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The Emotional Bond That Saves Relationships

Updated on October 1, 2008



I just saw an article on titled " How To Keep Him From Cheating - A new book on why some men stray, and what women can do to stop it." The article, in interview format, discussed the assertions put forth by family counselor, rabbi and best-selling author Gary Neuman, who embarked on a two-year study of 100 men who had sexual affairs and 100 men who were faithful. He shared his findings in his new book, "The Truth About Cheating: Why Men Stray and What You Can Do To Prevent It."

One point, in particular, caught my attention. Rabbi Neuman states that "The majority-48 percent-said that the cheating was about an emotional disconnection." And women...hear me loud and hear me strong...this is the absolute truth.

I am a single woman, described by others as attractive. And I have been in the business world for long enough to have seen and experienced things that most women don't even realize happen in the course of the day of their significant other. While you are rushing around to manage a job, household, children, and other pertinent issues, I am dressed in my business-clothed finest. I have read 3 different papers by 8 AM; I can speak eloquently on any subject from the latest economic development to the point spread on Monday night's football game. I know these things because I choose to...because they are of interest to me....not to seduce your husband or boyfriend with my brains and beauty. That being said, I connect with him on these things in our daily business life together. He appreciates, and even admires the fact that I can relate to his interests on many levels. It's not a sexual connection, it's an emotional one. And it is one that you should have with him to a greater extent than I do.

I'm sharing this information, because when I read this article, it struck a chord with me. It rang true. It is the reason that your seemingly kind, devoted husband or boyfriend often turns to me for the emotional bond that he may not be getting with you. I spend eight to twelve hours with him every Monday through Friday. I am the one he comes to during the day to celebrate his accomplishments as well as his challenges. We share formative business experiences and personal anecdotes. Yet this unavoidable bond is something that can, in certain circumstances, work against you.

As a person of character, I know where the lines must be drawn. When a male colleague is getting too close, I sense it, and I cut it off any ideas or fantasies that he may be entertaining. I know how to draw the line, and put a stop to the progression. While some claim that it is difficult to manage the balance between a professional and personal relationship, I do not. Mixed messages should never be be at play in this scenario. Yet while I am consistent in my approach and adept at drawing the line, other women may not be. And unfortunately, for every woman like myself who says "no" to these advances, there is another woman who may say "yes," if for no other reason than to bolster her self esteem.

It's not the sexual aspect that should be most alarming, although the probability of it extending to a sexual relationship is high, unless the path is diverted. As Rabbi Neuman so accurately points out in this interview, it is the emotional component that should concern you the most. Men have insecurities too. Just like women, they want to feel understood and appreciated. If there is a disconnect at home, yet at the office there is someone with whom they feel connected, where do you think they will turn for emotional solace? Often times this emotional bond grows quietly, slowly, and even unknowingly. By the time it is acknowledged or understood, it is a difficult bond to break.

You may not want to read this or accept this, yet I see evidence of it every single day. Is it hopeless? Should you lead your life in a constant state of assumed deceit or bitter jealousy? Absolutely not, on both counts. However, you must take both responsibility and action. Be the person that he best relates to on an emotional level. Be the one that he turns to for refuge. Be the person satisfies his need to connect. If you find a way to do these things, you will be the one that he anticipates going home to and sharing his day with, as he hurriedly says his goodbye to me on the way out the door. And that's the way it should be. There will always be connections that form outside of a relationship, with both friends and collegues. Yet there should never be a bond stronger than the one within a relationship.

It should be understood that I by no means believe that the sole responsibility lies with one partner. A relationship after all is a partnership. I am simply putting forth my observations and hopefully offering a unique perspective. Communication is a two-way street, but don't be afraid to open the lines of communication, because the results can be profoundly beneficial. It's not that complicated. Welcome him home with a smile. Kiss him. Express interest in him. Spend quality time together. These are small gestures, but they are the kinds of things that will make your emotional bond impermeable.

Grab a glass of wine, click on the video, and let Stevie Wonder remind you about the sunshine of your life.

Stevie Wonder: You are the Sunshine of my Life


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    • profile image

      Mandy 4 years ago

      I told my bf, I don't care what other girls do. They can jump on him or seduce him, but I will blame him Cuz he has control over himself. There's a lot of flirty girls out there that wants every guy to want them. It's up to the guy to put boundary and not encourage the advancement.

    • profile image

      not just for men 8 years ago

      Why all the concern about emotional support for the MAN?? What about his emotional support for the woman?? It goes BOTH ways.....

    • profile image

      in deep  9 years ago

      Just came across this article - I have found myself in this situation with work colleagues a few times - I am a naturally caring person and have found myself providing emotional support to a number of men particularly through stressful work situations. Sometimes they feel they have to be strong for their wife and not worry her. Up until a couple of years ago I have kept the boundaries clear. I am now in a situation where the bond is so great with one colleague I am in love with him (and he with me) - he has left the company now and moved away but we can't break the connection (we have tried - no contact). I also have another colleague who has declared his love for me - which I do not return. I am trying to be there for him whilst making it clear I do not share the same feelings. My point is actually it is hard to control your feelings especially when you are vulnerable - if I could turn back the clock I would of backed off with both men right at the beginning. It is much harder when you are in deep.

