Emotional affairs are ones where an emotional, rather than a sexual bond is created with someone outside of your current relationship - one that reaches an emotional depth that would be more appropriate with your partner.
Bear in mind that most emotional relationships start because the other person fills an emotional need that is not being filled by your current relationship.
Ending an emotional affair is just as difficult, if not more so, than ending a sexual affair.
1. Be clear with yourself as to why this relationship started in the first place
The more honest, communicative, self searching, and responsibly you handle the situation, the higher the chances are that your mate will consider your emotional needs and use this situation as an opportunity for a deeper bond.
It is possible that you have exaggerated the emotional differences with your partner. You might find that, due to a lack of communication, your partner hasn't even been aware of your emotional needs and is quite willing to learn and apply what you need.
Many times it can start because, when in a volatile relationship, we take what we can and try to have our other needs met outside of the relationship.
2. Take responsibility for creating the situation
If your partner is someone to whom you are committed, choose an appropriate time to admit to him that you have been having an emotional affair, and that you would like to end it. It's always better to be honest and better, too, for your partner to hear it from you rather than from someone else. Even an emotionally distant or cold partner does not deserve to be lied to in this way. This of course includes coming clean with the other person and ending the emotional affair.
Your emotional lover may have sustained some lasting damage by being the shoulder to cry on without any of the other elements that come with the fulfilment of a healthy relationship.
Don't beat yourself up or allow guilt to overcome you. Use this opportunity for self reflection and growth.
If you're not committed to your partner, break off your relationship with him - citing your unmet needs.
3. Reflect on your actions, conduct and ethical behaviour
What have you learned from this experience?
Have you considered that you might have numerous issues of your own such as low self-esteem or secret dependency issues?
Have you been able to reflect on your integrity, loyalty and honesty values?
Have you realised that your behaviour has been unfair to all three people concerned?
Are you incompetent in choosing appropriate partners, or have you wanted to have your cake and eat it too?
4. Get help
Should you still be concerned or confused about your sexual and emotional relationship issues, consider finding help from a therapist suitably qualified in this area