What is an Emotional Affair? What it Looks Like

What does an emotional affair look like?

Harry and Sally both worked at Eli Lilly. They were on the IT team together and worked on several projects as a great team. They started going out to lunch to talk shop. One day Harry was very upset about a fight he and his wife had the night before and decided to get some advice from Sally. Sally then shared her struggles in her marriage with her husband. Seem pretty innocent? Let's continue...

The next day they go out to lunch together and eventually start talking about their relationships again. They both listen intently and support the other. This becomes a routine and before long they are both looking forward to talking to each other. They exchange email addresses and eventually cell phone numbers.

They both begin sharing their hurts, concerns, and conflicts with each other. They feel the gap between them and their spouses growing larger and larger as they grow closer and closer. Sally even feels herself getting more excited to tell Harry when good things happen to her than she ever felt with her husband. He is her best friend. They begin emailing and texting throughout the day. Sally has finally admitted to herself that she is even sexually attracted to Harry. She would just DIE if her husband found out she is feeling this way. Harry thinks to himself, "What harm is this? It's not like we are having sex or anything."

Yes, Harry and Sally are not having physical intimacy but they are being emotionally intimate.  THIS is an emotional affair.

Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC LCAC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling.  We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.