It’s common for an emotional bond to go deeper than a sexual one, and the stages of emotional affairs plays tricks in your mind. Find out how to recognize the signs of a developing emotional attachment before it’s too late and understand the impact it can have on your relationships.
I mean, sex is sex. But what about the complex web of feelings that gradually binds two people together emotionally?
It is awful, indeed, when a partner cheats on you sexually. It breaks your heart, and you may never trust them the same way again. Do they find breaking out of an emotional connection more challenging when they have formed it?
Most people would probably agree that it is.
When feelings are involved, the bond becomes much more solid and difficult to break. When your lover leaves you for someone else, you may begin to question what you may have done differently.
And you begin to wonder if they ever really loved you.
Can you have strong feelings for more than one person?
It’s a heated topic of discussion that has been going on for years, and your opinion on it is entirely up to you.
Relational Strife and Its Agonizing Effects
If the unthinkable happens and your partner develops feelings for someone else, it’s crucial not to blame yourself. There could be several factors at play here. There may have been problems in the relationship, but it’s also possible that everything was out of your control.
Stop and give it some serious thought if you feel like your friendship with someone is getting too close emotionally. I wonder how you’d feel if your boyfriend did that to you. Do you think it may be harmful if…? You’ve already done something wrong if you can admit that it would.
In the end, emotional problems can make a person’s view of the world worse. It may destroy their sense of self and their ability to love.
Physical infidelity is certainly difficult to recover from, but wouldn’t it be much more so when genuine emotions are at stake? Though some would disagree, I believe that when two people become emotionally close, it is enough to crush the couple’s heart.
By understanding the progression of emotional affairs, you may head off possible problems and fix the underlying issues before they destroy your relationship.
Seven Stages of Emotional Affairs
It’s disheartening how many unresolved marriages result from impulsive affairs. That’s proof of how challenging it is for a couple to get through a challenge like that.
So, how do we get there? Which factors are most crucial to keep in mind? How do you know when you’ve reached one of those dangerous stages of an emotional relationship? Get to know them all by reading on.
Stage 1: They don’t feel appreciated or like they’re good enough.
Remember that emotional affairs are not always about the husband cheating. Either spouse can take their feelings in another direction.
Yet, the first stage is typically characterized by a partner’s feeling underappreciated in the relationship or not contributing or providing as much as they could.
Because of this deficiency, issues may arise, and they may become resentful or angry with their relationship.
Stage 2: The relationship stops being sexual.
Yes, sex isn’t everything, but it is a vital part of any healthy relationship. It doesn’t mean you have to cancel your plans every time your spouse wants to have some sex, though. Yet, it’s crucial that you provide equal attention to your sex life as a pair.
One of the most common causes of extramarital encounters is jealousy or resentment between partners because of a lack of sexual satisfaction.
This led them to search for it in other locations. Sadly, this paved the way for them to develop feelings for each other simultaneously or instead.
Stage 3: You start feeling more like best friends than like lovers.
Unfortunately, illness affects everyone at some point, but if you recognize the warning signals, you can take action to prevent more complications. If you and your significant other have settled into a rut, treating one another more like siblings than lovers, friends, or even siblings, it’s time to shake things up and reconnect.
The end of the romantic phase is a significant turning point in relationships. You can only continue existing side by side forever. Experiment with different activities together, try shaking things up with some date evenings. In any case, keep in mind that you’re meant to share a higher level of connection.
Stage 4: One partner doesn’t have time for the other.
It’s important that we set aside some time for socializing. One spouse will become dissatisfied rather rapidly if the other doesn’t make time for them when they want to communicate or when they want to do something together.
One of the most intense points in a relationship is when one partner wants to communicate but feels they are being ignored. It’s possible that they’re going through a tough period, but they’re not getting the assistance they need from their partner.
If this happens, they may seek comfort from a stranger at first, but eventually, they will develop feelings for that person.
Stage 5: One partner makes too many demands on the other.
It’s human nature to withdraw from close relationships during times of hardship. It can cause serious strain on a relationship if one partner is constantly moaning about it, demanding changes, and refusing to empathize with the other’s difficulties.
You two must keep in touch and find time to communicate sometimes. Keep your expectations of your partner reasonable. Instead, collaborate on your goals.
If a person is already in the throes of an emotional affair, this kind of behavior will only serve to strengthen their feelings for their partner. They feel like the other person is finally starting to understand them and that continuing the fight is pointless.
Stage 6: The guilt starts to set in.
By this time, in an emotional affair, it’s possible that the other person has a sneaking hunch that something is wrong. Because of this, they may resort to making demands, offering sex as a means of keeping their spouse, or being overly possessive.
The guilt the spouse or partner having an emotional affair feels might be overwhelming. As a result, tensions rise, and they argue some more. It’s a never-ending cycle that always results in sadness.
Stage 7: Breaking point.
The last step occurs when one of the partners ends their casual dating relationship and either commits fully to their new lover or leaves them.
The issue is that harm is usually done, and the path to recovery is very long. When did you lose trust in your partner? What about them? Can they give themselves a pass? Both of you may be wondering if this whole thing could happen again someday.
As the emotional turmoil of an affair subsides, many partners decide to try treatment together. Because the other person is now aware of what has transpired, this might be something that both parties benefit from. Sometimes, the cheater may feel they need to do this alone in order to deal with the trauma of the affair and return their attention to their primary partner.
Why can escalating emotion worsen a relationship?
Is it worse to have an emotional affair or a sexual one? Neither is ideal, but most people would rate an emotional affair as worse. In the long run, people will forgive you for your drunken blunder and accept that it was just an honest error you made while you were too hungover to think straight.
But, there is a serious problem in any partnership in which one spouse looks elsewhere for emotional support while ignoring the other.
One possible first step is to try to pin down exactly what the issue is. Of course, the hurt and devastation created by the affair are probably irreparable.
Could you describe a time when you were in a similar situation? We certainly hope that you haven’t and that you never will.
Yet for those who have, it can be a defining moment that either marks the beginning of a new chapter in their relationship with their partner and with themselves or confirms that they were never meant to be together.
Most people go through the same general phases of an emotional relationship, while some couples may skip stages or experience them in a different order. Can you ever get over this kind of betrayal? It’s up to you alone to decide.
Related articles you might like: How To Permanently Quit Cheating, What To Say When You Admit To Your Partner About Cheating, Should You Confess if You Cheated Only Once?