Emotional affairs - all bad?

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Emotional affairs - all bad?

Postby Difficult_Question » Sun Jan 17, 2016 3:13 pm

Posting under different name for obvious reasons.

I was reading yesterday about emotional affairs and its pulled me up short because I'm not sure if thats a route I am unknowingly going down.

My husband and I are probably typical for London professional couples. We work too hard, we're constantly exhausted and we don't have a huge amount of time for each other. Our children are young and at the moment I see us a "co parents" as opposed husband and wife.

There is a man at work whom I work with on one particular project and as it's a big bank we can go weeks without seeing each other apart from crossing over on this project, Just before Christmas this project had it's own Christmas lunch and we spent the whole time chatting to each other and generally setting the world to rights. It was so nice to chat to someone about things other than verrucas and Calpol and with the benefit of hindsight I probably started to feel young and energetic again.

Post Xmas we ended up travelling back together from a work meeting and we had a few drinks on the plane and again it felt like the old me was back, if only for a couple of hours.

The upshot is that I'm now spending a lot of time thinking about this guy. I know he is married and also has young children but I'm also world aware enough to know that there was a "spark" and we enjoyed each others company.

We have another trip coming up related to this project and I realised I was really thinking about what I was going to wear, whether we could sit together for the flights, dinner etc

I honestly don't think anything would happen, or even that I want it to happen, but after reading about emotional affairs over the weekend I wondered if even my little day dreams are a betrayal of my husband? Has anyone else been in this situation and it's just been harmless fun and petered out?

After re-reading my post I'm aware it sounds a bit silly but, as I say, the article stopped me a bit in my tracks.

Thanks for reading.
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Re: Emotional affairs - all bad?

Postby mungomuffit » Sun Jan 17, 2016 5:29 pm

Hi there, I don't think you should be too hard on yourself about this. I think that it is pretty normal to get the occasional fleeting crush on someone, especially when you are working closely. It just means that you are *still* a sexual being, despite the kids, the veruccas and calpol ;). The main thing is that you have caught yourself thinking this way and you say you won't take it further. Therefore, I don't think that you have betrayed him so long as you leave it at that.
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Re: Emotional affairs - all bad?

Postby Balhammom » Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:09 pm

I don't think you should be too hard on yourself about this. I think that it is pretty normal to get the occasional fleeting crush

Agree with MM.

But...I would be careful that this doesn't go any further.

I'm sure it won't but might be wise not to put yourself into any situations where things could escalate quickly...

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Re: Emotional affairs - all bad?

Postby evainlondon » Sun Jan 17, 2016 9:46 pm

Completely agree with above poster. While it is absolutely fine to indulge in a little bit of daydreaming, what matters now is to make sure this does not go any further than you know in your heart to be "acceptable" i.e. at which point would you no longer be able to look at yourself in the mirror.
In the meantime, enjoy picking nice clothes for your trip!
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Re: Emotional affairs - all bad?

Postby petal » Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:56 pm

Sounds to me like both you and your colleague need a break and have found each other's company. This could easily escalate and just have a think of how you could use these feelings in a productive way.
So how could you get back to speaking to your husband again like that and find the good old young sexy you again. Easier said than done! Any chance you can get some time together without kids and have a weekend away ? Make time if you can.
It's only natural that this has happened, so don't be harsh on yourself.
Just be careful that's all...
If it helps paint a scenario where you cross that line and you will know when it happens- everyone has to make that choice.
It can easily happen .. Late night , one glass of wine too many ..

SO if it helps:
1) think of what you've got to lose if you did mess things up with your husband
2) Try to imagine him explaining the same situation to you and imagine how your would feel.
Not wanting to guilt trip you, but if he said there's a woman at work ..spark..interesting to chat to, makes him feel like a man...he's already thinking about his appearance around her..
This would be so awful
3) have a talk with your husband of how you feel like co parents not wife and husband, this crush less to positive changes.
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Re: Emotional affairs - all bad?

Postby petal » Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:58 pm

* could lead to
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Re: Emotional affairs - all bad?

Postby dachshundvalley » Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:50 am

I would also agree that this is harmless so long as it stays in your head, but just be careful. I'm a stay at home mum so my escapisms/fantasies have been with actors on the TV, one in particular (Joshua Jackson/Cole/The Affair) which I'm very open about to my husband. However when he saw I tweeted him, in a response about spelling, my husband then got really upset with me and said that I had taken this too far... I personally think he overreacted! So this is why I say be careful because what you may think is harmless can be devastating to your husband.
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Re: Emotional affairs - all bad?

Postby Rodent » Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:03 am

The way to look at is, if your husband was doing the same / feeling this way about another woman, would you feel upset / betrayed / cheated on.

