For weeks Moira and Nate have been sleeping together behind Cain's back.
Fans have been left sickened over the scenes, with many saying they have given up on Moira and think she should be axed.
However Natalie can see why her character has been behaving the way she has and has rationalised it in a new interview.
Speaking to The Mirror about the affair and Moira, Natalie said her alter ego is no longer "mother earth" and insisted you do change as you get older.
She added: "[Moira] has needed this kind of shock to feel alive again.
"She has been a bit numb with everything that has happened. She's not really dealt with things.
She has been a bit numb with everything that has happened. She's not really dealt with things
"She has not looked after her own mental health and there are a lot of mental health issues around the Nate thing."
The actress went on to insist it's not just an affair and said it's "almost like a cry for help in a really weird way."
She continued: "There are more reasons behind it - it is not just a boy who comes along and gets his top off. Moira isn't that, she is deeper than that.
"She knows it is wrong but she does it anyway."
Emmerdale airs weeknights at 7pm on ITV, with an extra episode at 8pm on Thursdays.
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