Finding out your significant other has had an emotional affair with someone else will test the strength of your relationship. It will hurt and cause damage to your relationship, but it is possible to recover and develop an ever deeper relationship with your significant other.
In this article, we are going to show you how to get over an emotional affair in five steps.
How to Get Over an Emotional Affair
Nearly 35 percent of wives and 45 percent of husbands admit to having emotional affairs. Those under 30 are at higher risk of getting involved in an emotional affair. Almost half of the men reported their reason for the affair was due to emotional dissatisfaction in their marriage.
These are just a few of the startling statistics reported by the Health Research Foundation.
You may now be wondering if you or someone you love has had an emotional affair. If so, it is important to understand exactly what having an emotional affair means.
Emotional Affair Defined
If you spend any amount of time in an environment other than your home, you have likely made friends with other adults. Whether they are your co-workers, parents of kids who play on the same ball team as your kids, or neighbors.
Connecting with other adults is healthy until it is no longer healthy. When your feelings for an adult other than your spouse move from friendly to romantic, you are heading towards an emotional affair.
Those who have emotional affairs do not have physical intimacy with someone, but they can desire a physical relationship. Emotional affairs consist of spending more time together, in person or on the phone or online.
The two of you may share issues, such as problems in your marriage, to connect and lean on each other for support. You should be relying on your spouse for emotional support but find yourself seeking help from someone in whom you find interesting or feel chemistry.
Emotional affairs can lead to poor decisions and a rift in your relationship. If you have already had an emotional affair, you likely know this to be true.
What you may not know is that your relationship can survive an emotional affair. You can get over it and go on to have a successful relationship with your partner.
Below are five specific steps to help your relationship succeed after an emotional affair.
1. End the Emotional Affair
The emotional affair must end for you and your spouse to move forward. If you are the one having an emotional affair, end it today. If your partner is having an emotional affair, they must end it.
Ending the friendship causing conflict can be difficult but if you truly want to salvage your relationship, this must be done. It helps both of you feel more comfortable and reassures you that temptations will be avoided in the future.
If you are having an emotional affair with a co-worker, you must find ways to avoid being alone with them. Do not travel together, do not eat lunch together, and do not carpool together.
You must tell the person that your emotional affair is over. When you do this, you can focus on rebuilding the trust and restoring your relationship.
2. Identify the Needs That Were Met in the Affair
Many who have emotional affairs claim their spouses were not fulfilling their needs in certain areas. Some needed more compliments, ego-stroking, someone to listen to them or make them feel more desired or sexy. Whatever your needs were, address them with your partner.
It may be that your partner does not know what you need, and they would be happy to provide them to you if they had known.
It is important to have your needs met by your spouse, and vice versa. Communicate your needs and help your spouse understand why and how they can help you. Do the same for your spouse. Then practice meeting needs. It will become more natural over time and draw you closer.
3. Change Your View
Too often, couples focus on the negative traits of their partner. Thinking about the pet peeves and the annoying behaviors your spouse has only made you think of them negatively. Over time, you forget they have beautiful qualities, like the ones you fell in love within the beginning.
Change your viewpoint and thoughts to focus on the positive qualities your partner has, such as intelligence, beauty and what they provide for you every day; share what you are grateful for.
When a negative thought enters your mind, immediately replace with a positive one. With each positive thought you have, express it to your spouse. Complimenting them will make you both feel good.
4. Put in the Work
Rebuilding a relationship does not happen overnight. It will take time and a lot of effort. Do not have unrealistic expectations. Instead, put in the work and the time.
Be accountable, understand there will be ups and downs, prove yourself, do what you say you are going to do, participate in activities that reconnect you and your partner physically and emotionally, and do not give up.
What you invest in your marriage is exactly what you will get out of it.
Associate with married couples who are good role models, have fun with your spouse, educate yourself on how to make a marriage work, and learn more about yourself and what it is about you that led to an emotional affair.
One of the best things you can do to save a marriage is to seek therapy from a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.
5. Seek Help
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists facilitate in helping couples work through their differences and learn new behaviors in order to help their relationship survive obstacles.
In therapy, you are both able to be heard. You can express your thoughts and feelings without the fear of judgment. You can learn better ways to communicate, restore intimacy and explore your relationship.
In relationship counseling, you and your spouse are the focus. You are not there to be blamed or to blame someone else. You simply focus on moving forward to make your relationship work.
In conclusion, your relationship can survive an emotional affair if you put forth the effort to save it. Be honest throughout the process, commit to the process, and seek help.
While an emotional affair is not a physical affair, it is still an affair, a betrayal. Start working on healing your marriage today. It is worth it.