"A relationship between a person and someone other than (their) spouse (or lover) that affects the level of intimacy, emotional distance and overall dynamic balance in the marriage.The role of an affair is to create emotional distance in the marriage." In this view, neither sexual intercourse nor physical affection is necessary to affect the committed relationship(s) of those involved in the affair.
For both genders, sexual and emotional extramarital involvement occurred in those with the greatest marital dissatisfaction.
Chaste and emotionally intimate affairs tend to be more common than sexually intimate affairs.
Shirley Glass reported in Not "Just Friends" that 44% of husbands and 57% of wives indicated that in their affair they had a strong emotional involvement to the other person without intercourse.
The term emotional affair is used in the media to categorise or explain a certain type of relationship.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th.
Edition does not define the term, and its definition is therefore anecdotal and subjective.High levels of non-sexual emotional intimacy in adults may occur without the participants being bound by other intimate relationships or may occur between people in other relationships.The term often describes a bond between two people that mimics the closeness and emotional intimacy of a romantic relationship while never being physically consummated.An emotional affair is sometimes referred to as an affair of the heart.An emotional affair may emerge from a friendship, and progress toward greater levels of personal intimacy and attachment.What distinguishes an emotional affair from a friendship is the assumption of emotional roles between the two participants that mimic of those of an actual relationship - with regards to confiding personal information and turning to the other person during moments of vulnerability or need.