Are You Having An Emotional Affair?

When we think of affairs, our minds usually jump to the worst case scenario – sordid, physical interactions that betray trust and tear apart families, moments of indiscretion that have huge, lasting consequences…

But not all affairs are like this. In fact, some “affairs” don’t even include any physical contact at all – but can still be just as damaging to your marriage. These “emotional affairs” might not include sex, but can have devastating effects on your relationship.

What’s worse is that, unlike a physical affair, many people might not even know that they are falling to the activities of an emotional affair, or realize when they’ve crossed a line.

Emotional affairs are, to put it briefly, an intimate mental and emotional connection with someone other than your spouse.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t have close friendships or develop bonds with other people, but when you’re seeking emotional support and connection from someone of the opposite sex, and NOT turning to your spouse for those needs – there’s likely a problem developing.

…And because of how easy it is to communicate with text messages, Facebook, and other technologies, temptation has never been higher to look to other people for support. Even casual conversation with an acquaintance or coworker can develop into something else – often without you noticing.

With this in mind, we wanted to cover five important warning signs of an emotional affair:

Are you having an emotional affair? You might not even realize it.
Are you having an emotional affair? You might not even realize it.

1. You Share Deep Feelings

If you have a friend of opposite sex, and you find yourself getting in-depth with your conversations – wandering into territory about fears and hopes, what you look for in romance, or talking about sex or making innuendo-laced jokes – you’re setting yourself up to build a connection with this friend that you SHOULD be building with your spouse.

The temptation is very real, and because it might feel new and exciting, those feelings can overshadow the underlying knowledge that the conversation is less than appropriate.

Keep yourself in check and pay attention to where you conversations are headed – no matter who you’re speaking with.

…And if there’s someone in particular that you talk to in this way, take a good look at what your actions might be doing to your marriage.

2. Your “Friendship” Is Kept Secret

If you feel even just a little bit guilty about a “friendship” you have with a member of the opposite sex, you’re likely wandering into dangerous territory. If you feel the need to keep it a secret, you may already be involved in an emotional affair.

Keeping it a secret is practically an admission of guilt because, well, it shows that you know that this relationship would hurt your spouse.

Keeping secrets from your spouse is already a bad practice, but being less than honest about a relationship is an added layer of potential hurt – and can damage the trust they have for you.

If you hesitate to be totally forthcoming about a “friendship,” there may very well be a problem. If you wouldn’t gladly let your spouse read text messages (or any other communication) between you and this other person, you’ve probably crossed a boundary into intimate territory.

3. You Think About Them Often

We all know the feeling, and at one point, it’s the feeling you had for your spouse – that romantically interested, “on your mind around the clock” feeling of a budding relationship. If you’ve got even inklings of such feelings, you’re well into an inappropriate emotional relationship.

This is a product of some of the issues mentioned above – sharing deep feelings and secretive conversations, as well as any flirty interaction, can have this effect on anyone, and if allowed to continue, you can develop something of a crush, even if you’re already married. It’s in our psychology, but we don’t have to allow it to happen…

You are in control of your actions, and the more you interact with someone tempting you into an emotional affair (intentionally or not), the more you will think about them… and this cycle will continue until it unravels your marriage entirely.

4. You Wish Your Spouse Was More Like Him/Her

This is a dangerous sign that you’re getting way too close to your “friend.” When you start wishing your spouse were more like this person, it means a couple of things:

• You’re already thinking of your “friend” in a romantic way, and beginning to imagine a romantic relationship with them.

• You’re actively comparing them to your spouse, and because of the newness of this fling, you’re likely only thinking of the complaints you have about your husband or wife.

Affairs generally happen because of an unmet need in the relationship, and these kinds of thoughts will typically highlight that missing emotional need.

Unfortunately, though, it can be easier to look for those qualities in someone else instead of stepping up and addressing the problem directly. This is a major part of the temptation for emotional affairs – in the moment, it’s easier turn to someone else than it is to face up to problems in your marriage (especially when you might have to admit your role in the issues).

If you’re having these thoughts, stop yourself and rethink what’s actually happening. The complaints you may have about your marriage will NOT be solved by looking to someone else… That will only make them worse.

