If that's true, why do you feel so hurt and betrayed?
While women do tend to indulge in these affairs more than men, they are also more likely to encourage them to move beyond fantasy; even into a possible new marriage. So don't second-guess your intuition, or talk yourself into dismissing it.
Just because they're not sleeping together doesn't mean they're not having an affair.
The intimacy, chemistry and secrecy that accompany emotional infidelity can unravel a marriage or relationship just as surely – but more insidiously – than a sexual one. The problem is, how can you tell for sure if it's an emotional affair – or just a platonic friendship?
Below is a checklist of warning signs that their friendship is more than just ‘pals'.
1. Intimacy – confiding in him, not in you
This is one of the ways an emotional affair starts, and how it damages your marriage. Just as, when you first began dating, you probably became the best of friends and confidants, sharing emotional intimacy and that romantic rush that signals the start of a love affair – she's now sharing that with someone else.
If you're feeling shut-out of her innermost thoughts and feelings, if she's stopped talking to you about things like she used to and you feel your paths growing apart, it's time to have a gentle talk.
If it's really just a friendship, why won't she let you come along with them? Why does she hang up when you walk in and then evade your questions?
When you're not welcome to be part of their plans – or you are, but you feel like you're the only one ‘out of the loop' as they laugh at ‘inside jokes' , the ‘odd-man out' – chances are high that she's having an emotional affair.
Let's face it. You can feel the distance growing between you. The time and passion that was once invested in you as a couple is now being spent somewhere else.
Physically, perhaps, nothing has happened, but you feel the gulf as sharply as if they were making it right there in your marital bed – and, emotionally, that might just be what's happening.
4. Giddiness – on her part.
If she's suddenly really, really happy, glowing about life, but you sense the invisible wall there keeping you at arms' length, that's a clear and painful signal that her heart is straying to someone else.
All the little things that go along with a sexual affair – special attention to her appearance, new outfits, new interests or new musical tastes, or even avidly watching a new TV show, are all clues that she's on a path to build a life apart from you, even if the affair is never sexually consummated.
And don't think for a minute that, just because they're not sleeping together, it doesn't mean there's not another ingredient.
They're buzzing with it. Sometimes the clandestine nature of emotional infidelity drives this untapped sexual chemistry to dizzying heights. Remember, scarcity and secrecy makes anything more appealing.
Combined with sexual attraction and physical/emotional chemistry, these elements of a sexual affair are even more damaging and gut-wrenching for the estranged partner than simple sexual adultery.
6. Inappropriate caretaking
This is a seldom mentioned aspect to emotional infidelity, but an important one, especially when it's the man having an emotional affair.
It's tough to take your loved-one to task for helping someone else out, but if he feels more than just a neighborly or chivalrous duty to assist a female friend or neighbor in a time of need – if he goes to great lengths to make things better for her, talk to her for long hours on the phone giving comfort or advice, or assists her by giving her money/paying her rent/buying her presents, then even if he never so much as gives her a kiss on the cheek, there's a lot more there than simple altruism.
It's really not hard to spot the signs of an emotional affair; just check in with your heart. It is, however, very hard, if not impossible, to defend your relationship against them.
And regardless of how or why they began, they can dissolve the foundations of you marriage from within – because emotional infidelity can happen right there in your own bed, when you're with your loved one, but, in her heart and mind, she's with her special friend.