Is Facebook the Portal to an Emotional Affair?

facebook and emotional affairThe other day I was taking my daughters to school, and as usual we were listening to the “Bob and Tom” radio show, and they mentioned a recent study by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. The study said that 20 percent of divorces involve Facebook, and that 80 percent of divorce lawyers reported a spike in the number of cases that use social media for evidence.

This data seemed amazing to me, but not real surprising.  It would seem to me that Facebook could be the lightening rod for infidelity, especially for an emotional affair.

In fact, I bet if someone did a study about the percentage of emotional affairs that involved Facebook, I’m sure the results would be staggering.  I’d be curious to know how many of our readers and/or their spouses used Facebook to carry on their infidelity. So, at the end of this post let us know in the comment section if Facebook played a part in your/your spouses affair.

When I look at my Facebook account and the friends that I’ve connected with, it’s an even mixture of work related contacts, business associates, current friends, old friends from college, and old friends from high school.  I connect most with the old friends from college who were fraternity buddies, but not that often. 

Oh, and btw…I never conducted my emotional affair via Facebook, and Linda has my password info and can get on it anytime she feels the need—and she does every now and then.

I have been “friended”  by a few girls that I went out with way back in high school, but it’s always been a “Hey how are you, what have you been up to for the last 30 years?” type of conversation.  It’s kind of neat to look up old friends to see what they look like, read about their families, interests, etc.  For many folks I’m sure the whole Facebook experience can become quite addicting.

Facebook, for those of us not in high school anyways, is all about networking and reconnecting with people.  And for those purposes it’s a wonderful tool.  So much so, that some high schools even hold their class reunions via Facebook rather than actually getting together in the traditional fashion.  I think that’s ridiculous, but that’s a different subject all together.

The problem occurs when one chooses to reconnect with a lost love in an effort to rekindle a past relationship, or when co-workers carry out their emotional affair on the pages of Facebook. Regardless the situation, it’s a good platform for cheating to occur.  In fact, a minister (who admitted his own infidelity) calls Facebook the “portal to infidelity.”

If you suspect that your spouse is using Facebook to carry on his/her emotional affair, be sure to keep an eye out for signs of an affair based on their computer activity, as well as if they seem to be withdrawing from you and your family in general.

If you suspect something fishy, talk to them about it and demand they give you access to their Facebook profile. You may also demand to approve any new friend requests that they receive prior to confirming them.

If you feel the need to “spy,” you can utilize computer monitoring software that is undetectable (keyloggers).   There’s no doubt that many cheaters can become quite creative when it comes to concealing their Facebook and other online activities, so you may need to get creative as well.

For a few videos and related story on Facebook and emotional affairs, you can go to ABC News by clicking this link: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/facebook-infidelity-cheating-spouses-online/story?id=12272421

 

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79 Responses to Is Facebook the Portal to an Emotional Affair?

  1. Jane December 7, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    Great post, Doug. Although I didn’t use Facebook to carry on my emotional affair, I did use other social media methods- IM, Twitter, gchat, etc. Lightening rod is a good phrase.

    I blogged a similar topic recently based on a story I heard on NPR. Check it out if you can: http://secretlifeofjane.wordpress.com/2010/11/03/social-media-my-affair/

  2. Lesia December 7, 2010 at 3:44 pm #

    Unfortunately Facebook was exactly the means my husband used to have his EA. A female that he knew from 25 years ago sent him a friend request on February 21st of this year. I uncovered his EA on March 25th, by intercepting an email from her that I saw on his iphone. So it took him just a little over a month for him to ruin our 17 year marriage. He used Facebook to chat and send very sexual emails to the OW. He thought he was being very careful, but the only problem was that he forgot to delete his sent file and that is the only reason he had to admit to it. Even after all these months, I am still reeling from this nightmare. No one could have convinced me that MY husband would have done this to us. Not because I am so great, but because I thought he was so much more moral than that. I consider myself an intelligent person, and I never saw this coming and did not realize that we even had trouble in our marriage. My biggest mistake was believing that my husband was the very best in the world. I now look at my life with a different eye. He has caused me to second guess everything about my life. I don’t trust anything he says now, and I am not sure that I ever will. He still has not told me ALL the details that I need to know, and when I ask him about it he just says he don’t remember or he don’t know. If there is not complete transparency, how in the world can we learn from this and try to move forward?

    • another one December 9, 2010 at 12:18 am #

      Been there and done that…. My husband of 23 years only signed up for FB to find his first love and start the affair (admitted to friends and family members). His was premeditated and started emotionally but after on ly 5 messages they were texting and calling until I found phone recored of 4ooo minutes a month and thousands of texts. Needless to say I thought we were working on it but come to find out he lied and kept in contact since they were miserable with no contact and then saw her numerous times. He chose her and now we are divorcing…. the whole first love… I have loved her for 30 years… spare me…

      • Diana December 9, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

        My husband is doing the same thing–got on facebook supposedly to catch up with old highschool friends. But the only one he is in contact with is his old girlfriend. I expressed my concerns to him at the very beginning but he just continued until I found a message about them planning to meet behind my back (and her husband’s back). He promised there would be no more flirting–that they are just friends, but he keeps telling her how much he cares for her (even though they have not been in contact for 30 years) and how pretty she is (which he never tells me). She calls him sweetie and talks about how she wants to snuggle up with him in this cold weather, and sends him xoxox. We’ve been to the counselor twice and to our minister and my husband insists it is all innocent–that I’m the problem. What hurts the most is that he has so little respect for our marriage and for my feelings. I don’t think we are going to make it. I know he knows what he is doing is wrong because he is being SOOOO nice to me (out of guilt, I guess). And all he wants to do is have sex. I’m just a substitute–it hurts so bad.

