Emotional Affairs: Has Your Spouse's Friendship Crossed the Line?

Many people wonder, is it okay to have friends of the opposite sex when you are committed or will it always cross boundaries from a platonic friendship into something more romantic?

a couple and a friend

Many people in relationships desire outside friendships, even of the opposite sex. In the world today, there are plenty of opportunities to meet others and form friendships as an individual. These places include the workplace, gym, school, mutual activities, wherein the friendships can evolve into close relationships or emotional affairs.

Here some red flags to alert you that your partner may be having an emotional affair:

  • Being secretive about a friendship and activities outside the marriage. This can fan the flames of excitement, intrigue and most of all separateness (pulling away). It is fine to need some free time outside the home, but if the person/relationship is kept secret on purpose, this automatically increases the intensity and fantasy in regards to the other.
  • Sharing feelings or thoughts with another person or attempting to share intimate problems they are having with their spouse. Sharing dissatisfactions regarding a spouse establishes intimacy and is giving off a signal you are available. This is a huge violation and is indicative that your relationship is needing help.
  • Spending or attempting to spend time with another, over and above you as the priority. You are becoming the outsider, less important (or thought about). If you have to wonder if you are a priority, there may be a powerful betrayal occurring and you should be significantly alarmed.

The majority of affairs occur between co-workers and friends. This makes sense because we spend the majority of our time during the day at work (most of us!), and interacting with our co-workers, which allows us time to get to know them well. This is one area where it would be highly beneficial to cultivate strong boundaries between one another. An example of this might be to always lunch in groups never one on one.

Hopefully, these red flags will allow you to have a clearer picture of what may be going on for yourself or your partner in your relationship before larger mistakes are made.

There are many different reasons why people enter into emotional affairs. Believe it or not, It doesn't have to mean the end of a marriage, it can mean the beginning to a deeper understanding of one another and more healthy relationship.

Not all opposite gender friendships formed while in a married or committed relationship will lead to an emotional affair. It is entirely possible to have friends within your marriage, who, instead of disrespecting it, are mutually protective and considerate towards it.