It's where the fine line between platonic and intimate is so thin, that you almost can't see it...
Emotional infidelity might be described as an act, or acts, of disloyalty to your love relationship, to your partner, by becoming personally involved with another at an emotional, kind of care-taking, level. It's where the fine line between platonic and intimate is so thin, that you almost can't see it anymore. And your lover definitely can't!
So how does it happen? Emotional infidelity occurs largely due to proximity, opportunity, and with today's technology, access. Every relationship goes through it's ups and downs. Like life, it's filled with challenges. The workplace may also be filled with challenges, and sometimes boredom, depending on your work. When people go through challenging times, they consciously or subconsciously will search for help and resolution.
The average person spends most of their waking hours on the job. By the time you factor in getting ready to go to work, travel time and sleep, the hours left to actually live a personal life and deal with all the activities and challenges in a relationship or family are down to about 4 - 5 hours per day. And Moms know, with kids of any age, there goes most of that time. So unless you and your partner are in sync with a strong sense of partnership, those times that you're not, make you vulnerable to find help somewhere else.
Why does it happen? If your challenges are at home and your hectic life doesn't give you much time to resolve them, you may find an escape and feel a common purpose by beginning to make a bond with someone at work. If you're challenges are on the job and you don't find comfort, understanding and maybe even a little help at home from your partner, you may find that comfort and the help you need from someone at work.
So the relief comes in talking to that guy on the job that seems to understand what you're going through and, even better, is able to help you with your challenge(s). And you become friends.
Next thing you know, you're sharing different things about your life, back and forth, with that person. You begin to share an understanding and have compassion for one another. You start to offer help to each other in personal and emotional matters. You have fun, make jokes and make each other laugh. The only problem is, that while you're finding relief and fulfilling your needs with this "friend" at work. You've abandon your relationship - whether you realize it or not.
Your partner is at home still in the challenge with you, yet you're not there (mentally, emotionally). You're not dealing with it constructively because you've now found relief from it and much prefer this easier softer way of getting through your days than dealing with the issues on hand at home. What are you doing?!
Here are 3 ways to avoid falling into the emotional infidelity trap:
- Ask Yourself: What do I really want? Am I really interested in letting my relationship go down the drain here? Why am I in it in the first place; what does my partner mean to me and my life - is it worth putting in the time and effort? If your answer is "yes," go on to number 2. If not, you have some decisions to make.
- Bend the ear of a girl friend, or a guy friend (depending on your gender and sexual orientation) - someone not likely to replace the emotional or sexual charge of your love relationship. Everyone needs someone to listen, care and add new perspective at times; you just want to pick someone who is safe, and acceptable, to the respect of your relationship. So find a friend or two that can help you process and work through your part of your issues without totally abandoning your partner.
- Make more of an effort to communicate effectively with your partner. Men and women absolutely communicate differently, so there's just the first of many possible barriers. Check into 4 Steps To Help Couples Speak Their Very Own Language to identify the different barriers to effective communication with your partner and ideas on how to bridge those gaps. How effectively you communicate with your partner, makes all the difference in the quality of life you will share. It's worth the effort.