        • Diana December 9, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

          This has just been going on for about 2 1/2 months. I’ve lost almost twenty pounds. I’m just a mess.

          • Diana December 9, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

            Sorry, I keep thinking of other things to add. My husband told me he wouldn’t give her up because she is too important to him–I guess more important than me or our marriage.

            • Rachel March 9, 2014 at 10:05 am #

              Diana,
              My husband wanted an open marriage because he wasn’t going to give her up.
              We were divorced in September 2013.

          • another one December 13, 2010 at 12:47 am #

            Diana,

            I understand. I have been there (only 15 lbs.)—- You can read more of my story on the competing with a fantasy page… my story is pretty much there. You, yourself need ot see a counselor and realize who you are… you can not control what your husband does but what you do. I tried ot work on marriage but he didn’t. I do not regret it. I know I did what I could …. I can live with myself…. There is a fantasy of an easier life, one that had so much promise with that first love….. I don’t know if they will ever find it but you can only do what you are capable of and then not blame yourself. If you spouse is not willing to work on the relationship, you have to take care of yourself and your children. Good luck. I hope yours works out better for you… although I am doing better now realizing I may be better off.

  3. sixstringslinger December 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    Leslie, being the male in the affair, I totally agree with you on the total transparency. Unfortunately, I also made my wife second guess everything in our 20 year marriage. My EA started on an on-line game and progressed to email and FB. My wife has all of my account passwords. My EA only lasted a month also, but the betrayal is still felt and the trust has been broken. I broke my wife’s heart over and over again with my alcoholism for 18 of those years and then 2.5 years later, after gaining most of it back, I had the affair. It’s very painful look at how I wasnt honest with my feelings to her or myself and this seem to have broad-sided both of us. I have to take the brunt of responsibility. I hope your H can be fully transparent no matter how hard it is and I hope you can handle all the truth, too. Communicate daily, and also set aside specific times to talk about the affair. My wife and I have to have boundaries around this so as to not disrupt any peaceful time we might be having!
    Take care!

  4. sixstringslinger December 7, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

    Sorry, Lesia! I read your name wrong…my bad!

  5. Jenn December 7, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    Yes, Facebook is EXACTLY the way hy husband began his emotional affair with an old high school acquaintance. It’s also how I caught him–he had forgotten to delete one of the sent messages, and I was sick……

  6. Katrina December 7, 2010 at 6:53 pm #

    My husband’s EA started on an online game that he began playing while home with a work injury. He also became Facebook friends with the OW, with the communication then graduating to phone texting, and then phone calls.

    At the beginning, he talked about the game and the people he was chatting with there; he became friends with the OW in a big brother/counseling way, told me initially that she was a very messed up 26 year old that he felt sorry for(he’s 43). I didn’t feel comfortable with it, but he was bored and depressed being home with an injury, so I just let it slide. Now I can see how the circumstances created a “perfect storm” combination of events, and can’t believe I didn’t see it coming.

    It’s been two weeks since he told me about the EA, he did end it and cut off all avenues of communication. Her parting comments were that she knows that he’s “the one” and “will wait for him as long as it takes”. I had no idea that I was capable of feeling murderous rage…people always think I’m this sweet little blonde! I feel like I have been emotionally gutted…

    We’ve had one session of marital therapy and I feel a few glimmers of hope, along with a host of other emotions…what a roller coaster ride.. My H and I have been through a lot in 20 years of marriage, but this is by far the most damaging, hurtful thing I have experienced.

    His relationship with the OW was for four months, with the last month being a full fledged EA.

    Your website has been a refuge for me these last two weeks. My H is now reading here too.

    • Doug December 9, 2010 at 6:13 am #

      Katrina, Yes, at first you will be on an emotional roller coaster, but it does smooth out over time. It helps to have a husband who seems to be supportive and remorseful.

  7. mil December 7, 2010 at 7:28 pm #

    I think mobile phones are very much to blame as well. That’s how I caught my H (undeleted texts) and now over 2 years later, the sight and sound of his phone going off makes me feel sick to the pit of my stomach. It’s like a big black(berry) omen of fear. To think of the secrets those little devices hold. Sometimes I wish I had some sex texts he could find on my phone from another man and see how he **** well likes it but I wouldn’t even know how to go about it. Does it happen by chance or are people actively looking for it? I can’t in my wildest dreams imagine it happening to me even though everyone says how loads of men would fancy me. How do these ‘normal’ people all get these emotional affair partners falling at their feet??

    • Doug December 9, 2010 at 6:14 am #

      Mil, you’re right. That’s how I got discovered as well. I left the phone call history on my cell phone, showing numerous calls to the OW’s number.

    • Jennifer December 14, 2010 at 10:53 am #

      Mil, I am definitely with you on this one. I HATE cell phones. I have one and I know how necessary they have become, but my husband also had little secrets on his phone. I have stopped looking/snooping because it only makes me sick. Like you, everytime the phone beeps, my stomach lurches. But in all honesty, the phone is not the true problem. Just a constant trigger… ugh.

  8. Sue85 December 8, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    mil,
    Of course I can only give you my experience of how it happens, but maybe it can help give others insight….. For me, it was purely by chance. I was NOT…nor ever have sought out anything remotely close to an EA with another man. Happily married (16 years) to a wonderful man. Then one night I was (innocently) introduced to a friend of friends and it was instant chemistry. So much so that we both felt the magnetic pull. It was crazy. The OM says the same thing….never sought out other women (he’s also happily married). We both describe it as being ‘blindsided’….never saw it coming. We fight the feelings, but that instant connection/chemistry was such that our thoughts are consuming for each other. Do we try to ‘quit’ each other? Yes. All the time. We have definitely set boundaries……no physical contact….don’t even see each other in person. The very few times we’ve been in the same room together is too overwhelming for us. We know it’s not healthy….for us or for our spouses.

