Not all emotional affairs lead to disaster. Sometimes they can add spice to your life and even enhance an existing long-term relationship. Rose was in her mid 30s and happily married with three young children when she met Rob, a carpenter who was renovating their house. 'He was an intelligent man, a carpenter and a jazz musician - and attractive,' says Rose. 'I spent every day with this man for weeks. We talked and talked. We had a real emotional connection. 'But it never went beyond this wonderful, warm relationship. It never got physical. We were both happily married - and I didn't want anything to destroy that.' The emotional affair continued for nearly four months while work on the house went on. Then, they went their separate ways, no worse for their experience - in fact, to the contrary. 'I didn't tell my husband at the time about how I felt,' Rose says. 'I confided in a friend. But I did tell him later. 'Looking back, I think it enhanced my marriage. My life was stressful at the time and it gave me something special to help me deal with things.' Sharon Glick, a relation-ship expert at St Johns Cathedral Counselling Service, says there are times in most relationships when the stress of bringing up families and developing careers can take their toll. Sometimes, an emotional affair can be good. 'The reason people have affairs is the need for affirmation,' Glick says. 'They need to know they're still attractive, sexy and interesting. An emotional affair can do that.' Only when something is amiss in the relationship can it become dangerous, she says. 'Emotional affairs can lead to physical affairs - but it can also happen the other way. A person may just want to sample the buffet, then decide they like that person and want more.' Rose says her strong marriage and sense of reality helped to keep her emotions in check. Although the fantasy of an affair with Rob was appealing, she says she knew the reality would have been different. 'I was happy with my husband, and there were things about Rob that wouldn't make him a good choice for a spouse,' she says.