Adultery is one of the hardest blows to a marriage and it is an extremely painful rejection for one partner. Interestingly, you don’t have to be intimate with anyone else to be unfaithful. Emotional infidelity is just as destructive to a marriage. Emotional infidelity can creep up on you and affect you in cases where your partner flirts with someone other than his spouse, when jokes are shared with members of the opposite gender or when we “hang out” with them at a party or simchah. It’s not about where it may lead. It’s about where it has already gone, far from your focus on your marriage. Remember what it really is you want from your marriage, and start considering the large, determined commitment that is absolutely necessary to creating a happy home.
How Do You know If You’re Being (Emotionally) Unfaithful?
Consider the following:
- When you hear a funny joke or an inspiring story, do you first tell others before your spouse?
- Do you discuss your problems or challenges with co-workers, friends and neighbors and then decide it would take too long to review and explain the entire issue from the beginning to your spouse?
- Are you “hanging out” with a member of the opposite gender chas ve’shalom?
- Do you “harmlessly” flirt with someone of the opposite gender?
- Do you believe that getting emotionally excited by flirting with someone who is not your spouse is helpful to your marriage?
- Do you spend as long buying the “right gift” for a friend as you do for your own spouse?
If you’re doing any of these things, you could very well be on the verge of being emotionally unfaithful to your spouse. You have only so much energy. If you’re spending it on others outside the home and then coming home and feeling too tired to spend any more on your spouse, that’s a kind of emotional infidelity. You’re effectively relocating vital marital energy into the hands of others.
Try to bring all your emotional energy home to your spouse and see how quickly your marriage changes.