“But We Didn’t Have Sex”
More times than I would like to recall I’ve had a man talking about his emotional affair say, “But we didn’t have sex.” If he hasn’t already said this to his wife, I try to explain to him why it’s a very stupid thing to say.
Today I want to try to explain why so many men think not having sex makes it okay, or just barely wrong. Please understand I’m not denying emotional affairs happen, and I’m in no way trying to justify such affairs or make them seem less wrong.
Most men don’t have clear lines in their head with regards to emotional contact. Maybe that’s because we’re not as in touch with our emotions, and most of us have a habit of trying to downplay or ignore our emotions. Feelings, we think, are nebulous. They can’t be known, and they’re open to interpretation. And reinterpretation.
Sex, on the other hand, is pretty easy to identify. A man knows if he has been sexual with a woman. There’s a clear line in his head, either he has or he has not. So to him not having sex is a big deal. It either shows he wasn’t interested in a woman, or it shows he was and he did the right thing (by not having sex).
Another way to look at this is that men see the connection between sex and emotions in a strange way. If she has his heart, he will be all about giving her his penis too. So when he says “We didn’t have sex” he’s saying he didn’t give her his heart. He may have been infatuated, but it stopped there.
If your husband has had an emotional affair, I realise this is of little solace. But perhaps it will help you see he didn’t go as far in his heart as you think he did.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I wonder why any man thinks saying this will help him.
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