Emotional Affair-Is He Cheating?
Q: I'm good friends with a woman at work. We often have lunch together (alone) and sometimes talk on the phone. We know details of each other's lives. I hear often about "emotional affairs" or "work wives" and wonder where the line is drawn? I like this woman, but I don't flirt with her. We spent a fair amount of time together — including some late hours and work travel — but it's never been physical. Am I doing anything wrong? Stephen-54
Dr. Pamela: Stephen, Stephen, Stephen… It's too late for drawing lines. Grab some bricks and start building a wall. Here is a fact: 85% of affairs begin in the workplace. Lunches, the sharing of personal details, long late nights, phone conversations, and traveling together are precisely how people fall in love. I'm sure that you've not only flirted with your co-worker but have had images of sleeping with her.
Stop rationalizing by saying there's been nothing physical. Emotional infidelity can be more damaging to a marriage than physical infidelity. The emotional attachment you are developing with this your 'good friend' can be devastating to your spouse. The more intimately and secretly you connect with your colleague, the more you compromise your marriage. You find yourself exaggerating flaws in what may be a great relationship with your wife.
So now that you know you're in this emotional affair, what do you want to do? There are just two things you can do at this crossroad. Break up with your wife. Or end the emotional affair. It's time to make that decision, before it gets made for you.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.