Emotional Affairs Are Rising

Emotional affairs seem to be growing in number. Like most relationships, they are complicated in nature and require looking at the entire picture in an effort to understand them and make healthy changes. A spouse who is engaged in an emotional affair is often hesitant to stop communication because they swear, “we are just friends.”

Like any healthy marriage, couples often divide and conquer as a way of managing the responsibilities they face. These include work, school, kids, household projects, chores and the needs of the extended family. Intellectually couples know good marriages take time and a lot of work but emotionally they are distracted by life. As a result, the marriage is no longer a priority. Years pass and couples feel distant and dis-engaged. They begin to feel lonely and start to question their compatibility. This is what is known as “Turning Away.” During the process of turning away both trust and trust worthiness are diminished and negative comparisons begin. Negative comparisons are comparing your spouse to another individual and wishing your spouse was more like the other person. During this process emotional affairs develop rather quickly and easily.

In our approach we see the need for transparency in every area of the relationship. This includes honest disclosure regarding emotional one’s emotional state. If couples do the work marriage requires they will learn to be each other’s best friend and confidant. The couples friendship is the key to affair proofing a marriage.

Emotional affairs are marked by:

  • Keeping secrets from spouse
  • Talking intimately with someone when you should be able to do that with your spouse
  • Primping yourself prior to seeing this person
  • Flirting with them
  • Feelings of guilt and resentment
  • Dreading going home to your spouse
  • Having sexual fantasies about the emotional affair partner
  • Thinking, “if I could just get along with my spouse as well as I do with”
  • Trying to re-start old flames

The good news is that if you suspect an emotional affair is taking place this can be a sign that you truly care and love your spouse (as well as the marriage). Our goal is to help couples understand what they see as an obstacle can be a catalyst for deeper meaning and true intimacy. Our goal is to teach couples the principles of building a ‘Sound Relationship House” put forth by Dr. John Gottman (the world’s foremost authority on couples research). These principles include:

  • Building Love Maps
  • Sharing Fondness & Admiration
  • Turning Towards
  • Managing Conflict
  • Making Life Dreams Come True
  • Creating Shared Meaning