How to get past an emotional affair

Your Chance to Help a Reader Out

When I asked about your most vexing marital problems, one reader wrote this:

I cannot seem to stay focused on my marriage. I keep drifting away. And I’m kind of having an emotional relationship with another man. And I feel so guilty for doing it. I am forcing myself to stop. But I have all this guilt pent up inside of me…and I sometimes feel like I would rather be with this other man. I don’t know what to do. I want this marriage to work. But I want my husband to be like this other man. That is so wrong. I feel so ashamed…

There are many different conventional ways to deal with this situation and I’m hoping the readers here will suggest them all to you. As for my advice, I’d like to tell you about several Buddhist meditation techniques that I’ve found quite helpful. It’s possible they might help you. It’s possible they won’t. Just keep an open mind, try them and see what happens.

1. Turn your shame into action. Your shame serves no one. It doesn’t serve you, and it doesn’t serve your spouse, either. So use that sense of shame to create a healthy and strong feeling of renunciation. Renunciation is the feeling that says, “I’m done with this. I do not want to do this anymore. I want this problem out of my life and I am going to do whatever it takes to ensure I overcome this problem.” Then whenever you feel ashamed–for backsliding, for indulging in a fantasy, for turning to your emotional confidant instead of your spouse–remind yourself of your pledge. Say, “Enough already! Enough!”

2. Offer your emotional attachment to a higher power. Think of the person you are attracted to and then imagine yourself giving that person as a gift to Buddha, Jesus, Mohammad or some living being that you greatly admire and respect. Say, “Please hold onto this person for me for a while. Care for this person with love.” Do this visualization every day, and especially do it when you find yourself obsessing about that person.

3. Redirect your attention and love. Visualize your spouse clearly. Take the same love and passion you felt for the other person and now imagine yourself feeling it just as strongly for your spouse. Do this over and over again. It might help to imagine your love in the form of light. See that light leaving your heart and enveloping your spouse.

4. Meditate on your spouse’s kindness. Take note of all of the wonderful things your spouse does for you day in and day out. Try not to harp on the negative. Accentuate the positive. Even write it all down in a gratitude journal that you read often to remind yourself that your spouse rocks.

5. Be patient. Your feelings won’t change overnight, but they will change. If you don’t believe me, think back to a crush you had years ago, perhaps in high school. Remember how strongly you felt and how absolutely sure you were of your love? If someone had told you back then that you would eventually get over that guy, would you have believed it? Probably not. It’s the same now. Eventually this emotional affair will weaken and end.

Readers: What is your advice? What do you think this reader should do? How can this reader move past this emotional affair and embrace her husband again?

Note: I’ve noticed that the number of comments have been dwindling. It’s possible that’s because I’m writing boring content that no one is reading. If so, no worries. If, however, the comments are dropping because of some technical issue, please make me aware of it: alisa (at)  alisabowman (dot) com.

79 comments… add one

  • Ben There May 14, 2012, 3:24 pm

    I’m 2 years into surviving from being on your husband’s end of this equation. Yes, he (and I, in my situation with my husband) does play a part in what is missing in your marriage. Feeling ashamed is normal in this situation because you are doing something that you know deep down inside is harmful to your relationship and disloyal to your spouse. Your conscience is kicking in, making you feel bad, even though the enjoyment of your emotional affair is pulling you in another direction. I love Dr. Shirley Glass’s analogy of walls and windows. If you open a window to another person (one that should be only for your spouse), you have built a wall between you and your spouse. Your husband doesn’t know what’s happening on the other side of your wall, he probably trusts you. You have to reverse the structure of these two relationships, as difficult as it may be. You’ll feel much worse from the guilt when you try to work it out with your husband (as is my husband’s experience now), than you can make up for with the temporary happiness that you feel from an inappropriate relationship. Humans don’t have uncontrollable instincts like animals. Be strong, choose to close yourself off to the other man, and don’t give up on your husband!

    • sage - May 14, 2012, 5:36 pm

      I agree with this comment, i.e. “reversing the structure”, the problem I had and you probably have is how to do that. If I had my time again (my marriage ended after a number of these), I would give “faking it till you make it” a go. I say this because my semi-new partner of nearly four years showed me very clearly just how badly I had been treating my husband (I was totally unaware of this). Try treating your husband the way you treat your confidant, even though it will feel forced and unnatural, and see what happens. This will probably bring up all the issues that have been poisoning your relationship with your husband so that you can address them directly rather than seeking comfort from them with your confidant. For me it was passive aggression. I felt very powerless, and so I had become manipulative and not really very nice to him. How then could I expect him to be the wonderful partner I craved?

      I believe that if we really want a long term relationship to thrive we have to make a commitment to love the actual person we have and not some fantasy ideal. That takes work, rigorous honesty and an ability to look at yourself first.

      Best wishes


  • Rollercoasterider May 14, 2012, 4:38 pm

    Alisa’s advice was excellent. It is part of the necessary Mirror-Work we all need to be doing as part of progressing through life. I recommend meditation as well as hypnosis, affirmations and creative visualization. The challenge is that those often seem indirect and maybe even passive and so people either dismiss them or they put little effort into them.
    I recommend that you determine some of the methods you will use and then write a plan of action for carrying them out–write it out formally.
    When my husband left in 2005 I read about affirmations and then wrote a variety. I then recited them throughout the day–while driving, exercising, working, yoga… I read books about self-hypnosis and also sought out a professional hypnotherapist.
    Of course, I recommend counseling with a marriage and family therapist along with those activities–a marriage friendly therapist. Google William Doherty, he has a list of marriage friendly therapists at his website.

    I like the concepts of solution-focused therapy. It focuses on solutions rather than problems–what do you want to do rather than what do you want to avoid. Think about what you want to do.
    In solution-focused therapy, you are the expert.
    It asks you to think of circumstances when you had success–with what it is you are now seeking. So if you are battling depression, the idea is to think about what is different on those days when you feel better–even just a teeny bit better. What is different?
    It also talks about the miracle question. If you went to sleep tonight and while you slept there was a miracle and your issue was gone, how would you know when you woke up–what would you notice that is different?

    The book Divorcebusting by Michele Weiner Davis is about Solution-Oriented Brief Therapy. I highly recommend it.

  • AmyB May 14, 2012, 5:01 pm

    I havent gotten to the stage of having an “emotional relationship” with another man but I have sometimes thought and fantasised that my partner would have very similar qualities to that of “this guy” I know.. ( I hope that makes sense)
    Anyway, the qualities that this guy has are SO appealing to me. He is so enthusiastic, energetic, has strong family values, expresses himself well, he’s interested in other people and just SO thoughtful. I sometimes think, perhaps there is someone else out there like that, that I would be more happy with… but then the reality sets in and I start to remember that everyone has “pros and cons” and I bet there are things about this guy and “other guys with similar qualities” that are SO annoying and really irritable. I begin to think, he probably doesn’t know when to chill out, he probably thinks about others so much that he forgets about his partner, he probably drinks too much coke and smells a lot. (stuff like that)
    Once I imagine some of the really annoying qualities of this person I then start to think of all the really good qualities in MY partner, for example: he’s very intelligent and is good a solving problems, he diplomatic and can hold a good conversation, he’s extremely good looking and is well groomed, he is very easy going and will eat whatever I feed him, I like the smell of him and he doesn’t drink too make coke :)…… and then it makes me feel better that I have still chosen to be with my partner!
    I hope that makes sense…
    It does seem a little bit silly, but for some reason It helps :)

  • Mr. Cellophane May 14, 2012, 8:54 pm

    She has tried/is trying to maintain a friendship and business partnership with her long time EA/PA. He just can’t seem to separate the friendship and romance, and after too much wine on a business trip not long ago they “accidentally” slept together. Now we find ourselves trying to extract ourselves from a business partnership (with all the financial and legal pain) AND a relationship that must end (and all the emotional pain that entails).

    Cut all ties. Lose his number and change yours, forget his e-mail address and change yours. Move and change jobs if you have to. Develop a new routine. Change your habits. Change your life. Eliminate anything that reminds you of “us”.

    The amount of mental and physical discipline required to maintain any contact is just too much and will wear on you and damage your other relationships. The amount of resentment I carry over their affair has had me in counseling for over a year. I still don’t know if we will survive this.

    • liza May 26, 2012, 12:27 pm

      i understandd completely. My husband and i were not living together, but still doing everything a married couple would do. On top of all of that i was pregnant. I had a gut feeling he was talking to someone else, but i also thought it was my horomones. About 3 weeks after the baby was born i was looking through his phone and sure enough my feelings were correct. Not only was he trying to talk to someone else he also had sex with them. it has been 7 months since i found out, yet he still talks to this girl, he is still her friend on Facebook. I am not even his friend. We have been married for 10 years this year and i just dont know what to do. i have explained how i feel and he does not care.

  • Rosemary May 14, 2012, 8:54 pm

    Emotional affairs are very attractive for the same reasons any crush is so attractive in the early stages. It is because they are unrealistic. You and the other guy see each other in an environment that is removed from your real life, an environment that allows you to see each other in an idealized way. You can show each other your best selves, just as people do when they are dating. If you talk to this guy about how unhappy you are in your marriage, he sympathizes with you — because it’s not about him! (If he knew your husband instead of you and heard your husband’s side of the story instead of yours, he might view you a little differently. ) Maybe you are unhappy with some bad habits your husband has. But what you don’t see is that this other guy has habits that are just as bad, probably worse. Maybe you think your husband doesn’t appreciate you enough, but what you haven’t thought about is that after a certain number of years in a relationship, this guy would probably develop the same attitude.

    You say you wish your husband were like this guy, but would you really want your husband to be the kind of man who would get emotionally involved with another man’s wife?

    Alisa’s advice is good, and I hope you will start following it today. In addition to Shirley Glass’s book, which Ben mentioned, Pat Love’s book, The Truth About Love, is a very good one to help you understand the stages of love and how to deepen the love in your marriage over time.
    Rosemary´s last blog post ..Read All About It

  • Claire May 14, 2012, 9:03 pm

    Wonderful topic this one Alisa and please keep writing. Even if the comments drop off sometimes you can be assured you still have readers who are benefiting from your blog, we might be silent but we’re here and we appreciate you :-)
    This must be a problem that every married person faces from time to time but really isn’t it just that the grass sometimes seems greener on the other side? Doesn’t mean it is. Great advice from everyone here on how to see that.

