What counts as an affair?

What is an affair?

Typically, an affair is considered a betrayal of trust. It has the ability to cause significant distress in a relationship.

I recently talked to a couple who had different views about whether the wife had actually had an affair. She claimed that it was just a platonic friendship, that she had several friends of the opposite sex.

What made this one different was that she hadn't told her husband about this friendship.

• She has never mentioned his name or anything about him.

• She hadn't mentioned that they had exchanged gifts.

She claimed she wasn’t doing anything wrong and couldn't understand why her husband was so distressed and felt it was a break of trust.

But if she felt she was doing no wrong by having his friendship why would she decide not to disclose it to her husband?

• Why would she never mention his name?

• Why was she so defensive and refuse to understand her husband’s point of view?

Boundaries had been broken. Trust has been broken. Whilst she claimed it was not an affair because there had been no physical touching or intimacy, she had been deceitful.

Each relationship has its own rules which couples negotiate between them, there is no right and wrong as long as each agrees and accepts them.

In this case she told me she understood her husband's feelings around trust before they married, and went ahead with a marriage without raising any issues, therefore she had accepted those terms.

We can't move the goalposts just because it suits us, and we have to take responsibility for our actions.

By keeping this friendship from her husband, she really knew but it wasn't just a friendship, she knew deep down that she was breaking trust.

It will take quite some while for this trust be healed, and for this relationship to repair.

The moral of the story is think long and hard about your actions, and if they don't feel right and probably aren’t right.

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