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Looking for a little mood music in the bedroom? Why not create a playlist especially for those times when you want to get close? We're not talking bow-chicka-wow-wow kind of music – though certainly, your cuddling may lead to it! We're... Read More
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Are You Having An Emotional Affair? Find Out

When most of us think about an affair, we picture a secret rendezvous and physical betrayal. However, it is possible to have an affair without ever meeting someone or even being intimate with him or her.

This is known as the emotional affair, and it can be just as devastating to a relationship as a sexual affair. Because an emotional affair often can happen from afar and without any physical contact, the transgressor may feel that he or she has done nothing wrong. That denial can keep the offender from feeling guilt and passing the relationship off as a friendship.

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Statistics show that women have higher numbers of emotional affairs, while men seem to rank higher in instances of sexual infidelity. So how do you know if you're having an emotional affair?

Let's start by defining what this type of relationship issue is. An emotional affair can start innocently enough and morph into something more serious. When a person in a committed relationship begins to invest their emotional energy outside of their partnership into another person, including moral support and companionship, he or she can be said to be involved in an emotional affair.


What are signs that you are having an emotional affair?

If you have a feeling that what you are doing is wrong or are unsure if a new friendship is inappropriate, there are some tell-tale signs of an emotional affair that can confirm your behavior.

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  • Most or all of the meetings and conversations you have with the other person are kept a secret from your partner, friends and family.
  • You say and do things you would never do in front of your spouse or significant other.
  • You share emotions, ideas and thoughts with the other person that you don't with your partner.
  • You are increasingly preoccupied and find yourself "daydreaming" about the other person.
  • Interest in sexual or emotional intimacy with your spouse has dwindled or become non-existent.
  • You feel like your new friend understands you better than your partner.

  • You think crush-like thoughts and about your possible future with this person.
  • Increasing sexual tension is present and you often touch this person in "harmless" ways, such as a pat on the back or touch on the arm.

If you identify with these signs, you can still change your behavior before anything more serious occurs. If you think you are in the clear, beware that an extended emotional affair can escalate easily into a physical one.

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Warning Signs that Your Emotional Affair is on the Brink of Turning into Something More Serious

  • When you feel vulnerable or something exciting happens, you turn to your new friend instead of your partner.
  • Your level of intimacy increases and platonic discussions begin to turn sexual.
  • You send or receive sexy photos of each other.
  • You purposely put yourself in situations where you and the other person are alone.
  • Feelings of disappointment, anger and distance towards your spouse begin to become overwhelming.
  • You look forward to spending more time with the other person than your spouse and even your children.
  • You make plans for the future with this person.

If you identify with these signs, you could be on your way to a full-blown affair -- complete with emotional and sexual betrayal. It's important that you recognize what you are doing, and if nothing physical has happened yet, you may be able to turn your trouble around. If you feel that you want to (and can) save your relationship, you need to come clean with yourself and accept your transgressions. It will take work, but it is not impossible.


How to Stop an Emotional Affair in its Tracks

  • Quit cold turkey - setting boundaries for continued contact can be a slippery slope. It's best to cut it off completely.{relatedarticles}
  • Remove temptation -- change your phone number, get a new e-mail address and start new social media accounts. If you work together, ask to be transferred. Avoid locations where you may run into each other. Throw away photos, love letters or physical reminders to avoid a relapse.
  • Come clean - even if nothing happened physically, you need to clear your conscience and start a new trend of honesty and openness in your relationship. Be ready for the fallout of this decision and even be prepared to work with a counselor or other relationship advisor.

Once you remove yourself from an emotional affair, you can begin to pick up the pieces of your relationship. There is no doubt that your spouse or partner will feel extremely hurt and deceived, and it may take some time for him or her to come around to working on the relationship.


Once you have both agreed on moving forward, there are steps you can take together to begin the healing process:

  • participate in counseling individually and as a couple;
  • make new rules and set new boundaries about your relationship going forward;{relatedarticles}
  • realize that your relationship might never go back to "normal" and that trust is not rebuilt overnight;
  • spend time doing special activities together as a couple to help revive the spark; and
  • be honest with yourself - is the relationship truly over? Do you have the willpower to make sure it doesn't happen again?

It's perfectly normal to feel guilt and shame after participating in an emotional affair, but remember that you are only human. Beating yourself up forever can hinder your ability to repair your relationship and lead a happy life. Unfortunately, even with the best counseling and communication, your spouse or partner may choose to end the relationship if he or she cannot recover from the anger and pain of the emotional affair. If this occurs, it is important not to complicate matters by begging the partner to stay or beginning to stalk or follow him or her. Work with a counselor or trusted advisor on the next steps of your life. This incident doesn't have to be a life sente


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5 Signs He's Cheating

Cheaters never prosper... and neither do their partners.

