Is your spouse having an emotional affair?
What is an emotional affair?
A relationship that usually starts from friendship that develops into something more. When your spouse actually exerts more effort and time into that "friendship" than he does with his normal friends, that is called an emotional affair.
Emotional affairs usually start from friendship, but it isn't unheard of that it starts because one of them initiated it. A cheating spouse could meet someone online, from dating sites that you are unaware of, or more commonly in chat rooms. Their intentions may not be bad or to find someone to cheat on you with, but you have to understand that their relationship may just develop into something more than friendship, especially if they are mutually attracted to each other.
When your husband/wife invests their time outside your relationship and into his new relationship with this other person, they may bond emotionally with each other. They may start keeping secrets from you, your husband or wife may start flirting with them besides confiding intimate details. Or it may be the other way around and the other person may flirt or even seduce your husband or wife. If their friendship begins developing and they both gain stronger emotional bonds with each other, your own relationship with your partner may weaken, you might experience lack of intimacy in your marriage because your spouse is getting their emotional needs fulfilled by someone else.
Some may think emotional affairs are nothing harmful to a relationship, and is not considered cheating, but I tend to disagree. Emotional affairs are like smoking marijuana. Some people argue that it is harmless, but the real harm in smoking weed is it may lead some people into trying out some other types of drugs. It is a gateway drug, just like an emotional affair may lead into something worse, like a husband cheating on you in real life, or your girlfriend developing another relationship behind your back. It is important if you suspect your husband is having an emotional affair that you confront him about it or spy on his computer before you confront him (to make sure you aren't just paranoid), because about half of all emotional affairs turn into real life adultery, cheating, or may even lead to divorce.
Like most people, I find the hardest and most painful part is when you first find out that you are being deceived and betrayed by someone you love and trust. It felt like a whale was dropped on me when I first read one of his conversations with another girl through my keylogger. It caused me lots of pain and anxiety and I could not concentrate on my life, work, or friends. Basically, I holed up in my room crying, and pretended I was fine infront of everyone else. Especially our kids, which was wrong.
An emotional affair does not only happen with your spouse's friends at work, or neighbors, it is also very possible that he has an emotional affair with an online friend (who he may then meet in real life). Be worried if your spouse suddenly stops confiding and getting emotional support from you. Your husband or wife might be having an emotional affair, you should do your best to find out while their relationship isn't strong enough to warrant a meet up in real life.
Once they get bonded and their relationship has developed past the friend level, your significant other is now having an emotional affair. When in an emotional affair, your partner will feel comfortable in sharing his secrets with the other girl, some secrets even you may not know about. Your partner might feel close enough to the other person, and them to your partner, that they both will eventually experience increasing sexual tension, or the desire to take things "serious"; by meeting each other in person.
If you know for a fact that your partner does not openly share their feelings, except to you, and recently they've stopped or you found out they are sharing their feelings, secretly, with someone else, you should be worried. Most cheating spouses don't even know they are cheating because they view emotional affairs as nothing, because there was no physical contact. But most women, myself included, feel differently. It hurts just as much as having cheated on me physically, some cases may hurt more especially if he tells her something he doesn't want to tell me. I'm all for keeping no secrets between couples, and by doing this to me I feel betrayed and deceived.
One of the major factors of a normal friendship developing into an emotional affair is when your husband or boyfriend starts sharing intimate details of his life that goes beyond what he tells anyone else but you.
These are some signs you should look out for if you suspect your husband or wife of having an emotional affair.
Signs of an emotional affair:
- Your spouse no longer confides in you. And vice versa, you get no emotional support form your husband. This may mean that you have a cheating spouse.
- Your spouse may keep secrets from you and you start noticing they suddenly put down the phone or someone calls and when you answer they hang up.
- A common friend (opposite sex usually) seems to know more and understand them better than yourself recently.
- Your spouse no longer is interested in being intimate, they stopped being sweet, and feels like a completely different person. The need you once fulfilled is now gone, and you almost feel like you are useless to your spouse.
- The amount of time your husband spends with you seems a lot less compared to the time he spends with his friend. Or if your husband didn't tell you about her, he spends most of his time at the office or away from home.
- When you are out with your partner, they often flirt with a common friend, or their friend from the office. Sometimes it might not even seem like your spouse notices that they are flirting because they're already so comfortable with the person.
