Do Men Have Actual Emotional Feelings For The Other Woman? Or Are The Feelings Only Physical?

By: Katie Lersch: Our society tends to assume that any man who is cheating on his wife is doing so because he simply wants to have his sexual needs met by someone else. People often assume that physical attraction or mere sexual chemistry is the only thing that the husband and the “other woman” share.

But, if you’ve ever spoken with a man (or a woman for that matter) who is cheating on their spouse, you may be surprised to hear them discuss the relationship in emotional terms. They may say things like: “no one has ever understood me in the way that she does.” Or “she and I can just talk for hours and hours. Yes, the sex is great, but it’s not really about the sex. It’s about the connection that we share that goes far beyond the physical.”

And wives can be just as shocked when they have a husband who is claiming to have a deep emotional connection with someone else. A wife might explain: “I’ve seen the other woman and one glance tells me everything that I need to know. She dresses like a street walker. Her clothing could not be more tight or revealing. Her appearance tells every one who glances her way that a relationship with her would be about one thing – sex. And I honestly thought that this is what I was dealing with – a middle aged man who wanted to have sex with someone flashier or younger. That’s why I am absolutely shocked that my husband is now telling me that the two of them have this magical emotional connection. Honestly, I doubt that this woman has the emotional capacity of a dog or a young child. But my husband swears that they deeply understand and appreciate one another. He describes long conversations about deep topics. I am absolutely not buying it for an instant. I have never known my husband to be an emotional guy anyway. Is he just trying to divert my attention away from the sex? He has only known this woman for a very short time, so how is a deep emotional connection even possible? Is it possible for there to be an emotional connection with an affair or is it always physical?”

A Potential Theory On What Constitutes An Emotional Connection During An Affair: If you do any amount of research on this, you will see a lot of literature out by very respected therapists and experts who tell you that people often cheat for emotional rather than physical reasons. I did not always buy this either. But the experts seem to agree that it is true. And, over time, I have developed my own take on this. Take it for what it is worth because it is truly just a lay person’s opinion. By no means am I an expert.  I have just developed my own theories because of my experiences and research.

I do believe that people tend to cheat for emotional reasons as well as physical ones. But I think that people are just trying to get their emotional needs met rather than having any intention of clicking with someone emotionally. Experts also agree that people tend to cheat in times of personal crisis (and I firmly agree with this.) So, often the person who cheats finds themselves in a position where they are almost desperate to feel better emotionally. The affair then, is an attempt to heal these emotional wounds and to feel better about themselves.

But I honestly believe that the person who they seek this emotional journey with is often the person who was just available at the time. In other words, it could be anyone present who fits the bill.  It was coincidence and chance rather than magical emotional intervention. The person having the affair might try to make you believe that they have just happened to meet their soul mate. But isn’t it interesting that their soul mate appeared exactly when they were doubting themselves, wanting to run away from their problems, or wanting to booster their self esteem?

That’s an awfully big coincidence. And the wife is right. There often is not the time for a deep emotional connection. If you have been married for any length of time, you know that a deep emotional connection comes from facing life’s journeys together and growing together. This is not a process that happens overnight.

I think that another element is often at play here. People who are cheating have a tendency to try to make the affair this great relationship in order to justify its existence. Who wants to look in the mirror and admit that you are having intimate relations (and are risking what is important to you) with someone who just happened to be there and isn’t even anything all that special? No one wants to make that admission. So to be able to look in the mirror a little more easily, the affair will be “built up” to this wonderful love story to make it a little easier to justify.

I am not claiming that the people in the affair don’t truly believe that there is an emotional connection. They do believe this because it is necessary for them to do so. It makes things easier for them.

I think that while they are seeking emotional relief rather than any connection.   Frankly, an affair is not conducive to this wonderful, deep, emotional relationship. Any relationship that starts out with secrecy and lies has the cards stacked against it in terms of longevity and deep emotions.

So while I do believe that your husband may think that he’s telling you the truth about their alleged emotional connection, I think that he’s fooling himself a little. The good news is that often once the affair is over and some time has passed, he’ll be able to look at this a little more objectively and see the relationship for what it was – someone who was available at a time when he was struggling and not someone with whom he had any deep emotional relationship.

Much of the time, the husband will believe one thing when the affair is fresh and recently over and a completely different thing once some time has passed and things are more clear.  At least this was my experience of the same.  There’s more on my blog at

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