What are the boundaries of friendship with a partner of the opposite sex in a marriage? Who decides what these boundaries are? What is the distinction between a friendship and a romantic relationship? Is it wrong to have an emotional relationship? Is an emotional affair beneficial to a marriage because it allows a partner to release all of his or her emotional frustrations that he or she would not have spoken to his or her spouse otherwise? Or does it spell the end of the relationship?

What is an emotional affair?

We all have friendships. In some friendships, many of us are extremely close. In connections like these, we share a lot. However, when a close friendship develops with someone of the opposite sex, it can be considered an emotional affair. An emotional affair is when you share intimate emotional details with someone of the opposing sex. This is the most widely accepted definition. It also stipulates that you keep your partner in the dark about your emotional attachment to someone else.

Emotional affairs can have a negative impact on your marriage and family.  There is a limit to how much “emotional energy” you have. Where is this energy going when you aren’t spending it on your spouse?

Does it hurt marriage?

The majority of emotional and physical affairs begin as harmless friendships.  These ties are rarely intended to grow into something greater. In any case, the boundary between close friendships and emotional affairs is blurry.  Emotional affairs can as swiftly turn into flirting and sexual encounters.

If the spouse thinks that mutual trust has been abused after learning about the details discussed, the marriage will suffer. Also, if the emotional connection grows stronger, you may start revealing more emotional details with your friend than with your spouse. This is inconvenient for the partner and may lead to a breakup.

People have emotional affairs for a variety of reasons

It is debatable if an emotional affair begins due to physical attraction or because of pure emotion. Is it necessary to discuss emotional details with a buddy of the other sex? Why not a member of same-sex? And why is it that one feels uneasy about this closeness with one’s spouse? All signs point to the same conclusion: an emotional affair may be the best approach to start a physical connection with someone outside of marriage. Otherwise, if someone wants to share their emotions or vent their feelings, they can easily go to a psychiatrist and tell them to feel better and get advice. Alternatively, a friend of the same sex can be chosen.

Signs of an Emotional Affair

If you’re not sure if you’re having an emotional affair, these are some signs or stages of emotional affairs you’re probably having one:

Frequent Contact and Sharing

There is this tendency to always relate and share: when you’re not together, you communicate frequently. You speak with this individual frequently and at odd hours. You spend a significant amount of time messaging, emailing, or video chatting with this individual.  This is the person you contact if you have some wonderful news to tell or if you’ve had a rough day. It’s possible that you’re not sharing much with your partner.

Persistent Thoughts

In the final analysis, this person seizes control of your mind. You could also find that concentrating on anything else is tough.  Hence, you are continuously thinking about him or her.  This individual is on your mind when you get up when you go to bed, and for a long period in between. When you’re getting ready, you keep this individual in mind, hoping that they will notice how you look.

Feeling Understood and at ease

You have the impression that this person “gets” you. Then you begin to believe that they, more than your spouse, truly understand you. Furthermore, could think you have a lot in common with this person or that you have a lot of interests. This is because you appear to have a special bond, you may believe that this person knows you in a way that others, even your spouse, do not. The idea will most likely get into your head and unconsciously you lose it completely.

Unfair Comparisons

You constantly make comparisons between your spouse and this person. This may make you become enraged with your partner for not doing things the same way you do. You begin to idealize this person, while your spouse appears to be declining in your eyes. Consequently, you could find yourself being hostile to your partner. This will undoubtedly result in a good guy/bad guy relationship between these two people.


You begin to deceive your spouse or keep secrets.  Typically, this means lying by omission. You not only don’t tell your spouse about your discussions, meetings, lunches, messages, and phone calls, but you also take efforts to conceal them. You could, for example, remove texts from your phone or deny having had any conversation when questioned.

When you know deep down that your behavior is not acceptable, you hide things or lie. Would you feel embarrassed if your husband overheard a taped discussion between you and another person?

Impact of Emotional Affairs

These sorts of events might feel like a break from your normal routine. You only see the best side of this person, and they only see the best side of you. You don’t get to see them “round the clock” and learn about their poor habits and unappealing characteristics.  Your perception of them is mostly built on fiction and an idealized character, which will undoubtedly add to the allure of this connection.

Even if the affair does not progress to a physical level, the impact can be just as destructive and put your marriage in jeopardy.

Consequently, because you are more emotionally attached, the closeness involved in emotional relationships may sometimes be deeper than that of a sexual affair.

What to do next

If you’re having an emotional affair, you should question yourself if it’s just that. Why do I need to talk about everything with this person? It is necessary to pause and think. Also importantly it is better to discuss it with your spouse.  It’s critical to maintain communication in your relationship if you or your partner are having an emotional affair. You could find that marital therapy is beneficial as well.  For a time, let your mind rule your heart and consider the nuptial promise.  This may aid in a better understanding of the emotional situation and its resolution.