- You notice your spouse acting like they used to act when you first started dating, or seems like your spouse is attracted to another person, like a schoolboy/schoolgirl crush. If you are unsure whether your spouse is attracted or not, just watch if your spouse is flirting or is acting all giddy around that person you suspect them to be having an emotional affair with.
- Your spouse may ask you or other mutual friends about the girl or guy he is having an emotional affair with, when are they free, what's their schedule like, etc. Or if they are co-workers, he may spend more time with her than anyone else at work.
- You discover things about them on your own. They are hiding dates, meet ups, or even work related things. Your partner doesn't want you to know they're working together.
- When you ask something about their relationship, your husband/wife (applicable to serious boyfriends/girlfriends as well) gets defensive and may even act insulted. Some really good liars are going to do this, act insulted and turn the tables on you and act like YOU are the one who is having a secret internet affair/etc.
- Your partner actually gets jealous when the other person goes on dates, or spends time with other people.
- "Oh nothing". When you asked them what they are doing online. Internet affairs are usually the start of emotional affairs because it's just so easy to strike up a conversation with someone online. Once you've gotten used to chatting online with someone, it can become addictive and you will keep looking for that person over and over again.
Confrontation regarding emotional affairs are always best if done as soon as possible; this is the opposite of what I recommend when it comes to physical affairs. It's easy to prove someone is in an emotional affair, when they both keep talking to each other for several hours a day there's a high chance they are developing one, but it's not so easy to prove someone is in a physical affair because that is usually more secretive and you need solid proof. Bottom line is if you can't prove they are in either a physical or emotional affair, do not confront until you can.
How do you prevent emotional affairs from happening?
Think of how it started first of all. Your spouse may be flirting with other people because they does not get satisfied in bed, or you never are intimate with each other anymore. The best thing you can do about flirting spouses is to confront them right away while it's early on. Don't wait for an affair to happen. Tell your spouse that you don't appreciate it that s/he is flirting with other people, ask them how he would feel if you started flirting with other men/women.
Come to an understanding that you don't want him/her to flirt with other women/men, and ask them what you can do to get rid of the urges. Sometimes it is as easy as that, and your spouse will apologize and tell you they did not know what they were doing was wrong or makes you feel bad. Sometimes it will be more difficult because they will try to reason it out that nothing sexual is happening. Even if nothing sexual is happening, tell your partner that it hurts you to see them, your spouse, flirting with some other person who is not you.
It is up to you as a couple to come to an understanding, if needed you should see a marriage councilor. The point you must get across clearly is that for your relationship to continue to work properly none of this should continue.
To prevent emotional affairs you must always keep no secrets from each other. Your spouse should feel like he can tell you anything, no matter how bad it is. Sometimes emotional affairs begin when your spouse is simply looking for someone to vent out their frustrations on, or they are feeling like no one, including you, is listening to their problems or needs.
Both of you should let each other know what the boundaries are. If you don't want your husband to be touchy with a girl, tell him that. If you don't like him to hang out with a girl when they are alone, tell him. If your wife lets other guys flirt and talk her up, tell her not to allow it to happen. Same goes for you, it should be equal or it won't ever work. When one of you gets fed up, infidelity starts looking more like an escape to something better rather than something that will hurt the person you love. And if you are always getting cheated on and feel miserable, maybe you should consider ending it if you see no chance of him/her ever changing.
Do things as a couple and keep no secrets from each other. That is the best thing you can do to strengthen you relationship and avoid cheating, or emotional/online affairs. If you think your relationship is seriously in danger, consider going to a couples retreat to prevent emotional affairs turning intimate.
Some of the methods here, such as keyloggers, can help you determine if your spouse is having an emotional affair. Especially if it is done through a computer, online. Read up on the way to spy on a cellphone found here in this site for more info.
Click this to see methods on how to catch a cheating spouse. If you would like to learn how to read text messages and track your spouse's cellphone location please read my mobile/cellphone spy article.
If you have had an emotional affair, you're having an emotional affair, or you've dealt with an emotional affair, please feel free to share your story with us. You can rest assured that everything here is anonymous and no one is going to track you. You can share via comments below, the cheating spouse stories page, or joining the surviving infidelity forums.
Good luck and I hope you work everything out before an emotional affair develops.