Emotional Affairs (EA) and how to get yourself back is our topic for today.Remember that one good friend, colleague, classmate of your’s who was of the opposite sex. You guys did everything together, 5&6 to the core but there was never anything intimate because you guys are just buddies.One day your spouse does something really off and you need to speak with them as usual but something strange happens mid-discussion. I really don’t know how faulty this reasoning may be but my mother always said;
“Temple, the fact that you shut your eye’s tightly does not mean you are now blind. A man and a woman can never be best friends without someone catching feelings at some point. That a friendship is so tight does not mean it cannot give birth to emotions.”
– Mama Obike
I struggled for years to fight this seed she planted in my brain but the older i get, the more it tends to be true every time. I see many single and married people struggling with emotional affairs usually for someone who started off as a confidant, friend, work colleague etc. An emotional connection between two people who keep their relationship secret because one or both are in a committed relationship is what i call an Emotional Affair. While i know for sure that over 50% of emotional affairs are not sexual, i also know that over 40% of them end up in full blown “flame extinguisher not working” sex. 30% of couple cases i’ve handled who decided to get a divorce have emotional affairs as the main reason for their split. With WhatsApp, Tinder, social network sites and loads of accessible wireless technology tools available, cheating has never been easier than in these times.
I’d like to discuss some of the things that could lead you to an emotional affair and possibly advice on what you could do to stop this at the stage it currently is on.
Recognizing Emotional Affair Triggers
A. My Input Is Not Recognized
Ladies and gentlemen, there is nothing else that could send your partner down the path of an emotional affair that this feeling of their inputs, efforts and more being recognized. Once an individual struggles with inadequacy they will withdraw emotionally from their spouse or partner. Even in relationships where a partner provides everything, financial, sexual etc. This could also happen because in some really special cases, partners have been known to withdraw and resent the other because they felt their only worth was providing sex and money. So for everything else that required another form of provision such as security, validation etc, they failed at it. When a partner struggles with inadequacy, they usually look for validation elsewhere. This is usually with their friends of the opposite sex because a man will usually not go his male friend to seek validation in a department of his life where his wife is lacking and vice-versa. Once external validation helps you get calm and understood, you just set the stage for emotional intimacy. At this point, i’d like to mention that;
“Every woman or man out there who provides emotional validation,comfort,compliments to someone else’s spouse is doing more harm than good because it’s not your job to do this unless of course you both are well aware of the pieces on your game board”
My Advice: If you have gotten to this point, it simply means that your partner is not adept at reassuring you or listening to what you are verbally or non-verbally saying. I advice you have an honest discussion where you request for a bit more validation. There’s no shame in this.
B. Little or No Time for Intimacy
Unless you are using sex as a tool for inflicting pain on your significant other or have underlying health conditions, Sex isn’t something any partner needs to ask the other for. It’s simply a given in every “healthy” relationship. Unfortunately, most relationships aren’t healthy. Emotional affairs are naturally aphrodisiacs. The flirting makes you feel sexier, for close friends being in the same room with “the worry” and “the wonder” (pardon me i love words) heightens the erotic nature of this affair and during a physical discussion, that eye contact will be over-exaggerated. This makes you come back for more because you suddenly understand that someone actually finds you attractive. For many individuals, you notice that they hit the gym, take more pictures, return to an almost boy-ish/girl-ish mode and become a bit more distant or uninvolved in a lot of things happening at home.
The other person is also at a stage where they are enjoying their newfound power over you. They will heat up the flirting, hint at sex, consume the other partners senses with fragrances etc. The human need to control another humans desire is at play here. This i noticed is usually the case with men or women who have failed at some point in their life to either hold someone else’s attention or be the faithful partner. Your ability to succumb is their victory and validation that they’ve still got it. This is a big thing for these that many in our society will turn to fetish means to get this control and validation.
My Advice: There is no negotiation when it comes to sex and intimacy in a relationship. You and your partner need to work on his. I believe this is the point where you need to remember every good thing about your partner that made you fall in love with them. For busy partners, your schedule has absolutely nothing to do with your matrimonial duties because if you do not make time out for them, someone else will and even if they do not look that way now, someday they will, and when they do and you find out, it will affect the same business and your life somehow. Have an open honest disussion about whats making you stray. If your partner isn’t one to listen to talks or have a discussion, then write this on a note (divided into what i miss,my struggle and what i’d like) and nicely ask them to read it. This does not make you weak but instead makes you the stronger one who decided to work on a failing relationship despite your skeletons.
