Oh, how easy it is nowadays to log into Facebook or Instagram, meet people online, and come across someone who seems like they could make you happier than you currently are. If things aren’t running smoothly at home, you could find yourself texting someone, fantasizing about them in your head, imagining what they would be like as a partner, and before you know it, you’re having an emotional affair! Today, we take a look at how an emotional affair can poison your relationship, whether it is you who slips or your partner, and offer advice on what needs to be done to fix the damage.
You Stop Appreciating the Little Things
One of the cornerstones of any long-term relationship are the little things partners do for each other on a daily basis, from making breakfast for the both of you and filling up your gas tank to getting rid of all the unnecessary files on your computer that take up space or watering the flowers when you’re too tired to do it. When another person is messing with your head and thoughts constantly, you stop appreciating the little things your partner does for you, and in some instances, you don’t even notice them at all. When your emotional unfaithfulness becomes so strong, the little things your partner does out of love begin to smother you because you don’t want their affection, you want it from somebody else.
Disconnecting From Each Other
An emotional affair may be real or imaginary. It is either fuelled by a fantasy or by text messages or another “innocent” manner of communication that doesn’t constitute “real” cheating. Whatever the source of the emotional affair, it meets some of the needs of your partner (or yours) outside of the relationship. As a result, partners become disconnected from each other, the partner who’s emotionally cheating becomes distant, stops sharing how their day went, and sometimes stops being intimate. They may not have sexual relations outside of their relationship, but don’t feel attracted to their partner because they feel sexual desire towards someone else.
Criticism at Every Turn
The partner who’s cheating emotionally becomes overly critical of the other person, constantly nagging them and finding fault in everything they do. As a result, the criticized partner’s self-confidence suffers, they become frustrated, and fights and bickering become more frequent than usual. The partners start to grow distant, they gradually lose interest in one another and start spending more time with their friends, family or co-workers than with each other. Unless the emotional affair ends and they commit to saving their relationship, chances are it will come to an end sooner rather than later.
What to Do
Stopping an emotional affair is much easier said than done because like with physical cheating, the causes of the affair are pretty much the same. The partner who is cheating isn’t getting something they want out of their primary relationship, plus they’ve met someone that seems to offer them what their partner can’t. So the solution to this problem is two-fold. The first thing that needs to happen is that the partners need to sit down and talk about the good and the bad aspects of their relationship, and about what each person is getting and not getting, and how they could work on having both of their needs met. Once this happens, the cheating partner must stop their emotional affair, real or imaginary if they want to find the motivation to get the relationship out of a rut.