An emotional affair is an affair of emotional intimacy rather than physical intimacy. Sometimes called an affair of the heart an emotional affair is an innappropriate friendship in which at least one of the parties is committed to a monogamous relationship. An emotional affair infringes on the boundaries and the intimacy of a committed relationship.

Emotional affairs generally begin rather innocently as friendships between two people. As the bond between these two people begins to grow it can sometimes reach a point where it begins to intrude on the relationship of one of the parties. Emotional affairs can be the source of much heartache in a monogamous relationship and can much more complex than the run of the mill physical affair. It is estimated that as many as 50% of emotional affairs will eventually become physical Affairs.

Signs That You May Be Involved In An Emotional Affair:

  1. You feel the need to hide or lie about how much time you are spending with your friend, or about the conversations or activities that go on within your friendship. For instance you go to lunch with your "friend" but you are uncomfortable telling your spouse that you have done so.
  2. When something exciting or out of the ordinary happens in your life, you feel the need to go and tell your friend before you even tell your husband or wife. If you find that you are more interested in sharing details of your life with your friend than with your wife, this may be a sign of an emotional affair.
  3. You buy your friend little gifts. Often when two people are involved in an emotional affair, they will buy each other small gifts or knick knacks which may seem innocent enough, but are actually tokens of your affection.
  4. You are withdrawing from your spouse. If you find yourself more and more preoccupied with your friend while simultaneously you are withdrawing from your spouse this is a good indication of an emotional affair. If you are finding that you are less interested in being either physically or emotionally intimate with your spouse this may be a warning sign of your emotional infidelity.
  5. You are sexually attracted to your friend. Even though your relationship may bot be based on sex, your relationship may be cosnidered an emotional affair if you are strongly attracted to your friend. When you are in a commited relationship, having friend a whom you are deeply intimate with on an emotional level while also being strongly attracted to is inappropriate and may be considered emotional infidelity.

None of these signs are necessarily conclusive evidence that you are involved in an emotional affair, but if you can related to many or even most of these warning signs, then it's time to consider that you may be engaged in an affair of the heart. If you or your spouse is involved in a friendship that is causing your partner pain, it is important to remain calm and rational and to discuss and work things through. Emotional affairs can ruin a relationship, but they don't have to. Imagine yourself in the other person's shoes and establish clear boundaries for your relationship.