5. Talking To Them Makes You “Feel Alive”

This is how you know things have gone much too far…

If you feel invigorated when you talk to this “friend,” if you look forward to it throughout the day, if you’re tempted to constantly check your phone or emails for the next correspondence, you’ve officially invested your emotions in someone OTHER than your spouse.

When you’re thinking of someone else in this way, it means your spouse isn’t currently holding that place in your heart. This compounds because your attention is elsewhere AND you’re likely neglecting your spouse emotionally because of it. This cycle will only drive you further apart, and make your emotional affair all the more tempting.

You can notice this in yourself if you take an honest look at your own behavior – and if it’s happening in your relationship, you may very well be on the road to ruin.

The good news is that an emotional affair is not a death sentence for your marriage. To survive, however, you have to stop the developing intimacy with your “friend,” come clean about it to your spouse, and take a good look at what’s missing from the marriage that caused you to seek an outside connection in the first place.

The first step is to cut off the communication you’ve been having with your “more-than-a-friend” (if we’re going to call them by a realistic name). Once you’ve ended the emotional affair, it’s time to start working on repairing your marriage – and while everyone’s scenario will be a little different, it begins with figuring what was missing that caused you to stray… and talking openly and honestly about what you can BOTH do to improve the situation.

An emotional affair can be devastating, so be aware of the warning signs. If you’ve already started down this path, stop before you go too far!

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!
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Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com

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8 comments

sean 7 years ago

my wife told me this recent ex-coworker had called her and asked her out to a "late lunch" around 2pm so they could have drinks after eating (off the clock at 3pm). I asked her, "Alone?" and she said yes. I told her I was uncomfortable with her going drinking with another guy alone; it seemed like a date. She told me she would cancel. A few days later, she sat down and told me SHE cancelled it like she said she would. Later I found out HE canceled it due to a family emergency. Why lie?

sean 7 years ago

my wife told me this recent ex-coworker had called her and asked her out to a "late lunch" around 2pm so they could have drinks after eating (off the clock at 3pm). I asked her, "Alone?" and she said yes. I told her I was uncomfortable with her going drinking with another guy alone; it seemed like a date. She told me she would cancel. A few days later, she sat down and told me SHE cancelled it like she said she would. Later I found out HE canceled it due to a family emergency. Why lie?

unsure17 7 years ago

My husband and I have been together 14 years, married for 12. We have two kids and he is my best friend. Ive never suspected him of cheating. We recently moved last september to a new state for his job. He has made friends easily, especially with a girl at work. It all started innocently enough. He told me about all the people he met at work including her. Then he started talking more about her. (Her boyfriend had just broken up with her) He started being, i guess you can say closed off with me. He changed where I was wondering what the hell was going on. First i noticed his lunches were starting to cost more. When i asked about it he said oh i bought lunch for a friend at work. When i wasnt satisfied with that answer he finally told me he went out to lunch with her. You have to understand my husband is cheap. I don't know how to approach this going forsard

unsure17 7 years ago

My husband and I have been together 14 years, married for 12. We have two kids and he is my best friend. Ive never suspected him of cheating. We recently moved last september to a new state for his job. He has made friends easily, especially with a girl at work. It all started innocently enough. He told me about all the people he met at work including her. Then he started talking more about her. (Her boyfriend had just broken up with her) He started being, i guess you can say closed off with me. He changed where I was wondering what the hell was going on. First i noticed his lunches were starting to cost more. When i asked about it he said oh i bought lunch for a friend at work. When i wasnt satisfied with that answer he finally told me he went out to lunch with her. You have to understand my husband is cheap. I don't know how to approach this going forsard

Jean 7 years ago

Been married 40 years when I was out of the country a woman 45 years younger than my husband got pregnant,we both know each other she knows me and my husband. I am hurt so bad my husband said it is over between them but have to care for the baby he give her cash money and she don't work what should I do my husband don't want devorce

