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gimmedat's avatar

Is an emotional extramarital affair as abhorrent and detrimental as one involving sexual relations?

Asked by gimmedat (3946points) June 9th, 2008 from iPhone
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11 Answers

shilolo's avatar

Can you clarify? How is an emotional “affair” defined? How is it different from a close platonic relationship with someone other than your partner?

gimmedat's avatar

I mean spending an inordinate amount of time talking and hanging out with someone of the opposite sex other than one’s spouse. Also, hiding that relationship from one’s spouse and finding excuses to be away from home or be online as a means of communicating even more.

sawyer's avatar

I think it certainly can be detrimental. I believe your emotional side belongs to your bf/gf/so if you are in a commited relationship. If you’re already sneaking around, you’re probably well on your way to an affair. I, personally, would be pissed if my gf was talking to someone online or behind my back because ultimately the person you’re sneaking around on will be made a fool of. It’s not fair to that person. If you are trying to get something from another person that you can’t get with your partner, you really need to try and talk with your partner in order to resolve it. If you truly care about your SO just do the right thing.

wildflower's avatar

I don’t see how spending time with someone can be considered an affair unless there’s at least a romantic involvement. Otherwise it’s just friendship and that can hardly be considered cheating.
Of course regardless of the nature of the relationship, lying about it is a bad sign.

gimmedat's avatar

Let me just clarify that I am not involved in this situation, but I know someone who is. I happen to believe that the relationship is a smack to the sanctity of marriage, but convincing someone else of that is a challenge.

lindabrowne1's avatar

If you are sneaking, then there is a reason. Only you can answer this one truly. If you look inside yourself, the answer is there—ask yourself a series of questions like:

- Why is this so secretive?
– What is making me want to spend this time with this other person?
– Is it something about me or my relationship with my spouse/significant other?
– How would I feel if this was being done to me?
– Am I willing to give this up?

If you answered NO to the last one, I’d go to a shrink if I REALLY thought I was unwilling to give it up.

soundedfury's avatar

I agree with @wildflower. Simply spending time or being emotionally open with a friend isn’t cheating, nor is it wrong. Your spouse doesn’t have to be your only friend, nor do you have to eschew friends of that gender just because you’re in a relationship.

The sneaking around shows that there is something wrong, but whether it’s a hidden romantic feeling or fear of jealousy, there isn’t enough info to make a judgement.

PupnTaco's avatar

Not as bad, but it’s still a betrayal.

nikipedia's avatar

Do you really mean talking to/hanging out with a lot, or are you referring to having romantic feelings for someone who’s not your spouse?

To me, having feelings you don’t want to have—whether they’re romantic feelings for someone you’re not into, or other crappy feelings—is really unpleasant and inconvenient, but there’s not a lot you can do about it. So I would have trouble faulting someone for having an unwanted crush. (That said, if I was the betrayed spouse, I would still be really hurt.)

What you can fault someone for is acting on it. And to me, that includes both spending a lot of time with this hypothetical crush or sleeping with hypothetical crush. In the arbitrary moral system of my life, though, sleeping with unwantedcrush is definitely worse than spending time with unwantedcrush.

mzgator's avatar

I believe that if you enter into a secretive relationship in which you become emotionally involved you are opening the door to a physical relationship. I am not saying that guys and girls can not be just friends. If you feel the need to hide the relationship, something is not right.

IBERnineD's avatar

I believe it is worse than a strictly physical affair. If my boyfriend was having a physical affair with another girl I could break up with him and say ok he’s a jerk he just wanted sex all the time. But if he was having an emotional affiar I would get upset because that would mean he wasn’t just using the girl for sex and he’s a jerk, it would mean he potentially loved someone while telling me he loved me. He actually cares about that person which in my book means more.

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