  • Brian May 15, 2012, 7:13 am

    We all get off track when life starts pushing us around… I know my wife and I did. We were stressed out over work, family, etc. A lot of the fun we used to have was gone. At some point it’s natural to ask “Is this all there is?” The mistake is when one or both people in a committed relationship/marriage start to look for answers with a third person, when what they really need to do is sit down with their spouse and talk, honestly and without judgement, about what went wrong and how they can make it good again. If it was good once it can be again. Remember that an affair is not real; it is like being on vacation. It is fun for a while and is a nice distraction but it can’t last. Life is full of life, good and bad, happy and sad. Don’t lay all the bad at each other’s feet. Recognize that it’s how we deal with issues and each other that makes our lives what they are. For me, I realized that I was spreading myself too thin, working too many hours, making too many commitments, and I was so stressed and resentful that I was miserable and not much fun to be around. I got a wake-up call and it came just in time. Now I try to be the kind of person I would want to be with: responsible, faithful, hard-working, sure, but also fun, relaxed, spontaneous. It’s making all the difference and my marriage is better than it’s been in a long time.
    To paraphrase from another one of Alisa’s posts: The grass is always greener where you water it. If you are emotionally intimate with someone who isn’t your spouse, you are watering the wrong lawn. Water your own lawn, make it flourish.

    • Pookey July 29, 2012, 2:37 pm

      Did you ever go to your wife and let her know that you were immature and had low self esteem. Because, people who look to other’s outside for fulfillment or excitement are living in childhood fairy tales…… I would be surprised if your fling wasn’t with another married person and, oh yes, she probably made you feel good about yourself. DO YOU STILL FEEL THAT WAY?

  • jhs May 15, 2012, 11:05 am

    My ex-husband left me for the woman he had his emotion affair with that “just happened”. We had a happy marriage until he got in contact with the other woman. Within one week of our divorce he married her- now they have to deal with the real person, not just the idealized person of the calls, e-mails and videos. It doesn’t sound like a very stable relationship does it?
    This is what emotional affairs do- they create a false belief that sweeps you off your feet, but misses reality. Emotional affairs are nasty things- they turn the head of the spouse outward rather than inward, toward the other spouse. They leave the cheated on spouse feeling worthless and paranoid (at least his affair did to me). I can tell you from being on the receiving end of this deceit that it takes a lot to rebuild from. You married this man for a reason- is it all worth giving up? That is what you are currently toying with and if you aren’t sure, then it would make sense to figure that out before jumping ship. Good luck to you.

  • Bern May 15, 2012, 10:31 pm

    Looks like some great advice in the comments above – I agree, an emotional affair is not real, and this other person will be just as imperfect as your husband. There’s an old saying with people who have affairs (emotional or otherwise) – ‘if they” do it for you, they’ll do it to you’, and do you really want to be with someone who is prepared to have an affair with someone else’s partner?

  • Bern May 15, 2012, 10:38 pm

    And another thought – no-one else is responsible for your happiness, so if you’re not happy with your marriage and susceptible to this emotional affair, you can look in a mirror and see the person who needs to change, rather than looking elsewhere. It’s easy to look externally for happiness (I’m sure we’ve all done that at times!), but true happiness is being able to accept the personal responsibility for making yourself happy. Can you work with your partner so you BOTH find greater happiness? Absolutely! However, I’ll gurantee that lasting happiness will not come from the person you’re having the emotional affair with

    • Really January 31, 2014, 7:58 pm

      Really Bern, How will you guarantee that lasting happiness will not come from the person you are having the emotional affair with. I hate sweeping unsubstantiated generalisations like this!

  • Tillie Goode May 16, 2012, 5:57 am

    I have been with my husband for 9 years and married for 5 of those. 6 months ago I inadvertently entered into an emotional affair, which ended 4 months ago.
    I can tell you I have never done this before and if you had asked me any time before this occurring I would have been very black and white about how wrong it is and how you should not do it. Whilst I am now very aware of how incredibly damaging it can be, I now also understand that it can happen so incredibly easily, especially when your relationship with your partner has strains on it.
    I have found it personally very difficult to cut ties, but we have managed it, and to be honest most of the time we discussed the fact that we shouldn’t be talking to each other and we were trying to figure out a way of getting past the attraction and “just be friends”. We realized that this was not possible, but in the meantime we both developed quite strong feelings for each other.
    What I realized though, was I wasn’t being fair to myself, my husband or this other man. I realized that I needed to look at myself and my relationship without this other man as part of the equation. This other man was blurring the truth of my marriage simply by existing there.
    The problem is, if you decide to end it with this other man, what you will go through is effectively a “break up”, except you are doing it by yourself because (I assume) no one knows that you are emotionally involved with someone else. It is really really hard, because there is no one to talk to about it, and there seems to be no ‘real’ good reason (he’s nice, he’s caring, you have feelings, it feels good). But it does get easier. I promise. But I do know that it hurts like hell.
    But it is really important that you focus on whether what you and your husband have is right for you first. If it isn’t, then that’s fine, but at least you know you’ve done everything you can, with a clear head to work on your relationship.
    Good Luck

    • Sara September 10, 2012, 1:48 am

      How are you now?

    • Laura October 8, 2012, 8:50 am

      I have to know how things worked out for you. I have been married for 23 years. We have two boys ages 18 and 20. I don’ have a bad word to say about my husband. I am 54 years old and have be having an emotional affair with a co worker for over a year. He is 30. I am sick over this and want to end it but then again I don’t want to end it. I need to hear from other people to see what they did to overcome this. I cry all the time but yet I keep going back.

      • Vera October 8, 2012, 5:18 pm

        I am in the same boat. Married 18 yrs and been at this affair off and on for a year. I want to stop but I don’t. And I am so glad when my brain thinks of something else besides him. I take solace in reading other comments that i am not alone here.

      • Marie November 7, 2012, 7:12 pm

        I have been having an emotional affair for 7 years. Married for 20, 3 kids. Started out as a full fledge sexual/left the other spouses several times and he finally stayed with the wife. We work together and we still share things and it is all a secret because if she were to ever find out, it would be over for him. I am just trying to figure out why I can’t walk away and cut him off….it is not easy.

    • Anisha November 2, 2012, 3:16 pm

      Hi all thanks so much for sharing your experiences and pain on this site. I’ve been feeling a lot like what everyone has deacribed. I’m a person that gets attached very easily emotionally. Ive been molested as a child and find it extremely difficult being intimate wit my husband. I hate being touched. He’s been with me for 10 years 7 of those being married. I Know he loves me very much else why else would he still be wit me? I’m so ashamed to say this but I’ve had a few emotional affairs and everytime I break it off or the other person it hurts so much. I become depress and at times feel suicidal. I don’t know Wat to do to stop this vicious cycle. I’m so lost right now. I’m a very religious person and I feel so much more guilt. Please if anyone can give me some of words of wisdom will be much appreciated. I have no one to talk to about this thanks

    • Paige April 2, 2013, 12:49 pm

      I just kind of stumbled onto this discussion because I recently ended a pretty consuming emotional affair, and Tillie has just touched on the most difficult aspect of the recovery. There’s no one to cheer you on, support you…confide in. You realize that all the pain you’re feeling is a direct result of the day to day decision you made over time to continue in the relationship. I was the one who ended the relationship and I felt a lot of pain while doing it, but was bolstered by my courage in making such a difficult choice. Now, weeks later, I realize that there will be no trophy waiting for me, no “person of the year”, no 3-day cruise…as a reward for my “integrity”. Ouch! I think somehow that the real victory lies in being able to simply ride this stage out knowing that the satisfaction of answering to your “higher self” will, in the end carry you through to the other side of the pain, but this is a lonely place for sure! Thanks for the insight!

  • Joanne May 16, 2012, 2:49 pm

    It has been awhile Alisa since I last posted but I have to weigh in and say that Bern has gotten a finger on the problem. Don’t look to anyone else for your happiness, find it within then be generous and share it. Ideally with you spouse not someone you think is exciting because you just don’t know them well enough. It is the person you survive the highs and lows with that deserves any sunshine you can bring into their life.
    Alisa- isn’t that what has prompted your inward introspection in embracing the Buddhist ideals that you have? Finding your own true inner contentment then bringing it into the life you share with your husband and daughter so you are all enriched.

  • KimW May 17, 2012, 9:50 am

    I agree with Claire – don’t stop writing! My first reaction on reading your post was to remember the section from your short ebook about “Eye Candy”. I always think of that term when thinking about the emotional affair. It is easy to elevate the person with whom you are connected emotionally or infatuated – they are new, exciting, attentive, limited to a slim section of your real world life. Cutting ties and finding connection with your spouse is hard but you have to dedicate the energy to make it happen.

    Every comment on this post was worthy of readying twice! Thanks to all who shared.

  • Jodi May 17, 2012, 2:26 pm

    I enjoyed all of these comments. My husband had an emotional affair that turned physical a year and a half ago. We have been married for 17 years but the marriage has been bad for the last three.

    I liked Brian’s comment that if it was happy once, then it can be again.

    I just don’t know how to begin to make that happen. I feel I would be much happier alone, however we have three young kids (youngest is 3) and I feel immense guilt when I consider divorcing their dad.

    • Brian May 18, 2012, 8:00 am

      Hi Jodi,
      It’s impossible to reconnect with a third person involved. Set some boundaries that you need to continue in the marriage. Also, take care of yourself emotionally and physically. Go out with friends, exercise, enrich your life apart from your husband. Be available to him but don’t let your happiness be based on him. Live your best life. If things work out in your marriage… great. If not, you will still be better off for it. You will find happiness one way or another. Remember that.
      Good luck and God bless…

  • Frankie May 18, 2012, 12:45 am

    Hi my name is Frank.

    my wife and have been living together for 12 years and marreid for 6 years. we have a 4 yrs old son and she is now 3 months prengant. 2 years ago we moved to Italy due to my work. Suddenly my wife has decided that she does not love me anymore and wants to leave me. She says that she had tried to show me and tell me that she is falling out of love but I never truly understood this and got on with my life. Now I am in one big mess and I have relasied how much I want and love my family, but my wfie does not want to let me try. From being a king I have lost my wife, my son and my family. please give me your advise I need help on how to cope with this situation.Tto make matters worse in the past months my wife had an affiar and
    I also was having a chat affair. I have removed this person out of my life but my wife does not seem to want to remove this guy. I want to safe the marraige she won’t out and does not want to return to the country where we meet and where we own a house and lived for 10 yrs of our married life she wants to stay in Italy. Since I am the verge of losing my job and wife I do not want to stay in Italy but how can I leave and not see my son…. We can’t asfford to live in a seperate houses because we are to tight with money Help Help Help…

    • Rollercoasterider May 18, 2012, 9:01 am


      Have you looked up online forum-support groups for spouses in your position? I run one that focuses on midlife crisis (MLC) and infidelity. I don’t know if your situation does or does not include MLC. You can find it through the link with me name. Other forums with infidelity suport are divorcebusting and marriage builders and both are associated with high-profile authors. My site is geared toward Standers–men and women who want t o save their marriage. The other sites support that, but there’s also a lot of kick’em to the curbers there as well. I recommend that you read Michele Weiner Davis’ articles on (as well as her books Divorce Remedy (DR) then Divorcebusting (DB)) But she has a board for infidelity and a board for MLC (which typically includes infidelity) and somewhere I recall reading an article about the walk-away wife syndrome. (I started out at the DB forums years ago.) I recommend you read aout MLC vs a walk-away, find a local therapist who is marriage-friendly (Italy may be a lot different) and ask your wife to attend, if she refuses GO ALONE, if she stops going, keep going alone. And I recommend you check out a support forum.

