What is an emotional affair? Are there different kinds of emotional affairs?
When does it stop being an emotional affair and something more?
I think it is like a crush and a fantasy. It stops being emotional only when it is acted upon. Of course, there is unrequited love, too. As far as it being an affair, as long as neither the significant other and the object of affection does not know, it is probably harmless. If it is an affair, though, I think the emotional is more dangerous than the physical lust. I think I would rather it just be physical than emotional if it were my husband. Romantic notions are hard to fight even when one believes them to be real. Having your spouse fall in love with someone else is just too much, in my opinion.
An emotional affair is the "perfect romance" for many people. Generally it happens between two people who are not in physical contact. They pour their hearts out, express their feelings and dreams about everything in life. They reveal things to one another they have never told anyone else including their mate, spouse, or significant other. After a while they come to feel this (secret friend) is the only person on earth who "gets them". He or she is accepting of all of their flaws and always encourages them to be themself as well as supports them with any goal they want to pursue. They never fight or disagree with one another. What makes it all the more intensely "romantic" is having something that keeps them from being together in the physical realm. It's usually distance, commitments to other relationships, or having children to raise...etc They speculate, how could life had been so crule to allow them to find their "soulmate" AFTER they had chosen another path.
Having a hypothetical or "emotional relationship" never deals with the day to day realities of taking out the trash, doing laundry, paying bills, cleaning the house, cutting the grass, dealing with their friends/family, or seeing things you dislike. You fantasize that if you could be together everything would be "perfect". There is no such thing!
It goes from being emotional when it becomes physical. This is generally when you find out if both people are ready to make their (emotional affair) a real relationship by coming out to the world. Usually one person starts to backtrack and things begin to unravel. Very rarely does any type of affair lead to a fairytale ending.
An emotional affair happens when the emotional intimacy that belongs inside the protective boundaries of a marriage or close relationship are diverted into a relationship with an "emotional affair partner".
Strong relationships/marriages require that the basic non-sexual love or "attachment needs" are met. These are the needs to feel emotionally safe/protected and that we are the most important person in our partner's life.
It also means that we give and receive deep emotional soothing when we feel emotional distressed.
Sadly, this kind of emotional intimacy is also the rocket track to genuine sexual intimacy, (another reason why it needs to stay inside the primary relationship) so it often leads to sexual cheating for many partner's too.
For more details, please see my featured hub titled "Why Defining and Emotional Affair is it's Best Prevention"
I totally agree with 'dashingscorpio' and one has to be careful not to get involved in emotional affair outside his or her own partnership. I strongly believe that the real love can not be created on suffering of others and if you want your partnership to work, it needs all your attention and commitment and honesty...
Unfortunatelly, life is not black and white and you meet people through life who become your soulmates and even your commitment to your partnership or distance or time can not break that 'special bond.'
You have to be honest with yourself and the people involved and let it to enrich your life but do not let it to destroy the life you are commited to...it is a very precarious path to walk on...honesty and responsibilty for your action is the only key....
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Will this make you happy?
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