If anybody asks you this question, you may go angry or livid because it sounds so insulting. Why? Maybe because you are never the type of person that would have an affair outside your relationship/marriage. Well, that is also probably because you do not know what having an emotional affair means.
Having an emotional affair does not always involve sex. It happens when you are courting, engaged or married but very fond of somebody else who is not your spouse. And if care is not taken and brake applied, it could lead to full blown sexual affair.
Emotional affair does not only happen to people in bad, unhappy marriages. It can happen to happy couples, morally sound people and deeply spiritual individuals who love God with all their hearts and hate sin. It can even happen to great religious men and women.
Emotional affair is not easy to detect at the beginning. It all starts as plain, platonic friendship with the opposite sex whom you exchange ideas with and find admirable -that’s all. The friend can be a colleague at work, a fellow worker, a course mate, the secretary to the boss at the office or the next door neighbour. They are someone you find attractive and enjoy talking to. If you treat them like you treat any normal friends with no strings attached, there is no problem but if you are SECRETLY fond of them, there is a BIG problem.
Emotional affair starts rearing its ugly head if you are always eager to see them, anxious to hear from them and you feel sad if a day passes without getting in touch with them. It escalates when you begin sharing deep personal issues, especially relational or marital problems and you find their words very soothing -it’s like Valium, you can’t sleep without it.
It progresses when there is subtle flirty compliments (e.g. “Each time I see you, I always feel like hugging you and staying there forever” or “Can I give you a peck please?”), sweet names calling and you never do anything to stop them in fact, you love it and always look forward to hearing more from them.
You idolize them while comparing them with your spouse who always falls short. Then you start seeing them as your comforter, healer and the only one who UNDERSTANDS you.
You also begin to keep your conversations with them a secret from your spouse. When asked, you deny every accusation of having any affair with them (since you are not having sex). Meanwhile, you start having this chemistry with them and always sexually charged when thinking about them or talking to them.
Now, pull a break. You are threading on a very dangerous path while consoling yourself that you are not having sex. Most people, especially good people, do not plan cheating or adultery, it “just” happened when all red flags are ignored.
What to do when you realize you are having an emotional affair.
Face the fact that your relationship or marriage is sick that is why you are attracted to someone else and fix the problem. If you do not deal with your relationship or marital issues, you will keep pursuing them and end up sleeping with them and that is the beginning of the end of your relationship or marriage.
Pull back from that person and avoid discussing anything personal with them henceforth.
Come clean to your spouse. Let them know you are getting attracted to someone else and you need their help. (You don’t need to give them the full detail of your attraction).
Stop all chats. Be very polite with their calls or ignore their calls altogether if you get tempted to go back.
Understand why you fell into emotional affair and take precautions lest you fall into another one.
Know that you are human and it is very possible to feel attracted towards the opposite sex. Just don’t pursue your object of attraction.
Set boundaries. Do not entertain ungodly relationships.
Have a full understanding of emotional affair and protect your heart from being tempted. Take charge of your life, do not leave your relationships to chance.
Culled from www.glow villi.