Dr. Phil on Emotional Affairs
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Coping with Infidelity Relationship recovery from the destructiveness of infidelity.

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Old 03-22-2011, 08:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dr. Phil on Emotional Affairs

I caught a re-run last night of a Dr. Phil show that was about emotional affairs titled "Affairs of the Heart."

The couple has been married for about 12 years and she has had multiple EAs, including one with a psychiatric patient she was caring for and she got fired. The husband found out about all of this and it's a major problem for them as it seems she doesn't stop, it's affecting their kids.

Dr. Phil told her she had to stop being "emotionally promiscuous" and either commit to her marriage to stop.

He told the husband "The good news is this is not about you. The bad news is this is not about you."

He told the husband that eventually, if she didn't stop or change behaviors, he had to be willing to walk away and protect their children.

The husband said he's not a "quitter" and would "fight for his marriage."

And it made me think... Dr. Phil is right... if she won't stop, he either has to live w/ it or walk.

Just something to think about.

I will link it here:

http://www.drphil.com/shows/show/1238
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dr. Phil on Emotional Affairs

Found another good article on EAs:

Emotional Affair – Are you cheating?
By: Fix My Love Staff


Do you find yourself thinking way too often about someone other than your husband or wife? Find out if you are having an emotional affair!

What is an Emotional Affair?
The emotional affair, by definition, is an affair without physical intimacy. Some refer to it as “affair of heart”. You’ve read them in books and seen them in movies: a heroin “trapped” in an unhappy marriage, meets a man who seemingly understands her deepest emotions with one glance, and the two grow their platonic love through letters and poems while keeping their physical desires in check. How romantic! How beautiful! How completely harmless!

Or is it?

In real life, an emotional affair is not so beautiful and not so harmless. While those involved in an emotional affair may pass it off as innocent, the uninvolved spouse might find it to cause all the pain and heartache of a full-blown affair.

How dangerous is it?
Physical attraction is common place, especially where men are concerned. How many times has a wife or girlfriend caught a boyfriend or husband giving another woman a second look? Probably too many to count. That type of attraction means very little. It's fleeting. As soon as the woman is out of sight, men are onto something else. This is not the case with an emotional attraction. In order to be attracted to someone emotionally, it requires that a bond be established, it's deeper than physical attraction and it does not go away because the other person is not around. It is dangerous. It comes about slowly, and those involved often don't realize what's happened to them until they are so involved it's too late to stop it.

A physical extramarital affair can be something as fast and short-lived as a one night stand. Here today, gone tomorrow with no emotional bond. Yes, it is despicable, wrong and should be avoided at all costs, but everyone knows that.

Emotional intimacy is a little more subtle and not everyone, especially those involved in one, acknowledges its danger. But don’t be mistaken: emotional affair is every bit as damaging to marriage as a physical affair.

Don’t believe me? Well…
Relationship coach, Jeff Herring, says that the four most dangerous words in marriage are, "We are just friends." Dr. Ronald T. Potter-Efron agrees. He and his wife have found that emotional affairs may begin as friendships but they don't stay that way. The emotional affair becomes more intense and, even if it remains non-sexual, it will eventually diminish at least one person’s attachment to his or her committed partner. Dr. Joyce Brothers contends that women are more susceptible to emotional affair, especially if she feels that she is not getting the emotional connection with the husband at home. Sometimes it seems so much easier to “connect” with someone new, rather than “re-connecting” with someone that you share daily chores and domestic comforts with.

All these experts agree, as does popular TV guru Dr. Phil: an emotional affair is just as bad as a physical one. The emotional affair can be just as destructive to a marriage as full-blown infidelity. The loss of trust and the feeling of betrayal is just as real with emotional infidelity as it is with physical infidelity. Pretty cut and dry, isn’t it?

Early signs of emotional infidelity to look for. So how do you detect and prevent an emotional affair? Let’s start with self-assessment. Read the signs below and see if any applies to you. Be completely honest with yourself.

1.You think to yourself or tell others that you are just friends.


2.You daydream about the other person.


3.You really look forward to seeing the other person.


4.You want to tell them your important news before anyone else (including your spouse or partner).


