How to Cope With Emotional Betrayal

by Gisela Chavez

An emotional affair differs from a physical affair in that it does not include physical relations with a person other than the spouse. Emotional betrayal is felt with an emotional affair because one partner strayed from the marriage to find emotional fulfillment with another person. Emotional affairs sometimes seem innocent and justifiable because the people involved may claim that they are "just friends" who talk frequently and confide in one another. However, emotional betrayal can sometimes be more difficult to cope with than a physical betrayal.

Speak openly with your spouse or partner. State clearly how the emotional betrayal has affected you and your relationship. Make a list of discussion points prior to the conversation to ensure that all of your feelings are addressed. Speak to each other in a quiet place where you won't be disturbed and you can converse freely. Try to maintain a calm attitude and do not raise your voices at each other.

Seek professional counseling for yourself and as a couple if you wish to continue your relationship. Individual counseling can help you understand your emotions and cope with the betrayal. Couple's counseling can help your relationship survive after experiencing emotional betrayal.

Take responsibility for your relationship. Both parties need to take responsibility for the state of the relationship. Discuss factors that contributed to the emotional betrayal without pointing fingers or blaming one other.

Make time for each other. Many times emotional affairs stem from one partner feeling emotionally starved because of a lack of time spent together. Go out on a date, take a walk or go on a picnic. Dedicate time to each other where you can talk and emotionally support one another.

Make your relationship your top priority. Both parties need to recognize the underlying issue that caused the emotional betrayal. Doing whatever it takes to mend the relationship, such as seeking counseling, spending more time together or increasing physical intimacy, needs to be a top priority, and both partners need to give it equal importance.

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  • Participate in an enjoyable activity with your partner to help stimulate your relationship once again. Join a yoga class, take foreign language lessons or volunteer with a charitable organization with your partner.
  • Whenever you feel surges of negative emotions, write them down in a journal. Writing down your feelings, instead of yelling at your partner, is a healthy way to calm down and release negative emotions.

About the Author

Based in Colorado, Gisela Chavez has been writing and editing since 2004. Her editorial experience ranges from editing technical documents to editing for “The Bloomsbury Review.” She earned a professional writing certificate from the University of Colorado, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in English and Spanish.

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