Emotional Affairs

Emotional Affairs Technology has created many advantages and conveniences in modern life. Having access to endless websites, apps, and social media, and having your cell phone always with you can make life much easier and more convenient in many ways. However unfortunately, technology also allows for other problems to become easier to engage in as well, namely emotional affairs/infidelity. When in a (hopefully) committed relationship, online affairs through one’s computer or cell phone makes cheating easier and more convenient than ever. If you aren’t getting along with whomever you are dating you can pull up other members of the opposite sex easily and instantaneously through the internet. Conversations including video chatting is just a few keystrokes away, available 24/7 with people from all over the world.

An emotional affair can be loosely defined as having a secretive relationship with a member of the opposite sex where flirty, affectionate, private, intimate, even sexual conversations take place. The kinds of conversations that one’s dating partner would be hurt or upset if they were to hear, which is why they are usually done privately and secretly. It is a form of infidelity and an affair because such intimate conversations usually only occur between 2 partners in a committed relationship because of their nature. Many who engage in emotional affairs rationalize such relationships as harmless because the other person usually (but not always) lives far away or there is otherwise no physical relationship. Nevertheless, emotional affairs cause tremendous trust problems, pain, hurt, and division in relationships. If you are engaging in this, stop it immediately or break up with your dating partner—because this isn’t fait to them. If you suspect that the other is engaging in this, read the signs below.

Signs Your Dating Partner Could Be Engaging in an Emotional Affair:

*They spend a great deal of time on their phone, tablet, or computer beyond work, video games, or simple social media. Notably more than usual.

*They suddenly act especially distant or irritable with you, even when there has not been any argument or clear reason for why. It’s like suddenly you can do no right and you wonder where this is coming from.

*You notice that your partner is becoming less affectionate with you—both physically and emotionally. Having fewer conversations with you as well.

*You notice your partner pulling away and finding reasons and excuses to spend less and less time together with you. They have become “busier” and distracted in general.

*You are dropped as a friend and/or suddenly blocked from one of more of their social media accounts without explanation (Facebook, Instagram, etc.). If you question them about this, their excuse will be because they suddenly have decided to keep the details of their relationship with you “private”, even when they were open about your relationship before.

*The other becomes less and less responsive to your calls and texts, taking longer and longer to get back to you. They also initiate notably less than before.

*Others of your friends or family members who are still connected to your partner’s social media account with them begin mentioning weird postings that include pictures of events or outings you didn’t go on/didn’t know about, along with weird, affectionate, and/or suggestive comments from members of the opposite sex you don’t know or recognize.

*You notice the other not only has changed their cell phone password, but they are have become especially secretive with whatever they are looking at or typing into their phone when you are around. The same with their computer or tablet. Suddenly they become very big on “privacy”. Also, they may start to complain about you acting weird like this, even though they are the one acting that way.

*They start accusing you of being paranoid, crazy, or controlling for simply questions about anything, including what they are doing or what they are up to.

Confronting Emotional Affairs:

If these signs are going on it is not for sure 100% that they are engaged in an emotional affair, but there is a good chance. You can cite the signs to them that you notice, why it bothers you, and request more openness, attention, and transparency in the relationship. If the other refuses and will not respect your feelings on the issue, then they are either in denial of what they are doing and/or are unwilling to stop for selfish purposes. In such cases it can be a good idea to let them clearly know your needs and the needed changes you would like to request from them with these issues. You can then have a separation/a break from each other in the relationship until/unless the other is willing to work with you to remedy these issues. Because simply put, if you don’t confront these issues and the problem keeps growing, there is a good chance in the near future he/she would be breaking up with you anyway. So better to hit this issue head on than just seeing the signs growing and just hoping they will just go away on their own.

Final Thoughts:

Respectfully but firmly noticing, confronting, and challenging an emotional affair is an acceptable thing to do. However of course your partner will likely become defensive and belligerent when you do. This is why a separation until they are ready to make the adjustment is usually better than fighting and arguing about it. And if you have a separation and the relationship ends because of that, you likely flushed out and unhealthy relationship that would have just ended painfully down the line anyway. Infidelity in all forms hurts, damages, even kills relationships and needs to be put to a stop to give your relationship a chance. Do what needs to be done to have fidelity in a relationship both directions to have the best chance possible to survive and thrive together. And you can, because “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11.”

Dr. G
P.S. If you can questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at drgilchrist@yahoo.com.

2020-03-30 Randy Gilchrist Healthy relationships, Psychological health

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About the author

Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to drgilchrist@yahoo.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to drgilchrist@yahoo.com).