      Since she says she has tried to show and tell and you admit that you weren’t truly understandinf–thus it sounds like you dismissed her and took her for granted, she may not be in MLC. That’s good–counseling doesn’t work with MLCers, they leave, cheat and it’s a years-long process. Start now by being appreciative and attentive and DR is a great book for helping. There are so many books that focus on having a great marriage and preventing…but what do you do when you are already past the preventing…Divorcve Remedy is for that situation; it’s brilliant.

    • D May 29, 2012, 1:45 pm


  • Rollercoasterider May 30, 2012, 8:54 am

    This is a rude and ignorant comment that I sadly find common. Some people mistakenly think that when a spouse strays—or considers straying—it means the betrayed spouse has done something to cause it and that there is something wrong with the marriage.
    No one is perfect; we all have areas where we can improve and be better spouses. But the choice to cheat—emotionally or physically—belongs solely to the person who cheats. And cheating is not always a sign of a bad or unhappy marriage; often it is a sign of something amiss within the betraying spouse and it has nothing to do with the marriage itself. Often cheating is the cause of the unhappy marriage, not caused by it.
    It takes two to make a successful relationship. It can take two to break a relationship, but it also can take one or it can take one from within and another from without.
    D is sure there were telltale signs in something she is completely ignorant about—someone else’s marriage. Maybe it happened to her/him and in that situation there were missed signs. But that is not the case for everyone.

  • Bern May 30, 2012, 7:07 pm

    Agree with rollercoaster’s comments. We all have our faults, but the decision to cheat is owned by the cheater, not the other partner.

  • mark June 2, 2012, 9:31 pm

    What do you do when your wife is in denial of having an emotional affair? She admits to just being friends with a coworker. She also admits that she can talk to him about anything. In the same vein, she stated that they both confided in other about how they are distant from their spouses. However, she states that there was not emotional connection. I had her read an article on emotional cheating and denies it all. I need help, she evasive and avoids any emotionally rooted questions.

  • Bern June 12, 2012, 11:33 pm

    Mark – she is either in denial or simply has know ideal of what an emotional affair is. If she will either do some research herself or with you, she may get a better understanding. Of course, that’s only if she is prepared to be open to the idea – if she’s in denial then unfortunately nothing you say will change that.
    All you can do in that situation is make sure you look after yourself, both emotionally and practically. Good luck to you.

  • looking for advice June 13, 2012, 7:50 pm

    so my husband and i have been having problems for over a year already . in that time i have moved into my own place with our daughter, had another child with him. he stays over but has his belongings at his moms. he does not help financially, he wont even watch our girls. i also found out he slept with a 18 yr old girl a month after the baby was born and he and is still friends with her. this bothers me a great deal and i tell him all the time. this is what the majority of our arguments are about. he tells me i am jealous and insecure. i have tried to get past the affair and forgive him, but he she posts on his facebook and he wont even add me. we have been together for going on 16 yrs if we make it and will be married for 10. this past weekend was the final straw, he left out of town without telling me, wouldn’t answer my calls, texts.etc….. and he says he isnt doing anything, tells me he loves me and wants to be with me. on top of all that i just found out we are going to have another child. i need advice. in my heart i feel he is still cheating. i dont understand why he cant just tell me. i dont know if i should just give up or give him another chance. i dont want to be a wife that turns her head the other way. it is not fair to me or my kids.

    • Rollercoasterider June 14, 2012, 1:03 pm

      Your husband is giving you some of the typical cheater lines. He is doing a bit of gaslight-projecting on you when he tells you that you are jealous and insecure. You are his wife and with that comes a bit of possessiveness–some take that overboard, but he is YOUR husband and ‘your’ is a possessive term.
      He wants you to trust him, but he’s not being trustworthy and he knows it–some don’t know it, but he is refusing to add you as a facebook friend while contacting the alienator through facebook–he is being overtly secretive (even though that is an oxymoron).
      I am in the middle of reading John Gottman’s new book “The Science of Trust.” Some of the new research shows that there are significant physiological benefits for men when they feel their wife trusts them; the benefits in reverse are not nearly as significant. So being trusted is vital to men.
      But he’s not being trustworthy! How frustrating is that? He needs trust and yet you should not be giving it if it is not deserved—trust is not an Unconditional!
      You are trying to get past his affair, but he’s still in it. To end an affair contact needs to be NONE! And until he accepts and does that, reconciliation attempts will fail. I am in no way saying you will not reconcile; I’m saying it won’t happen until…
      He wants to be with you, but he wants to be with you only on his terms. Reassure him that he can be home with you, but only if he meets certain conditions. Do not expect him to meet or not meet the conditions; he may agree and then not do it. Just keep reassuring him that there is a way for the two of you to reconcile.
      Are you in counseling—alone or together? My guess is that he has refused marriage counseling. It is a condition. The two of you need to go to marriage counseling—and that agreeing or going to one or even a few sessions does not mean he moves home yet. He may try to rearrange the condition and say he’ll go after he’s home—NO. Start counseling first. I also recommend you set some striver boundaries: right now he’s staying over; stop letting him do that; being in a marital relationship with you is conditional upon him being an appropriate husband. Your instincts are likely right; I also think he’s still cheating, but if your boundaries are non-existent or not strict enough, you are enabling his mistreatment of you—infidelity is a form of abuse.
      Discuss other necessary conditions with your counselor. If you are not seeing someone, start now and go alone if he will not attend with you.
      Some people may want to make remorse, and understanding your pain and feelings part of the conditions. That’s understandable, but those things are a more advanced part of the repair process; to get to them he needs to feel your relationship progressing so that he feels safe with his vulnerability—his guilt and shame. He may not want to expose that if the two of you aren’t going to reconcile—he may think it would be a waste.

  • Hopeful June 14, 2012, 8:01 am

    I caught my husband in an emotional affair 10 days ago. I want more than anything to make things work for us. He works with the girl and because she is his assistant, they cannot separate themselves at work. We met with a counselor earlier this week and have another session scheduled for next week. While my husband is willing to go to the counselor and knows what he is doing is wrong, he says that he is confused and doesn’t know if he truly wants to end the affair. The affair has been going on for a month. He says that his feelings for her are so deep that he can honestly say that he can picture being married to her. She is married as well, although has been trying to leave her husband even before the affair started. While I want our marriage to work, I don’t want to be a doormat and let him have the best of both worlds (having his physical needs met at home and his emotional needs met with her). I really think he is hoping I’ll be the one to draw the line and ask him to move out so that he feels better about himself – that he’s not the one walking out voluntarily. I can’t live in limbo for the next year while he tries to figure out his emotions – it’s not fair to me or our kids. Is there any advice you can give?

    • Rollercoasterider June 14, 2012, 10:13 am

      I’m so sorry this is happening to you. Why do you say that it’s only an emotional affair at this point? If it’s not already physical it is likely going that way-he isn’t going to live in two worlds by getting physical needs from and emotional from her; he will get household needs from home–food, shelter, hi honey I’m home kisses…
      I’m not saying that to sound negative, but from your descritpion he’s already displaying signs of hormonal infatuation and right now those hormones are enabling this to be an addiction and for awhile they are going to win. Sweetheart showed those signs before his affair was physical, but from what I’ve seen in forums, most don’t show them until it’s physical.
      You need to decide what it is you want–and not what you want now in this moment, this month or even this year, but what do you want in the long-term. Do you want to be married to your husband–not the cheating guy that may be a moody monster, weak and needy a liar…but to the core person you married. Also include considerations of what is best for your children–in the long term. Divorce sucks for kids and being married to a cheater isn’t a great environment for them either, but divorce is usually permanent and couples can work through and heal from cheating.
      For now, I recommend you look up Plan A and Plan B at Marriage Builders and discuss it with your counselor. His working with her is a SERIOUS problem and ending the affair will be immensely more difficult–No Contact needs to be a priority and I don’t know how they can do that if they work together.

      • Joan November 4, 2013, 12:40 pm

        I hope this has been resolved. He must leave that work and never see her again. I am having problems because my husband refuses to leave a church we attend where the young woman with whom he had an emotional affair also attends. It makes me sick. Says he is over her but then I can tell differently when she is around. We have grown children much older than her (he is 40 years her senior!). She is book smart and clueless emotionally – and I think probalby will hook up with a professor some day at college (need of father attention). My husband said he was smitten and infatuated but it is “over” now so for me to “move on” and this is my problem not his now. But he refuses to completely disconnect with the place we know she will be – and I can’t stand it – it is like opening a wound. Two years later (by the way he lied to me about not following her on social media for about a year till I caught him. Said he was just “curious” and she was such an interesting person… see…he won’t admit the weird hold this has over him and because it is such a big secret (no family or friends know) then he has his little fantasy life in his head – but it keeps me from trusting him emotionally because I really don’t feel cherished. After 33 years.

    • Joan March 1, 2014, 6:36 pm

      Hopeful I do hope that you have either kicked him out or moved out because he needs a a rude awakening to reality. Assistant needs to go. If his boss knew there was any relationship they would not be working in the same place. And he stands to lose everything including you. Needs to respect you and win you back. You deserve better.

  • Nelly Randall July 26, 2012, 12:25 am

    Hie, my husband is in prison in a different country miles away. Its his second arrest since our marriage 4years ago. Last time he went in, i dint know for a while and thought he had left me, he got raped and i got emotionally attached to a younger man. I eventually got over the guy and back with hubby. It altered his trust after i confessed.

    Now that he is behind again and my family want him out of our lives, i have made another bond with this time a married man. He understands what m goin through and manages it even financially. My hubby is coming out in a month and i cant break it with guy. Why. Bcuz nw he is going thru issues healthwise and i wanted to help him too. So help?!

  • Julie July 28, 2012, 2:46 pm

    I found out my boyfriend of almost 5 years has been having an emotional affair with a co-worker, a little over 2 months ago. It’s not that he did not give me warnings that he would find someone else, as I had many faults and never acted on them until this was revealed. We are talking, sharing more and there is not a lack of intimacy. Would have to say it’s gotten much better. I’ve been making many changes in how and what I do, all for the better. I am making myself happy and that in turn makes us happy. He’s reassurred me that there has been nothing physical between them, they were texting and calling very frequently. The biggest problem I am having is he keeps this EA, and says he’s afraid that if he gives her up, I will change back and he could not go through that again. She’s also married, supposedly her husband was cheating on her. I told him she was also cheating on her husband with him. I have noticed he doesn’t seem to be calling or texting as often. I’m just wondering if he’s going to continue with this, or make a committment to rebuilding us. Any ideas?

