It is normal and healthy to have friends when you are married. It is even OK to have friends who are of the opposite sex. However, when friendships develop into something more, emotional affairs occur.
Healthline explains that emotional affairs are secretive, intense relationships that do not involve physical intimacy. They are still quite damaging to relationships, and can even take a toll on your mental health when your spouse refuses to let the other party go.
Where do emotional affairs occur?
Emotional affairs can occur in real life, such as when two co-workers develop a deeper relationship. However, they are often conducted via phones and computers. Sharing numerous text messages is common in emotionally charged relationships. Your spouse may text with the other party for most of the day, while communication between you falters. Sharing messages on social media is also common. Your spouse may like or comment on the other person’s posts, or may even message them directly.
How can I tell if my spouse is having an emotional affair?
Every relationship is different, and what works for you might not be acceptable to others. However, there are quite a few common signs that emotional cheating is occurring:
- Your partner seems removed from the relationship
- Phones and laptops suddenly have security settings when they did not before
- There is a change in your level of intimacy, whether emotional or physical
- Your spouse is less interested in you and your life
- You feel unsure about the relationship
- Your requests that your partner leave the other party alone fall on deaf ears
Like many other marital issues, emotional infidelity does not have to mean the end of your marriage. However, if your spouse refuses to cut ties, divorce is a viable option.