he’s not going to chase her), but the trust has been broken. Not sure if I will be able to get over it or not. I do know that I am on the right path to meet my wife’s needs going forward but I hope it’s not too late for us.

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