There are two quite different beliefs as to what is an emotional affair; the one believes it to be a workplace friendship, the other believes it to be the single most dangerous threat to a marriage possible. These two viewpoints do not fall neatly into gender camps, but there is a commonality between those on one side and those on the other. The deniers tend to see themselves at the center of most interactions, while those who accept that emotional infidelity is a real and potential threat have heightened empathy and see relationships as involving several people.

Do emotional affairs really exist?

The emotional affair signs that others see, are regarded as common workplace flirting by the deniers. One group sees emotional affairs, whilst the others see good teamwork and co worker friendships, nothing to be concerned about. If you have been, or are the victim of an emotional affair; your partners’ closeness to their coworker or ex partner, for you, is far from innocent and denial of the existence of this phenomenon probably makes you seethe with anger. However, this argument is supported by many, and adds to the pain of victims of this type of affair. The argument is that with equality comes the natural confusion over the man woman dynamic. Whereas, everyone knew before, decades ago, that an interaction between men and women was the forerunner to an intimate encounter, nowadays that is not the case. Therefore, the answer to what is an emotional affair, argue the deniers, is, that it is the incorrect name for deep platonic relationships between men and women and that assuming this is not feasible makes you old fashioned! For the wife, whose husband spends more time with his female work friend than he does his family, an emotional affair is the cruelest form of infidelity.

Emotional affair – It is not an affair but a tension reliever (h3 tag)

The anti-emotional affair brigade argues that equality allows camaraderie between coworkers of both genders who, when working hard, use joking and flirting as a tension reliever. A work wife is perfectly acceptable for a high powered executive; he needs organizing and a good PA needs to remember to send his wife flowers, and collect the dry cleaning. Why should his trust in her as an ally and confidante be seen as an emotional affair with a coworker? The true equality is that the same high powered executive, but a woman, should be able to vent her feelings to her office “husband” as an emotional release prior to dealing with a tricky client or a stressful meeting. It is perfectly acceptable that these men and women know exactly what their relationship with the opposite sex at the office equals; a good, supportive working relationship, which does not compromise their marriage.

No physical intimacy = no affair!

They argue that an affair requires physical intimacy, that this is a necessary component of betrayal, that everything up to that point is perfectly acceptable and does no damage. A further argument is the rejection of the notion of marriage as an emotionally exclusive zone, where only the two people in the relationship can, or should, satisfy each other’s needs. The idea that one person is all that anyone needs is rejected as romantic “soul mate” nonsense. Human beings are not monogamous through instinct but choice, with reservations; a spouse provides the majority of emotional support needed, but not to the exclusion of everyone else. You can see why this argument holds appeal; it allows emotional, guilt free interaction with members of the opposite sex in addition to the spouse. “What is an emotional affair?” asks this group of people; it is a made up concept to keep therapists and guidance counselors in business and an excuse for a spouse to vent their jealousy!

Author's Bio: 

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