EMOTIONAL AFFAIRS: betrayals or paths to growth?

Aug 14, 2018

Are emotional affairs failures of character or efforts to individuate?

When our positive projections land on a new person we often feel confused. Is it a betrayal to follow the arrow of Eros so long as our actions remain chaste?

Refusing to act out our fantasies even as we allow our imaginations to roam freely can be a formula for personal growth and self-knowledge.

We take a look at emotional affairs and imaginal affairs. Both are more common than you might think and can lead us into an experience of our own depths.

Here’s the dream we analyze:

“I was with my eldest child and my husband. We were in my old hometown. I suddenly felt an urge to visit an ex-boyfriend. I knew he was unwell even though I hadn’t spoken to him for many years—call it a sixth sense. I said to my husband and child, “We must go to his house as all is not well.” We got there and entered the house via the back door. My ex-boyfriend was sitting on his sofa, dressed in women’s clothes. He was dead.”


Hey folks — We need your help. Please BECOME OUR PATRON and keep This Jungian Life podcast up and running.


We’ve created Dream School to teach others how to work with their dreams. A vibrant community has constellated around this mission, and we think you’ll love it. Check it out:



Enroll in the PHILADELPHIA JUNGIAN SEMINAR and start your journey to becoming an analyst. 


  1. Laura Huff Hileman

    I am a dreamworker and faculty member at the Haden Institute. I love your work! Thank you for all you do to create such a rich, articulate, lively podcast week after week. This is amazing…and I’m thrilled so many people are following your conversations. Frequently I recommend your podcast (in general, and specific episodes) to my clients and students. They are on fire!

    There are a couple of topics that come up over and again, and I would like to submit them as request for future podcast topics. Here’s one:

    Anima and animus manifestation in dreams of those who identify as LGBTQI. The question usually goes something like this: ” Since I’m a gay man, is my anima going to be a woman or a man?” I know to ask about energies and feelings in the dreams and in dreamwork, but we all wonder – How does personal orientation and gender identification relate to the individual’s experience of anima and animus? I know Jung’s traditional masculine and feminine markers for recognizing and relating with these archetypes has long been under question.

    My folks and I would be grateful for any exploration you might offer.

    • Joseph Lee

      Great idea Laura. We’ve got it on the list.
      Thanks for your support.
      ~ Joseph

  2. Laura Lewis-Barr

    Thank you for offering this much-needed resource. I’m listening from the beginning and just heard this episode. I was curious how the three of you might talk about Jung’s extramarital relationship, particularly with Toni Wolff. The very last thing you said in the podcast was about using an emotional or imaginative affair to enliven a marriage. Perhaps this is what Jung valiantly tried to do, despite the cultural dictates he was up against.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *