An emotional affair can be just as detrimental to a relationship as a physical one. In an emotional affair, you stop relying on your partner for emotional intimacy and instead seek that closeness from another individual. It breaks apart the very foundations of a relationship because if you don’t have an emotional connection and trust, what do you have?
It can be tricky to determine if your partner is involved in an emotional affair because there are less concrete signs than there would be with a physical affair. Your partner could be emotionally entangled with a friend, coworker, or a stranger you have never heard of before. No matter where the affair is coming from, it is not easy to tell for certain.
If you are suspicious of your partner and want to know more about emotional affairs, hopefully, these signs can be of some benefit. Maybe you both just need some space, perhaps it is something deeper.
7 Signs of An Emotional Affair
Relationship experts and behaviorists have concluded that there are a few general tells to figure out if your partner is engaged in an emotional affair.
The following are the seven signs that your partner could be having an emotional affair:
1. Your Partner Spends More Time Online Than Usual
If you have noticed that your partner is spending more time with online than they usually do, either by text or on calls, for seemingly no reason, it can be suspicious and a sign of an emotional affair. Usually, people with strong emotional bonds spend a lot of time chatting with the person they care about or stalking them on social media. Seeing your partner express these tendencies more than usual in your relationship can be a red flag.
If you have noticed your partner doing it, ask them politely and let them explain the situation from their perspective. If things don’t change or the answer is clearly far from the truth, it’s time to have a serious discussion about your relationship.
2. Your Partner Keeps Canceling Plans Last Minute
People in an emotional affair find it difficult to divert their attention from the person they are in it with, which causes them to avoid people, you included. If your partner is canceling all your plans last minute and avoiding you for chats and cuddling, it is a sign that your partner isn’t putting you first. It can be a sign that your partner is in an emotional affair and is getting the emotional intimacy they should get from you from somebody else.
Emotional affair or not, confronting your partner about his sudden avoidance is paramount. Perhaps the conversation will reveal that he is closer to somebody else, perhaps it won’t, but either way, it is a red flag.
3. Your Partner Is Avoiding You
People who are emotionally in an affair with someone else lose interest in their partners and seek space from them. Some of the most prominent signs of an emotional affair are leaving late from work, leaving the house exceptionally early, and always being on the phone to avoid interaction with their partner. If you notice these signs in your partner, there is something fishy about them.
It can also happen because of work-related stress or other issues, as there is never a surefire answer to everything. Ask about how work has been, if their family is doing okay. If those don’t seem to be particular points of stress, that’s when you can start leaning toward the possibility of an emotional affair.
4. Your Partner Hides Where They Are Spending Their Time
Another important sign to recognize is to observe where he spends his time. Suppose he hides where he has been and avoids telling you at nearly all costs. It is never a good sign when somebody throws up walls and refuses to relent when that someone is your partner. Personal space is something everybody needs and that should be respected, but when it comes to hiding too much to the point it is harming your relationship and driving a rift between you two, something needs to change. Maybe your partner is simply losing interest, maybe they’re involved in an emotional affair, but either way, it needs to be addressed.
5. You Have Seen A Sudden Change In Their Appearance And The Way They Carry Themselves
A sudden change in their styling and how they carry themselves is another critical sign of a potential emotional affair. To look more attractive to the person they’re emotionally invested in, your partner might change their way of styling and grooming. Of course, people change, pick up new habits, but if it seems too out of the ordinary or out in left field for your partner, it can be a red flag. Make a comment on it, in order to kickstart a conversation about it. Maybe they really are trying to pick up healthier habits are trying out a new routine to see if they like it more, but you can never figure that out without addressing it first.
6. Your Partner Is More Open With Someone Else
In a relationship, a certain amount of emotional intimacy and vulnerability is required for a healthy partnership. When that isn’t met, it is obvious. You feel worn down and exhausted, and your partner does too. Except, of course, if they are open to someone else they way the should be open with you because they are having an emotional affair. Then, you are the only one feeling left out and emotionally exhausted while your partner goes on with life better than ever.
It could be somebody they work with, or a close friend. There is no guideline to who they could be having an emotional affair with. Ask your partner about their recent distance from you and if there is someone else they are close with. If they talk themselves in circles giving unnecessary and elaborate justifications, you can certainly suspect that there is something going on behind the scenes that they are trying to hide from you.
7. Your Partner Is Lying A Lot
If you are catching your partner in a lot of lies, something is definitely going on, be it an emotional affair, a physical one, or simply your partner losing interest in your relationship. If they’re making complicated excuses or doing unusual activities to avoid getting caught, you need to call it out. A relationship needs trust to function, and if you can’t establish trust, you don’t have the foundations of a relationship. You need to address this with your partner, find the reason behind it, discuss solutions, or call it quits.
In the end, an emotional affair is the beginning of the end of a relationship. A relationship is based on both physical and emotional intimacy, and when your partner is drawing away from you and giving that attention to someone else, it hurts. Communicate with them if you feel like your relationship isn’t what it should be, and your partner may be in an emotional affair.