I think we can all agree that cheating is hurtful, PERIOD! I think one of the first emotions we experience after an affair is betrayal but what about an emotional affair?
For those that have never heard the term, an emotional affair is different from a sexual affair because it often involves an intimacy deeper than sex. While some emotional affairs DO involve a sexual aspect many of them carry on for YEARS without any sexual contact.
Now, why does it hurt more?
I have spoken to a few of my friends who flat out stated they would rather their spouse admit to a sexual encounter with no emotions attached versus an emotional relationship where the person has strong feelings for the other person.
For my self, I was more devastated that my spouse could open up to another person and connect with them on such a deep level. I think with a sexual affair(I have been cheated on in the past but not by my current spouse) there is a level of disgust and betrayal. With an emotional affair, I think it can affect you so badly that it causes you to completely check out emotionally. I was angry for the first few minutes but then it felt like a switch, I began to feel disconnected and then I felt okay which really confused me. This entire thing caused me to question our entire relationship and what it actually meant.
I think many times when someone has a sexual affair they look to justify it by blaming drugs, alcohol or even lust but an emotional affair is often built over a long period of time and often happens in plain sight. There isn’t sneaking around to cheap motels. Often times the signs are SO subtle which leaves the other partner absolutely blindsided when it comes to light.
Some subtle signs of an emotional affair include
Defensive over their phone and social media accounts: While everyone is entitled to privacy. If your spouse is OVERLY defensive this could be a warning sign),
Suddenly talking about a specific person NONSTOP: This isn’t an absolute red flag but often times when someone is having an emotional affair their feelings tend to easily show.
Being extremely aware of someones personal details: This could also mean they are emotionally invested in said person.
They have checked out emotionally: If your spouse has stopped doing small things they have always done like ask you about your day it could be a sign they have checked out emotionally,
Something doesn’t feel right: Seriously, trust your gut!
Now, these are just subtle signs, that doesn’t mean your partner is definitely having an emotional affair so no need to jump to conclusions. Communication is key so if you feel something isn’t right, talk about it. If something makes you uncomfortable you definitely have the right to express it.