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Day 18 - The Cause and Effect of Emotional Affairs

A unique perspective on friendship gone too far, and how to guard against going there.

Workbook day 18 (PDF content)

Day 18
The Cause and Effect of Emotionsl Affairs

“The idea that an emotional affair is somehow, something less than a physical affair is to totally misunderstand the real damage an affair does to a relationship.” – Dave Morgan

The emotional affair is harder to get over than the physical. Physical affairs are created by emotional affairs. Allowing our thoughts to create and develop ways to “connect” with other woman, other than our spouse, is dangerous territory

Q: If you are married, how do you feel about your spouse’s attention or lack of attention and love toward you?

Reasons Men Have Emotional Affairs

  • A perceived lack of attention from their spouse
  • Boredom
  • Deep emotional pain (from the relationship, childhood, or other relationship disasters) sometimes leave people more vulnerable to affairs
  • A basic lack of commitment
  • Anger
Q: Are you involved in an emotional affair?
Q: What reasons do you tell yourself that justify the emotional affair?

“There is always one overriding reason someone has an emotional affair. They have chosen to look somewhere other than their spouse to meet and get needs met that are the exclusive territory of their spouse.” – Dave Morgan

Alternative to Having an Affair

  • Reconcile and try and make the relationship better
  • Accept the relationship and get as many needs met as possible without having an affair
  • Separate and choose not to have an affair
  • Divorce and pursue another relationship
  • Be depressed and do nothing (not personally recommended)
Effects of an Affair
  • Divorce
  • Loss of trust in the partner
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Anger at the partner
  • Feeling betrayed, alone deceived, depressed and anxious
  • Suicidal or homicidal feelings
  • Crisis of faith
  • Fear

Affairs are selfish by nature. Big changes happen often after big catastrophic events. These big life changing events are often necessary to provide enough motivation to finally get the ball rolling but unfortunately the motivation only lasts for a little while. Unless plans are made to maintain the changes, people fall back in old patterns and end up more discouraged than before.

What is an Emotional Affair?

  • A close friendship with the opposite sex in which an intense and secretive emotional bond is formed.
  • The opposite sex is the primary emotional gratification is outside of your primary relationship, and your partner is excluded.
  • Sharing personal feelings and personal details that are “too personal” about yourself and their partner
  • Feeling a sense of companionship with your “friend” that is stronger than your spouse.
Whether we are single or married, this applies to all of us.

Q: How does it apply to you?

Friendship vs. Emotional Affair

Friendship: The relationship is open. You are honest about the time and activities with your friend.
Emotional Affair: The relationship is hidden or secretive. For example, e-mails or phone calls are secret in nature. Information or details are hidden from your partner.

Friendship: Your spouse is supportive of you spending time with your friend who is a source of support, but you do not discuss intimate details of you and your partner’s relationship.
Emotional Affair: This relationship upsets your partner. When asked about it, you become angry and defensive. You share intimate information with this person that should only be shared with your spouse.

Friendship: Activities with this person can include your spouse and other people.
Emotional Affair: Time spent with that person is private, and you downplay or minimize the relationship, reassuring that “nothing is happening.”

Friendship: There are good and communicated boundaries. You and your spouse are happy that time is being spent with this person.
Emotional Affair: There are accusations of jealousy or becoming controlling to get the partner to “back off.” You long for that person or miss them more than your partner.

Q: Inventory (describe) your emotions regarding the opposite sex. Is there any reason for God to be jealous?
Q: What changes need to be made in order to have a proper relationship with both God and your partner?