Rick Reynolds, LCSW
by Rick Reynolds, LCSW
Founder & President, Affair Recovery

Nine Signs of an Emotional Affair

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Emotional affairs are devastating. The collateral damage from sharing your heart and life with another person outside the marriage devastates the betrayed spouse and upends all of life for the couple and family. Trying to piece together your heart and life post-affair is not only challenging, it can be one of the most discouraging and frustrating things you'll go through as a married couple.

But just what is an emotional affair? What qualifies it as such? Perhaps your spouse is resisting the idea that what happened was truly an emotional affair—what then?

If 82% of affairs happen with someone who at first was "just a friend," as Shirley P. Glass' research suggests, then maybe there's benefit in exploring how these friendships begin. How does one have an emotional affair, and what signs are there that an emotional affair is developing? And why do emotional affairs happen in the first place? Is there something missing in our traditional monogamous relationships? What's the emotional cause that paves the pathway for a statutory clause?

To begin, let's define the term.

Emotional affairs exclude physical intimacy but include emotional intimacy.

This would include anyone you know and may see in person during work or recreation as well as virtual friends through social media, in other words, a friend you see, text, email, Tweet, Kik, Snap, Instagram, Facebook or any number of new mediums that are now available. While there is no in-person physical intimacy, emotional affairs are carried on in secret. I've listed below nine signs that you or your spouse may be developing an emotional affair in the hopes that you will be able to avoid them.

*Keep in mind while reading that this is written as a how-to in reverse, meaning these behaviors are what not to do as they are signs that you may be developing an emotional affair:

1. Intimacy Avoidance:

9 Nines Emotional Affair

To have an emotional affair it's helpful to forgo intimacy and substitute closeness. Intimacy is the willingness to know your mate as well as a willingness to be known. With intimacy avoidance, you begin to avoid speaking up and creating conflict in your marriage. You will, instead, settle for closeness and avoid the risk of rejection by your mate. Intimacy avoidance allows you to silence the conversations which brought your marriage together and opens up the door for new opportunities. Avoiding rejection can successfully foil your mate's attempts to know you and create new desire for a connection from an acquaintance or newfound friend on the Internet. You have begun to save conversations about marital dissatisfaction for your "friend". Dealing directly with your mate about marital issues can rob you of opportunities to connect with someone outside the marriage.

2. Approval Seeking:

The void created by fearing rejection and settling for false intimacy creates a craving for the approval of others. It won't be long until you discover someone who listens well and who is fascinated by the words you speak. Pursuing opportunities to acquire their validation will help fuel the flame for more. It's not really an affair, right? What's wrong with talking to someone who tells you how good you look, or who is impressed by your success, or who appreciates your accomplishments? You'll allow yourself to believe that this new person accepts your true self, and don't forget to blame your mate for not providing the same validation as your new friend.

3. Pimping Tenderness:

To have a friend you have to be a friend. You always show sincere interest in the life of your "friend." Listening and showing unmatched concern when they have problems in their life. Whenever possible, criticizing others when they fail to respond or truly appreciate your new friend. Showing concern by picking lint off their clothes. Never missing an opportunity to tell them how nice they look or what a good job they've done. Learning to be their number-one cheerleader so they'll always come to you for encouragement. Seeking out every possible opportunity to be thoughtful. Bringing them coffee in the morning. Offering to help when possible. Creating opportunities to go to lunch or dinner. When dressing, considering what they would like. Non-sexual touching such as rubbing their shoulders or hugging will help create familiarity and fuel relational desire. When your mate shares an opinion, you always remind yourself what your "friend" would have said. Forbidden fruit is always sweeter. You'll find the excitement of keeping your relationship secret will only enhance your time together. When it feels your family is getting in the way of your time with your "friend," you'll know you've finally ignited an emotional affair.

4. Relational Lethargy:

It takes a lifetime to truly know the mysteries of your mate. It takes over 30 years of marriage to even reach your sexual potential. The deeper waters of a person's soul take years to discover. Paraphrasing the Second Law of Thermodynamics: you can never get as much out of a system as you put into it. Marriages have seasons where it feels you're putting in far more than you are getting out. Relational lethargy can allow you to justify your actions due to the lack of return from your marriage. Convincing yourself that your mate deceived you and that they've failed to live up to expectations, you'll begin to curtail your investments in the marriage and enjoy the effortless infatuation that comes from the beginning stages of new friendship.

