I recently received an email from a woman who was having an emotional affair.
The sad-but-familiar story began by describing a “friendship” she had developed with a man at work and it had progressed into something much more. The relationship hadn’t yet crossed into physical/sexual contact, but they were flirting with the idea and getting closer to those forbidden lines with each passing day.
She now found herself in a confusing web of mixed feelings, and she knew this new relationship now threatened to sabotage her marriage. She was frustrated to find herself in a position she never thought she’d be in. She’d been deceiving her husband and mentally planning out a new life with this other man.
She was asking herself, “How did I let it go this far?”
Even though she never crossed the line sexually, her situation is messy and will undoubtedly cause pain, but healing is possible. Still, these situations are much easier to prevent than they are to heal after the fact. That’s why I often advise couples to be VERY careful about having close friends of the opposite sex, because most affairs start out as “friendships” that cross the line.
If you think that you (or your spouse) has let a friendship go to far, here are 7 simple ways to tell if you’re having some level of an emotional affair. If you can see yourself in any of these, take immediate action to create healthy boundaries and restore healing and trust in your marriage.