Have you ever felt like your partner was getting too close to someone else, but you have no physical evidence? While it might feel like you’re being paranoid, many people can and do have emotional affairs.
When most people think about affairs, they only think of them in the traditional sense. Your partner meets someone else, and they start having sex with each other in secret. However, this is not the only type of affair. Emotional affairs are more common than you think, and sometimes they can be even more heart-breaking than a physical affair.
But what exactly is an emotional affair, and how can you tell if your partner is involved in one?
These are excellent questions and something we will explore throughout this article. So, if you want to learn more about emotional affairs or suspect your partner of infidelity, follow along to find out more.
So, What is an Emotional Affair?
As the name suggests, an emotional affair is when your partner starts having an emotional connection and emotional intimacy with someone else. It could be that they are constantly texting someone else, or they even meet up for dates and connect on a deep level.
Emotional affairs can be so difficult because you essentially watch your partner fall in love with someone else. There are often deep emotions involved, which is why it can be a tricky thing to overcome in a relationship. They can even sometimes lead to a physical affair – but they will often stay strictly non-sexual.
What are the Common Signs of an Emotional Affair?
Because physical affairs are more common, there is more advice available online that will tell you how to spot the signs. However, emotional affairs work a little differently, meaning it is more difficult to spot when your partner engages in an emotional affair with someone else.
So, what are the common signs of an emotional affair? Let’s explore.
1. Your Partner is Spending More Time With Someone Else
One sign that could indicate your partner is having an emotional affair is if they are spending lots of time with someone else, to the point where they are not spending time with you at all. If, when you try and make plans, you find that your partner always has an excuse or they have other plans, then it could be a sign of an emotional affair.
2. They’re Always Texting or Talking on the Phone
If your partner always seems to be texting or talking on the phone and not really paying attention to you, they may be involved in an emotional affair.
As always, it is best not to jump to the worst-case scenario, but if you have noticed this change in behaviour in your partner, then just keep a close eye on things and see if they try and hide their phone from you.
3. You Don’t Seem to Be a Priority Anymore
Are you struggling to make plans with your partner? Do they never want to have a date night with you? If your partner is refusing to make you a priority in their life, then there could be a chance that they are engaging in an emotional affair.
4. They’re Not as Interested in Physical Intimacy
Not wanting to engage in physical intimacy like sex, cuddling, or handholding could be a sign that your partner is having an emotional affair. Once they start developing emotional and strong feelings for someone else, your partner may struggle with being intimate because they feel guilty or are no longer in love with you.
5. They’re Being Unusually Secretive or Vague
When people engage in an emotional affair, often they’ll become very secretive and vague. They may give you short answers whenever you ask a question, or they might even avoid answering at all. It can be difficult to spot the signs in the beginning, but if your questions are constantly being avoided, you should start feeling suspicious.
What is the Reason for Emotionally Cheating on Your Partner?
There are many reasons why someone will emotionally cheat on their partner, and these reasons will differ in every relationship.
However, some of the most common reasons are: feeling insecure, under-appreciated, or even just feeling bored in your current relationship. Sometimes when people have been together for a long time, one partner may try seek validation from someone else.
Now, this doesn’t mean that the other person in the relationship is to blame, but there could be communication problems which lead one person to seek validation outside of the relationship.
Often, people will have an emotional affair because their partner is not providing them with the emotional support they need. If your partner does not listen or even acknowledge your feelings, then it is quite easy to understand why you would seek out support from someone else.
Obviously, the first thing to do would be to talk to your partner, but after years of not being listened to, sometimes it is easier to just find comfort in someone else.
What Should You Do if You Suspect Your Partner is Having an Emotional Affair?
It can be devastating if you find out your partner is having an emotional affair. Knowing that your partner is seeking emotional validation from someone else can completely change your entire relationship, and it could even lead to separation.
We mentioned above what the common signs are that someone is having an emotional affair, so what do you do when you see those signs in your partner? While it can be easy to lash out and immediately start an argument, this isn’t the best way to deal with it.
Here are some tips:
- Confront your partner in a respectful way
- Suggest couples counselling
- Talk to someone you trust
- Reflect on your relationship to identify any issues
- Ask to look through their phone
- Track any suspicious spending or activity
- Collect evidence before you eventually talk to your partner
While it is not guaranteed that your relationship will survive an emotional affair, it is always best to have open communication and try and work through the issues.
Final Thoughts: What is an Emotional Affair? And How Do You Handle It?
An emotional affair is when someone in a relationship starts getting emotionally involved with someone else. It could be through lengthy phone calls or text messages, and usually, it doesn’t evolve into a physical affair – but we can’t speak for everyone here. There are many reasons why someone has an emotional affair, and every relationship will be different.
The best way to handle an emotional affair is to talk to your partner and openly and honestly discuss your suspicions. Your partner may have been seeking emotional validation from someone else because that validation was unavailable in their relationship.
It can be tricky to navigate through an emotional affair, but some couples can come out the other side even stronger!
What qualifies as an emotional affair?
If your partner engages in romantic, loving, and deep conversations with someone else, this would qualify as an emotional affair. Additionally, if they choose to spend all their time with someone else rather than having date nights with you, this would also be an emotional affair.
Is an emotional affair real love?
Every relationship is different, so in some cases, an emotional affair may lead to love; in others, an emotional affair is not that deep. If your partner has been having an emotional affair for a long time, then it absolutely could be real love. Love works in mysterious ways, so sometimes all it takes is emotional validation from someone else, and you can fall in love.
Is an emotional affair adultery?
An emotional affair is still classified as adultery, even though there is so physical betrayal. Sometimes an emotional affair can be even more damaging than a physical affair, as there are strong feelings involved. Most people who have had a partner cheat on them emotionally will classify this as adultery.
What are the signs of an emotional affair?
Being vacant, avoidant and generally distracted can all be signs of an emotional affair. If you find that your partner is stuck to their phone and constantly texting someone, this could be a sign that they are having an emotional affair. They may no longer put you first and often make excuses for not wanting to spend time with you.
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