01/16/2014 05:16 pm ET Updated Mar 18, 2014

Are You Vulnerable to Having an Emotional Affair? Take This Test and Find Out

Affairs. Probably the most painful and detrimental thing that can happen in a relationship, second only to death. An affair is any intimate relationship that is shrouded in secrecy, deception, and betrayal. Sex may or may not be involved. The term "emotional affair" is used to describe an affair separate from one involving sex. Inherent within an emotional affair is the aspect of intimacy. Note that if the intimacy shared needs to be kept a secret, it then qualifies as an affair.

Let's talk about intimacy for a moment. Studies have shown that while women generally require genuine heart-to-heart talks to feel intimate, men generally require more of a partnership in doing things together, such as outdoor activities, chores and sex. Yet, I don't see these as being mutually exclusive of each other. Both women and men can share the same level of intimacy in both talking and doing. It used to be that social conditioning suppressed men from sharing their inner most feelings but today that is proving to be outdated. And of course women have been empowered since the 60's to become self-reliant, self-assured and honor their sexual expression. No matter how others may define it, I say intimacy is the act of exposing your genuine self through your deepest, inner most expression. Talk, activities or sex, it doesn't matter which form of expression you choose, as long as it's authentic for you.

Based on this definition of intimacy, it is clear that intimacy is the key or, better yet, magic ingredient in a mutually fulfilling relationship. And in a mutually fulfilling relationship, there is NO NEED for anyone outside of it to fulfill you. Make sense? It's obvious that when intimacy is lacking, you are more susceptible to having an emotional affair. Is intimacy present in your relationship? Take this simple test to find out. (Note: it only works if you are 100 percent honest with your answers)

  1. Can you share your inner most feelings, thoughts, beliefs and dreams with your partner through discussion?
  2. If not, are you fearful of rejection or something else?
  3. If you can and have shared in this way, is your partner responding?
  4. Is their response dismissive?
  5. Can you share your inner most self with your partner through doing things together (activities, chores, sex, etc.)?
  6. If not, are you fearful of rejection or something else?
  7. If you can and have shared in this way, is your partner responsive?
  8. Is their response genuine?

Let's see how you did:

If you answered "No" to any of the odd-numbered questions (1,3,5,7) you are highly susceptible to having an emotional affair. If you answered "Yes" to any of the even-numbered questions (2,4,6,8) you are also highly susceptible to having an emotional affair. Yet have no fear, being susceptible to having an emotional affair doesn't mean that you actually will have one. Your choices will determine that. Answering these questions will however, give you an opportunity to look deeper into your need for intimacy. This process can empower you to create that intimacy with your partner and thus help you avoid having an affair altogether.

In addition to leading powerful relationship workshops, Pamela also works one-on-one with her clients to empower, heal and transform so they may reach their goals of having a loving, joyful and emotionally fulfilling relationship. To find more about Pamela and her services, visit