C. Excitement is Gone
Once someone else asides from your partner gets you all excited, that’s a red flag. No-one else should have all that power. I always advice clients that one of the greatest super powers you can have is the ability to create sexual stories in a very visual way. Engage your spouse, paint pictures of hope, sell him/her a dream when they are down. This one thing may be one of the few tools in your shed you can use to always spice things up. The moment your partners Emotional Affair subject an paint a better visual picture than you can, then you are in real trouble. Be the one to spin the “Arabian Tales” no cowboy or cowgirl should be doing this for you.
The other man or woman understands the power of this tool. This is the reason they will go out of their way to tell you things they know you may not be hearing. In some extreme cases, they will ensure that they invade every space they know you and your partner will be in such as a party, the children’s school,supermarket or even church (spooky but true). They know the more they invade your space, the more excited they get you. The more excited you get, the higher the erotic tension between both of you. This is what they feed on and if not checked this builds up to something stronger.
My Advice: Regardless of how busy your schedules may become, always figure out ways you and your partner can carry out fun activities together. This is one of the most common advice’s out there that’s never taken seriously, yet it’s the one advice that has saved plenty marriages. The world is giving us less reasons to be together but it’s your job to figure out ways to fight this and BOND. Have planned date nights, it helps.
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D. The Control Accusation
The moment you have to check on your partners phone, laptops and devices to enable you re-calibrate your trust levels, then it simply means there’s already a problem. The other issue with this is simply that when you do get caught checking (especially if your partner isn’t cheating or is steps ahead of you in covering their tracks) you will have to bear being called insecure for some time. You would have also pushed them further into their cave and given them more reason to be with the subject of their emotional affair. This is the part where i advice for real caution (on both the part of the one having an emotional affair and the one being cheated on) because things generally tend to move real fast once the one having an affair has one valid reason. This makes them shelve a portion of their restraint and get more involved in the affair. This is also the point they want sex because you (the one being cheated on) have proven you do not trust them and are insecure.
The other person will capitalize on this and pressurize them the more because they can already see the cracks from your significant other. Infact, at this point, i usually ask my clients “Is your EA partner becoming more reckless in the manner they try to call, text, WhatsApp and Zoom you?. The answer 86% of the time is “Yes”. I’ll tell you why. This back and forth between you and the EA subject is like a game of chess, the only difference is that you may not know you are in a game most times. In tactical warfare, there’s a term referred to as “The Rushdown”. This is the haste to take down an opponent once signs of weakness show up. For the EA partner, this could be sex, making financial demands or simply adding new elements to further ensnare you.
My Advice: My first advice to you is to stop giving your affair partner information and I’ll explain why. Based on an in-house research i carried out with partners who were cheating, i discovered that;
Over 70% of the time, they knew their Affair partners were not in love with them but had other love interests (who half of the time were cheating or deeply involved with some other person. This by itself creates a phenomenon called “Unrequited Love” and is usually associated with a rage the rejected one needs to carry out on someone else in a fairly stable relationship).
What this simply means is that what you think is love or an affair could be someone elses revenge on the world for having being rejected. Your information about your marriage or spouse is the tool they use in creating and fashioning a strategy. Stop providing the content and the story will stop. After this, seek out a good therapist first and re-allign yourself (this you need to discuss with your spouse at some point). After this, you can either speak with your partner and tell tem of what you had been struggling with. On the other hand for devouts who do not want to risk exposure, you can pray in whatever manner your religion permits and dedicate yourself to practicing healthy marital practices.
When you are having an affair, be it physical or emotional one thing is certain. You and the EA subject will dedicate time to the affair.The care, listening ear, sex etc are all investments by the EA subject. Though not written or signed, you both understand this This then brings us to the next part of this whole. You know you are doing something wrong to your spouse and unfortunately cannot apologize for something you have not even owned up to.
The EA partner recognizes this moment of weakness and this is their point to maintain and hold on to control. They also know if they push you too hard, you could return to your spouse emotionally and sexually. This is the point where a bit of manipulation begins. “I think i should stop calling you” could be the next line from the EA subject and this is where the struggle begins. You try to get your life back and concentrate on your partner but it’s not that easy. Your brain over-compensates for their absence making you imagine all sorts of things. They know any random sex(t) on how they miss you will topple you. So this usually comes in next. At this point, they go for the jugular by first sexting, then progressing to actual repeated sex to get you ensnared (either emotionally, with a pregnancy, with pseudo blackmail or with actual love in some rare cases).
My Advice: From this point onwards, it’s free-falling for most individuals caught up in an emotional affair because the guiltier you feel about an EA, the higher your chances of engaging with the affair with your heart (emotion) rather than your head(logic and critical thinking). Once you become emotional any of the following would ensue; you tell the truth to your spouse, you start slipping up with lots of mistakes or in some cases wish that your spouse would catch you as the erotically charged atmosphere is too much.
