Emotional Affairs: Why These Hurt So Much

June 30, 2014 4:51 PM

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A spouse unexpectedly walks into a room where her partner's email-in-progress is lit up on the screen. In a blink, a work email replaces the previous one. Why the abrupt switch? What is being hidden? The Internet is making it possible for many to find long-lost loves, relationships discarded in the past that nevertheless hold elements of remembered magic. Sometimes these email exchanges are workplace relationships or casual acquaintances that have become something more.

Initially, for former lovers, the messages back and forth tend to be updates about what has transpired in the intervening years. For workplace buddies and acquaintances, the messages amount to learning more about each other. Most of the time this is as far as it goes, but in some instances the email...

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