  • Nikki August 3, 2012, 5:02 pm

    I have read some of the posts above and my story is a little bit different.
    I met my husband when we were both teenagers and despite my family’s refusal I married him when I was 22. I adored him and still do. But I don’t know how I got myself into this mess: 6 years ago I met a much younger man through work. He would come to me and ‘confide’ in me. I had no idea he had feelings for me as he was much younger and he knew I was married with children. Then 18 months later, he told me he loved me and that he didn’t want to have those feelings for me but he couldn’t help it. At first, I was shocked and disappointed as I really liked him. I told him it was wrong and that I would never have any feelings for him but that did not stop him. In fact, he started telling me he was feeling suicidal and if he didn’t have me in his life he would commit suicide. It was impossible to cut off all contact with him as he was at my work all day every day. I didn’t want to alert my employers as I felt I could deal with it myself and it would soon be over. Well it didn’t. For six years, I forcebly stayed in touch with him, he changed from being extremely charming and nice to very manipulative and depressed. I tried several times to cut off contact but every time we didn’t speak I would feel lost and would miss him although I NEVER intitalted texts, phone calls or anything like that. In fact, I used to try and avoid replying but he would turn up at my house or do other crazy stuff to make me talk to him. When he would come back, I would start talking to him again after promising myself that I would never let him back into my life ever again. My husband knew about him (of course not everything) and I kept promising him that I was working on cutting all contact and all I needed was time because of all his suicidal throughts. His behaviour escalated so much in the last few months that I really had to make a decision to end it all and I was feeling so guilty that my husband had to put up with all this and at the same time I couldn’t understand why I was so attached to that man who was making my life so difficult. Over four months ago, he turned up at my house as usual forcing me to see him and to cut a very long story short he reversed on to my son after he tried to stop him. My husband took that opportunity and called the police. It was a very painful decision to make but something like that had to happen to make it stop. Deep down inside me I didn’t want the communication to stop but I knew it had to as he wanted more and more from that relationship and he was forcing me into everything. He was given a warning not contact me again but surprise surprise he did! He came to my work 3 times in the past 4 months and told me that he still loved me. I have to be honest with myself and say that I was happy to see him but I made sure I stuck to the same attitude I’d had for 6 years and said that I would never have a relationship with him and that whatever is between us should end. The last time I saw him was two weeks ago when I bumped into him. I was very open with him and told him for the first time I was very upset to let go of him but I had no other choice. I was very emotional and upset and said that if he continued contacting me my husband would take away the children from me. He was ‘understanding’ and said that he wouldn’t want this to happen and ‘for the time being’ he would do what I say to make things calm down. I am now trying my best to get on with my life and forget about him but finding it very hard especially that I know he might come back again. I want it to end but at the same time I don’t want it to. I don’t understand myself why would I feel so attached to a man like that when I have a wonderful husband? Now that I have had some time alone trying to sort out my life, I think I was too scared he might carry out his suicidal threats that I got so emotionally involved with him. I miss him and miss the constant attention he gave me. He literally texted me hundreds of times a day and came to see me every day. He made me feel I was the centre of his life and forced himself into mine but I shouldn’t have let him. I regret it deeply because now I am suferring and in silence. I can’t tell my husband everything, he wouldn’t understand and why should he? He has given me the best life any woman would dream about. He is perfect in every way and I don’t deserve him. I feel so guilty although I haven’t cheated on my husband and would never ever. Just the fact that I let another man get emotionally close to me feels like cheating and I hate this feeling. I can’t wait to get back to my old peaceful life but I know it is going to take some time and I will keep trying.

    • Julie August 3, 2012, 5:27 pm

      If you want to keep your marriage, you will have to end your “relationship” with this young person. Will it be easy heck no, but I had a emotional situation with an old boyfriend for many years. There was no physical contact as we lived many miles apart. However I did hurt my boyfriend deeply, and now he’s involved with a woman he works with. They text, call and he sees her at least once a week..
      You can not be responsible for his actions, and while that may sound cold it honestly isn’t.
      Keep in touch if you’d like…

    • Rollercoasterider August 3, 2012, 10:01 pm

      Are you aware that he is a stalker–and I mean the real-deal dangerous to you and himself and anyone who gets between he and you stalker? My concern is your need for his narcissistic supply. He seems like a possible borderline personality–I recommend you read about borderlines.
      But you have issues with codependence that need some addressing–have you seen a counselor? Do you feel the need to resue people? Do you feel the need to prove that you are worthy or prove that otehrs need you by making yousef indispensable? Basically, why are you feeling this attachment to him or this pleasure from his attention? I’m so sorry for all that you are going through, but I think you would benefit by talking to a professional therapist. This doesn’t sound like and issue of an emmotional affair so much as a stalker–and the stalked person who wants to be or likes being stalked.

      • Nikki August 4, 2012, 4:25 am

        Julie, Rollercoasterider,

        Thank you so much for your replies. It’s so nice to know there are people out there who understand and care and I welcome any comments or suggestions from anybody.
        I have always known I had to end this relationship with him but it was so hard as he had access to my workplace and everytime I tried he would threaten suicide. His threats were so real and he sounded so genuine. Although I knew I wasn’t responsible for his actions but I didn’t want to push it. My husband and the police think it’s stalking but I am so confused. I might sound stupid but I think he has manipulated me so much that I don’t even know what to think anymore. I have seen a counsellor specialised in stalking but didn’t find him useful. He listened to me but didn’t offer any suggestions or help and I had to stop going as it was just a waste of money and time. He did mention that this man could be sufferring from Borderline Personality Disorder and I have read a lot about that and its relation to stalking. He does fit this profile perfectly but I never felt in danger in his presence and I sometimes think maybe because I was nice and understanding because I wanted it to end nicely, I perhaps made it linger on more than it should. It’s very difficult to write everything here but he made it impossible for me to go away. He would literally wait outside my work/home for hours every day until I came out and when I didn’t stop he would block my way with his car or intimidate me in front of people so I would give in. I changed my phone number once but he started continuously ringing my office/home which made my colleagues/family suspicious. He took my mobile phone once and saved all my contacts onto his phone and when I went to visit my mum for three weeks, he started ringing her number so I gave in and gave him my new number to avoid embarrassment. I spoke to his sister twice on the phone and met her once and asked her to help me but he wouldn’t listen to anybody. I can go on and on about what he has done to make me engage but obviously I can’t say everything here. I really really didn’t want to get involved with him but he pushed it and there was no way out for me and after all those years, I feel so confused, relieved that it’s stopped but at the same it’s hard to let go, I think he used to take up all my time and I got so used to him. I’m not sure if I have issues with codependence but I am certainly a caring person and would help anyone anytime but I always know my boundaries and when to stop. But with this man, it was almost impossible to stop. He wouldn’t let me. Only when the police got involved and gave him a warning that he has lessened his activities or at least I hope he has. When I saw him two weeks ago, he told me he had followed me twice in another car on my way back from work. I am looking for another job but it’s impossible for me to move house because of my children’s school etc… I so much want it to end for my family’s sake at least. I love my husband and children to bits and wouldn’t want anything to ruin what I have. I try to make everything normal so it wouldn’t affect my relationship with my family but inside me I’m not the same. I am so confused and I want to stop thinking about him. The sooner the better.

  • Julie August 5, 2012, 4:02 pm

    You are going to have to do one of the hardest things you have ever done, if you love your husband. I’ve been where you are and it’s destroying my relationship now, over 3 yrs later. He found comfort with this other woman, and it’s only been a few months now, but he cares about her, and he told me this afternoon that there is no past with them. SO be careful and choose what you want in your life, cause it could cause you to lose more than you want.

    • Nikki August 6, 2012, 1:40 am

      Thank you for your reply and advice and I’m sorry to hear you’re going through a hard time yourself.
      I am trying my best to cut every contact with him and I have really tried in the past but he wouldn’t let me. I love my husband dearly and wouldn’t want anything to come between us but I don’t know how this man managed to come into my life in this way. I feel so stupid to have let this happen especially that I am a very strong woman and never in my life I have let anyone control me in any way. I am trying to keep him out of my mind but it’s very difficult. He used to be in touch with me all day every day and I knew everything about him (I think I have, he’s lied to me a lot of times) and now I feel a bit weird without that. I am trying to exercise my brain and switch to something else when I think about him but I know it’s going to take a long time. I don’t want my husband to know I’m thinking about him so everytime he asks me if there is anything wrong I come up with something else. I don’t want anything to ruin what I have with my husband, he is adorable and he’s been extremely supportive throughout all this. What is puzzling me is that the other man hasn’t always treated me well and he is a difficult character and why am I attached to him in this way I have no idea! He’s turned my life upside down without me wanting it but I will keep working on bringing back my peace of mind.
      I hope you sort out your situation and bring back what you used to have with your boyfriend. I know you are probably feeling guilty and you’re also regretting what happened but it is never too late to get back what’s gone. I’m sure he still has feelings for you otherwise he would’ve left and gone with the other woman. Perhaps he is trying to make you feel what it’s like to be on the other side? I wish you all the best and thank you for your continuing support. Keep in touch if you like.

      • Julie August 6, 2012, 7:31 am

        I think that emotionally you let him in your life. It might be the part of you that wants to make things better for him, and he may be completely different than your husband. As for the suicide threats, you can not keep the “relationship” with him for that reason.

        I know my boyfriend still loves me, yet when he see’s her he reminds me of our past and how bad it was. He’s not sure if he wants to take a chance on giving her up and that we will ee me go back to where I was before. I’m not going back there, and he see’s that and knows I am trying. But what he doesn’t realize that if this married woman would have this “relationship” with him, and they do get together there is always the chance she would do this to him too. He’s not thinking of that. I still do not know if we can work things out. The one good thing is I still live here, so in time it might work out…I just don’t know.

  • Nikki August 6, 2012, 2:40 pm

    I hope things will work out for you. I think you should both try to put the past behind you and work for the future. I don’t think he is serious about the other woman as he is open with it with you. My advice is to try and pretend she doesn’t exist and try to make yourselves busy so he wouldn’t have the time to see her as much. It’s very hard and it might take a long time but if he is serious about staying with you he will give it a go. Good luck!
    As for my other man, I know he is bad news and if I keep letting him into my life he would eventually ruin it it’s just I am finding it very hard and I honesly don’t know why. I have always wanted to cut all contact with him but now that it’s been done I feel so strange and at the same time angry with myself I let this happen to me. I believed his suicidal threats and he used them as a tool to manipulate me and yet I am finding it hard without him. I think he’s brainwashed me or something. I can’t believe myself.

    • Julie August 9, 2012, 1:47 pm

      Its far to easy to let ourselves become attracted to someone that is not a part of our “day to day” life. With someone threatening something as serious as suicide, it’s easy to fall into that “protective” state. I think your husband did the best thing for you, it’s going to take time but you can get back to your marriage and not seeing this other man.

      I am fighting to save my relationship I know that he tests me frequently, but is not talking about wanting to be with this other woman. I know he went to see her on his day off, but wasn’t with her for more than 1 & 1/2 hrs, which is shorter than he was going. He called her and he was just out in the backyard so I could see him, and the call was short then some text messages, then a few other calls..then that was when he left to go see her. I just don’t know when he is going to take that chance on us..but I am not giving up on us!!

