Are you in a friendship with someone outside of your relationship and are you wondering if you are in an emotional affair. I mean it’s just a friendship, right? How can it be an affair? But there might be many signs, though seemingly innocent, which signal that you’re involved in an emotional affair.
For many people, an affair isn’t an affair if there isn’t sex involved. Unfortunately, there is a kind of infidelity where there is no sex but there is something worse – true emotional connection – an emotional affair.
Emotional affairs are, in many ways, more destructive than sexual affairs. Emotional affairs involve having a deep connection with someone who is not your partner, a connection that is hard to walk away from. It involves feelings that are stronger than friendship, feelings that might seem innocent but might actually be leading to something unexpected.
Because there is no sex involved, only emotions, emotional affairs aren’t always easy to identify. They start out, more often than not, as a friendship but slowly evolve to something more.
I am guessing if you are reading this article, you might be wondering if you are in an emotional affair and how to tell if you are. You might not want to believe you are, because it’s something that you never believed you could do, but it’s important to know the signs so that you can have some awareness as you move forward.
To better understand if you are in an emotional affair, let me tell you 5 seemingly innocent things that you might be doing, which can be the signs that you are having one.
Here Are The 5 Signs Of An Emotional Affair:
More often than not, emotional affairs start with confidences, things that are somewhat intimate which are shared with another person.
A client of mine told me about when her emotional affair started. She was taking a walk and she ran into a married male friend of hers, one that she had known for years. She had been struggling with chronic sadness and she didn’t know what to do about it. She, for some reason, told him. He told her that he, too, had experienced those feelings and that he had just been diagnosed with depression.
So, began their friendship, bound by the admission of depression. Her husband and his wife never understood how their partners could be depressed. Life was good and the kids were thriving – what was there to be depressed about. But they understood each other. They understood that, even though life was good, people get depressed.
As their friendship grew they started sharing more and more with each other, things that they didn’t feel safe sharing with their spouses. They came to believe that the other person understood them in a way that no one else ever had, certainly more than their spouse did. They grew to rely on that friend more and more for support, turning away from their spouse in the process.
Do you share confidences with your friend in a way that you don’t with your partner? Does your friend know things about you that others don’t? Sharing confidences is definitely an indicator that you might be in an emotional affair and you should be aware of it.
2. The need for contact.
The need for contact is so intense, that if you don’t talk to this person for a day, it can make you feel disoriented.
My client shared with me that as their friendship grew, so did their need to be in contact with each other. They worked together so they saw each other frequently but their casual hallway conversations turned into coffees and lunches and cocktails.
She said that the feeling that she got when her phone text alert went off was one of anticipation and excitement. When it was him, she was thrilled. When it wasn’t him, she felt anxious and uneasy, wondering where he was and what he was doing.
The worst, she said, were the weekends when there was no communication at all. She felt like, without her friend to talk to, she was adrift.
Have you found that you have more communication with your friend than you used to? Do you find yourself looking forward to talking to them and being disappointed when you weren’t able to? If yes, you just might be in an emotional affair, whether you want to believe it or not.
If you are in an emotional affair, you’ll likely be preoccupied by your friendship with your person, and have a hard time focusing on other important things in your life.
My client told me that, as their friendship and connection grew, she found herself having a hard time thinking of things other than the time she spent with her friend.