For the longest time, I thought that being in a relationship was a measure of achievement and stability. It always seemed to be the end of every conversation I ever had with my peers. Whether it was the ‘need’ to be with someone or simply the ‘status quo’ it had come to become, I put myself in a constant position of questioning- “was being in a relationship, the only measure of success for a person?”
There seemed to be no other answer than a YES. But as I grew up and looked around, I realized that this was not necessarily true. But then, there was a bigger question now- Why are ‘successful’ and ‘stable’ people in extramarital affairs?
Extramarital affairs or Emotional affairs
Extramarital affairs aren’t very new to our generation. If you look around now, you will find those trying to save their marriage and those trying to run away from one- by satisfying their needs from an affair outside marriage. Is it the emotional void they are trying to fulfill? Is it unethical or being disloyal?
No, I am not questioning the ethicality of someone other than your spouse or partner filling the emotional void for you. I am purely talking about the ‘need’ to do it and the risk one faces in their near-to-stable relationship because of this parallel relation.
I personally know of a 37-year-old woman who had a love marriage a few years ago after being in a relationship for about 10 years with the guy. However, right after they had a kid, I could see the emotional drift in their marriage. No, I don’t mean that she is in an affair with this guy who is younger to her or that she doesn’t love her husband- but simply that such parallel relationships call for wrong names and suspicious eyes.
For one, it could be called as an emotional affair that is not physical in nature but beyond that, it must be agreed that the level of emotional dependency on this third person may pose a potential threat to your marriage or relationship.
Confused? Let me break it down for you. An emotional affair has two parts to its understanding: One, an affair can be termed as an emotional affair only when the person not only invents on the emotional level to someone outside marriage but also, receives the same amount of companionship and support from the third party. Second, when a person feels closer to the third party and may feel sexual chemistry. Please note that these affairs don’t involve sex.
Emotional Infidelity: How much is too much?
While I have said this billion times to my beloved friend (I’ve mentioned about on top), I will keep stressing that it isn’t wrong at all. However, this doesn’t mean that it is good to do it. The thing is, love may be a choice, but the attraction isn’t! To err is human, isn’t it?
I have this other friend whose marriage is at stake today after her husband realized the truth of her emotional affair at the workplace.
The point is that you must know that it is an emotional affair when the need for emotional intimacy is thrust upon someone you feel attracted to- at the cost of your primary relationship. This doesn’t mean you have to go all out and defend yourself or even judge yourself. Just sit down and look for signs if you are actually in one.
10 signs you are in an emotional affair
- You feel deeply connected to that person- more than you are to your spouse.
- You want to spend more and more time with that person.
- You trust him/her more with your feelings than your partner.
- You find reasons and ways to gift that “special friend.”
- You try to hide all these from your partner.
- Alone time with that friend is important to you.
- You want to include the person in all your plans and anticipate an opportunity to meet that person.
- You are withdrawing from your spouse.
- This new-found friend seems to get you more than your partner.
- You feel less interested in spending time or sparing intimacy with your spouse- emotionally, physically or otherwise.
If you find yourself answering yes to even 3 of these- you are in one! So, now find the loophole in your primary relationship and address your emotions. DON’T JUDGE YOURSELF. Next, try to evaluate why and what may have been the reason for you to get into one.
Once this realization comes, decide what you want to do next? Do you want to let go of that affair or let go of your marriage/ relationship. But like I said, YOU are the writer of your choices. Choose what is best for you.