Emotional Infidelity
Over 50

As you get older, the dangers of emotional infidelity shift in ways that may catch you unaware.

Emotional Infidelity happens when you become inappropriately close with someone else to the detriment of your primary relationship.

Especially as you get older and more likely to be in supervisory or leadership roles at work or in organizations, there are more situations in which you are legitimately called upon to be supportive, helpful, or encouraging.

The danger lies in not being able to know when that starts to turn into something more personal.  Shared stresses and challenges are well known to have the ability to bring people closer to together. 

It's how cohesive teams are built. It's also how people find themselves over their heads in relationships that threaten their primary relationships.

The internet connection

Computer SearchComputer Searching

Especially for those of us in the over 50 set, note carefully how the rise of instances in which finding an old "flame" comes back to "burn" you has been helped along by technology.

Finding and contacting an old lover or a close friend has never been easier.  Just type their name into a search engine.

And quicker than you can say "Junior Prom" you can find yourself awash in old feelings.   You are one small step away from emotional infidelity in the present relationship.   You are also not that many steps away from its destruction, even if it stays long distance.

It starts out quite innocently.  It is just an old friend from a long time ago after all.  Maybe they are going through some loss:  divorce, death, illness, business failure.  They remember you as always being so helpful and supportive.  You fall right back into the old role.

We are talking about going way back. With the innocent e-mail from a boyfriend or girlfriend from high school, though that may have been 40, 50, or more years ago, leading to big trouble.

Why is this such big trouble? I can only guess, but I suspect that it has to do with emotional bonding at an age when we had the time and inclination to do that.  Maybe also a wish that we could "get it right" this time. Who knows?

What I DO know for sure is that the place to deal with those feelings, wants, needs is within ourselves and within our intimate relationship. For a discussion of emotional infidelity warning signs, CLICK HERE.

Another one whose risks seem to grow with age is the mentor trap

As previously mentioned above, especially for older men who may be struggling with their awareness of aging coupled with increasing success and power,  there are often are traps built right into your job description.

  • A promising younger person turns to you for help.

  • You work with them and they are appreciative of your help. That feels good.

  • Before you know it, you're into more than you bargained for, or maybe even realize.

  • When you do realize, you don't know how to get out of it gracefully.

  • Your partner notices signs such as phone calls, text messages, meals, or meetings that seem to them to be excessive.

  • You get defensive  (after all this was never your intention).

  • It becomes a major relationship challenge.

The bottom line in this situation, and in all the other infidelity scenarios, is that the "magic key" is that you get your personal support, love, connection in your primary relationship first. 

If you're not getting what you need there, then deal with that there. 

Do it before you are tempted to try to get it somewhere else.  That is always a losing ploy.

Return from Emotional Infidelity to Infidelity

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