getting jealous easilyWhether you have a history of getting jealous easily or if you’ve never been jealous a day in your life, you might be confused right about now. The nagging doubts that run through your mind about your partner’s behavior make you ask the question…

“Is this just jealousy or is my partner having an emotional affair?”

You don’t want to make up stories if there’s really nothing going on between your partner and another person,but you also don’t want to be betrayed or to lose your love.

Knowing the difference between jealousy and the signs of an affair will help you cut through the confusion so that you can make a decision about what’s next– for your own peace of mind and for the sake of your relationship too.

It’s tricky, because jealousy can be present AND signs of a possible emotional affair can also be there. If you merely dismiss a suspicion as “just jealousy,” you may miss out on important clues, but if you rush in and accuse your partner every time something feels “off,” communication, trust and intimacy in your relationship will also suffer.

Be smart and take the time to get clear about the difference between jealousy and an emotional affair by asking yourself these 4 questions:

#1: Where are you?

This might sound like a silly question, but it’s an important one. Figure out if you are thinking and feeling the way you are mostly because of something that happened in the past or because of what’s going on now. Jealousy usually has strong links to the past.

See also  Recovery from an Emotional Affair

While there may be recent past events that have led you to be suspicious of your partner’s friendship, be sure you aren’t drawing from something that happened to you long ago and maybe even in a different relationship. To avoid reacting from jealousy, re-orient yourself so that you are focused in on what’s most relevant to the present situation. 

#2: Where are the facts?

Jealousy is often based on beliefs that are rooted in insecurity, low self esteem or fears of being betrayed. Be gentle and kind to yourself as you look for facts. If you have no verifiable facts to support what you believe to be true, then it’s likely that jealousy is clouding your view.

If you can observe a significant change in your partner’s behavior and he or she is acting secretive or is visibly pulling away from you, these might be signs of an emotional affair.

#3: Where is your partner’s attention?

Noticeable and unexplainable changes in habit are calls to look more closely at the facts you have. If your partner is distracted and obviously “not present” with you, this could be due to a big project at work, health, financial or other worries or it could mean that he or she is having an emotional affair.

Pause and ask yourself if there is a plausible reason why your partner isn’t looking you in the eye or paying attention to you when you speak.

#4: Who is your partner confiding in and spending time with?

This may be more difficult to know, but it’s not impossible to figure out. Who does your partner share his or her deepest feelings with? It could be you, so keep an open mind. Who does he or she spend the most close and intimate time with? Consider this second question in terms of face-to-face time as well as time texting or chatting online.

See also  Whose Job Is It To Prevent Another Affair?

Even if your partner seems to have pulled away from you, if you don’t have evidence that he or she is turning to someone else, it could be jealousy you’re feeling.

Always, always get facts you can rely on as you decide what’s going on. Just because you see one sign of an emotional affair, it doesn’t mean that your partner actually is cheating. Look at the bigger picture of your relationship. Put together the pieces of how you two interact with what your partner is saying or doing and decide.

Jealousy is a destroyer of relationships and of your own well-being. Get help with Susie and Otto’s free 7 Jealousy-Stopping Secrets ebook at







    8 replies to "4 Important Differences Between Jealousy and an Emotional Affair"

    • Gizfield

      I can honestly look back and say I have never been jealous of any one who didn’t give me a reason to be, including my husband. I know some people are but I’m just not. Most women won’t be jealous unless their man is causing them to be by not acting right. I was not even jealous of my porn addicted first husband.

    • battleborn

      I agree with Gizfield. I was never jealous of my H friends except when he gave me cause. The odd thing is that I never really put two and two together about an EA until now. He was having one when we were going through a rough patch about 10 years ago. He made sure I was the one losing her mind and like a dumby I accepted that.

      I found the article to be a bit advanced for those who have just found out about their EA situation. For those BS I would say they have ever right in the world to be suspicious about their partner. Jealousy does not come into the equation until after the shock wears off, until then nothing is sacred…

      Also, I don’t know if anyone else has noticed the picture. It shows the BS in the forefront and her H in the back holding hands with another woman. And look how she is dressed – looks like an OW to me, not a business relationship. Any thoughts on that?

    • exercisegrace

      Again, I’m not sure this couple has any experience with infidelity. Someone reading this article is more likely to walk away feeling like THEY are the problem. How sad. Jealousy is NOT always a BAD emotion. There IS healthy jealousy. It can be protective.

      #1 Where was I? Fully rooted in the present and trying to protect my marriage.

