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Affairs & Infidelity


Signs of an Emotional Affair: "Help! I think my partner is
having an emotional affair."

By Susie and Otto Collins

What do you do when you discover your partner has developed a close, intimate relationship with another person?

To you, it feels like he or she is having affair but to your mate, it's all innocent.

Your partner claims they are only friends and you are over-reacting. After all, no physical or sexual interaction has happened.

In situations like this, we advise individuals and couples to take a step back and look closely at what's going on.

Emotional affairs are real-- even if there is no sexual dimension to them at this time. They have real disconnecting effects on a relationship and the feelings of betrayal are also real and painful.

We aren't opposed to heterosexual people in committed relationships having friendships with members of the opposite sex. But there is a difference.

Here are a few signs that an emotional affair might be going on....
*There may be a sharing of intimate details of the person's life-- things the person might not confide in his or her partner.

*There could be a longing or desire to spend more and more time with this other person-- and a contrary pull to be away from the partner.

*Feelings of physical attraction might develop-- fantasies about what sharing sensual or sexual intimacy might be like could occur.

*There is often a sense of secretiveness about communications and interactions. One or both people might be evasive about what's going on between them.

If any of these signals are present in your situation, it would be beneficial for you to pay attention and tune in to how you feel. Become especially aware of how connected or disconnected you are from your partner.

Making strides to move closer together to your mate can, in certain cases, be just as powerful as trying to understand your partner's interactions with this friend who might be more than just a friend.

Get clear about what's true.
In order to move closer to your partner, it is often necessary to dissolve the blocks or walls that are have developed between you.

A simple dinner out together is probably not going to make the emotional affair just go away.

It might be a start to helping you two re-connect; but it's probably not going to make those relationship walls vanish either.

This will most likely require both you and your partner to learn new ways to communicate with one another. Trust will probably need to be rebuilt as well.

If you are concerned that your mate is having an emotional affair, get clear about what's true for you.

What is it that you really want from your relationship? If you've never taken the time to sit down and think about this question, do it now.

Get clear about what you know to be true about your partner's friendship with this other person. This is trickier.

Try to separate out what you have observed and can, as objectively as possible, know is true from what you might have assumed or guessed about.

You might need to ask your partner for clarification.  Yes, this could be a difficult conversation to have with your mate. But it can give you more information upon which to base your understandings.

We do not suggest that you approach this conversation with your partner by interrogating or accusing him or her. Try to keep yourself open and encourage a sense of honesty and openness in your mate.

Make agreements and decisions.
With a greater sense of clarity and possibly more information, you can now make agreements with your partner.

If he or she claims that this is nothing more than friendship, you might request an agreement about the interactions that might happen between the two in the future.

For example, you could make an agreement that your mate will be transparent with you about his or her communications with this other person. There will no longer be any secrecy.

If your partner is unwilling to make agreements with you about this situation, you have some decisions to make.

What is your bottom line when it comes to your mate's friendship? What is your bottom line for your own happiness in this relationship?

These are weighty questions. We encourage you to feel into yourself and be very clear about what you want and your next step.

Know that you can be happy and have the connected relationship you want.


Relationship coaches Susie and Otto Collins, authors
of "Should You Stay or Should You Go?" and "No More
Jealousy" are experts at helping people get more of the
love they really want.  Learn the 5 keys to a closer, more
loving relationship, click below for your free 5-part mini-course:

Susie and Otto Collins
P.O. Box 14544
Columbus, Ohio 43214
(614) 459-8121

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