People usually have emotional affairs because they crave that emotional support they feel they do not get in their relationship. Either their partner doesn’t care or is too oblivious to even notice it.
Most times, it usually sparks up as an innocent friendship. Then, it transcends from a platonic relationship to a full-blown marital affair. Human emotions can be a very funny thing. Although, emotional affairs don’t really entail sexual intimacy all the time. However, it can lead to that because if you start getting emotionally attached to someone, a sexual spark might follow.
Emotional affairs are a type of affair where a person is not content with the emotional relationship or connection he/she gets from their partners and as such seeks emotional support outside the marriage.
Signs Your Spouse Is Having an Emotional Affair
If you are concerned that your husband or partner is having an emotional affair, you should be aware of the following warning signs:
- Your partner begins to withdraw from you or criticizes you.
- When you are present, your spouse acts secretively, hides their phone, or abruptly shuts off the computer screen.
- Your partner appears to be interested in some technologies or pastimes seemingly out of nowhere.
- Your husband always seems to put in extra hours on a “project” with this pal.
- Also, your spouse’s acquaintance is frequently discussed. You seem to hear a lot about this person’s thoughts, while yours seems to be getting less and less weight. (Or, alternatively, you suspect your spouse is dating someone else but is keeping it a secret.)
- Something is wrong, your gut tells you. You are typically trusting and do not get jealous quickly, but something does not feel right.
- When you try to address any of these topics with your partner, you will be treated with defensiveness or made to feel out of place.
STAGES OF EMOTIONAL AFFAIRS
#1. The Platonic/ Friendship Stage:
Here, he/she might not necessarily mean or conclude on having an affair but they might just encounter someone and be friends. In such cases, the person and his/her likely affair partner might not really be into each other. But, to this person, his likely affair partner might just be a friend that constantly fills that emotional vacuum.
#2. Slightly Platonic/ More Intimate Stage:
Now, this is when things get a little complicated. This is a little more intimate. Intimacy is not all about sexual drives and all. You can be emotionally intimate with someone. But the problem here is;
a) Are you getting too comfortable around the person?
b) Are you letting out too much that you probably do not even tell your partner?
Then, the relationship gets more intimate and makes your marriage less safe.
#3. Detached Marriage:
A new chapter of romance usually starts at this point. It’s fully intimate both emotional and physical. This person is kept secret from your partner. But it takes its toll on your marriage. You no longer need to talk or even seek help from your partner because you are getting it from someone else.
This stage is dangerous for marriages because it comes with a lot of bickering, fighting and it could affect the kids if you have any. Then, it turns into a very unhealthy relationship and a toxic home.
#4. Divorce/Separation Stage:
The intimacy between you and your friend is fully heated. There are full-blown sexual attractions (physical) as well as emotional attractions. This boosts the affair to a more intense and deeper level that the marriage might probably break.
EMOTIONAL AFFAIRS AND TEXTING
A very popular way emotional affairs usually start is by texting. Texting usually increase the flirtation though. Then, the lust increases too. Texting in emotional affairs makes the stages to move by very fast. When it’s just platonic and slightly erotic and fully blown.
EMOTIONAL AFFAIRS AT WORK
Emotional affairs that start at work are usually one of the hardest. Because you cannot totally avoid this person especially if they are playing the dangerous game of flirtation and seduction.
It is a major weakness for every normal man. That makes it a difficult especially when the person is lacking emotional support.
WHY MEN HAVE EMOTIONAL AFFAIRS
Research shows that 68% of men who have emotional affairs especially at work never thought it could happen to them. Men are usually more susceptible to emotional affairs because they do not pay attention to the usual warning signs like:
#1. Frequent constant:
You always are in contact mostly at work. Talking and it might get to the point where you talk with this person about things or opinions you might not have told your partner.
#2. Constant Thoughts:
This person becomes the main thing in your heart and your thoughts. Then, your mind becomes a playground with different thoughts wondering about.
These are simple signs that men usually do not know and it can lead to the start of an emotional affair.
Platonic Friendship vs. Emotional Affair
When the investment of sensitive information transcends the limitations set by the married couple, a platonic friendship can turn into an emotional affair. Emotional cheating opens a door that should not be opened.
The level of their emotional engagement and intimacy is downplayed or even kept secret from the spouse or partner, which is one of the contrasts between a strong platonic friendship and an emotional affair.
Another significant distinction is that people who engage in emotional cheating frequently have sexual attraction to one another. Sometimes the sexual attraction is acknowledged, other times it is not.
Micro-Cheating vs. Emotional Affair
One of Verywell’s Review Board Members, clinical psychologist Sabrina Romanoff, PsyD, defines micro-cheating as “moderately tiny behaviors that just exceed the barrier of propriety with someone other than one’s partner.”
Dr. Romanoff goes on, “When viewed in isolation, these actions may not be classified as adultery, yet they are unequivocal breaches of trust. When viewed collectively, these activities can easily be interpreted as paving the way for open cheating in the future.”
“You might participate in activities (e.g., liking their social media post or constantly viewing their profile) that don’t always involve reciprocity or emotional connection,” she says of micro-cheating.
An emotional affair, on the other hand, entails a greater emotional engagement and often involves both partners. In an emotional affair, “you will tend to suffer mental fixation on the other person,” according to Dr. Romanoff.
Emotional Affairs FAQ’s
Why do emotional affairs happen?
Emotional affairs are frequently the result of a feeling of being ignored, misunderstood, or disregarded in a relationship. If a person perceives that their partner does not value them or does not have time for them, they may form a friendship with someone who is more emotionally invested and supportive.
Are emotional affairs true love?
Yes, when two people have a strong emotional connection, emotional affairs frequently turn into love. These affairs are vacations that lead to a sexual relationship between the people involved. Almost half of the time, sex occurs in the context of an emotional affair.
How common are emotional affairs?
Approximately 45 percent of men and 35 percent of women have admitted to having an emotional affair, which is more than 20 percent more than those who have admitted to having a physical affair. Another factor is that people are too busy to emotionally connect with their partners.