An emotional affair can be the beginning of the death of a marriage, and some say it’s much worse than a physical affair.
When your husband finds intimacy and an emotional connection with another woman, the physical aspect is not far behind, and the slippery road to divorce begins.
But how can you know for sure if your spouse is emotionally involved with someone else?
The Danger in a Close Friendship with Another Woman
The thing about friendships where you or your spouse become emotionally invested in someone else is that you could slowly detach from your actual partner.
It doesn’t matter if it’s just a Facebook friend, a co-worker, a neighbor, or an old flame (those are most dangerous, especially if there was no good closure when it ended).
Emotional affairs can easily escalate to sexual ones, no matter how much you or your spouse would want to avoid it and no matter how committed he is to your marriage and family.
Here are the most alarming telltales that he is getting too close to someone else:
The 8 Most Alarming Emotional Affair Signs
Marriage is built on an emotional connection between two people. When one partner goes outside of marriage to seek fulfillment, whether that fulfillment is sexual or emotional in nature – that is cheating.
Here are the most common signs he’s having an emotional affair:
1. If your husband has a deep personal relationship with some intensity (with another woman), the relationship has probably crossed over to an emotional affair.
2. If he makes excuses to be with her. For example, he goes out of his way to work on the same project his co-worker works on or justifies his time with her by having to help her because she is in trouble (very common)
3. Emotional Intimacy – sharing private thoughts – if he shares his most private thoughts with someone other than you – he is probably getting emotionally attached to that other woman.
For example, he shares his marriage problems (which we all have) – with her. That’s the worst.
4. Hiding the extent of the “side” relationship – If he is secretive about his “friendship” and hiding text messages and his cell phone – it means he has something to hide.
5. Getting angry and defensive when asked about the other woman – when you ask him about these little signs – does he get angry and try to blame you for snooping instead of answering your question?
If the answer is yes – it means he is feeling guilty and trying to hide the truth shift the attention to you.
Generally, the response from the person who has been “caught” is to argue, “What, you mean I can’t have a friend of the opposite sex?”
📢 See how to cope with your husband’s emotional affair
6. He doesn’t share his problems with you. If he never has, it’s less suspicious. But if he used to share his struggles with you and now he doesn’t, plus he has a female friend, he is probably sharing them with her.
7. He texts her frequently. It’s especially alarming if he texts her “good morning”, or “good night” – without anything else.
8. He is not interested in sex (because he fantasizes about her), or is more interested than ever (because he is more sexually aroused by the excitement of having a crush on someone else).
I know. I’ve been there.
The 4 Stages of Emotional Affairs
Here’s how a harmless friendship can lead to emotional dependency and a hazard to any marriage:
1. “Harmless” Friendship
“She’s just a friend”, he’ll tell you when you start to get suspicious, and at the beginning that’s all she was.
She’s just a colleague at work, an old friend from college, anyone really. They started out just talking about mutual interests, some of them you may not find very fascinating yourself.
Then they meet for a coffee, graduate to lunch and then the phone conversations or the texting begins.
This is very exciting for a marriage partner that’s stuck in a relationship rut (like most of us), a relationship that is no longer as exciting and fulfilling as it used to be.
2. Feelings of Infatuation
Suddenly he realizes that he really likes talking to her, or texting her, and listening to what she has to say on things.
Her ability to be patient, understanding and interested in what he has to say – makes him feel important and boosts his self-esteem and ego greatly.
He begins to flirt, subtly, and give her compliments and praises, and starts feeling attracted to her. He feels excited when he communicated with her – online or in person.
He feels a bit guilty about this, so he tags this outside relationship as a friendship, and justifies it to himself this way.
3. Secrecy and Lies
When hs starts feeling guilty about wanting to meet her alone, talk to her often and flirt with her – the secrecy and lies begin.
He starts thinking about how you would feel if you knew about the depth of his “friendship” and while it doesn’t make him stop, it does make start lying about it.
When you ask him about her, he gets angry and defensive, because he knows he is about to get “caught” and that would force him to stop the emotional intimacy he has with the other woman.
4. Emotional Dependency
At this stage, he will not end his relationship with her, even though he is going through a marital crisis after you finding out about it and fighting with him over it.
This is because he became addicted to this relationship. He is not addicted to the person, by the way, he is dependant on the way this new and exciting thing makes him feel about himself.
At this point he is almost ignoring you and your marriage (sometimes even the kids), he spends most of his free time talking to her or finding ways to see her, putting an effort at being attractive and he is completely dependant on her for emotional fulfillment.
This goes with sexual fantasies about her as well.
👉 Read: should you confront the other woman?
How to Make Him END His Emotional Affair
Let me start with what NOT to do first.
1. Do not confront him and accuse him of having an emotional affair before you have proof. You’ll only hear lies and he will run out the house to get his story straight. If you must confront him, do it the right way.
2. I know how excruciating it is, but don’t let your anger, humiliation and heartbreak stop you from thinking straight. First, decide if your marriage is worth saving and only then take the next steps.
3. You may find it hard to believe, but there are effective ways to make him stop cheating before it’s too late.
The most important message I want to get through to you is that even if you found signs of an emotional affair, it doesn’t mean that your marriage is over.
It means that your marriage is in trouble, and you have to take immediate steps to prevent getting to the point of no return.
Your husband still loves you, but his emotions are stuck under years of unaddressed communication problems, which are the most common cause of marital problems.
This can be fixed and reversed, and I highly recommend that you use this free resource to get you started – today.
Rooting for ya,