Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Emotional Cheating

Hello again!

I've had something on my mind and I need to get it out. Ever since I watched Why Did I Get Married Too and read the email from Proverbs 31 Ministries, a topic has been storming in my head. Emotional Affairs. There are so many reasons a marriage ends, I'm not here to talk about when it's right or when it's wrong. I just feel very sad when I hear about a once beautiful couple, ending their marriage...for any reason....but especially when a sacred trust is broken.


In Why Did I Get Married Too, we find that Dianne has been having an emotional affair with a co-worker. We are only told that it was emotional, John said that he believes she could have been having a physical affair as well because her husband, Terry, had to pull teeth to get that information from her. Throughout the movie, you see Terry watching his wife and his growing suspicions. One night before bed, he decides to confront her about this. This is after watching her lie provocative lingerie and clothing out for the next day. He knows then for sure that something isn't right. He has noticed a glow about her and a happiness for a few weeks now. She had received flowers earlier in the week at work. There was a card stake in the side, but the from card was removed. She made a lame excuse about how the florist made a mistake, putting that in there. Keep this scenario in mind.

Now here's the scenario from Soul Mates a devotion written by Rachel Olson. In Rachel's story a single woman is contacted by an ex-boyfriend. The ex is married, but they start communicating via phone, computer, etc. They undoubtedly grow close and the ex reveals to the woman that he has feelings for her. The single woman is torn because she knows what she is doing is wrong, but she has also developed feelings for him. In this scenario, the woman stopped seeing the man. Rachel also shares another scenario that doesn't end so well. "Years ago I witnessed a woman begin an emotional affair with a man she “had more in common with” than her husband. Never mind the fact that she had her school-aged children in common with her husband. She was eventually confronted by members of her church, but did not end the relationship. She is divorced today." (From Soul Mates by Rachel Olson)

All of these scenarios are different, but I believe they have a few things in common.

Each one of these women (or in the first case a man) started communicating very personal and intimate details of their lives with someone of the opposite sex, that was not their spouse. This is not to say that you should not have friends of the opposite sex, it is to say that you should be very careful how close you become to them. If you and your spouse is having a marital problems---you should seek a person of the same sex or a counselor. (This is talked about in the devotion and I agree.) When you allow someone to see the intimate most parts of you---not just physically speaking....you are going down a dangerous road, that could lead to physical cheating.

Secondly, and this relates some what to the first. From my understanding of these scenarios, these couples were already having issues. Communication is so important. I feel that it is one of the most important components of a marriage. Your spouse should be the first person you go to (besides God) when struggling in an area, wanting to talk about a life changing issue, etc. When you begin to feel that you can't share these things anymore. You know then that things have changed, and that if you don't work to get that back, you probably won't.

Which brings me to my final point. In my first example, after a horrible accident, involving a close friend. Terry and Dianne decide to work on their marriage. (I'm pretty sure if this didn't happen the two would have likely split up.) After Dianne reveals the truth, Terry is unable to look at Dianne and pushes her away when she tries to hug him. Sometimes when a spouse cheats, the other person involved is able to forgive and the couple decides to stay together. Other times the betrayed party, decides that this infraction is too much. Whatever the case, the same fact remains true, marriage is work. If you go into your marriage with rose-colored glasses and thinking that it will be a cake walk, you will soon get knocked flat on your behind. The good thing is, that if you and your partner are on the same page, they will be there to help you back up.

The devotion goes on to talk about if you are involved in an affair to end it. Remove yourself from anything and everything that feeds that addiction. It goes on to give this sound advice, to those not currently struggling with this issue: "If you are not entangled in this presently, guard yourself from falling into the trap. Be alert to slippery slopes. Don’t go trolling the internet to check on past loves. Beware confiding anything too personal, especially your marriage woes, to members of the opposite sex — find a female friend or counselor to talk to instead. Have an accountability partner periodically ask you how you’re doing in this area. And if you are married, invest in your marriage."

Here is some additional info from the devotion, if interested:




Here's a link to the actual devotion: http://devotions.proverbs31.org/2011/06/soul-mates-2.html. It includes application steps, reflections, power verses, and comments from readers.

I hope this information will be useful to my readers and I hope it makes you think, like it did me. I want my marriage to remain strong and pure. I want to continue to invest in my marriage.

What's on your heart today?

<3 Anna


  1. What you said is so true! I was thinking about what I heard on the news today about Congressman Weiner. The newscasters were saying he hadn't cheated on his wife since what he did was only through the internet and phones. I disagreed! Cheating can be done in more ways than just physical. Intimacy is not just physical. Married people need to be diligent to maintain that intimacy of thoughts, feelings and actions with their spouse only.
    Why risk anything that would hurt your spouse? If you are behaving in a way you feel you need to keep secret from your spouse, it is likely not in the best interest of maintaining a strong and intimate marriage.

  2. I agree with you AND Susan! The Bible says that if a man lust with his eyes he has already commited adultery..case and point with the Congressman. Anna, I thank you for putting this post up. Its wonderful to know that there are supporters of marriage, especially in this day and age where marriage is treated like dating. Everything is well put and I've seen "Why Did I Get Married Too" and its a good movie that deals with loads of problems married people face and doesn't take them lightly.

  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I look forward to getting to know you better!

  4. I totally agree. It's so important to remember it's the heart, the mind, and the spirit that are committed to a relationship!

  5. This is a great post and touches on a topic that is probably too close to home for a lot of couples. Especially in an internet world we live in I have heard of so many friend's friends that open up to a stranger in a chat room or an old friend etc.. than that turns into something more. So I totally agree with you that is slippery slope to open up to the opposite sex about marital problems.

  6. I agree with you about having a same sex friend or counselor to talk to about relationship problems.

    I'm a new gfc follower. When you get a chance I hope you'll come by my page and say hi! I also have a blog hop going right now. Find the button my left sidebar.


  7. Being alert is very key advice. Sometimes we don't deliberately looking but some situations can present themselves.

    I met an old friend once who wanted to keep in touch, I had no problem with this, until he said he preffered to call my cell and not my home phone, because he felt uncomfortable with my husband answering the phone. something just didn't feel right. So I ran the whole scenario by some friends from church, and they all felt the same way I did. Thanks Anna for this post and God Bless.

    Lisa xx

  8. Whoever has your heart, has your devotion.

    That's my take on the topic of emotional cheating. You did an excellent job on this post! And thanks for mentioning the devotional by Rachel Olson. It was a powerful read that reiterated some beliefs that I already held in my heart and knew that I should hold on to for the sake of maintaining integrity in future relationships.

  9. It's quite amazing how differently I think now compared to years ago. I remember a friend's marriage breaking up over emotional cheating and I just couldn't understand it. I kept saying, " But he never met her. He just flirted on the internet. How can you divorce him over this? " And I remember my friend telling me that her husband had told this woman that he loved her.
    It made no sense to me at 22. He didn't love her. They were just words.
    Now, at 36, oh my how things have changed. To give a part of your heart to someone else when that heart has been promised to another under the name of love, loyalty and devotion....I can't imagine.


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