How DO you know the difference?
The line between a friendship and something more is razor thin. And maybe the only difference is ONE thought, ONE glance, ONE I-Wonder daydream.
I lived for a long time in a dangerous friendship without ever calling it an emotional affair.
This is how it went for me: We talked a LOT. We went to lunch or the gym together when my husband was not around, and we told him that we were hanging out. My husband knew we were close friends. We emailed, IMed, spent time on the phone talking about my husband (being that he was his best friend) and the problems we were having with our marriage.
And then there was my heart, my secret.
I didn’t want to admit to myself that I desired him, wanted him and felt conflicted about my own marriage. I didn’t want to admit that I would look for him in a crowd, that I dressed so that he would think I was pretty. I didn’t want to admit that I thought about him all. the. time.
And all of this before anything physical began.
And before either of us told the other how we felt. We didn’t need to.
Not every emotional affair morphs into a physical one. But many do. A physical affair begins in the heart before it ever moves to the bedroom.
There are hot co-workers, younger-than-you guys at church, really good looking dads at the elementary school. There might be the barista who remembers your name and smiles at you or the guy from high school who finds you on Facebook. Maybe it’s a professional relationship, thoroughly justified in it’s function, or a partnership in a ministry. Maybe its simply the husband of your best friend.
So how do you determine if your friendship is actually an emotional affair?
1. You find yourself thinking about him.
2. His attention makes you feel good.
3. You compare him to your husband.
4. You look for ways to be with him or reasons to talk to him, even in groups.
5. You would be embarrassed if your husband heard your conversations.
6. You would be embarrassed if your husband knew your thoughts.
I believe many women are living with dangerous friendships disguised, even to themselves, as emotional affairs.
An emotional affair can also be one sided. It doesn’t need to be a mutual attraction.
Did that get your attention?
Even if he’s never said anything suggestive to me, even if he’s never outwardly flirted with me, even if he’s never told me he thinks about me. What matters is the condition of my own heart.
What about you? Have you ever had an emotional affair? Do you wonder if a friendship you have NOW is an emotional affair?
(please feel free to leave comments as ANONYMOUS if you’d like to be more open with your sharing)