    So to answer your question…I’m sure some people are out looking for it, but for me….it was by chance.

    • Diana December 9, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

      Why do you continue to have contact with each other when you know it is unhealthy for both of you and your marriages? It just seems to me that it just makes it that much easier to cross the boundaries you have set.

    • Lauren January 22, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

      How did you handle it?? I am kinda going through the same thing. We chat on facebook now and then, and there is such strong chemistry. We are also both happily married. We seem to have a lot in common, can’t stop thinking about him.

      Thanks!

  9. Jenn December 8, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    Sue,
    It ALWAYS happens “by chance” or as the excuse goes “it just happened”. Sorry, if your mind and heart are in your marriage the way they should be, then this type of thing will NOT happen. I am tired of excuses some offer for cheating on their spouses. Yes, it is cheating, in the worst way. Think back to when you and your spouse first got together, the chemistry and feelings were there or you would have never married them and made the commitment. Too many people take the issue of commitment lightly. It’s dangerous to think that no one is being hurt by continuing an affair, even if the spouse does not know. It’s not fair, it’s lying, and it’s the ultimate betrayal. You put boundaries on yourself when married to prevent attraction to another from developing into something else, but this takes emotional maturity, discipline, and a knowledge of what love and commitment really mean…..

    • D December 8, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

      Really nice comment, Jenn. Right on the money.

    • Al Nonymous August 9, 2011 at 4:00 am #

      Jenn
      Sue,
      It ALWAYS happens “by chance” or as the excuse goes “it just happened”. Sorry, if your mind and heart are in your marriage the way they should be, then this type of thing will NOT happen. I am tired of excuses some offer for cheating on their spouses. Yes, it is cheating, in the worst way. Think back to when you and your spouse first got together, the chemistry and feelings were there or you would have never married them and made the commitment.

      I suppose it depends on how your relationship came about; when I met my wife, I was an emotional wreck. I had just gone through a horrible breakup. I was in no position to be in a relationship. Period. But I went on with my life. I “went through the motions”. I met my wife. We married. But I’ve never felt “connected” to her. We have nothing in common. We fight so much because of constant “misunderstandings”.

      Fair to her? Absolutely not. But it wasn’t about chemistry and feelings, it was about moving on.

      And then I met the OW. It’s like we were cut from the same cloth.

      It’s been said that an affair comes about because there’s something missing from the relationship; that much is certainly true. I love my wife – I do! But I want to be able to talk to someone that actually understands my interests. I don’t want to run off and do anything with her, but talking about something that I’m interested in with someone that shares those interests, yeah, that I want.

  10. stupidandtrusting December 8, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    mil – way to keep that fantasy alive…..why don’t you leave your spouses and see if that instant chemistry has anything more to it? Isn’t that more fair than the lying and betrayal and the blindsiding that will surely happen to your spouses? You are SO romanticizing and justifying this.

  11. stupidandtrusting December 8, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    Oops above message was not for mil…it was for sue85 – sorry!

  12. D December 8, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    I am curious, Sue85, why do you stay with your spouse? If the chemistry is that great why do you deny yourself? You only live once. I’m sure your spouse would appreciate your honesty in the long run.

  13. mil December 8, 2010 at 4:22 pm #

    I have nothing to say to you cheaters except………….you destroy lives and are selfish and deserve it to happen to you, see how you’d like it

    • Doug December 8, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

      You know Mil, I understand your frustrations and anger and resentment towards “cheaters” I really do. But instead of taking that attitude, why don’t you take advantage of the fact that there are cheaters on this site and learn from them. Sometimes what they have to say will help you with your own situation and in your relationship.

  14. Sue85 December 8, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

    Thank you, Doug for that. Mil…..I was simply putting some perspective from someone on the other side of things. I certainly didn’t mean to upset you. You asked a question in your post and I wanted to answer it from my point of view.

    And let me clarify…..all I said was we felt the chemistry. I did not say we act on it. We struggle controlling it. The ‘by chance’ comment was that we met by chance and felt the connection. We did not seek it….we did not ask for it….and we don’t act on it. Did we text and email for awhile? Yes. Did we both acknowledge what we were doing was wrong? Yes.

    Again, sorry to upset you. Thought I was doing you a favor by answering your question honestly.

    • Doug December 8, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

      Sue85, I am wondering how would you feel if your husband met someone and felt the same chemistry you feel toward this man, and he decided to act upon it by text and email. Would you be upset that he didn’t feel that your commitment was strong enough to fight the urge and walk away. Would you be upset that he kept this secret from you, therefore allowing the “chemistry” and fantasy to continue and grow? I understand how you find people who you have an instant attraction to and wonder if this was the person you were meant to be with, however if you are happily married you need to fight those thoughts and appreciate the person you married. Linda

  15. mil December 8, 2010 at 6:19 pm #

    Having said that Linda…..are we making a mockery of the whole thing? Are we saying ‘Feel your committment or if you don’t, pop off and find someone else?

  16. stupidandtrusting December 8, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

    mil – I didn’t get that from Linda’s comments at all. I think she, like me, is appropriately challenging Sue to make a decision.
    Sue – if you think secret texts, calls, and longings constitute “not acting on it” you are ever so wrong.