5. Objectification:

Sustaining the denial necessary to justify an emotional affair requires objectification. It's necessary to see only the negative aspects of one's mate if you have any hope of pushing away the guilt that might come from betrayal. When your mate raises concerns about your friend, you don't listen; instead, you tell them they are being petty and controlling and are overreacting. Objectification of the affair partner is also necessary to sustain the emotional affair. Much of the benefit gained from an emotional affair is derived from seeing the other person as needing help, or as someone who is the most astute, most intelligent, most talented, or most beautiful. We imagine them being our counter-part. Someone who gets me or who is like me. Why would you want to have an emotional affair with someone who's just average? Magnifying what you most admire in the other person and minimizing their deficits will help you feel better about your decision to continue the "friendship".

6. Minimization:

If people really understood the long-term cost of their actions, would they be able to continue? That awareness would only serve as an anxiety generator. To have an emotional affair, you minimize the impact of your actions and feign surprise when your mate gets upset. Never consider the impact on your children; after all, they're resilient and, over time, they'll come to forgive you.

7. Self-deception:

Deceiving yourself into believing that you're as wonderful as your emotional affair partner sees you is absolutely necessary to obtain maximum benefit from your newfound relationship. Affair partners attempt to convince you that they're better than your mate and that you'd have been far better off if you'd married them. Marriage partners are the makeup mirrors of our lives. They highlight every flaw and blemish. Affair partners are vanity mirrors. We look amazing in their eyes. Self-deception requires that we suspend reality and imagine ourselves as seen through our affair partner's eyes. Failing to deceive one's self makes entitlement almost impossible.

8. Being an Emotional Confidant:

To have an emotional affair, it's imperative that you begin providing the emotional intimacy that their mate doesn't. You also need to look to them to be your primary source of support. Looking to them as your primary confidant will communicate their importance in your life, and providing the same for them will cause them to become dependent on you rather than looking to their mate. Never miss an opportunity to probe how they feel, and promise to be there if they need you. It won't be long until you're the most important person in their life.

9. Develop Common Interests:

Creating a shared activity with your "friend" provides something special the two of you can have in common. Activities such as bike riding, running, working out, etc. are great activities that allow a legitimate excuse to spend time with your "friend". Having something unique to your friendship allows for a feeling of exclusivity.

Once again, I want to remind you that this is actually a "what not to do" list.

Emotional infidelity is absolutely no less damaging than physical infidelity. If your marriage has been rocked by an emotional affair, I'd like to ask you to consider attending our EMS Weekend. My team and I will be able to not only address the root causes of the affair(s) but develop a specific roadmap to the potential healing of the marriage. We've all been there ourselves and understand the pain you both are in. You don't have to be another statistic, and you don't have to walk this road to recovery alone.

Participants enrolled in our Programs and Courses" are able to submit questions to the Expert Q&A that are then answered in video form by various members of our Clinical Professional Contributors. Previously I answered one of those questions related to emotional affairs. I hope it is a helpful piece of insight for you. The Expert Q&A videos can be accessed with a Recovery Library Membership, although it doesn't include the ability to submit questions as course participants.

Hope Rising 2022

I want to invite all who have been betrayed to our 5thAnnual Hope Rising Conferences - on Demand, and gain momentum, strength, and community on your journey to wholeness. You are not alone. Healing from infidelity can feel isolating. At Hope Rising, you can gain momentum, strength and community on your journey to wholeness. We've walked through this pain ourselves, and we've walked alongside thousands of others on this journey. You may not see it at this very moment, but in this dark chapter hope can rise.

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7 out of 9

For my wife, she was 7 out of 9.

It's too bad that we don't read this kind of information before the affair happens...or even before we get married.

I agree with you, I used to

I agree with you, I used to skip over infidelity articles. I was so sure I married a man with integrity.

