Can You Trust a Man Who Cheated on You? How to Survive an Affair

Yes, you can trust a man after he cheated on you – if he is sincerely remorseful. These tips for surviving an affair include links to resources for rebuilding broken marriages.

First, here’s a bit of relationship advice from a marriage counselor:

“It’s best to come clean as early as possible,” says author and marriage counselor Gary Neuman. “Be honest with your partner when you’re just beginning to become interested in someone else.”

For more advice on recognizing and surviving emotional cheating, read The Emotional Affair: How to Recognize Emotional Infidelity and What to Do About It.




And, here are several tips for trusting a husband who cheated…

Can You Trust a Man Who Cheated on You? How to Survive an Affair

Trusting a husband or boyfriend who cheated on you is a very personal decision. It depends on your relationship, reasons he cheated, and many other factors – more than a single article (or book) on cheating can cover!

These are just a few things to think about…

Keep your expectations for your marriage realistic. You won’t be able to completely forget about your spouse’s affair, but you can stop nourishing your mistrust, hurt, and suspicious thoughts. That means accepting your partner at his (or her) word — if he says he’s left the past behind and is focused on building a strong marriage with you. To survive an emotional affair, you need to nourish healthy growth, trust, and faith in the future. (Easier said than done, I know).

Figure out your ideal healthy relationship. How do you want to be treated by your partner? What makes you feel loved and respected? To learn to trust a man who cheated on you, envision your ideal healthy relationship, and make a list of the small steps that create that relationship. Share this list with your partner – and don’t be afraid of ultimatums or being left alone. Being single is a far better option than being in a relationship that causes you pain, anxiety, frustration, and confusion.

Read books such as Transcending Post-infidelity Stress Disorder (PISD): The Six Stages of Healing together, so you’re both aware of what it takes to reconnect and rebuild after a man cheats on you.

Understand and respect each other’s perspective. What does your partner need from you and your relationship? What do you need? To reconnect and survive an affair, be honest with each other. Don’t try to change your partner; instead, try and understand him.

Consider couples counseling or online marriage counseling. Individual or couples counseling will help you figure out the difference between your own insecurities and your partner’s emotional infidelity. Most of the time, emotional cheating or fights between couples aren’t about one specific problem – they’re about issues that already destroying the relationship. To reconnect with your spouse, you need to deal with those issues. And couples often need help dealing with issues in healthy ways (which is where marriage counseling comes in!).

If you know you can’t trust a man who cheated on you, read Marriage Crisis – Surviving When You Have Nothing Left.

Practice forgiveness. This tip for surviving an affair may be the most difficult one — which is why marriage counseling is so important. He made a mistake, and it tore at the fabric of your relationship – but that doesn’t mean you both have to pay for it forever! You have to forgive yourself and him in order for you to rebuild and reconnect. Forgiveness and love is a conscious choice you need to make every day. The more you choose to focus on love, trust, and forgiveness, the easier it gets. And, part of forgiving and reconnecting with a man who cheated on you is learning why he cheating in the first place.

The Truth about Cheating: Why Men Stray and What You Can Do to Prevent It is a great source of information and insight.

Focus on the present and future – not the past. Focus on becoming more connected emotionally, spending time together, remembering what brought you together in the first place, and building a strong happy relationship. To survive an emotional affair, refuse to stay stuck in the past.

Focus on rebuilding your love, trust, and connection. You need to put the emotional affair behind you, because if you let your jealousy and insecurity affect your relationship, you’ll drive a wedge between you. Marriages are plagued with “a thousand tiny betrayals” – and to prevent those hurts from destroying your relationship, you need to forgive and let it go. Try to focus on reconnecting with your spouse (not rehashing the affair). Instead of staying stuck in the past, concentrate on your goal of rebuilding your marriage. A book like the The Magic of Making Up can be very helpful — and it can give you hope for the future.

Marriage coach Mort Fertel says cheating husbands may be less likely to cheat again. After an emotional affair, you may be able to trust him more than a man in a new relationship. For more info, read What to Do When You Catch Your Spouse Cheating. 


How to Get Your Ex Back

Stop the Divorce and Save Your Marriage

How to Captivate a Man and Make Him Fall in Love With You




Stay in touch - sign up for free weekly updates

Get Laurie's Blossom Newsletter

Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen on twitterLaurie Pawlik-Kienlen on pinterestLaurie Pawlik-Kienlen on linkedinLaurie Pawlik-Kienlen on googleLaurie Pawlik-Kienlen on facebook
Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen
Welcome - I'm glad you're here! I can't give advice, but you're welcome to share your experience below. I'm a writer in Vancouver; my degrees are in Psychology, Education, and Social Work. I live with my husband, two dogs, and cat. We are childless, & have made peace with it. It helps to love Jesus :-)

219 Responses

  1. Stone says:

    Hi,

    I’ve read through a lot of the comments here and most of them refer to counseling for infidelity. My situation is different. I have known my husband 27 years (we met while I was a teenager). Twenty of those years have been married.

    About 6 years ago we separated for a month and he moved out of state and lived the “high life”. We had not had a good marriage at all, he was traveling all the time for his work and never wanted to be intimate with me. During that time, I worked full time and took care of our two children. He told me he was having a great time, he had two divorsed roommates and they had a lot of parties. I was convinced he was cheating on me and devistated that the marriage was over and felt that most of my good years had been wasted on him. At that time, I had no alone time for myself. He came to visit the children on my birthday and I went to spend the night in a hotel. I met someone whom was visiting the area and he proceeded to buy me several drinks, for the first time in my life i cheated on my husband that one night (even though we were separated), we were still married. I was guilt ridden and felt different. For me this one night stand, was not something that was exciting, thrilling etc. It was a mistake. A few days later, whether due to my change in attitude, he decided he would like to come home. During this time we had a serious talk about the things that had happend and a “come clean” session. I told him about the one night stand, and he told me he had cheated on me repeatedly and had an affair with my best friend. I don’t know how I got through the next several years to be honest, but I started going to theraphy for myself and we went to marriage counseling. We did the counseling sessions, together and i poured my heart out. It has been about 6 years now. A year ago we decided to call the marriage quits, and he moved out of state. We lived separately. During this time, I never once went to a bar, or accepted “drink requests” from co-workers. I gave my life to Jesus and decided I did not need a man to make me happy and whole. And I have been perfectly content since that day. Recently 2 months ago, he asked to reconcile, I had gotten over my anger and hurt and said I was happy to live without him or to live with him, however, if we were to reconcile I did not want any surprises down the road and I wanted to know everything. I just found out 2 days ago now, that during the course of our 3 month “marriage counseling” while he was traveling for work he was screwing other women 6 was the number he provided. This was during a time when we lived under the same roof and were supposedly honestly trying to repair our marriage. While this happened 6 years ago, I can’t get over it. I can’t even wrap my head around this. This man has been so unfaithful to me, I can’t forgive and forget this. I can’t get over the hurt. His response to me for doing this –I was hurt over your infidelity and so I was vindictive. I just don’t get it, he had repeatedly been unfaithful to me, lied about his affairs, made me believe there was something wrong with me, that I was the insecure one and seeing things that weren’t there. I had been able to get over the past, but with this new information, I’m angry. I’m angry with myself for even considering reconsiling with this man, I’m angry that I must have “fool” written all over my forehead. And I cannot bring myself to even consider reconciliation! And he has the nerve to call me this morning and tell me “I understand your angry, take your time, I still want an reconciliation and will give you space”.

    I don’t know if there is anyone who understands this, but I did not want to file for divorse as I believed it was not God’s intention for marriage. But at this point, I don’t want to be married now to this man and I never want to be with another man or any relationship ever again.

    If someone could help me to make sense of this, and how to get over the hurt and betrayal, I would appreciate.

  2. Laurie says:

    Whether or not you can trust a man who cheated on you depends on how good you are at forgiving, and whether you really think that he won’t cheat again. If my husband cheated, I think I could trust him again because I know how guilty and bad he’d feel! Of course, that’s why I think he’ll never cheat in the first place (but that’s what all women think, don’t they?).

  3. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Anna,

    I have to say, it’s not a good sign that he’s secretive about his communications or meetings with his ex-wife — and you’re right to let it bother you! Your instincts are telling you that something isn’t right…and ignoring your instincts is setting yourself up for a fall.

    You and your partner need to tie up the loose ends of your previous marriages, and fully commit to one another. My best advice is for you and him to talk to a counselor together, so you can both learn what you should and should not know about his separation agreement. And, you both need to learn what he should keep private to “protect” you (which is really just him protecting himself), and what needs to be openly discussed.

    Talk to a counselor. Even if you don’t go to couples counseling, I encourage you to talk to someone on your own, to gain insight and clarity into your relationship.

    And, I don’t know if you two had time apart between your prior marriages and your relationship together, but….it can be important to fully detach and heal from one spouse before you move in with another. If he hasn’t moved on from his ex-wife, then he might need time and space to do that before he can focus on building a life with you.

    I wish you all the best, and hope you and he talk to a counselor together.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  4. Angela says:

    I have been with my partner just over a year. We are both separated from our spouses. He is very secretive about his communication with his ex-wife. He is not properly or legally separated yet despite being apart from her for 2 years. I recently discovered that he had met her secretly to talk over their separation agreement and they spent the night in a hotel but were not intimate. He felt it best not to tell me this at the time as he thought I would be upset. I am devastated by the secrecy and lies but do believe nothing happened between them. I feel like an outsider in our relationship and am not sure how to get over this betrayal and even if I actually can. I dont understand why he would feel the need to go to such lengths to keep their meeting secret if his motivation was innocent. Am trying very hard to move on but its very difficult. Any comments/help!?

  5. Aquos says:

    First off, I’m a guy. So, from my perspective, I would let it go, don’t get mad with him…don’t give him a hard time. Look, he wants to be with you. Even if he said those things to the other girl, if he now wants to be with you, give him another chance. I think he will appreciate you more now.

  6. Rebecca says:

    I am very confused and not sure what to think with my marriage of 7 years right now. Over the last year my husband has had a friendship with another female. Her and her husband were family friends and we had them over to stay at our house a lot. My husband talked to her every day, sent text messages to her, skyped with her late at night, and shared very personal thoughts with her. He basically treated her like he used to treat me when we were dating. He said she was just like a sister to him, that they had a lot in common, and that there was nothing romantic about their relationship – that I was his wife and she was his friend. While they were friends, he was really trying to be a better husband to me – something that he has failed at quite a bit over our marriage. Even so, he told her things like “I love you” “You are beautiful and Wonderful” “I could sit with you and not say anything for hours” “Looking into your eyes fills me with joy” etc. He hid his phone, computer, deleted text messages, and skype conversations. He also took time off from work to take us to do things with her and her husband – time that he hasn’t taken off in years. He lied to me continuously about talking to her because he didn’t want to upset me but then also filled me in on all kinds of other things about when they talked.

    It got to the point where I told him and her they could not talk and that I would leave if he ever talked to her again. He was very repentfull and he says that it was just a friendship and that he didn’t understand why his friend had to be a girl – that there wasn’t anything romantic going on. He has really tried to step things up here at home since, but still doesn’t treat me like he was treating her.

    I am torn apart. I have trouble believing that he didn’t have romantic feelings for her. I have told him I think he has had an emotional affair, but he assures me that wasn’t what it was. I don’t know what to do with myself. I feel dead inside.

  7. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Mary,

    Sometimes we don’t know what the right thing to do is until we actually DO it. That is, hindsight is 20/20….which means that we sometimes need to take action in order to learn what will work.

    I can’t tell you if a divorce would be better for you and your family, but you have to remember that “staying together for the sake of the kids” can be as (or more) damaging for kids than separation or divorce. If you’re unhappy in your marriage, your daughter probably senses it. She doesn’t know why you’re unhappy, and she may even blame herself (because that’s what kids do).

    Sometimes the benefits of divorce and seeking a better, happier life outweigh the negative effects. Yes, divorcing and starting over is stressful, traumatic, and difficult to bounce back from….but the alternative is staying the marriage you’re in right now. Your husband probably won’t change.

    I just heard of a woman who divorced her husband, but they’re staying in the same home. They divorced amicably, but want and need to live together for the kids and finances.

    I suggest you talk to a divorce mediator or counselor to start learning about the possibilities. This doesn’t mean you’ll ask for a divorce — and I’m not saying you SHOULD get one. But, I think it’s important to start taking tentative steps towards choices. Taking action — even just by making phone calls — is empowering and can help you see options you’re otherwise not aware of.

    If you really want to stay with your husband for the sake of your daughter, then I suggest you find ways to live “above” your situation. Create a healthy lifestyle with lots of activities that make you happy. Find ways to live fully outside of your marriage. Build a strong spiritual life — reconnect with God or a higher power, anything that makes you feel strong, whole, and fulfilled.

    Of course, another options is couples counseling!

    I wish you courage, wisdom, and strength to not only know what the right thing to do is — but actually do it.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  8. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Paula,

    I’m surprised that your marriage counselor hasn’t encouraged you and your husband to discuss his emotional affair! I’ve read “Why Men Cheat” and “The Truth About Cheating” by marriage counselor Gary Neuman, and I’m positive he suggests that spouses discuss the affair. He doesn’t say that spouses should share every little detail, but he encourages some disclosure. Of course, the amount and type of disclosure depends on the individual marriage…and it does help to have a couples therapist present, for guidance and support.

    I suggest that you trust your gut. Don’t lose touch of what you really think and feel, and don’t let fear, insecurity, guilt, or embarrassment make you do things you wouldn’t otherwise do. Deep down, you may know what’s best for you and your marriage. You may know what you should do…but knowing what we should do and actually doing it are two different things!

    Have you considered seeing a different marriage counselor? It’s important to “shop around” for the right therapist, just like we should be finding the right massage therapists, family doctors, chiropractors, etc. The first counselor you talk to may not be the best one for you…especially if you’re not comfortable about the way she or he is guiding your therapy.

    Another thought is to seek individual counseling. You don’t necessarily need to see a therapist for weeks or months — sometimes all we need is a session or two to help us figure out what we really think and need.

    Finally, I completely agree that it’s not appropriate for your husband to have friendships with other women…even if they’re totally innocent. If he can’t understand or respect your wishes, and you can’t convince him of the seriousness of how you feel, then you have to decide if you want to live with him and your marriage as it is right now. You need to decide if you can accept your life the way it is, with your husband the way he is. A different marriage counselor may help him see that he needs to save all his time and emotional energy for you…

    I hope this helps a little, and I also hope you let me know how things are going!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  9. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Dave,

    I’m sorry to hear about your wife’s physical and emotional affair…it’s SO difficult to forgive and move on. Rebuilding trust after a betrayal takes 100% commitment — and once you forgive your wife, you may be able to reconnect with her.

    Here’s an article I wrote for my new site (Quips and Tips for Love Relationships):

    Ways to Rebuild Trust in Marriage After Infidelity

    I hope it helps….

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  10. Mary says:

    I am very confused about what to do. I want to leave my husband. We have been married for almost 15 years and have been together for 20. When we were dating, everything was fine; he had his life, I had mine, and we enjoyed sharing time and experiences together…but with no expectations. Then we got married, mostly because of my guilt for being in a unmarried sexual relationship. It wasn’t like a typical relationship where we intended to be a great traditional “husband/wife” team; more of just a marriage of convinience. Don’t get me wrong, I very much love and care for him, just more of in a best friends, dont have to rely on you type way. I know I am very controlling, I like to be in control of my life, and he didnt mind so everything worked out. I am very ambitious and have goals and expectations for my life. Then 5 years ago I got pregnant. We had NEVER intended to have kids. She is beautiful and neither of us would give her up for anything. The problem is, when she was born, I obviously started to have expectations of him as a husband. He didnt see it that way and still doesn’t. Now I am stuck in a marriage where he stays at home and enjoys not working, taking care of his hobbies, and lets me work and pay the bills and supply him with everything. He had stopped working to take care of her so she didnt have to be in daycare from the time she was a newborn. That arrangement was supposed to last 2 years. Now she is in school full time but he still wont get a job. He says he is “going to” but racing season is about to start again (his hobby) and I don’t really see that happening if he wouldn’t go get one during the season break. He will help with the house work, grudgingly, and acts like everytime I open my mouth to ask him to do something or complain that he is not being a “husband” that I am just nagging or being and “emotional female” and ignores me.

    Why do I stay? My daughter. He is not a great dad but he is her dad. I wouldn’t mind living under the same roof as him I just get sick to my stomach evertime someone refers to him as my husband or me as his wife. We have not had sex in almost a year and it makes me sick when he touches me or asks for sex. This relationship is not fair to him or me but I am afraid to divorce him since I am not sure we could get through it and remain friends enough to stay living under the same roof. I want him to get a job and I don’t want him to be able to claim me as his wife unless he starts earning that right. He says that I am being unresonable, that he has worked most of his life to support his previous relationships and that its his turn to be taken care of. I feel like his slave. I am very ambitious and have worked very hard for what I have. I feel cheated that what I have is at risk because I am having to deal with someone who wont carry his fair share of the responsibilities of life.

    Is it unresonalbe to think that a divorce would help the situation? I don’t want to be in another relationship, I just am sick over being in this one. It goes completely against everything I believe about working hard in life to earn what you have. How can I be tied to someone who does nothing but leach off of me?

  11. Paula says:

    Hi:

    I notice that my husband was very distant last summer and knew that something was wrong, but I didn’t know what. I never suspected that he would be unfaithful to me as he knew that my first marriage ended because of infidelity. I have been married to my husband for 8 years and we have been together for 14. We both were married previously and we are raising our three girls together (I had 1 and he had 2).

    When I looked at his social network sites I noticed that there was a lot of communication between him and a particular woman. I then reviewed his cell phone records and saw that they were texting and talking many times daily. When I confronted him, he told me that it was all in my head and that he would not “give up” his friend.

    On many occassions I tried to explain how he and his “friend” were making me feel. That he should have been calling or texting me during the workday not his “friend”. After catching him in repeated lies (like no I don’t talk to her anymore yet the phone records showed that they continued this relationship), I told him that he had to decide if he wanted our marriage or his friend. He agreed to go to marriage counseling and acknowledged that his friendship with this woman was inappropriate, but still maintains that he never saw her in person and the affair was never physical.

    Since that time we have both made great efforts to rebuild our marriage. I have insisted on knowing if this woman contacts him (evern if he doesn’t speak to her or respond to her emails). I need total disclosure.

    Our marriage counselor has never insisted on discussing his inappropriate relationship and indicates that if someone lies about something it is because they care enough to lie. This just doesn’t work for me. She thinks that I should be greatful that we are in counseling and working on our relationship, but I still need more information to be able to put his behind me.

    About two months ago, I once again notice a lot of banter and commenting between my husband and a different woman on the internet. I told him that this relationship was giving me the same uneasy feeling that I had when he was corresponding and speaking to the first woman. He assured me that nothing was going on and that he completely understood how I felt. Unfortunately, he still keeps in contact with her and this is just not acceptable to me.

    I know that I cannot make my husband do anything, but I expect him to understand that I have put through the ringer all so he could make himself feel good forming “frienships” online.

    I feel like the ball is in my court and I must take some action, but I am not certain what I should do. I am not sure that I can live with my husband making me uncomfortable and having friendships even if “this one” is completely appropriate (as he says). I am being made to feel like this is my issue, not his.

    I would appreciate any candid comments and/or advise as I am at a loss as to what I should do. I feel like we have the same discussion every so often and that nothing has really changed.

  12. Dave says:

    I found out my wife was cheating on me it built up from an a emotional to a physical affair. The physical lasted for about 2 months and the emotional for few months longer.

    I just don’t know how I can keep her knowing what I know. We have a young daughter together and have been only married for about 21 months.

    She regrets her mistake and is repenting and says she’ll never go back to that and that we was an outlet. How can I not think about what she did and bring her back to my house? Just every confused.

  13. Karen says:

    Thank you !! I will let you know what transpires from this! :)

  14. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Karen,

    I’m sorry to hear about your husband…that’s heartbreaking. It’s one of the biggest betrayals in marriage, and rebuilding trust — and deciding if you should stay married — doesn’t happen easily.

    I can’t tell you if you should sacrifice your happiness for the stability of your kids…but you have to know that “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Your happiness or unhappiness will affect your whole family. So, I don’t think it’s as clear cut as staying married so you can raise happy kids in a loving home.

    My best advice is for you and your husband to get marriage counseling. I think it’s good to give your marriage a chance to survive — but it’s so important to get help and support as you rebuild trust. Or, as you figure out if you should separate or even get a divorce.

    Call a therapist, and talk it through with him or her. You may only need one or two sessions…I don’t know, but I encourage you to reach out for help in person. A therapist will help you see your marriage and kids more clearly.

    I wish you all the best, and hope you come back and let me know how things are going…..

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  15. Karen says:

    Hello Laurie,

    In “googling” surviving affairs your site came in and I started to read the articles and ultimately reading the comments. It surprised me to see how many people out there have the “same” story as me! I thought for sure I was the only one living this rollercoaster of emotions, my husband cheated on me with a co-worker for a couple of months before I found out about it. When I did and confronted him, he said it was a mistake, he wants to stay in this marriage and all the other excuses they bring it up. I decided to give him a chance, he continued to work at the same place but had told me that she was moved to another department and reassured me that we were fine. I found out a couple of months ago, that he went back to her just after 3 months that they were apart and had been with her ever since, totalling about 2 years with her. What really bothers me, is that he was all so loving at home, wonderful provider, wonderful father, great partner so I thought…..and to find this out really hurts me….because he got emotionally attached, thats all i can think of…..now hes begging for me to stay, hes beggin for marriage counseling…..and I am just destroyed….what do I do? How do I get past this….especially being the second time around…..one thing that I see thats so different about my story and others, is that I dont have a moment of the 6 years we been together that I can complain, its like he lives a double life, he has the married life and him with her! I dont get it!! We have 2 children, a 4 year old and a 2 year old, Should I sacrifice my happiness for the stability of my kids, where they are raised in a loving home with mom & dad around? I just cant find a way of trusting him…..i just dont see it!

  16. VHorizon says:

    My wife had internet affairs about 9 years ago. We are survivors. But recently I’m obsessing again and having flashbacks even though I’m absolutely sure nothing has happened anymore. I guess I’m traumatized. I’ve been told to talk to her even though I think now I am the one with a problem, not her.

    Anyway, long story short I found out she was having affairs online and maybe for real (though I’m 70% sure that nothing ‘real’ happened) – I couldn’t find out because of how stupid I
    was*. She was really careful and stopped everything so I did not get to know for sure if this was right. She kept saying this was it but I caught her in lies after lies so I obviously didn’t trust her anymore. I was able to crack down on all forms of communication and as far as I know nothing has happened since then. I told her if I found anything else we were history and I found nothing else. We did not have kids at the time.

    A lot has happened since then. First the good news: we have two beautiful children and she has never done it again – as far as I know but I am pretty sure since I have a lot of control in what she does. Our life is as good as it could be.

    The bad news is actually what happened to me till last year. I had become extremely cynical and numb to life. With the exception of my kids whom I love dearly everything else didn’t bring me too much happiness or sadness. It is really strange. I was (am?) in a point that the only reason I would care if she did it again would be because of our kids but not because of our ‘love’ – I actually did not care anymore. I don’t believe in love anymore and I don’t think I will ever love someone like I did (you know in an innocent soulmate-crap way :). I trust no one and I think humanity sucks :) I didn’t commemorate my birthday or our wedding anniversaries. I still buy flowers on valentines though I always feel like I’m just going through the motions. Even if I end up divorcing in the future (not likely now) I will never trust anyone the way I trusted her.

    I guess that kind of brings the point of my post and I want your opinions. Now *I* have a problem and I’m starting counseling again. It’s too much time and it’s not fair to us (or to our family), not fair to me. I want to live life and be happy again, you know? Perhaps it’s possible.

    Anyway, in a quick summary of all these years: first, I thought deep down that I would end up doing what she done to me just as a form of revenge. I never did it. During my worse moments I actually thought about trying it out and went online but I just could not do it. I am really glad I did not do anything like that. But I only use instant messaging nowadays for work and for the occasional
    family buy milk discussion. This is also true for her – she does not have any online friends anymore only family and girl friends we know personally.

    Facebook, twitter, they did not happen for us.

    How did we do it? We know all our e-mail passwords and we both agreed to have a permanent software to record what we did online. We still have the agreement though in truth we do not have it installed for years now. But we still ask the other one to check our e-mail and look for something when on the road. We both have full control of our cell phone list and credit cards and bank accounts. Our life is transparent for both of us. Although she could still do it (or I for any reason) the price would be too high – our kids.

    I am 39 now and I am looking forward to be happy again. Maybe I am just afraid of being hurt again. I am still angry with myself since I felt I was such a fool to think it could have never happened to us. It has been nine years and I am still angry with myself and with her. I want to change. I need to change.

    We will celebrate our wedding anniversary for the first time since then in March this year. She’s been perfect since then, so there is hope for others in this scenario. On the other hand I would never thought it would take so long or that I would still have problems almost 10 years after the fact.

    *I was really naive when I found out. Instead of keep it to myself and gather as much information as I could I immediately confronted her with something that was the tip of the iceberg. Then I’d ask what else she’d done she’d shay nothing. I kept finding more stuff down the road and asking her again what else and she said nothing
    else. And that kept going on for some time. Spiral of lies, I called it :)

    Also everything she had done ‘alone’ in the past was now under suspicious. Well, I guess this is also part of the ‘script’ of going through this nightmare.

    I was so naive and that is the reason I am so angry with myself. When I found the tip of the iceberg – which was already unthinkable – I thought that was it – that MUST have been it. That is why I confronted her. I know better now – I trust no one but then again this makes life miserable. I have only one life and this is not how I want to spend mine.

  17. Muriel says:

    Ann Landers said it best “If you marry a man who cheats on his wife, you are married to a man who cheats on his wife”.

  18. Julie says:

    Roxy,
    I know how you feel. My husband just said the same thing that its all talk and nothing happend. I know how it feels to not be confident anymore and like you did something wrong. You didn’t. I bet your an amazing person. I hope you and your husband work things out and Im sure he loves you very much. You are in my prayers. Just remember that its not going to get better right away. Its always hard to trust again after something like this happens. Im still trying to trust my husband. Its very hard. Keep smiling and I hope everything works out for you. Remember your not alone in this. Look at everyone who has written. We all are going through this together.

    Sincerely,
    Julie

  19. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Roxy,

    I know how difficult it is to rebuild your marriage after a physical or emotional affair — and I encourage you to think about seeing a couples counselor together. You don’t have to go for years or months even; sometimes even just a session or two can be incredibly helpful!

    If you decide you want to save your marriage, then you need to put all thoughts and feelings of insecurity, distrust, suspicion, and fear behind you. This is really hard, which is why I encourage you to talk to a counselor. Reading books about infidelity are also very helpful, but an in-person counselor can help you deal with your own specific issues.

    To save your marriage, you have to put the past behind you and focus on what you want your relationship to be like NOW. You’ll still struggle with fears and doubts and insecurities, but you need to stop obsessing about them. Rather, you need to concentrate on building a healthy marriage.

    Like I said, this is easier said than done! Here are a couple articles that might help:

    How to Trust Your Husband After an Affair

    How to Save Your Marriage After Infidelity

    I wish you all the best as you rebuild your relationship…and I encourage you to read books about affairs together with your husband. You and he can save your marriage if you both really want to!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  20. Roxy says:

    Me and my husband have been married for 3 years and have 1 child. I recently found out that my he has been talking to his ex-girlfriend of 6 mths for a whole year through his myspace. I didnt even know he had a myspace. Well ofcourse I was in shock and hurt and mad and scared, I didnt know what to do. As soon as I found out I told him to get his stuff and get out. He stayed at his moms for about 5 days. The whole time he was there he begged me to let him come home, said he was sorry a thousand times, said he loved me and our son & that he missed us. My son was going crazy with out him and I needed the help. Now I didnt just let him come back home because I needed help with our son, I did miss him and I wanted to sit down and talk everything out with him. He says everything he told her was “all talk” that he didnt mean anything he told her and he never intended it to go any where. He says he never touched, saw, or slept with her. I asked his ex if it went any further than just writing over his myspace and she says no. Its really hard not to imagine how far he would have gone if I didnt catch him. But he swears that it was “all talk” and nothing would have happened. I know we have along road ahead of us and hes says hes willing to do what ever it takes to be a happy family again. He keeps saying that what he did was dumb and stupid and that he’ll NEVER do it again. I want this to work, I really do, Im just scared that Im gonna give him my all and when I think everything is just right then hes gonna do it again. I dont know how to get past this, how to forgive him or how to trust him again. My confidence has been shot down to nothing and I feel Im not good enough for him. He tells me he loves everything about me. Im just so confused. How do I know everything hes telling me isnt just “all talk”? HELP!

  21. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Nancy,

    Maybe it doesn’t matter if you agree whether or not you call it an “emotional affair.” Maybe what really matters is how you survive this blip in your relationship. I think the things you do to get past these problems — and I believe you will get past them! — will be the same, regardless of what you call it.

    I suggest focusing on rebuilding trust and intimacy in your relationship. And, I encourage you to think about talking to a marriage counselor. Counseling offers objective, wise feedback that helps couples sort through marital problems. And, a marriage counselor can help you and your husband figure out the source of the problem (which wasn’t this emotional affair. The source of the problem LED to this infidelity, which is a symptom of something bigger and deeper).

    If marriage counseling isn’t an option, I encourage you to try Mort Fertel — his info is up above the book links on this page. A friend of mine absolutely loves his type of “counseling” because it isn’t counseling.

    And, I urge you and your husband to read books on surviving emotional affairs together. Try to be as honest and vulnerable you can. It’s difficult in when you’re so emotionally involved, which is why in person or online marriage counseling is so effective. But, many couples do rebuild their relationships without counseling…they just need dedication, energy, and time to work through their issues!

    I hope this helps a little, and wish you all the best in your marriage.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  22. Nancy says:

    My hubby and I are having problems because from Aug till Nov, he was chatting on facebook, talking on the phone for 2 or more hrs a day, and texting (avge of 30 a day) with one of his old high school friends. She is going through a divorce so he thought he was just helping her. After I said something to him about it and asked him to break off all contact, she sent him a letter asking him to leave me for her. He talked to her about our problems which She used to explain to him why he should leave me and go to her. Even the fact that we were having difficults in the bedroom. When I asked her why she tought he would leave me for her (I had to ask several times) she replied “because she was prietter, sexier, healthier and could please a man in bed” When I told my hubby about her reply he stated “that is what you get for pushing her to give you an answer.” In my eyes they had an emotional affair, even though it was unintentional on his part. He does not feel like he did anything wrong but was helping a friend.
    I have forgiven him and working on getting past the hurt and insecurity. But because he feels like he did nothing wrong he says that he can not forgive me for not trusting him and believing him when he says it wasn’t an emotional affair on his part. He has admitted that he thought about what it would be like to have sex with her.
    How can we get through this when we can’t even agree on if he had an affair or not?

    Thanks for helping.
    Nancy

  23. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Chickenlittle,

    I’m sorry to hear that your husband is treating you this way after 31 years of marriage! It must be confusing and painful to hear him say he loves you while criticizing you in front of others and going to bars with single friends.

    I don’t blame you for not being able to get past all that stuff. Whether he’s having emotional affairs or not is secondary to how you feel in this marriage. Are you feeling loved, respected, honored, cherished, and taken care of? No….and so you need to decide how you want to live the rest of your life.

    You DO have the power to make changes, even after 31 years of marriage! You can recreate your life…because it’s never too late to be who you once wanted to be.

    I understand that you probably want your husband to change, to treat you better. But, if he’s not willing to hear how his behavior affects you and change his lifestyle, then it’s up to you to change YOUR life to make yourself happy.

    You need to decide if you want to stay with him as he is, or leave. If you don’t have a strong support system (eg, friends, family, coworkers), then I encourage you to call a distress line or local help line. Figure out what you have to do to be happier in your life — and remember that the short-term pain of leaving a husband who mistreats you is better than the long-term pain of putting up with behavior that makes you feel degraded, criticized, and unworthy of love.

    Let me know how it goes…..

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  24. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Maria,

    I’m glad your husband is as loving and nice as he was before, but sorry that he doesn’t want to talk about why he seeks out these emotional connections with other women. But, it may be that he doesn’t know why he’s doing it. He may not be able to identify exactly what’s going on, what he’s “missing”, or what he’s feeling.

    This is where counseling is so helpful! A therapist helps us see things we can’t see ourselves. If you and he are willing to do couples counseling, I encourage you to look into it right away.

    I also encourage you to stop focusing on what he can’t or won’t tell you, and start building your life into something exciting and interesting. You’ve already tried to get him to open up, and it didn’t work…so I suggest letting it be. Focus your energies on becoming a vital, creative, active, healthy woman! Not only will you be happier, you’ll be more attractive…and your husband may be less likely to drift off again.

    I also encourage you to stop living in fear that he might have another emotional affair. The more you think and talk about it, the more you implant the idea in both your heads…and the more likely it is to happen. And even if it doesn’t happen, you’re not living your happiest life! So, focus on the wonderful husband you have right now without obsessing about the future.

    And, think about marriage counseling!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  25. Chickenlittle says:

    maybe I should mention he is my one and only first and last no
    in betweens. But I’m like his #6. Is all of this considered to be emotional infidelity? we were high school sweethearts married at 17. Please help me out here.

  26. Chickenlittle says:

    My Husband and I have been married for 31 years, for the first 25 he spent with his friends most single but some married, drinking and traveling with them going on hunting trips etc..while I was at home taking care of the children. I found out that on one of these trips my husband went to a topless bar. He told me he went and stated you couldn’t even touch them. I was and still am crushed and heart broken, porn (magazines) hidden with same friend that he went on the bar trip, he spent alot of time partying with his friends mostly single. He has a tendency to say things to me when he has one two many drinks, for instance,he was talking to one of his friends wife and said there are only 2 intellegent people at this table. And he wasnt talking about me. Another time he told me he has knew his friends alot longer then me. He has had my ex-sister in law and one of her g-friends in the car with him in a parking lot, and didnt tell me until I asked him what he done in between classes. What am I suppose to think of all of this? He says he loves me but I can’t get past all this stuff.

  27. Maria says:

    I have been married for 23 years I got married when I was 20 and he was 21. After 3 years of being married my husband was attracted to a co worker and one night they went out dancing and he kissed her. He told me nothing else happened after that night. It took me long time to let go and forgive him. Then 14 years later he had an emotional affair with another co-worker that was about 1 and 1/2 years long. It was again very hurtful and bad for me. We have 2 children and most of the time he is very nice and lovely father and husband. It was like 7 months ago that he had another emotional affair with another co-worker. He admited he was attracted to her and he kept texting her during vacation, weekends and evenings. I asked him to stop getting so close to her emotionally but he did not stop. We went to therapy but did not help us since he has never admitted he was having an emotional affair. He keeps saying they are just friends. He stopped texting her a month ago and he is now the same nice and lovely husband he was before. I have asked him many times what he is missing from our relationship and he keeps saying that “nothing”. I am sure he is missing something but I can not find out what it is. I just know I can not go through the same situation again because it hurts a lot to see him so interested in another woman and it takes long time to feel good again!!

