"Nothing is going on. It was just a few texts."
She was a beautiful and highly business successful woman. He was a handsome, intelligent charismatic man. They were perfect for each other. They had an awesome love story, an awesome family, and an awesome life. There was just one problem: she had been corresponding to another man via a few text messages...a few hundred text messages, that is. But to her, it was no big deal, it was just a few text messages. Nothing sexual had happened or had ever even been mentioned between her and her text buddy. So what's the big deal? To him it was a betrayal the size of Mt. Everest.
How can I ever trust her again?
What was the big deal with this couple...she was having an emotional affair. When many people think of affairs they often think of two people who are secret lovers. They think of the secret appointments and hushed conversations. Although this most certainly qualifies as an affair, the reality is that affairs can occur in other ways.
As with the couple described above, technology can often be used to carry on secret relationships. The makeup of these text affairs often have the same makeup of sexual/romantic affairs.
1. There is secrecy and one partner in the relationship is in the dark about the offending partner's behavior.
2. Emotional needs and intimacy needs are met outside of the primary relationship.
3. There is no immediate urgency to inform the unsuspecting partner about the relationship.
Emotional affairs create a deep sense of betrayal and mistrust. The deceived partner often becomes insecure in the relationship and, for quite some time after becoming informed of the affair, has a hard time resisting the urge to check the offending partner's phones and social media. One thing is certain, choosing to stay together in spite of an affair means the couple must journey a long road to recovery.
The good news is that there is still hope for the relationship and trust can be rebuilt-with hard work. The truth is that after learning of an emotional affair, couples need to take a hard look at all of the circumstances that lead to the infraction. As much as everyone likes to believe that affairs are solely the result of a shortcoming on the part of the offending partner, the reality is that affairs are a sign of bigger problems in the relationship. if the relationship is going to survive both partners must acknowledge his/her part in the creation of the problem.
Oh and in case you were wondering, any clinical material is based on a compilation of cases and not one particular case.
I said what I said...now let me know what you think.