Getting Help for an Emotional Affair

Infidelity is devastating, but finding out that your husband is involved in an emotional affair can literally take your breath away. With this type of affair, there exists the possibility that he will choose the other woman over you. To help you get a grasp of why men have emotional affairs and learn how to proceed, read the following advice from Dr. Robert Huizenga

Your Marriage Made Him Do It?

By Dr. Bob Huizenga

Infidelity is complex. You probably know that or perhaps are feeling overwhelmed and confused. But to begin healing, you need to understand what is going on.

Did you know there are 7 different kinds of affairs? Well, there may be more, but after a couple decades of clinical work and research, I've identified 7. One kind of affair I write about in my e-book, Break Free From the Affair is called, "My Marriage Made Me Do It."

Here are some signs and patterns you can expect in this kind of emotional affair:

Expect that your spouse will have a very powerful attachment to the other person.

Man video chatting with a woman. Is it an emotional affair?

The other person will consistently be on his mind. Your spouse will shift energy away from you, the children, the household and career to his affair relationship. He will be focused, but not on you.

Your spouse will attempt to push you away by avoiding you, ignoring you, closing off communication or walking away.

The affair will most likely be a long-term affair.

It will be very difficult for your spouse to walk away from the other person. He may try on a number of occasions but will continue to gravitate back to the other person. He will hold on tenaciously. This is probably the first or only affair for your spouse. Your spouse is not interested in playing or fooling around but powerfully attaching to the other person. The other person is the savior!

Don’t believe that the affair was planned beforehand because of a bad marriage.

These affairs usually just happen. They usually happen with someone in close proximity: a co-worker, neighbor, friend (frequently of friends with whom you socialize), etc. The other person is usually the aggressor, your spouse lacking the confidence to seek out the affair. The rationale that it happened because of a lousy marriage comes after the affair is in bloom.

Your Persuasion Won't Stop the Emotional Affair

The more you try to persuade, convince or pursue, the more strongly he will attach to the other person. He will perceive your efforts as weakness and will want to attach more intently to the other person whom he (at perhaps an unconscious level) deems to be the powerful and loving answer-to-all.

And Moral Arguments Will Fall on Deaf Ears

Efforts to use moral or religious arguments to call a halt to the affair will be strongly resisted. Your spouse is not guided by rightness or wrongness. These standards have not been internalized and do not carry much weight, especially when it comes to the important chunks of his life. The actions and thoughts of your spouse primarily originate from his need to attach to another person. Any behavior or concept that serves the purpose of maintaining the attachment will be valued. Others are discarded.

Rebuilding from an Emotional Affair Takes Time and Effort

Expect you will spend a significant amount of time and emotional energy in the next 2 to 4 years (especially if there are children) attempting to resolve the relationship. By resolve, I mean, coming to a point where each of you are fairly free of the emotional entanglement that holds you together and generates the pain and fear. It will be important for you to resolve the relationship whether you continue to be married or separate and divorce.

Does this fit your situation?

Please remember that I'm describing the worst case scenario. Marriages exhibiting this kind of emotional affair can be saved. But, it requires an overhaul of the typical patterns in the relationship. By understanding the type of affair that your husband is having, you will have many more options available that will help you break free.

The best way to get this type of understanding of your husband's affair and what you can do about it is to sign up for Dr. Huizenga's newsletter at You'll discover the killer mistakes you need to avoid, how to rise above the shame, and more. He truly cares and give an enormous about of information and support through his newsletters.

Here is some more information about overcoming infidelity, understanding affairs, and how to uncover them:

  1. Divorce
  2. Affairs
  3. Understanding an Emotional Affair