At this point, if you haven’t been caught already, seek help from a professional psychotherapist or simply decide on what you want to achieve from this relationship because the next and last steps is usually a point where decisions are usually irreversible. If you decide to opt for therapy, you will be assisted in exploring your emotions, look at what morals you infringed on and re-assess your commitment. This is also a point i urge clients to create 1,2,3 layers of boundaries. So when the 3rd boundaries are tripped, you sure up the 2nd and third.
Unfortunately, not everyone is self-willed and committed and many of the people we know struggle with this. Especially when it comes to Emotional Affairs. The last thing that usually transpires in an emotional affair in extreme cases is separation. It’s scary how we went from 0 to 1 million in just 3 minutes. Yes, thats how it usually happens. From needing a little attention to acting all shades of crazy;
7. The Separation
You’ve already experienced the amount of pleasure, companionship and empathy you can receive from this other party. Your affair interest already knows you are far gone and become a bit more assertive. “If you don’t mind” becomes “I insist” and “I’d like some attention at some point” becomes “I don’t like being neglected”. Since you are not divorced, you might just be caught in-between squatting, living in another apartment all by yourself or simply in another state. This gives the EA partner more access to you and thought you enjoy this, you will battle with some guilt after which you will give in fully to the EA partner.
My Advice: Delay making the decision to divorce your spouse for at least 6 months. This is because that’s a lot of time to figure out what this (the affair) truly is evolving into. Some EA partners may still allow you contact with your former spouse but others will vehemently stand against this as they have worked hard to get this and wouldn’t risk the chance of loosing it all. However if you are among the many lucky ones who were targeted because the EA partner wanted to either experience what it felt like having you as a partner or simply because of what they could get from you (financial, sexual etc.) you will be released at some point. This is the point you make the painful deciscion to go back cap-in-hand to your spouse of forge along towards something else.
“With my experience in such matters, it ends in tears 96% of the time. That’s almost like ALWAYS”.
Emotional Affairs, office affairs, revenge affairs and so on are an attempt to describe something humans have struggled with for so long. Regardless of which it is, an affair is what it is. As humans, we are prone to mistakes and can also anticipate these mistakes before they come up if we know how.
As always, i hope this piece on “Emotional Affairs and How to Get Yourself Back” helped someone. If you are struggling with an emotional affair, You know how to reach me. Don’t wait until it affects your career, family life or more before seeking help.
Written by Obike Temple
A Counselor, psychotherapist, brand-Sage and entrepreneur who has counseled over three-hundred couples, individuals, substance abuse and grief-stricken clients.
For more information on related issues and to schedule an appointment with “Temple’s Counsel” visit our counseling page, chat us up via our website or send a whatsapp message to +2348109055475.
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Life-changing things to put in place before you turn 40
Life–changing things to put in place before you turn 40 is our conversation for today. It’s an important conversation that sets the stage for the next epoch of your life. Life is believed to begin at age 40. Before you turn 40, you should have reached some financial milestones in life to make your years as enjoyable as possible.
I’ll share the financial steps and things to put in place before you turn 40. If you have reached the age of 40, you can still begin to achieve these financial goals, because it’s never too late to achieve something in life. if you have the commitment and courage.
The list below details the exact steps and pertinent points to be considered. \even if you’ve gone beyond 40, use this as a guideline towards planning and watch yourself begin to hit those milestones.
1. Pay off ALL debt: Debt can be a major setback in your journey to financial security, especially compound interest debt. You must do everything in your power to pay off all of our debts from those with the highest interest rates to the negligible ones.
Your goal should be to lead a debt-free life. Pay off your debt and make sure you don’t take it back on. You have more peace when you have no debts. Business loans are an exception but if you can build from ground up, explore it. However, you should consider other ways to raise capital for your business before considering a business loan.
2. Build marketable skills: If you can do what others can’t do, they’re willing to pay for it. What skills do you have that other people would be willing to pay for? If you don’t have the skills yet, go learn it today. This is very important!
Try to learn a skill that is not common. If everyone can do it, the value will not be high. If you learn or develop a rare skill that you can do almost perfectly and that has a good demand, you can’t go bankrupt because your skills will always give you income.
Some good skills you can learn are graphic design, tablet publishing, hairdressing, catering and decorating, tailoring, vehicle mechanic repairing, computer repairing and networking, computer programming, web design, welding and manufacturing, copywriting, nursing , carpentry, tiling, application development, POP roof installation, electrical work and many more.
Most of these skills are not taught in colleges and universities, but they can feed you. Therefore, even if you are a graduate, you can learn these in a skill development center. It helps to have at least a good marketable skill before the age of 40.
