Unlike physical affairs, it’s harder to pinpoint an emotional affair. And if you’re the suspicious partner, the last thing you want to do is accuse your spouse of something if it really is a “just friends” situation.
How do you differentiate between a platonic, innocent-enough friendship or a more troubling emotional affair? Below, therapists from around the country share seven signs your partner may be on the verge of emotional infidelity ― and how to talk to him or her about it.
Signs that show your spouse may be having an emotional affair are:-
1. They start to talk about your relationship in less certain terms.
If you notice that your partner is using less permanent language when discussing your marriage ― or actively avoiding discussions about plans for the future ― it could be a sign of an emotional affair, said David McFadden, a marriage and family therapist in Hanover Park, Illinois.
“If you see a definite pattern to this change in language and your instincts tell you something may be going on, then it’s definitely time to check in with them,” he said.
2. They seem physically distant from you.
An emotional affair sometimes has an effect on how often you and your spouse get physical, said Marcia Naomi Berger, a psychotherapist and author of Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love: 30 Minutes a Week to the Relationship You’ve Always Wanted.
“Your significant other is probably already emotionally withdrawn from you, but physical detachment can easily follow, too,” she said. “The ‘cheating’ partner may feel like having sex with his or her S.O. is being disloyal to the person with whom the emotional affair is occurring.”