I do intensely agree with this comment

My daughter is to be married this fall and I am going to show her some of these recourses. She won t like them. Haha But I feel the language and subject should be part of all journeys

Signs it could be an EA

This brings me to tears because this is spot on. 

Me too and it's been 5

Me too and it's been 5 years.  He chose the affair partner.  He said it was easier to wipe the slate clean with her than try and repair our 21 year marriage.  It's been devastating, but through years of counseling I've perservered.  I am now re-married to a wonderful man.  "He" has married the other woman.  I'm working on forgiveness but am in the acceptance stage right now.  I would ask that you pray for my girls.  They are great but I know they miss their dad.  They have difficulty spending time with him because he insists she be present and they still aren't ready for that.  Healing is a long and difficult process, but do-able.  Blessings to you all!

On your daughters' healing

What you mentioned about your ex always insisting that AP be present when he sees his daughters is the same thing we're going through. My husband moved out 8 months ago to move in with his AP. My precious 14yo who was his princess, his little daddy's girl has all but shut him out of her life after begging him, at times with tears, to spend time with her without the AP along. He even refused to eat her birthday dinner with her if he couldn't bring AP. It certainly is a matter of prayer. Sometimes I think it hurts more to see our children hurting than ourselves!

long term affairs

This is so accurate it makes me want to vomit. Number 2 specifically, but also number 3, are the reasons why the emotional affair turned into a physical affair. Number 7 is why it stayed physical.


It's amazing to me that these steps are so detailed, yet so right on. I agree that I wish I could have had these signs BEFORE it took place. :-\

Emotional Affair Signs

This says it all--absolutely spot-on. All of these were present in my husband's relationship with the AP, and led to the affair. Thanking God for 3 years together post-revelation and for the healing brought by the Affair Recover programs! It is possible to rebuild, renew and move forward.

thank you

Thank you for posting a positive thought. I am one year post-revelation. My husband and I have come to the root of what was causing our relationship to deteriorate. We are working everyday to avoid being in that position again. It is nice to hear that it is possible to recover what I was certain was lost for good. I still hurt. I still wonder if I know the truth, and if I don't, would the truth change anything. I still wonder if it will happen again. But I am still trying.


I am 3 months out and still my heart aches. I was totally blindsided by all this and don't believe what he tells me. He has been lying for over 6 months and tells me it's over between him and his first wife and that he don't "love" her, but I don't believe him! We always had a strong, truthful 34 year marriage (or so I thought) but in fact I found out what a sneaky, lying, deceptive person he really is. I want to save our marriage, but everything just plays over and over in my mind and I don't know how to move on!

It plays over and over

You are traumatized. Time will give you strength and clarity and you will know what to do.

Same boat

As you. Just cannot seem to get any peace with this. Has been almost 5 months and I still hold much anger. We have some good days and hard working at this, but some days it just falls over me like a can of paint

Spot on

Excellent description and exactly how it happens, from what I've experienced with my husband.  I can also see how my husband and I still have problems that could spell more trouble in the future.  I'm going to try to get him to read this.  He has pretty much shut down all my attempts to deal with his infidelity.

Thank you!



My husband is a stranger to me and to intimacy. In almost 30 yrs. of marriage, he has run from conflict. We can't work through anything, including his infidelity, because he flatly refuses. But God is faithful. My hope, joy, and peace rest in Him.

cheated on

i'm mot sure if my story can top ur's but my husband took me on a cruise with his girlfriend and her husband. try moving on after that with ur spouse! it's the hardest thing in this world especially if u want to keep the family together.


I have read many of these columns in trying to process what my wife did to me. But this made me break out into a cold sweat, it was so detailed and spot on. I'm not sure whether this was compiled from an astute understanding of human nature, a ton of experience working with couples who have been through something like this or both. But whatever it is, I commend the author of this. Now if only it can be determined what can be done to make somebody other than the victimized spouses be the ones to benefit from columns like this.

The "I did not cheat on you" affair

Wow, this is so right on. I have experienced from my husband almost everything on this list...he finally confessed, after I kept probing. I saw some of it but I thought I was being jealous because my husband is just a "friendly" guy with women.... or so I thought. Little did I know that his "friendliness" had crossed the line, a while back, with several women in his office. He has found himself telling me that they are just very close friends, like his sisters, and that I was reading too much into it and that he has never "cheated" on me. Of course this is just a devastating as if he had had a physical affair, the trust has been broken and it's very painful to the offended spouse.

