Emotional affairs can be insidious and all-consuming, and despite what most people might think, they are not always intentional and planned. In many cases, the person who is having an emotional affair may not even realize that they have moved into unchartered territory. And this problem is particularly prevalent in the workplace.
The trouble with emotional affairs with a coworker is that the person who is having the emotional affair with a coworker is risking a lot; their marriage, their reputation, their job and their relationship with their coworker. And as we’ve already alluded to, due to the subtle nature of an emotional affair they may not even realize how much of a risk they are taking.
If you are confused about whether you are getting too close to a coworker, or if you are concerned that your spouse may be embarking upon an emotional affair with a coworker then we have some support for you right here because we’ve listed six signs that will help you identify an emotional affair.
Here’s what to watch for;
1. Sudden secretiveness
If your partner has suddenly become secretive, and it has triggered a subtle alarm then there is a possibility that they are becoming secretive for a reason. And you might have a cause to be concerned. Unless your anniversary or birthday is looming and they are organizing a surprise party for you, it might be time to start asking some questions.
On the other hand, if you have found that you have stopped discussing things with your spouse that you would usually talk about (because you have already addressed these topics with your coworker). Or if you have started to hide your phone from your spouse, or have changed your email and social media login details recently just in case your conversations with your co-worker might offend your spouse. You might be a little bit more emotionally involved with your coworker than you might anticipate..
2. New interest in technology
Has your partner started to use their smartphone more frequently? Perhaps they are logging into their social media and email more these days.
Or have you found yourself doing these things, so that you can hear and speak to your coworker?
If you have caught yourself or your spouse in this act, this is a crucial sign of an emotional affair. Social media, Snapchat, and Linkedin are all great platforms to secretly speak to your colleagues without raising an alarm.
3. Mentioning the other person repeatedly
When somebody starts to become emotionally invested with another person, it’s difficult to keep those feelings locked down. Your spouse may show signs of an emotional affair with a coworker by mentioning the person frequently. They may make little comparisons or tell you little (seemingly innocent) anecdotes about that person – a lot.
Do you find yourself mentioning your coworker a lot in conversation? Perhaps a little more than you mention other coworkers? If you do, make a note, this is a sign that you are becoming emotionally involved with your coworker.
4. Disconnecting from you
When you are in a relationship, you gain attention and emotional reinforcement from your partner. But if your spouse is getting that attention elsewhere, they might start detaching from you, and you may begin to feel unsupported emotionally, and that attention from your spouse is somewhat lacking.
Your partner might start discussing their problems with their coworker instead of you, you may not hear about your spouses usual bad days, but they seem content. This will be because your spouse (if they are having an emotional affair with a coworker) will be getting their support from their coworker instead of you.
If you find yourself discussing your problems more with your coworker than your spouse, then you can take this as a sure-fire sign that you are having or developing an emotional affair with a coworker.
5. Becoming critical of you
If your partner is having an emotional affair with a coworker, they might start to become critical of you or put you down in one way or another. But you might notice the way that they talk highly about their coworker. You might even find yourself rolling your eyes at the mention of their name again!
Your partner is potentially emotionally fantasizing about the other person but may also be projecting guilt onto you through their criticism of you. Of course in some situations, this will be perfectly innocent, but it is also a clear sign of an emotional affair.
6. Failing the gut check
One of the most significant signs of an emotional affair with a coworker is the gut check. If it is you who is wondering if you are too emotionally involved, you may have a gut feeling that you are stepping out of line, or that things might go wrong soon. Maybe your gut is telling you that you are seeking excitement in a risky way.
Similarly, if your spouse is having an emotional affair with a coworker and you find yourself watching their interactions, clocking any mentions of their name, feeling tense if you find yourself around the coworker in question then this is a sign that you might be right about your concerns over that coworker.
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