  • jen August 8, 2012, 3:13 am

    I do not know what to do and hope that maybe someone not in my circle can maybe see it from a different perspective and help. My husband and i have been married two yrs and have been dating six. We have two kids a 2 year old and a 5 month old. We are young parents still in our late 20s. This is the second time I recently found out that my husband was talking to another girl on facebook and had every intention of meeting up with this girl and “meeting up”. I only found out about this because she sent me a message showing me all of their messages. I do not know why she did but when i confronted my husband about it. He has said he is sorry and he wasnt thinking. I know we got married young but i honestly do love this man with all my heart and i want this marriage to work. I just do not know if he is willing to or wants this work. How am i suppose to believe he wont do this again or that he hasnt done worse. I want to believe he wants to make things work but he just lies so much about other things. Like he is only saying sorry jusg to say it.

    • Julie August 9, 2012, 1:27 pm

      Hi Jen,
      I do not know exactly what to say. Are you to busy with your babies and he feeling left out? I know that is why my boyfriend found talking to this other woman so attracting. Is your husband telling them just to keep talking with them, does he sound sincere when telling you I’m sorry??
      My boyfriend is good to me, we spend what time we have talking and laughing sometimes, he is affectionate when I initiate it. Tells me he loves me. Is sexually turned on with me, says there has been nothing physical with this other woman. Yet she is supposedly feeling an attraction back with him. He’s in this relationship with me and she is married. So after talking for several months, I’d like to know how they think anything would work out???
      Sorry, got off track, can you keep the lines of communication open? That was one of my mistakes.

  • Nikki August 10, 2012, 1:21 am

    You are right, don’t give up on him as long as there is still love. Don’t entirely blame yourself for his relationship with this other woman, it could be something else as well. You didn’t go out with your ex-boyfriend, it was just a long distance fling and you made a stop to it. Now it’s his turn to make a stop to his relationship with that married woman. What about her husband? Is he aware of this? If not, I think it’s only a matter of time that he will and your boyfriend will find himself in a very difficult position. I hope things will work out well for you.

    And thanks for continous encouragement. I really need this at the moment because I am going through so many different emotions and it’s not easy. I feel so angry I believed his suicidal threats but at the same time happy he hasn’t done so 5 months after reporting him. Perhaps he only used this to keep in control of me and I feel stupid for letting him do this to my life. You are right, my husband did the best for me. If i was in his place, I wouldn’t have been that supportive and patient. He treats me with great love and respect and he trusts me. The other man is very different from my husband and to be honest, he hasn’t got great qualities. He is very manipulative and controlling and doesn’t always know how to respect women. He says one thing and does another. He has lied to me so many times and I have been so good to him. There is no way I would be with him even if I wasn’t married, but the way he was in touch with me and wanting to see me and be in touch with was quite intense and now that it has come to an end, I am finding it hard to adjust to my life especially that it went on for over 6 years. I will get there, I just need time.

    • Julie August 10, 2012, 6:32 am

      Good morning Nikki

      I can still understand how you got manipulated into this other relationship. Happy to hear your husband is so supportive of you. In time you will learn to love just your husband, and will not think of this other man that could have done so much more damage to you….
      Always here for you :)

      I will not give up on us, I believe there is to much to walk away from. Also to much love to toss away.

  • Nikki August 10, 2012, 1:31 am

    Sorry to hear you’re going through a difficult time. Some men need more attention than others. I think you should try and spend some time together without the kids, it’s good for both of you. Don’t blame yourself for anything, it’s not your fault. Although having children is the best thing in life, at the same time they put a lot of pressure on their parents and sometimes we forget we are a couple. Make an effort and spend some fun time together and make him feel wanted. Good luck!

  • Nikki August 11, 2012, 12:43 am


    I really hope things work out well for you. Every relationship has its ups and downs and sometimes we have to work a bit harder to get what we want.
    My husband is very supportive of me but I can’t tell him everything. I am even confused myself on how I feel all those things. I tried therapy but didn’t help at all. Inside me, I know I am doing the right thing by keeping away from that man but I am getting all those emotions and it’s affecting my life greatly. Progress is very slow and some days I feel I am back to square one but I am not backing down. I will keep trying until I’m completely over this.

  • Jeanette September 10, 2012, 11:20 am

    Hi. I need some advice. About one year ago at this timeI discovered my husband was having an emotional affair with an 18 year old girl we knew through church. She and my husband served on a committee at church together for two years previously. She is bright and funny and also was going on to study at a local college in the same field as my husband. Then she graduated high school and that summer we purchased a dictionary for her (as we do every year for the brightest high school student we know). However unbeknownst to me, my husband wrote a page long letter about why he (not we) chose to give her this dictionary etc. well in response he (not we) received a fawning thank you note that was gushing with sentiment including things like “I’ll never forget you” and “I hope to have the same impact on someone some day,” and going on about his wisdom and insight and ability to choose the right word etc. signed with all her love. Now she is a typical teenage girl in that she writes “love” all the time (did I mention she was also one of my then-16-year-old daughter’s friends?).

    My husband has struggled for years with under employment and work that was not fulfilling(he had stayed home with our 3 kids for awhile and breaking back into the work force has been difficult). He was unemployed at the time and had lost his mom the year before. And he was 58 and feeling his age. Well this just “turned his head” as he put it. So he sent her a thank you note for his thank you note and began an intense, daily email correspondence with her for about six weeks, upon which I accidentally stumbled. (he had been spending late nights on the computer “job hunting” as he told me). She had responded in kind, but he had been asking her about college classes, discussing great books, offering her advice on courses of study, etc. she was flattered and answered his questions and kept flattering him (and vice versa as he had told her how much more mature she was than her classmates etc). Both of them signed their emails affectionately (although he did not say “love”) I said nothing because I knew in four days we would see her at an 80tg birthday party for one of their committee members and she was coming. In the meantime I saw several exchanges confirming when she would be there. And my husband asked me for some teeth bleach for his trays, which he had not used for awhile, and bought a new shirt. We got there and he immediately went to sit by her. I sat across from them and listened and watched. For the next 1-1/2 hours he was transfixed and didn’t take his eyes off of her and they talked (I was invisible). It culminated in him saying they should meet some Saturday on campus for coffee. (we were also broke then…hadn’t gone on vacations or barely out to eat in months). We went to the car where I blew up and told him what I knew.

    Since then we have spent $7000 on counseling, he broke off contact with her and wrote her a goodbye email, telling her h had to concentrate on his marriage wtc. It came out he was infatuated with her and bowled over and flattered and needed outside affirmation because he did not feel good about himself. We have been married 32 years with 3 kids. All live with us, going to school or saving to move out. I work full time and always have, but lost my well paying job several years ago so we are hurting financially. He went throug a mourning period…we still see her at church on vacations and summer break. Because I could not stand seeing him watch her or try to talk with her, even when I was on the room, I asked him to please leave if she was there. I am not blaming her. She is a kid and a friend of my daughter. Our kids don’t know about this. Only a few select friends of mine know ( none of his of course …they have teenage daughters so he is reluctant to confide). I thought he understood (and it was repeated in counseling) that he could not be friends again.

    Well she is now involved in public issues at the college she attends and frequently pictured in the paper and in group websites ..groups in which my husband is active as well. So he can easily get his “fix” from afar, following her activities and seeing pictures.
    This annoys me so he says he doesnt do it but there is private browsing on the Internet and who knows what he does at work. But it came out this past week that all this tommie instead of truly moving on away from her, he had been patiently waiting for ME to “get over it” so he can…and he stresses “with you” to me…talk to her when we see her at social functions about what she is up to, etc “because she is involved in things I’m interested in and leads a more interesting life.”. He says he is no longer “infatuated” with her, but I don’t know what that means. He was having a midlife crisis and infatuated with her romantically although he says “nothing could have happened”. But he says “that’s over” but he is still interested in her just like all the other college kids in our church.

    Last week for over an hour the counselor (and I) tried to explain that since he crossed the line he has to stop thinking that he will have any contact with her. When asked why he particularly seemed to need to still talk with her, he said he did not know the counselor said, “it is because you dont want to lose an admirer.” and he agrees. Finally at the end of our session, he asked him “Are you willing to give up this idea of ever talking with her again, for the sake of your marriage ?” and my husband looked thoughtful for about 15 to 30 seconds and said, “Yes.”

    We have had books to read about emotional affairs and many assignments and a counseling session about 3 to 4 times a month since last December. But I think he never wanted to believe he totally had to give her up. When I asked the counselor about how he will ever get totally over her, he said he would have to grieve. I already watched him do that at church last year, as he looked at her from afar. It is painful to realize that he had instead just parked it aside and was waiting for ME to “get over it”. All along I had this nagging feeling he still was interested in her but he said he did not want o talk about it and was focused “on the future”. He is less interested in our daughter’s college plans. She is quite frankly bright but no bowl over and not interested in the same things as he (or this other girl, who is now 19).
    He has told me a number of times that I have made a mountain out of a molehill and that he wants to “move forward” and that a year of talking about this was enough.

    I thought we were healing but he was not because he truly thought he could just wait it out so he could be friends again, like they used to be.

    Counselor says no and I have always said no. And he says, “well I know myself and my feelings and you have no cause to be worried as I just find her life interesting. But I am now focused on making my life interesting”. He is on year 7 of trying to find full time non contract employment in his field of interest in which he has no experience but could certainly do the job. He has had one interview. That is it. I am worried he is still vulnerable to flattery. I am angry. And I am exhausted with carrying the load of the family as he keeps on this quest. We have not taken vacations for over 4 years (not enough money) and do not talk of retirement because he is still trying to break into his career. We are not looking at today as being fulfilling at all because it is not.

    I’m so unhappy but I don’t know what to do. I exercise but my work is suffering too because I can’t concentrate. Help me with an idea of how to move forward now. I can forgive the past, but now it is evident that he is only now aware that he needs to give up on this idea …and still hadn’t totally bought into it and won’t discuss it to help me feel more like I can trust him. I do not trust him because he says he had a “mistaken impression” about the ultimate goal. This is long but I need advice for me.

  • Rollercoasterider September 11, 2012, 10:43 am


    I am so sorry you are going through this. I’m also relieved and impressed at your view of the alienator as someone so young that she really doesn’t know what she’s doing. Since this is an emotional affair, I tend to agree that she may not have a true idea either.
    You mentioned that he was having a midlife crisis—past tense. He’s having an MLC—he is still in it and I think you know that. Since the affair has only been emotional, he may continue to struggle to understand how it is inappropriate and how he cannot continue contact and be friends with her. He may even have trouble with that concept when he has come through his MLC, but the difference then will be that he will make greater attempts to understand and even though he may not he will stay away from her out of respect for the hurt it brings you.
    HE is clearly not there yet, as he is attempting to rationalize reasons why he can now see her while admitting the reasons for no contact were valid in the past, but he’s changed. It may not work—often in MLC things don’t, but it’s good to test anyway—change your angle and instead of pointing out that his relationship is inappropriate or since it once was inappropriate contact is still not appropriate, validate his feeling that she is just a friend. You can still do that and admit skepticism. Try something like this:

    “I’m really sorry. I personally feel and fear that you still have feelings for her that go beyond appropriate friendship. But that’s my feelings and it’s indicative of my fears and of how things were in the past with her. I may be right and I may be wrong. But I do know that you believe your feelings for her are safe.”

