The end result is that the unfaithful spouse is paying more emotional attention to someone other than their partner, and they are removing themselves from the commitment they made to their marriage. An emotional affair begins with the exchange of personal information.As the people involved become more acquainted, the information becomes more personal.
Some argue that an emotional affair is harmless because it is more of a casual relationship than traditional cheating; however, the intimate nature of the communication, plus the emotional investment made by the people involved, places an emotional affair on the same level or worse as traditional cheating.
It is much more dangerous for a marriage should your spouse connect with someone emotionally than physically.
How can Christians think differently about this pervasive issue in media and culture? The answer to that last question is "not well." Surveys consistently indicate that professing Christians behave almost exactly like non-Christians in terms of sexual involvement outside of marriage (in both percentage of people involved and how deeply involved they are — how far they're going), living together before marriage, and infidelity and divorce after marriage.
Indeed, the central issue we need to confront — and the reason I write and speak on this topic — is that when it comes to dating and relationships, perhaps more than in any other area of the everyday Christian life, the church is largely indistinguishable from the world.
The difference between a physical affair and an emotional affair.
The primary difference between a physical affair and an emotional affair is actual, physical contact.
That's what I hope this column will be about — applying God's Word to the topic of dating, finding a spouse, and getting married. After this column, you have my word that I'll spend the next several months answering your questions (that is, when I have answers). I have to start by explaining the theological doctrine that drives the approach I want to outline (and advocate).
That doctrine is called the sufficiency of Scripture.
With the technological development of cell phones and the internet, the definition of cheating has been expanded to include the traditional definition, plus the feelings and/or thoughts that comprise emotional infidelity.
Cheating now includes having intimate correspondence with someone while on a cell phone, meeting someone over the Internet or at work and maintaining a close, personal relationship with someone other than your spouse.
We have brothers and sisters in Christ to hold us accountable and to help us apply the Word to our lives.