I also got to thinking....have I ever had an EA myself and didn't know it? I have several male friends, mostly coworkers and ex-coworkers, whom I occasionally have dinner or drinks with...we talk about work gossip mostly, but often we share childhood stories and some struggles we're going through. It's never gotten to the point where we reveal too much, certainly never intimate details, but sometimes I need advice on things from a male's perspective. I don't rely on them to support me emotionally, come to them when I'm in a crisis or look to them to make me feel special or loved, but I have to admit that sometimes the attention is flattering. Again, I would never let it go anywhere and now that my H's A has been revealed, I'm going to cease this kind of friendship because I just feel icky about it in general.
If something is said that crosses the line from casual to involved, it might be an EA.
If sex is hinted at, brought into the flow of conversation and reciprocated, it might be an EA.
If feelings, and thoughts that are beyond simple friendship are exchanged, it might be an EA.
If the partner that is not involved is denigrated or degraded or discussed in any negative way, it might be an EA.
I'm sure there are more ways that would fall under EA ... there are just some that are off the top .... check out the book "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass. She discusses how you should have walls between your committed relationship and the world and windows between the partners in a relationship.
[This message edited by BAB61 at 2:51 PM, February 6th (Thursday)]
I don't rely on them to support me emotionally, come to them when I'm in a crisis or look to them to make me feel special or loved, but I have to admit that sometimes the attention is flattering.
I think the bolded part is important. I have a couple of dear male friends. I know both of them would have pounded wh into the ground had they known what happened. BUT, they are not my emotional support system and I would never let them be.
The attention is flattering? Sure - we're human. It's that we don't pursue that attention. I know wh is a good-looking man. I get that, but he PURSUED (and let himself be pursued) one specific woman once she let it be known that she was interested.
Wh crossed the line into an EA long before the PA. The EA was a deliberate hiding and lying about a woman. The day he chose to lie and hide her is the day she became more important than me and that is an affair, in my book. That he set out to change me into her was a bonus for him.
Divorce final 2/10/14.
Throw me to the wolves and I'll return leading the pack.
I guess I'm still a bit unclear on an EA and just a platonic friendship. My H has (or rather had, thanks to me) female friends at work. They often go for drinks after work to shoot the shit about the work day. I can't know what they talked about because I wasn't there, but even if the intent was to bitch about work, I can't imagine that the conversation never progressed to personal issues, just like I find when I go out with male coworkers. At this point, knowing what I know about my H, I am not comfortable with him having any female friends without me knowing them myself, but I'm sure in some marriages, it's okay for spouses to have friendship with members of the opposite sex with no threat to the marriage. I guess that's what trust does...and certainly I wouldn't be talking about this if there was blind trust.
I'm sure in some marriages, it's okay for spouses to have friendship with members of the opposite sex with no threat to the marriage.
For sure wh has other female friendships in his line of work. The difference is that he and chickie crossed the line LONG before the PA. I knew/know the other women. I was a part of those conversations. If I ran into them, they KNEW me.
Chickie and WH liked it best if I was not a part of their lives. Wh kept chickie 100% a secret. The phone number was under an alias. Everyone else's number/name was brought up and talked about. Company Christmas parties were a breeze. There is just a difference. These other women have never been a problem. I like most of them in fact. They are friends of the marriage.
However if you know your boundaries and pay attention to them and respect them, I don't see talking to the opposite sex for advice on something or talking about work isn't an EA until/unless you add on the above paragraph to your conversations with them.
But obviously our WS don't fit into the lines of having/knowing appropriate boundaries, so any type of relationship with the opposite sex could very possibly be an EA or at least the starting of one.
I also think one person in the friendship could be in the EA or on the slope towards one, without the other person realizing it, at least at the beginning, especially those that have never dealt with this crap before.
That's my opinion at least
[This message edited by scangel3 at 5:28 AM, February 7th (Friday)]
One of my BFFs in the whole world is a man. I've known him almost my whole life. But... Since I've been married, he's been demoted to acquaintance. I no longer share intimate details of my life, nor he his. We say hello, share big news, and exchange pictures on FB. We no longer go to coffee/dinner alone when he is in town. We no longer have long phone conversations. He is no longer my BFF. He is just somebody that I used to know.
My WH denied having an EA with a COW for so long claiming it was never sexual and they were never going to leave their spouses. Ummm...ok. Where the second part of his claim came from I don't know. Guilt perhaps? It's taken a long time but (we were in false R for months) but he finally gets that it was an EA. Though he claims they never talked about their marriages/spouses they hide their relationship. They talked about family and I know he leaned on her for work issues. Thousands of texts, several long daily calls and secret meet ups for lunches. Ummm, at the very least an EA. I still believe it may have been a PA to but he hasn't admitted to that yet and possibly never will.