In addition to the more common sexual affair, emotional affairs are now on the rise, say relationship experts across the country. And while you may think that having an emotional affair is not damaging to your marriage (“after all, we’re not having sex”), this couldn’t be further from the truth. Specialists who deal with infidelity counseling say that emotional affairs can be just as damaging to a marriage as a sexual affair!
With that in mind, have you ever wondered if maybe you are having an emotional affair without even realizing it? Or maybe, you know you are, but you just can’t quite bring yourself to walk away. After all, you’re not sleeping with them, just more emotionally entangled that is healthy for a married person. Not sure?…Here are our comprehensive list of the most common warning signs that you need to look out for in your own life, just in case you’re not sure where your heart really lies…
“We’re just friends!”
If you have to tell yourself this more than once (maybe even once is one time too many) then it’s likely to indicate a problem. Friends who really don’t have sexual chemistry between them, and don’t engage in intimacies that are usually only shared between spouses, don’t need to tell themselves that they’re just friends.
If you are forced to defend your relationship with someone (other than your spouse) with this kind of rationale, it could mean you’re lying to yourself and to others around you about what’s really going on. And if that’s the case, deep down you probably already know it. (Unless your spouse just happens to be unreasonably jealous about any contact with the opposite sex. In which case, maybe you’re not guilty of anything…)
Displaying your dirty laundry
When you share with someone of the opposite sex the intimate details of your marital woes and wishes, there is a good chance that your relationship with them is not entirely on the up-and-up.
Discussing the ways in which your spouse doesn’t meet your needs and sharing the ways in which you are left wanting by your partner sends a clear message that you are in need of someone to step in and fill that role. By suggesting that you wish you got more attention, love, care or sexual gratification from your partner tells your “other” that there’s an opening in your intimate life for them to step into. This is dangerous territory.
If you find yourself comparing your spouse to your close-friend-of-the-opposite-sex, and discover that your spouse comes up short, you’re engaging in an emotional affair. Once you start down this path, it becomes increasingly difficult to turn this kind of thinking around and go back the other way.
If you don’t put a stop to your unhealthy relationship ASAP, you’ll find that, over time, your spouse will seem less and less appealing to you. Conversely, your friend will seem like a much better fit for your life. This often leads to emotional affairs becoming physical affairs.
If you claim that your friend is really not more than a friend, but feel the need to cover up your conversations because you’re afraid it may look bad to someone else, then this is probably more than just a friendship. If you have to hide the time you two spend together in case your spouse “doesn’t understand and freaks out about nothing“, then you already know that you’re in trouble.
Part of what makes a marriage work is honesty and trust. If you’re violating that with your friend, then they are not just your friend. Maybe it’s time to ‘fess up and come clean. Or explain to your friend that you need to scale back on your time together. Either way, you need to give your marriage some thought, and decide what you want in your future.
Join us next time as we look at the next four things on the list of red flags. Until then, if your marriage simply isn’t working out, (or your spouse has “just a friend on the side” and you suspect it’s more) then come and talk to us. Our skilled family law attorneys can help you navigate your divorce, and all of the other issues that come with it, like custody and alimony. Call us 24/7 at 866 766 5245. We are here to help.