What are emotional affairs?
Emotional affairs are relationships formed by individuals who are already in a monogamous relationship (married or long term relationship), but start or maintain another relationship that involves emotional intimacy with a different partner. These new relationships could start out merely as plain friendship, but slowly end up turning into emotional affairs. A relationship can be considered an emotional affair when the details of your conversation are too intimate that it would normally be only appropriate to talk about it with your significant other.
According to Dr. Shirley P. Glass, an infidelity expert, psychologist, and a licensed family and marriage therapist, women are more prone to have emotional affairs than men, and men are more prone to the regular physical affair, where emotions are not the main root cause of infidelity. In a study done by Dr. Glass, she notes that the women who have had extramarital emotional affairs were more unsatisfied with their marriage compared to their male counterparts, and both sexes who have had sexual affairs were both equally more unsatisfied than those who have just had emotional affairs.
It is also noted in Dr. Glass’ book, “Not Just Friends”, that 57% of wives and 44% of husbands that had affairs said they had strong emotional intimacy with their new partners, but withheld any physical intimacy. This emotional affair statistic maybe misleading because people who take surveys are not always honest with themselves, or with the interviewer. The fact is that if an emotional affair goes on for long enough, eventually the two people in that affair will become so comfortable the relationship may transcend into the realm of physical intimacy.
The leap from being comfortable talking about intimate details to meeting each other and talking about it in real life may take awhile. But the point of meeting each other to having your first kiss, could just be around the corner, and from then on, everything speeds up leading to more physical intimacy. The truth is, people think that talking about intimate details with someone other than your spouse is not a threat. Most people think having regular interactions on the internet with a person of the opposite sex is not going to affect your real life relationship because “we’re just talking. Trust me, once you get comfortable enough, you will want to meet this person in real life. Those having emotional affairs with people they already know in real life, that is even more dangerous because you have constant contact with that person. This is how my ex-wife and I broke up, she was developing a relationship(secretly) with another man she met in an online forum. They eventually met up in real life and I did not even find out about that until several months after I found out that they were chatting on line.
Emotional Affair Statistics.
What bother men and women more, emotional or physical infidelity?
In a study done by Dr. Christine R. Harris, statistics show that out of 137 subjects(55 male, 87 female) most of them put more weight on emotional infidelity rather than physical infidelity. Out of 87 females, 12% said they care more about physical infidelity, and 88% said they care more about emotional infidelity. Out of 55 males, 47% said they care more about physical infidelity, 53% said they care more about emotional infidelity.
The statistics provided by Dr. Harris’ research seem to make it clear that men are equally bothered by both, and women are far more bothered by emotional infidelity. Now you know why your wife seems to be “overly” jealous when you flirt, or react positively to a women who flirts with you.
What is considered emotional cheating?
You may have experienced this yourself, telling your partner you are doing one thing, but really you are spending time with someone of the opposite sex. This is a form of emotional cheating, twist it however way you want to, it still is emotional cheating. There is no reason for you to ever lie to your spouse about who you are with and what you are doing unless it’s something you know they will disagree with. If you are deceiving your spouse, you are cheating on them emotionally. Sure once or twice it may not feel wrong, but it is. Continue on doing that and you will be on your way to a disastrous marriage. Pray your spouse never tries to track your actions or spy on you, because your stories will be full of holes.
Betraying marriage values
Another way to emotionally cheat on your spouse. Telling someone of the opposite sex about intimate details of your relationship is considered emotional cheating. If you can not talk about something with your everyday regular friends, you should not talk about it with anyone else other than your spouse. Talking about how terrible and miserable you are in a relationship with someone who isn’t your wife or husband is a major form of betrayal.
Devoting extra time to the other person
When you get home from work or whenever you have extra time, you choose to spend this on the internet chatting with your new friend instead of doing what your spouse wants to do, this is another form of emotional cheating. You are putting the needs of this other person before the needs of the person you are married to at the same time lying to them about who you are talking with online. Texting and having phone conversations with a person of the opposite sex also is the same thing, emotional cheating.
Do you have a friend that your spouse does not know exists? Is this friend of the opposite sex? This “secret friendship” could blossom into an emotional affair if you continue to let it grow, without your spouse’s knowledge. You’ll know when it’s getting “serious” when you start sharing intimate details of your relationship with your spouse to this new person. It may start simply by you talking about your day, and tell them things you left out when you were talking to your spouse. You may even try to justify it as “at least he/she won’t judge me” or “my husband/wife doesn’t care about it”, or it could be that you are subconsciously wanting to make your relationship with your new partner stronger by having conversations that only you two share.
When you can tell, or feel like you can tell anything to that one specific person, but you can’t or don’t want to talk about it with your spouse is a form of wanting their emotional intimacy over your own spouse’s.
To read more signs of an emotional affairs, do a search on the blog or follow this link to “Signs of an emotional affair”.