    • BDazzler profile image

      BDazzler 9 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      BizzyMuse: I have seen this to be true as well.  I know of several marriages that were destroyed or nearly destroyed by what began as "emotional affairs" within an office environment. 

      I nearly got pulled into one myself once.  A female co-worker had a stay at home husband. Fortunately a buddy of mine had my back, clued me in on what I was doing  before there was any harm done at all.  The friendship turned into a healthy one with the husband and I have a great deal of personal respect for one another. Their marriage is doing quite well, now.

      Great post! Great insight!

    • profile image

      cosmic observer 9 years ago

      izettl, you really draw the point for me. 'those 8-12 hrs are him at his best, no less appealing sides of him etc.' I know there would be men who would respond to this by saying, well if she really loves me she'll love me unconditionally, with farts and all. Come on. Your wife is not your mother. Only your mother can love u unconditionally and not be turned off by those behavior.

    • profile image

      izettl 9 years ago

      "don't act in a way that you wouldn't if your significant other were standing there"...that alone is the most important statement and so true. I'm a flirt and I know my husband is, but when you are a flirt by nature, you learn very quickly where to draw the line.


    • BizzyMuse profile image

      BizzyMuse 9 years ago from Southern California

      Izetti - so well stated. I actually remind women I know about the exact things you have mentioned....and I shouldn't have to. Also, men and women alike should be responsible enough not to get to the point where any kind of strong bond is formed. I always say...don't act in a way that you wouldn't if his significant other were standing there watching.

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Izett 9 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Good points. You've made the best argument for the topic I've heard thus far. I can relate to your stories.

       I saw the author on a recent Oprah show and it all infuriated me. It's really about where to draw the line. Psychological studies suggest proximity is the number one factor in the blossoming of a new relationship (physical or emotional- friendship or lovers). So even if I have a strong connection with my significant other, you or someone else is spending 8-12 hours with him daily (work affairs being most prominent), I can never compete with that level of proximity. Also those 8-12 hours are him at his best- no farts, belches, snoring and other less than appealing habits he hides while at work. Calling it an emotional bond suggests it's something deep, but if you don't get to see him au natural, that's a superficial bond. All I can hope is that someone knows where to draw the line and call it flattery.

      Women at work, stop talking to the men as much so they'll come home and want to talk to their wives. If they talk to you all day what do they have left to say when they get home? Get to work and stop the idle chit chat.


    • BizzyMuse profile image

      BizzyMuse 9 years ago from Southern California

      LondonGirl - great point! In a healthy relationship, that is how things are shared. I am simply presenting a viewpoint, based on what I have experienced, of what can occur when there is a breakdown in communication and bonding. As you said, telphones, texting, ect (and especially, quality time together outside of a work environment) are all things that allow strong bonds to grow stronger. Thanks for commenting!

    • LondonGirl profile image

      LondonGirl 9 years ago from London

      I don't agree entirely that it's at the office acheivements etc are shared.

      My other half and I don't work in the same place, but we have similar (although not identical) work. We also have a home, a son, and a life together outside work.

      When something goes well, or badly, the first person either of us talks to is the other. Phones are a wonderful thing!

    • BizzyMuse profile image

      BizzyMuse 9 years ago from Southern California

      Feline - thank you! I agree, emotional connections can exend to many people.

      Just_Rodney - good point, it's the same for men as well as women.

      Minilady - it's wonderful that you communicate with your husband so well. Thanks for sharing.

    • Minilady profile image

      Minilady 9 years ago

      so well worded BizzyMuse! I had this conversation with my husband just two days ago when talking abt a friend. And we both agreed that seeking an emotional bond with someone at work was unavoidable if your partner could not provide that bond for you!

    • Just_Rodney profile image

      Rodney Fagan 9 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

      It reminds of pertanent words of an old crooners song

      "wives, should always be lovers too,

      rush to his arms, when he comes home to you,

      Day after day there are girls in his office........"

      I don't remember the rest, but yes, often the evil EVE does lurk!

      So look after your man.

      House husbands a final note to you guys, don't be too cocky as these days, you are just as vulnerable!!

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 9 years ago

      That's a very perceptive piece of writing BizzyMuse. More and more these days people of both genders are connecting emotionally with persons other than their significant others and it doesn't have to have sexual connotations. I feel different people serve different purposes in our lives and there doesn't need to be a conflict...but perhaps that's a really naïve viewpoint.

    • BizzyMuse profile image

      BizzyMuse 9 years ago from Southern California

      Jerilee - thank you so much! I am brand new here and really appreciate the input.

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 9 years ago from United States

      Great hub! Strong emotional bonds will be more important the longer the relationship, I would urge all young couples to not neglect this aspect of their relationship.