    That may or may not help or smooth a transition to explaining why he still needs to not contact her, but it validates his feelings and it may open him to listening. Follow it up with a new reason why he needs to not be in contact with her. The reason is out of respect for you and how you feel and how it feeds your fears. This may something to discuss with your counselor first and then bring up in a joint session.

    If you are interested I run a forum for abandoned spouses dealing with their spouse’s midlife crisis. Most of the MLCers have left home and are having full and public affairs, but there are a few whose MLCers remain at home and have had emotional affairs instead. You are welcome to join us.

  • Heather October 6, 2012, 6:49 am

    Hi there
    Not sure if this is the right place to sound off, my husband is turning 60 we live in, Doha, Qatar and he loves Asian women especially Philiphino’s, we have been married for 38 years. His girlfriend who he refuses to give up has got a house out of him. There is soooo much more to my story, it will take forever to put it down.

    After he told me that he has not spoken to her for a long time, I found out where she stayed and he said he was going to work that morning, I caught him climbing out of her bedroom window, she would not come out of the room and face me, this man is 60 years old, how sad is that and he has 4 grandchildren, he does not want to leave me but still he wants to sleep around.

  • Pushpa November 29, 2012, 4:52 am

    Here is a latest heartbreak story and eventually I took out all bottled up emotions and wrote this mail to someone who meant a lot-


    So here we are. You blacklisting my number from your phone list and all. I have till date since last 4 years not been able to figure out what we shared. As you had rightly said it once it must be an infatuation from a younger lot who was extremely lonely, elusive and was looking for some wandering emotions with little bit of virtual sex thrown in.
    You were one guy on this earth who introduced me to virtual pleasures and eventually polished my skills….and eventually you came out with- you are the bnest Shona…Amit, the guy whose tantrums were more than welcome and somehow I always proudly accepted. Not that I wasn’t aware of the hardcore fact that we are heading for nowhere and especially me.
    Then one fine day we lost the touch and on a rebound I entered a short-lived relationship which brought me and kid under whole lot of surveillance and agony.

    The reason was very simple and stupid that Amit Gupta could never be ejected from my mind and slowly some vague hope engulfed me saying that its time to fool myself and get out of the relationship which is not going anywhere.
    And out of sheer impulse and carried away moments you told me to get out of this relationship and move on with you. I knew it was never meant to be …but somewhere I fell for those words.

    Unabashedly I sent you intimate pics coz you were just the one I wanted to be close to, since you were never ready to meet due to reasons best known to you. Probably your own securities or insecurities.

    But then each new day you were a different person. I was a woman carrying a stigma of 2 marriages Amit but was fine with your addressal of a slut. You knew I could have not taken it from anyone except you and I am sure in your super-professional world where you deal with whos you tend to generalise women or men for that matter.

    I was never as qualified as you are but yes was holding my world with both the hands to maintain my and Nandini’s dignity.

    I could have easily en cashed on relationships but then when relationship goes for a toss , it should not go for an auction to say the least.

    You were a younger lot and without an iota of doubt you get and mingle with your peer group.I knew that Amit, that at the age of 38 you and your family will never be ready for a commoner like me.

    Also somewhere you must have thought that I may pile on with my kid and will kill your space you are use to. No Amit, that would have never happened. After 2 disastrous relationships I would hv never dared to step into 3rd one, though on weak moments I just dreamt of giving you the best of me.

    You are not aware Amit what all you meant to this stupid Woman. Lately you just abruptly disconnected……not that there was dearth of time, its just that I was never even a small priority for you. You had enough of time for Social medias and matches and rallies but then I could never become a part of your moments.

    I know, for past so many years you have got used to being alone, enjoy your privacy and your boys were there for you.
    Your silence to my text officially made it clear that you have put up your brick wall and that you cannot handle me in your life. I told you that would be unrepairable for us, nothing would ever be the same again. I still feel that way. I feel so terribly hurt and angry that you are shutting me out but I know I’m being foolish. I know its unjustified because you have so much to lose if we continue to talk. I think the anger is just my way of masking the grief I feel at losing you .

    just wanted to know you were ok. Living with the uncertainty of your well being…..well.In all fairness, If you feel like you can drop a line…..I will have to carry on with life..if not for me but for someone I am raising…Nandini and my hopes…Thats all you have left me with. Hope exits were graceful…but are exits ever graceful???? This infatuation has just brought out doom and gloom in my life. Its easy for you to typo fuck off u slut…..but thats from you so I am letting it go….I don’t think I will ever be able to believe in sanctity of love and relationship…because I guess I was just a warm,fizzy moment for you for some kind of emotional gratification…….

    Over a month, I am in bed ….not complaining…have to endure this pain which has left deep scars….I am deeply wounded baby…

    All the best and congrats for moving on. You are a true IIM guru who has emotionally disconnected from everywhere and ruthlessly killed someone in the bargain…

    Take care.

    Now I feel relieved….

  • Nelly Randall November 29, 2012, 6:03 am

    Thank you for this site. Had i kept following i probarbly would have known not to help. Because all the advice you give i exercised then got too attatched. I know shld have given me the same advise and followed it thru. The guy and wife were both diagnosed with a chronic disease and am glad him and wife are seeing it through together. My dilemma is when he emails, calls or wants more help. I do still need a lot of financial intervention but not from him.

  • Jemima December 3, 2012, 10:24 am

    So, I have read the comments on here and I am in agreement with all the advice given. Now the time comes for me to ask for advice of my own. I am not married, but am living with the man of my dreams, he is tall, handsome, kind and generous, all the things that every girl wants. We are so happy together I would not change a thing. So what is the problem? I hear you cry. For the past 18 months I have been involved in an on off relationship with a guy at work. Sometimes sexual, but mostly just chats about everything and anything. I cannot get him out of my mind, I think about him all the time, he is cute and sexy but I know it needs to end. I don’t want to hurt my partner nor do I want to hurt this other guy but I know I must. The problem? the problem is I am weak, I make the decision not to continue it, I chose not to email him to see if he is in work, but then he emails me and my reslove crashes. I need a kick up the backside to be able to stop this but something inside doesn’t want me to. I am fully aware that this is a problem with me and not my partner, I can lay no blame at his feet. I am sure some therapist would tell me that this is a need to be wanted or liked, or growing up as an overweight child, the need to feel attractive. Whatever the reason I need some advice in how to be strong and stop this.

  • betsy February 1, 2013, 9:24 pm

    This site has helped me. I have been married 23 years to a workaholic. Never did I stray, until recently, an emotional affair began with a divorced man from my daughter’s school. He seemed to taken with me and was so sensative. I thought I met a soulmate. I liked the attention. In the early stages of our marriage,my husband’s workaholism was a problem. Then, I succumbed to the lifestyle. I raised the kids “alone.” He would work 100 hours a week and stay in other cities up to 6 months at a time. He works all tthe time and has to take calls and leave us on the only few vacations we took – he is a surgeon who is highly specialized and is needed by many patients and other doctors. He is married to his calling. As I became accustomed to this, we became complacent in the marriage and and we drifted. He is a good man though. So , In the early stages of the “emotional affair,” I told my friend, that I was no better than his x-wife who left him for another man and that this was not fair to him, my husband or me. I told him I could not be any where near him . He seems sad now, but is trying to follow the new “rules.” Its painful, but I think I caught it early enough. However, I will never judge anyone again when I hear critical talk about those who “cheat.” Anyone can fall into this . Stress and loneliness are my problems. I need to deal with my marriage problems or we will be doomed. This emotional affair opened my eyes. We are now going to begin counciling. I

  • Scott February 15, 2013, 12:34 pm

    I guess misery loves company, as it helps to see that other people struggle with this issue.
    My story -married 23 years with two beautiful daughers (15 and 19). People have often commented that they admire us and wish they had a marriage like ours. We are devout christians, have strong-family ties and have never had any real issues. We have had struggles along the way like any other married couple has, but have always managed to bring it back together.
    About three years ago a lady started working with me. I thought she was cute – but wasn’t overly attracted to her. However we started talking casually. She was recently divorced (this was her second time – first marriage lasted 15 and this one lasted 5. both husbands requested the divorce). and she had four kids from first marriage (two grown sons and two 17 year old teenage twins at home).
    Anyway, I felt sorry for her as she was struggling financially, so I started to help her with stuff – car repairs, house repairs, etc. My wife was well-aware (she would come to the house for the car repairs and her and my wife would talk) so I wasn’t trying to hide anything.
    However, the more her and I talked the more we realized how much we had in common. My wife has a strong personality, and this woman – who was needy and vulnerable – had a passive personality that I immediately gravitated towards. It slowly got to the point where we talked every day for hours at times (she worked a different shift). Of course sometimes the talks were about sex, and we even shared a few intimate pictures with one another.
    We never crossed the line, but came close – brief kisses and fondling.
    She eventually confessed a love for me after three years, and I admit too that I thought i had fallen in love also. We just seemed like a perfect fit, and i had never met anyone like her.
    However, she did not want to break up our family, so she tearfully told me that she just wanted to be friends.
    We did ok for a while until she got on a christian dating site and started seeing a guy three hours away. It absolutely broke my heart.
    Yea, I get it – I was having my cake and eating it too. It wasn’t fair to her and especially not to my wife.
    We spoke off and on throughout the first month and a half while she was dating this guy, but I eventually texted her goodbye (she had quit the job here shortly before) and told her i could never see or speak to her again. The thought of her with someone else – while completely appropriate and not my business – was too much for me, and I really didn’t want to know anything about it.
    It hurts like hell. It IS hell. The guilt of what i did to my wife and kids, the feelings of losing a friend, the loss of excitement (which is a HUGE aspect of this) is a punch to the gut. I’ve lost 10 pounds in a month over this mess. And I deserve it. I swear I will never cross that line again and am determined to stay within the boundaries of my marriage. This is just too damn painful.

