Is your relationship at risk because of a friendship with a coworker, a neighbor, or a virtual pal on the internet? What are the top warning signs that you’re in an emotional affair? How do you bullet-proof your relationship against it? Why is it important?
Most sexual affairs begin as “just friends”. And 75 percent of marriages between affair partners end in divorce. Many couples seem to be confused or in denial about the dangers of emotional cheating. To clear up the confusion, I’ve summarized my interview with Jeff Herring, a marital counselor and syndicated columnist on relationships who wrote the book, Your Emotional Affair — The Ultimate Guide To Prevention And Recovery.
Is an emotional affair considered adultery?
It is adultery because of where you’ve placed your heart. When emotions are flying, you’re on a slippery slope toward a sexual affair. It’s a question of opportunity, and a gradual progression from emotional to sexual affair.
What are some warning signs?
You start feeling closer to your friend than your spouse.
You reveal private information about your mate or marriage to this person.
You notice an increasing sexual attraction and you fantasize about fulfilling it.
You start telling yourself and others that you’re just friends.
You think an affair could never happen to you.
That denial is one of the biggest dangers, since no one is immune to an affair.
Where are you most at risk to begin an affair?
People often form emotional bonds with coworkers who share common goals, talents and appreciation for what you do at work.
How can you be friendly with co-workers without forming an emotional relationship?
Jeff recommends that you draw a protective boundary around your primary relationship by talking about your mate often and in positive ways so you let your co-worker know how important this relationship is to you. If you start complaining how your mate doesn’t understand or appreciate you, then you are sending a signal that you are emotionally taking off your wedding ring and you’re sliding down that slippery slope.
What do you do when you rationalize the situation?
Any time you find yourself forming an extramarital emotional bond, Jeff suggests that you see your rational lies with rational eyes. Sometimes those rational eyes have to be others than our own, because we don’t want to see the reality and risks.
It’s ideal if you have good enough friends to grab you and ask you what you’re doing as a wake up call.
Can you rely on office dating rules to protect your relationship?
People will overlook rules when feelings of attraction are strong. Whether you are in a power position or healing position with someone, if you’re thinking of having an affair with a colleague it is like handing that person your license or your career if the affair ends badly. It can lead to litigation and divorce.
You can catch yourself at emotional cheating if you imagine how the closest people in your life would feel if they found out what you are doing. You can set your own boundaries when you are tempted to have an affair with Jeff’s RHL prescription, which means Run Like Hell.
What if you’re in the midst of an affair? How do you recover?
No matter how far you are into it, you can still make a choice to end it and repair your relationship. The person involved in the affair must stop and separate from their affair partner, which may include changing jobs.
Your partner needs to forgive you and then you regain their trust one day at a time as you climb back up the slippery slope to reach the peak of trust. You may complain that your relationship will never be the same again, and that’s true. If you do the right emotional work, it will be better than ever.
I suggest that when you choose to avoid or end an affair, you find ways to channel the excitement back into your relationship. Then you can rededicate yourself to reviving romance and sparking a lasting fire of love with your partner.
You can claim Jeff Herring’s Free Report on the top ten warning signs of an affair or buy his Ultimate Guide To Affair Prevention And Recovery when you click this link: http://bit.ly/cDtkH4
As always, I invite you to share your thoughts, questions or stories of how you survived or avoided an emotional affair in the comment box after this post.
Dedicated to our dating and relationship happiness,