Following are the leftover questions from a very lively May 22 Live Chat about Emotional Affairs:
My company assigned me to a project along with a young man who’s very sharp-witted as well as talented in his field. It’s a high-pressure project, with a short deadline (three months) so we’re working late hours, on the phone, emailing, and texting constantly, to get it done.
My partner accused me of having an emotional affair “if not more” with this young man. I’m so angry! His lack of trust is driving me away!
You’re under pressure; we get it. But are you neglecting your partner beyond his understanding and tolerance level, and making him suspect the man who’s getting all your time?
Reverse the situation: Would you accept this much emotional and time absence from your guy, if an attractive, younger female colleague was in the project picture with him?
You’re driving each other away, during a high-stress time. The project will end, but the hurt will persist on both sides. Try to save some time for your man at home. It’s tough when you’ve got deadlines, but it’s necessary in a relationship.
My fiancé still has his profile on a dating site and “meets” women online whom he says become “close friends.” But he swears he never sees them in person, because he loves me and is planning to marry me.
He says the dating site is a way to expand his friendships because his work is isolated at home and he doesn’t get to meet new people. So he says this is an easy way, as the profiles help you know if you have things in common with these people. He makes me feel like I’m jealous and controlling, but I still feel uncomfortable about it!
Dating site profiles signal dating interest. They’re not one-stop shopping for a social network, business connections, etc. Some people may become friends, but his profile’s only attracting women!
Forget “jealous and controlling” labels, he’s turning this around to your self-doubt. Insist that he take down his profile.
Then YOU take a second look at whether he’s really a player… the signs are loud and clear: he’s manipulative, defensive, does what he wants, and blames you, never him.
After living together for seven years, my partner’s been contacting her former college classmates through the school’s website and she’s now planning a trip out west to meet up with several of them.
They’re all men. At first she didn’t tell me there were no women going to be there, but I got concerned when she mentioned going fishing and hiking while away, and snooped her email. She’s admitted that she’s going to be with three guys, but said they’d always camped together when they had school breaks. I think its nuts… even dangerous.
It’s very escapist. That’s the “danger” sign that she’s looking for excitement from the past. It may not mean an affair…. yet. But it’s a signal that she’s restless.
So, instead of blocking her, suggest you go camping with her this summer, and raise the idea of other periodic getaways and adventures together… whatever brings a new element and enjoyment into your life together.
Stop snooping, talk to her directly, don’t try to stop this particular “three-guy-friends” trip, but do talk about the fun she’s seeking and your wanting to share some with her.
However, don’t ask to join this particular trip. You’re the outsider, so it won’t play well for you.
I’m a married woman who’s spending a lot of after-work time with a female colleague, because we enjoy similar things like plays and music events, which my husband doesn’t want to attend.
He’s been making snide remarks about this friendship, saying he doesn’t trust her, because she’s single and younger than me. I’ve said he’s being ridiculous, but he’s acting cold and avoiding me when we’re at home together.
Step into his shoes: If you found that your partner was having more fun, and spending more time with someone else, you too would feel emotional distance.
He’s trying to fight his way back to you with these insinuations. It’s not the best way, but he’s alerting you to his hurt feelings and fears.
You don’t have to stop seeing this woman, but limit your time with her outside of work.
Note: If you secretly email or talk to her, you’d be deepening the emotional divide.
Tip of the day:
An Emotional Affair can be more devastating to the “committed” relationship than a sexual affair.