Fighting an emotional affair and saving your
Are you up to fighting an emotional affair, do you even know your relationship may be threatened by one?
Does it feel like there is a distance between you and your partner? Have you stopped talking about anything other than the mundane? Do they seem unwilling to discuss work with you, where before they always updated you on their day?
You have a niggling feeling that something is wrong but cannot put your finger on it. If your partner seems withdrawn and work is suddenly a taboo topic, you may be experiencing the first signs of an emotional affair on the horizon. Although in your heart you do not want to acknowledge the possibility of your partner having an affair; in your gut you know something is not quite right. Fighting an emotional affair starts with recognizing the possible symptoms.
Fighting an emotional affair – step one
Firstly, understand that you cannot ignore this type of affair simply because you do not believe there is any sex going on! Over 60% of emotional affairs end in physical infidelity if left unchecked. Worse, in times of economic recession, this is exactly the type of affair that is most likely to happen. The reasons are relatively simple. We are all out there fighting to keep our jobs, feed our families, lead a comfortable life. When that security is threatened solid relationships are those where the couples lean on each other in these times of stress.
However, many couples have an unbalanced dynamic whereby the man of the house may feel that admitting he is struggling at work will make him seem a failure in his partner’s eyes. Now this may be completely untrue, but it is not truth driving emotions here, it is perception. Similarly a working couple may be so absorbed in battles at the workplace that they begin to neglect each other.
When our work equilibrium is upset we may turn to work colleagues for comfort, after all they know what we are going through. This may be innocent at first, although we inevitably turn towards the most sympathetic and attractive work mate for this comfort. it is, however, all too easy for this comfort to replace that we normally found at home with our partner. in order for you to be effective at fighting an emotional affair, you must understand the intensity of the work environment. It may be alien to you if you are staying at home with the children, whether you be man or woman it makes no difference. If you are unaware of what happens at your partners’ workplace you leave yourself vulnerable to a work based affair.
Step two in dealing with an emotional affair
Firstly identify where your partner seems to be spending their time. Yes, if there is pressure at work they may be working longer hours. They may also be going to the gym more often, citing the need to relieve stress, get fit, build their stamina to deal with the newly combative workplace. Or, perhaps they are going out with non mutual friends more regularly and seem reluctant to talk about it afterwards? The problem with emotional affairs is that they can creep up on people. Harmless chat turns to more serious discussions and suddenly someone who is not your partner becomes your confidante. Fighting an emotional affair may be tricky at first because these chats, or time spent with work colleagues seem so insignificant and reasonable.
If you suspect that your partner is spending more time with others discussing important emotional matters and has stopped talking to you, you must re-establish the emotional connection. You must also be prepared to possibly be so effective at stopping the emotional affair that you will never know truly how far it went!
Fighting an emotional affair step three
You need to bring your partner back to communicating with you. This may also mean admitting to yourself that you have let this slide!
Get back the emotional connection
If your partner will not talk to you about what is happening at work then you are going to have to do some digging. Is the company doing alright or are they laying people off? Now, you have to sneak in some reassurance to your partner. If you suspect that all is not OK then stop spending money without thinking! Seriously, times are hard and putting financial pressure on a relationship is guaranteed to cause rifts! You can start a conversation with your partner about your concerns that as a couple you need to save some money, if possible, for the proverbial rainy day. Acknowledge that you appreciate their contribution to the household and that you want to be supportive in this area. if you both work then tell them about the concerns you have that your own job may not be totally secure in this climate.
The idea here is that you are allowing them to express their fears to you, as opposed to someone else at work! Marriage is a partnership and it is not always equal. Your task here is to extend the olive branch, draw your partner back into having an emotional connection with you, not somebody else who seems to “understand” more.
Fighting an emotional affair can seem like shadow boxing!
Your suspicions may be difficult to prove but the loss of emotional closeness between you and your partner will be a fact, whatever the reason. It may be that they are doing a “man cave” act where they withdraw from everyone except other men, to try and sort out their problems. Women are more likely to share their emotional worries, but often they hide them from their partners because they don’t think men understand them! So, you both end up chasing shadows, not quite sure where or what the enemy is.
Your best solution is honesty and frankness. Something like, “I don’t know what is wrong but we as a couple are distant from each other and I cannot help sat over here, with you over there!” Face the issue head on, but DO NOT accuse your partner of an affair unless you have absolute proof. You need to understand that for many people an emotional affair is not a “real infidelity” until it becomes physical. Accusing someone of this type of affair runs the risk of pushing them further into the other person’s arms. The most effective way of fighting an emotional affair is to remove the need that pushed them to confide emotionally in someone other than you, their partner.
Now, I am not blaming you for this happening. There are a ton of reasons people in relationships feel they cannot tell their partners their fears and worries, enough for a whole other article! Just face the fact that your communication is poor and that is dangerous for a relationship, whatever the reason. Do not dwell on who they are spending their time with, get it back, so they spend that time with you again. You do have the advantage here. You know them well, you have time, maybe children and a lot more on your side. Fighting an emotional affair does not have to be a losing battle; it can be one that you win if you approach it correctly.
For more posts on helping you with fighting an emotional affair, see our page, Emotional Affairs