5.You share intimate emotions (sadness, happiness, etc.) with that person.


6.You share intimate details of problems in your marriage.


7.You start believing the other person understands you better than your spouse or partner


8.You start keeping secrets from your spouse and covering things up.


9.You start giving gifts with intimate notes attached.


10.You begin to want to spend more and more time together.


11.You begin withdrawing from your spouse both physically and emotionally.


12.You begin to flirt and feel sexual tension.


13.You find excuses to touch the other person, ex: brush hair out of the eyes, or brush lint away.


14.You begin to take notice of how you look when you know you are going to see them.


15.You start telling yourself it's not cheating.

Hot to stop an Emotional Affair before it starts.
Did you identify yourself with any of the signs above? If so, do you want to do something about it? Here are some suggestions.

1.Realize that no marriage is affair proof.


2.Admit your attraction to someone else to yourself and your spouse right away. Honesty keeps the relationship from becoming an affair because it's now up for viewing.


3.Put yourself in your spouse's place. How would you feel if your spouse is doing what you are doing?


4.Don't flirt.


5.If it feels like cheating, it probably is, so don't do it.


6.Stay away from situations that give rise to opportunities that promote emotional infidelity.


7.Grow emotional intimacy with your spouse.


8.Trust your gut feeling and if thoughts of cheating cross your mind, run.


9.Make your marriage your #1 priority.


Emotional affairs, extramarital affairs, physical or emotional “involvement” with someone other than your spouse… it all adds up to one and the same. There are no excuses we can tell ourselves or others that justify that kind of behavior in marriages or committed relationships. When it comes to being a willing participant in this kind of activity, it should be perceived as a wakeup call. A dangerous, life altering nudge that is telling us that something is amiss in our marriage and we would be wise to heed its warning and use it to get back on track. The majority of relationships spawned by such affairs do not last, yet the scars left by emotional infidelity can last just as long as the scars of a full-blown extramarital affair.


Emotional Affair
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Old 03-23-2011, 06:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dr. Phil on Emotional Affairs

Agree with everything you said JB, and I believe that EAs can be more dangerous than PAs.
With a "purely" PA, (not a "full-blown" A) there may be no feelings whatsoever involved-a one night stand would be the best example, but then the two move on.
But with an EA, the DS now has the toxic idea in their head that maybe they can do better than their spouse. Maybe the OM/OW can make them happier than the LS. And once that idea gets in their heads, they will never look at the LS in the same way again: the LS is now inadequate in their eyes, and they start to question everything about them-whether they are such a good person after all, whether they made a mistake by marrying them, whether they were really meant to be with someone else (usually the OM/OW), and then the DS starts falling into the "fog": their spouse is now a terrible person, they're ruining the DS's life, they're holding the DS back from their "true happiness", the OM/OW is a much better person than the LS will ever be...

Sorry if I rambled, but, even though I have never been cheated on, I still find this a compelling subject-hell, friends said I should have been a Marriage Counselor!
But, JB, I think your "questionnaire" could be summed up with one question:
"Would you feel very embarrassed/ashamed/ or 'caught' if your partner suddenly appeared behind you when you were with the OM/OW?"
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dr. Phil on Emotional Affairs

I think the "fog" actually starts when this happens:

Quote:
Originally Posted by F-102 View Post
But with an EA, the DS now has the toxic idea in their head that maybe they can do better than their spouse. Maybe the OM/OW can make them happier than the LS. And once that idea gets in their heads, they will never look at the LS in the same way again: the LS is now inadequate in their eyes, and they start to question everything about them-whether they are such a good person after all, whether they made a mistake by marrying them, whether they were really meant to be with someone else (usually the OM/OW)?"
Until the DS is out of "the fog" they won't view the LS as the same. I think they can be reminded of how great their spouse is, but it has to be after ZERO contact with the OP. As long as they're in contact, there's no way can recovery start, IMO.


Quote:
Originally Posted by F-102 View Post
But, JB, I think your "questionnaire" could be summed up with one question:
"Would you feel very embarrassed/ashamed/ or 'caught' if your partner suddenly appeared behind you when you were with the OM/OW?"
ITA. 100%
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