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What's the difference between an emotional affair

(11 Posts)
SofaSurfer20 Sat 16-Mar-19 09:06:40

What's the difference between an emotional affair and talking to a close online friend?

Everyone needs someone to talk to and sometimes that isn't your partner/husband/wife (for whatever reason). Is doing that an emotional affair?

What makes it an affair?

Maybe naive here but I don't get it.

chipsandgin Sat 16-Mar-19 09:15:16

Sexual content or intention I would think. Most of my friends are blokes (& I’m a straight woman in a long term relationship with kids) - my DH has no problem with me being close to and spending time with any of my friends, but if any of those friendships were flirty or anything more than platonic/brotherly or if there were secret meetings or inappropriate conversations or intentions then they overstep the mark.

I also respect & understand his friendships with all his female friends too and most of these friends on both sides are mutual (I think we both have friends of both sexes who one or the other are less keen on/have different interests too though).

An EA is the very fine line before an actual physical affair, nothing to do with friends IMO.

I’ve just seen your post says ‘online friend’ though & that’s something I’ll never get. Not sure how you can be actual friends with someone online (but maybe I’m just old!!)

Redcliff Sat 16-Mar-19 10:28:22

I think maybe the intensity makes a difference- I had a male friend at my last job and we would send the odd text every now and then which is fine but I see people on here talking about texting all evening going on to the early hours.

Singlenotsingle Sat 16-Mar-19 10:30:55

An emotional affair is a "crush" on someone. Not taken to the next level ie physical, but still damaging to the primary relationship.

HardofCleaning Sat 16-Mar-19 10:36:55

An emotional affair has the level of intimacy (either sexual or otherwise) usually reserved for your partner and is usually taking away attention from your partner in a way that wouldn't happen with a close friend. It's basically laying the ground work for a full relationship with someone who isn't your partner.

TheWayThingsTendToBe Sat 16-Mar-19 10:43:33

Secrecy, talking to that person about ‘problems’ in the relationship and not to your spouse/partner to sort it, putting their emotional needs over your partner’s, prioritising them and wanting to impress them, mentionitis, inappropriate and intimate gifts, priding yourself that you are not having an physical affair as you are ‘just friends’.

Can you tell I’ve been on the wrong end of one?

Why do you ask?

Whatsername7 Sat 16-Mar-19 10:48:31

Intimacy. When my dh had an emotional affair the woman was a confidante who he flirted with, exchanged lots and lots of messages with daily, including sexually charged messages and, by his own admission, struggled to keep away from her. He knew she fancied him, and encouraged it because he liked the ego boost. If he hadn't been caught out, it would have gone further. He would argue that he ensured he got caught because he could see where it was going and he didnt want it to go further. Either way,emotional affairs are secretive relationships disguised as a close friendship. They are devestating to a marriage. I kicked my dh out when his came to light. I gave him the opportunity to follow his interest in the OW and told him we were finished. He chose to completely end it with her and then tried to win me back. I was pregnant, so we went to counciling. He admitted to a porn addiction and the sexually charged messages were part of that. After 3 months of counciling we reconciled.

SandyY2K Sat 16-Mar-19 10:48:53

The nature of your discussions make it an emotional affair.

SofaSurfer20 Sat 16-Mar-19 13:21:52


I'm asking really because I talk to everyone. But there's a certain few people (female friends) that I talk to all the time, I trust them and we are there for each other. We can talk about everything and anything.

There's no more than that, from either side.

Only once I was talking to a male friend and it became evident he had a bit of a crush as he started being flirty, I cut contact and told my partner as it made me feel very uncomfortable.

Folf Sat 16-Mar-19 13:29:28

its an emotional affair when you develop feelings for the other person you're talking to.

I've a lot of online friends, i'm a very touchy feely person and we actively 'hug' each other and talk on and off all day, send kisses and hearts....etc (I ought to mention i'm single btw) and ask how each other are doing and take interest in their lives, same as I would my 'real life' friends who I hug and kiss hello/goodbye and so on.

I consider that fine, but when you have the same 'butterflies' for a person you talk to, that you do/did for your partner, then you're stepping into emotional affair territory.

Goodenough06 Sat 16-Mar-19 13:45:28

I think whatever makes it an affair or in any way cheating is the answer to the question: *would you be doing this if your partner knew/ could read the messages/ see your interactions with the other person? *
If the answer is no, it's an emotional affair.

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