Potentially more damaging than illicit sexual encounters, extramarital emotional affairs for those conducting them are often not perceived as infidelity. After all there’s no sex, right? Infidelity doesn’t have to be sexual but polygraph tests can help irrespective of whether sex is an issue or not.
What is emotional infidelity?
We’re inclined to agree with the author of ‘The Monogamy Myth’, Peggy Vaughan. Her book was written for people who are recovering from affairs, whether emotional or physical. Emotional affairs constitute an attachment to another person outside of your committed relationship which makes your partner feel neglected.
So you have met someone from work, online or elsewhere. They understand you. Talking with them is so easy; you have so much in common. They have your sense of humour and they make you feel good about yourself. You pay special attention to your appearance when meeting up for a meal or a drink. You spend hours secretly texting them or writing reams by email. Flirting with them is fun.
Why extramarital emotional affairs are damaging
Having conducted hundreds of lie detector tests for infidelity, we know that marriages can recover from illicit sexual affairs. However, the success rate isn’t so high when emotional infidelity is the problem. It is the web of deceit that is most difficult for partners to recover from. A sexual encounter can happen simply because someone had too much to drink and experienced a passing attraction to another person. An emotional affair goes on over an extended period of time. The cheater’s mind is always elsewhere and the partner feels ‘second best’.
A partner being cheated on in this way doesn’t understand the secrecy. If it is just a straightforward friendship why hide things? Why lie about meetings with them? Why leave the room when they call? So many questions go unanswered. The emotional cheater accuses you of being paranoid to even think that something untoward is going on.
Chances are that an aggrieved partner will think a sexual affair is in progress because the secretive behaviour is not so different. Trust is lost and arguments ensue.
However, whilst sexual infidelity can be passed off as a mistake that maybe only happened once or twice, emotional attachments cannot. In sexual affairs, participants know they are doing something wrong and often feel guilty. Not so with those having emotional affairs. They don’t think they are at fault because they are not having sex. Nevertheless there is little difference in the furtiveness of their behaviour.
How polygraph tests help
Polygraph tests can’t establish whether one person loves another because ‘love’ is subjective. The polygraph can determine deception that has built up around emotional affairs. It may be that the cheating partner has lied about where they were or who they were with on a particular date. Or they could have been dishonest in some other way to cover up the emotional affair. This deception can be analysed by the polygraph examiner.
Taking a lie detector test may be just the thing to end extramarital emotional affairs before they become sexual ones. Or it may be that the results force a choice between one partner or the other. Either way, you will have the truth.