About 35 percent of wives and 45 percent of husbands report having emotional affairs, according to the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. Emotional affairs are also a common reason that couples seek therapy, so it’s necessary for me talk about this important issue!
You have met the new guy or girl at work and you seem to have so much in common. They are attractive and fun to be around so you both start having lunch together daily at the office. You exchange numbers and before you know it you’re talking all the time. You haven’t taken it to the physical level yet because you both are married. Before you know it you are thinking about them all the time. You also may believe that as long as you keep the physical part out, you’re not having an affair. Unfortunately that’s not the truth. The truth is emotional affairs can have long lasting negative effects on your marriage. By having an emotional affair, you are putting more emotional energy into someone else instead of your partner. There is a good chance that you will start to neglect your marriage. The longer you are involved in this emotional affair the sooner it may lead into a physical affair.
Here’s a few ways to tell if you may be involved an emotional affair:
You think about your emotional affair partner often and fantasize– You think of them when you wake up. You think about them when you go to sleep. You haven’t had physical contact but you think about what it would be like to be sexually involved with them which is fulfilling some of your sexual needs.You should only be having these types of feelings for your spouse. If thoughts of someone else is dominating your thoughts then you are involved in an emotional affair.
You wish your marriage partner was like the person you are having an emotional affair with. You start picking apart your current partner and wish they were more like your “friend”. You wish they would dress nicer, show up on time, or shared the same hobbies. Comparing your spouse to any one else is never a good idea and will just drive you further apart.
You share secrets with your emotional affair partner – If you’re confiding in your “friend” more than your spouse there’s definitely something more than friendship there. If you usually go to your affair partner with exciting news or to talk about a personal stress before your spouse, you’re emotionally cheating.
You keep the interactions with your emotional affair partner a secret– If you can’t share with your spouse the exchange of emails, texts, and conversations with your affair partner then you’re crossing the line. Ask yourself, would I say these things if my spouse was standing here? If the answer is no then you’re in emotional affair territory.
While these romantic feelings may seem harmless — perhaps even “safe” alternatives to cheating on your spouse – they are toxic to your relationship. However these types of psychological affairs are dangerous territory; they may not initially lead to physical involvement, but they can still devastate marriages. In fact,research shows they can cause the same damage to the marriage relationships as a physical affair.
If you or your partner have had an emotional affair or would like to discuss more about how to prevent affairs in your relationship, please Contact Me
or call into my weekly Radio Show