Emotional Affair: How It Can Ruin Your Family, Relationship and Marriage
An emotional affair is a type of infidelity that is characterized by a close, intimate, and emotional connection with someone other than your spouse or partner. In other words, it is a feeling of deep connection, care, love, and emotional concern for someone else (mostly the opposite sex) other than your spouse.
An emotional affair is an affair of the heart, hence, it is often seen as a “grey area” in relationships, as it can be difficult to define. Besides the strong connection between the two individuals, emotional affairs may also include mutual confiding, intimacy, and emotional support. You may find yourself feeling better around the individual and having feelings for him/her over your partner.
While an emotional affair isn’t physically sexual, it can be just as destructive to a relationship as actual infidelity. Some experts believe that emotional affairs are even more damaging than sexual affairs because they involve a deep, intimate bond that can easily lead to betrayal and heartbreak.
Just as emotional affairs can be damaging to any relationship, they can be especially harmful to marriages and families. This is because emotional affairs often lead to physical affairs, which can then lead to divorce and break-ups.
If you think you may be having an emotional affair, or if you suspect your partner is having one, it’s important to understand the dangers they can pose to your relationship and take immediate action to repair the damage that has been done.
Keep reading as we explore the dangers of emotional affairs and how they can destroy families and relationships, and how to avoid emotional affairs.
The Dangers of Emotional Affairs on One's Life:
1. Emotional affairs can lead to physical cheating:
When one gets emotionally attached to another person of the opposite sex, there is a high probability of finding the need to have physical contact.
Physical closeness like hugging, kissing, touching, or other romantic moves can amount to physical cheating on one’s partner.
2. Emotional affairs can destroy relationships:
Getting emotionally connected to someone when you already have a partner or are in a serious relationship can destroy your current relationship.
As you become devoted to your emotional partner, you may lose interest in your actual partner thereby destroying your relationship.
3. Emotional affairs can jeopardize your career:
Getting too emotionally connected to someone can influence your life and career negatively.
When the bond is too strong, you may find it hard to relocate away from the person in search of better opportunities. You may also find yourself getting distracted and not able to have a career focus.
4. Emotional affairs can create feelings of jealousy and envy:
Jealousy and envy are constant feelings during emotional affairs. When one has emotional affair with another person, it feels bad to see that individual hanging with others without him/her.
You may find yourself feeling bad and jealous when he/she receives or make calls. Even when they come around you with their partners, you might feel envious.
5. Emotional affairs can Make it difficult to keep secret:
When people have emotional affairs, they cannot hide secrets from each other. They share even vital secrets that were not supposed to be shared with anyone.
They can share secrets of their families, marriages, relationships, or personal secrets that might be dangerous to disclose.
6. Emotional affairs can lead to one exaggerating the importance of the relationship to others:
You are not in any serious relationship but because you feel connected, you may find yourself talking too much about the individual. Often, the person you feel emotionally connected to may not have equal feelings for you.
By boasting and exaggerating the relationship, people would think something serious is going on between you. That can cause loss of good opportunities or marriage delays.
7. Emotional affairs can drain time and energy away from your primary relationship:
During dating, marriage, romance, friendship, or any form of relationship, people often find time to be with each other. When you are in emotional affairs, your attention will get divided and cause you to spend most of your time with your emotional partner thereby depriving those that matter your time.
8. Emotional affairs can create unrealistic expectations:
You become emotionally connected and begin to imagine the fun and other moves from someone who does not have any of such plans. You expect certain treatments they are not ready to offer you.
This excessive expectation can cause personal and emotional burdens. Imagine expecting a touching kiss from someone who is not your partner. If he/she does not respond accordingly, it can lead to bad mood and misbehavior.
9. The other person will never truly understand you as you partner does:
If you have deep feelings for each other, it would feel like he/she understands you more than your partner but that may be wrong. People behave best when they are distant.
The moment you leave your husband/wife to someone you thought would treat you better, you may end up seeing a very different person.
10. An emotional affair is just as damaging as a physical affair:
Sometimes you may think that having emotional affairs is not cheating but the truth is that emotional affairs can sometimes be as dangerous, even more, dangerous than physical cheating.
Emotional affairs causes misunderstanding between partners and can destroy family and relationship as much as physical cheating would do.
How Emotional Affairs Can Damage Your Family and Relationship
1. Emotional Affair can create distance between partners:
As one gets deeper into an emotional affair, he/she is bound to drift away from being closer to the actual partners, friends, and your family.
Emotional affairs can make you feel like your partner was not the right person for you, while the individual you are having an affair with feels like the one that should have been your partner.
Not being close to your partner anymore can ruin your relationship. Moreover, when you are too connected to someone, you may always want to be around that person thereby ruining the closeness you hard with your family and friends.
2. Emotional affairs can cause one’s partner to feel neglected or unimportant:
When you no longer get closer to your partner, he/she would feel neglected and unimportant. this feeling does not always end well.
A divided mind cannot take relationships seriously. Therefore, one should not be too connected to the point of neglecting his/her partner.
3. Emotional affairs can lead to arguments and resentment:
When partners are emotionally one, they care for each other and feel deep love towards one another. But if you are in emotional affairs, your partner may begin to feel unimportant and the fact that there is no more feeling for him/her makes everything he/she says bitter and annoying.
The result is nagging, arguments, and resentment in marriage and relationships.
Any relationship or marriage dominated by nagging, disrespect, too much argument, and resentment is already getting closer to ruin.
4. Emotional affairs can make it difficult to trust one another:
You can’t always hide your feelings from your partner. When you are drifting towards someone else or developing feelings for them, your partner will surely know about it with time.
The outcome can be a loss of trust because even though there is no sexual relationship between you, no one else would bear you witness. That is why it is necessary to let your partner know about your feeling instead of him/her finding it out without your consent.
