5 Signs You’re on the Brink of Having an Emotional Affair
There is a fine line between a close and platonic friendship and emotional dependency. Those who are in a relationship should be careful not to let their feelings for someone else override their commitment to their partners, relationship experts say.
Before things are blown out of proportion, people in relationships should assess their feelings and determine if they are already on the brink of having an emotional affair, they add.
The experts point out the warning signs of an imminent affair in an article that appeared on The Huffington Post.
First, people should be alarmed if they complain about their partners to others. Aaron Anderson, a marriage and family therapist in Denver, Colorado, says people complain about their partners every once in a while. But things can get problematic if they start sharing these complaints to someone they’re interested in.
“Instead of talking about it with their partner, many people will bite their lip and push the problem underground ― or tell the other person,” Anderson says. “If the marriage problem is something you feel strongly about, it usually comes to the surface, and it sometimes leads to an emotional affair.”
Next, people should be wary if their thoughts are consumed by the other person. Marie Land, a psychologist in Washington, D.C., says people should keep their thoughts in check or their feelings might spiral out of control.
“If the right circumstances exist, emotional infidelity is all too common and convenient,” she says. “There’s nothing terrible about enjoying a little attention from time to time. But when you’re spending time with your partner and still thinking about the other person, you may be crossing the line into emotional cheating.”
Third, things will get really bad if those in relationships start comparing their partners to the other man or woman.
“Maybe you’re raving about how funny your co-worker is, but keep in mind that you two aren’t trying to make a relationship work. You aren’t sharing the demands of house chores and demanding schedules,” Land says. “Give your real partner credit for what they’re doing right and recognize that you may be giving the other person too much credit.”
Another warning sign is if people start to hide things or make outright lies about the other person. Marni Feuerman, a marriage and family therapist in Boca Raton, Florida, says there’s no reason people should feel wary being overheard talking to a friend or co-worker unless something is up.
“Ask yourself: Would I be in the clear if my spouse overheard a conversation between me and this particular friend?” she says. “This should help you figure out for sure if things may be headed in a troubling direction.”
Lastly, the ultimate litmus test is asking the question: “If my spouse was behaving the same way I am, would I be bothered?” Diane Spear, a therapist in New York City, says that if the answer is yes, then the red flag is definitely up.
“That’s a sign you’re in a gray zone,” she says. “You’re crossing over, whether it’s meeting someone or putting way too much thought into someone else.”