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Tips for Handling an Emotional Affair

Many people wrongly assume that infidelity only occurs with physical contact or a sexual encounter, however emotional cheating can be just as big of a problem with any relationship. In fact, studies have shown that men in particular do not feel much guilt if they engage in any type of emotional cheating that lacks physical intimacy. [1]

Emotional affairs start off innocent enough, often developing from a platonic friendship or with a coworker at the office. But as time goes on, a bond begins to form and the cheater finds comfort in conversing and spending time with their new found interest – even more so than their husband or wife at home. In about 50% of cases, the physical aspect of cheating becomes a natural transgression once an emotional affair has commenced. [2]

You may be engaging in an emotional affair with someone if you exhibit any of the following traits:

  1. Playfully touch them, such as removing a piece of lint from their jacket or suit
  2. Try to look better for them
  3. Divulge personal information or stories that you do not share with your significant other
  4. Refuse to talk about this person with your spouse
  5. On the contrary, you may talk excessively about them, but downplay the threat by saying, “Oh, they are married”
  6. Go to them for comfort when you are vulnerable
  7. Sense sexual tension between the two of you
  8. Purposefully seek out opportunities to be alone
  9. Hide or conceal e-mail messages and phone conversations
  10. Feel a natural high with them that you do not with your spouse

If this sounds like you, then you may need a few tips on how to avoid situations that could destroy your marriage:

  1. In an office environment, keep all of your interactions focused on the business at hand
  2. Meet in groups to reduce the chances of intimate contact
  3. Do not have consistent long personal conversations with a member of the opposite sex
  4. Do not drink excessively with members of the opposite sex
  5. Think about how you might react if you caught your spouse in a similar situation
  6. Remind yourself, and more importantly remind your significant other why you care about them

It should be noted that emotional affairs, especially ones with co-workers, can be hard to catch. The strongest sign of all is your gut instinct that something is not right, because only you can see the changes in your spouse on a daily or weekly basis. If you do suspect potential problems, communicate them clearly and work to resolve them instead of being confrontational.

If they do not respond favorably or become extremely defensive then it may be time to inquire a professional. When you are confident that emotional cheating has led to a physical affair, a qualified private investigator can bring you the undeniable truth that you deserve.


  • [1] http://www.livescience.com/7755-effects-infidelity-men-women-surprise-researchers.html
  • [2] http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/8990045
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