What qualifies as an emotional affair...and what doesn’t

All Woman


IN general, most couples consider cheating as sexual engagement with someone other than your partner. However, less talked about or known but equally painful are emotional affairs. While they may not include any physical betrayal, they involve flirting and engaging in intimate conversations outside of your relationship.

Uncertain of what constitutes an emotional affair and what does not? Relationship counsellor Wayne Powell shares a list of pointers on whether or not you may be inching past the boundary:

1. You are seemingly more excited in the presence of this person than you are with any other person or even with your partner

Your face lights up and all things previously dull become bright. He/she seems to have the ability to change your mood and make you desire to try new things and go new places.

2. You purposely go out of your way to ensure you are sharing space with this person as much as is possible

You don’t work in the same section or have business at a particular place, but you make excuses, create scenarios in your head, or come up with excuses just so that you can see and touch the person.

3. You dress to impress the person especially if you know what appeals to him/her

Things that you weren’t preoccupied with in terms of dress and style suddenly matter to you. Even for dress down days at work or other social gatherings, you want to dress in a way that will make you stand out to him or her.

4. You find yourself comparing your partner to this person

Things that you once overlooked you start to desire again. You also start to overthink the things he/she does or does not do in comparison to your partner. This can sometimes spill over from your thoughts into words and actions.

5. Day and night you dream about this person

You become so preoccupied with the person to the extent where you start thinking about what things would be like if he/she was actually your spouse… sunny days on the beach, living and even having children together.

6. You complain to this person about your partner and share intimate details about your relationship

You confide confidential intimate information about the issues that you have at home, even detailing bedroom issues. You look past boundaries that were previously agreed on between you and your spouse. You even speak ill about your partner and exaggerate the actual situation in the hope that you will be comforted by the new beau.

7. You are in constant contact with this person

From daybreak to the time that you go to bed, you are in constant dialogue with this person. Instead of engaging your spouse in early morning bonding, you are on your phone flirting.

8. You find yourself physically drifting away from your partner

Less physically and emotionally attracted to your partner, you start to desire the new person more. You are now connecting in a way that is so enthralling that you wish that your partner never existed. Even more, now you are willing to sacrifice what you have with your partner to get with the new person.

Powell said that most times emotional affairs, more than any other type, brew in the workplace.

“The workplace is a popular place for emotional affairs to begin as you spend sometimes more than 40 hours per week with this individual so you are able to observe and admire his/her qualities up close. So you both have similar interests and values and spend time together at lunch and other work-related activities,” Powell reasoned.

He said that the phenomenon is becoming so popular, that people, many out of innocence, jokingly call the new person their “office husband/wife.”

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