Nothing gets people riled up like a question with no real objective answer. YourTango user DoodleBug got the community talking recently when she posted the Ask YourTango question "What makes an encounter an affair?"
Is an affair meaningless sex with someone other than a significant other?
What about cultivating a relationship with another man or woman, but not having sex?
Are emotional affairs just as bad as sexual affairs?
We were impressed by the thoughtful answer from irishmary24:
"An affair is giving the best part of yourself, body, mind or spirit, to someone other than your significant other. That is sex, but it is other things, too. People 'check out' emotionally and mentally, too. They may start sharing with a co-worker or online chat partner. It can begin as flirting, then sharing intimacies once reserved for their partner. Once it is given to someone else and removed from the relationship, the partner gets what's left. That begins the erosion of communication, physical imtimacy. Everyone wonders what happened. The cheating partner says, 'It just happened, we couldn't help falling in love.' That isn't true, though. He/She made himself/herself available to someone by giving away that which belonged between partners."
Whoa. Well said.
Now if only wise irishmary24 could tell us how to rebuild these eroded relationships...
Do you agree with her view on cheating? How -- or should I ask, can -- two partners survive infidelity?