Signs of an Emotional Affair

Signs of an Emotional Affair

Sat, 02/23/2013 - 18:49 -- kylerichtig

Just because your partner has been physically faithful, does not mean they are emotionally faithful. This issue is much harder to judge, as there are no clear parameters for what an emotional affair is. Just as a sexual affair, emotional affairs are damaging to relationships.

What is an emotional affair?

An emotional affair includes elements of dating without physical contact. Those engaged in an emotional affair may arrive there in a variety of ways. Emotional affairs are common in long distance relationships and for those who work extremely long hours. In the workplace, this is often known as the "work wife" syndrome of inter-dependency.

Signs of an emotional affair

Emotional affairs begin with individuals who require emotional stimulation. This may begin with needing to vent about their partner or other stressor. Those involved in an emotional affair tend to speak often about the other person and spends social time with them, at times when they could spend it with you. As emotional affairs are non-sexual, this may occur with same sex individuals who do not engage in homosexual behavior. With heterosexual men, it has often been called the "bromance".

What to do

Emotional affairs are damaging when they threaten a relationship. Probe your partner to find out what they are receiving from this person. Can they simply listen when you cannot? Did they share a similar experience that bonds them? Think of what you can do to be more emotionally available to your partner. It may require that you stretch yourself outside of your comfort zone.

When problems arise

Problems begin to arise when the object of your partner's emotional affair encourages your partner to choose them over you. The other half of your partner's emotional affair may be unaware they are providing this support, or are deliberately using it to try and separate the two of you. Note whether you are invited to events or only your partner. If you begin to feel insecure in your relationship, discuss it with your partner. They may not realize that they are going down the path they are on. Emotional affairs often begin during times of emotional upheaval and stress. Individuals do not make the best decisions in these times.

The best way to avoid your partner embarking on an emotional affair is to have an open dialogue. If you are able to listen to your partner's issues and engage them in discussion, they will not have to look outside their relationship for support. Watch out for those who would exploit your partner's vulnerability for their own devices.

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Kyle Richtig

Kyle Richtig is a Canadian writer of foundry pushing poetry and fiction. He is certified in personality assessment and sees sex as an endless buffet of options. Check out more about his projects at