Are you having an emotional affair?

If you've ever wondered if what you're doing counts as an emotional affair, this article is for you.

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  • There you are, asking your good friend Google if you are having an emotional affair.

  • If you are asking, then your question is probably your answer.

  • If you aren't sure, but you kinda-think-you-might-be having an emotional affair, you probably are.

  • That's OK.

  • Recognizing your mistake is the first step to correcting it and making changes, so you are in the right place.

  • You may be having an emotional affair, but it's not too late to stop and to change!

  • If you're reading this article, you may have some of the following questions:

    • Is texting a person of the opposite sex, just because, cheating?

    • Is going out to lunch with a friend of the opposite sex (without telling your spouse), cheating?

    • If you email a girl at work regularly about hobbies you both enjoy, are you having an emotional affair?

    • Is it cheating to message an old boyfriend back and forth?

    • Is thinking about another man cheating?

    • Is it OK for me (a married person) to have a crush on someone other than my spouse, without that person or my spouse ever knowing it?

  • To give you an answer to those questions, it's important to realize what an emotional affair is not:

  • 1. An emotional affair is not one-sided

  • An emotional affair takes two. If you are thinking about someone or you just feel connected with someone, and they don't reciprocate those feelings, it isn't an emotional affair. It is a form of cheating, because you are thinking about someone other than your spouse, but it isn't an emotional affair.

  • 2. An emotional affair is not a real, platonic friendship

  • An emotional affair is not a real, platonic friendship with someone of the opposite sex that your spouse knows about. If you have friendships with members of the opposite sex from before you were married, and there is zero chemistry between you two, then doing something together with that friend is not cheating on your spouse.

  • We wouldn't recommend it, because feelings can change, but boundaries can be set and as long as your spouse knows about it, it isn't an emotional affair.

  • 3. An emotional affair is not a professional connect with a co-worker

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  • Even if you do spend a lot of time together with someone at your office, if it's professional, it isn't an affair.

  • 4. Having relationships with members of the opposite sex

  • Even if they are attractive members of the opposite sex, isn't an emotional affair. it's perfectly fine and acceptable, as long as you are respectful and professional.

  • So, what is an emotional affair?

  • Any time you choose -yes, it is a choice -to open your heart to someone other than your spouse r to connect and share on a deeper level, you are, in essence, beginning an emotional affair.

  • An emotional affair occurs when you seek out the kind of emotional, intellectual, spiritual and recreational connection reserved for marriage with someone other than your spouse.

  • In essence, most people define having an emotional affair as falling in love with someone and perhaps dating someone, without any physical or sexual aspect to the relationship.

  • Some don't think emotional affairs are a big deal, but we think otherwise.

  • We believe they are simply the beginning of full-blown physical affairs. And affairs always lead to heartache.

  • We would encourage you to beware the dangers of emotional affairs and to do everything possible to avoid the steps that lead to emotional affairs.

  • Am I having an emotional affair?

  • An easy way to know if you are cheating on your spouse and having an emotional affair (or if you are even getting close) is to honestly these questions:

  • 1. If my spouse read the texts between me and this person, what would they think?

  • 2. Would I want my spouse listening in on my conversations with this person?

  • 3. Does my friendship with this person bring feelings of excitement and romance?

  • 4. Do I flirt with this person, even in small ways?

  • 5. Do I look forward to being around this person?

  • 6. Do I feel like I can't live without this person?

  • 7. What would my co-workers tell my spouse about my friendship with this person?

  • 8. Do I text/email/talk about anything sexual with this person, even though we haven't been sexual together?

  • 9. Am I intentionally lying to my spouse, hiding things or being secretive about this person? Does my spouse know about this person and about my relationship with them?

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  • 10. Do I feel guilty about my relationship with this person?

  • If you answer yes to any of these questions, you should take a step back and honestly evaluate your choices. Think about where they will lead you. You know yourself best. If you pay attention to your inner feelings, you will know if you are having an emotional affair or not.

  • If you feel uncomfortable, guilty, sad, or discouraged as you think about your secretive friendship, then it's probably time to cut ties completely and make things- It's time to stop cheating on your spouse.

  • Instead of trying to find out what the "boundaries" are and if you are cheating, decide to stay as far away from the "boundaries" as possible and to be the most loyal, loving spouse that you can be.

  • That choice is in your hands, dear friend.

  • You can get back on track, and fast. Just decide to do it. Decide to put all the energy you were putting into your "other relationship" back into nurturing your marriage, and you will see that doing things right feels good. Really good.

  • Editor's Note: This article was originally published on Aaron & April's blog,Nurturing Marriage. It has been republished here with permission.

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Aaron & April are the founders of Nurturing Marriage, a website dedicated to strengthening marriages. They enjoy playing football with their two little boys, watching sports, eating cereal late at night, and going out for frozen yogurt.

Website: http://www.nurturingmarriage.org

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