How Can an Emotional Affair Change Your Relationships for Better or Worse
To overcome the after effects of emotional affairs and how to get over an emotional affair, let’s deep-dive into the question, what Is emotional cheating.
One of the issues with emotional infidelity is that it is not universally accepted and means different things to different people.
Some people consider even the smallest things to be indicative of it, whereas others prefer to ignore some little misunderstandings dismissing them as insignificant and only getting alarmed if something major stands in the way.
Each and every couple determines their very own relationship dynamics.
That, in a turn, draws a line between what is acceptable and what is not. This is majorly based on the extent of freedom all parties have, their behavior, etc.
Indeed, perception of reality is of great importance when settling down the question of emotional cheating. The reason for this is that there is not a specific detailed definition that would describe the phenomenon and let people classify their actions accordingly.
Therefore, when talking about emotional cheating, it is only possible to refer to some generic outline of the situation rather than displaying a singular array of events that could be labeled with the term.
One way or another, however, it can be said with certainty that emotional cheating is a specific circumstance under which one of the partners is getting more invested in a relationship with someone other than their current partner.
This could take a lot of different forms, but usually, an emotional affair is developed when one of the people involved in a relationship tries to bring someone else into their comfort zone.
What is an emotional affair?
The best way of describing an emotional affair is by comparing and contrasting it against a friendship.
Having friends is absolutely fine and is more than welcomed.
After all, it is important that you do not shut down from the world as soon as you get into a relationship. For your own sake, you need to remain socially active and not limit your existence to your lover.
At the same time, however, balance is key.
If you choose to date someone, and if you love someone, it means the two of you are compatible emotionally and have a lot of things to bond over.
Over time, you develop your relationship, solidifying such essential aspects of it as trust and sympathy.
While your friends can be of great support, your lover is the person that you should be thinking of first whenever something is on your mind.
If it comes to the point where you would much rather share your excitement or come to ask for advice to someone else and do so repeatedly, that could be a problem.
Eventually, the stronger your emotional affair gets, the more defined it becomes.
In fact, it branches out in three directions, all of which result in having a certain effect on your life.
The three aspects that describe emotional cheating include a strong emotional connection, secrecy and some elements of eroticism.
It will be fair to notice that all of the aforementioned rarely if ever appear overnight. This is the difference between physical cheating and emotional cheating. The first one can easily be blamed on a sudden change of mood, alcohol or any other momentary instinct that could take over your body and mind. While it definitely is not an excuse, it is something that could genuinely be accidental.
Unfortunately, this is not the case with emotional cheating. An affair like that takes a lot of time to develop and is extremely detrimental to the relationship. But how exactly does it change the relationship?
Also, it would be helpful to check this video on emotional affair signs:
Ways in which emotional cheating can affect your relationships
1. You become more distanced with your partner
The first thing that is apparent whenever one of the partners gets involved with somebody else emotionally is that they steadily distance themselves away from their current partner. This does not happen immediately but once the process has started it is really difficult to stop it.
As mentioned previously in this article, one of the most prominent features emotional affairs have is secrecy. Once you get invested into a relationship with someone other than your partner, you, perhaps even on a subconscious level, start being more detached and private. You stop sharing things about your life with them and you do not turn to them for help or emotional support.
As well as that, since most modern communication happens over the phone, you start hiding your smartphone and become unnecessary suspicious and protective over it. This leads to a rapid development of paranoia in the relationship, which eventually results in frequent outbursts of aggression, arguments and overall lack of trust.
In fact, losing trust for someone is one of the worst consequences of emotional cheating as it inevitably means an end for your relationship. Trust is almost impossible to regain. So, if you show signs of emotional cheating once and your partner (or vice versa) notices that, there will be a huge wound on the body of your relationship.
2. The person who is being cheated on may fall into a depression
The cheated spouse may develop severe self-confidence related problems.
In addition to that, emotional cheating is also extremely detrimental for the mental health of everyone involved in it. Particularly to the side being cheated on.
If you spend a lot of time with someone and bond with them emotionally, you learn to recognize even the slightest changes in their behavior and attitude. Therefore, even if the cheating partner will try to act as if nothing is happening, they will still not be able to conceal the truth.
In fact, by trying to act normal yet still further detaching themselves and making themselves emotionally unavailable to the person they used to confide in before, will make the partner that remains loyal question themselves.
They will inevitably feel trapped in their own feebleness, unable to understand what is that that led to this situation. And the initial thought a lot of people in a relationship (especially if it was not an ideal one, to begin with) turn to the thought that there is something wrong with them.
Being worried that they do not satisfy you intellectually or emotionally, they will translate these thoughts onto your relationship and create a misbalance in your relationship’s power dynamics.
Combined with the diminished attention the cheater pays to the situation, it could end badly and result in the other partner left abandoned.
3. The connection becomes unhealthy
Emotional cheating may cause some obsessive patterns within your current relationship.
This effect links back to the previous ones as they are closely related and interlinked. Once one of the partners notices a slight change within the emotional connection they have with their loved one, they will try to find out what was the reason for it.
While this could be limited by a couple of sneaky questions and one deep meaningful conversation, sometimes things can go much further than that. Unable to realize the source of the discontent within the relationship, they will focus their entire life on trying to find out.
This fosters an unhealthy, toxic relationship and will permanently ruin whatever trust and respect you have for each other.
4. For some it can help fulfill what is missing in a relationship
Surprisingly, there are some positive things that people may experience with regard to emotional cheating. This is, of course, largely debatable and unconventional, but can be appropriate for some couples.
Some couples are different in a sense that one of the partners is simply unable to match the energy of the other one, and needs to expand their focus onto bigger things.
This is where an emotional affair may have a benefit. Of course, the best way of arranging one is through giving your partner a heads up and discussing it with them beforehand.
However, if you do manage to come to consensus, your relationship could benefit from it as you could also separate different aspects of your life and not bring unwanted negativity into your interaction with your partner. Think of it as an amateur therapist.
5. You gain a better understanding of what you want
At last but definitely not at least, emotional cheating could change your relationships forever, either for better or for worse.
The reason for this is that it will give you a better perspective of what you want from a connection, what kind of people you connect with the best, and how you manage your emotions when interacting with other people.
Sometimes, an emotional affair, even if extremely hurtful, can open you new horizons and let you find peace with your inner self.
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