This has just happen to me

This has just happen to me that i got flirting emails between my husband and another women. He said they were innocent and would never do anything with this women. that he was just doing to make her feel better and she said they were innocent and friends nothing more. But still crossed a line and the trust has come down. And it does feel like he had a physical affair. Innocent and what not married men should not be flirting with anyone but there wife and women should not feel the need to flirt with married men so they can feel good. Cross the line and is really hard to get the trust back and not feel the hurt by it


Your situation sounds exactly like mine. It has been 16 months since my DDay and I still do not trust. It took him an entire year to finally admit that it was infidelity. We are still together and have been through private counseling and marriage programs to try to put things back together. Things are better, but I still have those days when I am flooded with doubt and suspicion.


My husband said the same thing! After buying lingerie & perfume and flowers and sex toys for his "sister" over the past 3 years. So brotherly! I asked if he would feel the same way if someone had given the same to our teen daughter, would that be considered "brotherly"? [He balked] And I haven't even touched the idea that if her *own brother* would be the one sending those things, would THAT be wrong? He is very sick. Twisted. This is the result of years of justification, rationalization and minimizing of wrong behavior. He came to believe his own distorted lies. I cannot fathom his thinking processes. And...he wants to reconcile! Of course, why not? He hardly did anything wrong, right?


I printed the nine signs page and highlighted the parts of each sign that I had seen with my husband and his EA partner and then wrote out in red ink the exact things I knew they had done. Then I gave it to my cheating husband, who only admits that he "called and texted too much" and wouldn't admit that it was even an affair. Even after reading everything, he still won't call it an affair. Dday was late last November, confrontation was Christmas Day, and I have been waiting for 8 months for him to come clean and admit this affair. I am convinced now that it is not going to happen. He doesn't think he did anything wrong, but I have over 53 pages of phone records that indicate otherwise, including texting between the hours of 2:00 am and 5:00 am. Of course, he says they are "just friends" and since they work together, he has to speak to her about stuff at work. ( I guess he needed to know if a package he ordered came in and decided to call her at 2:00 am about it.) This article shows exactly what happens in an EA and at least it validates that I am not crazy or making too much out of what I felt in my gut and what I had seen. Now, 8 months later, I have moved out, am trying to regain some sense of self worth and respect, and have realized that he is too self centered to actually feel any remorse or guilt for what the devastation he caused. I have to take care of me now and he and his EA partner will have to figure out a way to answer to God. I am trying, with a lot of prayer, to move on.

Unbelievably my life as well

I got chills reading your words, K. That is exactly what I'm dealing with. Exactly.

So true.its happening to me

So true.its happening to me though he has admitted that she was just a special friend.the thing is he insists he did not touch her and behaves as though it was not that big of a deal because there was no physical intimacy and that them being connected that way is worse.ive been trying to get him to start his recovery but hes just going through the motions.confident in himself that he will not do it again and confident in my believing him.needless to say im in a horrible place right now because i know that with this attitude he is playing with fire and we will get burned sooner rather than later.

Dead on

This is the exact events that lead to my husband's physical affair. I told him what was happening but he just accused me of being controlling. Nothing I did was good enough while this was going on. I was blamed for his every problem and told that I needed to "shape up" if I wanted to stay with him. I'm glad I found out the truth sooner rather than later. He has come clean and we are waiting to stay EMSO. The part I still struggle with is that he still thinks that he and his AP are perfect and if her husband and I weren't so awful that they wouldn't have "needed" each other in the first place. How can I get him to see that he was the one making me out to be a horrible person and that in reality he was hurting me long before he started sleeping with her?

Physical Affair

My husband started with a physical affair (from Ashley Madison) and said it wasn't emotional. Months after Dday he admitted that it became an emotional affair several months into it - but the emotional level was 3-4 on a scale of 1 to 10 (according to him.) After reading your article, I can see how much more of an emotional affair it was - almost every sign listed applies to him.

