After the wedding bells, when a couple move on into married life and their family and careers, often one or the other will meet someone--at work or in a class--who's company they enjoy and whom they spend time with. In fact, the Urban Dictionary has sprouted a new slang term "work spouse" for "a significant other with whom you work." Frequently one spouse will begin to wonder if it's crossed the line into an affair, and that's when you hear the infamous words, "We are JUST FRIENDS!" Are they? How can you tell when it's crossed the line from friendship into infidelity? Here are ten easy questions to help you decide! Infidelity 101: What Is An Emotional Affair?
WARTS AND ALL:
1. Do you hide your not-so-good side from your "friend" or do they see you stressed, grouchy, silly, frumpy and sick?
When it's a friendship, we let our friends see us as we are. When it's crossed the line into an emotional affair, we try to impress them and only let them see us looking good, smelling good, and at our witty best.
WHERE YOUR THOUGHTS GO....
2. Do you daydream and fantasize about your "friend" a lot?
When it's a friendship, usually your mind is on what you're doing or life and occasionally thinking of some situation in their life. When it's crossed the line into an emotional affair, your mind envisions, invents, imagines, and longs for what you might do with your "friend."
SOCIALIZING AND RECREATION:
3. Do you hope you might catch your "friend" if your out socially, or do you keep wanting to see your "friend" when you're with your partner?
When it's a friendship, you don't really think about running into your friends because you are present and enjoying the company of your partner. When it's crossed the line into an emotional affair, your mind thinks of ways to "accidentally run into them" or lingers on what a goodnight kiss might be like.
4. Does your partner support your friendship with your "friend"?
When it's a friendship, you and your partner have discussed and enthusiastically agree with each other about when and where to meet the friend and for how long--the primary connection and agreement is with your partner. When it's crossed the line into an emotional affair, your partner may not be comfortable with your "friend" or may not agree with when or how much time you spend with your "friend" and the primary connection is no longer with the partner.
OPEN PERSONAL TRANSPARENCY:
5. Does your partner know about your "friend" and know when you are actually catching up with your "friend"?
When it is a friendship, you allow your partner to see you--your life, your schedule, who you're seeing and why. When it's crossed the line into an emotional affair, you hide the truth and call that "privacy"; concealing your thoughts and feelings, where you're really going, and who you'll be meeting.
SHARING ALL OF YOU:
6. Are there more things that your partner intimately knows about you that your "friend" doesn't know of?