3. Develop a search for financial education: information is dynamic. New information comes out every day. What you know yesterday may become redundant. Therefore, you should always be alert to new information. You need to make an effort to update your financial knowledge.
Before you turn 40, you need to develop your reading skills. Reading is one of the greatest ways to gain knowledge. You need to learn regularly and quickly. Read good books and research online. For information, you need to learn how to use search engines like Google, Bing, AOL.com, Ask.com, and more.
Get a financial mentor: You need to follow someone who has done what you want them to do to prevent mistakes from being communicated by others and speed up your financial progress.
One way to follow a mentor is to read all of their books or articles.
5. Have an emergency fund : The need to always have an emergency fund cannot be over-emphasized. An emergency fund is money that goes to your bank account for serious emergencies such as job losses, illness, accidents, disability, and so on. Experts recommend that your monthly living multiplied across 6 months should be your emergency fund. At least 6 months strong savings.
This money should have good liquidity, but it’s best not to keep it in a savings account where you have access to it and again to ensure depreciation doesn’t catch up with it. You can save the emergency fund to a mutual fund account or simply keep it in USD, Euro or Pound status.
6. Start your own part-time or full-time business – if you’re not starting a business before the age of 40, when will you start it? When do you grow old? Business is a risk and the older you get, the less appetite and risk averse you become.
Try starting a business before you turn 40. You can do this part time if you are employed. This will help you learn from your mistakes, grow, and gain experience. Business mistakes and failures are better when you are younger than when age begin to slowly creep in.
7. Get married and have all your children: You have a more balanced view of life with children. Married people rarely jump into action without weighing all available options. You think about the consequences of your actions, how it will affect your family in some way. You think about the couple and also make more balanced decisions, including business decisions, because two good bosses are better than one.
Having your children under the age of 40 also has several benefits, as it helps you grow with your children and helps carry the financial burden of raising your children while you are still young.
8. Build a solid base of passive income streams from paper assets. Paper assets are one of the greatest ways rich people make money almost effortlessly! Warren Buffett is one of the richest men on earth because of his paper assets. Imagine you have invested N50 000 000 in a mutual fund with a low annual interest rate of 10%. This means that it would earn approximately N5,000,000 annually and N 416,666 monthly. If you continue to invest interest and capital, you will increase even more in the coming years. Therefore, the rich are getting richer because they use the power compound to use the paper resources.
Before the age of 40, this is the best time to buy a lot of paper assets. Invest in stocks, treasury bills, bonds, mutual funds and other paper assets. He is interested in a wide range of paper resources.
9. Investing in real estate: Investing in real estate is one of the best investments you can ever make because it always appreciates in value over time. In addition to food, rental housing costs are one of the biggest expenses for the family.
Before you turn 40, it would be good to build your house. In the worst case, even if you haven’t built a house, try to buy land before you’re 40 years old.
10. You have your own farm: Have you thought about how people would survive without farmers? You can say, ‘I don’t have to be a farmer, because I can always buy the food I need’. Now imagine again what happens if you have money to buy food and there is no food to buy because there are no farmers? Even if you don’t want to grow full time, try a backyard garden where you plant vegetables. This will help you appreciate the wonderful work that farmers do. Investing in agriculture can also be a good way to build wealth. There is always a market available for agricultural products.
11. Start giving to others: You can get as much wealth and wealth as you can, but if you can’t find a way to help others, you won’t know what the accomplishment truly is. The true measure of life does not lie in how much you have, but in how much you give.
Start allocating a portion of your monthly income to help others, especially the needy, children, and the elderly. You can take responsibility for sponsoring a disadvantaged child through school. You can adopt a child. You can meet the needs of disadvantaged children and the elderly on a monthly basis.
I can really do this without the stress of writing articles and maintaining this blog as I don’t get a reasonable financial benefit from it. My joy, though, is that this blog is helping thousands of people overcome poverty and remain financially stable.
Start handing out people now. You don’t have to be very rich to help others. Give what little you have because it opens more doors of resources. There are many people around you who need your help and help. You can deliver cash or to babies in need, disabled and motherless at home. You can sponsor a poor child through school. There are inexhaustible ways to give to others.
1. Write a will. Many financial experts recommend getting a lawyer to help you make a will that legally grants ownership of your properties to everyone you want when you go ahead. This is especially important in conflict-prone families.
2. Buy an insurance policy: Several financial experts also advise you to buy life insurance. The goal is to give your loved ones a financial advantage if you pass away.
Hope this was helpful. We would love to know what your comments are about this article and if you have other great advice around this, feel free to add it in the comment section and we will be happy to add it to the article.