Painfully true

Wow... that article "sums it up". I now clearly see the pattern for most of our marriage, and boy oh boy do I feel stupid. He had many EAs but it was only when he decided to leave me for one - did I wake up and smell the coffee. I want to help other couples SEE !!! The deception, the blindness, the justifications it is all so gut wrenching to the betrayed.

This hits a little too close

This hits a little too close to home because my soon to be ex hit all nine of these with her affair.

This is DEAD ON

Thank you for this Rick! As I read through this it was like you were narrating my affair(s). It is really sad to think that there are so many of us unfaithful out there that fall into these patterns but don't truly see it while in the midst of the affair. This is the cycle and it repeats itself time and time again from marriage to marriage. While in the entanglement of the affair one thinks that "no one else could possibly understand" or "this is different than everyone else's experience" and so many other thoughts to not classify it as an affair, but this article is proof that no emotional affair is any different or "special" than what any one else experiences. Thank you for putting things into perspective for me! We are 3&1/2 years out and every day I'm learning new ways to avoid bad behaviors and every day I continually try to change. It's a rough road and for all the betrayed that have stuck it through, thank you!

Sounds like the story my husband has told himself

This sounds like my husbands emotional affairs. He continually justifies them (just friends , it didn't mean anything, I was just being nice, she was depressed , Ilied because I didn't want to hurt you, etc. ). He is still telling the same story. I think he is starting to believe it. When will he just come clean with what his intentions were. I cannot forgive nor respect him until he does. What other path do I have?

emotional affair

Do emotional affairs ever end? When they do does the person start to see the reality of their folly? Do they ever see their spouse again in a clear light? Today I sat in a court room where the most lovely kind man I ever knew divorced me as he "does not feel connected". I tried everything- processing our marriage history, moving toward, moving away from, praying, working on my self. Nothing I have done seems to have mattered. I think he knows I love him as he walks away.

Emotional betrayal

My husband betrayed me this way with my sister. 10 years later, we’re still together but it still hurts because he won’t tell me what they talked about. I feel he’s still protecting her. I cut off all contact with her but I can’t be sure he has. I will never trust him or her or anyone again. Before I found out about their secret phone calls, I felt in my gut something was up when we were all together but I didn’t say anything. I told him I thought it was inappropriate for him to be talking to her behind my back(she totally stopped talking to me and I didn’t know why) and yet, thanks to cell phone records I found he was still doing it. He would leave the room when she called and then lie to me who he was talking to.
I think it would have gone on to a physical affair if I want there that time she called.....I would leave him but I’m afraid to be alone after 28 years together. I have been spiraling down mentally ever since. I am one breath away from a total breakdown. Will the pain ever end? Will I ever get over it?
He has me convinced I am crazy and what I saw didn’t happen and he “doesn’t remember” leaving the room when she called or what they talked about and says they weren’t hiding it from me. Several times I said to him I hadn’t heard from her, despite leaving her messages and calling everyday and he never once said he just talked to her. MayBe they weren’t trying to hide it, but they certainaly weren’t putting it out there in the open.
She never once after I found out called me to explain herself. If it was just an innocent friendship as he claims wouldn’t she call me and say so? Idk.


This is exactly what happened to my husband of 23 years. He got a emotionally involved with a Japanese woman co-worker. They don't really work together but belong to the same organization and work in the same building.My husband is 67 years old and the woman is at least 30 years younger. He said they became very close early March . I discovered the affair September 30. The discovery is a miracle I believe God's compassion on me. I have been very trusting and very patient with his ever increasing emotional distance and sometimes outright rudeness and his treating me with contempt a lot of times just to avoid "strife" in our marriage.

