Post Reply
Page 1 of 5  •  1 2 3 4 5 Next
Switch to Forum Live View Emotional Infidelity...A Love Affair or Just Friends
6 years ago  ::  Nov 06, 2008 - 12:26PM #1
Cesmom
Posts: 4,845
I found this comment on another forum, and I thought it was an interesting different perspective on emotional affairs...

“Here's the thing, though:  who decides that it's an emotional affair?  For the run-of-the-mill affair, if a married person is having romantic dinners, lavishing love notes and flowers, and in effect dating another person, then it's clearly an affair. 

But if the married person is simply grabbing lunch with an opposite sex  friend, chatting about innocous subjects, and now and then catches a movie with the friend---basically acts exactly the same with this friend as with same gender friends---then he or she can still be committing an emotional affair if his or her spouse just doesn't like men and women hanging out together.”

Interesting thought…do you think the term “emotional affair” is sometimes used by a jealous and controlling spouse to justify isolating their mate from any friendships with any member of the opposite sex?

Another article actually breaks emotional affairs down into two different types...the "just friends" emotional affair and the "falling in love" emotional affair...thought I'd share...

http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/11-28-2005-82517.asp

If you read the article, I'd be interested in your thoughts on whether one is worse than the other, or if they are both equally wrong.
Our need to learn should always outweigh our need to be right

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them.
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Nov 07, 2008 - 12:02AM #2
PirateJohn
Posts: 408
[QUOTE=CESMom;876966]But if the married person is simply grabbing lunch with an opposite sex  friend, chatting about innocous subjects, and now and then catches a movie with the friend---basically acts exactly the same with this friend as with same gender friends---then he or she can still be committing an emotional affair if his or her spouse just doesn't like men and women hanging out together.”[/QUOTE]

I have many female friends I consider dear.  Some I even call my sisters.  Any woman I'm dating who expects me to sever my relationships with them just because she doesn't think I should be hanging out with other women will find out just how quickly she can be kicked to the curb.
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Nov 07, 2008 - 12:02AM #3
PirateJohn
Posts: 408
[QUOTE=CESMom;876966]But if the married person is simply grabbing lunch with an opposite sex  friend, chatting about innocous subjects, and now and then catches a movie with the friend---basically acts exactly the same with this friend as with same gender friends---then he or she can still be committing an emotional affair if his or her spouse just doesn't like men and women hanging out together.”[/QUOTE]

I have many female friends I consider dear.  Some I even call my sisters.  Any woman I'm dating who expects me to sever my relationships with them just because she doesn't think I should be hanging out with other women will find out just how quickly she can be kicked to the curb.
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Nov 07, 2008 - 11:12AM #4
rickyvilleza
Posts: 81
A little bit of jealousy in a relationship is necessary, otherwise the relationship is in real trouble.
If I don't care what my lady does, or who she sees, my relationship is not a healthy one.
We need to strike a balance between being protective and insisting on mutual respect for the relationship, and the other extreme, of constantly worrying, being paranoid, always calling our partner to find out where they are, et.
We have to trust our partners.
Of course we need partners we can trust.

Friends of the opposite sex are ok, although I wonder when two single people get together often
by themsleves when they are in a relationship with others.  That's not a healthy sign.  Every once in a while, fine.

We just need to be aware and discerning of what's going on with our partners without stifling their freedom.
There are the telltale signs and heresay when things are amiss.

My two cents
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Nov 07, 2008 - 11:30AM #5
Cesmom
Posts: 4,845
[QUOTE=rickyvilleza;879454]A little bit of jealousy in a relationship is necessary, otherwise the relationship is in real trouble.
If I don't care what my lady does, or who she sees, my relationship is not a healthy one.
[/QUOTE]

I don't agree that jealousy is necessary in a relationship.  I will agree that a little bit of jealousy may be normal or expected, but not necessary. 

