Why do emotional affairs hurt so much?
There is no physical intimacy in an emotional affair, yet it’s often more damaging to a relationship than a physical affair.
There are a number of reasons for this, from the fact that you know your partner has been sharing intimate details to feeling like they ‘connect’ better with someone else.
In this article, I’m going to cover the signs that your partner is having an emotional affair, explain why it’s so devastating, and how you can work through it.
Why Do Emotional Affairs Hurt So Much?
An emotional affair is when your partner confides in someone else, shares intimate details with them, and feels a deep connection with them.
There is no physical contact involved, but it can be just as damaging to a relationship as a physical affair.
The reason why emotional affairs are so hurtful is because it involves a betrayal of trust.
Trust is the foundation of any relationship. Without trust, you’re left questioning if you have anything at all.
When you share intimate details with someone, you are trusting them not to hurt you with that information.
When your partner confides in someone else, they are breaking that trust.
Another reason why emotional affairs can be so damaging is because they often involve a deep emotional connection.
We all want to think that we have a deep emotional connection with our partners.
Finding out that you don’t, and worse that your partner has a deep connection with someone else cuts deep.
There are no ‘mistakes’, ‘lust’, or ‘getting carried away’ as might be said with a physical affair.
An emotional affair is something that usually burns slowly for a while and gains momentum over time with deliberate actions on behalf of both parties.
Why Do People Have Emotional Affairs?
There are a number of reasons why people have emotional affairs.
Sometimes it’s because they feel like they’re not being heard or understood in their current relationship.
Other times, it’s because they’re looking for validation or attention that they don’t feel they’re getting at home.
Whatever the reason, an emotional affair is almost always about filling a need that isn’t being met in someone’s current relationship.
Signs Your Partner Is Having An Emotional Affair
There are a number of signs to look out for if you suspect your partner is having an emotional affair.
The first, and most obvious, sign is if they’re spending more time with someone else than they are with you.
If they’re always talking about this other person, or if you feel like you’re the last to know what’s going on in their life, that’s also a sign.
Other signs include if they’re dressing up more for work or social events, if they’re suddenly interested in new hobbies or activities, or if they seem distant and withdrawn.
If you suspect your partner is having an emotional affair, the best thing to do is talk to them about it.
Try to stay calm and avoid accusing them of anything, and simply explain how you’re feeling and why you’re concerned.
Are Emotional Affairs Hard to End?
Yes, emotional affairs are often very hard to end.
This is because both parties have usually shared a lot of intimate details about each other over a long period of time – hence they’re emotionally intertwined.
The best thing you can do if you’re trying to end an emotional affair you’re having is to cut off all communication with the other person.
This means no text messages, phone calls, social media, or anything else.
You need to give yourself time to heal and move on, and the only way to do that is by breaking off contact completely.
If you’re the one who has been having the emotional affair, you also need to take some time to reflect on why it happened and what you can do to prevent it from happening again.
If it’s your partner that is having the emotional affair and he’s come clean about it, you need to decide if you can forgive him and move on.
This isn’t an easy decision and I can’t tell you what to do, but it’s a decision that you will need to make.
What Does Emotional Cheating Do to a Person?
Emotional cheating can have a number of consequences.
If you think you might be involved in an emotional affair, the best thing to do is talk to your partner about it.
If you’re the one who has been cheated on, you need to decide if you can forgive your partner and move on from what happened.
No matter what, emotional cheating is something that will have a lasting impact on everyone involved.
Should You Forgive Your Partner for Having an Emotional Affair?
This is a difficult question to answer, and there is no right or wrong answer.
Ultimately, it’s you who needs to decide if you can forgive your partner for what they did and if you’re willing to work on rebuilding trust in your relationship.
If you decide to forgive them, it’s important that you talk about what happened and why it happened.
You also need to make sure that you’re both on the same page about what constitutes cheating in the future.
This is a decision that only you can make, but if you do decide to forgive your partner, it’s important to remember that it will take time and effort to rebuild trust in your relationship.
Image credits – Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.