I never met this woman or never heard her name till the D-day. My husband kept this all secret. Little did I know that at he has been consistently investing in her, meeting her pratctical and emotional needs, giving her a lift home after work every afternoon and driving her off to the bus station to catch her bus to another cuty on Fridays , to be with is lived in partner. Then my husband will pick her up again on Monday mornings from the bus station. On Fridays, they will tell each other how much they are going to miss each other and look forward to Mondays. My husband "stole' persimmons, feijoas, mandarins,and chokos form our garden and consistently supplied her. They are part of a tennis group that play doubles on lunch breaks, but they also played one on one for an hour each time , not a serious play , just frolicking and laughing and enjoying each other on the tennis courts .At the same time my husband also mentored her of tennis as h is 30 years ahead of her playing tennis. This is significant because he never did this to anyone, never to me or our children who are now 21 and 18 years old. He never took me or the kids out for a walk o outing, but he took her out one time for a walk in a beautiful gorge outside which is 1 and a half hours outside the city. They did this by taking one afternoon off one Wednesday. My husband came home that night close to 8PM, and I never questioned him. He also has taken her out for lunch in a restaurant (something he never did to me) and for a morning snack on a very nice cafe in town ( he never did this to me either). Sometimes my husband is away for his work or she is away for her work. When that happens they texted each other early mornings and at night and through the day updating each other, caring for each other, and how they look forward to see each other again. When my husband went away to Australia with my son for a week he emailed her updates and even took a beautiful photo of koala especially for her and sent it to her, He never emailed me or sent sent photos to me. Just texted me 3 times. When our family went for a short 3 day holiday , he was as usual cold to me and even to the kids. I learned later that he has been emailing her and sending photos to her.Clearly he was with us physically, but he was constantly thinking and missing this other woman.My husband was very u creative in finding opportunities to be with this other woman alone. They both work in teh dairy industry as researchers, but she is in social science science research, but my husband is in soil research so he gets to visit farms often while she is most of the times in the computer or attending conferences but never been to a dairy farm herself. My husband managed to take her to a dairy goat farm after work hours, just a personal trip. Could go on and on

At D-day, and subsequent weeks and days my husband said that did nothing wrong because they didn't have sex nor intend to have one. But he said they were very close and enjoyed being together and just de-stress. In his words they really enjoyed it as they have no expectations from each other, no pressure to have sex, no bills to worry about and no children, etc. He said that her company has a calming effect on him.
At D-day my husband said that she would make a very good catch as a wife and if he were 30 years younger, he would like to marry her. To make me feel better, he followed with saying that I am still his number one and she is her number 2 for companionship. However in practise, he never desired my companionship, he avoided me, and hid in his busyness every day at home at night and on at weekends. He said to me he is very fond of her and one who's company he really desire. He said he finds her finds her attractive and there is chemistry between f them. I told him its an emotional . Its a violation of the marriage vow. I told him that the cleaving in sickness and in health doesn't only means sexually but emotionally, in fact the emotional, mental and spiritual bond which he broke is at the very hear of our marriage. He gradually sort of accepted it, that it was an affair. Initially after the affair he promised he would distance himself from her,avoiding the on one they used to have. So after the first week he was still emailing and texting her.
After 3 weeks he met her in person to put a "closure". He did not allow me to be there when he talked to her. But he said that he told her that he really like her and don't really want the friendship to end, but he has to distance himself as it s hurting our marriage. He also told her that he is going to miss her.
About 2 weeks ago he talked to her again. I got mad and so I confronted her and wrote to her lived in boyfriend about it. I still hope things will get better. Thank you for what you are doing for hurting people like me and my children. There are too many of us out there, and there is not enough help, because this the kind of problem that you should keep secret to protect the reputation of the abuser, if you could consider this an emotional abuse

My husband in a Nut shell

This is exactly my husband. First with an in person emotional affair. Now with a social media one with a woman from Romania. I no longer feel pain, just sadness for him. He is a loser.....of me.


