Most of us, at some time or another, worry that our partner will have an affair.
When people think about infidelity they likely think more of the sexual variety than the emotional variety.
The truth is, though, that many affairs start off on the emotional side of things and then progress to a more physical relationship. If you are worried about your husband having an emotional affair, you are right to worry.
The fact is that men and women are socially conditioned to think of sex differently.
While it’s not true that men have a huge sex drive and have trouble controlling themselves, in fact it’s been found that women actually are more sexual than men, it is true that we live in a society that condones men’s behavior as ‘boys will be boys’, or ‘he was just sowing his wild oats’, etc.
Women, on the other hand, have been conditioned to think that sex should only be between them and their husbands and that ‘good girls’ don’t have sex with a lot of partners.
And don’t kid yourself into thinking those are old fashioned ways of thinking, they are still very much alive and well.
The truth is though that many affairs really aren’t about sex at all, at least not the way you might think. Many men will have sex as a way to feel like they are strong and in control. It’s about a lot more than just the orgasm.
What most men really want when they have an affair is validation. They want someone to make them feel like they are a hero.
Now many people would interpret that statement as basically blaming the wife for a husbands indiscretion.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Some men are just so insecure that they need unreasonably high amounts of reinforcement to feel good about themselves and even if their wives are loving and attentive, they still need more.
An emotional affair can be the most dangerous type of all since it’s emotional. For a lot of men, sex is just sex. They can easily walk away, but when it becomes emotional it can be harder to lose that and more likely to break up marriages.
There’s really no way you can prevent an emotional affair from starting, but you can prevent it from going too far. Sometimes we meet someone who we just click with, we can’t help it, and in the early stages it is just ‘friends’.
The problem is that if that connection isn’t recognized for what it really is, the beginning of love, and it is allowed to grow, it is very difficult to end it.
So if your husband suddenly starts talking about this great new co-worker, you may want to suggest some marriage counseling. He may be reluctant because at this point he probably doesn’t even realize the danger, but you do.
If you are worried about your husband having an emotional affair, there are a few things you can do.
First and foremost listen to him, pay particular attention if he starts talking about a new ‘friend’. Try to show him the potential danger he has put your marriage in and hope he’s got the good sense to listen.
Also published on Medium.