7. They grew up in an environment lacking appropriate boundaries.
Their parents and siblings probably justified and denied their own wrongdoing.
When your family of origin has a system of defensiveness that fails to take personal responsibility and resorts to blame, denial, projection, and avoidance — you tend to do the same.
8. They’re angry with their partner, but won’t address it directly in their relationship.
They can’t express themselves (especially hard emotions) and tend to resort to pleasing others and avoiding conflict. Therefore, it’s easier — and lazier — to just act out in a seemingly “benign” way and get their tank filled elsewhere!
9. They can’t cope with disappointments in their relationship or with their partner.
Similar to the previous point, they act out in passive-aggressive ways. When their anger goes underground, they’re rarely truthful, real, or direct.
Whether it’s a disappointment in how their life turned out or how their partner looks, to express their vulnerability or their pain and disappointment directly and honestly feels too risky.
10. They’re afraid of commitment.
Intimacy is frightening. They seek it, yet fear it. Therefore, it’s easier to add a third person to the mix, rather than bringing up difficult issues with their partner.
They go out of the way to avoid the vulnerability and effort of real intimacy with the person they live with. Instead, they live perpetually with one foot out the door.
Their deep fear of abandonment makes them always leave the exit door open, hedging their bets. Because being the one who abandons is better than being the one left behind.
11. Their parents cheated on each other.
This led them to view betrayal as normal.
Healthy relationship boundaries are foreign to them, so they share intimacies with others inappropriately, which is emotional cheating.
12. They’re experiencing unresolved grief and loss.
They idealize a lost other (perhaps someone who died, a former lover, or even their own loss of innocence or youth), and they get feelings that they don’t get in their relationship when they project that lost ideal or perfect love onto a third person.
13. Their partner (and relationship) lack certain qualities they desire.
They married someone serious and conservative, so they flirt with someone more fun, liberal, and frivolous.
They may feel unable to be themselves with their actual partner, but in their emotional affairs, they’re a different person or express qualities they cannot normally. And being that hidden side of themselves feels good.
14. They long for novelty.
Their emotional affairs is a way to bring newness and variety they feel they can no longer get at home.
15. They have a need to transgress or rebel.
They’re tired of being so upstanding all the time. They’ve always done the right thing and “been good,” but finally now, they can act badly without really being bad — or so their justification goes.
16. They love keeping secrets.
Keeping secrets can feel alluring. It gives them a false sense of power. They kept secrets as a child, and now it’s second nature to keep secrets in their relationship.
17. They’re emotionally immature.
Whether they long for a sense of eternal youth or can’t handle taking responsibility for their adult life, they hide from reality in a fantasy world.
Things go wrong in every relationship, but when that happens in theirs, they don’t handle it — they escape.
So, these are real and heartbreaking reasons why people indulge in emotional affairs. Would you like to add more? Share your thoughts in the comment below.
Originally appeared on: Your Tango
Republished with permission.