Are you suspicious that your wife is having an emotional affair?
You may be seeing common emotional affair signs without even knowing it…
If you have a sneaking suspicion that your wife is being intimate with another man, then this article will help you discover the truth.
As you continue reading, you’ll learn the most common signs of an emotional affair.
You’ll also learn the “why” behind these common emotional affair warning signs, although of course there’s much more of that kind of information in Emotional Affair Recovery 101.
I’ll give a disclaimer here that any one of these emotional affair signs can have an alternative explanation… For example, Sign #1. Increased Emotional Distance doesn’t necessarily mean an emotional affair by itself, and neither does Sign #3. Deliberately Secret Communication. But, if you notice both of them together, an affair is the most likely explanation.
In other words, the point of these signs is that the best way to find fire is to start looking for smoke.
You’ll understand more about what I mean as we progress through the various signs, so let’s go ahead and get started.
Sudden or Increased Emotional Distance
Please note the important word here… The emotional distance between you and your wife will increase when she starts having feelings for another man.
In other words, if there’s been emotional distance between you and your wife for a long time, then this emotional affair sign is less reliable. However, it’s still relevant if things seems to be getting worse.
Think about it like this analogy:
The Love Glass Rule
Each spouse has a Love Glass that you use to hold your affection. Each day, you can only pour your Love Glass until it’s empty… You only have a certain amount of love to be poured out. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.
So far, so good?
An emotional affair effectively pokes a hole in the bottom of your wife’s Love Glass. Suddenly, you’ll notice that she has almost no affection left for you because her extramarital relationship has drained it all away. Since your wife only has so much love to give, she can’t keep giving you the same amount if she’s also giving her heart to another man.
Does that make sense?
Furthermore, your wife will subconsciously create emotional distance between the two of you and then likely blame you for it… She may justify her own unfaithfulness by saying things like, “You weren’t affectionate enough,” or, “You never pay attention to me.”
As always, the best way to use this emotional affair sign is in conjunction with the others. There definitely is a reason behind your wife’s sudden emotional distance… But it doesn’t have to be emotional cheating. Just keep reading to find out more.
Sudden or Increased Avoidance of Sex
I could almost have included this in the first sign of emotional infidelity, because the two are very similar and the same rules apply to each of them. In other words, just because you and your wife are experiencing the reality of a sexless marriage doesn’t necessarily mean she’s involved in an emotional affair.
It’s like Newton’s third law of motion, the one about cause and effect. In your case, the lack of intimacy is the effect… You just don’t know the cause yet. However, decreased sexual desire for your spouse is definitely one of the chief side effects of emotional cheating.
If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and waddles like a duck, it’s probably a duck.
Secretive Communication with a “Friend”
Here’s where we start getting into the more concrete signs of an emotional affair.
I get a lot of emails from Husband Help Haven readers, and I’ve probably read a hundred different stories from men and women who suspect an emotional affair.
In all of the ones where the suspicious spouse has noticed secretive communication with some unidentified person, there’s only been one case – literally, one single time – where it wasn’t an emotional affair… And even then, it was clear that an emotional affair was in the works.
Even if it’s not an emotional affair, though… If your wife is deliberately hiding a friendship from you, that’s an inappropriate breach of the trust needed for a happy marriage. Anything your wife is doing that she feels the need to hide is probably taking away from your marriage’s potential.
Here are some more specific examples of a spouse deliberately hiding communication:
- Deleting numbers from your caller ID
- Keeping a secret email account
- Changing the password on her current email or Facebook account
- Texting a “friend” or “coworker” late at night or when you’re not around
- Deleting texts or being protective of their phone
- Meeting someone for lunch and not telling you about it
- Spending extensive time in front of the computer without a good reason
Again, taken independently there could be a good reason for any of these, but taken with the other emotional affair signs in this post, you should probably be suspicious.
