Have you ever been suspicious of your partner’s activities?

Have you ever been accused of cheating?

Is your partner the jealous type and shows signs of being suspicious of your friendships when you swear that there is nothing there!
Perhaps your partner spouse is jealous of many, many people in your life and there really is nothing there. It’s just a close friendship.

Have a look at this example –

Harry was fuming – the fight was huge – Sally disappeared at the dinner party and Harry looked for her for a very long 10 minutes.
Finally, she was found alone on the porch and standing very close to the guy who looked like a champion weight lifter.

Is this cheating?

Can it be misinterpreted?

Scenarios that may look like cheating are plentiful.
Someone goes out dining with the boss and comes back very, very late and perhaps they were not contactable for the whole evening.
A close work relationship where long hours and late nights are spent working on a project with a work colleague alone. Working with someone closely and for long periods at work can threaten even the happiest marriage.

Let’s face it affairs do happen and work affairs happen too.

There’s plenty of reasons for suspicion
Flirty texts,
Deleted emails,
A prolonged look at someone attractive or
An exchange of eye contact.

It’s not always obvious why someone would be suspicious but for sure — it has to be dealt with.
Couples can get into muddy waters when it comes to one person feeling really “off” about their partner’s “friendship” with someone who could become a romantic partner.
This can lead to a lot of fights about what is cheating and what is infidelity?
Cheating does not have to involve physical contact.  

Whether you are cheating or not, you want to stop the fights.
The endless debates can lead to fights and corrosion of your loving bond ending in broken love.
Debates on infidelity don’t actually soothe anyone.

The partner who feels there is an inappropriate relationship remains upset.
The partner being accused of being in another relationship feels attacked, defensive and judged wrongly.

For the sake of the relationship it’s in your best interest to help your spouse feel reassured about the two of you and more confident of you…. and your first step is to determine if it is cheating.

What to do?

Let’s define an emotional affair.
There are  3 parts of the definition

Part 1- is potential

Is there the potential for this person to become a romantic partner?

Are they the wrong age? or do they live a mile away ? or do you speak different languages ? or is it actually possible to be in a relationship with this person?

Is this a one-to-one personal relationship with somebody who could become a romantic partner?  Even if you would never “do” anything, is it in the realm of possibility for you, or that person, to develop strong feelings.

Part 2- is Attraction.

Attraction- requires brutal Self Honesty

If you’re honest with yourself, can you admit to yourself, privately,  that some sexual charge or excitement does exist with this friend or new potential affair partner? The relationship brings excitement.

Even if it’s not a primarily sexual relationship, you’re attracted and enjoy that attraction. There’s some sort of sexual charge, and if you let yourself dwell on it, that charge could grow.

Part 3 – is lies.

This can take the form of acts of omission or withholding  or white lies.

This is the clincher.

Here are some examples-

-You don’t tell your spouse about what’s going on in the other relationship.

-You quickly delete text messages or hide in the backyard when you’re texting

-You don’t go home and tell your spouse what you and the other person shared, or you edit it carefully.

If you’re partner is accusing you of cheating and you can say YES to some of the examples, now is the time to come clean you’ll have to decide – do you want to stay with your partner?

Realise the slippery slope from friendship to affair partner.

If you’re in such a relationship and you’re reading this and saying yep that’s me – realise now that your friendship is probably going down a bad path.

Now is the time to cool down the friendship. Just explain how “life” gets in the way and things will peter out.

If you want to maintain your primary relationship – 

Share everything, including the reason you didn’t tell your spouse about the other person.

How to know if you have trust issues in your relationship

-If you are a suspicious or hurt partner and your spouse is defensive rather than working to calm and reassure you.

-If you both continue to argue. You say you are right-  they say they are in the right –  you are accused of being jealous or simply being paranoid- you both end up disillusioned, cross and nothing gets resolved.

-You are feeling really vulnerable and unsafe

-Your spouse is feeling defensive and treated like an untrustworthy teenager.

When the conflict about the other person endures

Trust issues in a relationship don’t disappear.

It’s not enough to just say “trust me—there’s no issue,” when your partner is torn up about another relationship.

The bad news is there is a crack in your love bond that needs mending… You and your partner have trust issues.

….it’s time to get help.

At least if you both agree on this point, it demonstrates the ability to work together.

The dynamic between you may be supporting the trust issue.
Perhaps your spouse may be feeling vulnerable for reasons that need to be identified and rectified.
You may be doing something that reinforces or contributes to the trust issues in your marriage.
Either way, couples therapy can help prevent more damage in the future. And if one of you is uncertain about staying in the marriage, Discernment Counselling can help.

I can help.
Contact me here.