    • Doug December 9, 2010 at 7:05 am #

      sue85, I guess I should clarify my response. I know that throughout our lives we meet people that we feel connected too. However what appears to be innocent can turn into something that can destroy a marriage. This attraction can quickly turn into a fantasy where you begin to think about what it would be like to be married to this person. Even though you may only know this person socially you begin to create a story about this person and how they would act in all realms of their life. Eventually you begin to believe this story and also start to compare this fantasy to your spouse and your marriage. At this point your fantasy is much more favorable than your real life. Linda

  17. sixstringslinger December 8, 2010 at 11:26 pm #

    Ha ha ha…my wife and I just realized that we commented on the same topic here…I’m married to Katrina above! And I can validate everything she said is true :)

  18. Norwegian woman December 9, 2010 at 1:34 am #

    Sue85
    You did not act on it? You sent each other mail and texts! That is acting on it in my head. We meet people all the time who we feel chemistry with in some way or another. It isn`t until both aknowledge this chemistry to each other that an affair can happen. That is also acting on it.
    My husband had an affair because a woman “felt some chemistry” with him on the plain. A couple weeks later, she took a chance and sent him a text, and he was curious and answered…… They both acted on it and the affair was a fact…….

  19. mil December 9, 2010 at 6:39 pm #

    Sorry Norwegian woman, do you mean they met on a ‘plane’? How did they become so close?

  20. Darleen December 11, 2010 at 11:07 am #

    My husband had an emotional affair with a co-worker. The affair has been over since July 2010 and we are working on reconciliation. He took himself off facebook, Skype, etc because he realized that’s how his affair was fueled alot.
    Unfortunately he still works with her because of job circumstances and we have to stay in NY because of our autistic son’s ability to get good care but that’s something I have to put up with. He has been working on our relationship and has opened his e-mail at work to me and I can read at home all day long if I want to. But I definately agree FACEBOOK and other social media made it easier for an affair to blossom without me knowing.

  21. Bill December 11, 2010 at 1:05 pm #

    I was the cheating spouse, and am trying to correct my ways and make amends. Not one to comment on too many things, but this topic hits home. Facebook and Skype enabled and fueled my EA. This may be old news, but something about the “chat” format peels away inhibitions and leads straight to intimacy. I have pledged to my wife going forward not to participate in any social media. When I started using Facebook, it amazed me how many friend requests came along and at least 80% were females. More than one of these woman seemed very interested in kindling a relationship. Often, it was old high school or college acquaintances. Considering how much hurt my EA inflicted on my wife, it’s just not worth it to me to risk getting involved with any other woman. For me, it’s much better to just skip the whole Internet scene.

  22. Zita December 11, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    My partners affair started on facebook, I found out two weeks into it. I wrote her to ask who she was and she gave me directions on how I should end my fourteen year relationship. To her I was already his Ex.

    Five months later, he has met up with her twice and until I said enough last Monday . We have been supposedly working on our relationship. I know this relationship is pure fantasy on both their parts. But no one can tell either one of them that.

    I have been packing his things today. I can’t take anymore, I have lost 45 pounds and I am a wreck. All my energy is going into holding myself together and the funny thing is everybody tells me how great I look lately. If they only knew It is all I can do just to spend 8 hours in the office without falling apart.

    I wish this was just a physical affair I could handle this much better.

    • Darleen December 12, 2010 at 10:41 am #

      Kicking him out the door is almost an ultimatum. It’s a choice you can not take back.
      My husband’s affair lasted 9 months and I went though much of the same thing.
      It’s important to remember though. Respect yourself, love yourself. If you don’t why should he. Plus you don’t want to put your health in jeapardy because of his bad choices. Remember part of it is your responsibility that the marriage fell apart BUT IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT he has an affair. So don’t punish yourself. I found one of my best resources while struggling through this was the book by William Harley Surviving the Affair.
      Another thing I did was keep a jounal of my thoughts and feelings. It seemed to help me release some of the tension and sadness when putting it in writing. Almost like venting.

  23. Lesia December 12, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    Zita,
    I know what you are going through, since I lost 20 pounds in one month because of this garbage. When my next door neighbor wanted to know how I was losing weight, I wanted to tell her the truth, but I kept the dirty little secret. I think the funniest thing (if there is a funny thing) about all this is the fact that my husband thought he was having an affair with a person that looked the way he remembered her 25 years ago. He had only seen the facebook photo, which was apparently one taken several years ago It was with great pleasure that I was able to show him a current pic of her, which revealed that she weighs about 100 pounds more and has not aged gracefully. It is just amazing how the person you trusted with your life, turns out to be so stupid. I am also getting real tired of reading ALL the excuses that people can come up with for having these EAs. Why can’t there just be some honesty and admit that they have a major character flaw?

  24. spencer December 13, 2010 at 7:23 pm #

    Reading all of these posts makes me realize why some of your spouse’s might have ended up wanting someone else! People make mistakes. We are all human. Does it make it right…no. Once the feelings are there you control the situation but some of you are so quick to be the victim! Your just pissed you were the ones either A. blind to your own marriage issues or B. werent the one to do it first! I get annoyed with the oh poor me Ive been betrayed crap……if you really think back on your perfect marriage have there been times when you wished you could turn back time and change things? Of course not because your all so naive and or perfect…….how’s that working for ya?