Very Frequent Communication with a Friend or Coworker
Since most women won’t acknowledge that they’re doing anything wrong – certainly not having an affair – she may not be taking extreme measures to hide her extramarital relationship. One of the most common warning signs of impending emotional cheating is more frequent communication between your wife and this other man.
If it seems like she can’t stop texting another man, that’s a red flag.
For example, here’s one example I found on TalkAboutMarriage.com (names changed for anonymity):
Emotional Affair Case Study:
Brad & Jenny
Brad’s wife, Jenny, had a close high school friend who she’d kept in touch with over the years. Nothing serious, just an email every month or two, maybe a phone call a couple times a year.
Well, this old high school friend came in town for a business trip and ended up having lunch with Jenny. Twice. John thought nothing of it; he was just glad his wife was happy. But, after her friend left town again, things changed – Jenny started having extended phone conversations with him three or four times a week, and it seemed like they were constantly texting each other every day. Not to mention the long, daily emails.
Being a good husband, Brad tried not to be suspicious, until…
One day Brad happened upon Jenny’s phone and saw an unread text message. He couldn’t help it… He peeked. He discovered that Jenny had been sharing intimate details about their marriage (including their sex life) with her old high school friend. Not only that, she’d also been raving to the other guy how good it was to see him and how much she missed him. Worst of all, she was trying to arrange face-to-face contact again… Even if it meant sneaking out of town!
Naturally, Brad found this deeply disturbing.
When he confronted Jenny, she denied that anything was going on, but you tell me… This “friendship” put a strain on their marriage. Instead of discussing marriage problems with Brad, Jenny was venting them to this other guy with no goal other than getting his attention.
Fortunately, in this case Brad was able to show Jenny how and where she crossed the line and what that meant for their marriage. She agreed that she’d acted inappropriately and recognized her breach of trust. She immediately stopped contact with her old friend and her marriage with Brad was soon stronger than ever.
It’s a sad story with a happy ending.
Very few emotional affairs end that easily.
Unwillingness to Let Go of the Relationship
If your wife is unwilling to let go of a friendship that you fear may become an emotional affair, that’s a clear sign she values this other man’s attention more than she values your own.
As you learned earlier in the series, back in What Is an Emotional Affair, the psychological state that becomes dominant during an emotional affair is called Limerance. It’s similar to infatuation; it means that your wife is highly attracted to another man and obsessed with having him reciprocate those feelings. She’s literally desperate for his attention.
Now, I am the last one you will ever hear using psychology as an excuse for actions. Please do not misinterpret what I’m saying! I’m telling you this so that you can be clear… If your wife is unwilling to let go of a “friendship” for the sake of your marriage, that means attraction is playing a role.
If she refuses to recognize that she is involved in an emotional affair, it may be helpful for her to work through the emotional affair quiz.
You Have the Most Common
Emotional Affair Signs…
Hopefully you have a good idea whether or not your spouse is committing emotional infidelity. Between these five emotional affair signs, it should be pretty clear.
In the end, trust your gut.
If it feels like there’s something your wife is hiding, there probably is.
Remember, where there’s smoke, you’ll usually find fire.
The worst thing you can do is sit around waiting for this to resolve itself. Don’t be afraid to bring things out in the open, although of course I recommend you read through the rest of Emotional Affairs 101 before you do.
In particular, I recommend you read about surviving an emotional affair. It’s for men like you who find themselves facing emotional infidelity without any clue what to do.
Whatever you do from here, thanks for reading! I sincerely hope that these emotional affair signs convinced you that your wife is innocent.
With much manly love,
I do not even know how I ended up here, but this completely changes the way I’m thinking about my marriage. I really messed up but I think this is going to make a difference. I have hope anyways. Thought this post was good. I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to help a lot of people if you keep this up. ;) Cheers!
Very good article.
Thanks for the informative article. I was comatosed for 2 yrs. When I woke up, my wife of 25 yrs became a person I don’t know. She exhibited behaviours (items 1, 2 & 3) and gyms 5 days (Mon-Fri) a week.
