I will never betray this woman’s trust or confidence, but a girlfriend of mine a few weeks ago told me she has been “sexting” and having an emotional affair with a man for two years. Her husband and children have no clue. She says it isn’t cheating.

Let’s look at this together. I’m interested in topic.

Firstly, let’s review a few studies together and see how women and men view affairs and cheating.

Men say: Physical cheating is way more painful than emotional cheating, as men relate to everything in a physical way first. Men are inherently cavemen, and are protective by nature of their possessions. I quote one study where a man says, “The reality is that while we don’t care with whom you shop, talk, eat, or text, we do care deeply about who looks at you, smells your hair, holds your hand, and takes you to bed.”

Women say: Emotional cheating is far worse than a sexual affair. Women are far more inclined to forgive a one-night affair than an ongoing emotional connection. The thought of a husband’s connection with another woman, telling her his intimate secrets, without even physically touching her is way worse than a one night “f&ck.”

You may have your own opinion, but I’m just telling you the research.

And so just what is an emotional affair anyhow?

Emotional infidelity ranges, for example,  from “innocent” daily coffee breaks to the office cafeteria together, to online chatting or talking on the phone until 3 am. Emotional cheating is about sharing your deepest and darkest thoughts and feelings with someone other than your partner. In fact, you can be in the same room as your mate and be having an emotional affair with someone else!

Whatever your thoughts may be, cheating is no doubt both hurtful and harmful to a relationship. It’s truly devastating. Emotional cheating is a new term, and not as black and white as a physical affair. With chat rooms and the explosion of the internet, the temptation is everywhere. If you’re unhappy in your relationship or marriage, you can escape to an online paradise island with the man of your dreams without even leaving the comforts of your own home. This is dangerous. This is scary. This is tempting if you’re not happy.

So I ask you, if you knew your partner was “connecting” with another woman in an emotional way, and not a physical one, how would you react?

And just when does flirting become emotional cheating? A glance, a stare, a wink, a gentle touch, they can all be signs of innocent flirting. But how far do things have to go before they aren’t so innocent anymore? A married woman I know once said, “It gives me a little rush when someone flirts with me when I’m out for dinner with my girlfriends. I feel like, yeah, I still go it!” For me, this girl is heading down a slippery slope. Now I’m not prude or anything, I just know how fast things can escalate. I’ve heard first hand how it starts out innocent, and before you know it, you’re in a full blown lying and cheating affair. 

So, ladies, what can you do if you feel yourself or your spouse getting too close to another person even if you nor they are actually having sex with this person. STOP BEFORE IT ESCALATES. Just think, if my spouse knew what was going on, would they approve? If the answer is no, then put the brakes on. Having an affair is wrong. And in my opinion, if you are so unhappy in your marriage that you are constantly seeking adulation elsewhere, then seek counseling to work on yourself, or leave your marriage. But don’t cheat. Cheaters suck.

Which leads me to another day and other related topics…  Are women worse than men when it comes to this topic? Are we monogomists by nature? And another one to come that many of you have emailed about; do you stick around because of the kids? All “fence” issues…

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Thank you for all your visits and comments. I love reading them.

xoxEDxox

And tell us, what’s worse for you; the physical or the emotional cheat? Would you leave your relationship if your partner emotionally strayed but never had the physical affair? We want to hear!

 

P.S. New website coming soon! When it’s up, I need your feedback!

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When Elizabeth Edwards married John Edwards in 1977, she had but one request for her husband… that he be faithful to her. This was paramount to Elizabeth from day one. Unfortunately, we all know the outcome. I can only imagine her struggle living life on the fence with whether to stay or leave once she learned of his infidelities. She has recently documented some of those feelings in a new book, “Resilience.”

Let’s be honest, those people buying her memoirs, are probably looking for all the juicy details of her husband’s affair with videographer Rielle Hunter.  After all, former presidential candidate John Edwards  did not at all  seem the cheating type. He, the bright and charismatic possible future president. She, the devoted wife of 30 years who stood by her husband’s side during his entire campaign. Three beautiful children. The picture perfect family man.

But in fact, tragedy struck their family way before John’s betrayal. In 1996, their son Wade died in a car accident. And then years later, her breast cancer diagnosis, which is now in the terminal stage.

To give you a little background on the story, on December 28, 2006, two days after John announced he was running for president in 2008, he told Elizabeth he had broken the vow he made to her on their wedding day almost 30 years ago…. he had been unfaithful. Just imagine Elizabeth at this moment. First losing a child. Then being diagnosed with breast cancer. Then learning her husband had been unfaithful. One event after the next. Talk about finding strength you thought you never had. In fact, “Resilience” couldn’t be a more perfect title for her memoirs.

She describes the feelings that engulfed her body when she first learned of her husband’s affair, “After I cried and screamed, I went to the bathroom and threw up.”

And finally, as if all this wasn’t hurtful and humiliating enough, recently, DNA tests are supposed to show that John Edwards did in fact father a child with Rielle Hunter. After denying it.

So the big “fence” question, one that Hillary Clinton and Governor Eliot Spitzer’s wife faced, is why stay in the marriage? Personally, I feel they stayed for many reasons. But, I can only imagine the incredible pull in two directions. To stay with a man who had shared his bed with another woman time and time again,  or leave, and lose your power and status that has come as result of being this couple.  Plus, it is a very different thing when one can grieve privately, or when the whole world is watching and judging your every move.

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From left, Emma Claire, Elizabeth, Jack, John and Cate Edwards

This all leads me up to one big question: Would you stay with a spouse that cheated on you? Let me tell you, depending on who you ask, you would get a multitude of answers. For me, I have to say, it depends. That’s personal, so no judgement here ladies. I feel that if my husband went on a business trip and had a “slip up” one night, I would be more inclined to work it out, than if he had been having an ongoing love affair with a woman, and had been deliberately lying to me over and over again. This would kill me. This would kill my spirit. But, if it was one night, and he came to me right away, I think I would try and work it out. I don’t know for sure, and thankfully, AT LEAST TO MY KNOWLEDGE, I have not been faced with this dilemma.

So, while there is no right or wrong answer to leaving after a spouse cheats, every situation is different and needs to be assessed on a case by case basis. Experts say a major deciding factor is obviously your partner’s actions. Do you think it’s going to happen again? Is your partner truly sorry and feels remorse for what they’ve done? Have they offered to seek counseling to help them understand why they strayed in the first place? Trust is a major issue. How can Elizabeth Edwards ever trust again?

I will go more in-depth on infidelity and cheating in the future. For now, this was something to get you ladies thinking and talking. And I truly think,  no one can sit in judgement of someone else’s life unless they have walked in those shoes. Really. So, we cannot judge Elizabeth Edwards. She is dying, and maybe she compartmentalized this affair to help her get through her final days as a family unit. Maybe she wants to die in peace, not fighting. Irrespective of her decision, I feel tremendous sadness and compassion for this woman. She must sit on that fence every day wondering if she has made the right decision for herself and her happiness. That can’t be a comfortable place to sit.

What are you feelings?

xoxEDxox

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