our everyday life

How to Bridge the Distance After Emotional Affairs

by Karen Kleinschmidt

Whether your husband knows about the emotional affair or not, closing the gap and regaining the closeness the two of you once had will take time. Being close to losing the one you love is the point when you are most likely to value the relationship says Dr. Gail Saltz, author of "Anatomy of a Secret Life: Are the People in Your Life Hiding Something You Should Know?" Own your own thoughts and feelings as it will enable you to strengthen your marriage and help prevent you from becoming emotionally involved with another man other than your husband in the future.

Disconnect

To completely engage yourself in your marriage, make sure you completely end your emotional affair, says Dr. Gail Saltz. If you attempt to be friends or have limited contact, the temptation will linger and limit your focus on healing your marriage. Admit your responsibility in the emotional affair, even if only to yourself. This will open the path to explore the reasons you may have gotten emotionally involved with another man in the first place, advises Saltz.

Recover

Invest the time and energy you spent communicating within your emotional affair into your marriage, recommends Therese J. Borchard of Psych Central. Transfer this energy back to your marriage by texting or emailing your spouse unexpectedly while at work or setting up a date to "Get to know one another" again. In this way, you avoid spreading your intimacy too thin, enabling you to focus on your primary relationship with your husband, advises Borchard. Small acts of kindness can help to promote positive feelings within your marriage. Start with making special dinners, rubbing his back, actively listening or taking over one of his chores unexpectedly.

Slow and Steady

If you push too hard too soon for closeness, your partner is likely to withdraw according to the article, "Bridging Emotional Distance," on the website, Two of Us.org, which is part of the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center. The emotional affair may have been the result of the emotional distance in your relationship. Take baby steps to re-establish the connection you once had with your husband. Make time to be physically intimate with one another, if needed get a babysitter to schedule regular date nights, take the time to communicate with each other and share common interests and activities together advises the article, "Bridging Emotional Distance." It goes on to recommend focusing on your marriage as a top priority in your life.

Reasons

As both a preventative and healing measure, analyze your marriage and the reasons that led you to the emotional affair, advises Saltz. Perhaps, you felt your marriage was failing, your sense of self-esteem or self-worth was diminished or you were simply repeating a pattern you witnessed with your own parents during childhood, says Saltz. Understanding the reasons behind your behavior can help you to take steps to change behaviors and repair, improve and strengthen your marriage.

About the Author

Karen Kleinschmidt has been writing since 2007. Her short stories and articles have appeared in "Grandma's Choice," "Treasure Box" and "Simple Joy." She has worked with children with ADHD, sensory issues and behavioral problems, as well as adults with chronic mental illness. Kleinschmidt holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Montclair State University.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images