I asked if she wanted a divorce? She said “No.” I suspect the OP is married too.
Thanks ive got alot from those view and examples i just feel 13yrs ive been threatened to be dumped and i dont think she really want me but i a good provider so i believe thats why im still around but she talks about personal things to my step son and it makes me feel very uncomfortable but thanks for the knowledge once i find out the truth no sweat i got a plan!!!
that’s right my man, when your spirit talks to you, and tells you things don’t seem right.. it’s definitely time to develop a soft fall plan brother… if life has taught me anything, it’s that my first gut, is usually always right about these things!
Very informative article. Although painful, this article affirmed my suspicion about my wife’s change of behavior. All doubt has been removed, now I must figure out a course of action.
Found out my wife was having a two affair with a coworker from Solon Casey Grover. I came across thousands of sexting n flirt text. The worst part is during this whole time I was at home watching two young kids with no car no cell phone while she bought a new car spent $350. On her hair and had the latest cell phone bought two horses and of course she said their just friends. I tried to contact him then he called the police on me. I still haven’t forgiven my wife the way she treated me. I would never do this to anyone it still hurts everyday! I just wish someone would let his wife Sara know!
As a woman, I think the problem is not the other men, but your marriage. There were problems in your marriage for a while before any emotional affairs can happen. It’s important for you to acknowledge the problems in your relationship and to solve them with your wife. A marriage therapist might be helpful. When you have a good relationship with your wife, there is no space for emotional affairs.
The only thing I would add is when you have a good relationship with your wife — AND good, mutually respected boundaries in place — there is no space for emotional affairs.
You are absolutely right, in my case anyway. The article hits the nail on the head also. Sometimes there are no good answers.
Very informative article …
Where can I go here too speak/share with other men in my position?
I was just about to do the no contact strategy in May when the sleaze bag did it.
I don’t think I should do it now… What can I do without being a “me too” act?
Had the phrase “I love you but not in love”
Wife is/was using Whatsapp to message another man or maybe more and even more apps. Technology makes it so easy these days. Not sure if there is emotional connections or not. Still living together but not doing anything together. Financially connected together for now but I feel that I could attract her again if she knew other women desired me and she needed to pursue me. She mentions I am too available and no challenge. Advice?
“I am your husband; it’s not my job to convince you to choose your marriage over other man. But I will tell you that love is a verb, and saying you’re not in love with me is a cop out to make you feel better about your choices. I’ll wait for you for a little while, but not forever.”
Then what you do is work on yourself, figure out the man YOU want to be, try new things in your life. Realize that the moment that any kind of affair enters the picture, it severely limits your options. If what she says to you is true and not a retroactive excuse to cover her guilt over her unfaithfulness, then you distancing yourself, improving yourself, and essentially playing hard to get SHOULD spark interest. If what she says to you is what I suspect it is, which is an excuse and not a legitimate reason, then obviously you won’t see any change in how she feels about you, since the real reason would simply be that a person’s heart can only be in one place at a time, and right now hers is outside the marriage.
Either way, regardless of you use my admittedly bold response to your wife, the overall approach I’d recommend would be the same. Focus on what you can control, and the reality is that you cannot control your wife’s choice here. So focus on yourself, improve yourself, and spend some time thinking about your boundaries.
Much manly love,
Ty sir!! This brought healthy healing in my heart and soul.
I know what I know and she constantly lies after I’ve seen the truth I have asked for the truth but she still denies things even from the past and as many times as I’ve told her I can deal with the truth she still denies things and hides stuff I will say I’ve done wrong in the past but I’ve always admitted to her the truth when asked but she never will so I can bury the hatchet so to speak . Even when. I’ve got the picture proff of it
What you’re seeing is someone who is too proud to admit they’ve done something wrong. It’s not that she wants to lie, it’s that she can’t say the truth out loud.