  28. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear John,

    In a healthy marriage, both spouses try to do whatever they can to make each other happy. They also avoid doing things that make each other feel uncomfortable, insecure, or afraid.

    If your wife knows that her contact with these male friends is a problem for you, and she keeps those friendships active, then she’s putting her need for attention and connection ahead of your marriage. The main issue (besides her lack of respect for the marriage commitment) is her need for these emotional connections with other men.

    Unfortunately, the only one who can figure that out is her. If she thinks she’s just having fun and doing her hobbies, and refuses to see how it’s impacting your marriage….then what can you do? I don’t know. The only person you can change is yourself in that case, which means accepting her as she is or leaving the marriage.

    I suggest sitting down with her and explaining how destructive her friendships are, and asking why she has the need to connect with those men. She’s getting something out of these texts and phone calls, and if she can learn to get what she needs from you and your marriage, then the problem will be solved! However, that’s easier said than done…

    I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful. Other than impressing upon her the significance of her actions, I don’t know what else to suggest.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  29. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Lou,

    First things first: you have to stop hating yourself for having doubts about your partner! Based on your history and how you got together, it’s totally normal for you to wonder if he’s cheating on you emotionally. You were on the “cheating” end of the relationship — you know how it goes, and how easy emotional intimacy is to fall into for some people.

    So, forgive yourself for having doubts.

    And, listen to your gut and heart. If there are red flags, then you need to pay attention to them. Don’t ignore what those messages are telling you. I don’t know if your partner is having an affair of the heart or body, and I don’t know how honest he is. But if you suspect something, then I believe there’s something there.

    You need to trust your gut, my friend.

    Laurie

  30. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Frank,

    You mentioned marriage counseling — is it helping you and your wife survive her emotional affair?

    My friend’s husband cheated on her, it took years for my friend to really trust him again. Rebuilding trust and honesty can take a long time, especially if so many lies were told. You need to allow yourself to experience these feelings of doubt…it’s important not to push them away or try to avoid them. But, it’s also important NOT to let those seeds of fear and uncertainty take hold.

    One way to survive an affair is to make a list of the positive aspects of your marriage and wife. What’s the glue that’s holding you together? Why do you still love her? What do you envision your future to be like? Write down all those positive, helpful thoughts. And when you feel afraid and doubtful in the early mornings and late evenings, notice those negative feelings — but take out that list and focus on why you’re trying to save your marriage.

    Learning to trust a spouse who cheated is a process that takes time, and your feelings of doubt and insecurity will come and go. Instead of fighting them, try to flow with them…and focus on a happy, healthy marriage.

    Keep the marriage counseling up — I hope it’s helping!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  31. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Jenny,

    I’m sorry it took me so long to reply — I lost track of comments on this article for awhile!

    It sounds like you and your husband need to get outside support, to help you learn how to communicate honestly and effectively, and how to rebuild your marriage. Sometimes there’s so much past hurt, misunderstandings, and problems that you can’t see clearly! That’s what marriage counselors do: help you see where the marriage went off the rails (why he had an emotional affair, for instance) — and how to reconnect in a healthy, loving way.

    Your kids may be reacting to the stress and negative energy you and your husband are giving off…not necessarily to having him back in the house. I don’t know for sure because I’m not there, but kids often pick up on tensions in the parents, even if the parents try to hide it.

    Talk to a marriage therapist. If your husband refuses, I encourage you to go alone for a session or two, to help you figure out what to do.

    Once you figure out the best next step for you and your kids (trying to save your marriage with outside help, or letting it go altogether and thinking about divorce), you’ll feel much happier and more empowered…

    Laurie

  32. John says:

    My wife has alot of hobbies that take her in the company of men. She is athletic very nice looking and she likes to hunt. She sees no problem with calling and texting as many as thirty texts a day to a married man who is a friend of ours and deletes texts so I cant see content. calls old lover thirty or forty time a month drives me crazy but she says I have nothing to worry about well that changed she was in foreplay with this man and I happen to call her and she said that kept her from being completely intimate but admitted to kissing this man. what do I do ? This happened six months ago and I just found out yesterday. She has still called this guy but not as much I pay cell phone bill so I see her calls made to him. What do I do I am in shock we have been married six years have a two year old who is adorable and up till yesterday I thought we were ok except for the calling and texting which I have trouble with. Please help I am at the end of my rope.

  33. Lou says:

    Hi everyone

    Wow some of you guys have really been through it..

    My partner and I met at work ten years ago. We were both married at the time. I am not proud to say that my partner and I fell into a physical relationship after an emotional affair. I love him v much (still do) and told my husband that I wanted to end our marriage.

    We have now been together for five years. My partner met my family at the beginning. He has children and didn’t want to introduce me to them until things settled – so no one really knew about me for some time. We have lived together for three years. I have recently met the children, his mum etc. His work colleagues still don’t know we’re together.

    Up until March last year everything seemed okish, it was always gona be difficult under the circumstances. We went on holiday and things just didn’t seem right. He was tired, fidgety and stressed. I thought it was some sort of breakdown. Things between us seemed strained and I didn’t know what to do – I tried my best to support him. He was short tempered with me and tried to find fault. In May he disappeared off for several weekends all of a sudden. Txts and calls were sparse. I don’t know why I did it but I checked his email, then found an email for a hotel booking with a work colleague and an agreement to split the bill. I confronted him and told him it was over in the heat of the moment. He told me he was providing an alibi for this girl but that he went and met a group of people there. I checked his email and txts -she was contacting him and offering hotel bookings etc, he didnt take these up and was with me.

    Since then he has been v protective of his mobile and changed the password on his email.

    He has been away some nights for work and not sure if he’s been alone.

    We went on holiday in December – had a fab time and felt really close. On the last day, I found a text from another girl (also work related) saying she wished they could go there on hol together. Last week i saw a txt on his phone he had forgotten to delete to her. Saying ‘sometimes you have to grab an opportunity when it comes along and that it’s different cos he cares about her’.

    Hate myself for spying, deep down I believe he is having affairs, he sometimes seems very loving and other times distant and unattached from me. At Christmas he told me he hasn’t slept with anyone else, loves me, wants to buy a home together and have children. He’s involving me with his children and I’m growing attached to them. I wouldn’t have hesitated a year ago but now hate myself for having doubts.

  34. Frank says:

    Hi all,
    I am going thru a tough time with my wife of 13 years. For the last 3-4 months she has had some kind of affair with an ex.
    She has been very deceptive and hid it well, even though I suspected. I did nothing to address my feelings and eventually found out. We spoke about it many times after I found out. One of our mutual friends told me that she was in contact even after we agreed to put it in the past. I tried again to believe the promise. 5 more times. She lied 5 more times. It trashed her credibility …

    The friend eventually told me some things I probably shouldn’t have heard …. she told people she was in love with him, he was the love of her life. Those are “love words”.

    She also said during one of the discussions that “at least I did not sleep with him”. That made me feel worse. Another lie?

    So as this thing wears on some positives, my children must be seriously considered in going forward, but separate from my relationship with my wife.

    I have forgiven her and at this point in time, tried to keep busy and not focused on the infidelity. However, when the day winds down and early in the mornings, the “demons of doubt” overwhelm my thoughts and feelings.

    I am commited to the marriage councilling, but these feelings are so devastating I struggle evey day to survive them.

    I am focused on surviving every day so I don’t project into the future (not unless the demons take over) and continue to support my wife every way I can.

    Help!!

  35. Jenny says:

    My husband had spent a better part of our 10 year marriage away from our home…with his buddies at the firehouse,night after night. I basically raised our two boys for the past 5 years alone. He would work one night a week there but the rest of the time it was meetings, training or just hanging out, over and over. Then it would be going here and there with his buddies. I never said no, because he was a miserable person when I did. he would bully and control me, manipulate until he got what he wanted.

    Well I finally had enough, I struggled for two years trying to make him want to come home but he went more and more. And when he was home we faught and he was terrible to the boys. A drill sargent, mean, embarrassing the boys in public, humiliating me and them in public places with his discipline tactics.

    I finally told him that I was no longer in love with him. That he had abandoned me and the boys for too long and I was alone and dead inside. Well…he gave up the firehouse cold turkey and was devestated..I told him it was too late. I filed for divorce and within two weeks he saught out his ex girlfriend…the love of his life.

    She was unhappily married but pregnant…however did not stop them from an emotional affair through this past summer. i find it very coincidential that he left one affair (firehouse) for another. He initially lied about Kate right to my face when I knew every fact about the relationship…told me he only cared about her, when I knew he told her he loved her. It was not until just recently that he admitted to having feelings for her and that he loved her….knowing he lied initially.

    I know I filed for divorce but i have been alone for so long. He said it is my fault for not telling him sooner the firehouse was hurting out marriage. My though on that was…he is a grown man…he knew he had responsiblities at home to me and our boys…I eventually got tired of him aways going and as I began falling out of love with him and resenting him….didn’t care that he was going – the boys and I found peace with him gone.

    We are still living together, and life is very stressful. I don’t thing my boys are as happy as when he was not around as much.

    Would love some feedback.

  36. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Debi,

    That’s great that you can see how you contributed to your relationship and your partner’s affair — accepting responsibility is a huge part of the healing process. You and he are being honest and loving, which will go a long way to rebuild your relationship!

    Learning to trust him again is another piece of the healing process…one that takes time and effort. I’ve written several articles about healing marriages and learning to trust again after an affair, and I know I’ve given you a link above. Here’s another link — because these articles say everything I could say here! I honestly can’t add anything to them. Plus, these articles contain comments from readers that may help you rebuild your relationship.

    How to Save Your Marriage After Infidelity

    Basically, I think you need to put the past behind you as much as possible. It’s difficult, but in order to move on you have to let go of your suspicions and resentments. Forgive him for the infidelity, and focus on the relationship you want to build now. Commit yourselves to your new healthy relationship by striving to trust him.

    And, put the tips in the articles to work for you! There’s lots of good advice there :-)

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  37. Laurie PK says:

    Hi Bren,

    Since your husband won’t see a marriage counselor, I suggest you seek counseling on your own. Your husband may eventually decide to join you in counseling — and even if he doesn’t, you’ll be on the road to emotional health and wellness.

    I’m curious why you want to talk to the woman he’s having an emotional affair with? I’m not sure I see the benefit of that. He needs to break it off with her, and I can’t see how you confronting her can help you and him survive this experience.

    That he’s not communicating with you is a bit of a problem. It’s awfully difficult to build a healthy relationship when you don’t talk…which is why getting counseling on your own may be a good first step to figuring out where your marriage should go next.

    It’s a scary place to be, after ten years of marriage and two children! But you can be happy with your husband again — you just need to figure out what you can do to save your marriage, and what you can’t do…and a counselor can help you with that.

    I hope this helps a little, and wish you all the best.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  38. Debi says:

    Thank you for the information Laurie, it is helpful. We have been engaged for 4 of the 6 years that we have been together and I have put of marriage for financial reasons. I have a son who is now in college and it is to my advantage to wait until he has finished school to get married. We are in every way but on paper married.

    He says he turned to her because he thought that I didn’t love him and thought our relationship was over. I never stopped loving him, but looking back I know I was angry with him all the time for being away so much for work. I realize now that it was something he had to and still has to do to earn a living. We did nothing but fight when he was gone and when he was home. I felt abandoned, but I now realize I was wrong.

    She made him feel important when all I did was make him feel even more lonely. It was easy to pretend with someone who really didn’t know you, and didn’t have to deal with day to day life and all the trials that come along with it. He does realize it was all fantasy, and knows what we have is real. That’s what he has explained to me. I can see this, I guess and from reading here, he is not the only one who has said the fantasy was exciting.

    I see that, and I know I pushed him away. He tried to talk to me, but I always got angry and blamed him for how I felt. I am not taking responsibility for his infidelity, but I can see that I my actions contributed. I am trying to show him, that I love him and not blame him for being away, but the trush issue keeps rearing its ugly head. I try to focus on the future, on the good and keeping our relationship going, but somehow I find myself back at focusing on not losing him instead of keeping him. How do I focus on the future and not the past? How do I keep myself from not being suspicious of everything he does and says.

  39. Bren says:

    I have been married with my husband for 10 yrs. and have 2 children. I recently found out that my husband is having emotional affair with a co-worker. I’m so hurt by this. I don’t have anyone to ask for help. He blames me for being depressed, angry. I lost my mother in Sept. 2008 and he found his woman in Feb. 2009. While I’m still grieving over my mother. He carried this relationship for about 9 mths. He says there JUST FRIENDS! He protects this woman like he protects his balls. The women won’t answer my calls and I am thinking in confronting this woman. Actually this would be the 2nd time he has done this. He says he wants to be with me and that he has cut all times with the women. But he refuses to change his cell phone or see marriage counselor. He doesn’t talk to me or explain to me his affair. He just shuts down. He won’t leave the house. He doen’t know what he wants. I don’t know what to do anymore. I need some advice.

  40. Cherie Williams says:

    Steve,

    Thanks for this quotation. It’s the day after Christmas and two months exactly since my husband told me about his emotional affair. We’re saving our marriage but it’s been hard, especially at Christmas. I appreciate your words and am glad you commented.

  41. Steve says:

    I’ve been helped by the people on this site, Laurie in particular, and though I am still devastated by the betrayal and loss of my love who ran off to marry someone else I’d never even heard of whilst we were still seeing each other – I’ve come across this ‘saying’. I hope it will help many here.

    “This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind… let it be something good.”

    I wish all of you all the happiness and love you deserve.

  42. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    That’s a great question, Katie. How DO you move forward after such a betrayal from your husband? I don’t have all the answers, and I think different things work for different people, but I do have a few suggestions:

    First, I suggest you stop thinking about all the lies you’ve been told! You’ve decided to stay with your husband and save your marriage, and there’s no room in your life for ruminating on the past. Replace those thoughts with positive thoughts, such as where you want your marriage to go and what kind of woman you want to be. Don’t just stop obsessing about the past: replace those thoughts that hold you back with thoughts that drive you forward.

    Second, I suggest you do the activities you used to, when you were a confident fun person. Did you go skiing in the winters, or take a class every spring? The more things you do — the more risks you take and people you meet — the more confidence you’ll gain and the more fun you’ll have.

    Third, read some of Dr Wayne Dyer’s books — especially 10 Secrets to a Successful, Peaceful Life. He often talks about the past as a “wake that holds you back” — such as a wake that goes behind a boat. The wake doesn’t do anything to move you forward; it’s just the remnants of the past. He’s got some wonderful advice on letting go, taking responsibility, and being healthy…I encourage you to go to your library and get some of his books.

    Finally, I encourage you to read about finding your personal identity. You can even search for that phrase on the internet; there’s lots of good information about figuring out who you are as a woman. I don’t know of any books offhand….though if you’re at the library, you could search for “personal identity” or “self-identity” on the library’s database.

    I hope this helps a little….and I’m envisioning you as a confident, fun, strong, healthy, and happy woman!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  43. Katie says:

    When I first met my husband and early in our marriage I was so confident about myself. Since finding out about this affair has totally left me with a sense of insecurity and anger. I know I didn’t deserve this but I felt like my actions have pushed him further away. What happened to the confident fun person that I used to be? I see that person pop up from time to time with my husband but why can’t she stay here? Every time I sit and think about all of the lies I have been told, I get angry at myself for giving him another chance. And then I take it out on him for being here and doing that to me. But the problem is I don’t know how to get passed these feelings. I feel stuck in time. How do you move forward?

  44. Steve says:

    Thank you Laurie,

    I know – I have to let her go, but she will always be with me. If her situation changes I’ll be here – that’s all I can do really.

    Thank you.

  45. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Debi,

    Thanks for sharing this bit of your life here…and I hope you and your fiance can move past this!

    Why have you been engaged for six years? That’s a long time! Is it because of his emotional attachment to this other woman?

    Also, how have you been trying to work things out with him? I suggest you stop doing those things, and start trying new ways to save your relationship. For instance, read books on overcoming emotional infidelity TOGETHER, and go to a couples counselor together. Also, figure out together why you’ve been engaged for so long but not gotten married.

    And, remember that it takes TIME to rebuild trust in a man who lied to you and cheated on you! You can’t just “forgive and forget”, my friend. He told this woman he would move halfway around the world to be with her…that’s not something you can just forget. It can take months or even years to fully regain trust in someone who betrayed you.

    I wrote an article about rebuilding trust after an emotional affair. Here’s the link:

    How to Trust Your Husband After an Affair

    And finally, I encourage you and your fiance to figure out why he needed this woman — what did he get from her that he couldn’t get from you? It helps to rebuild trust if you know why the affair happened in the first place. Then, you can be more confident that it won’t happen again.

    I hope this helps, and I’m sorry for your heartache. I know how much it hurts to be betrayed by someone you love.

    Best wishes,
    Laurie

  46. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Ruth,

    I’m sorry to hear about your husband and his “best friend”…it IS an emotional affair, but whether you can save your marriage with their relationship intact is totally up to you!

    That is, it depends on what kind of marriage you’re willing to have. Many spouses turn a blind eye to all sorts of indiscretions, problems, pet peeves, addictions….it’s a personal choice that they make for a variety of reasons.

    You need to decide if you can stay married to a man who is emotionally involved with someone he calls his best friend. The fact that he didn’t tell you about her shows that he knows it’s wrong. You have to decide if you can live with him and the marriage you have now, because he’s not willing to stop being friends with her.

    I encourage you to talk to a marriage counselor. It’d be great if your husband goes with you — that’d be ideal, because the counselor could explain to him how damaging an emotional affair is on a marriage. Your husband might be more prone to giving her up if he gets advice from a professional.

    Even if he doesn’t go to counseling, I hope you go by yourself. You need to sit down with someone objective who has motives other than to help you live a healthy, happy life. She can help you figure out what to do next. Maybe you’ll accept your marriage as it is, maybe not…but you need to talk to someone who can give you guidance, insight, and information.

    I wish you all the best…and hope you talk to a therapist soon. Even just one or two visits can make a world of a difference!

    Laurie

  47. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Steve,

    I think it’s probably best that all contact between you and your ex-girlfriend has stopped. She’s moved on to a new stage in her life, and whether she’s happy or not doesn’t change the fact that you need to move on, too.

    I hope you don’t have an affair with her. That’s not fair to her husband – an innocent bystander – nor is it healthy or good for you or her.

    My best advice is to let go of her, as painful as it is. Sometimes we just need to let go of people we love, in order to be happy in the long run.

    I’m sorry it’s so painful…but trust me, the heartache will fade and you WILL be happy again.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  48. Debi says:

    My fiance (of 6 years) had an emotional affair, I was devatstated to say the least when I found out. His first reaction was to tell me that he had more in common with her than me and that he loved her. I asked him to stop and and couldn’t honestly tell me that he would. I found out that that very day he sent her a message with his NEW contact number and email. I confronted him again and this time he told me he would stop. Well needless to say I found new email accounts and new messages between them several times. He even went at far as telling this woman that he would move to be with her, she lives on the other side of the world. This continued for months, he now says that it is truely over and has been for months and that he always loved me, but didn’t think that I loved him anymore. I will honestly admit that things were very strained between us with him living in other state and only coming home every other week. I was angry and lonely, I felt abandoned but I never turned to anyone else. We have been working at making things work, he tells me and shows me regularly that I am the only one, that the emotional affair was a terrible mistake and he just got caught up in the fantasy of the whole thing. She has tried to make contact a couple of times but he claims to have not responded. I want to believe him, but it is so hard. I don’t think I could survive that hurt again. If I can’t learn to forgive, I know things will never completely get better. I love him very much, and I know that he loves me. He is trying so hard to make things work, he has changed so many things to assure me that I am the one he wants and the other was just a terrible mistake. I guess what I am asking is how to I move past it, how do I know when its time to say “here take my heart” and know that he will not break it again. I want more than anything to move on and so does he, but I am the one holding things up.

  49. Ruth says:

    My husband of 20 yrs just told me that he has had a 3yr friendship via internet/phone that he has been hiding. He says he is not in love with her but loves her as she is his best friend. He has told her things he hasn’t told me huge secrets, some of which he shared with me after telling her, at her urging. She lives an ocean apart and they have not been sexual. He has wondered (possibly with her) whether if they had met before being married if they would have wound up together. He has lied directly to me about the relationship in the past and he visited her and her spouse on a recent business trip without telling me of the significance of their relationship until well after. I do believe it is not physical and sexual in nature, but there is an attachment. He intends to remain friends with her for sure and is not sure how I will handle that and knows that could be the end of our marriage. He is really trying to be open and honest with me about our relationship and we have gotten much closer. He says he loves me as much or more than ever. I think he truly believes the relationship is good for him and our marriage. He has not given me much information on the relationship and wants to keep her confidences, I think he gets the most out of being someone she turns to and being able to help her. How do I get him to see that the relationship is not healthy for us? He is not offering to end or even to suspend communication and feels that he would either blame me for forcing him to lose his friend or possibly want keep it secret. He has shared some things about it, but will not be transparent about it with me despite my requests. I do not think our relationship improves if I give an ultimatum, because I will not learn to trust, and he will not learn to open up. Is it possible to get past this with the friendship intact?

  50. Steve says:

    Thank you Laurie,

    Well, what to say? I don’t want to abondon her but am suddenly on the other foot here. She’s married now – even if, as she says, it was a mistake.

    To continue our relationship would be for me to enter into an affair with her (and come between her and her husband) and I don’t like the idea.

    All contact between us has stopped – I’m too scared and maybe she is too hurt. Or maybe she is too scared an I’m too hurt? I don’t know – we’ve just left it all up in the air somewhere.

    If I contact her I may be invading her ‘space’ and if I don’t she may think I don’t care anymore.

    I have no idea. Should I start an affair with her? Or wait …. for how long? Though to be honest I can’t see there ever being anyone else in my life.

    A complete mess.

  51. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Steve,

    I’m sorry you feel so alone and devastated…feeling abandoned by the love of your life is one of the worst feelings in the world.

    It sounds like you’ve answered your own question: you don’t want to abandon her and the hope that you can survive this affair and rebuild trust.

    The question is, does she want to rebuild the relationship?

  52. Steve says:

    Oh dear – having read some of the help and advice offered to other people here, it’s not looking good for me. The book “His Needs Her Needs” seems to be the key and Chapter 1 is availabe to read on the internet as a taster.

    “When you and your lover become caught in an affair, you and your lover share a strong willingness to meet each other’s needs. This willingness binds you into a mutual love that develops into a passionate sexual relationship. This mutual desire to bring each other happiness builds an affair into one of the most satisfying and intimate relationships either of you has ever known.”

    That is exactly how I feel (still) – this love has been the most wonderful love in all of my life. Nothing can compare, truely.

    “As the intensity of your mutual care and passion increases, you discover yourself caught in a trap of your own making. You lose all sense of judgement and you literally become addicted to each other in a relationship built on fantasy, not reality.”

    I guess she discovered her fantasy before I did – though to excuse myself (?) I was not in a relationship with anyone else so it was not an ‘affair’ or fantasy for me.

    So what now? No relationship to repair I guess – I’m completely alone, empty and devastated. Abandoned by the love of my life as easily as someone would switch off the TV after watching a film.

    Should I abandon her and all hope that we can ever become one again?

    I can’t see how I could do that.

  53. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Pat, thanks for mentioning the book His Needs, Her Needs. I want to check it out — I’m always looking for more information about surviving infidelity.

    Sue, I neglected to mention reading books together to help you and your husband save your marriage! Reading chapters either out loud or silently, and then discussing them, can really open up new conversations and realizations about your marriage. I love reading books with my husband — we learn things about each other that we’d never learn otherwise.

  54. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Sue, I’m glad this information about surviving an emotional affair helped you…and I think it is possible for your husband to get over those feelings he had for her.

    His feelings for her might be inconsequential if he figures out how to get what he needs from you and your marriage. But first, he needs to pinpoint what was driving him outward.

    Have you considered marriage counseling? A counselor can offer an objective point of view, which will help you and your husband see why he was texting and emailing this woman. That’s an important step in overcoming an affair — figuring out WHY it happened. Once you know the why, you’ll be able to deal with it. And, dealing with it will give you a feeling of empowerment and control — and take away some of your feelings of helplessness and fear.

    I wrote a whole article on rebuilding trust after an affair — it might help you. Here’s the link:

    How to Rebuild Trust After an Affair

    That article says everything I’d say here. It’s important to know that it takes a long time to trust again. It doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a process that involves steps forward and steps backwards, steps forwards and steps backwards.

    Read the article, and let me know if there’s anything helpful there…

    I wish you all the best as you save your marriage.

    Laurie

  55. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Stephanie, I’m sorry I somehow missed your comment until now — I’m not ignoring you!

    I’m also sorry about your boyfriend…that’s a jolt out of the blue, when a boyfriend breaks up with you out of nowhere. I actually wrote an article about that — here’s the link, in case you’re interested:

    Overcoming an Unexpected Relationship Breakup

    If you still want to be friends with him, I’d ask what your goal is? It’s really difficult for ex-partners to just be friends, and if you’re hoping that you and he get back together…then you may be setting yourself up for more heartache down the road.

    If you really want to get back together with him, your best bet may be to let him go. Give him some time and space — give him a chance to miss you! He won’t realize how much he loves and needs you unless he doesn’t HAVE you…and if you stay friends, then he has his cake and he’s eating it too (figuratively speaking of course).

    I suggest you suggest to him that you take a six month break to explore your own lives. I know it sounds long and terrible, but I think that’s your best chance for getting him back. Use the six months to LIVE YOUR LIFE! Travel, make new friends, take risks, join a hiking group, take a class, try something you’ve always wanted to do…who knows, after six months has passed, you may be so over him that you don’t even want him back.

    I hope you’re doing well, and are ready to let go and start the healing process…

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  56. Steve says:

    Hello,

    I’m in such a mess – and I know it. Most of it’s my fault and I should have known better. I do know better. I’m closer to sixty than sixteen, have a lifetime of ‘social and life’ skills but I’ve completely lost the plot and am an emotional wreck.

    It all started six months ago – just a friendly chat in an on-line game. We exchanged emails and developed a relationship that grew and deepened – exchanged mobiles and began texting each other as often as 30 times a day. We fell in love, and agreed to meet – we were like teenagers in love, though she was half my age.

    We told each other everything – soul mates – almost lived our lives as if we we together, though we lived 100 miles apart. Some of our emails, texts and conversations where so meaningful and loving – she was my world and I’ve never had such a deep and wonderful relationship. Romantic songs, poems, shared our thoughts and dreams.

    It ended suddenly, and so painfully, when she got married two weeks ago. I am still in shock and have no idea what happened or what was going through her mind over all that time. We last made love two days before her wedding and I had no idea she was even seeing someone.

    I feel abused, insulted, forsaken – that someone I cared for so deeply and who told me they felt the same way can have kept such a secret.

    She then called me from her honey moon in tears to say she was sorry, she had made a mistake and that her husband was out on the town getting drunk and that she does love me. But I just can’t get my mind sorted to deal with it.

    Can anyone offer me any suggestions on how a complete fool can ever recover from such a deception?

  57. Sara says:

    Ok, this is somewhat lengthy. I just found out that my boyfriend of almost 2 years has been having an emotional affair, so to say, with his ex-girlfriend for about 4 months. It got to the point where they exchanged inappropriate pictures via email, one was sent by each of them. We have had immense amounts of sexual tension for the majority of our relationship. Everything was great for the first 6 months, then for some reason unknown to me I quit wanting to have sex. He says that this made him feel invalidated, unattractive, unwanted, etc. Also, the constant rejection was wearing on him. I feel terrible for making him feel this way and I understand how and why he does, I didn’t realize I was making him feel like this. He has been very patient with me as I try to figure out my issue, our issue. Also, a significant event (which I will not mention for their sake) happened between him and his ex during their relationship, which is why they remain in contact with each other. I’m very understanding when it comes to this particular topic, but at some point they should no longer be able to confide in each other about it. I don’t think I’m crazy for thinking that. He had two cell phones, which I always thought was weird. I have actually asked him to cancel his old one but he claimed that he didn’t have enough money to break the contract, which was a legitimate argument. He had his ex’s name as one of his friends and supposedly had a secret code between them to let her know if he could talk or not (that hasn’t been confirmed by him). Because I’m understanding of the event between him and her and because I feel like a good part of this is a result of my sex issues I feel like I drove him to do this. I don’t believe that he did it out of the meanness of his heart, to spite me, to prove a point, etc. I truly believe that he was trying to fill a void that I was neglecting to fill. I talked to his ex and their stories are the same as far as timeline, events, etc. but they are polar opposites of each other when it comes to the reason of why they still communicate. She says he is the one always contacting her. He says the opposite. At this point I don’t know who to believe…I thought I could trust him, but apparently I can’t. There is no way I can trust her but she did tell me some things that he didn’t that he later confirmed were true. So she’s not 100% crazy and lying. Anyway, is it bad if I want to try to work things out, or is it not worth it because we aren’t married yet? Other than what I have described to you, everything else in our relationship seems to be as close to perfect as possible. I love him and I know he never had any intention to hurt or deceive me, but he said it gradually happened and before he knew it he was where we are now. Just last night, we decided to go to counseling about our sex issue and this is what moved him to tell me. That, or because she was going to call and tell me everything that was going on and about the pictures because he asked her to quit contacting her and threatened to file harassment charges if she continued contact. But the odd thing is that she ended up telling me more than he did anyway and he knew she was going to call me because he called and warned me right before. One last thing, we have been in separate cities for about 2 out of the 4 months this has been going on. She’s not where he is. I’m fighting with myself…do I work it out, forgive, and move on with our relationship or do I move on with life without him? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading.

  58. Pat says:

    My marriage ended in part due to infidelity. Then I found this book called “His Needs, Her Needs.” It answered many questions for me about how a married person ends up turning to another to meet needs not satisfied in the marriage relationship. The book may not resonate with everyone, but it really spoke to me.

  59. Be encouraged that your life is not over, even though it may feel like it. A chapter in your life has come to an end, but a new chapter is beginning. If you are beginning the process, or still in the process of divorce you may feel overwhelmed. You may wonder if you have the strength and ability to get through this challenging, heart wrenching experience.

  60. Sue says:

    I just found out that my husband of 16 years has been in texting and e-mail communication with an ex-girlfriend that he reconnected on facebook with. It progressed from facebook, to e-mail, to phone (texting & calling). This went on for close to the last year. Is it possible for him to get over these feelings and can I believe that she will not be trying to continue getting in touch? He is insisting that he wants to work on our marriage and I believe it, but also am afraid that what he had with her, he will continue to yearn for… He went to many means to hide these communications including listing her under another name in his phone and giving her a “special” e-mail address to use.
    It has helped a little to read the information on this page and realize that I am not the only one and that we can get past this and strenthen our marriage….

  61. Stephanie says:

    So what if there’s no definitive evidence, and if you’re not married? My boyfriend and I planned to get married. Then a girl he barely knew became single, they started talking, and suddenly he breaks up with me out of nowhere. Three weeks later, he’s on a date with her, even though he keeps telling me he’s not ready to date or for a relationship. He says he didn’t cheat, even emotionally, and I want to believe him, but the fact that it was so fast and its someone he was talking to so much at the end of our relationship makes me very suspicious. We were together 20 months, and never had a single problem (no fights/arguments, other infidelities, etc). He was ring-shopping just one month before he broke it off!

    I want to be friends with him, since we started out as friends, and maybe it will evolve into more than that the second time around too. He says he wants to be friends, but that date with the other girl makes me think that’s either out of guilt, or he’s not being sincere (because even “just friends” means there’s some respect and being on a date so quickly is disrespectful to my feelings). Any help here would be wonderful.

  62. Kyle says:

    Thank you Laurie for taking the time to read my story and for replying so promply. Well i hope shes on the right track, because i actually told her(a day before writing to you) that she should talk to our councelor and not even about our marriage but about her and whats goin on inside. I told my wife that in order for us to move on she needs to reach out and talk to our councelor about the things in her own life that she wants and in some cases needs to figure out, and that it’ll only make her happier when she does. Even if she finds by talkin to councelor she really doesn’t want to be married or maybe isn’t ready thats fine as long as shes happy in her own skin!!! Our councelor even reached out to her and called her to have a session over the phone, i just hope amber answered and was able to talk about alot of things she needed to address!!!

    Thanks again,
    Kyle

  63. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Kyle,

    Though I’m sorry to read about your problems with your marriage, I’m happy to read that you’re in counseling! That’s one of the best ways to deal with life issues — especially marriages and love relationships. It’s important to have an objective third person give you insight into your thoughts and behaviors.

    As I read your comment, I wondered if your wife has been to individual counseling? Sometimes we need to sort out our own personal issues before working on issues with a spouse.

    Also, she says she feels unhappy with alot of things in her life. Though that’s hard to hear, it’s great that she has a reason for reaching out to another man. If she’s unfulfilled with her career, social life, hobbies, etc then she’s not necessarily unhappy with being married.

    Your wife needs to make some changes in her life — she needs to figure out exactly what she’s unhappy with. Then, she needs to take action and change those things. This may not even require counseling — maybe it’s just about her going back to school, or quitting her job and looking for a more challenging, interesting one. I don’t know; she needs to find the source of her unhappiness and deal with that.

    You sound like a good guy; your personality comes through in your writing! You want your marriage to work — and sometimes the first couple of years are the most difficult. That’s often when couples are learning how to be married and what to bring into their new life together, what to leave behind, etc.

    Hang in there; good marriages take effort and energy, but they’re worth it!

    Laurie

  64. Kyle says:

    Me and my wife have been married a little over a year and a half now and about 2 days ago i went onto the computer and her inbox poped up. There were emails from a guy i didn’t know every single night for the last 2 weeks. i read the one he sent the night before and he had told her he couldn’t wait to be with her physicaly and how smart and amazing she is. This is strage because i say these exact things and then some to her on a regular basis. I’ll be the first to admidt we’ve had our differences and we’ve been to marriage councelling mostly because i had a hard time letting go of my old single life(not women but hanging out with the guys over some beers till late in the night)and she had issues with jealously and co-dependency which really blows my mind because she was the one who “emotionaly cheated”. She would get upset if there was a nude women in a movie we’d watch sometimes but yet shes the one who cheated. I never had the stomach to read the emails she sent him but shes says they weren’t explicit. She told me she just felt really unhappy with alot of things in her life and needed someone to talk to and that he made her feel better and it was never goin to become physical, she met him on that world of warcraft game and don’t even get me started on that waste of time haha. But anyways she knew that i’ve been feelin the same way lately because of my job(in the oilpatch) and this damn economy. But i did the right thing and talked to her and just recently went back to our counceller from before to deal with the depression and anger i’ve been feeling. I’m really stuck here because i still love this woman and i kmow she still loves me but i’m so hurt and upset and don’t know if i can fogive let alone forget. And at the same time, yes she made a huge mistake but,i don’t want her to have to suffer for ever either. Any constructive coments would be greatly appreciated!!!

