For a marriage to last through the years, both parties must be fully committed to the other. That is why infidelity deals such a fatal blow to the relationship. Infidelity is often associated with affairs, wherein one spouse carries on a physical relationship with someone outside the marriage.
However, there are other types of infidelity, which can be just as damaging as physical affairs. Emotional cheating occurs when a spouse is emotionally intimate with another person, often over and above the intimacy that is shown to their spouse. Being able to recognize the common signs of an emotional affair empowers you to take the right steps when there are problems in your marriage.
When a spouse’s “friendship” causes problems
Friendships are crucial within a marriage. For two people to be fulfilled and emotionally healthy, they must have platonic relationships outside of the marriage. These platonic relationships can even involve people of the opposite sex, or people of the same sex in non-heterosexual relationships, and still be considered healthy.
The problem arises when your spouse’s friend receives a special designation. For example, your spouse may be more devoted to the needs of his or her friend, to the point where your needs are neglected. This usually leads to hurt feelings and arguments over the nature of the friendship.
Dealing with anger and jealousy
Some people are more susceptible to jealousy than others. This can cause issues in a marriage, even if there is no cheating or infidelity, as it can put the accused spouse on the defensive for no real reason. However, most people can tell the difference between issues of personal insecurity and a legitimate threat to the marriage.
Jealousy often leads to anger and resentment, especially if your concerns are not being heard or acknowledged. Growing feelings of resentment will only damage the marriage further, so you must sit down and discuss the problem with your spouse, even if you are not entirely sure whether there is legitimate infidelity occurring.
When your spouse does not listen to your concerns
Regardless of the nature of the relationship, your spouse must listen to and understand your concerns about any problems you are experiencing. When you explain how you feel and your significant other is more concerned about maintaining the problematic relationship, it is often a sign of a deeper problem.
You may also notice other problems in your relationship. You may feel a distance growing between you and your partner, or you might be constantly fighting over petty disputes. Your spouse might also begin criticizing you for minor faults or laying blame for all relationship woes at your feet.