    • Karen December 13, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

      Spencer:
      Wanting someone else? Of course. Don’t we all sometimes? Acting on it and actually having an affair??? That’s the difference between mosts of the BS’s on here and the cheaters – am I wrong to assume you’re in the latter category?? It always feels better to cast aspersions on others and not look at your own actions – kind of an avoidance mechanism so you don’t have to improve yourself. And yes, the betrayed spouses eventually must get to the point of working on themselves also. But if you will do some research on affairs, you will see that there are stages that a person goes through when their H or W has had an affair, and it causes tremendous turmoil and pain in their lives. I am six months past D-day and I still have very bad days, although fewer and fewer. And everything I’ve read does reinforce that the affair is the cheater’s fault and not the spouse’s – not dealing with that fault is sure to cause future problems in one’s life. Not sure that applies to you . . . just sayin.

  25. Darleen December 13, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    Spencer you sound like somebody who was the wayward spouse. Perhaps looking for justification, perhaps not. What matters are the facts. One spouse cheated. For whatever their reason it’s still wrong. The betrayed spouse is guilty of perhaps not taking care of their marriage as well as they could. That does not justify breaking the marriage contract and bond. Face it – the wayward spouse who is a coward. Firstly because they don’t attempt to work on themselves to help the marriage either they just run and hide and play the “poor me” victim”. They assume the fault of their unhappy marriage is only the ohter spouse. Secondly they are a coward because they usually have a hard time admitting they are wrong. If they are truely not happy in their marriage then GET OUT and leave with dignity not sneak out like a rat.

  26. AlmostOutofIt December 13, 2010 at 10:11 pm #

    Like I said on the other post Karen, I love reading your responses.

    “…cheater’s fault and not the spouse’s – not dealing with that fault is sure to cause future problems in one’s life. ”

    I read that statement somewhere else on this site when I first found it and it stuck with me. At that time, I think I was still thinking things might progress with the OW. But I remember reading that and thinking how it would apply to that relationship if indeed I left my W. Opened my eyes to recognize that whatever issues I had in this relationship, seemed likely they would reappear in the next one. That at least gave me pause…

    Of course I imagine I had to be enough out of the fog to hear that and take notice…

    Spencer, I don’t know what possessed you to find this site and then post on it. But I have a feeling you’d be thinking a little differently if your spouse cheated on you.

  27. stupidandtrusting December 13, 2010 at 11:17 pm #

    In the months I have participated on this site. I have felt there was a behavioral code, one that said “don’t flame the wayward spouses, learn from them”. Frankly, I am offended to hear Spencer flame the betrayed spouses in the manner above. A statement suggesting that you realize why our spouses wanted someone else is a disgusting and ignorant statement. Everything about your post is offensive and I wouldn’t blame your spouse one bit for cheating on you. I don’t wish I did it first. I am not perfect but I surely was naive. Thankfully, I don’t have to deal with someone like you, but rather a man who made a mistake and regrets it enormously. You are clearly not that kind of man.
    I, for one, wish you would find another site on which to spew your venom.

  28. Zita December 14, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    He left months ago with the excuse he needed space. His mother died within 2 weeks of my finding out so he had a place to go. Moving his things out is to make him realize he can’t just wonder in and out of my life like he has in the last five months and that you can’t repair a relationship while you are having an ongoing affair emotional or physical.

  29. jenn December 15, 2010 at 3:57 am #

    Doug, I am surprised that as the moderator, you posted Spencer’s comment. This site has been good for both the betrayed and betraying spouse to post and learn. This comment was simply made with the intention of flaming people who are hurting and should not have been posted, and I am surprised that with something that could cause further hurt to Linda, it was published. Perhaps she didn’t mind, but I find it to be offensive.

  30. Darleen December 15, 2010 at 7:58 am #

    I agree that Spencer’s comment was cold and callus. However, I’d have to say that I can understand why would get posted. It is a fine example of how a wayward spouse may think. It makes it easy to understand what some of our fellow bloggers may be dealing with. Once we see how unreasonable and narcisstic a wayward spouse can be it’s easier to talk ourselves into working on ourself because we are not going to change them. Then when we change they respond to the different person. Spencer really needs prayer. In an odd sort of way I feel sorry for him. He’s so wrapped up in himself that he’s missing a big part of life. I do definately agree though. Thank God he’s not my husband. I wouldn’t want him back with that attitude.

  31. michael December 15, 2010 at 9:50 am #

    I disagree with not allowing the post from spencer. It is a fact of life that some betrayed spouses or betraying spouse have similar people to deal with.
    I welcome comments from anyone. Because we are all different in the way we think.
    I do disagree with his assumptions about most of you but maybe that is what he is dealing with at home. Maybe he doesn’t have a person who is trying to deal with their issues and get past the pain. Not saying that is the case but maybe. Maybe he is just so frustrated with what he has that he has to vent about it here. If that’s the case I’m sorry for what he is going through. He may need our help more than any of the rest of us. And I’m glad he stopped in. Because I know, I’ve been posting here for a year, that we all have looked at what is wrong with us. Maybe some more than others but we are here to learn. Thank you for the post spencer. We’ll be here if you have questions . If this site isn’t for you, best of luck in finding what you need.

    • Doug December 15, 2010 at 10:34 am #

      My sentiments exactly, Michael

  32. stupidandtrusting December 15, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    I believe you can vent without generalizing about or hurting other people. Perhaps in instances where the comments don’t help anyone but in fact, hurt many others, the writer would be better off having his own blog.

    Michael – for many months, I have read of your pain and frustration. Do you feel that your betrayal is crap? You have posted about how her OM spoke of her in a less than positive manner and that it was hurtful to you – isn’t what Spencer says hurtful to all BS’s, including you? What if he were the OM in your wife’s EA speaking of the pain he has caused and how it was justified. His very first statement that he can “see why our spouses had affairs” would suggest a man who may not be capable of the empathy we have all offered each other on this site. I come here to learn and to commiserate, not to be flamed. I think every one of us on here, barring Spencer, understands that an EA is never okay. Do any of you really agree with Spencer’s justification for an affair?

