Emotional Affair: How to Turnaround Your Relationship

emotional affair

Do you suspect that your partner or spouse is having an emotional affair?   Perhaps you are feeling alone and isolated, even though you are in a relationship or married, or even if you are quarantining with your partner right now. It is almost like you don’t really have love in your life even though, you do have a partner or spouse.

My coaching team is reporting that despite more physical proximity with partners, clients are saying that there’s been an increase in concerns about emotional affairs. The emotional juice, the attention, the appreciation, and caring are focused on a third person, not on them. This can even happen virtually—via texts, emails, shared photos, Facebook and phone calls. This other person, this special friend becomes a fantasy of all that is wonderful to the partner. While you languish and feel neglected.  And more and more upset, abandoned or rejected.

You may find yourself constantly fighting about the emotional affair and your partner’s special friend.  You worry that their relationship may become sexual.  Or that your partner may just run off with his or her special friend.  You may feel like your marriage or relationship is going downhill and won’t last.  You may be feeling worse and worse in terms of your attractiveness and self esteem.  These are all signs that your partner is having an emotional affair.


But the great news is that you can turn things around in your couple.  You can overcome an emotional affair.  Here are six keys that can get you back on a connected loving footing with your partner.

Overcoming an Emotional Affair Key #1: Journal about your deeper feelings of pain

Get underneath your anger to journal about and explore your loneliness, sadness and  hurt.  Journal about the pain.  How you feel abandoned.  Like a second fiddle.  The suffering.  The loss in self-esteem.  The feeling of being alone and isolated. The pain you are feeling is most likely linked to childhood wounds. Link it back to some times in your childhood where you felt abandoned, for example, in dealing with a distant mother or father.  Remember that time you were ignored by your father when you appeared in your prom dress.  Or that time your mother forgot to pick you up at school. Journal freely about your experiences of abandonment now and in the past.

Overcoming an Emotional Affair Key #2: Arrange a time to have an important talk with your partner

Then let your partner know that you need to have an important talk with them that affects the future of your relationship.  Arrange a time to speak where you can be alone with your partner, with no kids, cell phones or distractions.  Ask him or her to please  plan to listen to what you have to say because it affects your relationship or marriage going forward.  If this is done with very little drama and a simple serious tone, it is very very powerful!  I repeat, If this is done with very little drama and a simple serious tone, it is truly  powerful!  When delivered this way, this simple announcement will usually get your partner or spouse’s attention!

Overcoming an Emotional Affair Key #3: Talk without drama

Sit down with your partner at the time you agreed to have the talk.  Make sure there are no diversions.  Once again, avoid drama. Avoiding drama fully empowers you.  Drama just weakens your position and what you have to say.  In a drama-free way remind him or her to please listen to what you have to say because you are having problems being in the relationship or marriage  going forward.  And things may not work out.  This will definitely get their attention if they are interested in being with you going forward.

Then take your journal notes and authentically share the real pain, loneliness and upset you have been having because of their relationship with their special friend.  Describe how your self-esteem has gone down, the anxiety symptoms you may be experiencing, like insomnia, or changes in appetite.  Or depressed  feelings.  Be as real as possible about your pain, upset and suffering.  Let him or her know how this ties into your childhood wounds and the deep pain you have experienced as a child.

Overcoming an Emotional Affair Key #4:  In your talk, do not blame your partner or their special friend

When you are having your powerful talk with your partner, be very careful to not blame him/her or their special friend for your upset!  This will simply put them on the defensive and they will stop listening.   Just own your own pain and talk about it.  The goal is for your partner to focus on you and to have compassion for you and your pain. Just share your upset, pain and suffering, without blame.

When you are dealing with your partner’s emotional affair, usually getting angry, blaming, criticizing, or taking pot shots at your partner or their special friend gets you nowhere.  That is, unless you are the type that never expresses their anger—in which case, go for it.  If you are this type of person, express your resentment or anger authentically, but add the hurt you are feeling because of their emotional affair.

Overcoming an Emotional Affair Key #5: Be clear about what you need from your partner

Without drama, let your partner know what you need him or her to do in order to move forward in the relationship or marriage.  This may include more alone time, more dates, more sex, more loving texts,  or  more intimate talks.  It can also include more nurturance, affection and validation. Where you feel like number one in the relationship!  It will almost certainly include breaking up the emotional affair.  The best way to break up the affair is to have your partner go cold turkey—no contact at all with their special friend! Ask for all the things you need in detail!  Be specific.  As in, “I need you to text me loving messages in the morning and the evening!”

Explain that if your partner does these things your relationship can move to a whole new level of love!  Because he or she will be truly coming through for you as your champion in a real and powerful way.  In a way that will heal your childhood wounds of abandonment,  touch your heart and make them your hero/heroine forever!  This is what will usually happen!  If you do take a stand and your partner rises to the occasion you can have a whole new level of love!

But to do this step you need to screw up your courage and take a stand for yourself.  You are the only one who can do that for you.  And you are worth it!


Overcoming an Emotional Affair Key #6:  Stay safe!

One caveat about stating that things may not work out for your couple, or sharing your anger with  your partner over the emotional affair. If your partner may get violent with you, do not do it.  Safety is your number one concern!  If you are dealing with a violent partner, I strongly suggest you get professional help from a local therapist who can help you  deal  with the situation and if need be, find a safe house in your area.

Ok, so there you have six powerful tips for overcoming an emotional affair.  But if you are having trouble with any of the steps, take advantage of a gift session with one of my coaches.  She can definitely help you!

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Tired of loneliness and disappointment in your love life or marriage? This will change everything...

As a relationship expert, I've helped thousands of women get the love they want-even when it seemed impossible.  I'm Dr. Diana Kirschner. You might know me from my PBS Special, seen me on Oprah, or have read one of my bestselling books.

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