"Some folks use emotional affairs as a mechanism for avoiding true intimacy with their partner/spouse," says Dr.
And there are healthy ways to do that, like joining a class, book club, scheduling regular dinner dates with friends each month, or even simply Skyping with family when you're too busy for regular visits.
All of these efforts will enrich your life and broaden your social circle so that you don't expect 24/7 attention from your partner.
Instead of extending yourself to friends and family for things that they can provide way better than your partner can, you may fall into the trap of believing your partner just doesn't you — and that someone else might."Human beings are built for connection — it's wired into the depths of our being," says Dr.
Paul Hokemeyer, a licensed family and marriage therapist and a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists. This is why we're the healthiest and happiest when we're connected to a group of people rather then depending on a single person for all of our emotional and physical needs""Diversifying the sources through which we connect enhances our ability to thrive," he says.
If you're not sure whether your special "friend" could threaten your relationship, these signs may tip you off.
"One of the biggest red flags is that you're spending a lot of time talking to your crush about your primary relationship or marriage in a way your mate would find worrisome," says Dr.
But there's a chance it has more to do with your needs than it does your crush's perfect body.
Never want to talk about real, meaningful things with your spouse?
You join coworkers at happy hour and plot ways to sit next to him. You divulge lots of info to him that you wouldn't even tell your closest girlfriend.