    Sorry Doug, you are not clear about what are your sentiments exactly. You have a stated purpose for this blog and it centers on the positive, on hope and on helping those of us who are suffering. “The purpose of this blog is to share our story in the hopes that it will help those that are suffering, or have suffered from an emotional affair or any type of affair.” “Our sincere hope is that you can learn from our experiences so that you can end any affair you or your spouse may be involved in, and eventually recover from and strengthen your relationship.” Just how does Spencer’s post fit that criteria? How does his callous and ignorant response help me recover? There are already websites and blogs for people who feel justified in their choices.

    Perhaps I continue my naivete, but can you tell me how Spencer’s communication is helpful to any of us – what positive learning opportunity am I not seeing in his anger. “I get annoyed with the oh poor me Ive been betrayed crap……if you really think back on your perfect marriage have there been times when you wished you could turn back time and change things? Of course not because your all so naive and or perfect…….how’s that working for ya?”

    Spencer, I can tell you this – I do feel horrible about my H’s betrayal and I didn’t deserve it. I am far, far from perfect but I am able to say I have been honest in my marriage and never, ever betrayed my husband. Can you say that? I was unaware of his EA (something that comes with absolute trust and love), but I spent the entire two years of his EA with us in counseling, with me doing everything I could to make us/him/me better – none of that was to be because he wasn’t being honest with anyone, not even himself. His depression got worse and worse and we all worked harder and harder on his behalf. So yup, poor me and that is not crap – it is an honest and justified feeling. I still hope you go away.

    • Doug December 15, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

      stupidandtrusting & Jenn, I was just implying that I agreed with what Michael had to say. I in no way agree with anything that Spencer said, but I feel that it’s important to not censor a person’s post just because what they have to say is negative. Wouldn’t you agree that there is something that can be learned from what he said? If nothing else it gives you an idea of the mindset of a certain segment of cheaters. Sure what he said was hateful, and that is unfortunate, but they could be of use to some people somehow.

      One of the components of this site has always been to give both points of view. I can’t just delete a comment because it might not sit well with others. If that were the case, then I would have to delete a ton of them, many of then because they “flame” those that committed infidelity.

      I’ve said this before, but I think many people miss the boat when they disregard or dismiss what cheaters have to say. Their words can be quite valuable to the learning process and allow you to get inside their head, so to speak, which in turn could possibly help you, or others, with your own situation.

      • Karen December 15, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

        I agree with Doug. Spencer, thank you for your post, as I did learn things from it. I learned empathy for your wife, I appreciated my H’s response to my finding out about his EA much more than before, I further confirmed my belief that the narcissistic gene is so much stronger in some than others, and that people really do try to make themselves better by casting blame on others instead of looking inward.
        Thanks again, Spencer.

  33. stupidandtrusting December 15, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

    Sorry Doug, had he offered something constructive about the mind of a cheater rather than an angry arrogant jerk, I would agree with you. Please tell me what did you learn from his post, obviously I don’t agree.

    • Doug December 15, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

      No need to apologize! Though certainly not constructive, I can read into his comment that perhaps he is in denial and looking for justification and blame rather than acknowledging his own faults and his “I don’t give a shit” attitude.

  34. michael December 15, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    Bravo Karen,
    I don’t like a damn thing he said, and it too makes me feel better about my wife. But he is what some of us are up against.
    And bravo to you Smartandtrusting. You are a voice of opposition. And I’m glad you spoke up. I enjoy debate, more so with someone so smart. I agree with you on a lot of points. And maybe it is not a good post for some. Maybe it doesn’t even belong here. The strength to stand up and say you don’t think so is good. I will be glad and stand on your side and “vote him off.”
    BUT.. Isn’t there always a but. I would offer him a chance to explain why he feels the way he feels. With the exception of him pointing fingers or blaming anyone of us in the room.
    He doesn’t know me or any of us. There is so much more to us than what is written in this blog.
    As far as the comment about what if he was my wifes OM (then I can say “see I told you”) It has felt that way before. Because many on here are betrayed wives, stones have been thrown to the husbands OW. Maybe doug can find that old post. I think it was around the time we were saying what we were thankful for about our spouse. One comment I think had to do with an I hate you tanya page. I had to stand up and say wait what you are saying could easily be directed at my wife and I would appreciate it if you didn’t go there. So yes I can see the hurt he caused and I’m sorry if I offended anyone with my statement.
    Maybe its easier for me because I understand what kind of man the OM is and I hope my wife realizes it too. I think she does but who’s to say what’s in her head.

    -I KNOW I’m NOT That Man.-

    • Doug December 15, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

      I too would be curious to hear his story and find out why he feels the way he does.

  35. stupidandtrusting December 15, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    Ok, I agree that is what I heard as well. Still not sure why he would be on here.

    Karen, I agree :)

    • Doug December 15, 2010 at 3:46 pm #

      Well if it’s any consolation, he hasn’t been back.