Then you can gauge it from the point of your marriage, not yourself who is within the situation.
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Re: Emotional affairs - all bad?

Postby supergirl » Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:04 am

Hi there
I agree it seems harmless at the moment but for me this symptomatic of an issue which if not looked into could lead you where you dont necessarily want to go.
To me there are a few warnings signs: you wonder/call it an emotional affair, you are conscious of daydreaming and you are already anticipating the next trip. So for me, if looks as if you have nearly gone, at least in your head.
Mind you, i have been cheated in the past so i may be i over sensitive.
If it was casual you would be saying to your husband that you have a project with someone interesting and maybe your husband should know him, etc.

Why is it difficult to have those friendly chats with our husbands/wives? As you say, when children are young it feels like co-parenting and the everyday mundane things take over.

As someone said earlier, maybe you should now prioritise your relashionship with your husband (your children will be fine even they come second for once) and escape just the two of you.

I remember the last time we escaped with my husband, we were amazed to realise that the spark was still there, the fun, the commitment and the love as well. It is too easy to forget when juggling everything.

Good luck in whatever you decide. Sx
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Re: Emotional affairs - all bad?

Postby MGMidget » Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:03 pm

I would take it as a warning sign that you need to reintroduce some quality time into your relationship with your husband. Perhaps you and your husband could have a 'date night' once a week (or fortnight if you can't manage that), get a babysitter and go out somewhere as a couple? Then, perhaps your work colleague will seem less of a draw. Christmas parties are a classic time for affairs to start and I think you know you are moving into risky territory. You are doing the right thing though by thinking about this now before things go too far.
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Re: Emotional affairs - all bad?

Postby Thecouplescoach » Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:45 pm

Firstly well done for self-reflecting and questioning yourself about what's really going on for you - it would be too easy to get swept along in the fun of it.
And I would recommend that you view it as a signal that perhaps your marriage could do with a bit of TLC? In my work as a Couples Coach I can assure you that it's very normal at your stage in life (young kids, working etc) to find that conversations with your spouse tend to be all about logistics / kids / practicalities. And let's face it most of those are pretty (very!) dull. Long term relationships can easily fall into this pattern - most do and perhaps yours has?

AND it's not particularly healthy for the relationship. (I imagine your husband would love a chat setting the World to rights also and is equally feeling bogged down in the Calpol so improving this will benefit both of you). I really encourage couples to get back in touch with why they are together, what are their dreams and how to bring more fun and connection into the relationship. Let's face it - you didn't get together to just both work really hard, have kids and be exhausted. There was some other magic and attraction that brought you together. Rediscovering more of that fun and connection is all very possible but it takes being conscious and intentional about making it happen i.e. thinking about what you want, finding ways to make it happen and both taking action. (I offer free hints / tips on making relationships more fun and connected at www.facebook.com/thecouplescoach).

In the meantime you might want to be a little bit careful of spending too much time with the work colleague. It's easy to feel attracted to someone else but you know you don't want it to go further, and it's not going to help you making your own partnership fabulous in the meantime.

Wishing you best of luck,

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Re: Emotional affairs - all bad?

Postby Flowermummy » Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:05 am

Nothing wrong with day dreaming but seriously bad idea (I think) if it goes any further.
I am sure that you had lots of reasons why you married your husband, a lot more than the "spark" you have with your colleague. As said before, you and your husband are both better off putting some effort into your relationship so you are not just co-parents.
I have a colleague who divorced her husband after she met someone else at work (all 3 working at the same bank! :o ). The children spend roughly half the time with the mum and half the time with the dad. Every time I see her, I cannot help but wonder if it was worth it - breaking up the children's home for a relationship that may or may not last...
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Re: Emotional affairs - all bad?

Postby twingirlsmama » Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:05 am

All the above posts insightful and helpful but WALK AWAY NOW. Throw yourself into something that distracts you and prevents your thoughts from returning to this colleague. Find something fulfilling to do with just your husband - learn to play tennis, go to some foodie / cookery / wine things together - whatever you may have a mutual interest in. Do some great things together with the whole family. Take a weekend away, all go to the Lido for a few hours and do something fun. Go into M and S, fill up a cool bag and have a picnic on the common and do family games etc etc. You could end up with your home life and work in tatters.
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Re: Emotional affairs - all bad?

Postby Sheds » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:53 am

Hi mungomuffit

I see that your original post is dated back in January, although there have been a couple of more recent responses. I wonder how things have gone these past 6 months.

For anyone interested, I can highly recommend a book called 'The Relationship Handbook' by Dr George Pransky. It can be helpful for whatever state a relationship may be in, and whoever it happens to be with. I have studied with Dr Pransky, his wife and colleagues, so if anyone has their interest piqued and would like to chat, feel free to make contact with me.

Take care x