I’m not being profound when I say that infidelity is one of the leading causes of “break-ups” and divorce. Emotional attachments are precarious things; marriage isn’t required for infidelity to wreak havoc. Infidelity means physical intimacy to most people, but why is that so bad? And what if it’s not the worst kind of infidelity?
I would argue that emotional infidelity is most damaging to a relationship…
A few months back in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy (Season 5, Episode 1) we saw where three close friend dealt with an affair. One friend came across another’s husband while shopping at the mall – we learn later that he’d lost his job and was basically hanging out there. Because of his shame at the loss of his job, at his feelings of inadequacy, he poured out his heart to his wife’s best friend – not his wife. This was the beginning of their affair; things apparently became more intimate. It seemed to me, when the affair was finally revealed, that the poor wife was more upset that her husband had shared his troubles with her friend than any intimacy that may have occurred. I think that highlights the root of the problem – it’s not sex or money or anything else at the root – it’s trust.
We trust that our partners will be honest and open with us. Sure, there are some things that I don’t want to know, but I trust that if my partner is going to share anything of importance, anything that’s important to her, that she will share it with ME rather than anyone else. We trust that our partner will always have our (the two of us) best interests in mind.
I’ve had close friends, single friends, with whom I’ve shared deep emotional bonds. In some cases, at different times in our lives, we completed each other. This has been and must be a transient thing at best because, some day, we will find a mate, a spouse. That person must be our “best friend”, our ultimate confidant, our soul mate.
It can be difficult. It has been difficult for me on several occasions. Relationships evolve and as one relationship evolves into that forever-after love and emotional bond, other relationships must evolve into something else. Sometimes these other relationships evolve into acquaintances, or just “good” friends – and sometimes, sadly, they evolve into only a memory of something that was once very special.
Evaluate your relationships: Is your spouse, your partner your ultimate confidant, your best friend? If not, why not?
Love and cherish your friends, but trust your spouse or partner. Let them complete you just as you hope you complete them.