While there are many types of infidelity, the emotional affair is that gray-area type of infidelity which is vague enough to be implicitly deniable, while counter-accusing any partner who might be picking up on cues that something might not be quite right in the relationship of being paranoid, insecure or over-reactive.
How could someone possible accuse you of being unfaithful when you haven’t actually, “done anything?” You can’t figure out what your partner is upset about.
As insignificant as the emotional affair might seem on the surface because, after all, “It’s not like it’s a sexual affair,” but the damage can be just as significant to an otherwise healthy loving relationship. You might already know that quite often an emotional affair is the gateway to a sexual affair.
Let’s break it down and see if you’re having an emotional affair, or not?
Ask yourself these questions,
Are you having conversations with this third-party that you would prefer that your partner was not aware of?
Are you disclosing negative information or details about your partner, or your relationship with your partner with this third party, “in confidence?”
Do you secretly fantasize (even if it’s never been voiced) that this third party might be a more supportive romantic partner than yours?
Okay, maybe it started innocently enough, but you are feeling the connection that you’re not feeling at home. Who could blame you for wanting that sense of connection? After all, it’s what we’re all looking for, and the longer this is allowed to go on the more essential energy, which fuels your relationship and home, is drained.
That is the crux of the problem at home; you’ve (either one or both of you have) let things erode which will always seem to make the grass look so much greener on the other side of the fence.
The good news is, you’re right. If haven’t crossed the line of actually crossed the line and engaged in sexual infidelity, then there is still hope for the relationship and the potential love waiting for you at home.
This is the perfect time talk about it and to mend fences at home before all your livestock runs amok. With openness, honesty, and humility, you can share with your partner about how this third-party conversation is going.
The truth of the matter is, the fact that you’re entertaining this kind of emotional affair, which may or may not include some open flirtation, is a signal and a sign that things are lacking at home and there is room for improvement.
There is hope that you can rebuild your relationship with your partner, have an open discussion about how things got to be the way they are today and find ways to rekindle the love that you once shared which has waned of late, making you vulnerable to compromise.
You need to come clean with full disclosure about how your attention has been diverted and find ways to establish clear boundaries that you and your partner can agree on, which should include the ability to mention to your partner at the earliest possible moment when you catch your attention wandering.
This is not about accusing anyone of anything or trying to make someone feel bad, it’s about seeing this wandering attention as a sign that it’s time to open up to your partner and draw closer in love.
If you’ve determined this doesn’t sound like a viable option to you, like the work on your relationship is not worth it, then maybe it’s time for you to have a different kind of conversation with your partner and move on.