  • Pamela August 22, 2013, 8:47 pm

    Since the last post was over 6 months ago, I’m not sure if this is still open, but here goes:
    My husband of 32 years had been having an emotional affair for 14 months when I discovered it. I’d had my suspicions within the first 6 months of the affair as he was constantly on his phone texting and getting more distant. I shared my suspicions and told him how lonely and alienated i felt while he ignored me. At the time I didn’t know I could check our phone records and look for repetitive numbers! Which is to say that is how I came to find out 8 months later. Faced with the evidence, he admitted to the relationship but insisting they were “JustFriends”. It was with a coworker, he is her boss, i work for the same business in different area. She is married but her husband works in a different city so they live separately and must commute to be together. She is 5 years younger than I and 7 years younger than my husband, one child in college still and another about to be married. Says she doesn’t want to leave her husband.
    He promised it would end and that he didn’t want to lose me. I admitted I could understand the attraction, we’d been drifting apart and had been dealing with the stresses of our “sandwich generation” : ailing parents and young adult children making poor decisions, struggling with their own careers and families. We took pains to work on our marriage. Spending more time together and concentrating on our physical relationship ( we ARE in our 50′s so we’d gotten pretty complacent.)
    Just as I THOUGHT things were back on track and I was trusting him ( about a month) I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and discovered they had still been in contact in appropriately through work email even while I thought we were reconciling. Once again he promised to cut ties and together we faced my cancer, bilateral mastectomy, reconstruction procedures….you get the idea. He was there for me every step of the way, supporting me. I bought “Not Just Friends” for all 3 of us and with his permission met with the affair partner, gave her the book to read along with a letter describing how I understood how it happened, but to move forward I wanted her to read the book too and understand that I knew what had happened.
    I was nearly healed and my husband had to take a trip for work which included the affair partner and 15 other employees he supervises. Knowing I was uneasy about the trip, he kept in contact with me during the trip and I tried not to worry. However, after he returned I discovered once again they were still communicating through email. The closures included endearments toya, sleep tight, sweet dreams, etc. I was devastated.
    After confronting my husband AGAIN he begged me to not leave. I gave him the option of continuing the affair for 6 months in the open while we separated or by chosing me I would confront the woman. He told her of the options, that he chose me and that a condition of that was I would meet with her. I did and prevailed upon her integrity that I would believe it was over. He assigned someone else to a trip they were scheduled to take and says he only communicates with her when absolutely necessary , making her report only to her executive director (she is a director).
    Now to cut to the chase: dare I hope he can /has severed this relationship when he must meet with her bimonthly? How am I ever going to be able to trust him or her again? I even fantasize about telling her husband so that I’m not the only one who has to hurt. Have I been an idiot or a doormat or have I handled it well?

  • Bob October 24, 2013, 2:45 pm

    My wife and I are in our mid forties . Although my wife was never really the intimate type . We got along well and the our sex life in the beginning was not bad . It started a few years after we were married before we had children , the I noticed my wife’s first obsession with a husband of a woman she worked with . She flirted with him at a party one night . Upsetting but I got over that one . Then a few years later she started obsessing over a high school boyfriend . I would come home from work and she would tell me how wonderful he is and how beautiful the home he built was . One night we saw him at a movie theater and that night at home she just couldn’t stop telling me how wonderful and driven he is . As awkward as that was we had some of the best sex ever that night . After she orgasmed , I asked her ” who’s f ing you now ? Her response was , ” I know it’s you” . Upsetting and disturbing , but from what I have read , it’s normal to have fantasizes ? The latest obsession that I know about was 5 years ago when we had a contractor work at our home . I first noticed it when each time we drove past his house she would crane her neck towards his house , I quess just to get a peak at him. Then when he was at our home , she would practically trip over herself just to run outside and talk to him. Anything he said was the gospel . She would tell me how they talked , and he was nice to her and how she would give him business advise . Really any excuse to call him over . She knew exactly where he was working in the area . One night I came home and told her I saw him and his wife at a restaurant and her first question was ” what’s she like ” ? She seemed to know his every move . It got worse one morning when we had the day to ourselves and she approached me in the family room , asking me if I wanted to have sex . Surprising because she hasn’t approached me or let me touch her in months . She tells me ” we could have sex on the couch , because that’s where I always wanted to do it ” not true . Then she tells me to close the blinds to the back door . I told her that it was gated and nobody was back there . Her response was ” that’s were they come looking for me “. Nobody was working at our home for weeks ! I took my cue and asked her if she wanted me to pretend I was the Mexican landscapers ? Her response was ” no not the mexican” . I knew then who she was talking about. The creepy part was , as I was sitting on the couch , she stood there staring at me , in a haze as if she was looking straight through me . I could only imagine that she was thinking of the contractor as we had sex . Going forward , we went to counseling for over two years trying to work things out . We had a conversation about her emotional affair , which at first she denied and accused me of being jeolous and paranoid . She then started crying and told me that she was lonely. Through all of the counseling and the separation we don’t argue anymore . There is no intimacy at all and it seems like she is just obsessed with this person and can’t get over him.

  • Emily November 4, 2013, 5:12 am

    I’m really glad to have found this. I have been having an emotional affair now for at least 9 or so months. He is married with young children as am I. We met at our kids school and the frienship was gradual, I dont even think we even realised what was developing. I have never been in this situation before and have prob handled it quite badly. We swapped numbers at one point and then met up a few times at parks with our kids(who are friends), one time we met just by ourselves. It has never been physical, we just seem to ‘connect’ and I cannot even really explain the attraction to myself. His wife got upset abput our contact and a rumour started at school about us, i guess because people started to noticehow much time were spending there. So for awhile, we avoided one another and stopped phone contact etc. This lasted only a little while and then we started saying hello again, small chat etc but was careful about how much time so otjers didnr think anything. A short time ago, stupidly, I disclosed to him exactly how I felt about him and he told me the feelings were returned. We spoke about avoiding one another again but then dismissed it or at least i thought we had but we came back to school after hols were over and it appears he is trying to go out of way to avoid me…not really working though as we ate in the same area for out kids. We could be within touching dostance walking past and he completely ignores me. Also our kids are friends so it makes it more awkward. I am trying to respect his choice but I feel that acting normally with one another would be better. We both woyld not act physically on our feelings. I am really frustrated and annoyed with everything right now, i feel i could handle this better if we just act luke acquaintenances and not strangers. I dont know what to do, even though we both have been trying not to run into one another it seems to happen almost everyday. I am sorry this is so long, my husbans knows about the school rumours but i havent told him how i feel and would like to try to get past this without doing so

  • Bella November 5, 2013, 3:47 pm

    I am so thankful that I stumbled upon this page. It brings clarity to those feelings that I cannot just simply share with anyone, most certainly NOT my husband. Thank you all for bearing your souls as I know that it is not easy. My situation is not much different than a lot of posts that I have read on here. I have been married for 9 years together for 11. I too was not looking for an EA when it happened. He was just someone that was easy to talk to. We are both cancer survivors, he saw all of the positives in me and I in him whilst the only thing that my husband and his wife seemed to see in us was the negatives. Both my husband and his wife are Narcissists as well. He admitted to me that he is a repeat offender (except that he had a physical affair prior) so I probably should have been more careful but alas, I wasn’t. It started very platonicly and then quickly developed into something far too emotional. As we are both artists, our first and only “real” encounter was at an art store because it was “safe” and on a lunch break, which left us with a time limit as well. The only physical connection that we shared was a few hugs….. that were intoxicating. The chats were ever more intense and though it was more about just the communication it became too much. The pendulum had swung from strictly platonic to intimate chats with many fantasies being played out. But then as the chats were going back toward the platonic end, he started to withdrawl and said that it was too confusing and frustrating for him. I asked if we should stop corresponding and he said No. But then he just disappeared and it leaves me feeling so much rejection. I feel like I have lost one of my best friends. I know that I must refocus everything into my marriage and am commited to do so but I, like Scott above find this extremely painful and does feel like a punch in the gut. I am determined to get through this without hurting my husband in the process. This is definitely my issue and would welcome any advice on how to get through the rejection.

    • Laura March 4, 2014, 5:26 pm

      I am glad to have found this page. I am the guilty party who was reunited with someone I met in my young teens and corresponded with throughout high school. I was visiting his country and looked him up 5 years ago.
      We met and there became an instant attraction, even though I thought I was very happily married. The emotional affair began and it got stronger as time went on. He became my confidante, I leaned on him when I was going through difficult times of illness in my family.
      Realistically, he would never have been someone I would want to be with on a permanent basis. He was quite unfit, a smoker, a drinker…had no hobbies, struggling financially. What was attractive was his compassion for me..and caring for me.
      It’s not that my husband wasnt good to me…this guy just always said the right thing and comforted and supported me in a way that was hard to give up. We often talked about how wrong this was…and I totally know I have been so wrong and have lacked honour and integrity in my relationship with my husband. . Every time I tried to pull myself away I kept getting drawn back…and we talked about an unreal future of one day being together. I pretended to myself he was something he wasnt
      I know I have been totally selfish. I feel that the blame is all mine. He knows I am married as well…but also hadn’t pulled away although he said this is wrong of him as well several times. In my business travels I have seen him on three occasions over the past five years
      The last visit we slept together. After i did I felt horrible… i also thought this has to stop….as he and a real relationship with him was definitely not something I really wanted for myself….the reality set in. He must have as well, because he has told me we cannot continue. That night after we were together he was so loving …butthe next day…i got the ..this is over letter from him. I told him that I honour his wishes so it is over. We have not talked.
      I didn’t sleep much after that…I know that I am horrible wife for what I have done…for days I did not sleep …I felt angry and ashamed for everything I had done to all three of us. The sick part is , I miss the support. The friendship…I miss him.
      It is 100 percent over and I know I would never do this again. That I am sure of….too much heart ache and misery and shame.
      Why did I do that? I have a great husband…i don’t like myself vey much right now.

  • lynds February 28, 2014, 2:01 am

    I stumbled across this site while trying to sort out my mess – i am 53 have locked myself into an EA for over 3 years with a boy 30years younger. I married at 17 didn’t really love but over years have fallen in love with husband was happy conyent

  • Laura March 4, 2014, 5:23 pm

    I am glad to have found this page. I am the guilty party who was reunited with someone I met in my young teens and corresponded with throughout high school. I was visiting his country and looked him up 5 years ago.
    We met and there became an instant attraction, even though I thought I was very happily married. The emotional affair began and it got stronger as time went on. He became my confidante, I leaned on him when I was going through difficult times of illness in my family.
    Realistically, he would never have been someone I would want to be with on a permanent basis. He was quite unfit, a smoker, a drinker…had no hobbies, struggling financially. What was attractive was his compassion for me..and caring for me.
    It’s not that my husband wasnt good to me…this guy just always said the right thing and comforted and supported me in a way that was hard to give up. We often talked about how wrong this was…and I totally know I have been so wrong and have lacked honour and integrity in my relationship with my husband. . Every time I tried to pull myself away I kept getting drawn back…and we talked about an unreal future of one day being together. I pretended to myself he was something he wasnt
    I know I have been totally selfish. I feel that the blame is all mine. He knows I am married as well…but also hadn’t pulled away although he said this is wrong of him as well several times. In my business travels I have seen him on three occasions over the past five years
    The last visit we slept together. After i did I felt horrible… i also thought this has to stop….as he and a real relationship with him was definitely not something I really wanted for myself….the reality set in. He must have as well, because he has told me we cannot continue. That night after we were together he was so loving …butthe next day…i got the ..this is over letter from him. I told him that I honour his wishes so it is over. We have not talked.
    I didn’t sleep much after that…I know that I am horrible wife for what I have done…for days I did not sleep …I felt angry and ashamed for everything I had done to all three of us. The sick part is , I miss the support. The friendship…I miss him.
    It is 100 percent over and I know I would never do this again. That I am sure of….too much heart ache and misery and shame.
    Why did I do that? I have a great husband…i don’t like myself vey much right now.

