All Woman

Signs you are having an emotional affair

BY PENDA HONEYGHAN

Monday, June 24, 2019

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MOST emotional affairs start off the same way — innocently.

However, somewhere along the line the friendship evolves into something more, and soon you discover that you are not only attracted to your “friend”, but he or she is also attracted to you.

Since there is no sex involved, you bury any feeling of guilt and continue to engage your friend in ways you know you shouldn't — ways that would make your partner uncomfortable.

While you might be able to convince yourself that you aren't doing anything wrong, Relationship Counsellor Wayne Powell says an emotional affair can cause more damage and inflict more pain than sexual infidelity.

“A person might become emotionally involved with a person other than their spouse for many reasons — one of the most common reasons being that they find in that person what they believe is lacking at home. However, instead of fixing the challenges at home, they get hooked on the person; they find themselves divulging private information, fantasising about a relationship with the person and, among other things, keeping him or her a secret from their partner,” Powell said.

The relationship counsellor said unlike sexual infidelity, an emotional affair is more difficult to identify because it doesn't usually carry physical proof — such as lipstick stains, lingering fragrances or even a sext. However, if your gut tells you something might be going on, chances are something is.

Powell outlined some characteristics of people carrying out emotional affairs below:

Your are excited around this person

You are seemingly more excited in the presence of this person than you are with any other person, even your partner.

Your face lights up, and all things previously dull become bright. He/she seems to have the ability to change your mood and pique your desire to try new things and visit new places.

You go out of your way to ensure you are both sharing the same space

You don't work in the same section nor have business at a particular place, but you make excuses, create scenarios in your head, or come up with reasons just to see and touch the person.

You dress up for your “friend”

You dress to impress your “friend”. You want to make sure what you are wearing appeals to him or her, so things that you weren't preoccupied with, in terms of dress and style, suddenly matter to you because you want to make sure you stand out to him or her.

You compare your partner to this person

You don't only measure your partner's qualities against him or her, but you find yourself wishing that your partner possessed some of your friend's qualities. So, things that you once overlooked you start desiring again. You also start to overthink everything, and you might also realise that sometimes your thoughts spill over into words and actions.

You dream about being with this person

You become so preoccupied with the person that you start thinking about what things would be like if he or she was actually your spouse — sunny days on the beach, living, and even having children together, perhaps?

You complain to this person about your partner

You confide in this person, sharing intimate information about the issues you have at home, even detailing problems in the bedroom. You look past boundaries that were previously agreed on by you and your spouse, which discourages divulging personal information to family or friends.

You even speak ill of your partner, sometimes exaggerating the actual situation, in hopes that you will be comforted by him or her.

You are in constant contact with this person

You talk with this person even more than you do with your partner. From daybreak to the time that you go to bed, you are in constant dialogue with the person. Instead of engaging your spouse in early morning bonding, you are on your phone flirting during the free time you have.

You are drifting away from your partner and towards this person

You are less physically and emotionally attracted to your partner. You start to desire your friend in ways that you have only imagined while with the person with whom you are intimately involved. You are now connected in a way that is so enthralling that you wish that your partner never existed. Now you are even willing to sacrifice what you have with your spouse to be with this other person.


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