With all of the different ways people have to communicate in today’s world, it seems that an emotional affair is something that threatens more and more marriages. Today people can talk through text messaging and social network sites in addition to normal conversation. These methods of communication allow the participants to feel less inhibited, and thus they will broach subjects they might not feel comfortable talking about otherwise. This leads to plenty of opportunities for infidelity.
What Is an Emotional Affair?
Emotional infidelity occurs when a spouse engages in a relationship outside of his or her marriage, but never consummates it sexually. Emotional cheating involves the development of an intimacy with someone other than one’s spouse, and it usually causes the intimacy between a husband and wife to diminish.
In fact, David Moultrup, author of multiple books about extramarital affairs, states specifically that, “The role of an affair is to create emotional distance in the marriage.”
An emotional affair certainly accomplishes this, and in many cases can be more detrimental to marriage than an affair that is based solely on sex, with no emotional connection.
What to Do When You’ve Discovered Emotional Adultery: Don’t Be Afraid to Feel
If you’ve discovered that your husband is having an emotional affair, your first reaction might be a very emotional one. This is very common, and you should not fight against the desire to be angry. It’s only after allowing yourself this anger that you will be able to eventually move past it, into another phase of dealing with this trauma.
In addition to your anger, you may feel the need to be very obsessive–to focus too much on your husband’s behavior, how deep the emotional bond was, how long it lasted, etc. Again, accept that this is normal. By struggling too hard against it, you’re likely to make the feeling more uncomfortable.
While you should, in part, give in to your emotions when it comes to the discovery of an emotional affair, also try to do so when you are alone or with someone other than your spouse. Most of these feelings are natural, but destructive, and may not help you and your husband move past this serious threat to your relationship.
If you do feel the need to express your anger to your husband, enlist the help of a marriage counselor. He or she can mediate such an encounter that has the potential to turn hostile, and direct both you and your husband into positive outlets for your negative energy.
Make Some Demands
You do have the right to expect an apology from your husband, and to expect that the affair will end. Although you want your marriage to be successful, it may require making some ultimatums about the emotional infidelity ending. You may also have to ask him to help you rebuild your trust.
This may require a period of time where he has to help you feel more secure by giving you updates on his location, allowing you access to his email, etc. If your husband is unwilling to make these small concessions to save your marriage, then you may have to ask yourself if he’s truly committed to making things work.
Begin the Slow Process of Building Trust
Recovery from an emotional affair takes time, even more than some physical affairs. To help you along the process, it’s always a good idea to visit a marriage counselor. He or she will help you to take some concrete steps toward rebuilding trust, as well as help you deal with resentment that will rear its ugly head from time to time.
Trust building can take years. You will often experience a period of time where you become emotionally distant, for fear of getting hurt again. It is not until this period passes that you can actually begin working on your trust deficit. But as time passes and your husband remains faithful, you will begin to develop trust in him again.
As long as you have a patient mind and heart, emotional infidelity can be overcome. Many years from now, you may even look back on the emotional affair as an event in your marriage that led you closer together, instead of further apart. An emotional affair is a very serious threat to a marriage. To get more advice and step-by-step guidance on how to fend off this threat, simply click the button below for your FREE report: “7 Secrets to Fixing Your Marriage” and FREE confidential marriage assessment.