Lack of trust in a relationship destroys it.
5. Emotional affair can lead to possessiveness:
Your partner would begin to become too possessive once he feels you are in an emotional affair.
Possessiveness can lead to a lack of trust and a crisis in marriage. He/she may begin to monitor your calls, movement, and conversation.
No relationship can strive well when any member of the union is too possessive.
6. Emotional affairs can rob both partners of their independence and privacy:
Sharing your family, marital, or relationship secrets with a stranger just because of an emotional affair is a red flag. The individual can disclose your secrets shortly and ruin your marriage.
By sharing your secrets to a stranger, it means that your partner has no secret because everything he/she shares with you as a partner is going to be heard by a total stranger.
7. Emotional affairs can put a strain on financial resources:
You may find yourself in financial bondage where you keep spending unnecessarily for someone who is not even your partner. This can lead you to bankruptcy, financial straining and frustration.
The fact is that people do not demand much from their partners who they truly love. They think of managing and building together, but they would take advantage of you and drain you dry if you are just there to act the clown role.
8. Emotional affairs can damage or destroy existing relationships with family and friends:
One may find oneself getting so close to someone else, so much that family, friends, and even the actual partner don’t matter to anymore. In this case, every call, thoughts, or dream would be about that person they feel connected with.
Getting emotional towards someone who is not your partner to the extend of losing your mind can lead to total disconnection from those that matter in your life, thereby ruining your family, friendship, and relationship.
Below Are the Best Ways to Avoid Emotional Affairs For the Safety of Your Marriage and Relationships
1. Be honest with yourself about your feelings and needs:
The first step is always to be honest with yourself. If you are not honest about the affair, then it will be more difficult to end it.
Be honest about your feelings and why you got involved in the affair in the first place. This will help you to understand your motivations and make it easier to figure out how to end the affair.
2. Communicate openly and honestly with your partner about your relationship:
If you have a partner, you must talk to them about the affair. They need to understand what is going on and they need to be able to trust you again. It might be difficult, but you must be both on the same page.
When your partner knows that you are developing an emotional connection with someone else against your will, he/she will help to guide you through. Meanwhile, study your partner to understand his/her personality before telling him/her such a vital secret. Not every partner will understand your feelings.
Some may want to use it against you during misunderstanding. However, there is always a way around it because it is good to share than to fight it all alone.
3. Cut off all contact:
This is one of the most important steps in ending an emotional affair. You need to cut off all contact with the person you were having the affair with. This means no texts, no calls, no emails, and no social media contact. It may be difficult, but it is necessary if you want to move on.
Continuously communicating with him/her will only make you feel closer to each other. Such closeness is dangerous to those who are already married or in serious relationships because it can affect their relationships and marriages negatively.
4. Make sure you are getting your needs met in your relationship:
Most people fall into emotional affairs because of a deficiency or lack in their relationships. When your partner does not have time to spend together with you, it is possible to get closer to someone else who is not your partner.
Consider what makes you have fun in being with the other person and try to create it out of your relationship. Spend enough time together with your partner, express your feelings to each other, and how you expect him/her to treat you.
This can make your partner think of treating you better thereby sealing the space that led you to having emotional affairs.
5. Don't keep secrets from your partner:
Share every secret you have with your partner and be open to listening to them when they have personal issues to share with you.
There is pain in bearing personal burdens alone. The essence of that person being there as your husband, wife, partner or friend is not just to truncate your life, but to also offer social and emotional support. Even if you don’t always share secrets with your partner, there may come a time you begin to find someone else that offers you ears, and that can develop into emotional affairs.
6. Handle conflict healthily:
Ensure that you settle your relationship and marital conflicts amicably. You do not need to quarrel with your partner for too long.
A prolonged conflict in marriage or relationship drifts partners away from each other create chance for desecraters.
When you are in peace and healthy relationship, you hardly have time to spend without each other. This would reduce an feeling you might be developing for another person.
7. Spend quality time together regularly:
We have mentioned time over and over again. Quality times with your partner strengthen bonds and weakens every other connection you had with your emotional affair cohort.
The truth is that you have a very high chance of developing an emotional connection with someone you spend much quality time with. If he/she is not your partner, an emotional affair can set in.
Spending quality time with your partner is an antidote to emotional affairs and a way to save your relationship from collapse.
8. Nurture your physical and emotional intimacy with self-discipline:
No matter how intimate you feel towards someone, always allow self-discipline to take the lead. You do not always need to have physical intimacy with everyone you find attractive.
Control your emotions and render yourself some personal advice through controlled approaches. Pretense may not be good, but it is necessary to pretend in this case to save yourself from hysterical wreckage.
9. Seek professional help if you feel like you are struggling in your relationship:
There are a lot of materials on the internet that can help you find solutions to your relationship issues, and a lot of books that can help you through it all.
Besides, you can meet relationship counselors and those who can help give you useful advice void of sentiments and criticism. This will help you overcome your emotional affairs.
10. Know your Weak Point:
Knowing your weak point is one of the ways of staying faithful to your partner and avoiding emotional affairs.
You have to avoid anyone who always tamper with your weak points. Irrespective of how emotionally strong you think you can be, you may fall when someone presses your triggers.
Identify what makes you still get closer to your emotional affair partner despite your fight to avoid him/her. Once you can identify the setoffs, it will be much easier to win the fight against emotional affairs.
Conclusion: Emotional affairs may not lead to physical cheating but the pains and destructions it can cause in marriages, families, careers, and relationships are enormous. While getting close to people, always try to control your emotions to minimize the level of bonds between you.
Moreover, emotional affairs may not pose much threat for the singles, but if you are married or in serious relationships that can lead to marriage, an emotional affair is a death trap you must avoid at all costs to save your throat.