  36. stupidandtrusting December 15, 2010 at 4:13 pm #

    Michael – I know you are not that man too. Thank you for being open to another perspective. Had he explained why he felt that way, perhaps I wouldn’t be so reactive? So, yes. if he can offer respectful communication that enlightens us, great!
    Thanks Doug for clarifying your position. And yes, that is consolation based on what I have seen thus far.
    Ok, I can calm down, get a cup of tea, jump on the treadmill :)

  37. The Home Life March 17, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    How “feelings” seem to be so swayed. I can go without eating for too long and be unpleasant to be around. But this would be random. What about if you know there are issues in your marriage, feeling like your wife hasnt approached you or shown an interest in you affectionately for so long that even upon asking about it you are told that you are pushing her away with expectations. and then her time is filled with movies, books, and more books, that have nothing more than affairs, and “Fresh” passionate romances involved in them, and she suddenly decides her marriage is not like that and desires it, but “you” arent the person to desire it with? Its as if you were old hash or something. As if “been there, done that” applies to you, and your love and desire for her is both taken for granted, as well as unable to be communicated. My wife who is currently involved in an EA has an answer to all avenues of communication about it. I expect too much, therefore push her away, and then a week later, do not show enough “romance” towards her. All while completely taking these actions alone, by myself, and her simply absorbing them and forgetting them. I have told her she is beautiful, while she stands in the mirror not liking herself. She says “you are supposed to say that”. As if I were a parent or something, and my words are not to be taken seriously. Every single avenue I have to approach her with love and affection and attention is controlled by her, yet then she complains about the lack thereof. Her independence is the first consideration, and any loss of any part of it, in regards to showing anything towards me. But then again, her mind and time and life is filled with books, and movies, and series that are filled with affairs and soap opera back and forth. One word that people dont seem to mention here too much is “maturity”, or “responsibility for ones own actions”. How nice it would be if she would first consider “how will this make “him” feel” before she says, or does.

  38. Melvin June 16, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

    Facebook is the main reason DW re-connected with her ex-fiance. Seems DW was into building her Facebook friend list and her ex was just another “candidate” that she ran across in her search. Facebook provided an e-mail address. Facebook got her curious. Facebook made it easy. Facebook Bad.

    DW took it to the next level with e-mails, then texting, then cell phone calls, then face-to-face meetings at restaurants. Plans for a trip to Europe were in the works as well as invites to parties. It was spinning out of control fast. When she started acting really cold and un-loving suddenly, I asked her point blank “Is there someone else” ? Her non-reply and short headshake told me something was up. That’s when I checked her cell phone records and it was all there.

    Facebook Very Very Bad. Cell Phone Records Good.

  39. Holding On August 23, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    I just wanted to mention this bit of info for people thinking spouses are involved in a FB EA. If you can get onto your spouses account, you can download a copy of your facebook data. It does send it to the email account, but there is a way to add another email account (yours) delete theirs and then have it sent to that email. After it is sent (it takes a couple hours) then you can change the email back to your spouses. It doesn’t have the chat function, but it will have all messages sent (even if it is deleted). I found there is also a way to have chats saved, but by then my H was done talking with OW, so I didn’t do that.

    My H was involved through FB. He friended her, a college friend, then it progressed with chats, messages, phone calls and texts, and then pictures were being sent. I ended up picking up his phone after he got a photo text from her to him. This was 2 months from friend request to finish. FB…grrr.

    • Holding On August 23, 2011 at 11:17 am #

      Oh, to do this on FB, go to account settings and it is in blue at the bottom of the box. “Download a copy of your facebook data.”

      I unfortunately got a lot of information that is still in my head, but it helped to know how it started, and that my husband wasn’t just helping her with her problems, but was just as much involved in encouraging the EA and actually initiated the flirting by telling her that he used to have a crush on her and that she had a beautiful family, especially her. It was hard to see, but I needed as much detail as I could get. Now I definately know that he is not the husband I thought he was. Hard pill to swallow, but I needed that pill.

      • Melvin August 24, 2011 at 8:23 am #

        Thank you for this information. I did not know this capability existed on FB.

    • Norwegian woman September 25, 2011 at 3:42 am #

      How do you find the deleted messages?

      • Holding On September 25, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

        Norwegian Woman,

        You have to be logged onto your spouses FB Account. So you would need to know his email/password. Then in the top right corner by the Home is an arrow, click that and go to Account Settings. It has a list of about 7 things. At the bottom of the list, it says “Download a copy of your facebook data.” The download a copy part is in blue and is a link. Click on that. When you download a copy, it will be sent to the user’s (spouse’s) email account, so you will need to add an email account onto your spouses FB, make that the primary, then the archive will be sent to that address. Once it is sent, it can be switched back to the original address. It will also send a warning to the original email account that these changes are made, so it might be easier if you have your spouses email account and passwords to have it sent there.

        I saw on the archive page that you are able to get chats now? So I will be attempting this again to see what I get.

        • Norwegian woman September 27, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

          I have done that. But it was not sent to his e-mailaccount, but I downloaded it directly. But I can`t see anything more than what is currently at his account. All deleted messages can not be seen. I have access to both his e-mail and facebook.
          Any other suggestions?

          • Holding On September 27, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

            NW, Sorry. I just went to messages and it had his on there and he had deleted everything off his message area. Maybe my husband didn’t delete but accidently archived his messages with her? That could be it.

            Sorry. I know when you have that deep need for the details and you can’t get them it is frustrating. But again, it is frustrating to get the details, too. I went back into FB and downloaded another copy to see if it would have chats and it didn’t. I was upset, cause I wish I could see the depth of the relationship through the chats, but then again, it’s probably a good thing. Those words do stick in your head. Flirting, sexual words, etc to another woman from YOUR HUSBAND. It is horrible. Sometimes it is better not to know the specifics.

      • Holding On September 25, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

        The archive will have messages that have been deleted. At least for my husband it did.

  40. Saddenned September 23, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    Facebook is how my H reconnected as well. I was lucky I suppose because he told me about it. We have a joint facebook account now.

