The Dilemma: Do you think it’s OK for a married person to send someone flirtatious emails on a regular basis, or can this be considered having an affair? Am I just old-fashioned, or does it cross a line of intimacy? —Name withheld
Caroline’s Ruling: There’s an issue that needs to be addressed here. I don’t have all the details, so I’m going to assume that this e-flirting has been an ongoing issue in your relationship that you weren’t aware of, or that perhaps you think your partner has been engaging in this kind of behavior.
There’s no need to hide a relationship if you’re not doing anything wrong; when you hide something, it means there’s something to hide. Infidelity doesn’t always have to involve physical intimacy. In fact, an emotional affair can be just as devastating to a relationship, sometimes more. Think about it: Emotionally cheating means going elsewhere to fulfill your emotional needs. The relationship may start out as friendship or innocent flirtation, but the ingredients are there to cause a wedge between you and your partner that could ultimately ruin your relationship.
You’re not being old-fashioned at all. Get your facts straight and make sure your suspicions are validated. Have a proactive approach when addressing your partner, and make an effort to become more emotionally connected to each other. Good luck!