What is cheating to the modern relationship? Although most people focus on a breach of physical fidelity, it is often an emotional affair that causes deeper and longer lasting wounds. Unfortunately, people don’t often realize an emotional affair is beginning to develop or happening already until it is too late. Frequently, this erosion of mental trust is masked by a story of close friendship. But how is one to know when it truly friendship or an emotional affair? Emotional affair lines are blurry and tough to establish until one or multiple parties becomes hurt.
When Should One Worry?
An external friendship becomes dangerous to a couple when one partner begins to share frequent intimate details. When someone tells every joy, sorrow, emotion and achievement with someone other than their partner first, red flags should be raised. People outside this friendship will begin to notice and remark on the close bond. It is also extremely troublesome if a partner turns to this “friend” for frequent advice about problems within the couple’s relationship. Read on to discover seven ways to identify an emotional affair.
- Who is the First Call?
A first call about news signals the importance of a person in one’s life. In a romantic relationship, a first call should be to the partner. However, calls to parents or best friends can be exceptions depending on the circumstance. In an emotional affair, a person will frequently call the “special friend” before their love.
- Adviser in Chief
In a healthy relationship a couple’s primary adviser should be each other (again, exceptions can be made for parents or best friends depending on the circumstance). One might not always act on a partner’s advice, but sharing important decisions with each other is central to sustaining true intimacy. In an emotional affair, a people will turn to their “special friend” first and most frequently. This is definitely a glaring sign of emotional infidelity
- Maintaining Space
As one gets their psychological needs met by a person other than our partner or family, space is created between the couple. This distance will only grow over time as bad patterns continue.
- Shift in Priorities
As distance grows in a relationship so too will priorities alter. For example, you used to look forward to cuddling on the couch and binge watching shows together. After meeting a new special friend, you discuss the latest plot twists over your lunch break. You still watch shows with your spouse, but you already know what will happen in an episode and try not to spoil it for them. Over time you lose interest in watching the programs with your spouse and try not to get frustrated when they get upset at you for falling asleep in the middle of the show. This shift in attitude may feel small, but it’s a clear sign of having an emotional affair.
- Roles Alter
In relationships, a couple usually does domestic tasks together like shopping or house renovations. When doings these tasks suddenly shift from doing them with your partner to doing them with your new “friend,” the partner may feel ignored, disrespected or undervalued. If your partner expresses these feelings, you may need to take a step back from your “friendship” and consider if you are having an emotional affair.
- Nonstop Texting
Cue the siren! Constant communication with someone other than your partner is a clear red flag of an emotional affair! If you feel the need to text this person all day and are on the edge of your seat until you hear the phone alter, or you feel compelled to delete your text exchange to avoid anyone seeing it, you are having an emotional affair. Break off contact with this person immediately or risk ending your relationship with your partner.
- You Crave Their Company More Than That of Your Spouse
If you notice that as your spouse is beginning to plan your date night or vacation, and you wish that you can be with your friend more than your love, your union is at risk. Romantic relationships require work, and an abundance of love and attention. Even the smallest actions and reactions matter to the health of a union. When we fail to place an importance on our relationship, we run the risk of falling into an emotional affair. Once it begins its hard to notice the effects on our lives and our loved ones until its too late. If you suspect you or someone you care about is having an emotional affair take gentle steps to address it immediately. The sooner you recognize the problem, the sooner you can fix the situation and get back on the path to total love and total trust.