our everyday life

The Stages of Emotional Affairs

by David Stewart

Emotional affairs are relationships where individuals seek emotional fulfillment with another individual other than the spouse. There is no sex involved in emotional affairs, which makes the people involved think they are not guilty of any wrongdoing. Even though no sex is involved, there is a fundamental breach of trust when a spouse starts being dishonest in a relationship, which can kill the relationship.

Innocuous Friendship

An emotional affair starts as a nonthreatening friendship. A colleague at the workplace or an online friend, a partner for emotional affairs could be anyone. You start as friends discussing mutual interests. You get together for a coffee, which graduates to a lunch and eventually progresses to phone conversations, text-messaging or emails. Spouses who encounter a plateau in their relationship, where nothing remains as exciting and fulfilling as before, are the most vulnerable to emotional affairs. These individuals seek to conquer the feelings of emptiness enveloping them through emotional affairs.

Feelings of Infatuation

You like talking to him, holding conversations with him and listening to what he has to say on things related to work and outside. His ability to empathize with your feelings and opinions makes you feel important and brings you closer to him. You begin to revel in the subtle flirtations, the praise and attention from the person and develop feelings of attraction toward him. You liven up at the thought of seeing him and feel the rise of a new excitement whenever you are in his company. You tend to cloak the relationship with the tag of friendship, both to convince your spouse and banish your guilt of cheating your spouse.

Desire for Secrecy

Deception starts when you decide to meet the individual alone and without the knowledge of your spouse. You start keeping your conversations with the individual a secret, and the thought of your spouse seeing you with this individual fills you with guilt. You skirt any inquiries about this individual from your spouse or any observing family member.

Emotional Dependency

You become more involved on an emotional plane with the person. Highs and lows at work, tensions at home and even marital discord are brought into your conservations, which become more personal. You begin to discuss matters that you do not even talk with your spouse about and, in fact, spend more time talking to her than to your spouse. There is an underlying sexual pull between you, and you make efforts to look attractive to this individual. You come to depend on this individual to derive emotional fulfillment. The feelings of guilt and the longing for what you see as something special can rip you apart, leaving you desolate.