That said, cheating is as prevalent as ever with one or both spouses copping to either physical or emotional infidelity in about 41 percent of marriages. According to research conducted by the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, those philandering ways aren't just limited to men. While 57% of males admit to being unfaithful in any relationship they've had, about 54% of women were also guilty of the same transgressions.

Cheating and extramarital affairs can be devastating for a relationship. Those extra-curricular activities are cited as one of the most common reasons for divorce and the end of long-term relationships. While no one wants to believe their significant other would partake in the ultimate betrayal, it's a cruel reality for many men and women.

It can be difficult to accept the truth, but it's important to be aware of what could be occurring right beneath your nose. Learn to look for the signs in your relationship. Whether you're already suspicious or preparing yourself for a new marriage or relationship, these here are five signs that can point to a cheating partner.

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1. Changes in physical appearance and upkeep - we all know the longer a couple is in a relationship, the more comfortable they become with each other. Looking your absolute best at all times can often takes a back seat when you're just hanging around at home or going to sleep after a long day. Lingerie getting traded in for sweats sound familiar?

If your husband begins to pay more attention to his physical appearance and is doing things like buying new clothes, wearing new more cologne, tanning, joining a gym or getting his teeth whitened - there's a good chance it isn't for you. If he's not already seeing someone else, he may be readying himself to find another. Unless there's a big event on the horizon like a wedding or reunion, ask him what's up with the sudden interest in manscaping.

2. Being too nice - this one might sound a bit silly. Who doesn't want their partner to show them extra affection and attention? However, if this attention is out of the ordinary and doesn't seem to be sparked by anything in particular, he could be making up for guilty feelings and/or distracting you from his inappropriate behavior. Showering you with gifts, calling and/or texting you multiple times a day to "check in" or "say hello," planning expensive dinners and dates, sending you shopping with his credit card, going on a spontaneous vacation -- these are all red flags. Don't be blinded by the rush of that new wallet and matching shoes or the relaxation of a spa visit - find out what's really behind the excess of generous gestures.

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3. Using the Internet non-stop - Who isn't consumed by social networking sites and funny videos on YouTube these days? If your spouse is going to the extreme and staying on the computer until all hours of the night or his iPhone seems to have become permanently attached to his hand, you could have cause to worry. Many men seek and start relationships with other women online in chat rooms, via instant messaging or on social networking sites. In fact, there are even Web sites set up like typical online dating services -- except they cater specifically to men looking to cheat.

If you do a quick spot-check of your computer browser's history, only to find that it's recently been wiped clean, or if an email account you used to have access to suddenly has a new password, you could have a cheater in your midst. If you're computer savvy, there are many inexpensive monitoring programs that record keystrokes, passwords and recently visited sites. However, prepare yourself for what you might find.

4. Changes in your sex life - this sign can go one of two ways. Either your partner appears to lose interest and you stop having sex altogether, or your partner has an unusually high sex drive. If you normally have an active sex life, a lack of interest could be a symptom of an affair. It might mean he having his needs satisfied elsewhere or that his guilt over what (or who) he is doing makes him embarrassed or ashamed to be intimate with you. On the other hand, if you find that his sex drive is through the roof, he may be trying to overcompensate for his infidelity and distract you from his recent illicit behavior. In the same vein, beware if he starts requesting to use condoms if you normally do not.

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5. Being extra critical - does he seem to get mad at you for everything you do lately? Call you names or put you down about your appearance? If your man starts picking fights over small issues and/or criticizing your looks and behavior, he could be cheating. This behavior often starts when a man is cheating as a way to justify his misdeeds. If he convinces himself that you are unattractive or nagging, he will feel less guilty.

Starting an argument is also a tactic for getting out of the house so he can meet his lover or go looking for a new one. If he storms out of the house when you overcook his steak or calls you ugly because a hair is out of place - something is definitely amiss.

While this list is a good indicator of cheating behavior, it's important to proceed with caution. There may be other reasons or explanations behind your significant other's sudden change in behavior. Before you confront your partner, think about your lives and if any events could have sparked these changes. Work stress, family problems or even a medical issue could be responsible for unusual behavior or moods. However, if you believe there is no other explanation, you may choose to confront your partner.

