THE RECIPE FOR EMOTIONAL AFFAIRS
High feelings of connection and understanding
+ Secrecy and denial or deception
+ Sexual attraction and/or sexual chemistry
= EMOTIONAL AFFAIR
These are the links in the chain that make up an Emotional Affair (EA).
Remove one or more of the links and break the chain, and all you have is a simple, platonic friendship.
The main difference in EAs is found in the fact that even though physical sex hasn’t happened, the “emotional transference” has. This means you’ve begun redirecting your emotional energy toward a person outside of your primary relationship.
How Emotional Affairs Develop
It ALWAYS starts with a conversation. It’s the contact, the sharing of ideas, and the exchange of mutual interest, thoughts and feelings.
Here’s the typical process:
- You find a person who’s easy and fun to talk to (could be online or in person).
- Before you know it, you’re sharing the BIG THREE inner worlds.
- Your Fantasies
- Your Wants
- Your Needs
- For some inexplicable reason, you feel it’s safe to “confide” these things to this individual. Sometimes, you reveal things you may never have shared with your true partner.
- He/she is more understanding than you would have imagined. This opens the way for you to share your dark side: your fears, concerns and secret troubles.
- They listen without judgment — offering advice that seem so wise and intelligent.
- You begin to cherish the time you spend together. You feel you’ve found a friend — someone who “understands you”, appreciates your quirky sense of humor and still doesn’t judge you.
- You have now admitted them into your “inner world”. You find yourself thinking of them at random times during the day.
- Now the classic “compare and contrast” begins as you often think, “why can’t my partner be more like him/her?”
- Next, your future conversations and meetings take on an even more “secretive” and seductive air. The sexual tension heightens. You behave differently around them when your partner or others are around.
- Secrets and deception begin. Since privacy is paramount and romance is in the air, you wouldn’t want your partner overhearing or having access to conversations you have with this person.
- Your preferences and priorities begin to shift. Now, you find yourself wanting to spend more and more time with them. You want to share even more of yourself with them. Your thoughts, your feelings, and yes… even your body.
Watch out for the WAKE-UP CALL. (It’s just around the corner.)
At this point, you’re lost in the EMOTIONAL FOG of a full-fledged affair. Emotions are like smoke. They can create a thick fog that surrounds you one minute, and completely disappears the next.
Beware that as sweet, as real, and as compelling as the emotional fog may feel… it’s still an illusion (especially since it’s created from secrecy and deception).
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELF IN AN EMOTIONAL AFFAIR
Don’t resist it. At the same time, don’t allow your thoughts and feelings to fuel the fog any further. Fantasy and secrets are very powerful. They throw gasoline on the fire.
However, once you come clean with yourself, all the “secrecy” and deception are quickly removed.
The only thing left is Reality (a great place to return to).
First things first …
Talk about it. Don’t hide it. Don’t deny it. Don’t ignore it.
Remember this: whatever you hide, you strengthen. If you want clarity (which you need in order to make honest discoveries), then you have to shed light on the situation. Of course, the ideal person to talk to is your partner. However, since emotional affairs are more likely to occur in relationships in which intimacy and honesty levels are low, here’s a suggestion to help pave the way.
Tips to Help You Talk to Your Partner About Your Emotional Affair
If you’re unsure how your partner will respond to the idea that you may be involved in an emotional affair, click on one of the share links to send them a copy of this article.
This will help them have a better understanding of what an emotional affair is all about. It will help them to clearly see that emotional affairs can happen to anyone. The key to recovery is for BOTH of you to focus on “solutions” rather than blame.