Tuesday, August 31, 2004
By Laura Snyder
"Wait, you're thinking, if I was cheating, wouldn't I know it?
Not if you're fooling around in the gray area of what's infidelity and what's just being friendly.
The rules used to be so clear: you slept with someone else, you cheated. But as more women joined the workforce and we all got online, the definition of "cheating" has grown broader.
According to Shirley Glass, family therapist and author of Not 'Just Friends', the new infidelity is between people who - unwittingly - form deep connections with a friend before realizing things aren't so innocent.
It's called an 'emotional affair'. Are you having one?
Do you keep secrets from your spouse or partner? Is your lover in the loop when you take your special friend out to lunch, or meet for drinks after work? If your answer includes the phrase, "but my partner just doesn't understand," it sounds like you've got something to hide.
Are you conversationally committed? Do you share more of the mundane details of your day with your friend than with your partner? Experts explain that sharing more of your life with someone other than your spouse is a way of withholding intimacy.
Do your chats cross the line? Are you dishing details you wouldn't divulge your partner was around? Even more telling: are you talking about negative or intimate details of your love life with your friend?
Has your buddy list lengthened? Are you meeting new friends on the Internet without your partner's knowledge? Are you getting back in touch with former flames?
According to one report, more than one-third of romantic reunions begin when at least one of the people was already married; current research suggests that number may have doubled. Sure, you may not be looking for trouble, but that doesn't mean it won't find you on its own. That same study says half of those having such affairs said they had happy marriages and would never have cheated with someone other than the person from their past. "