“But we never did anything… nothing physical happened between us…” Words to this effect are often the response of those confronted about their inappropriate emotional involvement. When it comes to emotional affairs of the heart with someone other than your spouse, you are sailing on very dangerous waters indeed. Consider the following pointers regarding this topic:
How does it happen?
When you spend a large percentage of your day, every day, working in close proximity to someone else, and only see your spouse for a few hours at the end of a long tiring day, it is understandable how emotional affairs can start. This is especially true when unresolved and ongoing tensions exist between you and your spouse. Another easy option these days is the internet where numerous contacts are available and you may find an emotional affair developing in cyberspace before you even realize it.
When you find yourself sharing your heart with someone other than your spouse, spending a lot of time talking together, even sharing about your struggles with your spouse, you should see a big red flag waving in the wind. Soon you may find yourself looking for every excuse to be with this other person, making up elaborate schemes to spend time together and lying to your spouse about where you really are.
What lies ahead?
As with every relationship, an emotional affair is not static; it runs a natural course. If left unchecked, the probability of emotional affairs turning intimate is very high. Don’t think you can stay “just friends” forever. Once you have seen the danger signs you will need to take a decision about your relationship.
Make a radical choice
When you realise that you have become involved in an affair of the heart outside of your marriage, you will need to make a radical choice either for your marriage partner or for the other person. It is unfair and unhealthy to yourself and to your spouse and friend to continue splitting your heart in this way.
How to end it?
Ending emotional affairs is never easy. But if you have come to your senses and you choose to be faithful to your marriage partner, then the only option is to end the relationship with the other person. This will require determination on your part, especially if you work together. It may even be necessary to change jobs.
Rebuild your marriage
Make it a priority to rebuild your marriage and to be transparent and accountable to your spouse. Consider getting help through counselling if you are struggling. In the end you will realize that in order to enjoy a happy and healthy marriage it is worth guarding against the dangers of emotional affairs.