Thursday, December 03, 2009

Affairs, Emotional and Otherwise

posted by Michele Olson

Here we go again. Another major celebrity in the news for a possible affair. You have to wonder if fame and fortune aren’t part of the recipe for an affair, and how many people can keep their heads on straight when it happens to them. (No excuses, but fame and fortune people should really be taking classes on how not to let it ruin your relationships!)
Most of us “every day” people will not deal with fame and fortune in our lives…but we do have something in common. Much of what leads to an affair begins first in our heads…which is now called an emotional affair. We have past blogs on ways to “build hedges” around your marriage. Check them out. Meanwhile, here’s a recent online question and answer from columnist Carolyn Hax of Washington Post and also syndicated to many papers around the country. It answers the question very succinctly of how to end an emotional affair. If you are starting down that path, or know someone who is…pass this letter along. Heed the advice.

No affair is worth the devastation that follows. Here's Carolyn's article.

Dear Carolyn:
How do I go about ending an "emotional affair"? I don't even know whether the other person involved would classify it as such, but I know my husband would, so I feel I should get out. However, the guy is a longtime friend and has done nothing wrong, so I feel strange about a formal "breakup."

For Question Mark,
Pull away. Reveal less. Invest more in your husband, consciously. You can do these to nudge yourself toward balance. If it turns out you can't get balance by increments, then you're going to need to say something along the lines of, "I'm coming to believe the amount of my time and myself that I share with you is unfair to my husband."
For Question Mark:
For what it's worth, it is very likely your husband knows you have a relationship that detracts from your marriage. Unrequited love/like has a way of creating a loneliness that others pick up on but may not be able to qualify. In addition to trying to pull back from the person who is your current distraction, try being honest with your husband by saying something like, "I know I've been distant, and I really want to try to reconnect."
I think you will find it easier to put this "emotional affair" behind you if you have a real purpose in front of you: rebuilding your marriage with help from the necessary parties.

Good advice from Carolyn. Have you been in an emotional affair? Did you end something that you saw was becoming an emotional affair?

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