Emotional Affair : A simple straight forward discussion, by a marriage counselor who has worked with 100’s of these situations.
A question that comes up sometimes during marriage counseling: Can’t men and woman be friends?
Answer: Absolutely. Partners should not try and control each other in terms of who they are friendly with, but if you see the danger signs below, the friendship is at risk for an Emotional Affair
What is an Emotional Affair?
Definition – an Emotional affair is when: You are better “friends” with someone of the opposite sex than you are with your partner. Sometimes this issue comes up with an “Office Wife” or “Office Husband” An Office W/H is someone of the opposite gender you team up with because they understand and support your work efforts.
Guidelines you can use to decide if a friendship is actually an Emotional Affair
Below are 5 simple guidelines that can help determine if someone is an Office W/H. as compared to a coworker. I don’t like the term, but I know it’s used. Only one person should have the title Husband or Wife or else it can lead to a new term “X” wife or “X” husband.
Danger signs of an emotional affair
1. You spend more time talking with your friend than your partner.
2. When your “friend” knows you better than your partner.
3. When you keep secrets from your partner about your contact with your friend.
4. You tell private things about your relationship to your friend.
5. You complain about your relationship to your “friend” for “advice”.
If the issue is minor
Get together with your partner and your friend and their partner. This is not a guarantee, but it can make things easier.
If the issue is becoming a problem
Share the conversation you have with your “friend” with your partner. Don’t keep secrets.
If the issue is severe
Whether or not there is anything going on, your partner will be uncomfortable with the relationship and act is if there is an emotional affair. Run, don’t walk, into couples therapy / marriage counseling to discover what is missing in your relationship. If you don’t go for counseling there will be resentment and anger between you and your partner. The exchange runs the risk of intense anger as the driving force and the communication between the couple is angry and aggressive. I’m not saying that those responses aren’t understandable, but those feelings, if not dealt with, can destroy the relationship.
Dr. Marty (who is a licensed Marriage Counselor) is the author of:
*Healing the Hurt of Infidelity (for the faithful partner)
*Healing the Hurt of Infidelity (for the unfaithful partner)
*Negotiation Handbook for Couples: from conflict to cooperation.
The Essential Guide to A Lasting Relationship.
* Buy any one of the downloadable books (indicated by*) for $10 if you mention this article in the month of July 2014