I remember last time I wrote about whether or not a friendship has crossed its boundary into emotional affair. Suddenly I’ve received many questions from reader about well, what to do then if you are actually stuck in it? Or maybe you think you’ve gotten out from the emotional addiction to someone else other than your partner, but somewhat you still feel heartbroken. So I’ve decided to post this blog on what you can do if you need to recover from an emotional affair.
1. Don’t straight away judge that you are falling in love. It might be infatuation
There are many times when your brain is tricked into thinking you’ve found ‘the one’. You think you’ve found someone who is really your soul mate, someone who just ‘gets’ you. You then think about this person all the time, and wonder why you are currently married to someone else who you pretty much only share daily duties with i.e. feeding baby, taking garbage out etc. But don’t think that this is a definite love. This may only be infatuation and when it’s coupled with the whole unknown territory (you don’t know this person as much as you know your husband/wife, believe me when I say that), you suddenly get an excitement rush, and decide that this is love.
2. Be responsible
There’s a difference in thinking you want something and actually doing it. But be careful, thoughts may actually turn into action. So don’t actually think emotional affair is never going to turn physical as long as you promise yourself you won’t put it into action.
When you start thinking of this person as (even only a tad bit) more than just a friend, you need to back off and start being responsible in your own marriage (especially if it involves kids). You made that vow, you took the step. Now, own it!
3. Instead of investing in this new found friendship, invest in your marriage
Don’t always try to spend as much time with this new found friend. Maybe the whole daily routine has made your brain think that your marriage is boring, but what if all you really need to do is to invest some time and heart onto your marriage, and you could turn it around again – like it was new.
Take some time to imagine how you felt when you first marry this person, take yourself back to your honeymoon stage. Think about all those things he/she did that made you just want to hug him/her close to your heart. Now no matter what has happened from then til now, make a promise to yourself that you will start a new.
Actually, while we’re at it, I’d like to tell you a story I’ve read somewhere, about a couple who are about to get divorced (the husband had chosen another woman to spend the rest of his life with, and had made up his mind). The wife didn’t fight his decision, but she told him she had one wish i.e. she wanted them to spend the last month of their marriage (before he’s truly gone) just like what he used to do during those days they first got married. She promised him she wouldn’t bring up the whole cheating issue, and promised him after one month, she would not ask for more.
So just like the first time, during that last month he would pick her up (literally sweep her off her feet), and carry her into their apartment when they were going home together from work…though this time, there was the saddened look that she couldn’t hide coming from her eyes. He did that every day for one month, just like what she’d asked for.
In the end of the month, he’s then realised, he had once more fallen in love with the woman he made his vow to. He called his ‘other woman’ and said to her he’s made up his mind that he won’t be leaving his wife, who he actually really loves.
That story moved me a lot. And that story also say, somewhere in your heart, you still have deep love towards your partner. It’s only a matter of finding it again, make it resurface.
4. Lastly, actually take steps to break off your emotional affair
What I mean by this is to actually do something that will get you off the affair track (no matter how slowly). Surround yourself with new friends (as an example), or reduce the time you spend with this new found ‘affair’. If you normally see him/her once a day during workdays, cut it out to twice a week, make an appointment with other friends for the rest of the days (or even your spouse).
One note though, you may find that your potential love affair would probably complain. He/she would ask you about the change. Don’t fret, just deny it. After all, it’s a healthy ‘friendship’ when you both have time for each other as well as time for yourself (and for your other friends).
Slowly remove yourself from the situation – break the pattern you’ve started to create e.g. lunch together every day etc.