Emotional affairs can often times be much more obvious than physical affairs. Many times, emotional affairs lead to physical infidelity so read on for the Top Five Signs of an Emotional Affair.
Cheating isn’t just physical- emotional affairs can be equally devastating (if not more) to a marriage or relationship. Emotional infidelity can be hard to determine because these types of affairs usually start out as a friendship. It is important to define the boundary of when a friendship crosses the line into intimate territories that should be reserved for you and your partner, in your marriage or relationship.
Emotional affairs can be extremely detrimental to a marriage or relationship because an intimacy is formed that should be reserved for you and your partner. Many times, these close “friendships” start out with one partner divulging secrets about their relationship or marriage to a “friend.” Although the relationship seems harmless at first, it can ultimately be devastating to a relationship because intimate emotional needs are now being fulfilled by the “friend,” instead of your spouse or partner.
Sign 1: Your partner is suddenly secretive.
If you notice that your partner is trying to keep secrets from you, chances are that you will notice, especially if you two live together. Watch out for behavioral changes like your partner suddenly stops texting when you walk in the room or takes his or her cell phone into the bathroom. Another possible indicator of emotional infidelity is if you have always known your partner’s passwords and they are suddenly changed. If your partner is taking steps toward privacy when he or she normally wouldn’t, this is a big red flag that an emotional affair might be happening.
Sign 2: You feel disconnected from your partner.
If your partner is getting emotional needs and attention fulfilled by someone outside of your marriage or relationship, you will probably begin to feel a sense of detachment from them. It may be hard to pinpoint at first but if you have been feeling emotionally disconnected from your spouse or partner (& there is no other good reason for why this is happening), this can be a major red flag that an emotional affair is happening. If your partner has stopped discussing any issues or bad days with you but doesn’t appear to be stressed (when he or she normally would), this can be a sign that he or she is getting emotional needs met outside of your relationship.
Sign 3: Your partner continuously mentions the other person.
If you are noticing that your spouse or partner is continuously mentioning or quoting the other person, this might be a sign that the friendship has crossed the friendship boundary and is evolving into an emotional affair. If your spouse is emotionally involved with another person, they may inconspicuously bring the person up in conservations with you. In addition, if your partner is extremely informed of more personal details about another individual, this is a sign that the friendship boundary has been crossed and an emotional affair is occurring.
Sign 4: Your partner starts putting you down or becomes more critical of you.
If you have noticed that your partner is putting you down more often or is highly critical of you (when he or she wasn’t in the past), this might be because your partner is comparing you to the fantasy of the other person. However, this may also be because of the guilt your partner is feeling. In addition, if you happen to criticize the object of your partner’s affection and your partner gets extremely defensive, this is also a major red flag. Your partner has built up a fantasy idea of their “friend” and they will probably not take any criticisms about their “friend” well.
Sign 5: You feel in your gut that something is wrong in your relationship or marriage.
If you feel your gut is telling you that something is wrong in your relationship or marriage, chances are that you are probably right. Again, it can be difficult to pinpoint signs of emotional infidelity because it usually starts out as a friendship. In addition, if you have been noticing your partner is changing the way he or she dresses or is acting out of character, this can be a sign of emotional infidelity.
If you have been noticing any of these signs, it might be time to start a conversation with your partner explaining that you have been feeling disconnected from them and discuss steps on how to fix it. It is very easy for an emotional affair to lead into a physical affair so the quicker you notice these signs, the greater the chance for you two to fix the relationship and be stronger than ever. Keep in mind that many times, your partner is just looking to fulfill his or her emotional needs because they feel as if they can’t discuss those needs with you, therefore leading them astray. This will not be an easy discussion to have with your partner but will hopefully give you some clarity on the situation and a solution to fix it.