An Emotional Affair

February 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Christian Life, For Her

By Robi Ley

“We’re just friends. I can talk to him.” Have you ever said that about a man you know, but weren’t married to? If you have, you need to be aware of the inherent danger in such a statement and in such a relationship.

You may be asking yourself “What in the world is she talking about?” I’m talking about having an intimate friendship with someone who isn’t your husband.

All of us have friends of both sexes. There’s nothing wrong with that. You can’t have too many friends. But that’s not the same thing. An intimate friendship, one that involves long talks in private, email, phone calls, lunches without your spouse or other people present; all these things can unintentionally cause a rift in your marriage that you may not even be aware of.

I know whereof I speak. I have very few close female friends. I was one of those who, because I was such a tomboy growing up, always made friends with the guys easier than I did with the girls. That has continued into my adult life. Combine that with a personality that is a natural flirt, and I have had to really watch myself. It is very easy for that kind of friendship to drift into dangerous waters.

Why? That type of relationship should be reserved for your husband. He is supposed to be the one you go to for that deep, emotional support everyone needs. If you have a male friend that you are leaning on emotionally, beware. Emotional intimacy can lead to physical intimacy. It doesn’t have to, and it’s not a given that if you’re emotionally close to a man you will be physically close with him. But, why run the risk?  Why rob your husband of those emotionally intimate moments if you wouldn’t rob him of the physical ones? The two are closely tied together.

God designed marriage to be between one man and one woman. They were to ‘cleave’ together, become one. That’s not just a physical event. That cleaving involves every aspect of both lives – physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental.

I am not saying give up who you are to become a dim reflection of your husband. Or vice versa.  Together, you enhance each other’s individuality. Giving up even one of those areas to someone else is tantamount to emotional adultery.

Don’t abandon your friends. You need them all. Just be careful.  Guard your mind as well as your heart. Where one goes, the other tends to follow.

About Robi Ley

Comments

4 Responses to “An Emotional Affair”
  1. Christine Thomas says:

    Good words of advice and a strong reminder to avoid temptation. Thanks for tackling a sensitive issue without mincing words.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Robi:

    This is good advice. Guarding our hearts and minds in the power of Christ is so important.

    I’ve never been married, but I have to guard my heart and mind in a sense to be faithful to Jesus.

    Just some thoughts.

    –Jen

  3. g says:

    The emotional affair is more common than anyone will admit, especially in the christian church. We are expected to come along side others who are hurting and lift them up; how careful we need to be to ensure that boundariies are not crossed. Those boundaries are created durign our life before christ and we hope that a life with christ will create new boundaries but if we do not acknowledge they need to be changed, they will not change. Each person in a marriage relationship in the community of christ must investigate the pitfalls of being humand and discuss and learn from eachothers histories to know and love each other appropriately; the idea that loving unconditionally can be understood and appreciated without practice seems a bit of a falacy that an immature christian will hopefully believe.

    I speak from experience after just recently figuring out that my wife struggled with depression and ended up accepting affirmation and support from my best male freind who was in a group my wife and I had been leading in bible study for about 10 years. This emotional affair lead to a sexual assult as a result of my friend being unable to conrol his lust and living next door. My wife in her depression accepted all the nice affirming actions and then internalized all the bad feelings adn actions and went along with his requests even though she felt horrible, this just drove her deeper into depression.

    Once you find yourself in an emotional affair, you are in a state that will not allow for any rational forward thinging decisions. Your only choice at that time should be to involve your spouse and closest freinds to ensure that you can recieve useful convisiton and be held acountable for suture actions. This may seem like a big risk that one would share thier most challenging thoughts and feelings with another human, but it is certain that the probability and severity of any problem encountered this way is much easier to deal with than the potential damage from sexual affair or other. One must rememeber that the line has already been crossed and the farther past that line you go the harder it is to see where you are going or turn around.

    I hope that this will provide some insight into the damgers of sharing your heart with others besides the one you have pleged allegiance with. This applies mostly to females, but may also be useful for males as well.

  4. Fred says:

    What is “spiritual adultery?” Can one be justified to leave their marriage if a spouse was touched in the genital area by a non spouse 18 years ago, confessed it to their spouse, and after so many years can the non touched spouse leave the marriage?

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