In her book Not "Just Friends" Dr. Shirley Glass reported that 82 percent of unfaithful people started out being acquaintances, neighbors or coworkers with their affair partners. In other words, people who are unfaithful to their partners weren't looking for a relationship or seeking out strangers in a bar; it just happened.
Just about anyone is vulnerable to an emotional affair. While Glass admits that couples who are extremely connected--sexually, psychologically and intellectually--are the least likely to commit emotional infidelity, reasonably happy people cheat just like unhappily partnered people do.
Usually, emotional infidelity occurs when the lines of communication in a relationship temporarily weaken or a couple doesn't share a sense of clear boundaries about what is and is not acceptable behavior. Someone who is happy at home can suddenly find themselves overly-attached to someone they spend a lot of time with at work. Or, a normal feeling of sexual frustration in a long-term relationship is suddenly eased by a new and exciting attraction. â€¨
A few tried and true strategies can help a couple prevent emotional infidelity before it starts. Safeguarding against an emotional affair is the best way to minimize the risk that either person will unwittingly fall prey to it: