What is Emotional Affair?

 Once the honeymoon period of a relationship gets over, to maintain the spice for a lifetime can be quite a task, especially in today’s age, when there are a plethora of distractions. In present times, couples lead a fast-paced lifestyle, both are engrossed in their careers and spend a considerable amount of time in the company of outsiders. Also, the digital revolution-chatting apps and social media have made connectivity easier and much secretive. What is the first thing that comes to your mind, when we say infidelity? For most of us we associate infidelity with physical intimacy and sex, but there is more to it. 

Psychologists and relationship advisors say that emotional cheating is a worse form of infidelity that having a sexual encounter outside of your relationship. In an emotional affair, the level of emotional intimacy and involvement infringes upon your relationship with your committed partner. In an emotional affair, you break the trust that your partner bestows on you and involves deception, lies, and betrayal. Emotional unfaithfulness can lead to physical encounter, but in most cases, it doesn’t, but there remains a palpable sexual tension and fantasies which can be even more intoxicating and alluring than the actual act.

Platonic vs. Emotional Affair

There is a very thin line between platonic friendship and an emotional affair, and the difference is quite perceptible to the guilty. In a friendship, you have a person who is supportive and with whom you may or may nor\t be able to meet every month, but in an affair, you meet your confidant regularly with eager anticipation. You don’t hide a platonic friendship, but the person with whom you share an emotional connection remains unknown to your spouse or is just introduced as an acquaintance or colleague- the real depth of your relationship craftily hidden in anonymity.

When Do You Know That You Are More Than “Just Friends”

When you become emotionally unfaithful, it becomes all about the connection, sharing or rather oversharing and crossing lines, having moments that you had shared with your partner at one point in your relationship. It Centre around chemistry. You spend all your energy in this relationship while ignoring the real deal.

Sharing intimate details about your SO and discussing relationship problems with them rather than your spouse.

Spend a lot of time together and making excuses for spending more time with them rather than with your partner or at home.

Think about that person, when not together- when you are away from each other, you still remain engrossed in their thoughts. Most of your time is spent in the clouds, thinking about fantasies.

You become secretive, and start hiding details and plans from your partner. If asked, you might appear defensive and it can lead to fights and arguments.

The phone is your BFF– you are spending a lot of time glued to your cellphone, and always keep it in front of your eyes. You hide your calls and texts from others, and you even end up deleting your call logs and messages.

Social media is what keeps you engaged lately, and you spend odd hours of the night engrossed on Facebook, and Instagram.

There is limited or no action in the bedroom, sex becomes a chore, as there is an emotional disconnect. Also, you end up fantasizing or thinking about them even while being intimate with your partner.

You start drawing comparisons with your partner and eventually they end up scoring poorly against your crush.

You call them whenever anything significant happens whether it’s something good or bad, theirs is the first name that pops in your head. You can’t rest until you share it with them.

You feel only that person really “gets” you and truly understands you.

How To Catch Your Emotionally Adulting Spouse?

All the above signs are applicable to a guilty spouse. Apart from this if you notice any other behavioral aberration like:

  • Having too many fights, on small issues. Your spouse has become too critical of your looks or actions.
  • You hear more about one particular friend. Their reference appears in every aspect of your couple’s existence, and their opinion has greater precedence over yours.
  • Your partner is now spending more time in the office.
  • You just know it, your gut feeling tells you that something is wrong.
  • Takes calls away from you, hides the phone when you are nearby. Acts nervous and jittery.
  • Makes extra effort in dressing up when going to work.

How To Salvage Your Marriage?

In a world where divorce rates have gone through the roof, it is okay if you want to save your marriage. Here's how you can do it. 

  • Start spending more time with your spouse- go for regular dates and vacations. Take a break from family and friends, and have a couple time.
  • If your partner is cheating, don’t accuse but rather take time to engage and understand the issues.
  • Communication is the key to a happy relationship. Share your concerns and problems or just have long conversations about things that you both like.
  • Apologies and avoid irritants. A small sorry can go a long way.
  • Try and avoid the person you are getting intimate with. Make your interactions professional and emotionally detached. Don’t meet them for dates and drinks.
  • Don’t share your personal feelings.
  • Most importantly be unflinchingly honest with yourself.

To learn more about ways to save your marriage from infidelity, you can read M. Gary Neuman’s “ Emotional Infidelity: How to Affair-proof Your Marriage and 10 Other Secrets to a Great Relationship.” Such an emotional affair can give you a certain high. It is a break from the mundane and can be extremely exhilarating. Remember the time when you were falling in love with your current spouse for the first time or that crush back in school. The only difference is now you are in a committed relationship with an individual that loves you and who you most probably love the most too.

Emotional Affair
Emotional Affair

If you realize that you are emotionally cheating your partner, don’t fool yourself in dismissing the extent of the problem, thinking that you haven’t had any physical relation with them. It doesn’t take long for a person to act on their sexual fantasy, and emotional intimacy can wreak havoc in your married life. The intensity of an emotional affair is often more than a sexual affair. 

Also read: Is Your Relationship In A Rut?

Evaluate your relationship with your spouse. Assess if the relationship can be salvaged or if the problem is of a more permanent nature. None of us are perfect, when we spend time with a person everyday we become aware of their drawbacks and quirks. You can confide in a well-wisher or friend or it might be better if you talk to a relationship or marriage counselor. If you aren’t caught by your SO or have realized your error, before things took a turn for the worse, then it’s better to not be let it known to your partner. An adultering partner can really impact a spouse and things never become the same again.