Is it Emotional Unfaithfulness, or an Emotional Affair?
Whatever you want to call it, these 34 warning signs will tell you if you’re having one.
“About Emotional Affairs” Series.
Part 1: “What is an emotional affair, and is it really cheating?”
Part 2: 32 Warning Signs of your Emotional Unfaithfulness.
Nobody wants to think of emotional unfaithfulness when they’re in a friendship with someone of the opposite sex.
Just the thought of it seems so extreme, doesn’t it?
Plus, you know you’d never really have an actual affair, so you might wonder, what’s the harm?
It’s just innocent flirting, or, we’re just friends, it’s not sexual.
But even if you haven’t crossed over into a physical affair,
the results can still be just as damaging as if it was sexual.
And some specialists may argue, it’s even more damaging, because it creates an bond of intimacy with someone other than your spouse.
From someone who’s (very regrettably) had an affair myself, I’ll tell you that I could have checked off
many of the statements on this list, BEFORE my affair actually progressed to the next level.
I was just too blind, or prideful, to believe it could really happen to me.
And since I’m often speaking to other women here, I’ll present these questions to you like that.
What does it mean to emotionally cheat on someone?
Don’t forget to check out the first part of this series “What is an emotional affair and is it really cheating?”
Emotionally cheating on your husband is really about a level of emotional support and intimacy you have
with someone of the opposite sex, other than your spouse.
You’re emotionally vulnerable with this ‘friend’, which creates a connection that’s really supposed to only be reserved for your husband.
C’mon ladies, let’s be honest.
There’s only so much of us to go around.
After work, taking care of kids, family, friends and housework… what’s left over?
At the end of most days, I’m spent, as you likely are too.
It’s hard enough keeping the connection in our marriages, but add a third person who you’re sharing intimate details with,
and it’ll eventually be the kiss of death for your marriage.
No matter how much we tell ourselves otherwise.
I’ve been there too remember? I know about the denial, and the games we play in our heads.
Also, because of the bond that’s established in secretly expressing your emotions, or being spiritually connected with someone other than your spouse,
it fuels the intensity of that relationship, all while you feel justified because it’s not sexual.
This is what often perpetuates our denial that we’re actually having an emotional affair.
But still, for many people, the line between a platonic friendship and romantic feelings and attraction, can be muddied or gray.
Secret conversations with ‘your friend’ are minimized in your mind, and your increasing thoughts about him, likely aren’t discussed with anyone.
If your friend is of the opposite sex, and you recognize some of the following signs of emotional unfaithfulness,
then honestly examine your motives for this friendship.
Get serious with yourself about whether you crossed from that gray area, into having an emotional affair.
You may relate to only a few on this list, or you might see a bunch of signs that resonate with you.
Just remember, you don’t have to relate to all of these signs, and still be having an emotional affair.
But let it be a warning for you to step back now before it’s too late.
I’d recommend printing this list out, check off the items you see yourself doing,
and keep it nearby as a reminder to yourself to stop.
Also be honest with yourself, if you can think of other things you’ve been doing, write those down on your print out too.
What constitutes an emotional affair?
I’ve put together this pretty detailed list below, of the various scenarios and questions, of what constitutes an emotional affair.
As you review the list, you might think some of these statements are repetitive, but they’re not.
I was purposely very specific with these statements and questions, to eliminate any shadow of doubt in your mind of what you may have been doing.
34 warning signs of emotional unfaithfulness.
1-16 are the “statement” signs of an emotional affair.
- You find yourself thinking, and fantasizing, about this other man (your friend) with more and more frequency. (sexually or otherwise)
- You’ve been withdrawing intimately from your husband, either physically or emotionally.
- Spending less time with your husband, and date nights are less frequent.
- Checking your phone, email or social media accounts to see if your friend has called or texted you. or otherwise commented on your social media account.
- Taking extra time getting ready to look more beautiful (and dolled up) than you typically would, when you know you’ll be seeing this other man.
- You’ve bought new clothes, got a new hairstyle, or purchased new perfume that you thought he’d like.