  • JL August 24, 2014, 5:35 pm

    I have recently been made aware of my husbands involvement on facebook with a girl he barely knew in high school. He has always surfed the net and had a job he hates so he has very little free time. I got busy with the children and he got busy with his lifestyle on the net. They have become very close. She broke it off with him twice and he broke it off once and now they are planning to be with each other once my 11 year old is grown, yet my husband tells me he never planned to leave he hoped it would fizzle out but he loves this woman. I have begged him to go meet with her and see if this is real because it is killing me and he wont go. He says she would’nt meet with him and then she said she would but he would’nt. He even offered to move out because he thought that was what I wanted. I want my marriage to heal. I want her out of our relationship. I even sent her a text message telling her I did not want my husband to resent me and told her I told him to go to her. They won’t meet. I don’t know what to do. I am so sad. They are both afraid to let go of each other and I am afraid to let go of him. He tells me he still loves me alot and he is in love with me but yet he posts messages to her. She keeps telling him it is God’s plan for them to be together. She is very religious supposedly and likes to help people. I am hurting so bad. Someone, anyone ideas suggestions. Please help me!

    • Rollercoasterider August 25, 2014, 10:41 pm

      Please stop encouraging them to meet! I know that you think that might bring closure to it if he then decided to not continue with her, but it doesn’t work that way. Often meeting escalates the affair and they will not be so willing to wait until later. If you want to heal your marriage, you need to put up a No Contact boundary between him and her. That does not mean he will abide, but it needs to be your rule and you need to determine some consequences for breaking the rule. Go to counseling–preferably together.

  • Pamela August 24, 2014, 9:36 pm

    JL I have been on the receiving end of my husbands EA. ( see my post 2014) my best advice to you’d is that what he is experiencing is a fantasy and you are his reality. He won’t meet with her because he knows deep down it is just a fantasy. Please try to tell him how much you live and admire him, all the things he hears from her. Also, PLEASE seek counseling for yourself. Recognize you are a wonderful person regardless of your husbands fantasy. Good luck my dear.

    • all June 23, 2015, 10:38 pm

      Thank you both! He continually deceived me texting her somehow I think he has a separate google account and they break up get back together and break up. She found out we were doing better I thought even our marital relationship had become more intimate and got very upset. Our intimacy stopped altogether. He kisses me everyday and I reassure him I love him. He even met at a school reunion with her and they posted a picture of each other on together on Facebook. I threw a fit and he took it down and then she urged him to put it back up because it was cute. I was crushed. We somehow worked through that and now supposedly it’s really over but he is so distant to me.

  • Leah October 23, 2014, 8:02 am

    Just read the whole comments section and I must say that Im really glad there are people who are going through the same situation as me. I have been married for almost three years now. Met my husband in 2008 and we have been together ever since. And while we’ve had our ups and downs, I know for a fact that he is the man I want to be with forever, and while I have no regrets about marrying him and I dont see any problems with our marriage, I am finding myself getting emotionally involved with another man, my vet. What started off with simple texting just got escalated into something much bigger. I find that we share a lot of things in common. He is married too, with kids ( I dont have any), and hes much older than me. Im in my late twenties and he is in his forties. We love the same books, we love animals and there is just so much chemistry between us. We talk almost twice to thrice a day. He tells me that hes happily married too but he has never met anyone like me and thats why he is so attracted to me. We have spoken at length about whats between us and we both agreed that we love our spouses and there’s just too much at stake if people find out. And we havent even gotten that physical, we’ve made out a couple times and most of the time we meet, its just holding hands. I even spoke to him about calling it off as it could just completely wreck our lives and he agreed with me but somehow its just not happened. Maybe we aren’t trying hard enough. And to top it all off, his dog passed away a few weeks back and it was completely devastating for him because it was so sudden and that dog was like his assistant and probably the backbone of the clinic. After all that, he told me that I was his ‘anchor’ and it became twice as hard to call things off. Im not sure what to do at this point. My husband knows I meet him and I do volunteer at the clinic occasionally because I still want to see him. I dont know how to get out of this and Im not even sure at the point if I want to. Any suggestions you have will always be helpful. Even if I did want to end this, I dont know how to go about it as he is a really good vet and has actually saved the lives of some of my dogs so I dont really want to cut off all ties with him. At the same time, I cannot jeopardize my marriage. I know that if the roles were reversed and my husband was doing the same thing, it would just break my heart. So, any suggestions here will be more than welcome.

  • Joan December 23, 2014, 12:53 pm

    After 24 years of marriage I have been having an em with someone I met in alcohol rehab we have both been sobor for over a year were talking every day for a while then we wouldn’t talk a all then a few months later we would try to talk again his wife threatened to leave him the last time he talked a week before that he said he wishes he could talk to me more but his wife will think hes had an affair he said he hasn’t felt like or had an em with anyone we understand sobriety that’s what binds us together our apouses don’t get it please help

    • Pamela December 23, 2014, 2:06 pm

      Joan, my husband was involved in EA for over a year before I confronted him and it took another year to finally quit. You ARE having an affair and his wife is correct in pointing that out. The things you and he share should probably be shared by his spouse regardless of sobriety. At the very least, your sponsors. My husband was only able to quit his EA when the woman told him to stop contacting her. She was still attracted to him and didn’t want to stop but realized that was the only way it would.
      She and I have become friends if a sort and I’ll forever be gratefull.
      If you can’t stop contacting him perhaps attending another meeting or asking the advice of your sponsor?

  • Cheri December 26, 2014, 11:26 am

    I am having an emotional affair with a man on another continent. We met on Facebook as friends. We began chatting and exchanging pictures of our family, flowers, etc. Little by ltitle he began to want to chat daily. He said I was his only friend in life. He established early on that he is hapily married with a wonderful family and that we had a connection. He said I was his best friend. We beganto have night time chats … long chats. Sometimes, we would have a “date chat”… drinking wine and he played music for me. Past two months he said he wanted to bond further with me because he loved me. I was his soulmate. He said he loves his wife and also wanted to include me in his circle of love. He asked me if he could masterbate. I was shocked and said how could I stop him. He said he loves me and wants a connection with me. Although i know this is werid, it gets weirder. For the past two months, he calls me at night via FB Messenger and wants to sleep with me from Europe via Messenger. We go to bed at night breathing in each other’s ears and wake up in the a.m. together. He then goes to breakfast with his family and I am included in their “real life time” together. I need input FAST.

  • I was the cheater :( February 10, 2015, 7:47 am

    Thank you so much all who have posted comments here! You don’t know how helpful they have all been. I too shall share my tale of shame in the hope it helps someone.

    I recently ended a very intense (and ultimately painful) EA. Both myself and the guy are married – him for 26 years.bMe for 28. We met in an online game. I don’t know about him, but I certainly wasn’t looking for an EA. In fact, had anyone asked me before I participated in such an affair, I would have been very strong in my criticism of such things.

    We played the online game against each other (and other people) for over a year. Over time he started flirting with me. I enjoyed the attention, but didn’t encourage him. One evening, after I had been drinking (lowered defences), I flirted back. Before long we had set up a private chat room and engaged in the most explicit chat..,apart from constantly telling each other how much we loved the other and writing love notes, we sharing every tiny detail of our lives (we swapped photos of our pets, the view from our offices, videos of our hobbies etc) . It was like a drug – the early, heady flushes of new romance! At the same time, we regularly had chat and Skype sex…and exchanged extremely explicit photos and videos. It was intoxicating! And just so WRONG! I knew it. He knew it. Yet we couldn’t stop…well, not at that time.

    At every stage I knew what I was doing was wrong, and was such a betrayal to the husband who I love (yes… I am sure there are people scoffing here).. I was also aware that my EA was gonna crash and burn at some stage. Well, it didn’t take long. The guy started having difficulty juggling the demands of his real life (ie wife and family) as well as our time. We started sniping at each other…I would get shitty about the fact that I would sit online waiting for him for what felt like forever..then he could only chat for 10 mins before having to dedicate more time to his family. Sick eh? That is how it is SUPPOSED TO BE..but people who are deep in an EA get an almost skewed sense of reality. He used to delight when I referred to him as “my man” (what was I thinking!). It took three months for my head to overrule my HEART. I had to cut ties. That’s where the problems really started. We stupidly agreed to remain friends and continue to play the online game. In what I can only guess was his way of trying to push our relationship back to friend status, he started to decrease our contact in the game, and spoke to me like a stranger. This wrecked me emotionally. I had seen every inch of his body..and had done cyber things with him that no married person should. I felt angry. I felt used. I started sniping at him. He ultimately blocked me in the game.

    It was the right thing to do. Anyway, I ended up sending him the following (long) text.

    You blocked me. Are you serious?

    Ok. Let me make a deal with you. I will tell you exactly how I feel, then I will delete your number from my phone and you’ll never hear from me again.

    Why was I so angry? And why did I seem to have trouble moving on in circumstances where I was the one who chose to end the relationship? Let me tell you why. I felt used. That’s why.

    I felt like you manipulated me.. And once you got what you wanted, the thrill diminished very quickly, so you deliberately marginalised me (e.g. deliberately ignoring my messages for up to 24 hours, and treating me like a stranger).

    To be honest with you though, I was probably more angry at myself than at you. I am well educated and savvy. I exude confidence and a no nonsense veneer. You made me feel stupid!

    We’re ok now. I have worked through my feelings, and I am fine. However, I do want to give you a word of warning. I get a strong sense you’ll probably do this again when you find a woman who is willing.

    In that regard, I urge you caution. You’re so caught up in getting what you want, that you appear to forget that you’re playing with the emotions of another human being.

    I did exactly as I promised I would; I deleted every word we typed, and every video and pic of you that I had… The next woman may not be so kind. She may decide she wants revenge for the shabby way you have treated her.

    Think about the damage she might do to you by posting your words/pics/videos on a revenge website, Facebook or even directly to your wife? … Just something for you to think about… Forget we ever met. I am gone

    I cried for three days. I felt devastated and free at the same time. And, exactly as some other posters have said, I felt the pain in total isolation. I hadn’t shared my EA with anyone, so I couldn’t go to friends for support when it ended. Do I regret going down that path? YES. It was a good lesson to stay focused on my marriage and my husband who loves me. I will never tell him about it. He did nothing wrong, so why should he feel upset. It is my shame. I live it.

    Last thoughts = both my EA partner and I had discussed and agreed that we were filling a void.. One that slowly creeps into long term marriages. Boredom? Apathy? Taking ones loved ones for granted? …not as it should be. I am ok now. It didn’t take me long to heal. Others are not so lucky… The harder you love, the harder you fall!! Sorry this was long..I hope it helps someone else going through the same


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