This is so my husband. From day one of our marriage (probably the two years we were engaged too), he has sought out emotional affairs online. No amount of love and attention on my part will make it stop. He is wonderful to me, until I put my foot down about the flavor of week, then he turns volatile. His first wife was a nice person, but a lazy, spendthrift hoarder. I am the opposite, so I've freed up a lot of time for him. I help run our jointly-owned contracting business (he did all the legwork himself before I came along), I keep our home immaculate, our gardens are a show-piece, and we are building up our savings account for the first time in his working career. Our interaction usually consists of business work, yard work (we own a lot of land), and an hour of TV now and then. I feel like I'm sleeping next to someone I've borrowed. He did tell me recently that he's grateful for me because it's the first time in his life that he's actually had a life. But he spends his new-found spare time on other pursuits. Knowing that there's probably another emotionally dependent woman waiting in the wings, just sucks the joy out of everything that we've accomplished together. For the first time in our relationship/marriage, I'm considering what it would be like to be on my own. I don't want anything from him and can manage just fine on my own. I just want peace in my life. Interestingly, he said part of the problem is that I don't need him--he needs a needy person. I replied, no I don't need you, but I do WANT you. His first wife was very needy, and it dragged the marriage down in every way. In actuality, I think he wants both, someone who's needy, and someone whos' self-sufficient--and not in the same person. I'm just at a loss at this point.

Spot on!

Spot on!

Emotional affair

My husband and I are recovering from his emotional, and eventual sexual affair with my best friend. I watched EVERY SINGLE ONE of these progressions and felt helpless to do anything. He always figured out how to convince me I was imagining things and was overly possessive and jealous. Since "D day", We are finding ways to find healing and repair our marriage. Thank you for your ministry. It has been a lifeline for me.

Just connecting with a story that sounds like mine

I find myself wishing I could ask you so many questions. What has the husband attitude been? And what about the friendship?

I was really excited a couple

I was really excited a couple of weeks ago when Wayne announced he was going to address emotional affairs in an upcoming video. Thanks so much for talking about it as I feel so many folks out there in the world do not understand or accept that emotional affairs are infidelity and how utterly devastating they can be. Eyes get rolled, like are you kidding me, that didn't have sex so it is not an affair!

Long before my formerly unfaithful husband had this type of affair, God schooled me in setting boundaries with friends of the opposite sex. Oh how I tried to share this with my spouse on a few occasions, but he would say it was nonsense and he and his friend were "just friends". How validated I felt despite the horrific circumstances we were in, when we came to EMS Weekend in August 2017 and heard we are "just friends" is/was one of the signs of an emotional affair.

I am so very pleased to say that now, my husband truly understands those words, "just friends" is not a good thing and has set up boundaries (although it took a while as old habits die hard), to keep himself, me and us safe!

Thanks Wayne for speaking on this type of affair and sharing on what not to do as it is just a reminder for us both to ever be diligent in our friendships!


Emotional & physical

What is it called when it is both a very emotional and physical affair. Double pain and devastation most certainly but is there a name for that. Saying physical just doesn’t seem to be serious enough of a description when words of love were expressed as well


This is the literal blueprint of my husband's emotional affair, and now that we are 3.5 years post dday, he sheepishly confesses to having all of these behaviors. He was in "we were just friends" denial for the first 6 months, but eventually saw the light, thanks to Affair Recovery and independent counseling.

Emotional affair

My spouse refuses to admit it was an affair. He still defends it as a special unique friend. D day was three years ago. I found texts that went on for 8 years. Never had a clue.

Affair Before the Affair

Reading this I am reminded of all the things I noticed and am now kicking myself for not being more assertive in the 'confrontations'. The only response I ever got, and I still cringe to this day whenever I hear the phrase, 'Just let me live my best life's. What is most devastating is all of these signs were brought home and packaged in the disguise of just trying to be helpful. And I thought I was preventing this by getting more interested in their special activity.

Exact path taken by my SO

This is pretty close to exactly the list my husband has followed and continues to do so. Still crying that he's upset, but even after multiple chances to focus on us, he kept choosing her. For his sake I hope he's the exception that proves the rule but that's highly unlikely.

Meanwhile I try to learn to be single and self sufficient. Not where I hoped to be months off my 50th birthday, but that's life. Utterly destroyed our plans and dreams; he's lost the respect of his sons; and is probably miserable. What a stupid sordid sad end to 25 years of marriage.

9 signs of emotional affair

This video seemed more of a, lhow to have an emotional affair” rather than the signs of the emotional affair. The information was very descriptive but again, it was more of a playbook to make it happen. Maybe the video can use new start like, here are things to watch for, or the elements of an emotional affair. Thanks for all the great videos. I’d hesitate to forward this one as it stands.


Wasn’t easy at all.

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-D, Texas