- You find excuses or reasons to call, Facetime, or text your friend; and there’s a lot of time spent communicating at all hours.
- You’re often anticipating when you’ll talk to, or be with him again.
- You look for thoughtful ways to show your friend you’re thinking of him if he’s going through a hard time, like an encouraging note, card or gift.
- Often you’ve been there to care of your this man’s needs if he’s sick (bringing medicine, chicken soup etc…)
- This friend has become the first person you turn to with good news, or bad news.
- Your friend seems to listen more, and understand you better, than your husband does now.
- You’ve shared intimate information about yourself, or troubles in your marriage, with this person under the guise of asking for his advice.
- You both have inside jokes and you laugh at his jokes more frequently than normal.
- You began liking what he likes, including his favorite sports teams, food, drinks or restaurants etc…
- His name gets brought up by you a lot when talking to friends, co-workers, or your spouse.
17- 34 are the questions to answer to recognize if you’re in an emotional affair.
- Is there sexual tension, flirting and possible innuendo’s exchanged between the two of you?
- Has your spouse expressed feeling uncomfortable, or unsure of your friendship, with this other person?
- Do you keep phone calls, or conversations, with your friend a secret from your husband. just to avoid his questions or guilt?
- Are you hiding the amount of time you’re spending with your ‘friend’ from your husband?
- Have you actually lied, in direct response to any of your husband’s questions, in regards to your friendship with this other man?
- Are you often lying to your husband, saying you’re texting someone else, when it’s actually this friend?
- Do you delete text messages, or voice mails, from this person, so your spouse doesn’t know how much you’re really talking?
- If your husband heard a recording of your conversations with this other man, would you be embarrassed, and would your husband be upset?
- Are you sharing your feelings, problems, thoughts and decision-making questions with your friend, more often than with your husband?
- Do you find yourself comparing him to your husband more frequently, although you wouldn’t admit that to anyone else?
- If you know his wife, have you asked her subtle questions to gather more personal information about him? (this is easier to do if you’re all friends).
- Have you manipulated situations, or events, to make it easier to see him on a regular basis? Or changed your routine to spend more time with him?
- Do you find yourself defending anything about him to your good friends or family members?
- Have others been suspicious, or expressed their concerns, about your closeness with this friend?
- If you share a common faith, have you found reasons to pray together more often or joined church groups together? (praying alone together is very bonding).
- Does the thought of ending your friendship with him really upset you, to the extent that you’ve gotten angry at anyone who suggests it?
- Have you told others, and tried convincing yourself, that you’re allowed to have friends of the opposite sex and that it doesn’t mean anything?
- Do you find yourself repeatedly defending yourself with statements like “We’re just friends”, “Nothing’s going on!” or, “He’s like family to me!”?
this list of warning signs of emotional unfaithfulness, really comes down to one thing…
- If there’s anything about your relationship with this friend, this other man, that you feel the need to keep secret from your husband, then something’s wrong.
Having a friendship with someone of the opposite sex is dangerous, especially in this age of easy accessibility with texting and social media.
I know that sounds extreme, but I’ve seen how tempting it is to cross that line.
I’ve lived through the anguish and devastation that an affair causes. And I’ve seen it in too many other marriages as well.
So, there really shouldn’t be any reason to have a friendship with someone of the opposite sex,
especially if you’re being secretive or elusive about it with your spouse.
My husband and I have a lot of couples that we’re friends with. But I wouldn’t be calling the husband with any of the things on this list.
It’s just crossing an inappropriate boundary and potentially opening up a door to trouble.
If you don’t feel the closeness in your marriage like you do with your friend, then put the effort into working on your relationship with your husband instead.
Learn each other’s love language and the top emotional needs men and women both have in marriage, as a start.
Trust me on this, the time you spend on your marriage now, will pay off in dividends later;
but the time you put into a friendship with the opposite sex can quickly become twisted and cause devastation later.
To read my letter to the unfaithful wife, click here.
If you’re a husband and you’re suspecting your wife of having an affair, click here.