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Are you having an emotional affair?

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29th-Nov-2016       
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Life Desk :
Ruhi Bhat spends 9-10 hours in the office and developed a strong bond with a colleague working on the same project, Aakash Shenoy. What started as friendly banter turned into a fling. The text messages flowed freely, the coffee dates became more frequent, and she would think about him when they weren't together. Sounds like the perfect office romance, doesn't it? Not quite. Ruhi was married, and after all the secret dates with Aakash, she would go back home to an unsuspecting husband. Rachna K Singh, clinical psychologist, relationship counsellor and life coach at Artemis, Gurgaon, says, "This is how emotional infidelity begins. It is never planned, but it's a slippery slope. There's no holding back once you start down that road."
Affairs of the heart
Sheri Meyers, marriage therapist and author of Chatting Or Cheating: How To Detect Infidelity, Rebuild Love And Affair- Proof Your Relationship, says, "Unlike a platonic friendship, there's sexual chemistry between the two of you, and some fantasies are playing out in your head. If you send 'missing you' texts late at night, then you are having an emotional affair," she says. You may even share details about your relationship with this new person but not say a word about him to your partner. Singh says, "Anything you are guilty of hiding from your partner is infidelity."
Blurred lines
Usually, the transition happens so gradually that you are likely to miss the signs. The trouble begins when all the attention is focussed on the new person in your life, draining energy from your primary relationship.
Why it happens
"Having any sort of an affair is usually a symptom of an underlying problem in your life and in your relationship," says Meyers. Emotional infidelity can also sometimes occur because of the monotony of your relationship. Or perhaps you are getting attention from this person that you don't get from your spouse after a while. However, this does not necessarily mean that you want to end your primary relationship.
Damage control
Forging new friendships with people of the opposite sex while in a committed relationship is no crime. However, you need to set boundaries for the new relationship and be transparent with your partner. Openly talking about your new friendship with your partner is important. As Meyers puts it, "Just be sure you are not taking attention away from the closeness you should be nurturing at home."
You are having an emotional affair if...
You share a lot of information with this person. In fact, you even share things you wouldn't discuss with your partner.
You try to find ways to spend more time with them.
You never tell your partner about this person. This friendship is a closely guarded secret. You even go out of your way to keep it that way.
You start to depend on this person more than you do on your partner.
Red flags
Signs that your partner may be cheating on you emotionally
He spends less time with you and seems absent even when you are together.
You both fight a lot - more than before. It usually starts with you raising an issue and him withdrawing into a shell.
He's glued to the phone or his laptop. He suddenly wants more time alone and seems more guarded than usual about his phone.
Sometimes, though not always, a sudden interest in sex is a sign that something's off. Either he's looking for what he can't have in the new relationship or he's acting out his guilt.
Emotional infidelity can occur because of monotony in a relationship. Or maybe you like the attention you are getting.
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