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If your worst fears are confirmed, you will likely be in a highly emotional state. You'll likely want to rush into the room and pitch a fit. As hard as it may seem, it is better to remain calm, or attempt to, anyway. Approaching your partner with a level head will yield the best results. Be prepared to back up your suspicions and for him to deny them. If you want to save your relationship, be prepared to put in the time to work through it and accept that he may not want to continue it.

Cheating may be a deal-breaker for you, so you must also be ready to call it quits if it turns out your concerns were warranted.


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5 Things Wrecking Your Sex Life

Is your hot and steamy love life feeling more lukewarm these days? You might think you're doing everything right, but there are sneaky sensual snafus that could be destroying your sex life. While most of them are easily fixed or avoided, you need to identify where you went (or are going) wrong. These five things could be ruining your sex life, so sit down, read up and get ready to light that fire once again.

1. Getting Grossed Out - Let's face it - the human body doesn't always produce the sexiest smells, areas of hair or secretions. If you flinch at the hint of a little B.O. down there, an untrimmed bikini line or the thought of bodily fluids touching you anywhere, you could be turning your partner off, or even worse, offending him or her.

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There are a few ways you can overcome the "ick" factor - only have intercourse in or right after a shower, turn the lights off to avoid looking at things you don't like and keep plenty of towels or tissues on hand for liquid mishaps. Remember, sex is messy, so you should work on embracing the fact that you're going to get sweaty, squished and crumpled, and move on.


2. Being Afraid to Experiment - Instead of laughing in his or her face the next time your partner suggests a sexy cowgirl getup or edible underwear, give it a try. You could find it silly, but it may increase the pleasure your partner experiences and rejecting him or her could kill the mood. Unless it's something you morally object to or might cause you harm, go for it. Who knows -- you might even discover that being "Nurse Betty" is your thing.

3. Not Knowing What You Want - If you don't know what buttons to push or what gets you in mood, it can be nearly impossible for your partner to do so. If you have a hard time reaching orgasm, spend some time solo exploring yourself and experimenting with toys to learn what works for you. Pay attention during sex and take a mental note of what moves or positions you like best and what you dislike. Plan a lesson for your dude and see if he does his homework.

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4. Being Embarrassed - What woman hasn't almost screamed in horror when looking at her thighs in the mirror, or had an absolute mental breakdown when passing gas in front of someone? When these things happen in the bedroom, it can feel like the end of the world. It's important to realize that once men turn on their sex-brain, very little can turn it off.


They are so focused on wanting you and getting down to the dirty deed that they're unlikely to be fazed or even notice that little jiggle under your arm or that you forgot to do laundry and are wearing your granny panties. Sometimes the human body will get the best of you, and your period will start early or you may let out a noise closer to a "moo" than a moan. Laugh it off instead of freaking out, and your man will too. If you're so focused on what he could notice, you won't be able to enjoy the task at hand.

5. Falling Into a Boring Routine - Do you have a standing calendar appointment for getting naughty? While it's important to make time in your schedules for sex, arranging a set day and time for it is one of the quickest ways to squash your sex life. Not only is it boring, but you also may find that you aren't in the mood at that time or have to "cancel" your appointment and wait a whole week for the opportunity again.

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Come home early from work and greet your partner at the door in lingerie or arrange for a sexy night under the stars and camp out in the backyard. Anything out of the ordinary, even if it may seem simple, can pump up the pleasure factor.


It doesn't matter if you've been married for decades or just started seeing someone, these phobias, fears and oversights can begin to cause serious problems for your relationship if not addressed. If you can relate to one or more of these sexual slip-ups, there are things you can do to turn your situation around and get back in the saddle.

Spend time looking at yourself in the mirror or photographs of yourself and focusing on the things you see that you like. The more comfortable you are with your own body, the more you can relax during sex.{relatedarticles}Talk to your partner. Most men aren't mind readers, and if you're struggling with a sexual issue, he may not notice until you tell him. Be open and honest about what you are feeling, what you want, what you dislike and how you can both work together to improve the situation.


If these issues seriously affect your relationship or marriage in a negative manner and you cannot seem to tackle the problem on your own, consider professional help. Modern sex therapists are a far cry from Dr. Ruth and can work with you discreetly to improve your bedroom bumbles, and, in turn, the health of your relationship.

Not sure where to start? Stumped on new ideas? Visit a sex shop or rent an adult video to get new ideas and supplies for experimenting. Nothing should be off limits.{relatedarticles}Don't worry if you experience a sexual slump. It's normal for couples to go through different stages of sexual enjoyment and frequency. If you realize you may be committing some of these sexual sins, don't worry -- there is still time to repent. By recognizing that there is a problem, you can be more proactive and tackle it head on.


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