How do you know whether you—or your spouse—is involved in an emotional affair?

There are fine lines that can be crossed before you realize it… and suddenly, an attachment has been formed to someone outside of your marriage.

Maybe you suspect your spouse has crossed the line into an emotional affair, or you’re afraid that you may be in danger.

In this blog, you can take an informal test to see if either you, or your spouse, are involved in an emotional affair. Please keep reading…

The Initiation of an Emotional Affair

Today, more than ever, there are virtually no barriers to men and women mixing it up, whether it’s at work, socially, sports activities and other hobbies, and church.

What this can provide, if you’re not careful, is fertile ground for strong attachments to be made.

There’s no rule that says married people can’t have friends of the opposite sex. That’s part of the beauty of equality of the sexes: no one has to be marginalized based on their sex. Males and females work together, share stories and lean on each other for support. For married couples, this normally isn’t a problem.

So when does it become a problem?

Relationships that develop that interfere with your marriage and your ability to give 100% to the marriage are when it becomes a problem.

Emotional affairs can be devastating for all involved. For those involved in the emotional affair, it can cause confusion, test your loyalty to your spouse—and even drive a wedge into your marriage.

For the spouse of someone who is having an emotional affair, it is often reported to be just as heartbreaking as a physical affair. For some victims of an emotional affair, it is even more heartbreaking than finding out their spouse has had sex with someone else. This is because, with an emotional affair, there is a deeper attachment to another person outside of your marriage that goes beyond just a physical encounter.

Emotional affairs generally begin innocently enough. You’re friendly with someone of the opposite sex, and then, it morphs into something else… a strong attachment that has drawn you in and away from your spouse.

Emotional Affair Test

The following test is by no means scientific. However, it is logical—and may help you see your situation in a rational manner. People who are in an emotional affair may not even realize it—especially if they are in denial because they don’t want to do anything to jeopardize their marriage or hurt their spouse.

And yet, some of these actions will persist until a boiling point is reached unless you otherwise wake up and draw back.

Here is the Emotional Affair Test:

1-       You get angry at any suggestion that you and your friend are more than just friends.

2-      You tend to think about your friend more than you do your spouse.

3-      You find reasons to spend more and more time with your friend.

4-      You are not engaged with your spouse lately, either physically or emotionally.

5-      You talk to your friend, rather than your spouse, about your thoughts and feelings.

6-      When an important event happens, the first person you think to tell is your friend.

7-      You feel as if your friend ‘gets’ you, like no one else has ever before.

8-      You have fantasies about you and your friend together.

9-      You don’t have 100% transparency with your spouse about this friend.

10-   The thought of not seeing your friend anymore depresses you.

Now, it’s normal to get excited when you have a new friend that you share common interests with. But you know when you’ve crossed the line—you just may have a difficult time admitting it to yourself, let alone your spouse. This little informal quiz can help you see the truth.

As for your spouse, if you suspect an emotional affair, ask them to take the test. The first step is for your spouse to be able to admit it to himself or herself before you can begin to reclaim your marriage.

My best to you as you move past an emotional affair.

Did any of these ring true for you? If so, how many?

Do any of these describe your spouse’s behavior?

What about an emotional affair do you think is most devastating?

Please share your ideas and personal experiences on this topic with other members of the community.

Wishing you hope and healing for your marriage,

Stephanie Anderson

Editor-in-Chief

Marriage Sherpa

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