A Friendship or an Emotional Affair?

Are you concerned your partner is having an emotional affair?  Are you questioning if you are in the middle of an emotional affair?  We can help!

Dr. Shirley Glass is one of the leading researchers on infidelity.  The following is a quiz she developed from her research to reach those who may be on the verge of having an affair. Answer yes or no to the follow questions:

  1. Do you confide more to your friend than to your partner about how your day went?

  2. Do you discuss negative feelings or intimate details about your marriage with your friend but not with your partner?

  3. Are you open with your partner about the extent of your involvement with your friend?

  4. Would you feel comfortable if your partner heard your conversation with your friend?

  5. Would you feel comfortable if your partner saw a videotape of the meeting?

  6. Are you aware of sexual tensions in this friendship?

  7. Do you and your friend touch differently when you're alone than in front of others?

  8. Are you in love with your friend?

Scoring Key:  1 point for each yes to questions 1,2,6,7,8 and 1 point for each no to 3,4,5.  If you scored near 0, this is just a friendship.  If you scored 3 or more you may not be "just friends."  If you scored 7-8, you are definitely involved in an emotional affair.

If you would like help to heal from an emotional affair, call us today.  

Glass, Shirley. (2003). Not just friends: Rebuilding trust and recovering your sanity after infidelity (pp.16). New York, NY: Free Press.


Why Do People Cheat?

There are many reasons why people choose to have affairs.  It is helpful to have a thorough understanding of the factors that influenced that behavior.  

When people are unhappy in their current relationship they may feel overwhelmed or hurt and instead of turning towards their partner and expressing this, they choose to look elsewhere. They begin to look for love in the wrong places. Those who have had an affair will often say they never saw the affair coming, yet they were looking for an intimate relationship outside of their marriage. This is extremely risky and damaging to a marriage.

It is important to understand that good people in good marriages have affairs.  The internet, social media, and often workplaces have become fertile grounds for platonic relationships to blossom into full blown affairs.

Below is a list of why people choose to have affairs as explained by Michelle Weiner Davis in her book The Divorce Remedy.

1. Feeling taken for granted - When marriages go flat and your partner does not feel valued or appreciated, people become prone to affairs.

2. Feeling as if their sex life is lacking - This may be a difference in sex drive, boredom, loss of physical attraction, or feeling as if your partner is a poor lover.

3. Needing a boost to their ego - Needing the approval of others to restore one's sense of self.

4. Feeling as if they are routinely criticized - When people are hurting deeply inside, they hurt their partner.  The one criticized is left to feel as if they are never "good enough." Endless blaming takes it toll and the criticized partner looks for their appreciation elsewhere. 

5. A cry for help - This happens because in the mind of the one who had the affair, they've tried everything to get their partners to understand, but nothing has worked.

6. A one night stand - People make bad choices.  Sometimes even in good marriages, the opportunity presents itself and it is more an issue of poor impulse control than a statement about the marriage.

7. Sexual addiction - Sometimes no matter how much sex happens in a relationship, one person is never satisfied.  People with sexual addiction have an insatiable need to engage in sexual behaviors.

Relationships can heal from affairs.  If your relationship is trying to heal from an affair, call us today!

The Science of Trust

Harmful words. Secret texts. Secret lunches. Emotional Cheating. Affairs.

All of these situations can lead to a loss of trust between partners. Once a person realizes that they have acted in a way that has caused harm to their relationship they often don't know where to turn or what to do. How does one rebuild trust after causing so much pain? The research behind how trust is built is pretty clear. It takes small acts, one-by-one, over time to repair the damage that has been done. Finding moments to move toward your partner, instead of turning away.

In this video, Dr. Brene Brown describes the research around 'trust'. In it, she references Dr. John Gottman's research on building trust with couples. I hope you find this video helps you to focus on the things you need to do to build or even rebuild trust within your own relationship.