Temptation surrounds us daily, whether we notice it or not. There will always be new coworkers, new people at the gym, a cute person behind us in line at the store, new Facebook requests, etc. People will catch our eye, but the next move is always yours. You are in control of how you respond, reach out, react, and participate.
Emotional affairs can start out so innocent, and progress to something more, very quickly. Be fully aware of your behaviors and actions at all times. If you are doing ANYTHING that you wouldn’t want your partner to know about, you are already on the road to destruction.
When people think about affairs, they think of a married person who is having sex with another person, outside of their marriage. Did you know you can have an affair without any physical contact whatsoever? This is called an emotional affair. The definition of an emotional affair, according to Wikipedia, is “A relationship between a person and someone other than (their) spouse that affects the level of intimacy, emotional distance and overall dynamic balance in the marriage.
How technology has made it easier than ever to have an affair
Chances are, you have a Facebook account. And chances are, you have come into contact with an old flame, or even new people who appear to be quite attractive and interesting, and with a click of a button, they are your new friend. I mean, you can literally find and chat with anyone you want to these days. Lord knows I have received at least 50 friend requests per year from men I don’t even know. Why is that? Because it’s easy! People look at a mere photo, feel instant attraction and want to get to know the person. They are using Facebook as a dating site. What’s even worse about this is you don’t know if the photo you are looking at is even that person! The internet and people using it have mastered the art of deception. Chatting with someone allows people to be much braver than they would be face to face. People mindlessly divulge WAY too much information on the internet.
Then there are the people from your past. You may have had a crush on someone you went to high school with and boom, there they are. You check their relationship status and they are single (or not). You are highly curious how they are doing and want to catch up with them. Before you know it, you are both VERY interested. This is again, dangerous territory.
I read that 85% of affairs start at the workplace. I guess this makes sense, since the majority of your day is spent working, and away from your partner.
You may be thinking to yourself, “What? I never even had sex with him. I’m surely not having an affair!” But, guess what? You just might be if any of the following look familiar to you.
8 SIGNS OF AN EMOTIONAL AFFAIR
- You go out of your way to hang out with another person alone.
- You lie about where you were, who you were with and what you were doing. “I have to work late”, is a very common lie cheaters use. If you get defensive when your partner asks basic questions that they have the right to know, you’re definitely doing something wrong. Being defensive usually arises from guilt.
- You think about and/or fantasize about this person. They start consuming your thoughts.
- You’re confiding in this person. You’re sharing your day, hopes, goals and dreams with them. You are turning to them for support and understanding. You may even be complaining about your partner to them.
- The contact you have with them is turning you on, and you long for more. Whether you’re turned on mentally or emotionally, you are investing energy into another person and getting something in return.
- You feel very connected to this person (or you think you do because they are listening to you), and you withdraw from your partner.
- This new person makes you feel attractive and desired. You are in shark infested waters now. This WILL lead to a physical affair!
- You start checking your phone often, and hide it from your partner. You turn it on silent and have a password your partner doesn’t know.
REASONS EMOTIONAL AFFAIRS HAPPEN
- You may be longing to be heard, and your partner rarely listens to you.
- Sex and passion have decreased in your relationship.
- You feel lonely. Your partner is just too busy to make time for you and you are not a priority.
- Your or your partner refuse to get professional help to resolve the problems in your relationship.
- The trust in the relationship is broken.
I can tell you from personal experience that this is devastating to be on the receiving end of. My boyfriend was talking to a woman who he was “friends” with on Facebook. He lied about how often he was talking to her, but when I checked our cell phone records, that confirmed it. When I called him and he didn’t answer, he was talking to her. When we planned to go look at Christmas lights and he was on his way to pick me up, he sat in my driveway on the phone with her before coming in. This was a very painful experience! The lies and betrayal were extremely difficult to get past. I am hyper-aware of anything that seems “off” with his behavior.
WHAT TO DO NOW
Take a long, hard look at why you are exerting your energy and time into another person outside of your relationship.
Have a heart to heart talk with your partner about what is bothering you, and come up with solutions to fix it. If you can’t come up with them on your own, seek couple’s counseling.
End the “friendship” with the other person you have been confiding in, because you have already crossed the line if you are displaying the behaviors above.
Schedule quality time with your partner on a regular basis. Get the spark back in your relationship so you aren’t seeking it elsewhere.
If you or your partner are not willing to make necessary changes, leave the relationship. You both need to agree on the importance of your relationship and future. If it’s not that important there is no reason to continue. Be honest though. Don’t just quit because it’s hard. Recognizing a problem and finding a solution is vital to healthy relationships. There are no perfect relationships and no perfect people. Do your best to decide what is best for you, and protect your relationship at all costs if it is important to you!