With the increasing popularity of social media platforms, more and more people are comparing themselves, their lives, and their spouses to what they’re seeing on social media. Unfortunately, real life rarely looks as airbrushed and polished as social media. Not only has social media allowed people to compare, they’ve also created a platform for people to connect and reconnect with others. With all the access to social media, emails, direct messages, and texts, people may find themselves in an emotional affair without even meaning to get involved in one. And, since such connectivity has become normalized, people may struggle to determine whether or not they’re involved in an emotional affair.
Every Relationship Is Different
Whether or not an emotional affair is cheating is going to depend on your relationship. In some marriages, an emotional affair may not be considered cheating, while it would be considered cheating in other marriages. If your conduct is outside of the boundaries that have already been established in your marriage, you may be in danger of getting involved in an affair.
If you are conducting yourself in a manner that you would not want your spouse to witness, you may be in a precarious position. This is especially true if you’re deleting texts and emails, or taking other precautions to ensure that your spouse does not know certain things regarding your behavior or communications.
Signs of an Emotional Affair
A lot of people struggle to admit to themselves that they’re having an emotional affair. However, emotional affairs are typically the beginning of physical affairs. Therefore, it’s important to end an emotional affair before you get involved in something more serious. If you’re constantly in communication with the other person, or you think about them frequently, this is not a good sign. Especially if you’re confiding in them or oversharing. Other signs may include being secretive or attempting to spend more time with them. If you realize that you may be having an emotional affair, the time to act is now. Do not wait until you’re having a physical affair.
The Beginning of Physical Affairs
As previously mentioned, physical affairs are usually preceded by emotional affairs.
Oftentimes, people cheat because they aren’t satisfied in their current relationship. In some cases, they have unmet expectations or needs. Sometimes these expectations are unrealistic, and sometimes they haven’t been made clear. Yet that does not stop the affair from the beginning.
Typically, emotional affairs begin when a person’s emotional needs are being filled by another person, instead of a spouse. Then, the person lets their guard down in front of the person they’re having an emotional affair with. It may be difficult for a person to recognize and admit that they’re having an emotional affair. Though they don’t intend for it to happen, a physical affair often ends up beginning if an emotional affair is allowed to go on for too long.
Do Emotional Affairs Impact Divorce?
An emotional affair can even impact your divorce. Legally speaking, an emotional affair will not affect your divorce. However, both parties may act differently when an emotional affair is part of the divorce. Affairs can be devastating to the betrayed spouse. When people are hurt, especially by infidelity, they may behave differently. This may mean that the divorce has more conflict than a normal divorce. Having lots of conflict in your divorce can mean that the divorce process is dragged out for longer than necessary. This often happens when people are unwilling to negotiate with their spouse.
Ending an Emotional Affair
If you believe you’re involved with an emotional affair, it’s time to end the affair and prioritize your marriage. Cease all communication with the person you’re having an affair with: change phone numbers, email addresses, and screen names as needed. If you work with the person you’re having an affair with, you may need to find another job. Ending an emotional affair can be difficult. If you are currently going through an emotional affair, you may seek help from a mental health professional so that you can explore solutions in a safe place. An emotional affair does not have to be the end of your marriage. However, it may signal areas of your marriage that need improvement. Therefore, it may also be beneficial to attend couples counseling as well.
Getting the Help You Need
If you’ve been involved in an emotional affair, or your spouse has been involved in an emotional affair, and you believe it’s time to end the marriage, it’s important to get the help you need. Not only is it important to work with a qualified mental health professional, it’s also important to have a consultation with an attorney. If you’re ready to learn more about your rights during the divorce process, contact CoilLaw today.