What Is An Emotional Affair?

The idea of an emotional affair (or, an affair of the heart) is not a new one. While people assume that the internet has made this come about, the truth is people have been having emotional affairs since, well, forever. Sure, the internet has made it much easier to achieve, as you can do it from afar, but the fact is emotional affairs happen all the time and they are more dangerous to your relationship than a physical affair.

EMOTIONS RUN DEEP
Ideally, you and your partner would share both a physical, sexual connection AND be emotionally intimate. Emotional intimacy is essential to a healthy relationship. This infers being able to talk to one another, share our hopes, dreams and fantasies (not sexual per se). To feel safe and secure with this person and also feel like they genuinely care about and have concern forus and our emotional state. If you have a relationship that has the sexual and the emotional sides it will be a very strong one. However, if you are missing the emotional side you may search that out in another person. This is when an emotional affair occurs. When you have obtained an emotional intimacy with someone not your partner.

NEGLECT TURNS TO UNHAPPINESS
When we neglect our partner’s emotional needs, either by totally ignoring them or downplaying them, we force them into a state of unhappiness that may not even be noticeable until they find that person who can offer them what they are missing. It can even happen so slowly that one day you will say, “I never knew what I was missing in my relationship” and then you realize that you are getting this important aspect from this other person. The unhappiness that you had in your relationship is now very obvious and you can no longer pretend you are happy, which causes you to seek out this other person for that happiness and this is the heart of an affair – when you are getting something from someone outside of your relationship.

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YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT EMOTIONAL HELP
While relationships can be extremely satisfying without sex (or much sex) they are rarely successful when you do not have emotional connection with your partner. Relationships (even just friendships) NEED emotional stability and this means you have to care about your partner and give them the emotional support that they need. When your partner is emotionally detached it is extremely unlikely that the relationship will work and feel fulfilling. Conversely, if you have a very strong emotional relationship, lack of sex can be overcome. Think about that. That is how important emotional support is to a relationship.

SEX IS EASY – LOVE IS HARD
People assume, wrongly, that the only type of affair that can damage or end a relationship is a sexual affair. The truth is, people can get over sexual cheating but it is much harder to get over an emotional affair. Not only that, but for the person who HAD the emotional affair it can be even harder to replace the emotional support and love that they found with the person outside of their relationship. There is a saying, “sex is easy, love is hard” or even “it is easy to get naked and have sex, it is hard to get naked and be emotionally connected.” How true are these sayings! If you can find a person to be emotionally raw with, this is the most damaging and threatening to your relationship.

WHY WORRY
If you suspect that your partner is having an emotional affair (and it will probably be pretty obvious) why should you worry? It isn’t sex, right? Well, the truth is where emotional attachment happens physical attachment follows. The best sex has always been sex with emotion and if you have that deep, tender, emotional attachment – the love – then it is more likely that if sex happens it will be an overwhelmingly fulfilling experience. This is the problem – you can’t fight that 1-2 punch of emotional plus sexual. So, if you suspect your partner is having an emotional affair do not wait, address those issues immediately because the chance of losing that partner are high.

Which Is Worse: A Sexual Affair Or Emotional Affair?
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