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If you’re a reader of this newsletter, it’s safe to assume you take fidelity pretty seriously. The last thing we want to fall into is an affair. But what many people don’t realize is that an emotional affair can be just as damaging as a physical one, although it might start with perfect innocence. If you don’t catch yourself, that emotional affair could slip right into a physical one before you even realize what’s happening.

Take it from a couple who’s been there — and watch out for these seven red flags.

1. You might share a little too much about your personal life with someone outside your marriage.

2. You find yourself day dreaming or fantasizing about someone outside your marriage.

3. You delete texts, voicemails or emails so no one will suspect anything.

4. You stay late at work to be near this person.

5. You make excuses as to why you are communicating with this person to others.

6. You feel the need to defend this ‘friendship’ to others in any way.

7. You’re often rationalizing or justifying your relationship (“they are just work partners!” etc).

Think carefully. If any of these hit a nerve for you, you may want to consider cutting off the relationship. That might seem harsh, but if you don’t take extreme action then you’ll be headed down a slippery slope — I know. I’ve done it. If this person is a true friend, they will understand. But honestly? It isn’t really important if they understand or not. The important thing is to take responsibility for your own thought life and behavior, and begin to press into your marriage.

Even if you feel it is over, or hopeless, do the right thing. Take care of your current relationship with integrity and honesty before you make a leap from the frying pan into the fire.