  65. Monica says:

    Anne, my husband became very close to a coworker, I met her and tried to like her but somehow I could never like her although she was nice to me. Somehow she started giving expensive gifts to my husband on birthdays and xmas and it fell bad but since she was a nice person we both accepted them (big mistake). At certain point things and friendship evolved without me, she started emailing my husband, sending txt on weekends, even a pictures of her! he started hiding from me gifts he bought her, emails, etc.
    One day I received an anonymous txt msg on my phone and I found out many of the emails checking his personal email. Devastation is not nearly what I felt. We talked a lot, he was honest about everything and he realized everything was wrong and he admitted he wouldn´t like it if I had that closeness to a friend. But it has taken him a lot of time to set this relationship straight. They still work together, he is her boss, and this is so hard for me. She doesn´t seem to understand the damage this caused, so she is not making any effort to stay out of the line. Thanks to internet I learned about emmotional infidelity, I realize now that I should have asked him to give back those expensive gifts, I should have told him I didn´t like her and didn´t like him to be her friend. She has a bad marriage, she has low selfesteem and my husband was helping her feel better. I believe many things happened because we didn´t know anything about emmotional infidelity, I know them now so I can understand why something was keeping me from liking her, it was the way she looked at him, she sat close to him, the time she took looking for a nice gift, and so on…
    I know emmotional affairs happen by mistake there is not a plan to be unfaithful but you have to learn the consecuences of a friendship or else you do not set boundaries and things don´t end well. Right now I still don´t trust my husband, I feel the need to read emails, I feel anxious everytime there is a dinner or event with coworkers, it will take a long time before I regain confidence. Don´t let this happen to you, talk to your husband, make him read every article on emmotional affairs (how they begin, consecuences, etc) make him aware of the damages he can make to your relationship. Hope this helps.
    Monica
    I apologise for my spelling or grammar, I speak spanish!

  66. Beth says:

    Anne,

    Trust your instincts. I to was duped several times on this same issue. I was made to believe that I was crazy, over-reactive, and paranoid.

    Come to find out my husband was having internet and phone affairs with a woman who also loved to get “Flirty” or “Sassy” so she called it when I confronted her.

    Since this may be early in the stages and if your husband is good at communication and is good at making you feel secure he should understand your concerns. He does have to have professional conversations with her, just watch for the phone calls to be after hours. I wasn’t proud of looking at my husband’s phone logs either, but if I hadn’t I would have blamed myself for being so stupid. It is okay to check. If you find nothing you can be assured. If you find something as I did just about every time I looked there are concerns.

    Be open and communicative and if he is open and reassuring and makes you feel secure you have a pretty solid relationship. If there isn’t any empathy, sympathy or compassion and no efforts are made to talk and make you feel secure, then you may have concerns.

    I wish you well.

    Beth

  67. Anne says:

    Laurie and Whyme,

    Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my post, I really appreciate your words of kindness and support.

    Unfortunately, I am having a bad day today. It is very difficult because we seem to be back on track and working hard on our marriage and communication. He still completely denies having any feelings or relationship with his coworker. They both are partners at his firm, so I know they communicate with each other on a daily basis. I know he is very apprehensive to speak of her to me, I am sure he feels like he is walking on egg shells. He will tell me about his day and completely leave her out of all of his daily happenings and such.

    I am not sure why, gut feeling, but I decided to quietly challenge him on a story he was sharing with me about his day last night. Long story short, when I casually asked he ran the issue at hand by his coworker, he told me he did not call her concerning the problem. Something inside me did not feel right, I am not proud of what I did next, but I just could not help myself. I checked his phone log. The main page phone log did not have record of a call, but the phone log history did. Her office number was listed as a call, between the calls he had spoken to me about, he had delete her number from the main log. I had checked the phone log prior to my questioning him whether or not he had communication with his coworker regarding the work issue. It seems he flat out lied to me that he had not called her. He even showed me his main page phone log of calls.

    I did not push the issue any further but I know he sensed a change in me last night. I do not understand why he must keep her calls so secretive? I am wondering if I have opened a can of worms by letting him know I have these feelings regarding the the of them. I am trying to give him the benefit of the doubt but I do not want to be blind if it is staring me in the face.

    If he is truly innocent and only has a working relationship with this woman, will my insecurities eventually push him away?
    Or, if there is something going on, what can and should I do at this point?

    I am not sure if I am completely paranoid and flat out insecure, or if my feelings are spot on.

    Anne

  68. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Anne,

    I agree with Whyme’s comment — perhaps you and your husband might think about marriage counseling.

    You’d mentioned that you had a gut feeling for a few months that something wasn’t right. Talking to an objective counselor who can help you both see what you’re missing in your marriage might be very good for both of you. And, a counselor will help you put this possible emotional affair behind you — and help you and your husband reconnect.

    Another suggestion is to read books on emotional intimacy and marriage together. The more you both connect to save your marriage, the happier and healthier you’ll both be.

    Best wishes — and let me know how it goes!

    Laurie

  69. whyme? says:

    Anne-

    Trust yourself. I have learned to do just that as well as to trust my own gut instinct. If I had trusted it sooner, i could have confronted my husband much sooner although I don’t kow if it would have made a difference.

    Trust your gut instinct.

    My husband has denied the feelings although they talk everyday besides at work. he’s continued to lie even after apologizing to me for being sorry for making me feel this way (he conintues to apologize to me. BUT, he won’t end things with this woman.

    I am working onmaking myself strong-strengthening my support around me and focusing on me….because if I don’t, who will.

    Marriage counseling as well as personal counseling can be very helpful. But, trust yourself. Good luck!

  70. Anne says:

    I confronted my husband last week regarding a female coworker. For the past few months I have had terrible, deep gut feelings, that something is just not right. I have had the feeling that their business relationship crossed over the line. At first, I tried to brush it away, but my gut was telling me otherwise, I have not been able shake my feelings. Something felt wrong.

    Last week things came to a head due to an email. We had some very severe weather come through town last week and it was raising havoc. An text message arrived while we were lying in bed watching the news coverage of the storm. My husband had his blackberry beside the bed, we both heard the text arrive, so he had to address it. It was very late and the text was from his coworker. My husband told me who it was from and actually shared the text with me. He brushed it off casually and did not respond. Although, the text message itself was fairly tame, the extreme casualness of her message, coupled with the time of night it was sent, did nothing to relax my worries.

    The entire next day I could not stop wondering and worrying. That evening after the kids were in bed, I decided to confront him with my feelings. All of them! I actually got very emotional, but was able to get everything off my chest. He did not get defensive, he actually comforted me and tried hard to make me feel secure. He denied having feelings for this woman, told me she is not that kind of woman and he is not that kind of man. At one point, he said he was sorry for making me feeling this way and that he obviously has not been connecting with me the way that he should. We talked long into the night, I was still very, very emotional.

    Things this week have been going very well. My problem is that I still can not shake my bad feelings. He never admitted to having a relationship with this woman, but he did say that he was going to adjust the way that he conducts himself at work regarding personal interactions, including his blackberry usage.

    I am not sure if I interrupted an emotional affair, or I was completely off base with my thoughts and feelings. I am so confused at the moment.

    Any advise would be so appreciated,
    Anne

  71. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Beth, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. It must have been so painful to be referred to as an “insignificant other” — that’s a tough pill to swallow!

    I admire that you’re willing to keep working towards saving your marriage by staying in individual counseling, rebuilding your own life apart from him (that’s huge!), and being open-minded about what happens with your husband. I also encourage you to listen to your counselor, as she’s more objective about your life, emotions, etc than you are. She will help you through this, and — whatever happens — you’ll soon be standing on your own healthy two feet again! :-)

    Best wishes, and come back and give an update anytime.

    Laurie

  72. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Bill,

    I’m sorry for what you’re going through in your marriage — it’s heartbreaking to learn that your wife may have been unfaithful, but not to know is even worse! It’s difficult to move on and save your marriage if you don’t know for sure if she cheated on you.

    A few reasons your wife says it wasn’t a physically intimate affair are that she doesn’t want to hurt you, she wants to save your marriage, she’s ashamed and embarrassed, she doesn’t want to face the truth — or she really didn’t have physical relations with him.

    Have you talked to the doctor?

    A few reasons the doctor’s wife says it was an intimate affair (assuming it WASN’T) are that she’s bitter about her husband’s affairs, she’s angry that he’s living with his mistress, she wants to spread pain and misery around, she assumes he did cheat physically because he always did in the past — or perhaps she’s right, and they were physically intimate.

    I suggest that you talk to your marriage counselor with your wife about how to resolve your confusion and uncertainty. What your counselor suggests depends on your personalities, marriage, and future hopes. But, it seems that your options are to investigate further with the doctor himself, or trust your wife and accept what she says.

    I’m afraid that’s all I have to offer…I can’t tell you who to believe. But, if you want to save your marriage then you need to start rebuilding trust in your wife. And, perhaps one way to do that is to believe what she says and put it behind you.

    I wish you all the best, and hope you’re able to find peace so you can move on. Keep in touch.

    Laurie

  73. Beth says:

    My husband had an emotional affair that lasted over 6 months. He just couldn’t understand why he couldn’t have a female friend that was getting so involved in our lives. She would be at our home daily, send me e-mails on how to run my marriage, accuse me of manipulation and control, discuss her marriage issues and he discuss his with each other. Finally my husband let her go for the sanctity of our marriage, though he periodically has called her and lied to me about it. He recently ended the whole thing and taken her number out of his cell phone after realizing and being told by yet another friend how damaging this relationship was and how immature this other woman was being.

    Though I appreciated this new woman’s honesty with my husband, she suddenly became the focal point of my husbands attention. Daily texting, calling each other for emotional support in their lives, nightly chats on facebook with a lot of flirting and inappropriate suggestive comments. Now I’ve done something I’m not proud of, unfortunately it was the only way I could figure out what was going on. I would check my husband’s texts to find texts from this woman asking if he was alone so they could talk. Now my husband told me he was interacting with her but not the extent of the interactions nor any of the conversations. I invited this woman to do things together so I could get to know her to no avail, she would avoid personal interactions with me. Though she would periodically chat with me on facebook or text me with simple things. So one day I stayed home from work to spend the day with my husband. We had a nice time and it really started to feel back to normal since the first emotional affair he had. Something didn’t feel right though. I knew there were daily interactions with this other woman and knew she liked to text or call him in the mornings. The next day I checked his texts on his phone and here is what I found. She texted him asking if he was available so they could talk. Now mind you this is 7:30 a.m. and she works as a school teacher with classes starting that early. So not sure how she is managing to keep up e-mails, texts during the day, but seemed to be happening. My husband hid this text from me that morning and also hid the fact that he texted back the following “my io is home”. Well I found out quickly what “io” meant and it means “insignificant other”. I had so many suspicions that this relationship was getting too close as my husband stopped coming to bed with me and stayed up late (mainly to be on facebook to chat with this person as I caught him a couple times). Every time I did catch them, he would clue her in that I was up and her response was “Your Lying” or “You’re sh**ting me” and then the communications would abruptly stop. I confronted her and she came back to me in e-mails stating “Good Luck keeping my husband on track without her in his life” That she kept him in our marriage with her fabulous marriage counseling because he was frustrated with my calling him out on lies etc…. It was quite the e-mail string with her backing out of our lives. I told her she didn’t have a counseling degree and that her counseling should be that he should “talk” with his wife. Instead she encouraged him to come to her with his problems. Her husband is unemployed right now and they appear to be having issues of their own. My husband feels that I won’t allow him to have any female friends. That is not the case, he just needs to know his boundries with these friends and daily interactions and using them to resolve our marriage issues is not the relationship he should be having.

    Since this second one is out of our life he has become more communicative again, coming to bed with me again etc… I have started making a life of my own, going out with friends, making other plans etc….

    I understand that my husband is lonely and has trouble making same sex friends, he is going through mid-life issues and refuses to discuss feelings as that is not what he (as a man) does.

    The only response I get from my husband is that I am controlling (I’m reading books on that behavior and I see some areas that I can improve upon and have.) I just won’t be walked on and be second in my husband’s life to another woman. My family and I have taken a lot of emotional abuse from my husband over the past several years due to him not getting what he wants or having some notion of wanting to do something but not telling me so we get the backlash. He has admitted that he does take out his temper and anger on us and that he is working on that. I have seen noticable improvements in his interactions with the family and with the kids. My son would often come to me asking that Dad be out of our lives, and in follow ups recently with my Son he has stated that things are better.

    I’m not sure where this will lead and if my husband can trust me to not look at his texts, phone, or emails and if I can trust him to set boundries in his female relationships. Time will tell. He won’t go to counseling, and I am in counseling. There was a not to distant point where my counselor was very concerned about my emotional health through all this and has stated that I should be out of this relationship as my husband demonstrates narcissitic behaviors. I’ve also read up on this as well and she has some definite points.

    My greatest defense is a good offense lately. I’m taking care of myself, taking care of the kids, and not worrying about him anymore. I treat him with respect and demonstrate love and appreciation for his efforts at home. Trust will need to be earned on both sides and we have a long road ahead if we want this marriage to work. I see efforts on his part so I have to take that for what it is. He is never really going to talk to me about his feelings and I may never know how he really feels. He may never know how he feels. He doesn’t even know why he does the things he does and doesn’t feel guilty when he lies to me.

    I know the tough road many of you face with this addiction and this issue of emotional affairs. There is generally two involved in the issue and the only way to improve is for both of you to take heart in each other’s feelings and really work at bringing your relationship back on track. I don’t blame my husband completely for these issues, and I don’t completely blame myself. I’m doing what it takes to make a better me to ensure this cycle is broken. If it is with this man or my next relationship.

    I wish you all well in your endeavors to be happy. Just remember we need to be happy and become the best people we can be for our significant others and our families.

    Thanks for reading my story.

  74. whyme? says:

    This is just a post to check and see how you are doing, Kel?

  75. Sharri says:

    TO BILL
    Your wife is telling you what you are desperately wanting to hear. She is trying to confuse you. She has been caught out and will continue to lie through her teeth. She obviously needs you financially and a place to stay. She does not want to be out in the cold. She played a dangerous game and thought she was hooking a doctor for marriage and happy ever after. All the while this doctor had no intentions of leaving his wife, kids and therefore it was just a roll in the hay. No second marriage can survive when it is built on the destruction of a previous marriage through adultry and especially when there are children involved. Your wife will hang on to you because she is playing for time to think things through. The fact that she is not being truthful means she is still hoping for the doctor and I am sure she will have affairs in the future because she does not feel fulfilled in her marriage to you. Could be emotional support, intimacy etc. Something is obviously missing and I dont blame you if you do not know what it is because she should tell you if she wants to remain married to you. Once you know and are able to forgive her – try working on the things in your relationship that she is looking for. Tell her your relationship with her will be a trial basis for six months provided she is truthful(or there will be a divorce) and that she should get a job at another hospital. All ties must be severed! Go to marriage councilling by all means and this will show a commitment on her part. I wish you the best and please know that you are now in a position of power. She is scared and does not know what you will do….Be in control and strong. (She will respect you if you dont show weakness and take control).Do not let her bamboozle you with lies and deceit. Stick to the facts and tell her you do not believe her lies. Name it and shame it for what it is – ADULTRY – Let that fact sink into her mind what she has done. May God bless you during this troubling, hurtful time and I hope your marriage will be better, healthier, more loving, friendship, happy lovers than ever before.

  76. Bill says:

    P.S on the above
    We’ve been married 29 years, I have never cheated or had any kind of affair, and the relationship that my wife has had with this doctor is the only time I ever suspected that she was cheating. My antennea went up almost immediately 11 years ago. Even the emotional affair hurts, but I have gotten past that part, as long as she maintains her therapy, avoids any kind of contact with the doctor, especially personal contact on Fridays. I want to know why the doctor’s wife believes that the affair was intimate when my wife maintains that it wasn’t.

    Thaks!

  77. Bill Gustafson says:

    In June, I started looking at our family’s monthly cell phone bill, and saw on a regular basis a phone number on my wife’s portion of the bill that I did not recognize. I got a bit suspicous, and then examined the bills from January to June of 2009. I found the same unfamilar phone number on a regular basis throughout the six month period. I decided to call the number, and got a male voice mail message, without a name. The message directed me to call his office, if I choose to. I did, and found out the number belonged to a surgeon my wife had worked with for eleven years.

    My wife is an operating room nurse at a local hospital, and had worked every Friday with this doctor for eleven years. He is also a man that I suspected all these years that my wife had some type of crush on. When she started working with this doctor, she used to come home and just talk about him all the time. It got to the point that I knew too much about his personal life. He was a married family man that had a mistress. I told my wife that perhaps she got to close to this gentlemen on a personal basis, that it bothered me, and to cool it. She told me that she would just maintain the professional relationaship, and that perhaps she had gotten too close. In 2003, my wife started working late Fridays, the day that she worked with this doctor, going to happy hours, and generally changing her behavior the day that she worked with this guy. At one point, she said that she was going to Happy Hour with her friends, I decided to swing by the hospital and found her car in the lot. As I stood by the car, I called her on the cell phone, and she claimed that she was at Happy Hour, and that she was on her second beer. I asked her if she got a ride, and she said no, that she had driven. I became very upset after this incident, called a private investigator, and explored whether he could get information. I backed down from this, but my wife and I once again got into fights concerning her relationship with the doctor. After we had an incident, we went to a marriage counselor, she claimed that they never had sex or did anything inappropriate, that they were just friends. She also promised that she would not carry on a personal relationship anymore.

    As I stated, in June I was looking over our cell phone statements, and found that my wife and this doctor had over 120 cell phone conversations in the past year. This is a man who cheated on his wife for years, and is living with his mistress. Some calls were as early as 5:00 in the morning, and as late as 9:45 at night. It would appear that my wife initiated about 40% of the calls. I work away from home Sunday nights until Friday nights, and had no idea that the personal relationship had begun again, and I wonder if it ever did end. She always claims that it is not a sexual relationship, but that they are just good friends.

    In mid July, I scheduled a meeting with a divorce attorney to find out what my legal options were. Four days before that meeting, I decided to call the doctor’s wife. We had an hour long converstion, she explained to me what her husband’s method of operation with potential lovers was, and that it was very likely they had had an intimate relationship. In fact, the doctor had admitted to his wife that he had had an affair with a nurse by my wife’s name at the hospital where she works. The doctor’s wife believed that it was an intimate relationship, but the doctor did not provide specifics. That afternoon, I spoke to me wife about the conversation. She broke down when she learned that what the doctor had told her was lies about his personal life, that his wife was not divorcing him, that his children wanted him back. My wife said that the pretense of his phone calls with her was that he was lonely, that his wife was divorcing him, that his kids hated him, and my wife provided a shoulder to lean on. She broke down because she realized that she had been played, that the guy just wanted to get in her pants!

    My wife, however, never answered the question about a sexual affair, other than to say that the relationship was never intimate. We have been to a marriage counselor, and my wife has been seeing a psychiatrist on a regular basis. I forgave her, because I saw the emotion generated when we talked about my conversation with the doctor’s wife. Now, three months later, I have re-examined the phone calls in a different light. There are many phone calls that you could construe were to set up liasons, and the timing is interesting. My wife had to drive past the doctor’s office every morning and afternoon to get to and from work. There were many early morning phone calls (5:00 to 5:15 AM) of short duration. She also never answered the question about why the doctor’s wife had interpreted what the doctor told her about his “affair” made her believe that it was intimate.

    I am still bothered by this. The circumstantial evidence would point to an intimate relationship, and I want to know the truth. What do I do?

  78. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Onlyme,

    It really IS amazing how fast our lives can change…in the blink of an eye, our worlds can be torn apart. I’m sorry.

    I don’t know what the future holds for your marriage, but if you want to rebuild your relationship, I suggest going into counseling with an open mind and heart. She may have made a serious mistake, and it may just be a blip in your marriage. Nobody can know for sure — and I suspect not even she knows for sure how she’ll feel in a week, month, or year.

    Couples counseling can help you see your marriage objectively, and can help you determine if you and she can move forward. It can also help you start the healing process, and start putting this affair behind you (whether or not you and your wife stay together, the counselor can help you start to pull your life back together).

    I wish you all the best, and hope the worst is behind you.

    Laurie

  79. Sharri says:

    TO: onlyme
    You sound like a decent man of good character and it does seem that you are devasted by what your wife has put you through. No one deserves to be humiliated and hurt, especially by the one you love who is supposed to love, honor and obey with the marriage vows. I think you need to have some time apart so that you can think things through and to see if she does hook up with this boyfriend again. Chances are she is going to at any cost on his terms while lying to you. She has been caught out and also does not want to sit without a roof above her head that is why she will tell you what she thinks you would like to hear. All lies, Im afraid while she is still infatuated with this man. Tell her she needs to move out and behave herself (by not being involved with another man) and you will assess the relationship in 6 months time. She needs to do the relationship work to fix what she broke. You need to be sure she is not using you financially in the meantime. Surely she does have family, friends she can stay with. If she was independant enough to start an affair she can live on her own in the meantime. An affair takes time to heal, time to trust and one must rebuild themselves all over again. I do so wish people who are married, in committed relationships would rather break up, move out and then find themselves a new relationship with a clean slate. Also you might want to get yourself checked for sexually transmitted diseases, check if she’s pregnant and might pass the child off as yours. It is not clean and dried just to forgive and forget. You have to ask these important questions and have her checked out by a doctor. I think she would get a wake-up call, fright if you set out your conditions because now taking her back is strictly up to you. She is no longer in a position of power over you that she can do as she pleases with total disregard to your feelings. P.S. Her wanting to be with him within 5 weeks of re-aquaintance means they must have had a sexual relationship within such a short period of time. Sounds like an adultress to me. Makes one wonder if she was unfaithful before this? Good luck.

  80. onlyme says:

    5 days ago I found out that my wife of 11 years had recently been in contact with her high school boyfriend. They had apparently been talking only 5 weeks, but in that time she decided she wanted to be with him. We called him and his wife when i found out in order to rectify the situation one way or another. her boyfriend wouldn’t commit to her on the phone while his wife was there. my wife kept telling him she loved him more than me and would do whatever he wanted. if he said no, she would stay with me. hearing my wife tell another man she loved him more right in front of me was the most devastating moment in my life. the more she repeated it the more it hurt. we ended the conversation with no committed answer from her boyfriend. she told me she wouldn’t call him again and it was a mistake. over the next 4 days she called him 3 times. i discovered pictures of herself she had taken on her camera of her in sexy nightgowns. she said she didn’t send them to him but they were meant for him. now she says she loves me and wants to see a counselor. i don’t know if she is just saying that though or still planning on talking with him. It’s amazing how your life can turn around in an instant. do i try counseling? or is enough enough? i really do love her, but i can’t stand being hurt like this.

  81. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Giving Up,

    I can see why you’re ready to give up on your marriage! It’s heartbreaking to see your husband so emotionally involved with another woman — I’m sorry you’ve found yourself in this unhealthy cycle.

    Sharri offered some good advice: pack his bags and ask him to leave. Rebuild your life, set your standards, and be firm in what you want out of your husband and marriage.

    Since you asked how to break the cycle you and your husband are in (and perhaps save your marriage), I wrote an article called “How to Have a Better Relationship – Marriage Advice.” It may give you a few ideas on how to break the unhealthy cycle you’re in and reconnect with your husband.

    To read it, just click the link:

    How to Have a Better Relationship – Marriage Advice

    I hope it helps, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts or questions over there!

    Best wishes,
    Laurie

  82. Sharri says:

    Hi there
    First of all you have done nothing wrong. He most probably was already involved with this woman and was looking for an excuse, an argument with you to come up so that you would disengage and he could blame it on you. He is a scoundrel! I would name and shame him for starters. Tell all his friends, the couples that the two of you are acquainted with. Tell his parents, siblings etc so that it is all out in the open. Affairs dont last long when everyone knows and it will loose its excitement because of it. If you still love him, after you have named and shamed him continue as normal, get a hobby, become mysterious and dont confide and tell him everything about your life any more. Ignore him! Do nice things for yourself and be happy. Go out in the evenings as well (cinema, your parents, friends etc) and try to leave before he goes on his date so that he can lock up. Believe me he will soon be beside himself wondering what your game is and he will want to come back to you. The trick is you must not be hard up, insecure, lacking self-esteem, any weakness and do not take him back in a hurry. This time around it is a brandnew start and must be on your terms. Tell him he has to prove himself for a period of no less than 6 months and seek councilling with you or No Deal.
    Again, do not go back to old ways where you are predicatable and as comfortable as a well worn shoe. He has to do all the work on the relationship now as he messed up.
    If you do no longer love him, again name and shame him – tell him to move out immediately. IF HE DOES NOT, PACK HIS BAGS AND DELIVER THEM TO THIS WOMAN HE IS DATING – Tell her they are both welcome to each other and then leave like a lady. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and to be loved in return. Good luck.

  83. Giving up says:

    I’m stuck in a vicious cycle. My husband said things that he should not have when he was angry a few weeks ago and I haven’t been able to let go. I have pulled myself away emotionally to try to stop hurting (yes, i know this is wrong). Then he met another woman that he has become “best friends” with. They text each other all day long. They talk on the phone a few times a day. He finds a reason to go see her every night. He brings her dinner when she can’t get a break from work. And every time something like this happens, I pull away a little more. So he relies on her more. So I pull away more.

    You can see the problem.

    How can I stop pulling away and be the emotional support he needs when I feel so hurt? When every day I feel unimportant? When he’s getting his needs met through another woman?

    And by the way, I tried to talk to him about all this. His response can be summed up as “I’m sorry you feel that way, but you started this”.

    Please help me find a way to break the cycle because I don’t think he is going to.

  84. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Exhausted,

    Wow, it sounds like you’re dealing with Glenn Close’s character in the move Fatal Attraction! That show should be required viewing for husbands and wives, to keep them faithful.

    For your situation, have you looked into a restraining order from the police? I don’t know if that would alert other people to your husband’s affair — you’d mentioned not wanting to file harassment charges. I don’t know if a restraining order is the same thing, but it can be effective.

    Another — rather odd sounding — possibility is to talk to her. What does she want? She obviously wants to be heard, to make a connection with you. MAYBE hearing her out with your husband present would make her go away. I don’t know if this is a good idea; it’s just something to think about. Maybe if you give her the hour or two she seems to need so much, she’ll go away. It’s not fair that you have to deal with the woman your husband cheated with…but that’s what he set up when he had the affair.

    The third suggestion I have is even more uprooting: move to another state or province. Perhaps starting over in a brand new place will not only shake her off, it’ll give you and your husband the fresh start you need.

    And remember: this too will pass. She WILL eventually go away, and you WILL be free to move on with your life. This is just a nasty, painful phase that will pass.

    Best wishes — and let me know how it goes!

    Laurie

  85. Exhausted says:

    My husband had an affair and ended it. When he did she contacted me. We are trying to save our marriage but she won’t leave us alone. Constant emails, text and phone calls. I’ve now contacted a lawyer. He is sending her a certified letter asking her to stop. I don’t want to file harrassment charges because I don’t want to answer questions from people who might hear about it. Any other suggestions? My husband has had no contact with her except to ask her to leave both of us alone. I have even contacted her husband, they are also trying to work it out. Any suggestions?

  86. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Kara,

    That’s a tough one…he’s really pushed the limits of emotional cheating and your forgiveness!

    I suggest you and he talk to a marriage counselor. I think this cycle of him cheating won’t be easy to break — and it’s not simply a matter of finally seeing the light! He’s developed a learned behavior (a habit, an addiction?), and he can’t just stop it. I guess it’s possible to just quit cold turkey, but the chances that he can just change his behavior so quickly — without any insight into why he’s drawn to other women — are small.

    The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

    The objectivity of a marriage counselor can help you see your husband’s motives and behaviors more clearly. And, a counselor can help you and he figure out why he keeps doing this.

    That’s really the root of the problem. Why does he keep getting involved with other women? The sooner you guys figure that out, the easier it’ll be to move on.

    And this all ties in to rebuilding trust: it’ll be easier (but not a piece of cake) to trust him again if you and he both know and accept the underlying motives.

    I wish you all the best — and I hope you find a counselor who can help you pull your marriage back together. It CAN be done, my friend! It’ll just take the investments of time, energy, and money.

    Good luck, and you’re welcome to update me anytime or just vent your feelings here,
    Laurie

  87. Kara says:

    Hi, I just found out that my husband has been inappropriately texting another woman. This is now the 4th time I have caught him doing this in our 5 year marriage. We have two very young children together so this decision is extremely difficult for me. Each time I catch him doing this he says he knows how wrong he was and that he’ll never do it again. Obviously, our marriage just isn’t more important than his emotional affairs.

    I have recently received a promotion and he mentioned how since I have had my new job I am distant. The reason I am distant is we discussed that I would need him to step up before taking my new job because of the new demands and longer commute. He has not pitched in. I also can’t seem to get him to work consistently. On average he only works 3 wks out of the month. All the while leaving me to pick up and drop off our girls to day care and handle most of the house work.

    I was ready to end it after I found the last text message. Now he says he “finally” see’s what he has done/not done. He’ll never have an emotional affair again and he’ll do whatever it takes to save our marriage. How do I believe him? How to I ever trust him again?

  88. Aya says:

    I just found out my fiancee has been emailing and calling another woman for many months. Of course he admitted to it after I caught him and his excuse was that he was using her to get her to send him things. So I called her to hear what she had to say about the whole thing and it was completely different from his story.
    I’m busting my tail in school and taking care of our kids on top of that dealing with his dumb ass betraying me. I’m half way out the door and the only thing that keeps me in is that I want to make our relationship work.
    He has promised to never make this mistake again, but I don’t trust him. He is making every effort to work on regaining my trust, but I don’t know if I have it in me. It hurts so much and although there was no physical contact, to me it’s worse because he said things to her that he says to me all the time. He says I’m overreacting, but he’s full of s**t. I have every right to feel the way I feel. I have given up everything I have worked so hard for to build a life with him and this is what I get in return?
    I’m so tired of fighting for our relationship when a the while he’s playing games.

  89. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Linda,

    Good question — and one that’s not easily answered without knowing more about your relationship, personality, background, your age, what happened in the past year, etc.

    I suggest reading my article “Emotional Affairs on the Dr Phil Show”, here on Quips & Tips for Achieving Your Goals. It offers several reasons people have emotional affairs.

    Here’s the live link:

    Emotional Affairs on the Dr Phil Show

    I ask you to read it and tell me which of Dr Phil’s reasons is most likely your reason for seeking this emotional connection from others….what do you get out of this connection? What purpose does it serve? What need does it meet?

    Looking forward to your response,

    Laurie

  90. Linda says:

    Hello everyone,

    OKay I have a problem.. Since this topic is “emotional affair” well, I was in this situation and I even went as far where I took it from the computer to in person, where I fooled around with the guy a little. I realized it was wrong, I moved on since I’m in a relationship. So then lately I have been doing it again with an ex of mine. Why do I keep doing this? I mean, I’m happy in my relationship, but why do I have to seek this attention from others? I was never like this until the last year. HELP!

  91. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi KAL,

    I think it’s great that you and your husband will try marriage counseling, and that he’s seeing his own counselor. Finding the root of the problem is one of the best ways to survive an emotional affair.

    The fear that you’re dealing with (that he might cheat again) will become less strong as you and he work through this problem. I think you’ll be able to trust him once you and he get to the root of it. You and he will need to talk about his plans to leave and his decision to stay with the marriage counselor — that’s a pretty big issue.

    Getting past the feelings of betrayal, hurt, anger, and sadness takes time and effort. My friend’s husband cheated on her, and she said it was the most difficult thing she ever experienced. It took her a long time to trust him again, a long time to get over her anger and hurt, but she did. It requires a constant, daily choice to forgive, to let go of the pain, and to choose to focus on love and your future together.

    I’m afraid it’s not easy. And, different things work for different couples. Some couples find that reading books about emotional infidelity and surviving affairs TOGETHER works really well to repair the damage. Marriage counseling is a great way to get insight and objective feedback. Marriage retreats or workshops are extremely helpful — my husband and I took a “Nonviolent Communication” class through community learning, and it taught us important things about how to talk to each other.

    Will he do this again? I don’t know. I don’t think anyone can say for sure……though I’ve heard Dr Phil counsel couples and tell certain ones that the same problems will keep cropping up because of both individuals’ mindsets. Whether your husband will cheat again depends on his reasons for cheating in the first place, his past history of cheating on other women, and other factors that I’m not even aware of!

    I encourage you to take it one step at a time. And, give it TIME — it’ll take months (or even a couple of years) to move past this.

    Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Magic 8 Ball to tell you if he’ll cheat again? But, life and marriage is about living it to see what happens.

    I’m sorry he did this — but glad that his story was confirmed by the other women. At least he’s being honest.

    Feel free to come back anytime — it’s often helpful just to write your feelings and thoughts, and know that others are in the same situation.

    Warm regards,
    Laurie

  92. KAL says:

    Hi, my husband and I have been married for just over 1 year, but have been together for 7 years. A few of those years were long distance and the last two years he supported me through an Ivy League graduate school. I graduated last year and we got married right after that. This past year, my husband’s employment was very busy and we really only saw each other on weekends. He even had an apartment in another city for the last 4 months.

    I just found my husband has been involved with other women for about 6 months before we got married – a s*x texting relationship with two different women that he worked with that involved intimate talk about what they wanted to do to each other and n**e pictures of each of them (not together). He claims this was just a way to get attention and nothing physical ever happened. I believe this and reached out to these women and they said the same thing. More recently, he has been involved with someone who is younger than me that he works with. They started as “just friends” but I found out by looking at his phone bills and our joint account that he had been talking to her a lot and having dinners with her, weekend trips and that he had flown her to a luxury resort in FL on our 1 year wedding anniversary (we had decided to celebrate the weekend before since I had a family event back home the same weekend). He hadn’t told me about any of this rather I had to find out on my own. He said nothing physical happened and for the longest time I didn’t believe him but I spoke with her too and their stories matched completely. He was planning to leave me and then get involved with her physically. He recently lost his job because of poor judgement decisions at work and I think partially because of his relationship with this younger woman he worked with. Now, he is wholeheartedly trying to come back into my life. He said he didn’t get attention from me and was really stressed with everything, didn’t know how to communciate and was running away from all of our problems and real life. He’s seeing a counselor to help him work through why he did all of this. I don’t know what to do. I’m only 28 and we don’t have kids. I’m extremely hurt by all of this, but I still love him. Is this something I can work through? How do I get past the anger, hurt and sadness? We are going to try marriage counseling. Please help me understand if this seems to be someone who would do this same thing again to me – that is my biggest fear.

  93. Ki says:

    Thanks Laurie for all your advise. Yes I do love my husband but its more like a friendly love or yes we have history type of love. I have never been like oh my god there is my husband, or I miss my husband. I don’t think I would give my life for him. I feel I was pressured into this marriage and everyday I just go through the motions. My husbsand said I should put my happiness aside for the sake of the kids and basically him. But if I’m not happy, they see it. I just want him to understand this is not a result of the other guy, this is how I have felt for years. I know I want a divorce but after listening to him tell me how terrible of a mother I am if I do, how selfish I am and watching him cry continuously I can’t do it. It looks like I’m stuck in this and its a terrible feeling. But I think I will try marriage counseling. I definitely know I need some one on one counseling to get to know myself and why I make the terrible decisions I make.

  94. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Ki,

    I’m sorry — it sounds like you’re in a difficult situation. But, the good news is that it CAN be resolved!

    This sounds easier than it is, but you need to figure out what the best is for everyone involved: you, your husband, and your kids. This can be tricky because it depends on whose needs you put first.

    Some people who stay in marriages for the sake of the kids later find out that the kids wished they would’ve divorced, because they could tell it wasn’t a happy marriage. Other couples who stay married find that they just needed to work through the hard times — and EVERY marriage has hard times. It doesn’t matter whether couples marry for love, security, because of pregnancy, or for convenience….all marriages have tough times. Love doesn’t conquer all.

    If you’re inclined to stay married, my suggestion would be to get thee to a marriage counselor! Untangling emotional issues is very difficult, and a trained counselor can make a big difference. Couples counseling doesn’t have to last for years or even months; sometimes it just takes a session or two to see what the issues are and how to resolve them. Then, it takes dedication and practice…

    I also suggest figuring out how you “should” love your husband. You said you love him, but not like you should. I don’t know what you mean by that, but I do know that many men and women have this perception of the way love and marriage “should” be — and it’s perpetrated by Hollywood movies and TV sitcoms. And romance novels!

    My husband and I did premarital counseling before we got married, and that helped dispel the myths of how love and marriage should be. Obviously premarital counseling is too late, but I encourage you to think of your ideal marriage and how you should love your hubby. Think about where those ideas came from, and if they’re reality. For instance, I thought I’d feel loving towards my husband all the time…but love doesn’t work that way.

    I hope this helps a little, and I welcome your further thoughts! Remember, there is hope for a happy life and even a happy marriage…it’ll just take some work to get there.

    Best wishes,
    Laurie

  95. Ki says:

    I was in an emotional affair with a guy I knew in high school and reconnected with on Facebook, until my husband found out by going through my cellphone. My story is different cause I know I messed up, I can’t take it back, but I want out of my marriage. Not because I want the other guy. I love my husband but not like I should, never really have and I’ve felt trapped cause I didn’t want to hurt him. I married him for security really. Bad idea. I also want out because when my husband tells me all these negatives things about me over the past 12 years I wonder why he wants me anyway. I just don’t understand it. This is his chance to find the one for him. I’m also struggling cause I constantly think about the other guy, I constantly check my email hoping he sent me a message. I’m not in love with him but miss the communication. Just don’t know what to do. Married for 6 years, 3 kids. Talking only leads to arguing, so tense here right now.

  96. Jane says:

    Dear Raquel,

    I feel deeply for you. I know how you are feeling. My prayers are with you. It’s going to hurt alot for a long time, and it will be confusing. You will have some dark times. I know I still have many more dark times to get through. Praise God that you were able to release yourself from this entanglement. That is the first and most important step you can take. Never go back. If you are willing to move forward and make right choices from now on, healing will come.

    It helps to write, I know. Keep doing that for as long as you need to. Connect with a safe and private support system. Guard against saying too much to too many people right off the bat. You will probably feel very alone in your pain. Think about your husband and what he may be feeling. I can be pretty sure that this is killing him emotionally, if he knows about it. Pray always.

    Jane

  97. Raquel says:

    Dear Jane,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story.
    For i was an a very similar situation for 3 months.
    Im so ashamed of myself and upset for aloowing myself to get there. As of now im barely going on 3days of not talking to the man who i had an emotional affair.
    Its hard for me , but i know that God will help me overcome this feeling.

    Raquel

  98. SandySD38 says:

    Dear Wendy and Jane

    You don’t know how excited I was to see both of you respond so quickly and enthusiastically to North Star Sisters. Your posts have truly made my day. I don’t want to overload this website with my information, so if you want to e-mail me directly I can tell you all about NSS.

    Jane

    I will take a moment and quickly answer your questions from above.

    The only thing that you will find if you Google NSS is a women’s fiddle band (which is not us). I doubt you will be able to find anything online about it (which will make more sense after I tell you about it).

    I’m almost 20 months out from the end of my affair. So, I think I know how things might be going for you now (and it can be very hard and scary for the first few months). I’ll tell you all about my journey later.

    I think most of your questions will be answered after I give you some information about it. Trust me, I had a lot when I first connected to NSS. So, plesae e-mail me at my name here plus the typical Yahoo e-mail end. I’m not sure how restrictive this site is so I’ll try to spell it out – SandySD38 at Yahoo dot com (I hope that is clear enough). When you do e-mail please use an email that is fairly anonymous to protect your privacy. I’m going to check my e-mail later tonight in the hope that you see this and respond.

    Our GAs are working hard to help us. I can’t wait to hear from you. :)

    SandySD38

    PS – If anyone else is interested, you are welcomed to reply too. Understand that this is only for women that are the cheaters who are committed to saving their marriage and families. I would ask that you respect this condition. Thank you.

    My prayers are with everyone here.

  99. Wendy says:

    Sandy

    I don’t have a lot of time to post now, but I really wanted to reply to yours now. I agree completely with Jane when I say “God Bless You”. I know that Jesus has had a hand in this. I am also Catholic and was over joyed to see that you (and Jane) are also Catholic. Its nice to know that I’m women like myself are in my same situation.

    I’m very interested in connecting with a North Star Sister and finding out what its all about and how it can help me. I can’t wait to see your next post.

    Thank you for your message of hope.

    Wendy

    PS – Jane – The thank you notes are wonderful and are having a positive effect on my situation. I would like to say more about what’s happened recently, but I only have a few minutes. My prayers are with you.

  100. Jane says:

    Wendy, I’m so glad you liked the idea of the thank you notes. My husband just returned from a two-week business trip, and one of the first things he said to me was “thank you for the all the thank you notes”. I hope it has a good impact on your relationship, too.

    Sandy, God Bless You. I agree with you that there is a reason for the connections being made on this site. I am also Catholic, and I have started saying more about faith and trust in Jesus in my writing here. I didn’t know if it would offend anyone, but it’s too important to leave out of my situation, and we are called to be witnesses, no matter the cost. I am very grateful that you have come forth to magnify aspects of my own personal faith in such a similar way that I am also feeling.

    Your comments about your GA are stunning to me. I have always known that each person has one, but for most of my life, I have not had a prominent awareness of my GA’s constant committment to keeping me in God’s light. It was literally a few weeks ago that I began to involve mine in my daily life. I know that many things have changed for the better, knowing that my GA can help me with whatever challenges I ask for assistance for. I also believe that our angels work together with other people’s angels. Case in point, you and your words here.

    I am very much wanting to get connected with a North Star Sister. If I just look it up on the internet will I find it? Do they try to match you up according to your situation? I will wait for your response about it, in case you have further advice before I dive in to this. Thank you so much.

    Sandy, how far out are you from your emotional affair? What prompted you to come to this site at this point? I know I’m far from where I need to be. I continue to have confusing thoughts about my co-cheater, although I am certain that I will not be going back to him, nor will I ever turn to anyone else for my emotional needs. There are still so many things that need to change and improve between me and my husband, and the layers of damage are so thick. I know I can’t mend it all on my own. I have moments of strength and confidence, but then I will fall apart a little and lose some hope. I can get really hard on myself and have that futile wish that this had never happened. Useless, I know.

    I am excited to see your next entry here. Thank you so much.

    Jane

  101. SandySD38 says:

    I am making this post to Hank, Wendy, and Jane. Before I get into this post, I’d like to say that I am the cheater in my marriage. Fortunately for me, my marriage did not end but was saved.

    Dear Hank

    I want you to know that your post touched me very deeply and I cried many tears as I read your words. I was deeply saddened to hear that your family has split despite your efforts. I pray that you and you children find the healing and love you will need to recover. I hope you can find a group at your church that can help you. Being Catholic, I know that our church as some resources and a group that is available for people in your situation.

    I really saddened my heart to hear that your wife wasn’t able to understand your situation and work to rebuild a life with you and your family. I know that three things that saved my marriage. The first is my husband. His love and forgiveness held our family together despite my sinful acts. He is my hero and true love.

    The second is Jesus and my Catholic faith. I know he heard my prayers and preserved my husband and me through the darkest period of our marriage. His love is felt in our home every day and I praise God for answering my prayers.

    The third and last is my North Star Sister (NSS for short). I know that my NSS was an answer to my prayers. It was so helpful to be able to correspond with another Christian woman who had been in my exact position and had successfully mended her marriage and developed a new and deep love with her husband. I still can’t believe my luck of finding her. She was so kind and knew exactly how I was feeling. Her wisdom and help gave me the “tools” I needed to truly help me be the wife and mother that my husband and family deserved.

    Dear Wendy and Jane

    I had to read your posts a few times to overcome the surprise of the many similarities between our situations. You could practically change your names for mine and a few of the names/places/small details and you would have me. I too engaged in an emotional affair with a man that I interacted with professionally. My husband found me out and confronted me before I had fallen even further into my sin. The words you use to describe how you felt before, during, and after you were found out by your husbands ring so true with me.

    I know that the end of the affair is still very fresh in your life now and that you probably have a storm of emotions still whirling around in your heart and head. I know I did. I too was anxious about how I would be at work with my co-cheater. I was so ashamed of how I could have done this (since I thought I was the kind of woman that would never even come close to doing something like this). I was in despair for the great pain that it caused my husband. I also felt tremendous fear that my life and family may not survive what I had done and I would be alone with the rubble of my life. I want both of you (and I’m focusing on you two since I can identify so much with you) to know that there is hope for healing and the chance for a marriage that can be even better than before the affair. It may not seem possible now (and boy do I sure know how that feels), but me and my NSS before me are proof that it can happen if you can believe in yourself and trust God’s love.

    I deeply feel that my guardian angel definitely guided me and with the instrument of God’s love. I know that my GA helped me maintain my faith and led me to my NSS. I can’t describe how much help she was in getting me on the right path. The fact that she was another Christian woman that had done the same things that I had and was able to bring joy to a marriage that was deeply in sorrow and despair made me feel the confidence that I could to it too. I would love to give you some information about NSS and see if you would be interested in it. It’s very informal and private (it’s not a website or anything that you have to sign up for or require a commitment – I was a bit uncertain at first too). Please let me know in a post if you would be interested. I think both of you could find something that would benefit you. I know that my NSS was a gift from God and I hope it could help you too. Our lives seem to be so similar and I feel that God has had a hand in this chance interaction.

    North Star Sisters – A light of hope to help guide you out of your darkness and into the Light.

    My prayers are with you and I hope to hear from you.

    SandySD38

  102. Wendy says:

    Hank

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us (especially to Jane and I). You have given me a lot of insight on how my husband must feel about what I have done. I think I can really feel and understand what my husband has been trying to tell me. I fell into that same mode of trying to “fix” myself before I dealt with his damage…but I think it was more me avoiding his situation because I didn’t want to own up to how awful I have been.

    You really made me see how my husband has been a much greater man than my co-cheater. He was before, but I think I had blinded myself to his love since it wasn’t in the form that I wanted. How could I have been so selfish and heartless. I think I am going to spend a lot of time focusing on him in a much more positive way.

    Jane, thank you so much for the great idea of the “thank you” notes. I sat down tonight and wrote a month’s worth. I am going to begin giving them to my husband tomorrow morning before he goes to work. I am very excited about this and hope it helps him. I know that it is helping me see how much he means to me.

    I have said a few prayers for Hank since I read his post. Prayers of thanks for his gift of sharing his pain and explaining how his wife’s adultery haas made him feel. I am going to talk to my husband tomorrow night and hopefully I can show him that I am beginning to understand and empathize with his terrible pain (that I caused). I have also asked Jesus to hold you in his love and help you heal.

    I’ll let you know how things turn go tomorrow. I’m praying that it helps put us on the path of healing.

    Wendy

  103. kim says:

    One lesson I have learn it was easy for my husband to blame me for everything wrong in our relationship than to admit that he step out of the marriage. As his mistress told me she made his life perfect but in the long run when I find out she new that when I gave him the choice between us he would stay in the marriage. Yes it was his choice I have children and my concern was there happiness. I told him we will always have our children and they need to know we can work together no matter what situation. It has been a couple of years and in a strange way that bump in pur marriage strenght us. We are happier as a family and talk all the time. Secrets kill any relationship because even a small one ends up being a gaint one. Good luck but remember you are the only one who can make you happy. Happiness is within and then joy come from everything around you include relationships.

  104. Beth says:

    I have been seeing a counselor since last November when I had a hard time coping with this friendship. She enlightened me as to what was really going on and that I wasn’t crazy.

    We went to couples counseling a couple times, but my husband doesn’t believe in counselors and refuses to go.

    So I see my counselor twice a month and try to cope the best I can. Some days are better than others.

    Thank you for your suggestions as I have already tried these routes.

    My counselor has helped tremendously and I know our couples counselor could have helped had my husband kept up with it. I think my husband fears hearing that he may not be as perfect as he thinks he is.

    Thanks for your support.

  105. Jane says:

    Dear Hank,

    I have tremendous gratitude for you sharing your story.

    You sound EXACTLY like my husband. Every single thing you have said mirrors the kind of things he has said to me. I am heartbroken that your marriage ended, and it punctuates how scared I am for mine. I want you to know that my shame will always haunt me. It will never go away. I know how close I came to the brink of complete moral disaster. I wonder if your former wife has a sense of that. It sounds like she may have been more deeply entangled than I was. Maybe it’s harder for her to come out of the drug-like haze of it all.

    At the time, I thought my co-cheater was a little bit of a dream come true. So much in common, such similar ways of thinking, working, expressing. Far more of the little things were shared than I shared with my husband. But, I do not believe he is a better man than my husband. First and foremost, he is a person who defied the bonds of two marriages, and could have potentially caused the break-up of two families. Extremely poor judgement and very self-centered. Two important qualities that my husband definitely has over him. Way over him. My husband has a long list of wonderful qualities. Some of those qualities have been hard for me to appreciate, and I saw them as negative and oppressive. I thought we were very incompatible because of our differences. However, I have been learning so much about how our differences are complementary, and we are beginning to combine our efforts for a more harmonious household.

    He also has said, just like you did about your former wife, that I am a different person to him now. He has used the word “death” just as you have. The thing is, I was always the person I am. He just didn’t see me. I haven’t felt open to sharing some parts of myself with my husband for quite some time, because when I’ve tried it in the past, he would respond in ways that made me feel put down, silly, and insignificant. He may not have meant for me to feel that way, but over time, I became very closed to showing my vulnerable side to him. He says he loves the person I have become, with all my newfound confidence and accomplishments, but he is justifiably so mortified that I would share some of myself with someone else. I am also mortified at myself. It is so painfully embarrassing and despicable of me to have opened myself to someone outside of my private world. I was an utter fool, and I own it.

    I know what you are talking about with being suspicious of your former wife spending time on the computer. My husband was suspicious of the time I have spent on this forum, but I think he understands what I’m doing with it now. Also, I opened a youtube account the other day without even thinking about it, just because I wanted to leave a comment on a video. As soon as he noticed it, his heart skipped a beat again, wondering why I would be doing that without telling him. Truthfully, I didn’t even think a thing about it, because it’s just for youtube, which didn’t have anything to do with the other person or anyone else. But, he VERY kindly (I am so lucky he is being this way) requested that I always let him know what I’m doing on the computer, no matter how benign it seems to me. He has asked me to be transparent about all of my actions from now on. The thing is, I was ALWAYS transparent before this happened. He had access to EVERYTHING. Bank accounts, emails, cell phones, everything. He is actually the one I was suspicious of not too long ago. He has a private email that I have never even had any interest in logging onto. He also has a separate account for purchasing items online, but he doesn’t give me access to it. I never questioned it before, but what am I supposed to think now? As I was getting smarter about how to open and manage my own private accounts through this experience, I admit I was feeling justified in having my own things for my own purposes, since he had his. I also had a twisted belief forming in my mind that he MUST be up to no good, knowing that I was never going to be smart enough to figure it out. Really, trust here goes both ways. How in the world do I know that he hasn’t already “cleaned up” and covered up something that he has been up to? I don’t really believe it, but in my dark moments, that thought comes up sometimes. Prior to my moral error, he had threatened me several times over the hard years we have had that he has been very close to finding someone else or some other way to satisfy his needs. I think it was very cruel of him to say that to me, and it hurt just as badly as if he had actually done it. He is a man of his word, so I believed he would actually follow through with it one of these days. It all played into my sense of hopelessness, and when everything finally came to the point it did this past spring, I was primed for falling into something, even though I knew it was wrong. What a mess.

    Hank, my prayers are with you and all the people affected by this in your life. This is just awful, and trust me, it’s very hard for me to face my days most of the time. I think about the positive things I do in my life, which are things I have always done. It just doesn’t match up sometimes, now that the dark side of me (which everyone has) has been exposed. Sometimes I don’t even recognize or believe in the person I see in pictures. I can sometimes “watch” myself from a distance and wonder what in the world I am about. But, I hear what you are saying. This healing of mine needs to be less important than the healing for my husband. That is why I have made such an effort to do all the things I am trying to show him that I am his, forever. I have a close friend who is in her late 60s now. She was in a full blown physical affair for 10 years. Now, six years after she ended it, and after going through the darkest times a person can imagine, they are doing wonderfully. She has assured me that time is going to be a big player in healing these wounds and cultivating a loving marriage that will last until the ends of our lives. Still, I think it is important for me to contemplate the reality of your experience, and I thank you for sharing, in such painful detail, what you have gone through.

    Jane.

  106. Sharri says:

    Hi Idiopathic,

    Sorry to burst your bubble. My husband was previously married to a woman like your wife. She gave him the time of his life with constant affairs, flirting, mystery and intrigue. Divorced him for a neighbour directly across the road, 6 months later moved in with someone else, 6 months later phoned, begged to come back saying she made a mistake.

    He remarried her for the sake of the child and she contious her secret life evenutally leaving him for a best friend. This happened many years ago. She had already been married, diovrced gave up full custody of her first child /first marriage and although she had visitation and vacation rights and reasonable access to see the first child – she never did!

    She then had 5 marriages, an illegitmate child (3rd son) and always tried each one to see if she still had what it takes to have them take her back. She was out to destroy these men who she previously had relationships with and them being in a new relationship/marriage/children did not put her off.

    I only hope your wife is not like this one as you can see a leopard does not change its spots. The men were foolish, did not give her the third degree, wanting details make her accountable as to what went wrong in their relationship for her to act and continue what she did. They took her back, no questions asked and so she continued. For peace of mind as a woman giving you advice – plse go to a therapist without taking her back before all issues and truth is out. If she is willing and does go, then maybe you will
    stand a chance. If not she will move on to the next guy faster than lightning.

    Plse be wise as my husband today does not believe, looking back on how his ex-wife operated that their son is biologically his – would need a dna Test. Tell her another condition of getting back together is a DNA TEST OF CHILD.

    Good luck.

    Sharri

  107. Sharri says:

    A true friend is someone you can trust. The trust has been broken and I would tread very wearily.

    I learnt a long time ago to keep close girlfriends away from my husband. Too much trust and you end up getting burnt. I hope it all works out for you but sometimes people have to learn a lesson and know that actions have consequences. If not they will do it again thinking you are a walkover.

    Sharri

  108. Hank says:

    Dear Readers

    I found this website after searching for some answers to help heal me emotionally and spiritually after the recent events in my life. After reading through many of the posts here, I was moved to share my story in the hope that it might provide some help and insight to some of you here (especially to those of you who are seeking it).

    As I have read it described in prior posts and other websites, I am a “hurt spouse” (or “betrayed spouse”, “victim spouse”, etc.). My former marriage of nine years ended in divorce and annulment a few months ago. Yes, my story does not have a happy ending, but I hope it helps you see why it failed. Long story short – my wife had a short but intense “emotional affair” with a co-worker who worked in a sister office across town (at least she said it hadn’t been physical…yet). I found out about it after noticing that she had been acting a bit different and spent more time than usual on the computer. I looked into her e-mail account and found a few romantic e-mails that she had failed to delete from her e-mail “trash”. When I confronted her about it she initially tried to minimize the depth of the affair. The more I questioned her over time, the more details came out. I demanded that she stop the affair immediately and significantly restrict all contact with him at work. I also told her that I was willing to work and save the marriage for the sake of us and our two children. She agreed to end the affair and work on our marriage too.

    So, you might ask…”How did our marriage fail after this?” The end of our marriage took about six months and was the worst time of my life. I have summarized the main reasons for its failure in the points below:

    1) It has been like dealing with two deaths. The first “death” would be of my wife after discovering the affair. I know this may sound silly or weird to those who have cheated (and probably to me before this happened), but it’s very true. You see, it’s like the woman that I married no longer exists. I loved a woman that I had believed was “true” to me and could be trusted in the company of others in my absence. To me this level of trust is very difficult, but I gave it to my wife as a gift of love that I felt was beautiful and beyond measure. When I found out that she told this man that he was now the love of her life and the best man she had ever met, I felt like the woman that I thought was my wife was completely gone. The change in how I felt about her was so significant that I really couldn’t see her as the same woman anymore. I tried to explain this to her, but she didn’t seem to have the empathy or objectively to see it from my point of view.
    2) The death of my marriage came about six months after the affair. I had always believed and felt that I would have a strong marriage that would last my life and bring me a spouse I could share my joy and love with. I had always seen my marriage as a kind of “house” that we were building. I will freely admit that our marriage had its trouble, but I always felt that the “house” had a foundation that was strong enough to survive our problems and allow us to rebuild. We seemed to be the perfect family – two young kids, active in the church, middle income neighborhood, etc. The intimacy and joy had been lacking for a few years but I continued to try and work to improve the situation. Apparently there was something that I couldn’t or wasn’t doing that allowed her to fall in love with the other man. I mourn both of these deaths and the happy life that my family could have had. I have custody of my children and am trying my hardest to provide a loving and safe home for them. It’s hard but I know I have to put them first now.
    3) The trust I had in my wife was never rebuilt after the affair. The failure to rebuild this trust was primarily caused by my wife minimizing the affair and her omission of the details and facts of what happened. It took me many weeks of asking to get the most of the story from her. She didn’t realize that I already knew some of the facts from her e-mails. She always described what he did in detail but not what she had said, did, or felt about him. Her lying (by omission) about the facts pretty much killed any hope for me rebuilding trust in her. I also found her online from time to time during things in e-mail accounts that I didn’t know about. These things were benign but always made things hard because they had the impression of be deceptive.
    4) What hurt me emotionally the most was my wife’s failure to recognize my pain and the sacrifices I had made to save our marriage and family. For the first several weeks after the affair my wife seemed to focus on her own shame and embarrassment and spent her time online seeking help for overcoming her problems. When I asked her about how she felt about the affair, she never said (or said it as a final thought) how sad she felt about all the pain that she had caused me. My pain didn’t seem to matter to her. This caused me to feel even more devalued than I felt after discovering the affair…and it continues to plague me to this day (even in my dreams). It also hurt deeply that she barely recognized my sacrifices to save our marriage, family, and her reputation. Many times just after the affair I felt like kicking her out and exposing her to our friends and family (telling them and e-mailing them her affair e-mails). I chose to deny my ego and injure my self respect by letting her stay and try working it out. It was a huge effort to suppress my pain and put our marriage and children. As a man, my ego and self respect have been damaged significantly and I have nothing to show for it. I felt helpless to protect my children from the damage she had caused by the affair. This gift of love to my wife, even after her adultery, appeared to be less than trivial and of no value to her.
    5) When I did try to discuss the affair or how she made me feel, my wife would get defensive with me. Every time she got defensive, it felt like she didn’t really seem to be remorseful of the affair or think that the affair was wrong. I also knew that she was very upset and disappointed that the affair ended. In my heart, her defensiveness was nearly as emotionally painful as the affair. It was like she was taking advantage of my kindness and love and making me out to be the one that had done the “wrong” thing. If I explained this to her, she would either dismiss it or get more defensive. Her defensiveness crippled my hope that she was genuinely and sincerely remorseful of what she had done and that she wanted to repair our marriage and the damage she had done.

    I would like to end this post (sorry for how long it is) by asking those of you that freshly out of your affair (especially Wendy and Jane….your situations seem very similar to the one I went through) to read my post with an open heart. Please realize that the “hurt” spouse is truly that…hurt and suffering from a huge pain and injustice (yes, injustice…since nothing truly warrants the affair) that was dumped on them without warning. Having lived with a marriage that was suffering, I hope you realize that to the “hurt” spouse, the pain of the affair is like a mountain compared to the anthill of the problems and pain suffered before the affair. Your affair has probably devastated your spouse (even if they don’t show it) probably much more than you could know. If you cannot by truly empathic and put yourself in their “shoes”, then your road to recovery will be very difficult. If they have chosen to let you stay and work on the marriage, please realize that they are dealing with an incredible amount of pain. This pain is due to the effort of trying to trust and love you again despite knowing what was done, said, and thought in the affair, the internal humiliation of having to deny their self respect, ego, and justified anger for the sake of your marriage, reputation, and children, and the pain of feeling alone, rejected, and unwanted (knowing your spouse was in love and wanted someone else much more than you is crushing). Please be entirely open and honest about all aspects of the affair and provide them with complete details of what happened so they won’t wonder if you are telling the whole truth. This may be hard, embarrassing, and painful for them, but in the end it will be critical to rebuilding their trust (which should be very important to you). I know that my wife omitted facts and downplayed details (some of which I knew) and it made it extremely hard to rebuild the trust. If you have to write it all down because it would be too hard to tell, then do it. Act as though your spouse already knows everything (they probably know more than you think) and show them the honestly and truth they deserve.

    I will pray that all of you (especially Wendy and Jane) take my story and words to heart and that they provide you with the right knowledge that you need to understand your spouse’s situation and succeed in repairing your marriage and life. Wendy and Jane, your husbands sound much like me and if they are, please realize that they may be having a much harder time recovering from this than you may realize. They will probably need much more time than you to recover. The affair may haunt them for years or even the rest of their lives. So please recognize what they have done for you and your family and given them what they need to recover. When you look into the happy faces of your children, remember that your spouse is paying a terrible emotionally price (one that they did not cause but that they willingly chose) to protect your children (and possibly the spouse and childrenof the “other” person) and your reputation (assuming that they have kept it a secret). It has been hard for me, but I have asked God to offer up my pain to those that are in my situation and help them to succeed where I failed.

    PS – Sorry if I became a bit repetitive. I sincerely hope that this helps you. God bless and may the love of Jesus heal the wounds of our hearts and souls.

  109. Jane says:

    This is for Beth: Being on the side of the “cheater”, I can say that I have dedicated myself to NEVER falling into an emotional entanglement outside of marriage EVER AGAIN, and I have made numerous efforts to start rebuilding my marriage and my husband’s trust in me. It has not been easy, and there have been a few times when I’ve missed the awesome way I felt when I was corresponding with my other person. However, I completely understand the enormous price I would pay for making that mistake again.

    The thing that keeps me on the right path more than anything else is reading the Bible and contemplating the sacrifice our Lord made for us. He gave up everything to save us, and we humans continue to take it for granted and live in the selfish ways that make us “happy” for the moment. Our can hearts fool us into a sense of false happiness when we are deprived and unsatisfied, and when someone comes along and pushes the right buttons to set us off into a euphoric state, we go there very easily and very unwisely. My previous “co-cheater” is very into doing things that will make him happy, because, as he likes to remind himself, “life is short”. Yeah, earthly life is short, but eternal life is forever, and we need to plan ahead.

    Do either of you believe in God? No matter what anyone thinks, God exists and Jesus died for us. It is paramount that we do our best to make our lives pleasing to God and begin loving one another as He has loved us. He didn’t cheat on us in any way, shape or form. He gave of Himself completely, and that’s what we should be doing for our God-given spouses, no matter how dead we might think our marriages are. Of course, if there are horrible and dangerous things going on, that’s different. But, for the marriages that are struggling emotionally, there is always hope, I believe. Even if you aren’t a person who regularly prays, all you need to do is start simply, asking for His help. What you need will come. We are always going to face hardships, and through those hardships, blessings can bloom, as hard as that is to believe when we are in the midst of such pain and confusion.

    Really, I had lost alot of hope this past Spring. I truly thought that the day I took my ring off, the end was just around the corner. But, it’s just like Laurie says: sometimes this can be the best thing that could happen to a hurting marriage. My marriage has taken a turn for the better, but my husband’s healing is slow and painful. He will have scars forever. So, Beth, I can imagine how excrutiating it must be to have it happen over and over again. If your husband could finally come to his senses about the repercussions of his completely and utterly self-centered behavior, he may be able to make some changes. He needs to start worrying about his soul, NOW.

  110. Feelingblue says:

    Thank you so much for your response, Laurie. It helps to hear some kind words. I do feel good about reaching out to both of them because I know it is a positive thing to do. That’s not to say I didn’t tell both of them how disgusted and hurt I was – I definitely made my position known. I just followed up with kindness quickly afterwards. I just feel so bitter about my neighbor – she has yet to approach me unsolicited and this is going on a week now. So very sad. Best wishes to everyone.

  111. Laurie PK says:

    Beth,

    I’m sorry that you’ve been in this unhappy marriage for so long!

    I can’t answer your question about whether you’ll ever find happiness with this man – it depends on you and him, on how you choose to move forward together. Neither one of you can build a happy marriage alone.

    Would you and he be willing to see a marriage counselor? I’d think that would be the best way to tackle your problems. You need an objective third party to help you sort out who’s being unreasonable, why you and he are acting in certain ways, and what the underlying factors are.

    If he’s not willing to try counseling, I suggest you see someone on your own. You need to figure out what you want out of your marriage. If your husband can’t give it to you — and if you are truly tired of living this way — then you need to think about a future that might not involve him.

    Regarding your comment about finding someone for emotional support; your best bet would be to talk to a counselor who’s only motivation is to help you! Finding a way to have your own emotional affair would just compound the problem, not help to solve it.

    What are your thoughts on talking to a counselor?

    All best,
    Laurie

  112. Laurie PK says:

    Feelingblue,

    I’m sorry for your situation — it’s a doozy! Overcoming emotional flirting and infidelity is especially challenging when it’s right next door…and it’s a good friend.

    I don’t think you’re a fool for forgiving him OR her! Sincere forgiveness will help clear your own heart and mind of anger and bitterness. The person who benefits most from forgiveness is the person who actually does the forgiving.

    “Nothing brings families together faster than forgiveness,” says Dr Joyce Brothers. “That should make it Step No. 1, but most of us find forgiving hard. We associate it with weakness and losing when, actually, the reverse is true. When you forgive, you gain strength and come out a winner. You break free of control by the other person’s actions.”

    It was big-hearted and gracious of you to reach out to your friend. I hope you and she get the chance to talk. Your husband’s interaction with her will change your friendship, I would think. She might not be as good a friend as you once thought, and your relationship with her might shift slightly. What this actually looks like depends on you, her, your husband, her partner (if she has one).

    To survive this emotional affair, I suggest getting to the root of your marriage problems. You mentioned that you and he were going through a rough period…and it might be good to get to the root of your marital problems. That’s underlying your husband’s actions, I would think. If you and he were “all good”, then he’d be far less likely to flirt with your neighbor and friend.

    This flirtation might be on of the best things that could happen to your marriage! It’ll give you the impetuous you need to build a strong, healthier marriage — and create stronger bonds.

    Good luck, and come back to let us know how you’re doing,

    Laurie

  113. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Idiopathic,

    I’m sorry about your wife and this turn your marriage has taken. Physical and emotional affairs are hard to survive — but not impossible!

    You’d mentioned forgiving her fast, and I think that’s not possible. Rebuilding trust after infidelity takes months or even years for some people. Actually, I take it back that it’s “not possible” to forgive her quickly….it depends on your personality, the infidelity, her remorse, and both of your commitment to rebuilding your marriage and raising your son in a two-parent home.

    I suggest you read up on surviving emotional affairs; I put links to helpful books in my article above. Other peoples’ stories about moving on and surviving infidelity can be extremely helpful!

    And, I suggest you consider couples counseling. I don’t know where you and your wife are at in terms of moving on and rebuidling your marriage, but it can be so helpful to have an objective third party (a therapist or counselor) sit down, help you see why she cheated, and give you guidelines for moving on that speak to your situation and personality.

    I also suggest that you figure out what would help you to trust your wife again. What do you need from her, to help you feel more secure in your marriage? Talk about that. This is where it can get a little complicated — and why a marriage counselor is so helpful. If you’re feeling really insecure, you might want to check her emails and text messages all the time…and that’s not really a sign of a healthy marriage! But, it may be necessary for a little while, until you begin to trust her again.

    I don’t know — which is why I recommend a counselor. He or she can help you recognize unreasonable requests and help you rebuild your trust and commitment.

    Finally: talk with your wife about why she cheated. What is she missing in the marriage, that drove her to another man? This does NOT mean that it’s your fault — it’s just good to know where she’s at. The more you know about the root of the problem, the better your solutions will be.

    I wish you all the best, and welcome further comments or questions!

    Laurie

  114. Feelingblue says:

    Beth, I am so, so sorry to hear of your pain. Your story just breaks my heart. It paints such a sad picture. Know it’s not you, it’s NOT you. He made the decisions to lie time and time again. I hope you can find a way to work it out. I will be thinking of you.

  115. Beth says:

    Many of your stories hit home. I’ve submitted comments earlier and the advice given back was to share with my husband some of these stories and articles about Emotional Affairs.

    After doing so, I was chastised and told that I had to get my act together. That there is no such thing as emotional affairs.

    Recently I asked if he had made contact with what he calls “his friend” even though he stated he wouldn’t initiate contact. I already had my answer as it was in his phone texts. But again he has lied to me and stated he had not had any interactions with her.

    The continued lying and the emotional emptiness at home is sometimes unbearable. During the whole incident which lasted 10 months of heartwrenching pain, he would state that he couldn’t lie or withold information from “his friend” and would have to tell her everything I would tell him in confidence. But then when it came to me he would consistently lie and withold information. He still is. He also witholds affection daily. I used to say “I Love You” daily. I haven’t said it to him in over a week. He comes to bed with no “Good Night”, no hugs, no hugs at the door when I get home from work and has the nerve to blame me for pushing him away. The intimacy is not reciprocated because he is always too tired, but he surely can go on line and read about it. He states it is “All about You”. Which at this point it needs to be.

    My whole marriage has been trying to keep him happy. Buy him the things he wants because he thinks he will like this new hobby. Well the pheasant gun has sat there for 3 years now untouched. The golf clubs (special extra length) are used once a year. He is now into triathlons and we just got him all the gear for that. Now he wants a Bow to go Bow hunting. When does the list of I wants end. This time the answer is a big fat “No”. It is time to please myself.

    I’m so hurt right now, that I’m contemplating finding someone for emotional support.

    I do love him, but am tired of being alone in this marriage. He won’t talk to me about his needs and when I ask all I get is “I don’t know”. I can’t fix or change based on this and when I state what I need, I’m being too needy.

    Maybe because I have found it so difficult to forgive the betrayal, I have pushed him away. It surely isn’t pleasant for either of us. But I can’t continue to take the emotional abuse either. He consistently turns all discussions back on me and rarely takes responsibility for any part of this situation we are in right now. “I need to get over it’ is what I hear from him.

    He told this friend in March that they could no longer be friends and do things together. The very next day she is calling to go to lunch (which he did) to discuss what that meant and begged him to go to her birthday party later that month then they would cut it off. He stated to me that he would have no interactions with her except simple “Hello” if they met when at public places (picking up kids from school etc….) He did change his patterns so he wouldn’t run into her as much. But has intermittently initiated interactions. I opened a Facebook account and lo and behold her name comes up to add as a friend to my facebook. Of course that wasn’t going to happen. I asked my husband about it as he has a Facebook account and his reply was he didn’t know she had one and that he had no reason to add her to his. 2 Weeks later he has added her as a friend (his initiation). When I questioned him he stated he didn’t think I would find out. He immediately removed her and I am suppose to forgive and forget.

    So since he has asked her to be out of his life he consistently interacts with her and I asked him “What have you done that makes me want to trust you.” You state one thing and do another. Then he turns the conversation on me as to “When was the last time you mowed the lawn, or took out the garbage”. Granted I don’t do as much around the house, but I work 50 hour work weeks to support our home, and he was a stay at home Dad until Nov last year and now he works a whopping 21 hours a week. Yet he still can’t seem to get his home commitments done and I’m left holding the bag. But again I don’t do anything around the house so he says.

    I’m not saying I don’t appreciate what he does and I do thank him for his hard work, but to hear that I do things half way, when loads of laundry sit in baskets for days unfolded. When they are folded they are left on the bed for me to put away. That isn’t doing the job half way.

    He is immature and controlling and cruel and I just need to turn it all back on him when he does this. I’m just tired, hurt, angry and unhappy.

    Will or can their ever be happiness again? At least with this man?

  116. Feelingblue says:

    On Sunday my husband told me that he has shared a half dozen flirtatious and intimate texts with my “good friend” and next door neighbor. We have vacationed with the family and we spend time with each other almost every evening in the summer. We are almost like family. Admittedly, we have been drinking too much this summer and along with that comes the crass jokes, loose behavior, etc. I think we all opened a door that shouldn’t have been and these two took it too far.

    She just got an iPhone and was having a lot of fun texting all kinds of people. She started to train for a triathalon and texted my husband with comments about her runs or questions about bikes (he’s an avid biker). The texts began to get flirtatious then went to overtly sexual. He is sickened by his behavior and even started seeing a counselor prior to telling me about it because he was disgusted with his behavior. Unfortunately he didn’t put a stop to it, even though he knew it was wrong. He and I have been going through a rough period lately and he said that it was just the thrill of someone else telling him he was attractive and it wouldn’t have gone anywhere, though if they had been drinking and the situation was right, I can’t say for sure they wouldn’t have kissed or groped.

    I have forgiven him because I know how much he loves me, how attracted he is to me and how broken down he has been feeling lately. I share some of the same marital disappointments and I can understand how and why this happened. Am I a fool to have forgiven so soon?

    I am also devastated by my friend’s behavior. We have e-mailed and I have even told her I want to forgive her but she has yet to come see me to talk. She is a bit of a mess but I care about her. Would I be an utter fool to forgive her?

  117. idiopathic says:

    hey guys, i really need your advice. i just found out that my wife does have an affair with another guy when she was in another state, all this time i knew that i was the father of the child that she was carrying but all of a sudden i’ve read this text messages on her phone,and when i confronted her she confessed everything i need to know,. i;m really confuse at this point because i dont want to ruined my son’s dream of having a healthy and happy family, personally i want to gave her a chance but i dont know how will i trust her again, she did it to me before and she did it again, but my wife keep telling me that she loved me and she learned her lesson…..and she mentioned that if she really don’t want me now is the time to escape on our marriage but she didn’t because she wants me back. do i have to trust her again? and if i do how will i forgive her so fast, so we can start a new life?

  118. Jane says:

    I’m doing better at forgiving myself and making extensive efforts to begin anew and make my life what it should be in God’s sight. I feel more whole and alive and so, so hopeful. I am finding so much strength and excitement to move forward. However, my husband’s pain is still so raw and deep. I get engergized about how great I’m feeling about a new direction and a re-committment to him, but it’s very sad when our healing is stalled out by my him having difficulty moving away from the event itself. I’ve tried to explain to him that I was not really the same person during that period. I was so very altered, and I’m not that way now. I will never be that way again. I don’t know how much repentence he needs to see, but I’m trying so hard to have more empathy and compassion for him than I’ve ever had before, as he gets to that place where he can feel better about everything. It’s not so easy for him to understand and accept that I have learned from my mistake and that it is all behind us now.

    I want to highlight something Laurie said. Yes, it’s normal to feel attractions to people in our lives, but acting on them is wrong. This was one of the biggest things that got things started between me and my other person. He had said to me that his feelings were so strong for me and he holds a strong belief that you have to tell a person how you feel. It’s normal and beautiful and when you feel something so deeply, it’s very important to let someone know. This was his biggest mistake. He could have chosen to keep all of his feelings for me tucked away, out of respect for both of our marriages, and we would have stayed within professional and frienship boundaries. I can say with all certainty that I would not have ever made the first move. Some of the flirting may have continued, but I would never have been the one to start voicing my feelings. And, anyway, my feelings didn’t really start to spark into real romance until he started making so many big moves towards me. I have had plenty of innocent “crushes” and opportunities prior to this experience where I could have expressed my attraction to different men in my life and opened doors that were morally off-limits, but I always knew it would be inappropriate, and I kept it to myself until the infatuation wore off. Now, I can easily be friends with those people without worrying about all the awful things that could have followed. I wish I could still be professional friends with this man, because we had a really good work thing going, but now, that is pretty much ruined.

    Jane

  119. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Jane, thank you for your insights and suggestions for how to survive an emotional affair! Your input is so meaningful, especially since you’ve experienced it firsthand. I’m so glad you took the time to share how you’re doing and what works for you.

    Wendy, I thank you too for sharing your story. I’m glad the two of you connected here — and can walk through it together!

    One thing you asked, Wendy, was how to dissolve the romantic fascination for the other person. It makes me think of the whole “if you try not to think about something, all you can think about is that thing.” Instead of fighting your feelings or attraction to another person, I suggest you accept how you feel. It’s OKAY to be attracted to other people, even if you’re married. But, acting on those feelings of attraction is what can disrupt a marriage.

    And, naming and accepting how we feel takes away its power over us. Fighting how we feel increases its power over us, and the struggle never ends.

    How might this work? Maybe by simply saying to yourself, “I’m drawn to this man for some reason (or for reason X), and that’s okay. It’s normal to occasionally feel attracted to other people! But, I’m not going to act on my feelings, because I love my husband and value our marriage. My family is more important than fleeting feelings.”

    This might help you cope when you have to see the guy you were attracted to. Also — forgive yourself! You made a mistake, you learned from it, and you’ll be a better wife because of it.

    I wish you all the best,

    Laurie

  120. Jane says:

    Hello again.

    I want to thank the “hurt partners” (a term from the book After The Affair) out there who are expressing the devastation you have felt by your spouse looking to fill their emotional needs elsewhere. I would like to say that for me, and I believe for others in my position, it was something that was very unintentional (although very selfish). It’s not like I was out to hurt my husband on purpose. It takes two to let a marriage weaken and buckle under the pressures of life. There is so much both partners need to understand and address to improve their relationship. However, I take full responsibility for being such a fool to be lured into loving feelings with someone I had no right to engage with. I like how Wendy said it: ‘letting the person into my private life so easily and so completely’. How irresponsible I was. I was so altered in my thinking. I was like a different person, and not at all the kind of person I ever thought I could be, or will ever want to be again!!!!! I’m disgusted with the person I was becoming, and I’m so grateful that I have been freed from the influences that were leading me there.

    Anyway, what I want to say is that I need to continue hearing from the hurt partners to help me understand the depths of the destruction you are suffering. My husband has been trying his best to describe this to me. He is expecting a certain type of remorseful attitude from me, and he is upset because he is not seeing what he wants to see. I am extremely regretful, ashamed, and sorrowful about what I have done, and I have been apologizing and making extensive efforts to restore his trust in me. It is very difficult to do this, since our relationship has been declining over many years. It’s not like we were happy, happy, and then suddenly I messed up. Even if this had not happened, we still had alot of work to do if we were ever going to fix things. We need to continue looking at the root of the problems and not fixate on and blame particular events and actions.

    So, I wanted to get back to Wendy. I don’t know how far out you are from your emotional affair. I’m about five weeks out now. Last Thursday, I finally felt like my other person was out of my system. At last, my thoughts about him did not include any intimate, loyal, protective, or warm feelings. He is just another person to me now. Not so special anymore. Over the weeks, I have been gradually realizing just how wrong it was to become attached to him that way, and he rarely enters my mind now, unlike before, when I could mentally see, feel, smell, and hear him nonstop throughout every day.

    Some of the steps I have taken to rid myself of him have been:

    -looking at the situation as objectively as possible

    -reading everything I can on this and all related topics

    -removing any reminders of him as much as possible, or trying to attach new meaning to those things

    -at times I have purposely exposed myself to those reminders to test my level of disconnection. I am very happy to see that I am responding with less and less feeling about him. In fact, I’m just about ready to sell back to my local used music store four CDs of artists that he got me hooked on. I had purchased and listened to the CDs obsessively, day after day, to make me feel more connected to him. Just glancing at them in my car would give me a surge of euphoria before, but now, I don’t even want them around. Somehow, the music which I thought was so brilliant, amazing, sexy, and appealing has lost its charm. It was all about the infatuation, not so much the music itself.

    -The biggest help for my own recovery has been prayer and reading the Bible every single day, along with all my wonderful other books. Also, I listen to a Catholic radio station. It is full of wholesome music and information that keeps my thinking on track. I need to set myself straight and be the wife and mother God is expecting, and I need alot of help with that!! This life is about preparing ourselves for eternal life, and I was doing a real good job of staining my soul in June and July of this year. I had always viewed myself as the more prayerful and spiritual spouse in this marriage. I thought for years that I needed to help my husband with his own spiritual issues. Hah! Hypocrite! I am so grateful for the chance to start again.

    -I write daily thank you notes to my husband now. I had thought that I had done plenty of apologizing and showing gratitude, in random bursts at varying intervals, as I felt those emotions come to me. But, I realize that is not enough for him. So, I printed up dozens of simple little strips of paper saying Thank You. Every single day, I have been writing a message of thanks and pointing out small things he does to show love to me (which he has increased dramatically since this happened!) He is currently on a business trip, so I had made up one for each day he is gone and labeled them with the day, so he has one to open every morning. He is loving these notes. Everything about him is softening up because of this and other things I am trying.

    I know this message is way, way too long. It’s very hard to navigate through all of these words. I hope Wendy and others are able to find a scrap of something that will help. This is such a long, hard journey, but I feel privileged to be allowed to take it. What if I were still connecting with “him” and concealing it all? I would be cheating and lying for who knows how long. I had ideas of ending or adjusting boundaries many times, but it felt too good to stop, and he kept leading me on with his assurances that everything would be okay. I am ashamed of my weakness. But, we can wallow forever in disgust of ourselves, or we can keep chugging along in the right direction.

    My big challenge of seeing him at work is getting closer. But, I’m feeling increasing confidence that I can hold myself in dignity when our eyes meet. It really would be better if I never saw him again. But, I can be strong, especially with the power of the Holy Spirit guiding my thoughts, word, and actions in the face of any temptation that claws at me.

    Sorry to be so preachy, but I believe in God with all my heart. He is our safety, and he holds us in the palm of His hand. I trust Him completely. He wants us all to be pure, and He provides what we need to work towards that. We need to be open and trusting and always go to Him with our needs, no matter how great or small in our eyes.

    Love,
    Jane

  121. Wendy says:

    Jane

    Thank you so much for your quick reply to my first post here. I was so happy when I saw that you had posted. Your words truly helped me feel that I am not alone and that someone out there may have some help for me. I am looking forward to hearing your ideas and sharing more of my experience with you and others with the hope that it can help someone else too. I truly think that there is a way to overcome this “mountain”. It really helps me to hear how you are doing since we seem to have very common situations.

    Thanks,

    Wendy

  122. Jane says:

    Dear Wendy,
    It’s amazing how many common threads exist between all of these stories. I don’t have very much time right at the moment. Very busy with the three kids today, and my husband is on a business trip all week, so my load is a little heavier. I am hoping to get back on here tonight when the house is quiet and I can think. I need to catch up on reading the latest entries and give some thought to my responses. I do have some hopeful ideas to share with you. Our paths are very similar, and your pain seems an awful lot like mine.
    Jane

  123. Wendy says:

    I want to start by saying THANK YOU everyone for your posts. I spent a long time reading and rereading them all and seeing how much my situation mirrors them. I never thought that I would ever been in this situation or done what I did….but here I am.

    I have been married for about 12 years and have two little kids. Our marriage has been in trouble for a few years, but I thought that we would eventually work it out or something would happen to fix it. I think my attitude and my need for attention and affection caused me to start down at path to an “emotional affair”. I feel like I’m copying some of the posts above, especially Jane’s. By the way…thank you Jane for your comments and sharing….they made a huge difference to me. My affair began with a man that is one of my vendors. He and I have been working together on and off of about two years when he began to make our business interactions more personal. It started simply as asking me about my day and family….then my marriage….and how I was coping with my troubles. I feel so ashamed that I let him into my private life so easily and so completely. I felt so wonderful to be able to talk to a man who was so attentive and kind. This feeling just kept building on itself until I was thinking about him all the time. Our conversations became more personal and romatic and we began to e-mail between our working meetings. We started meeting for secret lunches whenever we could. We would talk romantically and hold hands and stare into each others eyes (and wish for more). If it hadn’t been for a friend of my husband that saw us at one of these lunches (I didn’t know this until later), I think this relationship would have quickly progressed to a full blown physcial affair. My husband confronted me, and at first I tried to minimize it and cover up. He keep at me and I eventually confessed everything what was going on. I decided that my only hope to save my marriage would be to be 100% completely honest with my husband, no matter how hurtful it would be to him or how shameful it made me feel. He was devastated and has been very hurt since that awful day. I promised him that I would end it and minimize my contact with this man. My husband also made me take a two week trip to my friend’s place, so I could think about what I did, what it would be like to be divorced, and be without my kids for an extended time. Those were the worst two weeks of my life. I was so distraught during that period. I began by agonizing about my shame and the potential ruin or my reputation, but by the end of the two weeks all I could think about was the pain I have caused to my husband and how loving he has been to give me a second chance. He has been so good at keeping our family together and baring the pain that I burdened him with. I hope that I haven’t broken our marriage and his heart beyond repair.

    I would love any comments or wisdom about how to completely dissolve that romatic fascination for the other person. I am also in the same situation as Jane about having to work or interact with the other person in the near future. Jane, I would appreciate any insights you might have about dealing with this situation. I agree with you about how it will be so difficult when it happens and how I will feel about him when it happens. I am so anxious about this.

    God bless all of you and help you find your way to the right path. I am praying to get back on the right path and be the wife that my husband deserves – no matter the cost or time needed to make that happen. I hope I can regain his trust and love someday.

    Wendy

  124. vonm says:

    Thanks for sharing,Sharri,
    Only a few hours ago, I contacted a therapist. I will eventually make an appointment to see her. Why? A few days ago, my obsession with the affair prompted me to ask my husband a couple of questions that had just occurred to me. The answers he gave (they were truthful) sent me into another tailspin of depression. I have tried so manymethods of trying to put the trauma behind me, but I have been unsuccessful more than I have been successful.

    My responses to those answers are setting our reconciliation back further and further, and I see myself getting more and more depressed, not to mention tearing down the sincere efforts of my now remorseful husband to make things better for us.

    I know that issues that I had as an adolescent were brought to light by my husband’s betrayal, and only a professional can help me get
    to the roots of my persistent obsessing. I probably should have been in therapy long ago, but the affair was the catalyst that brought things to a head.

    I hope and pray that she can help me, because I seem to be on a sel-destructive path in what’s left of my marriage.

    I wish you luck, and I see you are determined to love yourself,even in the face of your pain. I hope I can reach that point.

    If you have the time, please keep me informed of your progress;we can learn from each other. I will try to do the same.

    God Bless You.

  125. Sharri says:

    Hello,

    I can understand and empathise what you are going through. I too have have been in a situation of betrayal, lack of trust, care, consideration, honor, obey, etc etc.

    The man I married is also dead to me and I live with the leftover shell of a man that once was my everything, albeit I thought he was and tried to make him see the light for years and he failed to take heed.

    Now that the clock of grandfather time has ticked and he is plagued with health problems I am suddenly his number 1! Gee, I wonder why? I will take care of him bcause I made my marriage vows to love, honor and obey and I will not take the wrap for him for his breaking of vows. I am younger than him (15yrs) and I will continue
    to live my life for me, keep things to myself and am no longer an open book. He lost that opportunity to read me, read with me etc. I do not see the need to become a person like him with betrayals as I am acting on a Higher purpose for myself in life. Therefore I will be good to me and enrich my soul, spiritually and do my duty.

    I wish you everything of the best and know it is a tough, lonly, long road to travel but if you have faith, you will find each day gets easier and eventually you will become good friends and forge a bond again.

    This is slowly starting to happen in my situation because I was open to it. Don’t get me wrong, it is still a rollercoaster ride but at least friendship is forming. Forgiveness and being forgiven is hard work and our partners have to learn this, unfortunately at the tail end of life. Nothing is too big or too late.

    Take care now.

    Sharri

  126. vonm says:

    I still haven’t gotten over the devastation of how he could use such flimsy comments from a woman that he had known only a few months and relegate me to the status of a nonentity so completely and for so long and not have any twinges of conscience.

    I have since understood what kind of stresses he was under on the job, and I know we had sort of drifted apart, but nothing was so horrible that we couldn’t fix had I known about it or if he had decided to tell me and not turn to her. Now.I just tolerate him; I don’t bother to tell him I love him;I do considerate things for him, I do my wifely duties with passion, but I will never let him hurt me like that again.

    It’s just beginning to dawn on him, I think, how badly he has hurt me and why it’s taking me so long to get over it;it may take years, but if he wants to remain a part of my life like he says, then he is going to have to put up with a roller coaster ride for quite a while.

  127. vonm says:

    I have posted on so many websites it’s pathetic, but please understand that this is counseling/therapy for me. I have been getting piecemeal facts about my husband’s emotional infidelity for the past three years. I made the first discovery by relying on my gut instinct and being able to find evidence by looking through his things.

    After confronting him and eventually her(by phone) I was made to believe that it was over. During the next two years however, God planted a seed of discernment in me to look for proof that it was not over and BINGO! He was continuing the affair despite seeing me almost having a nervous breakdown, despite me telling his OW that I knew about them. Then after interrogating him from time to time, I discovered that he had had some kind of sexual contact with her(at his request) and gifts and flowers had been given. I won’t even describe the content of love poems and e-mails that I accessed.

    Needless to say, I wanted to fight for him after the first D-Day; after learning how he deceived me so completely and remorselessly during the next two years, I decided to let him know I was through with him and wanted a divorce. Reality hit him like a ton of bricks, he tried to remind me of how long we had been together(Yup 30+ years) and how we didn’t need to part ways, but I reminded him the time together didn’t mean shit to him when he was “courting” his skank.

    After some more admissions, begging forgiveness, praying out loud, swearing on the Bible to never betray me again AND volunteering to counseling, I relented(with reservations) and dediced to stay with him.

    However the man that I fell in love with and married so many years ago is dead–my H killed him and destroyed more than three decades together for a co-worker who told him she missed him(after a conference trip he returned from) and a private birthday party that she gave him because he told her that no one had ever given him a party before!!

  128. La Bella Frascati says:

    Thank you Laurie, we do have a counselling session booked in a few days’ time, so we’ll see how that goes. Because things are very bad between us I have seen him send a stupid wink to someone on a dating site this week, however things are excessively bad so I can forgive that for now until things either get cleared out or improve.

    I’ll let you know how it goes. Any other thoughts/views on the situation are very much welcomed.

    Can I just say I think this page is really excellent – thanks for everyone who is responsible for it.

    xxx
    LBF

  129. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Annie,

    You’re definitely not alone! Building and maintaining a strong, healthy marriage is hard work — which is why emotional affairs are more common than we know (as you’ve learned). I’m glad you’ve found familiarity here, and that you shared your story.

    There are so many books and articles on getting the spark back with your husband! One that springs to mind here on Quips & Tips for Achieving Your Goals is “10 Ways to Improve a Bad Relationship”
    http://theadventurouswriter.com/blog/quipstipsachievinggoals/love-relationships/10-ways-to-improve-a-bad-relationship/

    One of my favorite tips from that article is “take risks together.”

    Make improving your marriage a goal that you work towards as a couple. Figure out what you’re missing in your marriage, what you need from your husband. Talk to him about what he needs and wants out of your marriage.

    My husband and I have taken a couple of “communication in marriage” courses, which really help us figure out what we’re really trying to say. Maybe you and your husband could try a workshop or marriage class — or maybe you just need two weeks in Hawaii! :-)

    The bottom line is that to find out what’s missing in your marriage, you need to do some digging. Being married for years isn’t as exciting as the honeymoon phase….but focusing on the best parts of long-term love is a great way to stay happy and connected.

    I’m glad you broke off the affair, and I wish you all the best as you tackle your marriage with vigor! I welcome you back anytime.

    Laurie

  130. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi La Bella Frascati,

    Wow, what a story — not tedious at all!

    On the one hand, your boyfriend seems loving and attentive…and on the other, he doesn’t respect your needs or wishes at all. To compare your checking his email to violation and rape astounds me. That’s emotional manipulation, because it’s like comparing stabbing someone through the heart with poking through their medicine cabinet. Yes, both are violations of privacy — but on completely different levels. So he’s being manipulative with that. He’s on the defensive, trying to make you the bad guy (when it’s him, not you, who is dishonoring your relationship and commitment).

    Also, love isn’t just about saying “I love you.” In fact, that’s the easiest, laziest part of love! Anyone can say “I love you.” Real, committed, healthy love is about how you treat each other, whether you respect one another’s wishes, if you can talk about your problems, if you’re emotionally and spiritually connected, if you have the same goals for the future.

    You asked for viewpoints…I think that if you think the benefits of your relationship outweigh the drawbacks, and if you’re willing to live with his flirting and connecting with other women, then you need to stop checking his phone. If you want to accept him the way he is and focus on the benefits, then you have to let him have his privacy.

    He’s not willing to change. You can’t force him to be a different man — and checking up on him won’t make him change. So, the way I see it, you either accept him the way he is….or you think about letting him go.

    You could suggest couples counseling — especially if your ultimate goal is a happy, healthy, commited, trusting relationship. Learning how to really hear and talk to each other is a great way to show your love and commitment!

    I hope all goes well for you two.

    Best wishes,
    Laurie

  131. Annie says:

    I cannot believe I am even on here reading all of this, much less contributing. I was up until 3 am this morning reading all of these posts and they sounded so familiar.

    So here is my story: Lost my job about 6 months ago, my husband, who is absolutely wonderful in oh, so many ways, travels with his job most every week. about 4 months ago, I started playing a game on one of the popular networking sites and met a guy in one of the chatrooms. Turned out, he didn’t live far from me.

    I thought he was just a buddy at first, then realized I became emotionally interested in him. He always was there to talk to online, which eventually turned into heavy flirting. My husband must have been skeptical about this man’s intentions (and apparently mine) and happened to log in as me and see exactly what we were saying to eachother in real time. The one time that I know of was the ONLY time sexual words were exchanged. At the time, I thought they were just words, but it turned out it made me feel so good that it turned me into an obsessive “thrill seeker”. Although any conversation we had was pretty much generic, he paid attention to me, complimented me, and we got to know eachother.

    My husband confronted me about my relationship with “him”, and I told him what I thought was the truth. . .just words, meant nothing, etc. I also removed “him” from any contact with me. Within days, I was talking to him again, much to my husband’s dismay. He wondered what on earth did I have to talk to this guy about and “for some reason, you think you need to talk to him”.

    I found out where this man lived, stopped by 3 times, two of which I told him we couldn’t continue talking. He apparently was in need of what I offered in verbal exchange and friendship, so he would always say “let’s give it some time”, basically since I told him that my husband SAW what we were saying in the whole few minutes of exchange with a major sexual overtone, thinking that my husband just needed time to see this for what it was.

    As of last night, after suffering debilitating anxiety issues and obsessing about how I can talk to “him” and when can I stop by his house again (never went in, visits were only 15 to 30 minutes), I called him from a pay phone to tell “him” that I am sorry, I can no longer speak to him. . .again. He said he understood and saw this coming. . .

    So, reading all of these things makes me feel not so alone, I didn’t realize there was a name to what I had been experiencing. I also know my husband forgives me, loves me without a shadow of a doubt, and I feel like I betrayed him. I need to forgive myself, but I am not sure how to do that yet.

    My issue is, apparently there is something missing from what I considered a perfect marraige. My husband and I both want to know what that is. I remember the spark I used to feel with my husband and I want to feel “that” again. The butterflies, warm fuzzy feelings. I would love to find out a way to feel that again.

  132. La Bella Frascati says:

    Hi all,
    Sorry but this is a long one. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 4.5 years, am 32 yo. I met him whilst living in another country, we had a long-distance relationship for 18 months, however I had planned to move to his country long before I met him and considering our relationship was going fantastically at the time, it was the natural step for me to move into his house with him and to his country to start my new life that I had longed for for so long. So I did that, however soon after moving in with him (3 yrs ago now) little bits started going wrong. He lost his job and took on a terrible job selling door-to-door, having doors slammed in his face, wandering streets for 16 hours a day etc. I spent my first 2 months in a new country with no friends, no money, no company and no job (got a new job 2 months later) and him coming home every evening very upset, I would try and console him but he wouldn’t have it and both of us were increasingly isolated. At the same time he was spending his one day off a week on the internet, flirting and chatting to girls – he has a side job as a mobile disco DJ which is in itself a job where he meets a lot of drunk flirty women and I’m OK with the fact that he has to flirt with them to keep them “on side”. I then was on the home computer and got misdirected to his email inbox, where I was horrified to find very sexy emails with him flirting and discussing meet-up plans with other women. I confronted him about it and he was very contrite, apologetic and upset and swore to me that no meet-ups every actually occured. Well, that was 3 years ago. I’m ashamed to say that this has happened 5 times since and the remorse has gradually disappeared in the meantime. We’ve managed to go some months without any incidences, and my trust has been coming back but we’ve had some real problems with him being emotionally distant, withdrawing from sex etc. and it’s gradually built up into me nagging him, him getting annoyed, him barely speaking to me etc. It came to a head last weekend where he left his phone behind when we went to the gym, and I of course checked it, only to find texts to a girl talking about spending a night together. He came home, I confronted him and he exploded, saying that he left the phone behind as a “test” to see if I trusted him. Apparently these texts were sent by a male work colleague that he trusted to set this up, he immediately apologised for playing such a cruel game but said that my lack of trust in him was making him feel violated and raped and was central to the problems he’s had with our relationship.

    Can I point out that you’re probably all thinking “are you mad? Just leave him” but there is another side to this. We do have an amazing amount in common with each other, we have a very unique sense of humour and both of us are quite highly sexed as well in a very unique way. We love the same music, films, things to do etc. and there are other issues that we are both very much aware of that are compromising our relationship e.g. I am extremely negative and cynical, which I’m working on. Also both of us have very few friends in the town that we live in, but for the time being cannot afford to move given the current economic situation. My friends are in the cities I worked in – I worked 60 miles from home in my last job and have changed to one that is 40 miles away – where we live is a bit of a jobs blackhole. I have joined classes etc. around here but the people I’ve met I don’t have anything in common with (it does take me some time to make friends and I tend to pal up with work colleagues, around here a lot of people are unemployed and either smoke, are very aggressive or take drugs – not things I like doing). He works here and is being supported to take a degree over the next 2 years by his employers. Basically, when our relationship is good, it’s fantastic, but when it’s not, it’s awful, and both of us want to make it better and each other happy. THe problem is that he has emotionally become completely distant to the point that where he sees he’s upset/hurt me, he doesn’t know what to do/feel. That’s totally unlike the man I fell for, he was kind and to much of an extent, still is. He’s very supportive and kind to my friends and family (and not in “that” way) but communication has broken down so much that aside from going for counselling (which I have booked and he is going along with, albeit not enthusiastically) I don’t know what to do. I have written him letters/emails to try and express my feelings, as discussions usually end up in tearful rows (unfortunately I’m the type who instead of getting angry bursts out crying pathetically – and when I start crying I can’t stop) and he’s now got the point where he’s scared to say anything to me for fear of how I might take it. And yes, I am afraid to say, I’m the sensitive type too. Not easy. He also has a tendency to shout (he is partly deaf to be fair) and then completely deny that he shouts at me which is something he can’t seem to realise, despite my upset and protestations. Everything gets left with me to improve (you neds to be stronger and less sensitive and make more friends he keeps saying), he claims he’s making improvements but to be brutally honest, I can’t see any.

    I think the opinions on this site are very interesting and educated and I really would love to hear other people’s viewpoint on this. Thanks for sticking with such a long tedious story, if you want more information backing up this sorry tale please just let me know. We love each other dearly, and despite all that’s gone on neither of us wants to give up on the relationship, despite many threats on my part to leave and the grinding down of us both. He still tells me he loves me every single day, and I love him.

  133. wendell says:

    To all who’s partners will not see they are in or getting over an emotional affair.My husband would not accept he had emotionally connected himself to our young neighbour.He believed he was being friendly.Slowly he has been accepting & telling little truths, instead of lying all the time.Not all truths are out yet, but I feel sure they will.I think the lying is because he feels stupid and didn’t know how deep he was getting involved.I know there was no physical contact and the affair was conducted at a distance.His argument has always been ,I’ve never touched her. I have never been in her house. Or I have always been more then 2 metres away from her.
    For 6 weeks he has controlled his emotions and made a real big effort to distanced himself from her.As time passes he is getting back to normal. The first 2 weeks were very difficult for him.He would start little arguments and try to turn things around. All to justify why we should be including her,as a neighbour, in to our lives again.He thought we should at least say Hi to her.I stuck to my guns and dug my heals in.I told him, it was his and her doing that our relationship with her and her family was at an end.That it can’t be back to how it was, ever.Each week gets better and he is gradually getting back to his old self, as I knew him.
    In order to make him realize the stress and humiliation he put me through.I have presented him with a 14 page diary of events, that I put together myself.
    He read it and said he needs to read it again, for it, to sink in.I have given him the option to read it, at any time, he feels he needs to.This is helping me and him. I can tell.
    I found this easier then talking. Sometimes talking went well. At others it turned in to an argument.I’m hoping that there is no need to discuss this matter anymore. I would like to forget about the whole episode.All he has to do is tell me the truth.He has the option of writing his own views. Should he feel he can’t speak about them.I’m sleeping better and I don’t feel so stressed by putting my thoughts on paper.If others would like to try this option with their partner. Especially if the partner did not recognize the emotional affair they were involved in.I hope it works.Mine couldn’t understand that what he was doing was wrong.At the same time he is Mr.Nice Guy and can’t help that he sees everyone as a friend and not foe.He hates to upset people and will avoid it, if he can.I’m aware of that and I’m trying to help him over come his bad feelings.

    I started by taking extracts from the Internet on definitions of an emotional affair and flirting styles & techniques.This was to hi-light to him the things he didn’t understand or knew about. Then I started my diary of events(not using dates) Like,… I noticed for the first time last summer that you were staring at her a lot etc….

    Good Luck I’ll write again soon Wendall

  134. jane says:

    Thank you Laurie for being there with all of your caring responses and advice. It is so great to come here and speak out in safety with people in the same boat and a wise voice of assistance in you.

    I do have a question for you. I think I might know what I should do and how I should approach this, but I would really appreciate and value your input.

    I have not seen my other person since we last met in early July. Obviously, we have stayed away from each other on a personal level, and also our work has kept us apart from each other during these summer weeks. I will most likely be seeing him in a couple of weeks through a work event. There will be over a hundred other professionals in attendance, but he and I may be placed in semi-close vicinity during a large meeting setting. I keep anticipating how this is going to feel, and rehearsing what I will do. I know our eyes will probably meet, and there will be an opportunity to speak, at least in greeting and small talk. It would be weird for us to ignore each other in front of our other team members, who know nothing of our relationship, so we will probably have to keep things looking “normal”. My husband emailed him soon after he discovered what was going on and told him absolutely no interaction of any kind will be tolerated. Professionally, that will be impossible, and my husband understands this, but does not like it at all. There will have to be some instances of communication from time to time. I feel confident that I will not fall back into a romantic mode with him. My head is on much straighter now, and I cannot risk confusing him or myself again at this point. I refuse to break the trust that I have been building up with my husband these last four weeks. It will be hard to be in his presence, because there are still some feelings that have not had time to dissolve all the way, and they might be reactivated. I know my husband is also nervously anticipating this situation, and he will probably ask me every day after work if I saw or talked to the other person. I would like to be able to be truthful and say no or yes, and this is what was said…and have it be harmless and purely work-related. My feelings might be a different matter entirely, though. I’m being honest and realistic here. It’s going to be a challenge.

    Let me know what you think.

    Thank you so much,
    Jane

  135. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Jane,

    Thanks for the update — it’s great to hear about your journey to a happy marriage. Thanks also for the list of helpful books about marriage, and healing affairs.

    This is why they say that good marriages are hard work. Especially in this society, where “happily ever after” and “the only type of love is the passionate kind” are the main messages about marriage….and they’re unachievable goals. We just set ourselves up when we believe those things. I do believe in happily ever after — but I also believe that it takes effort, energy, time, and commitment.

    Anyway, Jane, thanks — and keep in touch! I know people are reading your posts and being helped by your experience.

    Best wishes,
    Laurie

  136. jane says:

    Hello again,
    It has been exactly one month since I had to break off my brief but intense emotional affair, which was discovered by my husband as I was sending my last romantic email.

    My husband and I are working hard on our marriage, but I keep feeling dismay every time we fall into our old patterns again. The same old arguments, the same defensiveness, the same way of reacting with our juvenile responses when we are disappointed, afraid or feeling criticized by each other unfairly. However, we have made some improvements, and I feel a little more interested in loving him than I did before, but it’s still very, very hard. I often see the reasons why I began to stray from coldness, anger, and frustration towards something that appeared to be so tender, peaceful, loving, beautiful, and easy. It’s just so hard to keep the committment going, but there is no other choice.

    I have been reading many, many books (including the Bible) on the topic of keeping marriages together. It has helped me immensely. I have learned so much about why people are attracted to each other and why we choose particular mates. It seems to stem from unknowingly seeking out the characteristics of our first caregivers. It’s very complicated and I have so much more studying to do, but it helps to be able to step back and look at the truths and patterns of human behavior in this area that have been studied and proven over and over by the experts in the field. It’s not quite as mysterious and magical as it once seemed, this falling in love business. One thing in particular that has helped me disconnect emotionally from my other person is reading about the stages of love and the thought processes we go through when we think we are “in love”. It’s almost amusing to read “my story” in all of these descriptions by all of these different authors. I actually have to look at myself and smirk. I followed the progression precisely, as I “fell in love” with this other man. I know he did, too. It’s as plain as the nose on my face. I wish I wouldn’t have had to put myself and my husband and family through the pain of this experience in order to be educated in the way my heart can mislead me, but I am a little wiser now, and I really believe I will not be taken for a fool and be swept away by romantic illusions and infatuation again. Heaven help me, though, that stuff is a powerful drug.

    In case anyone is curious about literature that has been helpful to me, here are a few books and resources I’ve been reading:

    The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work (Gottman)
    After The Affair (Janis Spring)
    Getting The Love You Want (Hendrix)
    Before We Say I Do:7 Steps To A Healthy Marriage (McMickle)

    Also:

    any and all of the John Gray books

    and anything from Gary Chapman is great. Very heavy on the Christian message. I also subscribe to daily email messages from Gary Chapman’s Marriage Vine Ministries. I really find many of them helpful.

    Thanks to all who are willing to continue sharing your stories and progress. Healing and renewal is possible, I really believe it.

    Jane

  137. Beth says:

    Thank you so much. That was what I needed.

    I just go through emotional roller coasters sometimes because he just doesn’t get it!

    It is better than it has been, I just can’t give in to letting him have interactions.

    I’ve been tougher than I’ve ever been and willing to stand up for my feelings for once instead of just taking it. I’ve felt more empowered at times then I ever have.

    Thanks again.

  138. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Beth,

    No, I don’t think it’s too much to ask that they stop all communication. It’s like the old adage, “You can’t go back to holding hands.” Once they’ve crossed boundaries such as locking themselves in a room together while she has an emotional moment…they can’t just go back to chatting about school concerts and birthday parties.

    The problem, as you pointed out, is that he doesn’t realize how destructive emotional affairs are. You can talk until you’re blue in the face — and so can your counselor (which by the way I’m glad you talked to) — but until he really internalizes how insidious and unhealthy they are, he won’t see the point of cutting off all contact. And if he doesn’t see the point of it, then he’ll keep thinking you’re overreacting.

    So, I suggest giving him another perspective on emotional affairs — such as from people who were involved in them. Print out excerpts from this comments page, and the comments on “Signs of Emotional Cheating” — here’s the link:
    http://theadventurouswriter.com/blog/quipstipsachievinggoals/love-relationships/6-signs-of-emotional-cheating/

    Perhaps giving him other points of view will help.

    Also, he needs to respect your opinions and feelings — no matter how “crazy” they seem, and talk to you without the eye rolls and defensiveness. And vice versa, of course.

    My husband and I took a wonderful course called “Nonviolent Communication” about 3 years ago, and we still use some of the communication tips they taught us. Marriage workshops and classes are fantastic ways to learn how to communicate without stonewalling or defensiveness — and talking with and listening to other couples is also very helpful and eye-opening.

    I hope this helps a little. Emotional affairs really are hard for people to wrap their heads around — especially if they think cheating is all about physical intimacy. But it’s not!

    Good luck, I hope this helps, and I hope you stay in touch…maybe one day you’ll be on the “this is what worked for us” end, and you’ll be helping people cope with their own emotional affairs. Wouldn’t that be lovely?

    All best,
    Laurie

  139. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Jane — thank you so much for sharing your story! It seems like most couples who are struggle with emotional or physical affairs, money problems, or any type of marital problem go directly to the “get a divorce” step.

    It’s fantastic to see you working it out with your husband, and focusing on the big picture.

    Love is about so much more than feelings and physical attraction….and your comment reflects what love is really about.

    Thank you,
    Laurie

  140. Beth says:

    My husband had an emotional affair, though he can’t seem to admit that it was. My husband was a stay at home Dad until my daughter started kindergarten. This woman was a stay at home Mom who is not emotionally stable. She lacks confidence and is needy and controlling. We started out as friends, but since I work full time her neediness wore thin. Because of this she latched onto my husband instead and this friendship and her needs came first over our families.

    I learned a valuable lesson that for years I did take my husband for granted. It is a two way street in any marriage. He was missing something from me, but he also needs to realize that he has to communicate his needs to me as well.

    After many discussions with him about my feelings and a counselor telling him his actions and friendship wasn’t acceptable, my husband finally told this woman they could no longer be friends. This woman and her husband still try to contact my husband to pursue this friendship and from time to time my husband caves and invites her back into his life. I fortunately have been able to let my husband know that this is unacceptable and he realizes and curtails the interactions.

    The problem is he doesn’t accept responsibility for his actions. He still doesn’t understand that he had an emotional affair and has a very difficult time understanding my feelings about this other woman. He blames me for ruining a friendship that we all had as I had confronted her about a year ago about her spending way to much time at my home and chasing my husband around. (Very obvious to others on the outside who saw the interactions as well.)

    It hurts when your children even know the relationship isn’t proper. My son told me about the time they locked themselves in our bedroom because Liz was having an emotional moment. Leaving 5 kids under the age of 8 to fend for themselves with a pool in the backyard. Hmmmm not so smart in my opinion. My 8 year old son at the time didn’t think too highly of this either as he was telling me about it.

    I’m trying my best to move on and trust again. I’m finding it difficult at times. It is better than it was. My husband has never been one to share feelings or talk openly. I’ve asked for more affection and more communication at this point to help me through this, but he feels he can’t change to meet my needs. He also feels I should just trust his word, when in the past he has lied and betrayed me so many times. I get eye rolls and defensiveness trying to turn things back on me whenever I question his motives or his intermittent interactions with this woman.

    Is it too much to ask that he just stop all an any communication and keep her from contacting him?

  141. jane says:

    Wow, Steve. I so feel for you. I can feel the deep anguish and guilt in your words. You are suffering so much, and I really believe you want to repair your marriage and rebuild the love you once had with your wife. I also have three young children, and they are our glue. When I have thought I had no more feelings left for my husband, and thought I would die emotionally if I stay with him, I see their little innocent faces in my mind, and I know I have to make this work. I have had differing advice from different sources on that. Some say it’s better to live peacefully apart than angrily together, for the kids’ sake. I don’t buy it. There are ways to heal and live in love together, even when you think there is no hope. There is always hope with God. But, man, it’s a long road, and one that I have just set foot on.

    We watched the movie FireProof recently. I would highly suggest this movie to anyone in this situation, and really, all married couples having issues and maybe even those preparing for marriage who are unsure or struggling in some way. Any couple can benefit from watching it. Watching it was the reason I put my wedding band and engagement ring back on…here’s the story about that…

    I stopped wearing my wedding band in April, after our final counseling session with a counselor who seemed exasperated with us. His final comment to my pleading for some resources, materials, exercises, something tangible to help us work out our problems was “Why can’t you two just forgive each other and move on?”. I left the place with tears streaming down my face and took off my ring while driving home. I swore that if I ever wore a wedding ring again, it would be a whole new one for a whole new set of reasons. We had tried so many things prior to that counselor, and I believed there was absolutely nothing that would help us learn to love each other and get through this life as a whole family with our incredibly beautiful and precious, innocent children.

    That’s when things started getting a little more involved with my other person, but it took several more weeks for it to flare into romance. He was the one who started it, although I had had very sweet feelings for him for a long time. One day he started asking me questions about my past romantic experiences. He sent mp3s of love songs to me over email. He wrote the most beautiful poetry to me that made me feel like I was a goddess in his eyes. I don’t think he was doing all of this on purpose, in some calculated way to get what he wanted in the end, but if there’s a formula for it, he knows it inside and out, and it worked like a charm.

    Before this, it really never entered my mind to have an office romance or any kind of inappropriate relationship with someone else. I just wanted the pain in my marriage to stop, or to get away from it, somehow. He was my medication. And, folks, they are not lying when they say it’s like a drug addiction. I wanted more and more and more of his words, his voice, his eyes, everything, and it started to take over my life. If I ever have inklings of wanting any of it back, I remind myself how I had started to feel annoyed that my kids were around, how I neglected alot of my responsibilities, how my thoughts were constantly swirling about him during all my waking hours. He seemed to outshine my husband in every way, and I would drift off into a daydream about him even more deeply when my husband was around, to try to block out my intense and growing negative feelings towards him and our marriage. The comparison between the bad feelings I had for my husband and the euphoric feelings I had about the other person was a sharp contrast.

    So, to try and bring this all back around, I’m saying that I was in deep, and even though I was so upset that my husband pulled the plug on it and it came to a screeching halt, and it’s still hard to let go of all the things I wanted out of the extramarital emotional affair, our marriage is now on the way to recovery. My husband is a saint that I never recognized before. As I distance myself from my temporary escape into sinful emotional behaviors which could have led to very sinful physical behaviors if given the time, I see that I am one lucky woman to have this man who is my husband, who I have taken for granted for so long, willing to give me another chance. I cannot believe he is still able to love me. Now, I am working on finding the love I know I can have for him. It’s hard when you get a taste for intense romance with someone else, and then you deal with the disappointment of not having that with the person you promised to love so long ago. Maybe I was stupid for marrying someone that I wasn’t in love with, but I didn’t know the difference back then. I am deciding to trust that if I use the resources that I have found through these websites and my counselor and church, we can build this into a real, true, and lasting love. I am staying no matter what, and since I can’t stand to live in muck anymore, I am going to bring in new soil, new seeds, and cultivate a beautiful garden out of it. Big wishes here, but they can come true, especially with God as the center of it all.

    I will write again.

    I pray for us all. Healing is available, if we want to reach out and hold on tight. We need to decide to love, and so do our hurt spouses. A good friend once told me that the best marriage advice she was given was that Love is a Behavior. I have heard it as Love is a Decision before, but to me that is confusing. Okay, so you decide to love. But, what does that look like, what are you supposed to do? I think her version clears it up nicely. If you behave in loving ways, you can cultivate an array of loving feelings.

    This is a trial and a cross to bear. Let’s rise to the challenge, everyone.

    Love,
    Jane

  142. Laurie PK says:

    Sharri — just wanted to let you know I moved your question over to my “Ask a Question” page:

    http://theadventurouswriter.com/blog/ask-a-question-quips-tips-achieving-goals/

    See you there!

    Laurie

  143. Steve says:

    Since I posted last I have already been to counseling twice, which was my idea. My counselor doesn’t really have more she can say other than it’s going to take time, and it would be ideal of my wife would go. However, she presently doesn’t feel it is her problem, which I can understand. I’m hoping that in time she will go if she wants to try to save our marriage, even though I am the one who f’ht it all up. I have never felt so horrible in my life, and what makes me feel worse is that I know she feels even worse than I do. I feel so creditably stupid for not seeing how this could be taken so much worse than I had thought. It’s made me sick to my stomach ever since this happened, and it’s only getting worse the more it sinks in, just how much of an idiot I am for doing this to my wife, and best friend. I had everything, a beautiful loving wife, two great kids, great family, and how a 3rd on the way. Yes, a 3rd, I forgot to mention that in my first post, which complicates our situation even more. Not only is there financial stress, but I think it really upsets my wife even more because she needs my help our kids, and now there’s another one on the way. Her Mom has come down to help her, and help out with our kids, while I’m at work. I vowed to my wife that I would not lie to her again, and I would tell her everything and be upfront even if she would get mad at me. So while this has been happening, I really only have spoken to the counselor, making that previous post, and my Mom. While I was talking to my Mom, as I was telling her about all the bad stuff that was happening, how my whole world is falling apart, I slipped and told her that my wife was pregnant again. I told my Mom this late at night and told her not to bring it up before I do, but if my wife asks you, not to lie and say that I told her. That next morning I was talking with my Mother-in-law while my wife was sleeping and she asked me if I spoke with my parents about it…not wanting to lie I said, yes to my Mom, and that I mentioned that my wife was pregnant. I had told her I needed someone to talk to. Later that day I was going to ‘hopefully’ sit down with my wife at some point and tell her that I accidentally told my Mom, but my wife wasn’t looking or talking to me that morning, so I wanted to wait for a better time that day to break the news…..very bad idea… again! I was outside working all day with my Dad and I didn’t realize my Mom had come over to visit! – Thanks for the heads up Mom, on that one – I guess before my Mom came over my Mother-in-law mentioned it to my wife…….lets just say she was furious to hear that from her Mom instead of me….other lesson learned…”spill it” right away. So now she has trust issues with my Mom for not saying anything when she was over and there’s some passed history there that I’ll save for another day, and for me again for not telling her right away….later that night my wife vented to me about it and how I had messed everything up. Needless to say I lost a lot of hope that I could save our Marriage after that. I thought I felt bad before, now I was just beside myself. Just made me realize just how much this hurt her. It feels like I can’t do anything right, and I know she has every right to be angry with me. It’ just eating me that I messed our 10 years up so badly with all this. To add to my problems, my wife isn’t generally the most forgiving person either, so I think I have maybe a 2% percent chance of saving my marriage and life as I knew it. Each time I think about how many people I have hurt and affected by this, not including the obvious I just get sick to my stomach. I’ve thrown up three times now. Who knows, my wife may kill me for posting these online, but I’m looking for help from wherever I can find it. All I want to do is be with my wife and kids.

    Laurie – Thanks for the response. Right now my wife hates me and gets sick just thinking about me. I hope a lot of this is just anger; I’m trying to stay optimistic. Right now my wife doesn’t want anything to do with me, but when she asks something of me, trust me I do it! I’m hoping she will want to go to counseling, but right now she’s still extremely made at me. I’ve shut down my Facebook account down completely. I want nothing to do with it, and if that helps to show just a little bit that I think is really important, I’m going to do it and anything else she asks of me. I have another personal email account that I have just had my emails forwarded to her and she can forward them to my work email if there’s anything from family etc. I do have another work email address, but I don’t think it is possible for me to give her instant access or forward it, but I have told her and shown her my work email. My work email is just that, I don’t use it for anything else. Of course she doesn’t think so, but hopefully I will have the time with her to show her that. Other than letting her use my laptop there’s not much I can do with this. Also I have given her all my passwords etc. I will look into a couples retreat in our area. However, I think I’m going to wait a while before I bring that up.

    Lee – I’m sorry to hear your husband did something stupid too. For me what I think it really came down to, and as silly as it sounds, is that I just met a girl down the states at a show, we all (not just me…never one on one) had a good time. I didn’t tell my wife, because I know how my wife sometimes reacts, so to avoid a fight I didn’t tell her. Of course now that has been multiplied a 1000 times over. So, if there’s any guys reading this…always tell your wife regardless if she will be pissed at you! Like the saying goes ‘hell have no fury like a woman scorned’. Since we’ve had our kids I also haven’t been communicating very well with my wife. I think that a lot of it has to do with adjusting to the stress of going from no kids to two kids. Regardless, my behaviour was unacceptable and I hope this is just the worst wake up call I ever get so I never lose sight of my priorities again. Thank you for the book suggestion, I’m going to try to find it on the way home tonight. As far as sending an email to her, my counselor had actually suggested that. My wife had since blocked her from my Facebook account, so I had to ask one of my colleges, who was also a friend of hers as well from the trip, he provided me with her email address. Not wanting to cause suspicion as soon as I got it, I sent it to my wife so that when I got home I could write an email. However, and I don’t blame her, I gave my wife access to my email and she wrote to her as if she was me. She was just trying to find out if more had happened that I wasn’t telling her, which nothing had. I would probably have done the same thing if I was her. After about four or five emails back and forth she let her know that she was actually my wife emailing her as me and was very upset that she carrying on emailing me on Facebook. I had ever sent an email conversation in any other form. Since then she has not tried to contact me and I definitely have not tried to contact her. It would probably help me if she did try to contact me, so I could immediately show it to my wife. As for my blackberry I leave it when I don’t need it and give it to her whenever she asks.

    Kim – Thanks for you comments. I hope that in two years I’m able to show and tell my wife whatever she asks so that she feels reassured that I love her and only her and want to be with her and our kids forever.

  144. kim says:

    Steve,

    When I asked my husband about the affair he came clean. When I found out it was a good friend I got angry. I was so upset because of the disrespect that he show our marraige and family. I didn’t trust him for the longest time and told him. These women who have affairs with men mostly do and you say what the wife doesn’t. Remenmmber when you tell a women what is wrong in the relationship she does everything right and so you believe you have the perfect women. Like I told my husband if she was a great catch she won’t be looking your way because she be taken. I told him to go live with her and find out what she is all about then let me know if our marriage is where you want to be. If you can’t tell your wife anything and anybody even the little things then maybe you should think about how to communicate better. After 2 years I stilll have moments of doubts but when I ask him a question he is more than willing to tell or show what I need to feel better. I told my husband when a person can make you do something you never done before is that someone you want to be with. For Example I would never think he would lie and be sneaky but he did. Enough said good luck hope it all works out for you and your family My prays are with you!!!!!!!!!

  145. Lee says:

    Hi Steve,
    Two other quick things, you have to be prepared to give your wife access to all of your email accounts if there are more than one and be open with everything you have. Text messaging, blackberry phone calls and emails, everything. She has to trust you. When my husband mows the lawn, goes out, he leaves his blackberry on the kitchen counter so that I can see anything that comes in.

    Second thing he did that surprised me and went a long way was to write his friend an email about 2 weeks ago.

    In this email he said he was angry at her for encouraging him to have this relationship. He was furious at her and himself for getting involved in a relationship that humiliated him in front of his beautiful wife. He told her that his flirtations were flattering to him and that was all there was. He never desired her and that I was the only woman he really wanted. He told her that she was guilty of encouraging a married man to act like an ass.

    For the first time I saw how he felt and that his intentions were to turn all of his affection and attention to me. He called me wonderful and beautiful. I cried when I read that because the email was sent at his discretion and revealed his feelings. If that other woman really means nothing to you, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Your family is at stake.

    You might consider something like that.

    Again, best of luck.

    Lee

  146. Lee says:

    Hi Steve,
    Interestingly enough, my husband had an online relationship for about 4 years with a girl 35 yrs younger than me, that he met at a tradeshow. And I discovered it quite by accident this past February and I have to tell you it just pulled the rug out from underneath me. I was in shock for about 2 weeks, angry, depressed, and I lost about 15 lbs before I got hold of myself and sought counseling. I found it hard to concentrate on anything. If you are lucky enough to have therapy through your insurance at work, I highly advise seeking out a therapist. Your wife needs one too.

    There was a payoff for your behavior and you need to know exactly what it was and get your needs met from your wife.

    She needs to decide that your relationship is worth saving and to learn to trust you again. And I can tell you first hand that she is blaming herself and feeling bad about herself. She is wondering who this other girl is, if she is prettier, smarter, more loving and kicking herself. This is human nature.

    Your wife may have even been the source of your looking somewhere else or she may not! Some therpists tell you that a need wasn’t met at home and she has to learn to figure this out on her part but this may not be the case at all. Therapy will help with that answer.

    The best thing you can do is to come clean, apologize, tell her that you are there for her, get counseling, when she cries-hold her, when she is throwing things at you(I am making the assumption here) hold her, and be patient. It can take a LONG time for her to feel better about herself, your relationship and to trust you. And maybe even learn to love you again. And you have to expect that healing is not going to happen over night.

    It sounds like you have children here too, so you have a lot at stake.

    I read a book called “Not Just Friends” by Shirley Glass. It talks about how the internet makes a whole new kind of relationship possible and how people can get into trouble with online emotional infidelities. It is eye opening. But you have to figure out why it was worth it to you to risk your marriage for a “flirtation.” I am sure that both you and my husband didn’t see it that way when you were writing your messages, but that’s what it was. The internet is insidious.

    Take care, see someone (counselor), let your wife know every moment how much she means to you and BE PATIENT. Be prepared for her emotional highs and lows, getting your marriage back is worth the wait. Your marriage won’t be the same but it can still be good, very good. And you can raise our family and grow old together and do all those things you two dreamed of when you married. Healing just takes time and understanding.

    Keep in touch and reach out anytime.

    Lee

  147. Laurie PK says:

    Steve, you’ve got some serious digging out of the doghouse to do! But yes, I believe you CAN save your marriage. Surviving an emotional affair — and by the way, your wife’s perception of your connection with your woman friend is more weighty than the reality of it — is difficult, but definitely possible.

    Here are some suggestions:

    – Figure out how your wife feels, and try to express your understanding of her feelings. I encourage you to read Lee’s comments on my article “Signs of Emotional Cheating” — she shares how it made her feel when she found her husband was emotionally close with another woman. http://theadventurouswriter.com/blog/quipstipsachievinggoals/love-relationships/6-signs-of-emotional-cheating/

    Also — I think Lee checks the comments on that article, so I’ll post a note there for her to read your question here and offer her advice. She’ll be able to give you suggestions from the perspective of a wife betrayed.

    – Figure out what your wife needs, and give it to her! Does she want couples counseling? Does she want full access to your work email? Does she want you to go into individual counseling? Does she need a weekend alone to think about it? Whatever she needs, do your best to meet her needs. And remember — it takes time to rebuild trust. After some time, she probably won’t need to keep checking up on you or keep needing reassurance that you’re genuinely sorry and love her above everyone else.

    – Go into counseling of your own accord. Women are often very impressed by men who are willing to delve into their emotions and feelings without being forced into it. Plus, you’ll benefit emotionally and mentally from figuring out if there was anything underneath all the innocence you proclaim.

    – Find resources about surviving marital infidelity to show your wife that you’re serious about rebuilding your marriage. Read books about surviving affairs or find out if there are any weekend retreats or support groups for couples. I’m not suggesting you do this just for show — do it for real.

    These things should help you reconnect with your wife. Give her time — it’s a shocking betrayal to learn your husband has been corresponding with another woman. It DOES mean something, no matter how innocent you say it is. It may mean more to your wife than to you, but it really damaged her perception of you and your marriage. That doesn’t just get forgotten.

    Good luck, and I wish you all the best. I hope some of these suggestions help!

    Laurie

  148. Steve says:

    I need some advice. I made a big mistake. I was down in states for a trade show, and along with my two colleges, and we met a women around my age also exhibiting at the trade show. In my industry typically the exhibitors are 25+ years older than me, so we don’t hang out with many people our age. Not trying to justify just telling the story. This girl had a long time boyfriend back home was down with her Dad for the show. We were all married so nothing was going to come of it. So we all went out for dinner and had a good time, nothing sexual or physical ever happend. We went out again the next night and then it was just my two colleges. We were just having a good time and NOTHING happened physically, just all having a good time. When the trade show ended we all decided to stay in touch on online, just friendly. I had been emailing back in forth with this girl for over six months. Nothing long winded or anything, but I didn’t tell my wife, which I realize is betraying her. Over the course of the emails some of them became flirty in nature and I thought it was just innocent. It was never going to go any further than that. Here’s were my story gets more complicated. My wife and I have been together for almost 10 years and will have been married for 5 years this year. We also have two kids. Recently I left my email account open and she read all my emails. I NEVER wanted this to ruin our relationship and potentially lose my kids. I NEVER got intimate or emotional with this girl. I knew that was wrong for hiding it, and when she found them I panicked and told a few lies to try to down play it, which I ended up getting caught again for. I love my wife and kids soo much. I would normally say I’m a great husband and father, who just made the biggest mistake of my life. I want to be with my wife and kids. Do I have a chance of saving my marriage and life? After reading all these posts and doing some soul searching I realize I have emotionly cheated, and betrayed on her, and broke her trust. I have also been reading about emotional cheating on the internet and it typically involves cyber sex or sharing secrets and getting really emotional, which I did not do. Any feed back would be appreciated.

  149. kim says:

    Thanks Laurie,

    Called my Husband at work we got together for a coffee break. I asked him straight forward and he told me it was physical and because of the hurt I had knowing about the emotional affair he didn’t want me to hurt any more. We talked for a while he apologize to me but said he felt better because he want to tell me but was afraid of opening a old hurt. I didn’t want all details but he was willing to give all. He has not had contact with her for years since he made the decision to work our marriage out. I can only go forward at this point he is open about everything from cell phone to email and even where he is going or who he is with. He tells me if I need to check out his story or stop by he is okay with that. Trust is a special gift that we give someone and to earn it is very hard but to give it back it sometimes feels inpossible. I feel better but my eyes are always open. He takes full resposible on his affair and why he did it had nothing to do with me. He felt he could have it all but when it came down to it he said it wasn’t willing to risk his daughters and wife for the unknown. We will talk more later but feeling better. Communication and being open is the only way to go without that you have no marriage. Going foward slowly

  150. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Kim, I’m a big fan of talking about problems like physical and emotional infidelity in marriage. Just letting it go doesn’t mean it’ll go away — and just letting go won’t strengthen your marriage or help you reconnect with your husband.

    Talking about it may or may not make you feel better — it depends on what he says and how he feels about her. I wouldn’t recommend that you ask about the details, but I think that it’s important to figure out why it happened and how he intends to be sure it never happens again.

    How can you trust your husband again if there are secrets between you?

    That’s just my two cents…many husbands and wives go for decades without talking about their issues. I don’t know if it’s healthy, but it seems to work for some couples.

    And Wendell — I totally agree with you! Women do seem to take more of the burden to make marriages work. There are definitely more comments from women about relationship issues (though some men have piped up).

    Yes, our time on earth is limited…so we should surround ourselves with love, respect, and beauty (not lies, secrets, betrayals!). It’s difficult and painful to leave a marriage, but it may be better in the long run.

    Best wishes,
    Laurie

  151. kim says:

    Wendell, I been married over 23 years and had felt I was in a happy marriage until I found out about his affair. He admitted this to me and we talk and decision he need to make he did. I learn how to trust him again and we talk about everything or do we? I learn that the affair was a physical one and now I back to what else didn’t he tell me. Since all this happen I have done for myself back to school and take care of me first beside my daughters. I learned happiness can only come from within yourself and he will never make me feel unhappy about my life. He is a good person and what ever happen he will always be my best friend. Should I ask him or let it go? I feel I can ask him anything but will it make me feel better that is what I want to know?

  152. wendell says:

    Kim I’m still trying to get an admittance out of my husband to his emotional affair.As time is going on, I’m not able to cope with his lying to me and to himself.Why is it always us woman that feel the need to carry on with a marriage, more so then a man? From remarks on this page the majority are nearly always women.Do we want to be doormats and torture ourselves for the resat of our lives?I’m beginning to think why should I bother any more.I’ve been until now happily married for 30 years together for 35.My husband has become very imature and child like and really the man I feel in love with.Who knows how long we have got left on this earth.Shouldn’t we be happy as we leave.I’m truely thinking seriously about changing my life for the better.Hopefully my mind will be clear,no horrible feeling in my stomach.Lets enjoy life for ourselves instead of always putting someone else first.

  153. kim says:

    My husband had a emotional affair two years ago. I see he almost everyday as she drive by. We talked and everything has been great until I found out that the affair two years ago was also physical. I am torn he doesn’t know I found out I am confused because it has opened a bad wound. Confused any ideas should I tell him or just let it go. Help

  154. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Theresa, if your marriage is better, and you and your husband have survived this emotional affair, then I encourage you not to fall back into the obsessive thinking about it!

    What possible good could it do to rehash it all with your husband? Seriously. It’s over, and ripping open old wounds doesn’t seem like it’ll help you and him move forward.

    I do understand wanting to know why it happened and what he was looking for….but I think the time for that has passed. I think you should let it go and move on.

    That said, I don’t know you, him, or anything about your marriage. You have to trust your gut — if you believe you can’t move forward without knowing the answers to your questions about his emotional infidelity, then I suggest trying couples counseling. An objective marriage counselor will help you two untangle the web, and hopefully keep you on the path to a healthy, happy marriage!

    Your thoughts?

    Best of luck, Theresa.

    Laurie

  155. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Yesterday, I wrote an article called “How to Stop Cheating on Your Partner”, which might help you, Ashamed. Here’s the link to the article:

    http://theadventurouswriter.com/blog/quipstipsachievinggoals/love-relationships/how-to-stop-cheating-on-your-partner/

    And remember — you’re not alone! Deciding whether you should marry someone is a huge decision that many people struggle with. Same with emotional affairs.

    I agree with Sharri; talk to your boyfriend about what’s been going on. Be honest, direct, and real. If you’re worried that you’re not ready to be married yet, tell him that. Maybe you need to explore other relationships first! That’s okay — but the best time to do it is before you’re married or seriously committed to someone.

    One more thing: almost ALL decisions come with regrets! Every choice we make means we lose out on something, because we can’t have it all. So if you choose to stop the emotional infidelity, you might regret losing your friend. If you choose to keep the relationship going, you’ll regret cheating on your boyfriend. If you choose to take a break from your boyfriend, then you might worry about losing him for good.

    The bottom line is whether you want to be the type of woman who flirts and cheats with a married man, or if you want to be true to a man who loves you. You CAN think with your head, not your hormones!

    I wish you all the best, and welcome your thoughts….

    Laurie

  156. Sharri says:

    Re: Comment by ashamed…
    I do not think you are ready to tie yourself down to one guy just yet.
    You are young and I think you should tell your boyfriend in a friendly, relaxed setting and see what he thinks and has to say. You may be surprised…Once everything is out in the open, it may be easier to just remain work collegues witht he one who seems to have you all aflutter and could prevent you from having emotional intimacy to physical intimacy. Your opening up (being honest) with your boyfriend might be the best medicine your relationship requires and you can move on from there. At the moment you seem to be in a place of not knowing. Your boyfriend might appreciate the honesty and know that he can trust you in the future that you will always report to him first so that matters can be sorted. The other guy might have feelings for you and then again he might not. You do not know this yet as you are still assuming…The other guy has not offered you anything concrete, promises, declarations and showing intent of going steady with you. So, I would remain sceptical. You might be a passing fancy and he will look for greener pastures once he is done with you. Only you can decide if you want to be footloose and fancy free or you want to be secure in a committed relationship that has a future, engagement, marriage, children etc. Good luck.
    Sharri

  157. Theresa says:

    It is one year ago this month that my husband emotionally cheated.
    After I found out…we went through absolute hell.
    Things did get better, much better.
    BUT, this “anniversary” of the emails, texts, calls, perfume, meetings, staying out all night but not having sex, etc. has me unglued again.
    I want to know WHY is happened!
    I want to know WHAT happened!
    I want to know what she said that was so interesting.
    I want to understand what he meant when he said that it had “nothing to do with me” “it was all about him”.

  158. Ashamed says:

    I’ve come across this webpage because I feel that I have been emotionally cheating on my boyfriend, and I don’t know how to stop it. He and I have been dating for 2 years. A year and a half ago, I met someone who works in another department in the same building as me who I thought was attractive, and we began chatting a little whenever we saw each other. He is married. I did not think of it as a flirtation (I had no desire to start anything with anyone other than my boyfriend, much less a married man), but I feel that it has become that and more. I am very attracted to him, and I look forward (almost obsessively) to seeing him at work. Whenever we talk, I have to drag myself away because the conversation is so enjoyable and just keeps going. We do not share any deep emotional bonds, in fact, I think that it is mostly physical attraction, but I cannot stop thinking about him, and I am wracked with guilt that I have feelings for him when my boyfriend is everything I could ever hope for. I do not hide the fact that I talk to the other guy from my boyfriend. They have similar interests, which is what initially sparked the conversation that led to our friendship, and my boyfriend sometimes asks about him, and he sometimes asks about my boyfriend, and I try to mention my boyfriend all the time to hint that I really don’t want to cross any boundaries. I’m afraid that I already have crossed a boundary, though, and I’m afraid of what else might happen in the future. My biggest problem is that, although I recognize that what I am doing is wrong, I don’t have the strength to walk away. I’ve been holding off so far — On a few occassions, this guy has indirectly suggested having lunch together, which I have successfully avoided. In April, when he directly asked me to go for pizza for lunch with him, I declined. When he suggested we go out for ice cream instead, I declined again, and now I feel regret every day because deep down, in some horomone-driven recess of my being, I really do want something to happen. I want to hang out alone with him and for him to lean over and kiss me and for all of the attraction I’ve been feeling for him to finally be channeled somewhere. Last week, he told me several times in one conversation that he thought I looked really good and then later suggested that I go to the beach with him and one of his friends. It seemed like the beach thing was a kind of fantasy on his part, and he was just throwing it out there, but I want it just as much as he does, and I’m afraid that soon, I won’t be able to resist any longer.
    Through this all, my boyfriend is looking to become engaged soon. He does not know that I have any kinds of feelings for anyone but him. I know that I cannot marry him when I am emotionally cheating. I have thought about getting a new job, but a location transfer is not possible, and frankly, in this economy, a new job althogether isn’t realistic either. And I wonder – if I confront the guy and totally end our friendship, will I regret it the way I regret not going for lunch with him? If I don’t, will I ever get over the guilt? Won’t the hurt from the cheating (which soon may become physical) be even worse?
    I need help breaking away from my intense attraction to this guy. It can only end badly for both of us if we continue at this rate. If the only way I can stop the emotional infidelity is to talk to my boyfriend, please give me some guidelines on how to do that, because I’m afraid that this will hurt him very deeply, and I am afraid of causing him that much pain.

  159. angela says:

    Narrisah Great minds think alike. My flame went out when I found out about my husband.I don’t think he or anyone else with ever re-light it.I’m not sure I will ever get over this.I don’t sleep well. Most nights I sit up on my computer and retire around 5am.I’m hoping this will get better in time, as tiredness is no help.It’s amazing how my husband manages to sleep soundly.

  160. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Sharri,

    I moved your question over to my “Ask a Question” page, because it didn’t fit with this “tips for surviving an emotional affair” thread :-)

    Here’s the link:
    http://theadventurouswriter.com/blog/ask-a-question-quips-tips-achieving-goals/

    Thanks for the question — it’s a great one!

    Laurie

  161. Laurie PK says:

    Well, the technical definition of an emotional affair is that it’s with someone of the opposite sex. Friendships with people of the same sex are just that: friendships.

    But it sounds like your wife would rather be with this woman, as more than friends. If that’s the case, then it’s definitely emotional cheating.

    In a healthy marriage, each partner tries to compromise and make the other person happy. This means that both partners respect each other’s wishes — and sometimes one partner’s wishes take precedence over the other’s because there’s more at stake for some reason. But this eventually balances out, because what goes around comes around!

    In your situation, the same rules apply as in the more traditional types of emotional affairs. Your wife can’t maintain emotional intimacy outside your marriage, because it undermines your relationship and disrespects you.

    I suggest you and she try marriage counseling. It sounds like you’re both confused and hurt, and you’ll both benefit from an objective point of view.

    Sorry I can’t be more helpful, and I wish you the best of luck!

    Laurie

  162. Jason says:

    I am wracked with the difficulty of discovering my wife’s emotional affair with another woman. She still doesn’t believe that it was an affair, because it involved another woman. I volunteered the admission that our marriage has been difficult for the past two years (the result of a two way street), but while that may explain the situation it does not excuse it. My wife pleads that there is ambiguity as to the definition of an affair, in context to the situation, because it involves a close co-worker and friend of the same sex. However, my argument has been centered around the nature of the deception and the texting and statements of love and longing for each other. It would be black and white had this situation occurred with a man, but because its a member of the same sex, my wife is unwilling to admit to this situation being labeled an affair.

    I guess my question is whether others may see this as an affair, and while I do not want to be labeled as controlling, I have asked my wife to stop contact with her outside of work. Is this okay, and wher do we go from here?

  163. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, Jane.

    Not only is it healing for you to write it out (and what a wonderful writer you are!), people who read it will be helped. They’ll be able to put their own experiences into perspective — and learn from you.

    I hope your friend finds information about emotional infidelity somehow. He’s in a bit of a tough spot: keeping secrets from his wife, and not realizing the importance of emotional intimacy.

    Marriage counselor Gary Neuman says emotional intimacy can be more destructive to a relationship than physical intimacy, because it’s an “affair of the heart.” It means more.

    That said, Jane, I also want to emphasize the importance of you forgiving yourself. You made a mistake because of an emptiness in your marriage. You’re human, your mistake is fixable, and your marriage may be stronger because of it! It’s going to be fine.

    Thanks again for being here, and I hope to see you around again.

    Take care,
    Laurie

  164. jane says:

    I ended an emotional affair a few days ago, not by choice, but because my husband has been suspecting, and he barged into our home office and saw an email I was about to send to the man I thought I was sharing true love with. I have read the word ‘devastated’ over and over on all of these websites covering the topic of emotional cheating. I saw in the flesh a person in shock and total devastation in my husband the second he figured out what I had been up to. I will NEVER forget that. He was shaking uncontrollably and could barely breathe. He is typically a person in total control of himself and hardly ever shows his emotions so obviously. I felt the most fear and shame of my life and a burning feeling up the back of my neck to my brain.

    I did not know the terms ’emotional cheating’, emotional affair’, and all the others I have learned in the past couple of days, until the day after this ended. My sister is the one who named it for what it is, and as much as I hated to know what a major mistake I have made, I am grateful to her for loving me enough to put it in plain words. I recognize every single sign in what I have done, and the magnitude of it all floors me. I have always been a faithful Christian woman and have tried to do the right things in my life. As I look back on all of this, I see many events that all came together in a short span of time that opened the door for this to happen. I have not been in a very happy marriage for over a decade. But, I kept my focus on keeping it together. Intimacy was dead, but the common interest of our children and all we have been doing to build a life for this family was important enough to stay. Yes, there have been many times when I look back and pinpoint every event that could have ended in divorce for us. But, up until recently, it was never a real option.

    This past year, a wonderful man at my workplace became a friend on a deeper level. If only I would have known all of the signs of emotional cheating, I could have stopped this before it even started. I was totally swept away by our common interests, extremely similar life paths, ways of thinking and deep mutual admiration for each other’s professional performance and team work which caused us to work so closely together and offered many opportunities for time spent alone ‘working on a case’. It did not take long for us to begin sharing our frustrations about our spouses and letting each other understand just how much we were each missing in our marriages. He just wanted someone who wanted to listen and I just wanted some attention and affection. We readily filled those voids for each other, and we convinced ourselves it was okay because we were friends and we cared so much about each other.

    I believed I had found real, true love in him. And, I do have to admit, I still want to hang on to the wonderful feelings I got from all of this. I mentioned to him many times over the course of the acceleration of this relationship that I was anxious, nervous, not at peace, feeling rotten for doing this under their noses, feeling addicted, and not paying enough attention to my household duties and parenting. But, in my euphoria, I could think only of him, and my thoughts and fantasies of him intensified when I was in the same room as my husband.

    I am reading everything I can about all of this and praying for clarity so that I can identify all of my errors and sinful behaviors. It was so difficult to cut off this relationship. I had so many plans about more conversations I wanted to have with him, music I wanted to share with him, places I wanted to meet with him. I fabricated a whole life with him in my mind. I told him he was the greatest gift of love I had ever had in my life. That is a huge slap in the face to a husband, albeit not a very attentive and affectionate one, but still, a husband who has been aware that I was falling, but was still ready to catch me and give me one more chance. That, my friends is real, true love. I am getting a little bit closer every day to fully comprehending what I have done and trying everything possible to make it right.

    I have lingering worries over the other man and how he is dealing with this. I also worry about his wife. Although he is mentally divorced from her, they still have a life to live together. I don’t know if she will ever figure this out. He was actually willing to speak with me and my husband, but that was because my husband already knows what happened. I might be in a better position, because I don’t have any more secrets to hide, but he still does, and he will have to deal with that. I want very much to send him a link to one of these websites, so that he can begin to address this and try to heal. I am not allowing myself to do that, though, because I am trying to keep my promise of no more contact, even though this would not be contact that would continue the relationship. I still do care about him. He is a very special person, but he made a big mistake, too. I just don’t know if he really understands that what we did was wrong. We never got physical, and I think he is in that group of people who say it’s okay.

    There is so much more to say and write. Writing is helping me immensely.

    Thank you to all who have been so courageous to share your stories and seek help. It is helping me, too.

  165. Sharri says:

    Wow, Narrisah
    I think you have a good head on your shoulders. You are now a survivor after all the turmoil, betrayal that you have gone through. Yes, the advise you have given is correct. We come into this world alone and go out alone. Your heart and soul is now guarded. Yes, you say he is more like a good friend and you will stay together. That is fine and soner or later he will pick up from you that he has lost a precious part of you that he will never get back again. You continue to do what you are doing. Build yourself strong and start doing things for yourself, holidays, pampering, shopping and get involved with charity work. Also dont tell him or let him know everything there is to know about you anymore. That part of you is gone. He lost that when he deceived you and lied to you on a daily basis in your face. Let him do the wondering now and you know what he wont be able to fathom you out, he wont know what makes you tick, he wont know what you are doing and that will start to eat at him and I can assure you if you continue to do this you will have a faithful man on your hands…. Good luck and God bless.
    Sharri

  166. Laurie PK says:

    Narrisah, I’m sorry you were with a man who cheated on you twice like that — and I’m glad you survived! Unbelievable, that he could lie to your face like that. What does THAT do to his soul?

    You’re right, life will never be what it was before. You’re now stronger, wiser, and more centered in who you are. Your relationship didn’t turn out the way you expected, but you’re still connected to your self and soul — and you’re not bitter! Good for you.

    Thank you for your message to everyone — I love that you say, “Keep on keeping on. Love yourself and make yourself happy and guard your heart and soul, for this is the only life your heart will ever have…”

    One day, you may be ready to love and trust again…or you may never. Either way, you sound very healthy and strong!

    Peace out :-)

    Laurie

  167. Narrisah Jones says:

    It’s been almost 3 yrs since i discovered that the man i had lived with for 15+ years and had a child with was having an affair. I was devastated beyond belief. All of his friends were completely shocked by it, not one of them knew about it. It was so not like him to ever do something like that.
    I asked many questions about it, like how many times they had sex, how often, where, and things of that nature. He seemed to be honest about it with me and we discussed what it was that made him unhappy with me and what i could do to improve our relationship and i agreed to do those things for him as long as he swore that he would end the relationship with her. I told him he could not have any correspondence with her i.e. phone email etc. and that if she tried to contact him that he had to tell me immediately about it. He agreed and promised me it was over. Even called her in front of me and told her it was over. I felt such a relief, even though my heart was broken in a million pieces. He told me he realized that what he did was wrong and that he was done cheating. And silly me i believed him and gave him the trust i had always given him. I forgave him for it because i realize we are all fragile humans who are capable of screwing up. I believed that he really understood just how much pain i was in and how badly it hurt. I thought he had witnessed my pain and truly felt remorse and because of that i could trust that he would never ever do that again. I really did believe that he was no longer persuing a relationship with her, however i was still in fear of her trying to continue the relationship with him. So i gave him all kinds of advice as what to say to her if she tried to contact him etc and i told him i wanted to know immediately if she did try to contact him. He swore she hadn’t tried to see him and that they hadn’t had any contact etc for about a month afterward. Then i decided it would be better if he didn’t have the same cell phone anymore so i bought him a new one and gave his old one to our daughter (13yrs old). Well when i got the new one i found out where the secret password was located on the invoice and i got the old invoice out and went online to see just how often he had been in contact with her during their affair. I wasn’t suspecting anything was still going on but, i was curious as to whether what he had told me about their contact together was really only every now and again or if it had been something more. The page popped up and the very most recent calls were on the first page and the two most recent calls were to guess who? HER!!! at 5 am and 10 am that very day. and for the past month every day 4 or 5 times a day. It made me sick to my stomach and i don’t think i have ever felt such rage in my entire life. NO TEARS THIS TIME NO BROKEN HEART just pure rage and disgust. This man had been lying to me straight to my face everyday for the past month and constantly reassuring me that it was over i had no reason to worry, he loved me etc. Not to mention i had been cooking him dinner every night making his lunches and doing his laundry (something i had never been in the habit of doing in all the years we lived together) having sex with him a lot ( we always have had a great sex life) dressing sexy wearing makeup everyday doing anything i could to improve our relationship and was doing it happily and felt like we were really o.k. and that his affair was just a bump in the road of our 15 yrs together. I was in love with him as much if not more during this month. Now here’s the truth staring me in the face and i thought the betrayal of the affair to begin with was devastating but this right in my face lying to me as he made love to me was more horrifying that anything i have ever gone through. WE are still together and plan to stay that way and have a good relationship and i still love him but i will never feel that love down deep to my soul again for him. that is dead he killed it and sure something else has grown in it’s place but it will never be to the depth it was before. I would have given my life for him and i was completely devoted to him but i no longer feel that i owe it to him nor does he deserve it. I have always been an open and honest person and that will never change but now the things that are soulfully felt i no longer share with him and i never will again. I will never completely trust him ever again but i also will not be shocked by anything he might do in the future because i have seen just how low and uncaring a person he can be. I live with both my eyes wide open to reality and like i said i do love him i will always love him no matter what he does but no longer is my soul open to him. No longer does my heart belong to him i took it back, all the tiny pieces I PICKED UP OFF THE FLOOR and mended and glued back together ME not him . He pretended to care so deeply and lied right to my face and i believed every word of it. Never again! i will never hurt myself like that ever again with anyone. I am not sad i am grateful that i see him for who he is . He’s a great person and we get along great we always have, but like i said my heart and soul i no longer hand over to him to tend. I have to keep what is left of my heart in a safe place and the only place i can completely trust is in my care. I always thought he was my soul-mate but now i just see him as a really good friend. I am not interested in sharing my soul with another soul ever again. i came into this world alone with my soul and will leave it the same way. i used to believe that i had to find another soul to be complete but i feel more complete now with just my own that i am no longer in need of another soul to feel complete And i now know that no one really ever knows another person as well as i had believed i had known him. But i survived i won’t say i got over it. i don’t think it’s something anyone ever gets over but it is something that a person can live through and survive. But life will never be what it was before, you can never go back, you can only go on. So To Everyone, i say… keep on keeping on, Love yourself and make yourself happy and guard your heart and soul for this is the only life your heart will ever have and your soul belongs to the universe… we are all connected to one another FOR ALL IS GOD AND GOD IS ALL ~ a true pantheist of this world, Narrisah

    Peace Out.

  168. Laurie PK says:

    What was your husband THINKING?! He couldn’t let go of his ex-wife for some reason — I keep hearing Dr Phil’s voice in my head: “What is the payoff? What are you getting when you do (that thing)?”

    Sharri, it almost sounds like he’s trying to save her…she sounds pretty messed up, and it’s hard for some men to turn their backs on their needy, “vulnerable” ex-wives. So your husband’s payoff is feeling like the hero. Men need to be needed. Could that be it for him?

    Is he still in contact with her? Regarding your breaking point – does that mean you’re thinking about leaving him?

    About the research about physical and emotional infidelity: it makes sense that men see physical infidelity as more damaging, and women see emotional cheating as worse. I think that for many men, physical contact is more “thought-worthy” (important?) than emotional connection — so they see physical infidelity as a bigger deal (even most men who cheat think it’s a big deal, but I guess it depends on the man).

    Women are more into emotional connections and relationships, which makes emotional infidelity much worse.

  169. Sharri says:

    Yes, I agree and can relate to the fact that women feel emotionally infidelity worse than phyical infidelity. Sure, a man can tell you it was a one night stand, a quickie, it meant nothing etc. An emotional affair is something else. This means he actually cares and is invested in the female person which is devasting to the partner. In my case, my husband shielded and protected his ex-wife who had a reputation that was cheap and horrifying. He actually did whatever he could to make her life easier, never said a bad word to her and kept her in his family circle or allowed her to be in it although she divorced him for a younger man, a toyboy – she had 5 marriages, many boyfriends much younger than herself because the older men were wiser and would have seen through her much earlier for what and who she is. My husband remained her friend all behind my back (never anything physical) always said he cant stand her, does not like her etc. I think he doth protest to much. She poisoned his mother and his family against me and our children were never welcome, made a fuss of, or made a part of the family. We were the outsiders as if the enemy and she was No. 1 (P.S. my husband had a child with her during their 2 marriages) I still want them to do a DNA as she was unfaithful during the marriages and every relationship since. I am fed up, hurt and betrayed, yet I am a strong woman with a keen sense of love, honor, duty, justice, an excellent mother, a good, kind, loving wife and I stand tall in every situation. However, there is always a breaking point, a defining moment where the last straw breaks the camel’s back and this is the situation I am in today. Yes, emotional affairs are downright cruel and damaging.

  170. Laurie PK says:

    Men feel physical infidelity is more upsetting and women feel emotional infidelity is more upsetting, according to a study in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. This research explored how men and women perceive online and offline physical and emotional infidelity.

    Monica T. Whitty and Laura-Lee Quigley of Queen’s University Belfast surveyed 112 undergraduate students and asked them questions about sexual and emotional infidelity both offline and on the internet.

    When given the choice, men were more upset by sexual infidelity and women were more upset by emotional infidelity.

    “Given the newness of the internet, the rules have still not been clearly defined as to what are acceptable online encounters,” the authors note. “Our results support a social-cognitive model as they demonstrate that social shifts have led men and women to think differently about sex and love.”

    Source: ScienceDaily (Oct 30, 2008). “Gender Affects Perceptions of Infidelity.”

    This seems to hold true in “real life”, too. One of my friends’ husbands had a physical affair, and she said it was difficult to survive the infidelity — but they held their marriage together. She said surviving emotional infidelity would be harder.

  171. Dide says:

    Dear Laurie,

    I am so grateful of your recommendations. Lucky us to have have a very supportive and constructive people like you in th world round us.
    I will put all my focus on my life and loving her. I will be clear in my relationships with the goal of making my wife proud of our love.
    Best Regards,
    Dide.

  172. Laurie PK says:

    From an outsider’s perspective, it’s absolutely clear that you need to let your past go, stop setting yourself up for physical or emotional unfaithfulness and breaking your wife’s heart, and fully commit to your family! Stop hugging and kissing other women, because you’re being an unfaithful husband.

    You are married now, and whatever you could’ve chosen in the past is now over. The best thing to do is focus on your marriage and wife…not what could have been.

    From your perspective, I can totally understand being torn in different directions and wanting to reconnect with someone you were attracted to. But, the whole point of marriage is to commit to one person — no matter what! Marriage isn’t about reuniting with past girlfriends, my friend. Marriage is about loving who you’re with, even if you feel like exploring other relationships. Marriage is about being mature and choosing to love your life in all your actions — whether she’s right in front of you or not.

    What are your goals for your life? If you want to have a strong healthy marriage, then let your girlfriend go. If you want to break your loving, caring, courageous wife’s heart, then keep kissing and hugging your girlfriend. That’s the bottom line.

    Good luck, Dide. I wish you all the best, and encourage you to focus on loving your wife.

    Laurie

  173. Dide says:

    Hi Laurie,

    5 yrs ago, I met a girl in a shopping center. therefatre, I started to email her (I was alone and this was my firs time to talk to a girl, even though there was no meetings outside – only e-maling). I was thinking totally for marriage, but it did not happen due to her unwillingless.
    1 yr later in another city, I was intersted in a girl and met her 5-6 times, I asked about the girl’s past from a friend of mine…then, I decided right aftre that to stop talking to her since some people were thinking that she was having sex relationships at workplace or so!
    Then, some months later, after moving to a new apartment…I had a chance to meet a girl from our street. We started to dating, and sleeping together sometimes. She was not the girl I wanted, so I moved away.

    Right after or in the middle of separation from the 3rd gril, I started to meet another girl, now my wife. Then, as far as the worlds is so small, I come back to the same town that I met the 1st gril. Then, due to some fights back home. I started t call the 1st girl. And, she had heard about my marriage. And, I explained her the fact and said to her that this marriage was not the one I wanted. So, 2 times a month we call each other, and wehad a couple of times datining ended up only with kisses and hugs.
    While, I truley see how much my wife and maybe I love each other. I wanna know what is my own peronal problem? And, then what is best for me.
    tyi: My wife is the best, I know, she is caouragous so loving, so caring, and the best you could explain.(these are my feelings and the facts.

  174. Laurie PK says:

    There aren’t any hard and fast rules about surviving emotional affairs! That is, they don’t always end with a break up.

    Barbara, whether you stay in this relationship depends on what you can live with. You need to decide if you’re willing to live with him as he is, because he won’t likely change. Do you want to stay with someone who doesn’t tell you the truth? Then you need to accept that kind of relationship for what it is….and not expect more from him.

    Yes, I think you should move on. I think you deserve a man who will treat you with love, honor, and respect. I think that you’ll be in pain for some time after breaking up with him, but that you’ll come out of your depression after the worst has passed.

    I also think your self-respect will increase if you leave him.

    What do you think you should do? What would you tell your daughters, nieces, or friends to do?

    Laurie

  175. Barbara says:

    My now 61 year old boyfriend befriended an elderly woman (she’s now 81)when he was recovering from a work-related accident in a nursing home/rehab center back in 2004. They corresponded with each other and I just found out he went to a Christmas gathering with her during Christmas of that year. Apparently they kept in contact, I was aware that he talked to her, but he never told me he was seeing her too. To fast forward, I discovered in March of 2008 that he had planned a trip to Mexico with her (in May of 08). This is after we had just returned from a trip there in January of 2008. We have been together for 13 years. I also found out that they had been seriously seeing each other for a long time. They went out all the time, to the casinos, to her charity functions, she took him to her church. After I blew the whistle on their planned lover’s trip, he denied that she was anything but a friend and used the fact that she was an old lady as his excuse that this was acceptable. She called me at work and bombarded me with questions like I was the “other woman”. She asked if we had sex and when I confirmed that of course we did, she freaked. She called him a liar, two-timer and a cheater. Needless to say she didn’t go with him on that trip, I did. We entered counseling where he still insisted there was nothing wrong with his seeing this woman. The therapist told him that while his cheating on me with a younger woman would be devastating, the fact that he did it with a woman 27 years older than I am and the same age as his mother, makes it about a 1000 times more devastating. It is. I can’t get over it. He won’t tell me the truth. She has alot of money to throw around and he has to live on a fixed income now that he is disabled from his accident. I really think he was trying to set himself up to be taken care of. I am in severe depression and unable to take any medication for it because I take meds for my epilepsy. What should I do? Get rid of him? Probably.

  176. Reen says:

    Dear Laurie. :)

    I will like to thank you for being there for me thruout this few rough days. It had been helping me to see things in a better perspective after typing it out..and most importantly receiving your kind replies.

    Your presence though not physical, had helped me in my journey to attain clarity. I am glad that this had happened somehow. It had given him a chance to see what is truly lacking in our marriage.

    He is not healed, he’ll never be healed till he accepts the very facts he had been running away from. And this ‘loss’ had helped to slow him down. He had been incredibly more receptive and more sensitive to my feelings.

    I could still feel his heart aching, but instead of wallowing in his sorrows, he jumped at every opportunity to care for me, the moment he sees changes in my expressions/body language. He understands finally, that whatever he did, hurts me.

    I had made him a card, accompanied with 2 hearts. One with his name, while the other is with mine. I had hidden the heart with my name in a place which is obviously there but constantly overlooked, to somewhat symbolise my being there for him all these years..but constantly unnoticed. In the card, I had requested for him to look for my heart and place the two hearts together when he’s ready and over his grieving period. I told him to take his time to search for it…if he wants to search for it in the first place.

    Though, I would loved it if he had jumped up and look for my heart straight away… I know there is no forcing him. He’ll look for it if it is ever meant to be between us, meanwhile, I have to look for a channel to direct all this feelings. To remain clear headed and to remove all the clutter in my mind as well as any negative emotions arising.

    I am still awaiting for a reply from a couseling centre and will update you on our progress. I hope learning about ourselves and accepting ourselves for who we really are will help to rid my hubby of his negative emotions..and thus, bring about a man who fears no more.

    Thank you Laurie, chancing upon your site was really a god’s gift. Or should I say chancing upon you via your website was truly a miracle..:) You are a dear Laurie.

  177. Laurie PK says:

    Wow, Reen, what beautiful, heartfelt, honest words! You’ve expressed yourself so well — and I love that you and he will work on it, hand in hand.

    I also love that you’re open to letting him go after trying to save your relationship. But I’m beginning to believe you and he will survive this emotional affair, and build a strong, healthy marriage together.

    You and he have both been through alot, and individual and couples counseling will help.

    Sometimes love takes years to grow…and going through painful times in a relationship can be the fertilizer that makes your love flourish!

    I wish you all the best. Come back soon and let me know how you’re doing.

    Be well,
    Laurie

  178. Reen says:

    Thank you Laurie,

    I know he don’t love me…but he don’t. We both came from broken families. Our experiences moulded us into who we are today. My hubby, with determination not to follow the footsteps of his father… Works doubly hard to be a responsible man.He has issues abt his past which till now scars and scares him. But instead of facing it..he has been bottling it for years. Why divorce wasn’t an option to him was because he didn’t want to be like his father who forsake his family, who abused his mother and many other happenings which a child should not have to witness and go through.

    He grow up alone. With no proper upbringing or guidance from his parents. He is used to being alone. To do things for himself, by himself. He grows up selfish and manipulative.

    He had married me thinking that he loved..when he was just being responsible…I had stood by him for years and I was pregnant. It made him want to stay with me more when I suffered a miscarriage. Immediately though, after marriage he started feeling trapped. He wasn’t sure if he could avoid becoming like his dad. He resented me because he felt I was too good for him and he was afraid he would fail. Anything and everything I did or say was wrong. For fear of failure, for fear of becoming like his dad, for fear of loving me, for fear of not loving me, he shunned himself. I know Laurie..but he doesn’t.

    He came home today a broken man. His lover kept her words and left him. I had a talk with him Laurie. I listened to all he got to say. I made him realised why our intimacy problem arises. Finally, after waiting for it for 4 years, he had finally accepted that he never did love me when we got married and for the first time in our marriage, he really listened to what I am saying. He saw that the kids are what binds us. It frees my heart. He has grown. For the first time his eyes are open. I feel peace right now Laurie.

    I let him then think and talk things out. Instead of shunning me, instead of resenting me to cause his lover to leave..he now takes my hand without hesitating, without pushing it away. The hand which had been stretched out for so long waiting to pull him out of his old sorrows.

    He asked me for forgiveness, for being selfish. He expressed his fears that he might relapse into his selfish state because he is so used to being it. He didnt mean to be manipulative, but he was just being used to it, to get what he wants, may it be attention or evrything else. He thanked me for my love.

    From that broken man who came home today, avoiding eye and physical contact, and resenting me for everything that happened. He hugged me. Though I don’t think his eyes are fully open., I do wish it would be one day. We are going for couple counseling, and I am suggesting for him to go for an individual counseling, to deal with his grief, sorrow and anger.

    He might not love me then, now or ever. There may be another woman along the road. But we are going to work on it. Hand in hand. And if that one day arrives that he is to find someone he loves and the person is not me. I will let him go. Without regrets. :)

  179. Laurie PK says:

    I wish you would leave him. He’s being selfish, immature, manipulative, and CRUEL. This is emotional abuse, and I’m sorry you’re facing it — and I’m sorry you’re taking it!

    You love him, Reen, but that doesn’t mean you have to put up with this kind of treatment. He’s gone far beyond “just” having an emotional affair! He’s using you, and he’s treating you like dirt.

    If you stay with him, I think you should go into couples counseling.

    And remember — if you stay with him, this won’t be his last affair. He may resent you for this situation…but I can’t believe it’ll end with this woman.

    To save yourself, I think you should leave him. He doesn’t love you, Reen. I’m sorry.

    Why isn’t divorce an option — why can’t you just leave him? He cheated. Isn’t that grounds for divorce?

    Laurie

  180. Reen says:

    Dear Laura,

    I am thankful for your reply. The cyber hugs really meant a lot to me..cos i realli felt there’s someone out there who emphatise me and it definitely brought tears to my eyes…

    I haf not posted any response much earlier, because my hubby had finally confessed that he is having an affair the very next day i posted the previous comment. Not only that, it had gotten to a physical level though it is just that one time or so he claims. He had not been going to work for the past 3 nights(night shift) going to the lady’s hse instead..

    It was very hard for me to accept..The relationship was just a few days old..(it was only last sat they met each other on Tagged)but she was her ex.. I believe old love rekindle..and things happen..As he said, it wasnt planned but just happened. I am shattered Laura.Because he not onli break this news to me..but also that he wanted to marry her. At the same time, he did not want to let me go.. He was confused and yet determined..because his ex asked him (after they were physically intimate) what would happen to her if we are to be able to resolve our marital prob.

    He gave me one option..and one option only..to accept cos he said, if I dont I would have to bear the consequences..he wud either go ahead without my consent or he would break it off with her and remained resentful towards me forever.. At the same time..divorce was never an option and he wont grant me one.. My soul is torned. Not only is he throwing all this heart wrenching facts he expects me to accept those ‘request’ too.

    I had a conversation with him..which proved he was doing a selective listening. He heard that I was willing to let him marry her..but he didnt hear the words that came out next which says that he has to let me go. With the news..he shared with his gf.

    Yesterday, he came home happy..because not only was I ‘willing’ to let him marry another lady but the other lady was willing to be his second wife and to accept that he will prioritise this family first..always. She even informed her family members.. I don’t know how else to describe the feelings in my heart..I wished I was mad and angry..because I feel that those emotions are much easier to handle than the sadness and the feeling of being betrayed that i am feeling right now.

    When my hubby realised that he had misheard.. He was shocked. He told me the lady had informed her family..and once again my hubby said that I should at least think of him and his gf.. think of her feelings as a woman..So who will listen to me, who will consider my feelings? He insisted me to meet her so I will be evaluate her character to justify to him why he chose..her.. I could feel my heart not onli breaking but smashed Laura..It’s smashed. He told me that she had wanted to break it off..but when she found out that he had confessed to me she stayed with him and told her mum. It made my hubby more determined to stay with her.

    I texted the lady.. I cudnt face her. While I was texting, my hubby reminded me that if the plan falls through, he will feel resentful towards me..and instead of being able to solve our marital prob..it will worsen..He’s delusional!!!If he were to remarry…hw cud that possibly be a catalyst for our marital probs to ease? it’s because of physical and emotional intimacy..and if he has someone to fill that void..wont his relatioship with me remained void. He refused to admit she was someone to fill the void.. He claimed her character was very much like me..She is everything I am..that was why he was sure she is the one..as much he was sure i was the one.

    The lady had agreed to let him go..And today she told me she had ended it. He was asking her why she had not confessed her feelings to me..why is she giving up, and that she is killing him making that decision.. N nw, d ball is in my court..and I am afraid to face his resentment..He is still disappointed and heartbroken. I dont want to lose him because I love him very much..that was why I was willing to overlook his cheating me.

    Please Laura, what can I do?

  181. Laurie PK says:

    Last night I learned that we need to express our feelings and thoughts in order to heal and move on – so I’m glad you shared, Reen!

    Yes, he is emotionally involved with other women, which means he’s having emotional affairs.

    The good thing is that you two are talking honestly about your relationship. But instead of defending himself, your husband needs to find his way to putting all his energy towards you and your marriage…and let his girl friends go.

    Have you considered counseling? If that isn’t an option, read a book together — Gary Neuman’s Why Men Cheat is a great one to read and discuss as a couple.

    There aren’t any easy answers or solutions, because it takes work to build a healthy strong marriage (or rebuild your relationship!). You both need to be honest, and to find ways to meet in the middle. That is, if he needs something that you aren’t giving, then you need to give it to him as much as you’re able, without losing yourself — and vice versa! He needs to do the same.

    Everything will be all right, Reen. All is not lost, if you and he are both committed to working things out.

    Here are Cyber-Hugs for you!
    Laurie

  182. Reen says:

    I found out my hubby chatting in Tagged a few days back. Responding to women who flirts with him. He had classified his relationship status as It’s complicated and searching for serious relationship and dating. He also had been giving out his hp no. I was devastated!!Extremely!
    we had a rocky start in marriage and he was still in the process of making amends, making up to me on hw he had mistreated me earlier in our marriage (refusing to sleep with me, rejecting any sexual advance, finding faults with everything that i do..) Hw could he?
    there was particular chat which haunts me and I saw it today…I cant seem to be able to accept it.. he ‘clarified’ but still i find it hard to believe him and if you saw the chat, i tell you it’ll be hard to believe. She mentioned that he was not as sweet as he was when he was at her place with her!!N he was denying that there was a place, or he went to her place..there was nothing..
    I told him i dun wan divorce I just want him to stop all these contacts..and he told me that he was just doing so to seek advice on how to solve our marital problems. He said that some of his friends asked him if he were to quit tagged wat would become of their friendship..And he ask me to advise him on wat to tell his frens…cos as a fren he told them that they could still keep in ctc. I took that as he choosing them over me!!over me…the wife who as he said sacrificed so much for him..going thru hell being with him and bore him 3 lovely children… Furthermore they haf exchange nbrs so wat difference does it makes shutting an acct. I cant shut his mobile, which he dilligently delete any incriminating evidence.
    His bestfren called me after our conversation because he was the one who asked my hubby to talk and clarify to me..to think before he does anything to hurt me, our kids and himself. His bestfriend said that thruout our course of marriage whenever they were to meet his conversation is onli abt me and the kids and he believed that my hubby had ditched his roving eyes the day we said our vows. He told me that we had been together for so long and he didnt want to see us separating over such matters. No I dont want a separation. I just want my husband, someone who loves me, cares for me and NOT hurt me no more..I m becoming weary..I duno hw much more hurt and denial i can take anymore. Is he cheating or is he not..I dun want to keep thinking he is when he is not..and finally driving him to really cheat because of the ‘might as well attitude’..and i dun want to be the dumb wife who will one day realised that she was given false confidence and shatters. i just haf to add that he keeps pointing the finger at me..Saying that I had been cold to him and not abiding to his advice to be more religious.
    I had been cold because I turn off my sexual desire. Imagine your sexual advances being pushed by ur loved ones, sex was a once a month thingy at best and that is also sometimes oral sex to gratify him only, him saying u r nt good in bed and many other emotional factors.. He actually regretted marrying initially, explaining why he treated me as such..
    I no longer talked much to him because he used to get irritated and find fault with things I said..Misconstrue discussions. I find it hard to smile..and he saw these changes..he knew it was his faults, and he tried making amends..but is chatting with other woman offering them to call/txt him anytime they were bored, sending msgs asking if the girl loves him cos he does her, or interrupting her day cos he misses her a way out.
    I just wan sumone to hug me now..and tell me evrything is gona b alright..I want my husband..but he looks so far down the other side of the road now..is he?
    Sorry this is long…I just had been bottling up all this emotions for 4yrs of marriage.

  183. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Andrea, I tried to email you directly to tell you that just because somebody says something about you, doesn’t make it true! Please don’t let these opinions make you feel worse about yourself than you already do. They’re just opinions of people you don’t even know – and who don’t know you – and they don’t change who you are.

    You aren’t a bad person — and your experience is helping other people who are in similar situations! Many, many women don’t know if they should stay with their boyfriends, and are going through the same struggles as you. You are being brave, courageous, and vulnerable by sharing your honest life and struggle — and I’m sad that not everyone is accepts or understands you. That’s a reflection of them, not you.

    It’s hard to hear other people’s opinions, but it’s important. When someone tells you something harsh, I urge you to consider it for what it is. Maybe it holds a grain of truth. Or, maybe it’s just coming from their own feelings and experiences (which aren’t always applicable to your situation). Or maybe a bit of both happens. It’s up to you to figure out what’s true and worth holding on to, and what’s just hot, empty air.

    Also, you’re anonymous here. The chances that you’ll ever be recognized by someone is .0000000007%. Let your experience help other people by making them think about their own choices — and encourage them to be as honest and strong as you!

    I hope you don’t go away, and I hope you realize that your experience can change the direction of other people’s lives.

    My best wishes,
    Laurie

  184. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Andrea, I’m sorry if you feel attacked by Joseph, and I’m sorry you can’t share your life without having to defend your actions. Take Joseph’s opinions for what they are: one man’s opinions. They’re neither right nor wrong (except for the “don’t cheat on your partner” part — that part I like!).

    Joseph, Andrea is right: you haven’t met her, you don’t know her motivations or circumstances, and you may not have read her whole story here. I see that you’re coming from the opposite perspective: you’ve been cheated on, and you’re in pain. Are you staying with your partner? That has to be one of the hardest things to do: rebuild a relationship with a partner who cheated. A close friend of mine did it, but she struggles with distrust and suspicion every day.

    Andrea, you’re not a bad person! You just need to decide what you want — and then stick to it. Making the right decision is hard, and actually following through with it to the end is even more difficult….but you have to be firm.

    Even if your boyfriend moved to your country to be with you, it doesn’t mean you’re tied to him forever. I understand the guilt and responsibility you may feel, but he’s an adult who made his own decision. That may sound harsh, but we can’t make major decisions out of guilt, a misguided sense of responsibility, or no thought for the long-term future.

    If you break up for good, you have to expect that you’ll be in pain because you miss him! Heartache doesn’t mean you made the wrong decision — it’s a natural consequence of breaking up with someone. No matter how bad a relationship is (and yours isn’t bad), we still hurt when it ends.

    You can’t be driven by your emotions — you need to think clearly and rationally about how you want to live your life. Then, you need to stick with your plans!

    I don’t know if you’ll regret letting him go. That’s the chance you take, because you can’t have it both ways…..all you can do is make the best decision for your life right now, and whatever will be, will be.

    And the more decisions you make and live with, the more you’ll learn to trust your gut. You’ll make mistakes…there’s no getting around that.

    Anyway, don’t let Joseph scare you away — I’m glad you stood up for yourself in your last post :-) Feel free to come back as many times as you wish.

    And Joseph, I’m glad you shared your thoughts!

    Laurie

  185. Joseph says:

    NEVER CHEAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  186. Joseph says:

    If it makes you feel better to call you an enabler, then fine. You are an enabler. Get over the excuses and make some hard decisions in your life, instead of treading in dangerous waters. You use him as your excuse. So if he told you to jump off of a bridge, I suppose I would see you on the 10 oclock news too right. Seriously, the excuses do not amount to cheating. If you are not happy in your relationship, end it. Point blank end of story. You should NEVER CHEAT!!!!!!!!!

  187. Andrea says:

    Joseph,

    I ownt argue you that I am selfish, but there was the reason why I cheated at the first place and you did not see my first story from other article which me and Laurie have been discussing prior to this page. I have tried to break up with my boyfriend more than 4 times throughtout our 5 years relationship, but I could not do it becausehe was devastated and always begged to give it another go, my parents would blame me and everyone would hate about my decision eventho i made it clear that I am not so in to him.

    I was young and naive and he was the only serious bf i ever have, I never cheated on him ever until the situation made me lost (he proposed me before the cheating, i never intend to plan that to happen, it was just i met someone that i feel connected to and that what was i missed in life of 5 years, I did not have that strong connection with my bf. I know that iw ill be fine financially and i did not take advantage of him ( i share the cost with our expensive tho he spent more but i still spent some like holiday and living expenses). if you were to be in my position you would be confused as much as I am right now. He is a nicest and lovable person I ever met and that is the main reason i could not leave or hurt him.

    You cant just go and tell people like your comment above because there are so many other underlying reasons in that, besides you have not met me in person you cant judge me. I am very honest( that was why it hurts me so bad after what i did, not that iam happy about it)and i have people that understand my situation and love me as a person.

  188. Joseph says:

    Andrea,

    I am not a councelor but I have been reading your posts and can tell you that I am disturbed by your midset and the way that you are treating this situation. It is almost like you see this as some kind of sick joke. Do you enjoy the current state of mind that you are in? Do you enjoy living a double life and having to build up lie after lie because you are not happy in your situation? I can tell you that I am currently experiencing the most heart ache I have ever felt as a man in my entire life, because of a women who is actling as selfish as you are! It is quite simple……You made the mistake of getting involved with someone else outside of your relationship and now you are concerned that all of a sudden your life can be thrown into shambles and you wont have somewhere to live or a car or the luxuries in life. How dare you take him for granted! How dare you use this man, who God knows maybe was not perfect, and treat him like you are right now. Who are you to think that this is ok? Why do you think that it is ok to hold on to something because of the financial reward? You are selfish and until you become humble and learn how to support yourself, maybe you are better off with the cheater that you got involved with! When you find that he leaves you, because thats what cheaters do, then you will realize how ignorant and nieve you really are and maybe then you will grow up!

  189. Andrea says:

    Sorry I also forgot to mention that everyday we seem to have new ideas about the breakup plan. The original one though was to go on a beach holiday for 2 weeks and get engaged then let me go to USA for a few months and from there see how i feel about our relationship and that I learn to know and undertand what I want (on or off) , this is an advice from our mutual friend.

    My parents love him even though we’re different nationalities and he has made a big effort to get the job in my country as to live with me and has not lived in his country now for a long time. what a not so nice person i am as well to let someone gives up their life at home to be with me to suffer this. I sometimes blame myself and think i am a bad person.

    What should I do Laurie you have been giving me such a great advice i hope you dont mind i express such a long letter as i think this will also help my stress out.

    Thanks,
    Andrea

  190. Andrea says:

    Hi Laurie,

    It is Andrea again, I am in trouble and indecisive situation.

    Now after I and my boyfriend have absurbed the news and how i feel about our relationship. He has decided that he wants to mocve on and distant me. He works 5 hours drive from our house( we have lived in the same house for 1 year and half). He works on the shift of 10 days on and 4 days off for 2 years now. I stay at the house alone when he is not there and see eachother every 10 days.

    He earns so much money and very successful young man (28). So basically things we have in the house like a car and the rent are mostly from his pocket and I feel like a looser of not being able to afford those myself. He pampers me with luxury life eg: spa voucher, nice and fancy trip to foreign countries, fancy dinner and drink etc. ( that i would not be able to afford those myself).

    My mind is like a turkey dont know what i want and where I am going, yesterday I was so sure that i want to end it permanently and move on, but today i feel missing him so much and scared with fear of loosing him for good and this is serious than the other time when we went through fight.

    we agree that this is it, but he is generous enough to let me use the car and the house still. But he just went back to his work and not sure what we are going to do when he is back from his break, wheather i should try to stay at my parents for 4 days then when it is the time for him to go back to work then i can come back and stay at the house again ( i love the house and i could not live with my parents anymore, just too hard). I have 2 more months to go before taking off to US. Yet i cant do it by living less luxury life i used to be spoilt.

    And other thing is i still miss my boyfriend, I have to call him everyday to put my mind at ease, I even ask him to work thing though together like see couple couselor, see specialist who can give us how to biuld intimacy, passion and good sex etc. He siad he is not so interested in those he said I am not so convincing if things will work and that i might have the same feeling of leaving him again in the next few more months because I am very uncertain and insecured kind of person. Which is quite true I did not argue that.

    But how i am going to know if he is the one that I might regret for life when he really moves on. I feel like going insane thinking that there is no me and him anymore. I feel like i lost something really big. maybe the chemistry and good sex can happen after seeing experts?. Also nobody is perfect, I might find a good and passionate guy but they cant give all those nice, honest and generous and tolerate qualities that my current boyfriend has? Maybe I want too much from him? maybe there will be no man that is perfect for me because i have such high expectation?. or that just i had a recent emotional and physical affair with new man made me forget of who i used to be? and that how i feel about the whole thing?

    Andrea

  191. Kimberella says:

    Thank you for responding so quickly.
    I apologize if I’ve lead you to believe we dated for 20 years. Both of us have had other relationships over years.
    The bottom line remains he wasn’t faithful in our 2 year committed relationship.

    Shari,
    Every fiber of my being is screaming exactly what you’re saying. I get ALL of that. Please believe me when I say there is no low self esteem issue here. I LOVE ME and I LOVE THE LORD!
    Ultimately, I want to do the will of God. In the midst of this pain, I only hear ME and what I want to do when I should be listening for what God would have me do.
    Doing new things and spening time apart is exactly the plan. I have to work on forgiveness. No matter which path I take, I will need to do that in order to go forward.

    Laurie,
    I admit there is a bit of fear of being alone again but I wouldn’t say it’s a paralyzing fear or anything like that.
    3 years ago, I prayed for an end to being alone. While I am quite okay in my own skin, I did not want that existence anymore. Several days later, he walked in and clearly identified himself as the answer by speaking words to me that I spoke in prayer. I have never shared this with him but I accepted it at face value and faithfully pressed on. With that said, closing the book on him is actually the easiest thing for me to do at this juncture. I’m definitely at the KISS MY A** stage of grief and could end this in a heartbeat AND MEAN IT!
    I have not decided to stay nor have I decided to leave. I have made relationship decisions while angry before and learned it only carries forward into the next one. I don’t want to be suspicious, protective and “walled-up” again. A lot of work went into breaking away from all of that.
    Our counselor gave me specific marching orders:
    1. Prayer, Romans 12:2 and Romans 8:28
    2. Find my Peter, James and John (my inner circle)
    3. If 20 people have been told, today, the count remains at 20.
    4. Respond “He’s working on it.” (from Romans 8:28) to questions about the problem
    4. No contact with him
    5. Treat yourself to something new and be mindful of your health
    I will be doing this for the next 7 days or until we come together to learn which path to take.
    I apologize for the long response…no one really wants to read messageboard novels :)
    I hope you will keep me in your prayers and thanks again for the words of wisdom!

  192. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    What scares you more, Kimberella: cutting him loose and starting over without him, or staying in a relationship with a man who has cheated on you for 20 years?

    I agree that the emotional investment is a huge reason to stay, and I know how hard it is to break up and move on. But, I think Sharri is totally right: he’s not going to change, and you need to close the book on him.

    Have you heard of the novel The Senator’s Wife, by Sue Miller? This wife stayed with her cheating husband for decades. He eventually had a stroke when he was in his 70s, and even though he was physically and mentally impaired, he STILL found a way to cheat with his wife’s new friend! (it wasn’t physical intimacy — he convinced her to massage herself in front of him — very emotionally intimate).

    The wife walked in on them and even though they weren’t touching, they were in an incredibly intimate moment together. That was when she FINALLY left him, after giving her life to that cheating ba***rd for more than 40 years. She was skewered — she thought the stroke would finally make him “hers.”

    This was fiction, but I think there’s alot of truth there.

    Kim, if you do decide to stay with him, then I think you have to accept the possibility that he may slip back into his old ways. Some women can and do live with cheating partners for many reasons: they’re emotionally invested, they have kids, they can’t afford to leave, they’ve never worked outside the home.

    What do you think of all this — and what Sharri said?

    And, I wish you the best of luck……

    Laurie

  193. Sharri says:

    Hi Kimberella
    Sorry to have to tell you that you have been used and wasted your time on this man. There are plenty of fish in the sea. You have to accept that this man is never going to change. He wants his cake and to eat it too. Emotionally you have invested and this is what is keeping you tied to him. Cut loose, go on a holiday, spend sufficient time apart, get new friends, hobbies etc and most of all get to know you. You do not need a man to make you happy if you start to know, like and love yourself all over again. It is painful, yes, but time heals. While you are tied to this man who does not deserve you, you are making yourself unavailable for Mr. Right out there. Keep yourself busy, join charities and give off your time and whenyour mind is taken off him it will become easier once you have invested yourself in all of the above. He is the greatest loser for not knowing what a wonderful, caring person/partner he had in you. He is the victim – not you!
    Good luck.
    Sharri

  194. Kimberella says:

    *SIGH*
    Known the guy for 20 years
    Dated off and on
    Between our dating he’s fathered 2 children (different mothers)
    We commit and enter marriage counseling…8 months into it now.
    I discover he still has a relationship with someone else (A THIRD WOMAN).
    The response is: I wanted to end it before we got engaged but you discovered it before I could actually do it. It’s why I have not proposed.
    Is apologetic and wants to go forward with me now.
    My emotional investment is pulling me back in BUT I’M TERRIFIED!
    Marriage couselor wants to see us independently
    Can this really be salvaged?
    How do you get past the “WHY?” and “How could you?” questions?
    Any advice will be appreciated.

    Sincerely,
    Freshly hurt and still crying (Kimberella)

  195. Andrea says:

    Hi Laurie and Sharri,

    Thank you both for the advices. I just skype with my new man and I cancelled our rendezvou plan, we first said going on holiday to meet eachother again to find out wheather we just have lust or attraction or it meant to be love and forever and that we meant to be with eachother.

    He takes it quite well and understands me. he is very romantic and very understading kind of person, which makes me even feel more for him.

    Anyway today is my current boyfriend’s birthday and I dont know how would I react towards him it is very strange feeling.

    I will keep posted the story of next chapter, I think my drama life can make a book out of it :) try to be funny so I dont have to think too much.

    Thanks again Laurie and surely will be in touch if you dont mind listening to my problem again.

    Smiles,
    Andrea

  196. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Mola, I have to agree with Sharri! I think you should do what you yourself said you want to do: let them both go for now, and get to know yourself better. Have an adventure in the States while you pursue your Master’s degree! Meet new people, study hard, party your little heart out, and enjoy your freedom. :-)

    I didn’t get married until I was 36, and I’m so glad I waited. I lived in Africa for 3 years, got two university degrees, started a business, moved around Canada a bit…I wasn’t ready to settle down with anyone. I just wanted to live for awhile, on my own.

    I love being married….and I love that I got to know who I am, first! When I was ready, the right man was ready for me….and he was actually a friend from 17 years earlier. If we had dated and married when I was in my 20s or early 30s, we would’ve been divorced by now.

    Of course, nobody can tell you what to do….you need to follow your heart and your gut. Doing the right thing for you won’t be easy — making the right life decisions an still be painful, no matter how “right” the decisions are!

    As far as the new man coming out…why don’t you get yourself settled in the US first? As you can see, I’m a big fan of buying yourself time and space, so you can think things through.

    I’m glad your current boyfriend agreed to give you time — that shows what a good man he is!

    Keep me posted. And, I’m sorry you couldn’t leave a message on my other article — I’ll try and figure out what’s up with that.

    All best,
    Laurie

  197. Sharri says:

    Leave both of them alone and get to know yourself. You do not have to sink to an alltime low by having an affair and becoming a cheater.

    Have self-respect at all times. Years down the line, once you are married and have children you will look back with regret at cheating actions and its something you will have to live with.

    First be honest and tell him you have met someone else so that it frees him to find a partner who truly cares for him.

    All the best
    Sharri

  198. Andrea says:

    Hi Laurie,

    I was a guest of April 30 on the article of Emotional Cheating
    Intimacy Without Sex is Emotional Infidelity. For some reason I could not make a comment on that page anymore so I found your link to this article and want to tell you badly about the progress of my engagement plan.

    After coming back from the conference trip where I met this guy who I have strong passion and affection toward to, we are still in contact. I have to skype with him everyday because I am going through the hard time with my boyfriend and I need his emotional support so much. Though we just met but I feel like he knows and understands my feeling so well and describe it perfectly. I think I might fall in love with him but I cant at the moment because I have not finished my current relationship with my boyfriend who has asked me to marry him last month. I took your advice and told him that i want to put the engagement on hold. I told him every single thing in my mind except the new man. I told him that I dont have a strong connection, affection, sex, passion and chemistry toward him that much, I was quite honest to him. This is not the first time I told him but many time throughout our 5 years relationship. And that engagement is too much pressure for me.

    For him, he has it all the above. he is truly in love and cares so much for me ( he almost went faint nad was sick last week of our discussion and so do I)

    I am going to leave my country to USA for studying my masters degree. And both the current boyfriend and a new man express that they want to come and live there with me. I think i dont want any of them I’d rather be alone so that I can learn to know myself more. I am 27 I met my current boyfriend when I was 22 yrs, he is my first and only serious boyfriend I ever have had so I dont know much about the other part of life without him.

    The new man thinks that this is rare to find someone that we have such a strong feeling for (me and new man) We just met afterall and he is 7 years older than me. We live different lifestyle I like partying and friends for him reading at home and staying with close family etc. But he said he is flexible, he can do different activities which I believe he could as well.

    Me and my current boyfriend agree that I need time to decide if I want to carry our relationship or not. I will give me lots of time and space so that I can think through. He will give me time to be on my own in USA for at least 2 months, if I realise that I still need him then we will get back together if not then it finishes but that would be a bit unfair to him since I is the one who has to wait and find out which sounds painful to me.

    Now before I take off to USA in next couple of months, the new man wants to meet in other country for holiday, I want it too but at the same time I dont know if I should do it or not, because I have not fully unattached to my current boyfriend and if I do that means I cheat on him again. But on the other hand I miss the new man so much as well that I want to take a risk chance and play real bad girl to meet him and forget about the moral stuff.

    Laurie is so painful to be in a relationship with my current boyfriend now we dont know what we are to eachother: boyfriend, friends, or partners confusing and sad. He has everything I ever wanted: good lifestyle, fun, lots of people love him especially my family( they cried when they know about our problem, many time I listened to what they think then I stopped breaking up with my boyfriend). He is adventurous and fun person he has all those security, love, and honesty but the only thing he could not give to me is affection, chemistry, good sex and connection etc.

    May you accept my apology for writing so long lines. I am looking forward to hearing back from you.

    Andrea

  199. Sharri says:

    Hi there to all of you who are brave enough to discuss your hurt and anguish. I would like to ask for advice on what to do with a husband of mine who is so connected to his ex-wife. This ex-wife has a dark past. Married/divorced/child taken away by the courts – givien to first husband full custody and never sees the child again. However, this ex is unconcerned. Parties/drinks/sex catches my husband of today to marry her within a year – has a child, says its his. Has numerous affairs in their two year marriage, divorces him. Numerous affairs again. Comes back 3 years later and wants him to marry her again, he does. She has affairs again and eventually leaves him for his best friend in their social/drinkinking/sporting circle. A year later he meets me. Does not tell me he is divorced from his ex twice otherwise the red flags would have gone up. He socialises at the same club (I never go because I did not want to go to the same venues he and his ex used to go to and the same circle of friends)pays her a good child maintenance, has the child every weekend (Full weekend)Friday after school until Sunday night 08.30Hrs and then takes him home to ex-wife. Every school holiday his son is with his parents and not with her or her family. Our leave period every end of year we have the child but when she goes on leave she still parcels him off to us. I grew angry, tired of being an unpaid babysitter to his ex. Husband is emotionally tied to the ex through the child. The child is always the excuse and I dont get enough secure attention, affection, love, honesty and am forced to accept the situation. Plse give me your insights as I feel it is unhealthy in my marriage that she should be scot free and not responsible in her child rearing duties. To cut a long story short, she marries this guy, has affairs, then wants my husband back – I find out via my mother-in-law who always wanted them back together, never mind the hurt, humiliation she put him through with all her affairs etc. I have two children and mother in law does not recognise us as family. The in-laws always make the ex part of the family and thats why I do not attend any family functions as I feel I do not belong. I am so hurt and wounded and yet my husband now is sorry after 7 full years of babysitting his child since the age of nine, kept secret the fact that she had divorced, had an illegitimate child and he was still seeing his child who was now 17yrs – 24 years while she is single. She then married husband no 1 got to meet up with first child, husband no. 1 then shot her when she was caught for infidelities and only then I got to know the truth of how my husband was at these so-called family togethers and the secrets. I am devastated. He says he loves me and is sorry, but it is not enough for all the hurt, betrayal, ignoring, cold callous treatment that I received. Yes, he was emotionally bonded to his ex family. What would you do now?

  200. LauriePK says:

    I’d have a hard time forgiving my husband for that — but every woman and situation is different. What works for one marriage doesn’t for another. You need to decide if you can move on and survive your husband’s emotional affair (and what he did is definitely emotional infidelity).

    That’s a good question: what WOULD have happened if you hadn’t found out?

    Learning to trust again after a betrayal like that doesn’t happen once, nor does it happen overnight. It comes and goes, and eventually will be a big part of your marriage — but you two have to work on it. 15 years is a long time to be married – and it would be a shame to throw it away!

    Have you considered counseling? That may be the best way for him to figure out what’s going on with him – why he’d cheat like that. It’s hard to stop doing something if you don’t know why you were doing it in the first place! And, you two need to learn how to build a strong, healthy marriage together.

    I wish I had easy answers for you…but there’s no magic that makes it better. You need to decide if you trust him enough to stay and rebuild your marriage. And if you do, then you need to learn how to let go of the past and move forward.

    How does that sound?

    Laurie

  201. Deb says:

    can you forgive your husband for sex texting another woman ? i found sexual texts very personal ones on his phone to another woman he has met at work he now proclaims he never got attention from me an it was just a flattery thing attention he had not felt before and it got out of hand… we have been married for 15 years on some of the texts he said he wanted to be with her … when i confronted him he said it was just talk an would have never become of anything im so emotionaly confused now what do i do i love him so much but im hurt so much too can we survive this or will i always thinking of the hurt an become bitter? he has begged for forgiveness and has promised to do anything to change it but will it last …? i found him out .. what would have happened if i hadn`t is what i keep asking myself! if anyone can understand an offer some advice i would most appreciate it thanks

  202. Bill says:

    Dear Jennifer, Thank you for the comments. However my relationship with the woman I adore does not parallel yours. I have been a devoted faithful husband since the day we were married. Further more we have renewed our vows several times within our 23 1/2 years together. We have three children, our boys are grown and on their own now, our daughter is only ten. Yes our relationship has not been perfect, we have been through many stages, both as parents as well as companions. However unlike other men I have no social life. I don’t drink or smoke. My life has been dedicated to my family. Even as a military man outside of those commitements my family has always come first. The work atound the house is shared, cleaning, cooking, soccer games, scouts, PTA all of it either done together or by whomever was most available. My wife a professional has been a stay at home mom for the last 11 years. Mostly because of her health. I guess I’m puzzled by her actions because I am here, and always have been. I am very attentive to her, I compliment her often I am extremely proud of her and all of her accomplishments. I feel I have given everything I have to give and if it isn’t enough then at least be honest enough to tell me instead of hiding behind a general statement like I’m not happy.

  203. Joseph says:

    Wow. Some of the emails on here are really outt here. Lisa, you guys really need to dig deep within yourselves and see councelors because your issues go deeper then one another.

    My purpose from this is to all of the guys out there. I am a typical “Type A” personality guy. Macho, well taken care of and high in self confidence. Or at least I thought. I found one day that my wife was having an emotional affair with a new co-worker. I was absolutely devistated, but can’t say I was surprised. She was distant, didn’t show emotion to me anymore, but cried her heart out to me on previous times of which I ignored her and continued caring about myself. Well truth be told, this happened and reality set in. I went through a whole check on myself. I parked my ego and prie at the door and I tried to get her back. Our issues I found were so simple to fix, once I knew what they were. She needed me and I was not there. She wanted me and I ignored her. She yearned for me and I turned my back. Well I watched Fireproof. Taught me about the struggle I was going to go through. I actually bought the Love Dare, the book referenced in the movie and have already gotten to day 14. It is really teaching me about who I am and what I need to do to save my marriage.

    I think that we are on our way. On this past Saturday, I was within a day or so of leaving, to give her the space she was asking for, and I packed my bags. I went outside to think and drink a beer, and when I came in, she was crying her heart out. That was our turning point! My wife is back and I am ready to give her everything she needs and wants.

    Guys, women are quite simple to please. Give them the support they need, be the man that she married and trusted, put your ego aside, at least to her, and learn to love her again. Everything else kind of falls into place after that. If you don’t get the S-E-X you want, treat her right and give her what she needs and she will reciprocate back to you what you need. Love her unconditionally and show it to her in easy ways. Hug her, hold her hand, look her in the eyes without saying anything. It will work, but you have to be real about it.

    I am not a councelor, I am not an expert. I am learning today and educating myself of how ignorant I was and how close I came to losing the one thing that is the most important to me aside from my kids who rank a close second, my friend, my partner, my wife!

  204. Yahudette says:

    Dear Laurie:
    Thank you for your kind, thoughtful response! It is heartening to know there is a considerate, caring person like you out there. Thank you for doing what you do in such a positive way.

    Y-dettte

  205. LauriePK says:

    I don’t blame you for obsessing about the relationship your husband has with Tracey, Yahudette! It sounds threatening, and it seems like he’s pulling away from you. He’s struck an odd balance between being honest (telling you that she’s interested in a more personal relationship with him) and shutting you out regarding when they meet.

    It’s great to hear that you’re in marriage counseling! Is that helping? I understand that he’s still set on working with Tracey, but is he connecting with you on other levels?

    I don’t know what you do during the day – and I don’t know if he’s right when he talks about negativity – but I suggest building a strong, healthy, happy life apart from him. Go back to school, get a job you love, pursue your passions, set and achieve your own goals — basically, build yourself up into a strong, healthy woman in your own right! Not only is this attractive to others, it’ll make you feel like a million bucks.

    And if you’re strong and healthy, you’ll be better able to cope with whatever life brings.

    I’d also suggest not pushing him to talk about his emotional ties with Tracey, but I don’t know him, you, or your relationship. Some men do need to be pushed to open up, and others need to be left alone…it sounds like your husband needs to be left alone right now.

    Regarding the complexities of marriage – I’d rely on your marriage counselor! She/he knows the ins and outs, and we outsiders can only speculate. Have you asked her for guidance? Does what she says make sense?

    I wish you the best in your marriage — you’d think all would be set after 20 years! No more worries about physical or emotional affairs….but I guess marriage is THAT complex, that husbands and wives are still working things out after decades together.

    Laurie

  206. Yahudette says:

    Hi Laurie,
    I think my husband of 20 yrs is emotionally connected to another woman. He hates his job and wants to start his own business. He says my negativity is toxic and wants to start a business with a woman he works with who is “optimistic, bright and ambitious.” He now has a seperate email account, calls and texts her and meets her for lunch or coffee without telling me. He frequently says he is busy and doesn’t have time to talk to me. I asked him to tell me when and where he is meeting/talking with her and his refuses because he feels I only want to kill his dream of his own business.

    Laurie, I’m fine with him starting a business and was OK with him meeting and working with another co-worker last year on a business venture that didn’t work out. Then he was open and upfront about meeting this (male) co-worker. That is not the case with his meeting Tracey. He also said he estimates about a 70% probability she is also interested in a personal relationship with him but he is so anxious to start a business that he is still communicating with her anyway.

    I am obsessing over this relationship. The less he tells me the more I want to understand what’s going on. It is jepordizing the feelings I have for him. We are in marriage counseling but he is still holding fast to his committment to work with Tracey.

    Any suggestions?

  207. Laurie PK says:

    Bill, I’d suggest asking your wife what she needs from you — and where she sees your marriage in a year, or 5 years! Does she want to stay in an unhappy marriage, and keep texting the other man? Or, does she want to work on building a better marriage with you? What is the other man giving her, that you aren’t….and can you give it to her?

    Talking to her as openly and honestly as possible is one of the best ways to survive an emotional affair. Another option is couples counseling. You both may benefit from objective guidance.

    I wish you the best. 23 and a half years is a long time to be together — you’ve got a long history! I hope you and she can work it out….or agree on the best possible solution for you both.

    Best wishes,
    Laurie

  208. jennifer says:

    You sound like my husband. He can’t understand why I’m not happy and talk and text another man, too. He screams all the time, negates my job and my interests, accuses me of not doing anything around the house and can’t see why I’m unhappy with him. The other guy is a release from you. At least she;s getting some positive attention from a man.

  209. Bill says:

    How do you cope with your spouse having a text-messaging relationship with another man. A review of my cell phone bill revealed that my wife has been spending 2-3 hours a day texting a friend. SHe has kept him a secret and rarely discusses him in conversation while she may mention other friends she never mentions this one. We have been married for 23 1/2 years and all she can say is that she isn’t happy and we don’t connect anymore. Any advice would be very appreciated.

  210. michelle says:

    Well Reading all of your emails made me feel better knowing I am not the only one going through hell….. 3 years ago my “boyfriend” at the time cheated on me and had a baby. needless to say i felt like i had to make a decision…it was to stay and get married (wow was that a joke now that i think about it.) we did nothing to figure out why he did what he did and we are now raising his son. 3 months ago i found out from my girlfriends that he was having a physical affair. She said she loves him and he says NOWAY!! he has now stopped talking to her and is going to therapy and church he asks if i would go to marriage counsling with him buyt i dont feel ready for that. my girlfriends want him dead and i cant explain why i am still here? I like the therapy i like the church but i dont know if it too much to late???

  211. Laurie PK says:

    Wow, Lisa, you and your husband have really been around the block in your marriage! Your kids, too.

    Nobody can – or should – tell you whether you should work it out with him. It is more difficult when kids are involved, because you need to put what’s best for them before anything else….but being married to their father isn’t necessarily always the best thing for kids.

    It’s great that you feel peaceful, and you’re tuning back in to who you are. You’re reconnecting with yourself and getting healthy – which is awesome! Part of this reconnection could involve counseling, to make sure you’re getting stronger and healthier emotionally, too. And, a counselor can help you decide what’s best for everyone: you, your kids, and your husband. If counseling isn’t an option, consider talking to a mentor, pastor, rabbi — anyone who can give you a wise, objective point of view.

    I wish I had the answers, but I can’t say if you’re wrong not to want to work it out! You need to look at the pros and cons of your marriage versus leaving your husband…and you need to make the best decision you can. It won’t be easy either way, but if you seriously consider both sides, then at least you’ll know you tried.

    My thoughts are with you — and do feel free to share your thoughts again, Lisa. Sometimes writing it out – in a journal or on a site like this – helps immensely in figuring stuff out!

    Warm wishes,
    Laurie

  212. Lisa says:

    This email is extremely long, I am sorry. I have a lot of issues. I just asked my husband to leave after almost 10 years of marriage. Our story is extremely difficult. When I met him he was married although I didn’t find out until after 3 months and an emotional and physical bond was formed. When I found out I broke up with him, but he sent me love letters and swore to me that his marraige was over. We were stationed in Japan and she was back in the States so selfishly I continued our relationship hoping he really would get a divorce when we got back to the States. We dated for 8 months and then his tour in Japan was over and I had to face whether we just had a good time in Japan or if we were really soulmates. Well he went home and got a divorce and we were married 1 year almost to the day from when we met. During the time when we were in Japan, I was worried that he would leave me and go back to his wife so I started an emotional affair (I know thats what it was now) with an ex-boyfriend. We decided to get together. So I took time-off to meet with him and it was horrible! I thought I still had feelings for him because talking on the phone I felt like we still had a connection. When we got together though, I remembered all the things I did not like about him and most importantly I thought about my husband (who was just my boyfriend at this time). I cried so hard and the ex-boyfriend was angry with me. When I got back to Japan, I found out that my husband found an email between me and the ex and called him. The ex told him that we slept together. When he confronted me I told him nothing sexual happened. He has never believed me since my ex told him we had. Fast forward, we got married and 4 months later while I was pregnant with our first child I found out he had an affair with someone he met while on a business trip. She worked at the hotel he stayed at. During their 2 or 3 month affair he flew to visit her and called her daily. When she called our home I asked him about her. He lied and told me she was a friend from his hometown that was dealing with the death of her father. I asked him to be careful because sometimes in emotional situations women can become attached. I had no idea he was lying. I found out when I got the phone bill and saw out of state phone calls. I called her and she told me that my husband was her boyfriend and she didn’t know anything about me! I confronted him, he called her in front of me and broke it off. I was devastated but I loved him so I stayed and tried to forgive and put it past us. Fast forward 3 years. We were both going to school after leaving the military, he went during the day and I went at night so that one of us would be home with the kids. He started an emotional affair with a girl at school. I think it was sexual, but he only admits to one kiss. She would call all the time, they would text and email all the time. He had her number saved in his phone under Mi Amore. Once again I was devastated. My self esteem hit rock bottom. So I cheated on him with an ex-boyfriend. He never found out. It was just one night. We ended up selling our beautiful home and moving to another state to get away from this girl because he said he didn’t think he could stay away from her. Fast forward 4 years. He just ended another emotional affair with a girl at work. There were lots of text messages and they had lunch together everyday at work (he says with a group not just him and her). I knew something was going on because when they had a function at school he introduced me to everyone but her. I saw him talking to her and when I asked why he didn’t introduce me he said he didn’t know her that well. After that I started snooping and saw that he emailed her a few times and she him. So I was upset because he told me he didn’t know her. So that made me snoop more. I started checking the phone logs and watching his behavior because remember, we have been through this before. When I would catch the text messages he didn’t have time or forgot to delete, I would confront him and he would lie. He told me the person was a teenage boy that he mentors. I called the number and she lied and said that she didn’t know my husband. During this time I met an older guys and we talked on the phone a few times and my husband found out about it. He is a therapist so it felt good to talk to him about how I was feeling. My husband found a text message from him, confronted me, I told him it really was nothing and I stopped talking to him. So, after one year of their relationship and me constantly asking about the numerous phone calls and text messages I finally saw the two text messages that gave it all away. The first one was from her to him saying, “I love you too”. He had deleted his message to her but didn’t have time to delete her response. The second text was a couple weeks later and it said, “How about we meet after my picture today”. This was the last straw for me. I demanded he tell me the truth and he said yes its the girl I had been asking him about all year. All of this time I thought I was going crazy. I used to be a very confident women in good shape and I felt so beautiful. Now I have gained weight and my self esteem is so low. I feel like I don’t even know who I am because I have spent 10 years trying to be what he wanted and doing what he liked to do so that he wouldn’t cheat on me again. With him out of the house I feel peaceful and I feel like I am starting to get to know myself. The problem is we have four children ages ranging from 18 to 5 and they are very sad that daddy does not live with us anymore. I don’t have any family here at all and his family makes me feel like I am so wrong to put him out and that we should work it out as Christians. Right now I don’t feel like working it out. I know that I was wrong in my behaviors also, but I feel like he totally betrayed me. When we try and talk about it, he turns it all around and says “well you did it too”. So then we just play the blame game. I don’t have the energy to fight for it but at the same time I feel sad, scared and confused about what I should do. We have been seperated for a month and I still feel peaceful and I’m not worried about who he is talking to. I don’t have to check cellphones and email accounts. I have been reading more and dieting and walking to get my figure back. Am I wrong to not want to work it out? Any thoughts on this very long story would be appreciated :>)

  213. Laurie PK says:

    Why do you stay with him?

  214. Brenda says:

    My husband had an emotional affair that lasted 5 yr’s total.After the first yr that I found out we talked and he said he never talk to her again but he lied.I was hurt all over again.He says it was my fault why he did it.He had took her to lunches and bought her flowers and etc.He said he was sorry but I don’t believe him as he has a smile on his face when he says it.I try to talk to him and he don’t want to hear it at all.He did however quit the job where she worked 5 yr’s ago but tried to continue it by phone.I called her and then her husband,my husband was very angry for me doing that.please help me,I want to forgive but i am having a hard time.The sex had quit almost after he left that job,the I love you’s are few and far between and no hugging but once in awhile.I don’t know why he stays with me.

  215. Katie says:

    I desperately need help with deciding what to do with my husband’s emotional infidelity. We have struggled and I’ve been suspicious for a year now about his workmate. I believe they are building up a relationship, even if our marriage is not over. Instead of trusting and respecting, I’ve driven him to this young girl, who admires him and they have a lot in common. They have a lot of fun, I’ve seen it, so I cannot fight against that. Our love will not hold him by me and I don’t have strenght to just watch all this happen. I’ve seen that he has emptied txt and phones from his phone. He denies everything and now the girl has started to work early as well, like my husband. She was never there so early, so with all this I calculate that either they do this together, or she’s really trying to get us apart. What to do? Husband denies all, and I’m just depressed that he can treat me like this. He says he loves me, but I believe this will only end in divorce, but not because he will go for it. He’s waiting for me to make the decision and I’m having a hard time with making one. I’ve considered hiring a private detective, but it will not help anything. I can’t stop them, and I can’t live like this. What should I do? Please help. As long as she’s in our life, we will never have a real chance to lift this marriage again..

  216. m.h. says:

    Thanks for these tips! I recently found out that my fiancee was having an emotional affair with a co-worker. He had been spending time with her outside of work and helping her with relationship problems, all the while not realizing that he was creating a huge problem for our relationship!

    Although I am still having some difficultly learning to trust him again, I have to give him credit for telling me before things became physical between them. I had suspecting something was going on before but he had used the classic line of being “just friends” which may have been true before but I knew things were going to change. Especially since I did take the effort to be her friend as well but it was very obvious she was not interested in being my friend. It still bugs me that he didn’t listen to me earlier.

    As you can see I’m still trying to work past the hurt…but I think these tips will be very useful.

  217. Laurie PK says:

    If you can leave that cheating man, then that’s what you do! Go live with your parents, a sister, or a roommate until you can get back on your feet again.

    Find ways to be financially independant — sometimes surviving a physical or emotional affair isn’t possible, and you have to leave the relationship.

    I just hate when it’s not possible to leave! That’s such a frustrating, sad, painful situation.

  218. grace says:

    what do you when you have a child with the man that cheated on me with his baby momma?

  219. yxezz says:

    nice tips…

Leave a Reply

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

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>