I'm not jealous at all of my husband's friendships with other women.  If I was even slightly unsure or insecure about his commitment to me, I probably would be jealous and bothered by those friendships.  I am completely secure in our relationship, however, and I don't see his friendships with other women as threatening or disrepectful to our marriage.  Now, if they bothered me and he continued with them regardless of my feelings, I might find that disrespectful.  However, that is kind of a double-edged sword because if I let it bother me that much, am I really being respectful to him in trying to limit his friendships? 

Just to be clear, I'm not talking about going to lunch with someone 3 or 4 times a week or going out dancing with them on Saturday night or whatever.  I agree with what you said about going out often not being okay if you're in relationships with other people.  I'm just referring to casual friendships where you might grab lunch once in awhile or share a common interest that you may participate in on occassion.  Now, if my husband were to do something socially with one of his female friends, he would always make it clear that I am more than welcome to join in as well.  I probably wouldn't feel very comfortable with it if he tried to exclude me.  He just has some interests that don't really interest me, and if he wants to go hang out with someone else once in awhile, regardless of their gender, I don't have a problem with that.
Our need to learn should always outweigh our need to be right

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them.
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Nov 07, 2008 - 11:35AM #6
KatherineOrthodixie
Posts: 3,689
It all depends on where your priorities are. If your first and foremost priority is your spouse, spending time with them, talking with them etc. Where friendships cross the line into emotional affairs or whatever is when the friend becomes the first priority, rather than the spouse.
“The Law of the Church is to give oneself to what is given not to seek one’s own.” Fr. Alexander Schmemann
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Nov 07, 2008 - 2:38PM #7
Anesis
Posts: 1,543
According to the author of the article, there is a difference between simply being friends and having an emotional affair.
   
  The author provides some specific and objective ways to distinguish an emotional affair from a friendship. I think these points are significant. The sad thing is that most people are not self aware enough to recognize them, and if they are, they are not honest enough to admit them.
   
  What some people see as harmless fun is in fact very painful to another to see, and only serves to feed the insecurity of the partnership. There are two needs in every relationship: security and significance. These needs can be met through the two main components of commitment: consistency and care.
   
  If you care about your partner, you will not do things you know are painful for them.
   
  I think one of the points the author of the article is missing is that if you are “just friends”, there will be two things to recognize it as just a friendship. One is gender. If you are a man and you are speaking to other women differently than you would speak to a male friend, it is not simply friendship. It has crossed the line into flirtation. Flirtation can lead a person to think of possibly more than innocent friendship. The other thing the author is missing is that if it is just a friendship, the spouse will be brought into it, and the couple would be friends together with the person. It would not be a friendship exclusive of the marriage.
   
  As Katherine also pointed out, your marriage or partnership is a priority. If you have a secure and significant relationship, making friends together with others outside the marriage is more acceptable. However, if the marriage or partnership is lacking in intimacy of any kind (particularly emotional), it should never be sought outside the marriage. All that does is open the door for taking the emotional intimacy into other types of intimacy. Emotional intimacy outside the marriage leads to sexual affairs.
   
  If you care at all about your spouse, you will not seek emotional intimacy outside the marriage. If it is not damaging in itself, it will most likely eventually lead to damage. Think about the message that it is sending to your partner. Think about how you might feel if the situation were reversed.
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Nov 07, 2008 - 2:58PM #8
Cesmom
Posts: 4,845
[QUOTE=Anesis;879923]According to the author of the article, there is a difference between simply being friends and having an emotional affair.   
  [/QUOTE]

I got the impression that the author was referring to both scenarios as being emotional affairs, and therefore, inappropriate, but, that he was placing emotional affairs into 2 seperate categories.

The "just friends" category is where you see the person as just a friend, and therefore, may not recognize that the relationship has become inappropriate or that you have become too emotionally connected.  This robs emotional energy from your primary relationship, but is more subtle and could be harder to recognize & fix before it becomes a major problem.

The "falling in love" category is where you think you've found your real 'soulmate' in that other person and start to doubt the importance of your current relationship, but just haven't yet 'consumated' the new relationship, so to speak, out of guilt or fear or uncertainty or some other reason.

