The Slippery Slope of an Emotional Affair

Ren Syler shares her personal story

Let's say you've been married awhile, maybe two years, maybe ten, when someone else catches your eye. Maybe it's a guy from Accounting who you never noticed until you were assigned to work together on a big company project. Soon you're working late or going out for lunch, which may or may not involve a teeny bit of wine, confiding in each other about the problems not only on the project, but in your personal lives as well. You start spending more than 30 minutes getting dressed each morning and the kicker comes when you hang up with your husband because Mr. Dreamboat is on line one.

You tell yourself you haven't crossed the line physically, so it's not cheating.

Or is it?

I'm a mid-40s woman who's been married more years than I have fingers to count on. But I'm married, not dead, and I still want to know I look good. Why else would I perpetually diet and sweat like I'm having a heart attack on most days of the week?  And yet, Darling Husband, like most, is not always the most sensitive (gasp), tuned-in (gasp again) man on the planet. So it's nice to get whistled at on the street or have a stranger stare as I walk by. But beyond that? Not a chance.

The indicators of an emotional affair, according to clinical psychologist Shirley Glass, are sexual chemistry and secrecy.  It begins when you start sharing information with that person that you really should be sharing with your spouse.  You're not stupid.  It's easy to know when you've crossed the line or are tap dancing on it. The hard part is admitting you're on that slippery slope.

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