What is emotional affair, emotional cheating is when you develop an emotionally close relationship with someone of the opposite gender that’s not your partner. And what happens in these relationships is you start sharing your heart, you start sharing your problems. You start opening up to them. They start opening up to you. You create an emotional bond that’s deep and it’s deeper than the bond you have with your partner. That’s why it’s inappropriate. And because of that bond, it’s a matter of time before you start having romantic feelings for them and when that begins, it’s just a matter of time before sexual feelings begin. So that’s what an emotional affair is. It’s when you’re turning to this other person, you’re opening up to this other person instead of opening up and turning toward your partner and therefore you get closer and closer and closer to them and unless there’s an intervention and that relationship stops, it will turn into a sexual affair. It’s just a matter of time.
How does efotional affair begin?
Think about long term affairs as a continuum from emotional affair and then sexual affair. It’s on the same continuum. And so if you’re having an emotional affair, if you’re developing an emotionally intimate relationship with someone is just a matter of time before it turns sexual. That’s why they’re so dangerous. That’s why they’re such a violation. That’s why they’re something you have to constantly be on guard for and they start very innocently. And you’ll see this a lot where a neighbor is outside watering their yard and the other neighbor comes outside. They’re doing some yard work and they just are starting to chat, starting to share about life and before you know it they’re sharing about problems in their life and they can relate to one another and now they’re sharing stress in their life and they feel like they understand each other. That’s how it can begin. Likewise at work. Let’s say you’re going through a rough patch in your marriage and you get along with someone really well at work and you start meeting a lot for work and you have lunch together and you’re talking about work stress and you can relate to each other because you both understand and then you’re starting to talk about your marriage stress and your parenting stress and it develops a bond. And before long. You start developing feelings for each other and then it’s a matter of time before sexual connection starts. So that’s why emotional affairs are just as dangerous and can be just as devastating as sexual affairs number two.
How does emotional affair cause trust issues?
How it breaks trust. When you discover your partner has been having a lot of emotional closeness with someone other than you. It can feel like a blind side. It’s a betrayal of trust because their primary alliance needs to be with you. And so if they are nurturing this close, intimate emotional relationship with someone else and they’re spending a lot of time with that person, they’re opening up and sharing a lot with that person things that they shouldn’t be and things that they’re not sharing with you. That’s a betrayal. That’s a betrayal of trust and it’s a high risk because like I mentioned, it’s a matter of time before it turns sexual and often someone who’s developing an emotional affair. They know it’s inappropriate and that’s why they start hiding messages. They’ll start deleting text, they’ll start blocking accounts so that you can’t see what they’re doing because they know they’re doing something wrong. And so a lot of times when there’s an emotional affair. The person will say I didn’t do anything wrong. We had we didn’t have sex, we didn’t have any sexual contact. You did do something wrong. You cross boundaries. You started spending a loan time with another person beyond your partner without your partner’s consent. You started sharing vulnerable, intimate information about your life with another person without your partners’ consent.That is a boundary violation and that is why it’s wrong and that’s why it devastates relationships just as much as a sexual affair because it is a betrayal. It’s a betrayal of trust. So this leaves me into number three how to prevent it. First of all. If you’re finding yourself in this kind of relationship, you have to cut out all contact with this person. You may not know this, but emotional affairs are often harder to break than sexual affairs. A one night stand, for example, is much easier to break than someone that you have an emotional affair with because if you have an emotional affair. You probably are on the path of falling in love with this person because you’re starting to share life with them and open up to them and they’re doing the same with you. That kind of relationship is much more difficult to get out of your life because you’ve opened up your heart to that. And so if you’re finding yourself in an emotional affair, first of all, label it. Call it out. Name it what it is. This is an emotional affair that you’re having with them. If that’s you. You need to get that person out of your life. Because it’s a matter of time before it turns sexual and you’re violating trust in your marriage, your primary alliance needs to be with your partner. But you’ve turned it to someone else. And so the first thing you need to do call it out, name it what it is and then you have to get that person out of your life. Maybe you have to change jobs, maybe you have to change neighborhoods, maybe you have to change rego to church or where you go to the synagogue. Whatever it is, you have to get that person out of your life because you’ve opened your heart to them. Second thing you need to do is open up all of your accounts with your partner so you can show them. You have no more contact with that person and it’s gonna be a struggle. The first six months in particular are going to be a struggle because you’re connected to them. You’re attached to them. You have fallen in love with them. So it’s not going to be easy. You’re going to want to go back to them. You’re going to want to turn to them. You’re going to want to talk to them again because they made you feel good. They were meeting a hole in your soul, but you’re breaking trust. It’s an affair. It’s an emotional affair and you’re not going to heal your marriage if you have contact with them. So the first six months is the hardest. It’s ripping a bandaid off, but you have to get them out of your life and open up all accounts so you can prove to your partner. You have no more contact with. The other thing you have to think about moving forward and this is for those of you who are not in an emotional affair relationship right now.
Setting boundaries in a relationship
The boundaries you need to consider that one of the leading boundaries is don’t spend one on one time with someone of the opposite gender. Don’t do it. Don’t justify it and think, oh, we’re just friends. Nothing would ever happen or, oh, she’s my sister in law. Nothing would ever happen or oh, no. That’s that’s john from work. We’re just buddies. Stop fooling yourself. The moment you think that an affair will never happen to you is when you’re most susceptible. So avoid one on one time with the opposite gender. The other thing to avoid is sharing your heart. With someone of the opposite gender, don’t share your stress in your personal problems and especially not your marital problems with someone of the opposite gender. It creates a soul tie. And the soul tie is when you feel like they get me, they know me. They understand me when you start feeling like that from someone you’re going to develop feelings for them. So don’t open up your life to anyone except for your partner. And on the same note, don’t become a sounding board for someone else of the opposite gender and a lot of us, this can be an easy trap your friends with susan at work and susan is going through a hard time and you’re not open enough about your life. But you are becoming a sounding board for susan. You’re there for her. You’re a shoulder to cry on before long. She keeps turning to you over and over and she starts feeling romantic things for you. And when you find that out, you start having romantic feelings for susan. It happens all the time. So don’t become a sounding board for someone else other than your partner. That’s another important boundary. So those are three things to consider with emotional cheating. Number one, we talked about what it is. Number two, we talked about how it breaks trust the number three. We talked about how to prevent it. Take it serious. Stop justifying your emotional, intimate connections with people other than your partner. You’re playing with fire. The choice is up to you take.