You are happily married and you love your spouse! Recently, have you been saying it more so often more often to reassure yourself than someone else? Is someone else other than your spouse in mind more often than you’d like to? Are you looking forward to that person’s texts, calls or better still, the idea of seeing him/her in person gets you excited. You brush off that annoying thought that is trying to guilt trip you; ‘I am only meeting him/her, it’s not anything physical! ‘
So what is an emotional affair?
It typically starts with an acquaintance and move on to friendship; this relationship is further sustained with emotional investment that grows stronger in time creating a level of intimacy between the parties. Although this starts as a non-sexual in nature; majority of this relationship typically ends in a sexual affair.
Why is this an emotional investment? We each only have certain amount of emotional energy to give. When we spend that on someone who is not our spouse, we often don’t have anything to give to our loved one. Leading to marital frustration and distancing between partners. While an emotional affair seem to be a harmless thing in the begining it does impact one’s marriage.
Top 5 signs of emotional affair:
- Lying: You lie to your spouse or omit your meeting with “other-one”; when talking about your daily errands. When confronted, there is a high chance of blatantly lying rather than accepting the truth. You even tend to show annoyance for being questioned and typically tend to answer “We are just friends”.
- Extra shopping: You want to ‘look good’, remember the time during your courtship period with your spouse you took that extra effort to look good. A person with an emotional affair tend to take the extra effort to look good for the other person. You tend to shop a lot more than usual and want to ‘look good’ for this other one.
- He/She is in control of you: You keep thinking of this person often – waking up and when going to bed and during the course of the day; You cannot wait to tell any events/happenings of your life to this person. Your mind is completely preoccupied about this person that you have less space for anyone else including your spouse and children.
- Communication: Calls, texts and video chats exchanged during the day and sometimes at night is a whole lot higher with this person that you hardly have time for your spouse. The frequency of communication is higher with this other-person resulting in drastic decrease in communication with your spouse. They are probably know your inner-thoughts, history and personal details as the sense of sharing is higher with this person.
- Comparison: The person who has an emotional affair often feel the other person understands them better than their spouse. There is an unintended comparison between the other-one and the spouse; while the other one is becoming a star in your mind; the spouse is despised. You feel your spouse does not tend to you or give you attention the way the other-person takes care of you.
An emotion affair just like a physical affair can wreck your marriage. Like any affair, while it does give a temporary feel-good thing attached to it. It is not the reality. It is a make-believe bubble which fits your fantasy. Unfortunately with time, this bubble will burst taking away your fantasy and harshly your spouse too.
How Retrouvaille can help you?
Retrouvaille is a not-for-profit organization that has a structured program in place; designed to help you and your spouse learn communication skills that will help bring back that connection with one another.
At Retrouvaille, you are not expected to share your personal problems with anyone but rather greatly encourages you to bond with your spouse and teaches you communication techniques that helps in bringing your marriage as a focal point in both your lives.