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Monday, June 4, 2012

What are Emotional affairs? Emotional affairs vs Physical Affairs

What is an emotional affair? What causes emotional affairs? What’s the difference between an emotional affair and cheating or a normal affair?

Emotional Affairs

The important thing to remember is that no matter the affair, the pain and results on any relationship are bound to be negative.

What is an emotional affair?

Cheating via text

An emotional affair can be defined as a form of affair where one partner may be unfaithful to the other emotionally.

It is characterized by giving and receiving emotional support and companionship outside of your original relationship, and investing more emotional energy and intimacy in someone else (not your partner but a "friend" instead).

In similar terms, someone having an emotional affair may not physically cheat on their partner (not even kiss someone else) but may be cheating on their partner emotionally. This can be done by finding comfort in talking to someone else, confiding in him or her or speaking to him or her on a regular bases.

An emotional affair is distinct from a physical affair in that ones relationship with someone else may not be physical but is completely emotional, mental or telephonic.

It is not a physical affair where you might be going out on dates, kissing, touching or anything else but more a case of sharing everything emotionally in engaging in conversations, emails, texts or IM. You might share feelings or emotions with him/her that you don’t share with your partner, flirt with him/her or find emotional comfort or refuge in contact with him/her. 

In summary you are engaged in an emotional affair with someone when you have some sort of an emotional connection or attachment to him/her.

Is an emotional affair better or worse then an ordinary (physical) affair? 

Some may argue that an emotional affair is better then a physical affair due to the fact that there is no physical contact or anything between the parties. 
On the contrary however, an emotional affair could be viewed as being worse off. The connection between the two people is often seen as being deeper as it's not only a quick physical fix but an intimate and intense emotional bond which has been formed. Such bonds are often harder to break than merely physical ones.

What's the difference between an emotional affair and a physical affair?

In contrast to a physical affair you are not really putting your partner in any physical risk of getting any STDs or illnesses because you’re not physically having an affair; but you are putting him/her at risk of heart break and emotional turmoil.

Statistics on emotional affairs
  • According to research conducted on ‘truthaboutdeception’  It is estimated that roughly 30 to 60% of all married individuals (in the United States) will engage in infidelity at some point during their marriage.
  • Womansavers states that Over 70 percent of all women felt that emotional affairs could lead to physical affairs. An emotional affair can begin quite innocently but become more intimate as time passes. 
  • Ezine articles affirm that most emotional affairs start in the workplace where there is an increased social contact with the opposite gender and as married couples spend less time with their partners, temptation becomes easier. When a man or women spend more time with a co-worker, teammate, or friend under these conditions it is common that deeper things develop.
  • According to relationshipyard in a study done by Dr. Christine R. Harris, statistics show that out of 137 subjects(55 male, 87 female) most of them put more weight on emotional infidelity rather than physical infidelity.
What causes one to engage in an emotional affair?

There are many factors that may cause one to lean towards an emotional affair. The following factors are not at all a justification for an emotional affair but rather reasons which may aggravate circumstances to such an extent.
Reasons for emotional unfaithfulness:
  • Becoming emotionally unattached from your current relationship
  • A lack of attention or affection from your partner
  • Feelings of neglect or rejection from your partner
  • A partners previous infidelities
  • Comfort from others (work colleagues or a “friend” of the opposite gender)
Signs that you might be having an emotional affair

Many might feel guilty about their actions but be in a state of denial trying to convince themselves that what they’re doing isn’t wrong or being unfaithful. There are many signs that what you’re doing is wrong or could be described as an emotional affair. Here are some of them:
  • You hide your communication (emails, texts, phone calls, etc) with your “friend” or keep them secret from your partner
  • You find excuses to speak to or make contact with your “friend”
  • You find ways of justifying speaking to your “friend”
  • You find comfort in communicating with your “friend”
  • You look forward to your contact with your “friend”
  • You’re behaviour with your “friend” is some-what flirtatious or overly friendly
  • Your partner does not know about your “friend” or is not aware of the fact that you communicate or how often you do so.
According to ‘tips for marriage’  the following can also be seen as signs that you’re having an emotional affair:
  • Getting dressed up to see your “friend”
  • Hiding the fact that you’re spending time with your “friend” from your partner.
According to ‘troubled with’ the following are also major red flags
  • You share personal thoughts or stories with your “friend”.
  • You feel a greater emotional intimacy with him/her than you do with your spouse.
  • You start comparing him/her to your spouse, and begin listing why your spouse doesn't add up.
  • You start changing your normal routine or duties to spend more time with him/her.
  • You fantasize about spending time with, getting to know or sharing a life with him/her.
Signs that your partner might be having an emotional affair

Many of the signs are similar to those of a physically unfaithful partner / cheating spouse and are the same as that of if you were having an emotional affair but just from the opposite side of the spectrum.
  • He/she might seem emotionally detached from the relationship (this is often due to the fact that he/she has an emotional connection elsewhere).
  • He/she is very secretive with regards to emails, text messages, phone call, etc.
  • He/he doesn’t seem to share much with you (with regards to daily experiences at work or school, family matters, etc).
  • You have noticed (seen messages, overheard conversations, etc) him/her keeping more contact with a certain member of the opposite gender.
Tips for marriage’ sees the following as signs that your partner might be being emotionally unfaithful:
  • getting dressed up for someone other than you
  • spending more time away from home
  • lying about their whereabouts
  • increased emotional disconnection
  • multiple cell phones,  email accounts, or Facebook accounts
  • discussing or talking about a new “friend” or co-worker
  • a history of infidelity
There are many things that may or may not be a sign of an emotionally unfaithful partner but the only way to truly know is to be open minded. You know your partner better than anyone else and you should be able to tell whether or not there are any changes in his/her behaviour or your relationship.

An affair is painful in any form whether it be physical or strictly emotional. Many would argue that an emotional affair is not really an affair as there is no physical contact which could be single handedly viewed as cheating, others (on the other hand) may view an emotional affair as being worse.

Think about your loved ones and find a means of communicating with them. Place your trust and commitment (both physical and emotional) in your partner and your relationship and don’t allow any form of unfaithfulness to come between that.
If you feel that your relationship is really over and that there is nothing else you can do but find companionship elsewhere then end it; break up with him/her or get a divorce (as horrible as that is) it is far better then hurting him/her and yourself in the long run.

What do you think??? Are emotional Affairs better or worse than physical affairs?

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