When most people think of marital infidelity, they imagine a spouse engaging in a physical relationship with another person outside the marriage. However, this is not the only form of cheating that can disrupt marriage and diminish the relationship between spouses.
Emotional affairs occur when a married person develops an intimate emotional connection with another person. While emotional affairs can sometimes develop into physical affairs, in other cases the two people may only converse online and never actually meet. Regardless, emotional affairs can be just as damaging, so it is crucial that you can recognize the signs.
Your partner prioritizes a “friend” over you
It is perfectly normal for married people to have friends of both sexes. It is not normal to prioritize the needs of friends over those of your spouse. Your partner might break dates with you to help this friend or spend time with them. Your spouse may also spend more time conversing with this person than they spend with you. When you feel as though your needs are not being met in your marriage, it is time for a frank discussion.
You are experiencing relationship issues
All types of affairs usually accompany marital issues. Maybe you are fighting more, or spending more time not talking due to ill-feelings. You may also find that physical intimacy has waned or your partner is less interested in you and your life. Spouses carrying on affairs also tend to be more critical of their partners, which may be an attempt to pass the blame for the infidelity on to them.
Your requests are ignored or denied
If you genuinely feel your partner’s relationship with another person is inappropriate, it is reasonable to ask your spouse to end it. With an emotional affair, your spouse may be reluctant to end the “friendship”. Your partner might also agree to end the relationship, only to carry on behind your back. Married couples must honor and respect each other. If your spouse is unwilling to take such an action to improve your marriage, infidelity is likely.