What's an emotional affair and how does it start?
An emotional affair is when a spouse gets more emotionally involved with a friend, usually one of the opposite sex, and starts revealing intimate details that should only be talked about by couples.
This thing is common among long time friends, when a spouse is unable to maintain or reciprocate the effort needed or required by their partner, the partner will look elsewhere for emotional support.
Intimate details that your spouse would like to talk to you with, or just plain emotional support, is very important in a relationship. To maintain a healthy relationship there should always be open communication and no secrets from one another.
If you have no time for your spouse, and cannot fulfill his or her emotional needs, it will only take a matter of time before your spouse will want to find someone else to share thoughts with, and gain emotional support. It may not always be because you have no time for your spouse, it could also be because they aren't comfortable telling you for fear of rejection.
Not having time is one thing, but not being supportive is even worse. When you do have time to have a heart to heat talk, remember to be supportive of your spouse, they are telling you things which they would not tell anyone else. Constant rejection could lead to your spouse not wanting emotional support from you, and therefore need to find someone else to gain this from.
Cheating online? More common than you think
Cheating online is more common than what most people think. Some people don't really consider emotional affairs cheating, because there is no physical contact. But the truth is, I would rather that my husband had sex with someone else than him tell me he is falling in love with someone and is sharing intimate conversations with this person instead of me
It is so easy to have conversations online, and there are even specific places that promote such things. I won't go into details about where people go to cheat but there are tons of chat rooms, even in yahoo, with a "Married but looking" section.
Sure you aren't touching, sure there is no sex, but an affair is still an affair. According to Dr. Gail Saltz, almost half of all emotional affairs turn into "real" affairs.
How can I prevent emotional affairs?
By staying open and knowing what your spouse needs. Openess and no secrets are really all you need, you don't need to spend thousands of dollars on marriage couselors or anything. Just stay open, if something is bothering you about them just tell them what it is and come to a resolution. Both of you will have to come to an understanding, compromise with each other.
Of course there are cases where your spouse just does not want to be with you anymore and has fallen out of love, you should try and ask your spouse if this is how he or she feels about you so you both can move on. It may be a very difficult task, but it will be beneficial to both of you to not waste time on something that has no chance to work out, especially if it has been going on for years already.
If you really suspect something is going on, read on for a basic guide on how to catch a cheating spouse.
Signs your spouse may be having an emotional affair
Little to non-exsistent intimate conversations
You keep discovering secrets of your spouse, which they then just shrug off or say "it's nothing".
Spends an awfully long time on the computer, when he/she never used to do that.
You notice your spouse telling jokes with a common friend of yours, but you and the rest do not understand it. Inside jokes are one of the things you should watch out for.
Less time is spent at home, even on free days.