5 Signs You’re in an Emotional Affair With a Married Man

Are you in an emotional affair with a married man, or are you just really good friends? When it comes to close relationships, the line can get blurry—and before you even realise it, you may already be crossing it… right into affair territory. 

Emotional affairs are complex, and as deep ties are forged between the two of you it can become more intense. Recognizing whether or not your friendship with a married man has turned into an emotional affair will help you move forward in the healthiest, clearest way possible. 

In this post you’ll learn the five signs an emotional affair has already begun.

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How Do You Know If You’re In an Emotional Affair With a Married Man?

Have you been getting closer with a man who already has a wife? Emotional affairs often develop subtly, so sometimes the participants don’t fully realise the gravity of their involvement… until they’re already deep into it. 

“I never planned to fall for someone unavailable, but I found myself sinking into our connection like quicksand. His words touch my soul in ways I never imagined.”

If you find yourself questioning the nature of your connection with a married man, here are five telltale signs you might be in an emotional affair.

You share an intense emotional bond.

Perhaps the most obvious sign is you’re in an emotional affair is the intense emotional bond you have with this married man. You confide in him about deeply personal matters, either to vent or seek his advice. You lean on him for emotional support—more than you do with friends or family members. 

He also shares intimate details of his life, including marital issues or dissatisfaction with his wife, and this brings you two closer together. He emphasises just how much you understand him, and how much he needs you in his life.

If you really step back and reflect on it, this closeness transcends the boundaries of a platonic relationship.

It’s an intense bond that elicits a response in your body—an excitement in your very core—especially when he texts, calls, and/or when you see him.

You’re preoccupied with thoughts about him. 

Is this married man always on your mind? If you find yourself constantly thinking about him, replaying your conversations in your mind, and fantasising about the future, you may be stepping into the realm of an emotional affair. 

Before you know it, this preoccupation with him can interfere with your ability to focus on other aspects of your life, including work, relationships, and personal well-being. You might experience this as being deeply confused and distracted, and this can serve as a clear indicator of the emotional intimacy you’ve developed.

Your relationship is shrouded in secrecy.

Do you and a married man in your life find yourself stealing moments together? It might seem like you get to retreat into your own secret world… until the reality that he’s married pulls you back.

The truth is that if deception plays a significant role in your friendship with a married man, it’s a warning sign that your connection has turned into an emotional affair. In a healthy, normal friendship, there would be no reason to conceal your interactions with the married man from others, especially from his spouse.

Keeping your interactions secret and/or being deceptive about spending time together suggests that the relationship has crossed boundaries into inappropriate territory. Ask yourself: Why else would there be any need to hide? 

You rationalise your connection.

If you’re in an affair with a married man, even an emotional one, you may find yourself dismissing or rationalising the violation of boundaries that would typically govern appropriate relationships.

Examples of this may be exchanging texts and calls in the middle of the night, or meeting up in secret.

On one hand, you might have feelings of guilt and shame—but you may also be burying those feelings with the justification that it hasn’t turned sexual, so what’s the harm? 

You’ve convinced yourself that you’re just friends… but there’s also a side of you that knows it’s more than that.

He speaks negatively about his relationship with his wife.

Are you feeling like this married man is into you as more than a friend? If so, don’t be surprised if the married man you’re close with talks down about his wife. He may say things like:

“My wife and I are like roommates.”

“Our marriage is on the rocks.”

“She doesn’t understand me like you do.”

“I’m not in love with her anymore. I’m thinking about leaving.”

This is his way of making excuses for his emotional infidelity. He paints her in a negative light while putting you up on a pedestal: 

“I feel alive when I’m with you.”

“You just get me. Our connection is truly special.”

“I never expected to feel this way, but you’ve changed everything for me.”

Similarly, he might downplay the significance of your relationship, giving you validation to continue the relationship too.

What’s the Difference Between an Emotional Affair and a Physical Affair?

Physical affairs have a distinct sexual component, while emotional affairs do not. However, both types of affairs are intimate in their own ways. Your relationship with your affair partner may start out as emotional, but could eventually turn physical too.

It’s important to acknowledge that while emotional affairs may not involve physical intimacy, they can be equally destructive, undermining trust, and destabilising existing relationships. And just like physical affairs, they can take their toll on you psychologically by leading you to feel shame and hurting your self-esteem.

How to Handle an Emotional Affair at Work

Most of us spend a lot of time at work, and it’s not uncommon to develop close relationships at work. But at times, building those relationships leads to something more—and this could turn into an affair with a coworker or an affair with your boss.

If getting deeper into this affair isn’t something you want, setting boundaries can help. Of course, this is even more complicated when you work together, especially when there’s a power imbalance at play as well. 

You may also be on the other side and have a desire to see where this connection could go. You won’t find any judgement here—only an emphasis to get clear on what you really need and desire in a relationship before you make your next move.

Getting help in navigating this especially precarious situation can go a long way. If you’re in a similar situation and you’re not sure what to do next, join our private community or work with me 1:1. Whether you decide to pursue this connection or not, you deserve support while figuring out what’s best for your future.

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I’m In an Emotional Affair—What Now?

An emotional affair with a married man can be just as confusing and complex as a physical one. Setting boundaries on a relationship where you’ve already crossed the line into emotional affair territory is especially difficult. 

Cutting contact with your emotional affair partner isn’t easy either. If you decide to cut ties, you have to grieve the loss of this close connection—and perhaps even the hope you started to build for something more.

If you’re feeling the heartache, know you’re not alone. As an Affair Recovery Coach, my mission is to help you discover what you really desire in a relationship so you can pursue the fulfilling, healthy love you deserve. 

I’ll never judge you or tell you what to do—and if you decide pursuing this married man is best for you, that’s okay too. But before you make a big decision either way, I invite you to lean into an understanding, safe space to gain clarity first.

If that resonates with you, connect with me on a discovery call. It’s a chance to meet me, share your story, and explore your options for support.

Learn more about the effects of being in an affair with a married man:

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