You could well argue that any and all affairs are emotional, but the actual definition of an emotional affair, put bluntly, is an affair without sex. Now this may be confusing to some who imagine that the word “affair” implies sex, so I shall clarify the definition, and attempt to give you an insight into what is an emotional affair. A close relationship with a member of the opposite sex that is not your partner, but the relationship does not include physical intimacy. Are we getting any closer to understanding this non sexual affair? If I explained that most people in this situation are having emotional affairs at work, or that their affair is generally with a co-worker, do you see a picture emerging? It is perhaps important to focus on the term emotional rather than affair, and consider the idea that people involved in an emotional affair, co-worker or otherwise, are emotionally intimate, sharing secrets and feeling as close to this person as they would do to their partner.

Affairs are a betrayal of trust and for many, the physical side is simply the final total betrayal; the infidelity has occurred before the sex. When trying to understand what is an emotional affair, one should, explore the conflicting views of emotional affairs; the pain of discovering this betrayal; the signs of an emotional affair, the likelihood of one occurring and how to deal with it. Plus, for those of you in denial, you need to understand how to end an emotional affair, the one some of you are currently having, but are pretending is not an affair!

Can an Emotional Affair actually be considered as infidelity? (h3 tag)

There is considerable disagreement over whether an emotional affair is actually infidelity, and the people who are most vociferous about it not being an affair are the ones involved in close emotional relationships with a person to whom they are not married. It is hardly surprising that the majority of these relationships are emotional affairs at work; this is, logically, the single place outside the home where most time is spent. Another reason for an emotional affair with a co-worker is often the intensity of the job the need for close relationships to enable the work to be done and the oft trumpeted “teamwork” that makes corporate life function effectively. From the workplace comes the notion of a work-wife or work-husband, often a phrase coined to describe the person closest to a high powered executive, who meets all their needs at work, mirroring the support given to them by the spouse at home.

So, to recap on what is an emotional affair, the following components need to exist; one or other of the participants is married; there is some secrecy surrounding encounters; there is emotional intimacy; aspects of a person’s life are shared that are not shared with the spouse. For those of you whom I challenged earlier, about being in denial; check the definition, see if you have found yourself getting involved in an emotional affair, and do not dismiss this if the contact is not work-related, there are other places to find someone with whom to be emotionally unfaithful!

Author's Bio: 

To further understand what is an emotional affair, and guidance on how to handle one, claim your FREE e book at full of resources, advice and somewhere to talk to others who have suffered what you are going through. Tammy has experienced infidelity, and this website is her response and way to make sense of it all. Join her there; take your first step on your healing journey.