Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Can you have an affair without getting physical?

It's that subtle flirting with a 'friend' that will lead to a full blown affair. It's one of the biggest reasons that over 50% of all marriages in this country end in divorce! It all starts with selfishness. "My husband just doesn't meet my emotional needs," or "why doesn't my wife seem to care about what I do like she used to?" or "I do so much for my spouse, what does he/she ever do for me?"

I think we have all had these moments of selfishness in our marriage! Unfortunately, we can't afford to be selfish in a marriage the way we can during the dating phase. Marriage takes work and dedication; particularly to meeting the needs of the other person. I have been searching high and low on other people's opinions on this matter. What I have come up with is that YES, it is possible to have an 'emotional' affair without any 'physical' involvement. I think that this simply means your feelings and devotion have (even in the most subtle form) transferred to someone else.

I also found this awesome questionnaire (mixed with some of my own questions) from a family values magazine that I subscribe to. (Full article here.) You can ask yourself these questions and decide if perhaps you need to change your behavior and/or lifestyle:

*Are you turning to your 'friend' for comfort rather than turning to your spouse?
*Do you find yourself thinking about your friend even when you are at home?
*Are you looking for the negative rather than the positive in your spouse?
*Do you seek opportunities to be with your friend even when work doesn't require you to be together?
*Do you email and text your friend when you are not together?
*Have you told your spouse about these messages? Or do you try to hide them?
*Does the relationship with your friend take more of your time and energy than your relationship with your spouse?
*Do you compare your spouse to your friend?
*Would you be uncomfortable introducing your spouse to your friend?
*Is your spouse voice a concern about a change in your behavior?

If you answered 'yes' to most of these questions, you may be entering the beginning stages of an emotional affair, which ultimately can destroy your marriage. YIKES!

What can be done about this?

Some good tips I have been told are:

1) First of all, recognize your behavior as being inappropriate and wrong. It is easy to fall into this kind of trap, and losing your family over it is NOT worth it!

2) END the flirty relationship. Either tell your 'friend' that you cannot continue this way, or simply stop the excess communication. A wise relative told me that it is FAR better to offend someone at work than to offend your spouse.

3)Have an open conversation with your spouse. Focus on YOURSELF being the problem, not the other person. There may be some needs that yours spouse is not aware of and would be glad to work on once realized. Make a sincere apology if necessary.

4)REFOCUS your attention to your marriage and your spouse. Look for the positive rather than the negative. Try to forget yourself and think of your spouses feelings.

No comments: