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Often, people who become involved in emotional affairs feel something is lacking at home.
“Everybody understands a sexual act need not necessarily contain affection or intimacy. Whereas the emotional affair feels like it’s much more about being connected, about loving or liking.” These affairs can be hard to stop, Saltz says.
But to give your marriage a chance, “you just have to end it. It’s too slippery a slope.” If it’s someone you can’t avoid, have a direct conversation. Your next step: Figure out what led you to make the connection with this other person, says psychologist Janis Abrahms Spring, Ph D, author of After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful.
Like many women, René (who asked that only her middle name be used), a writer from northern New Jersey, had two husbands: a regular spouse and a “work husband,” a man -- interesting, smart, funny -- with whom she spent 9 hours a day.
The chemistry was obvious, but nothing ever “happened.” Or did it? Gail Saltz, MD, associate professor of psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell School of Medicine, says “probably.” “Many of these emotional affairs do move into a sexual affair,” Saltz says.
Sometimes a partner may enter an affair based on personal dissatisfaction or for the personal gratification of obtaining an ego boost, a new sexual experience, or shared emotional intimacy.