      #2 Where were the facts? There were none. Cheaters are extremely good at lying, deceiving and manipulating the truth. Over the year and a half long EA/PA I never found one solid shred of evidence. Until he ended it and she outed him.

      #3 Where was my partner’s attention? Everything mentioned under this question could have applied to my husband. The PROBLEM here is that these issues are also ones that CREATE VULNERABILITY. When several of these are present, it can tip someone in the direction of having an affair. That is exactly what happened in our case and many others that I know of. These are not factors you should use to excuse your partner’s inattention. These are factors that should make you stay more connected and protective of the marital relationship.

      #4 Who was my partner spending time with and confiding in? Like many cheating spouses, he was spending time at WORK. With the person who gradually turned into his affair partner. So that is not a reliable indicator either. Who was he confiding in? Obviously her, but how could I have known that? They talked at work, and he hid how much he was texting her. Plus he deleted the texts, leaving only a few innocuous ones so when I checked it didn’t seem out of the ordinary.

      Bottom line: anyone can be fooled into believing a bunch of lies. Trust your instincts. You don’t have to have solid facts on which to base taking HEALTHY action. Verbalize concerns in a constructive way. Check phones and email if you need to. Protect your marriage, don’t enable an emotional affair by chalking things up stress, work, health or financial concerns.

    • Hopeful

      I found this salient. I was accused of being jealous for a long time before the EA. While I think I did have some insecurity issues, there was an issue with my H that made me always feel that way. Namely, his attitude that he was in control of himself and his actions and how they should be interpreted. If he thought X was ok, I had no voice or capacity to even voice a fear without hitting a brick wall. So, when the EA happened, everything in me had pointed towards an affair. I knew that something was wrong but had been conditioned to think it was just me and my jealous nature.

      One of the most important lessons was to trust my gut and insist on the ability to discuss concerns as a team. It feels like another relationship now entirely and I can now see clearly how I was, in fact, the reasonable person all along pushing against someone else’s delusion and justifications and brain fog around truly inappropriate relationships to broken and desperate woman who liked to garner attention with strategic and practiced feminine wiles from any man who would make them feel like special angels from on high.

    • Strengthrequired

      I don’t think you can call being betrayed by a cs as jealousy. Our spouses shouldn’t be doing anything to make their h/w insecure in the first place. If we are married, or attached in long term relationships, then how can it be called jealousy when someone else is trying to break the relationship? Isn’t it the other person who is jealous and wants it for themselves. Why is it the bs the one that is jealous?
      Isn’t that where all the devious manipulation comes into play, making the bs look like they never cared for their cs, that they don’t love their cs, that the cs life would be so much better with the ow/om.
      Of course when you love your h/w you don’t want them being with another person, who in their right mind would. You make a commitment to each other, you don’t expect them to hurt you, you will fight for your marriage, for your family so how is it jealousy. It’s the person outside the marriage who is jealous, not the bs.
      They want what the bs has, they want their life with the cs, they want the family, they want everything, they of course are trying to fulfill what ever is missing in their own life by taking it from the bs.

    • Broken2

      I was never jealous until I was given a reason to be jealous. Not sure I agree with this article at all. I now find myself being jealous whereas before the affair I trusedt him and it never crossed my mind that I should be jealous of his friendships because I had trust. The trust is gone now. Hmmm no I dont agree with this article and I think it just adds confusion to an allready rough situation.

    • CBB

      Same feeling all the way. It’s actually their strategy to project their own jealousy on the BS. I to was never jealous till the day I had reasons. The problem with facts is when does it turn into an EA. My H told me he got secret about helping/talking/texting this OW because of my jealousy (how much texting is normal, the flirty comment was’nt ment the way you interpret it!…..) there are so many ways around the facts! My H admits he probably shoud’nt have let it get so far but on the other hands still believes he didn’t actually do anything wrong (because it was never a PA). Now (after 2y I know what jealousy feels like. But i to believe this is a normal jealousy : Jealous of the impact this OW has on my H. As long as he wants to stay married to me it’s not hers (married herself) to take,or play with. That should be mine, but I’m not prepared to lower myself to her manipulative level to get it back!
      But now I know she’s jealous of my ability to really love someone even though his mistake hurts like hell !.
      She still manipulates situations to make it look like she ‘s reaching out to apoligize and I’m the paranoid and jealous W who turned a mouse into an elefant. If you never were the pathologic paranoid,jealous wife your feelings are probably right!! go and find out why you feel the way you do. If you can don’t let them know wich proof you have because they’ll change strategy and communcationtools and it becomes more difficult to reasure yourself ones you think its jealousy later on

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