Jean 7 years ago

Been married 40 years when I was out of the country a woman 45 years younger than my husband got pregnant,we both know each other she knows me and my husband. I am hurt so bad my husband said it is over between them but have to care for the baby he give her cash money and she don't work what should I do my husband don't want devorce

alicerennie1 6 years ago

- My Name is Cowee Chrystal.I will love to share my testimony to all the people in the forum cos i never thought i will have my girlfriend back and she means so much to me..The girl i want to get marry to left me 4 weeks to our wedding for another man..,When i called her she never picked my calls,She deleted me on her facebook and she changed her facebook status from engage to Single…when i went to her place of work she told her boss she never want to see me..I lost my job as a result of this cos i cant get myself anymore,my life was upside down and everything did not go smooth with my life…I tried all i could do to have her back to all did not work out until i met a Man when i Travel to Africa to execute some business have been developing some years back..I told him my problem and all have passed through in getting her back and how i lost my job…he told me he gonna help me…i don’t believe that in the first place.but he swore he will help me out and he told me the reason why my girlfriend left me and also told me some hidden secrets.i was amazed when i heard that from him..he said he will cast a spell for me and i will see the results in the next couple of days..then i travel back to Germany the following day and i called him when i got home and he said he’s busy casting those spells and he has bought all the materials needed for the spells,he said am gonna see positive results in the next 2 days that is Thursday.My girlfriend called me at exactly 12:35pm on Thursday and apologies for all she had done ..she said,she never knew what she’s doing and her sudden behavior was not intentional and she promised not to do that again.it was like am dreaming when i heard that from her and when we ended the call,i called the man and told him my my girl friend called and he said i haven’t seen anything yet… he said i will also get my job back in 3 days time..and when its Sunday,they called me at my place of work that i should resume work on Monday and they gonna compensate me for the time limit i have spent at home without working..My life is back into shape,i have my girlfriend back and we are happily married now with a baby boy and i have my job back too.This man is really powerful..if we have up to 20 people like him in the world,the world would have been a better place..he has also helped many of my friends to solve many problems and they are all happy now..Am posting this to the forum for anybody that is interested in meeting the man for help.you can mail him to prophet.abuvia@abv.bg I cant give out his number cos he told me he don’t want to be disturbed by many people across the world..he said his email is okay and he also have a web site if you want to visit him there’ he will replied to any emails asap..hope he helped u out too..good luck. his web site is https://prophetabuviasolutiontemple.webs.com/ his phone number is +254-7921-77506 Cowee Chrystal

alicerennie1 6 years ago

- My Name is Cowee Chrystal.I will love to share my testimony to all the people in the forum cos i never thought i will have my girlfriend back and she means so much to me..The girl i want to get marry to left me 4 weeks to our wedding for another man..,When i called her she never picked my calls,She deleted me on her facebook and she changed her facebook status from engage to Single…when i went to her place of work she told her boss she never want to see me..I lost my job as a result of this cos i cant get myself anymore,my life was upside down and everything did not go smooth with my life…I tried all i could do to have her back to all did not work out until i met a Man when i Travel to Africa to execute some business have been developing some years back..I told him my problem and all have passed through in getting her back and how i lost my job…he told me he gonna help me…i don’t believe that in the first place.but he swore he will help me out and he told me the reason why my girlfriend left me and also told me some hidden secrets.i was amazed when i heard that from him..he said he will cast a spell for me and i will see the results in the next couple of days..then i travel back to Germany the following day and i called him when i got home and he said he’s busy casting those spells and he has bought all the materials needed for the spells,he said am gonna see positive results in the next 2 days that is Thursday.My girlfriend called me at exactly 12:35pm on Thursday and apologies for all she had done ..she said,she never knew what she’s doing and her sudden behavior was not intentional and she promised not to do that again.it was like am dreaming when i heard that from her and when we ended the call,i called the man and told him my my girl friend called and he said i haven’t seen anything yet… he said i will also get my job back in 3 days time..and when its Sunday,they called me at my place of work that i should resume work on Monday and they gonna compensate me for the time limit i have spent at home without working..My life is back into shape,i have my girlfriend back and we are happily married now with a baby boy and i have my job back too.This man is really powerful..if we have up to 20 people like him in the world,the world would have been a better place..he has also helped many of my friends to solve many problems and they are all happy now..Am posting this to the forum for anybody that is interested in meeting the man for help.you can mail him to prophet.abuvia@abv.bg I cant give out his number cos he told me he don’t want to be disturbed by many people across the world..he said his email is okay and he also have a web site if you want to visit him there’ he will replied to any emails asap..hope he helped u out too..good luck. his web site is https://prophetabuviasolutiontemple.webs.com/ his phone number is 254-7921-77506 Cowee Chrystal