Most couples believe that a spouse isn’t really having an affair until there is a physical involvement. But an intense emotional bond between a husband and another woman can greatly alter the state of a marriage and leave the wife feeling like an outsider.
So how do you know when your husband is just sharing a meaningful friendship with another woman and when it has gone further than that? The most important sign that your husband is involved in an emotional affair is when he begins to draw away from you and look forward to spending more time with the other woman. She may be a co-worker, a friend from childhood or someone he has come across on the Internet. If he was quite happy talking about her before, now he will stop mentioning her before you. The physical intimacy between you two may also lessen but most significantly he will be less eager to express his feelings about you and your marriage. If you note these changes in your husband and are aware of another woman in the background, it is time to take action.
TIP: Read the guide to prevent a break up or get back with your ex.
Decide how important is this marriage to you
Once you are certain that your husband is having an emotional affair, you need to take stock of your marriage. Is this relationship important enough to you to want to save it? If you feel that you are getting nothing out of your marriage and it is just a façade, then you might consider about quitting. However if you love your husband and believe that issues between you and him can be worked out, then take prompt steps to put a stop to his emotional affair.
Begin by letting your husband know that you are not comfortable with his friendship with another woman. Choose your words carefully and don’t charge him explicitly with having an affair. Also remain calm and show him that you are ready for a rational discussion. If you throw tantrums and break into a storm of tears, your husband will only shut you off and probably take refuge in his emotional relationship with the other woman.
Consider what drove your husband to an emotional affair
Is it because you have been too busy with the kids lately and have not been able to spend time with him? Or is it because he has been attracted to an intelligent and vibrant personality? See if his emotional affair is a sign of a midlife crisis when he needs reassurance from a third person. Going over the reasons of his emotional involvement will tell you which areas in your marriage need to be nurtured. For instance, if you find that your husband has been seeing too much of a childhood pal after the birth of your second child, try to be more of a wife to him. Let somebody else take over some of the childcare responsibilities and spruce up yourself for him. Alternately, show him what a delightful life the two of you have created and draw him gently into your family circle.
Share his interests
Many affairs begin as platonic friendships based on mutual interests with a member of the opposite sex. In order to stop that from going further, get to know what interests him and see if you can share his pursuits. He will be glad to find a co-enthusiast in you and may suggest doing things together. However this is not to say that you have to suppress your likes and dislikes and only follow his hobbies. Simply widen the limits of your interests and have more things to do and discuss with him.
Widen your mental horizons
After several years of marriage, most couples tend to fall into a domestic routine. The only things they talk about are kids, bills and chores to do around the house. It is only a matter of time before the husband begins to seek some mental stimulation outside marriage. He may begin by spending more time with his friends, among which may be a person of the opposite sex. If you find that your husband too is headed that way, brush up your grey cells. Take up a new course or learn a new language. Read up on varied subjects and try to offer him opportunities for intelligent conversations at home. He will be pleasantly surprised by your new personality and head for home earlier than before.
Don’t change who you are
While it will help to enrich your emotional and mental faculties, don’t think of turning yourself into someone else. Remain your genuine self and only work to enhance your personality and not change it. If you try too hard to change yourself to suit his tastes, it will only betray a lack of self-confidence which may drive him further away. Remember that after all it was you who your husband fell in love with and decided to marry, not his high school cheerleader.
Give him an ultimatum
Despite all your efforts to improve the situation, if you find that your husband is still determined to continue his emotional affair, it is time to tell him to make his choice. Point out to him the lovely past that you have shared and all the hopes that you both invested in the marriage. Assure him that things can still be worked out but it will need equal effort from both partners. On the other hand if you find that your husband is still meeting the other woman despite his reassurances to you on the contrary, confront him with the truth and ask him to take a decision and be man enough to stick to it.
So if you are aware of your husband’s emotional affair or even have strong suspicions about it, set forth repairing the situation before it is too late. Don’t be under the false impression that unless they get physical, a relationship is not an affair. But at the same time remember that an even though an emotional affair can have an impact on your marriage, it does not have to destroy it. And armed with hard work, forgiveness and a lot of patience, you can save your marriage.