I've seen the term "emotional affair" as a type of affair that someone has, but I found it interesting that the author of the article actually breaks it out into 'sub-types' within the term "emotional affair".  While I believe they both cause the same amount of damage, I can see each of them from a completely different perspective, and each may need to be repaired in a different way.
Our need to learn should always outweigh our need to be right

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them.
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Nov 07, 2008 - 3:13PM #9
Anesis
Posts: 1,543

CESMom wrote:

I got the impression that the author was referring to both scenarios as being emotional affairs, and therefore, inappropriate, but, that he was placing emotional affairs into 2 seperate categories.

The "just friends" category is where you see the person as just a friend, and therefore, may not recognize that the relationship has become inappropriate or that you have become too emotionally connected.  This robs emotional energy from your primary relationship, but is more subtle and could be harder to recognize & fix before it becomes a major problem.

The "falling in love" category is where you think you've found your real 'soulmate' in that other person and start to doubt the importance of your current relationship, but just haven't yet 'consumated' the new relationship, so to speak, out of guilt or fear or uncertainty or some other reason.

I've seen the term "emotional affair" as a type of affair that someone has, but I found it interesting that the author of the article actually breaks it out into 'sub-types' within the term "emotional affair".  While I believe they both cause the same amount of damage, I can see each of them from a completely different perspective, and each may need to be repaired in a different way.



Yes, I agree....both are damaging. I suppose I find the first one more innocent than the second one, and the first one as having a chance to resolve with two people who care about their marriage. The second one, imho, has less chance, as it is probably more deliberate, more of a secret, etc. For me, I suppose intent really matters here.

However, you are right. Both are emotional affairs and both are damaging to a partnership. Emotional intimacy should be sought from your partner....not from outside the marriage.

Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Nov 29, 2008 - 4:16AM #10
MellyJC
Posts: 24
[QUOTE=Anesis;879923]If you are a man and you are speaking to other women differently than you would speak to a male friend, it is not simply friendship. It has crossed the line into flirtation.



I must disagree, this is not necessarily true.  My husband's friends clearly treat me differently than they treat him (give me hugs, talk to me about relationship problems instead of just eating contests, bodily functions, and sports, etc).  They treat me differently, but they are not flirting with me.  It's just a different type of relationship.

[QUOTE]However, if the marriage or partnership is lacking in intimacy of any kind (particularly emotional), it should never be sought outside the marriage. All that does is open the door for taking the emotional intimacy into other types of intimacy. Emotional intimacy outside the marriage leads to sexual affairs.



I see the truth in this, but I am not entirely sure this is an absolute, either.  I don't think we are ever meant to rely on one person to meet all of our needs; that wouldn't be healthy.  I go to my best friend to talk about things my husband can't or does not want to understand.  I can get a different perspective that could perhaps aid our relationship.  I can talk about a wider range of topics, etc.  It's what friends are for.

In some ways, I think it can be quite healthy for a relationship, but I think we need a clearer definition of emotional intimacy.  My husband actually encourages me to socialize with others.  He knows it makes me happy, and it makes him happy not having to do things he's not interested in.  But I do still very much need emotional intimacy from him to be happy.

Now, that isn't to say outside emotional intimacy couldn't also be harmful.  Like another poster was saying, some jealousy could be a good thing.  It's a little worrisome if he doesn't care at all where or whom I'm with.  There are things he wants me to keep only for him, and I would worry if that were not true.  But of course a person should not be asked to stay in a relationship that does not make them happy (stalker style).

   If you care at all about your spouse, you will not seek emotional intimacy outside the marriage. If it is not damaging in itself, it will most likely eventually lead to damage. Think about the message that it is sending to your partner. Think about how you might feel if the situation were reversed.[/QUOTE]

I'd just like to throw in an important piece of this puzzle...marriages are systems.  If someone is cheating, therapists are taught to see it as a design by the system - not the fault of one person in particular.  For someone to look outside the relationship means their needs are not being met inside the relationship.  They are not just a 'bad person who went outside the marriage'.  The partner was also failing to meet their needs.  It was the fault of BOTH parties, and at that point they are both already sending messages to each other.

Quick Reply
Cancel
Page 1 of 5  •  1 2 3 4 5 Next
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook