Ways To End Emotional Affair | Infidelity Signs

By Robert Porter|Updated June 20, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Karen Devlin, LPC

It can feel good to have a connection with someone outside of your relationship on an emotional level. People need to be able to have friends to talk to and it's also nice to just be able to go out with other adults while in a marriage. There's a difference between having a friendship with someone and having an emotional affair partner, though. An emotional affair partner often rides a fine line between being a friendship and an affair or cheating on a committed relationship. Culture mostly focuses on sexual affairs, but when you have a primary relationship, such as a loyal spouse or another long term relationship, you can jeopardize your emotional relationship through emotional damage outside of a sexual affair. If you have been going through an emotional affair or cheating of sorts with someone that you know, then you might be wondering how you can end it. It isn't always easy to stop seeing someone, but you don't want to jeopardize a happy marriage either.

The signs of cheating can be an emotional discovery that takes a huge toll on both parties involved. An affair in a marriage can be difficult.

Emotional Affairs Can Indicate A Larger Issue
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You can learn how to end an emotional affair so that you can finally move on with your life. This situation has likely thrown your life into a chaotic state. You might be confused about what is going to be the right thing to do in this situation. Read on to get more information about how to end emotional affairs, improve your well being, and work on building a deep connection with your partner and/or a healthier marriage. It should give you something to think about, and hopefully, it'll help you to move on with your life. At the end of the day, emotional affairs end, and in part, it is up to you if it ends in a destructive way like an extra marital affair, or in a positive way with healthy boundaries for you, your partner, and your friend.

Emotional Affair

An emotional affair is a friendship that has developed into something more beyond a close friendship. Married individuals likely have many friends that they turn to for companionship. Sometimes married people also have friends of the opposite sex and this isn't necessarily bad. You can have a friendship with someone without it being inappropriate in any way. The problem is that it is also possible to become emotionally attached to someone on a level that isn't appropriate when you're married where someone else fulfills too many emotional needs that ought to be worked through with a significant other.

For example, you could look at the amount of time spent with the friend, and maybe it is more time that you spend with your partner. If this is coupled with you sharing intimate details and fulfilling an emotional need with deeper issues with this person, then it might be an emotional affair. These types of emotional affairs involve having an intimate relationship with someone that is not a physical one. You might turn to this person for love and emotional support. Normally, you might turn to your spouse for this type of emotional support. Having someone like this in your life diminishes the significance of your spouse in some ways. You may say that you are “just friends,” and in some cases this is true. In other situations, there are underlying issues where the relationship with the emotional affair partner goes beyond that.

Emotional Cheating: Signs

Being able to recognize when things have gone too far emotionally isn't always easy. You might think that your connection with someone is purely platonic and normal. However, a normal friendship can turn into an emotional affair over time. You might discover that you have more of an emotional connection to this person than you initially realized. It could lead you to want to be around them more often and you might even feel like you're in a type of relationship with this person, turning to an affair.

If your spouse is worried about your friendship with someone else, then there is a chance that the relationship might be inappropriate. You need to ensure that you are keeping things purely platonic and normal between you and your friends. Some people cross that line innocently at first, but they then start to explore the relationship more.

If you feel the need to keep your interactions with a friend secret from your spouse, then it's likely that you're having an emotional affair. This is different from a spouse having wandering eyes without acting on it due to the emotional connection that is involved.

Emotional Affair To Cheating

Yes, emotional infidelity can potentially lead to cheating. Sometimes people who are having an emotional affair will have a sexual attraction to one another.

You might recognize the attraction and you could even discuss it with this individual. Some people just experience sexual tension with another person without talking about it. Either way, this has the potential to lead to actual cheating down the line. If you keep bonding with this person and spending time together, then you might be tempted to act on your impulses at some point.

What do you do when you suspect that your partner is being unfaithful?

Not all emotional affairs lead to cheating, though. Some people simply enjoy the thought of it, and they would never be able to bring themselves to act on their baser desires. Whatever the situation is, it's plain to see that these types of emotionally intimate relationships feel inappropriate. If you're in a committed and monogamous marriage, then you should try not to have these emotional affairs with others. They can lead to hurt feelings or much worse.

How To End An Emotional Affair

Ending an emotional affair might feel very difficult. It can feel like losing an important friend that you have come to cherish. In all likelihood, you won't even be able to remain friends with this individual. How you move forward will take plenty of self reflection.

Moving forward with your life is possible once you decide to end it. You need to be honest with the person that you have been developing this bond with. Tell him or her that you feel that this relationship has become inappropriate. Admit your feelings and tell them that you very much love your spouse. Use that as your reason for not being able to see them any longer.

Your friend might object to your ending of the friendship. You might have a hard time not talking to this person any longer. It could cause emotional heartache that is not too dissimilar from breaking up with a lover. This just shows how inappropriate and serious this connection between you two was. The best way to end an emotional affair is to be honest and to stop seeing the other person entirely.

You should also consider whether or not you want to remain in your marriage. There are situations where people seek out emotionally charged relationships due to things that are missing in their marriages. Your marriage might not be satisfying, or you might feel as if your spouse doesn't truly love you. No one has to stay in a loveless marriage if they don't want to. Divorce is an option, but you can also work on fixing your marriage if you do love your spouse. Marriage counselling is an option too. You may need to rebuild trust, work on improved communication, or build other facets of a healthy relationship. If your partner refuses to go with you, you might consider individual therapy, or even other places to talk like a support group or therapy clinic.

What do you do when you suspect an unfaithful partner?
Emotional Affairs Can Indicate A Larger Issue

Romantic Cheating = Physical Infidelity?

Whether or not this is the same as cheating is up to interpretation. Some spouses might feel that this is a betrayal of their trust that is on par with traditional infidelity.

Others might see it as a troubling situation, but they might not consider it to be cheating. Your partner will have to decide how they feel about things. You should admit that you have been spending too much time with this person and then tell your spouse that it is going to stop.

Emotional affairs can certainly cause similar problems when compared to cheating. It can harm your relationship and it can make your spouse feel as if they have been betrayed. You might feel the need to apologize and to try to make things up to your spouse.

Moving forward together is only going to be possible if your spouse is willing to forgive you. Your spouse will likely want assurances that you won't see the person that you were cheating with ever again, too.

Moving Forward

Moving forward as a married couple is not easy when you are just coming out of an emotional affair. You might even feel very emotionally vulnerable due to exposing your connection with this friend.

Your spouse might be distrustful of you for a while and you'll need to work on fixing things. There are likely many problems in your relationship that need to be addressed. Your desire to seek out love and support from a friend shows you that your marriage is less than perfect.

Talk to your spouse about what has happened and try to commit to walking toward the future together. If you love each other, then you will be able to overcome this situation. You just need to be prepared to confront difficult subjects without attacking each other. It might be best for you to get some help from professionals who know how to guide you through the process.

How Online Couples Therapists Can Help

Your need for a connection with someone else might stem from problems that exist in your marriage. You should never blame your husband or wife for what has occurred.

It's crucial to acknowledge what has happened and to move on. After you have ended your affair, you will need to work on strengthening your marriage. This might not be easy to accomplish by yourself. This is why it is highly recommended that you seek out the help of online couples' counselors.

How do you move forward in your partnership following a non-physical tryst?

Online couples counseling is a perfect way for you to get over issues that are harming your marriage. These professionals can help you to work on your communication while also addressing problems that are keeping you from connecting properly. They can help you at any time that you decide to reach out. Best of all, this is a very discreet form of counseling that will allow you to get help without advertising it to the world. If you want to work on saving your marriage, then these online therapists will be great allies. They'll always be there for you and it's also cost-effective.

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