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An Emotional Affair

The definition of an affair is usually defined as one person having an ongoing, semi-secret (dishonest) relationship with someone other than your partner which involves strong feelings, love or lust.  Although a physical relationship is often part of it, it is not necessary, but time is usually spent together.

However, an affair can take on a different form in which the only contact is verbal – this is known as an Emotional Affair.

If one person has a close friend of the opposite sex that they are continually in contact with, on a daily basis or even just several times a week, then they are setting themselves up for trouble.

Perhaps they feel more comfortable or safe in discussing issues of the heart with this person. Or worse still, find greater pleasure discussing with them rather than their partner a much broader range of topics around life, people, emotions, relationships, business matters, etc.

Why is this a Problem?

When you are not getting all your needs met by the one person, and seek some else to fulfill some of them, several things will happen:

  1. You will slowly build up a reliance/dependence on that person which will invariably lead to a form of love.
  2. You will disconnect at a emotional level with your partner to some degree in the area where you are going elsewhere to be fulfilled.
  3. Your partner will sense this at an unconscious level (intuition) and start to feel disquiet or anxiety.
  4. Conflict will start to pervade your relationship – due to stress, anxiety or guilt.
  5. Alternatively your partner will fall out of love with you, and end the relationship.

Perhaps you feel you are getting all your needs met to a degree by the one person, but just enjoy this other connection, and thus justify it in your mind that it is what enables you to keep 100% happy in your current relationship.

Unfortunately life doesn’t work this way. History and experience shows that the stronger the bond with another person, the more likely that the void in your current relationship will grow.

Ask Yourself

What do you hold more valuable? Your relationship/marriage/family, or your connection with the other person?

If you have children, then you are not just putting your relationship on the line, but you are setting your children up for pain, hurt and unhappiness that could affect them for the rest of their lives.

Do not underestimate the long term affect on children when a parent leaves them. Of course, if you are deeply unhappy and consequently withdrawn from, then this too can be very damaging.

Exercise

If you really care about your partner:

  1. Discuss with them how you would like to spend more quality time together discussing things of interest. Remember, no blame or criticism.
  2. Find out what they like to talk about or what interests them as well, do not make it all about your needs. Work on compromise.
  3. Do things together that you can plan and discuss in advance, enjoy together, and talk about afterwards.
  4. Perhaps if they feel loved in different ways, they can accommodate your needs better. What are their languages of love?