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A Look at the Emotional Affair

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The standard definition of an affair or cheating, is that one person in a committed relationship is physically involved with someone other than his/her partner. However in recent years, cheating has been redefined to include not only a physical affair but also an emotional affair.

What is an Emotional Affair?

An emotional affair is defined as any infidelity that occurs through feeling or thought, but where no physical intimacy takes place. An emotional affair occurs when a person not only invests more of their emotional energy outside of their long-term partnership or marriage, but also receives in return emotional support and companionship from the new relationship.

The people involved in an emotional affair will often deny to themselves and others that they are doing anything wrong as no sexual intercourse has taken place. In a lot of instances they may not even realise that they are doing anything wrong. The fact that they are not talking to their partners about this new relationship or letting them meet and share their new friend is often rationalised by telling themselves that their partner “would not understand and would just get the wrong idea”.

While there are those who believe that an emotional affair is harmless, most marriage experts view an emotional affair as simply cheating without having a sexual relationship. By investing emotional energy and time with someone outside a long-term relationship, this platonic friendship can begin to form a strong emotional bond, which will if it continues damage the essential unique intimacy of the marriage or partnership. In an emotional affair, a person often feels closer to the other party, believing that this person understands them better than their partner, there is also likely to be increasing sexual tension as the relationship progresses.

Emotional Affair versus Platonic Friendship   There is obviously a fine line between the two and a platonic friendship can evolve into an emotional affair when a lot of intimate information is shared. The main difference between the two is that an emotional affair is usually kept secret as those involved know deep down that they have crossed certain boundaries.   Conclusion   Unfortunately most people have justification for worrying about their partner having an emotional affair as more than fifty percent do lead to full-blown sexual infidelity. Even if sexual activity does not take place, much of the pain and hurt from an emotional affair stems from the deception, lies and feelings of betrayal which is of course also true of a physical affair.  

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