  41. yog January 11, 2012 at 12:47 am #

    My story is same as well. My wife had a facebook account, our relationship was very good and we had a few bad days because of my parents. She has turned on to her friends to chat during those days and that eventually developed into different sort of emotional relationship. All through facebook and by gods grace it was all emotional, and they were bad friends ofcourse. Now she deleted the accounts.Still struggling to be with her in the same terms on how we used to live when we loved each other.

  42. csb January 11, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    Yog – my H reconnected with his old girlfriend on FB (BTW – the were 14 at the time they dated and it was for 2 weeks!!) Next thing you know, they had a 1 1/2 year EA which began with a secret lunch meeting. DDay was 3 months ago, my H has deleted his FB account (supposedly, but I always check). Of course, it escalated to daily emails, text messages and phone calls. I don’t know if I should feel better or worse, but I found out the OW wrote the same thing to other married men ..”I love you, you are amazing, I couldn’t love you more, XOXO, I miss you my love”….etc

    Of course, we’ll never really know the whole story, what was said, etc. On one hand, it was painful to read the few messages I did find, but on the other hand, I’d really like to know everything so I have a better picture of what the depth of the EA was.

    I loved your line about still struggling to be with her in the same terms on how we used to live when we loved each other…..I’d love to be able to do that too, but is it possible after the hurt, betrayal, and loss of trust?

  43. Gizfield July 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    I feel cheated, I saw a photo of my first “true love” on facebook so few weeks ago, after many years of not seeing him and all I could think was Ugh hhhh, what onearth did I see in this guy? I also have a couple of Friends that I dated casually about 12 years ago. I had been curious about them, but once I found them they are just friends. Nothing more, nothing less. I’ve never sent any personal messages or talked to anyone. My first husband is dead, so for me the past really is the past, nothing there for me.

  44. Gizfield July 1, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    I think one of the dangers of old boyfriends,/girlfriends is that they kind of magically transport the cheater back to who they think they were at the time they knew them. About 20 years ago, I cheated with my teenage “true love.” He had gotten pretty gross, to be truthful, but it was like I was transferring how I thought he was th en to the present day. Weirddddd, for sure. I can pretty much say that is we hadn’t had a history together I would NOT have picked him for a relationship so I dont know what gives with these exes. He has pretty much treated me like crap at all points in our lives and I just couldn’t get enough. Thats chemistry for you. I never figured it out, until one day I literally just came out of it, and said “I’m done.” Seriously one of the BEST moments of my life! No hate, no love, just complete indifference. The lady who discovered Limerence knows what shes talking about !

  45. ocanas December 7, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    Totally true in my case as well. Wife had an EA with an old (30 years ago) boyfriend she reconnected through Facebook. It escalated from “Happy Birthday” exchanges to full blown EA with sexual communication, adding “what’s app” messages and phone calls. Making plans for a wedding, honeymoon and names for a future daughter – makes me sick!! . On the positive side I was able to see the depth of their relationship by getting access to all their fb exchanges – all details, all conversations – for me, it was good, so I knew exactly what I was dealing with

  46. Asil March 8, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

    Facebook played a big part in my husbands EA. But not in the way for most. My husband had a pen pal when he was 20 and she was 16. She contacted him by mail in Sept of 2010. He was thrilled that it was by mail and not social media, which he hates. I knew of this and he showed me his response letter and said they had only ever been pen pals and they lost touch after 5 years. He never told me that she had contacted him again so I forgot about it. 11/2 years later, he meantioned that she was visiting a friend in the next state and wanted him to come there to meet him and give her a ride back to the airport. Thats when I found out they had been communicating for the past 11/2 years off and on and all innocent as he described it. I told him no way did I feel comfortable with him going to see her without me and I would go with him if he wanted to see her. He declined and did not go. He told me the friendship was important to him and they were only friends and he only loved me. I once again forgot about it, because he was always home and with me and showed me so much love and kindness. A year later, she contacted me through Facebook and told me all about their EA and how he had promised to divorce me and move across country to be with her. He refused to show up at each of her 3 ultimatum dates, so she ended the relationship “but just wanted me to know”. 2 months later she contacted me again to “please let him go, that she loves him”. I told her he has always been free to go, if he wants a divorce, all he has to do is ask. She didn’t like hearing that because, she had used facebook to come to her own conculsions about my marriage. She had been stalking my Facebook page for 21/2 years without me realizing it. My husband never liked it and doesn’t like pics of himself (due to insecurity over the way he is aging) so I respectfully do not post pics of him. She decided I was neglecting my husband and she could take better care of him. They communicated by phone after he went to work on the night shift and she had put her son to bed. This only worked because of the four hour difference in time zone. I don’t think she ever factored that in. He was with me every night till I fell asleep and there with me when I woke up. He lived a double life trying to have his cake and eat it too through out his midlife crisis. She reminded him of his youth, before he had made certain choices in his life that he wasn’t happy with. In the end he realized that all his happy moments had come from me and could think of no reason to leave me other than guilt and broken promises he had made to this person he had put on a pedestal and wanted to rescue from her terrible life. It was all about ego and insecurity. She also obtained my phone number from Facebook (I changed all my security settings after I realized this) Leaving messages for me and him crying and begging. We have been together for 22 years, I know this man inside and out and didn’t see it coming. I hate that my whole world was blown apart but he has worked hard to regain my trust and our relationship and communication is better than ever. It has only been a little over a year since DDay but we are both trying hard to rebuild and make our marraige stronger. I don’t think he believes me when I tell him she would have contacted him on Facebook, if she had found him. Facebook blew up a lot of his lies to her about what he was really doing. It allowed her a distorted view of our relationship and allowed her into my life and allowed her to contact me, thinking she could destroy our marriage and then he would come to her. She was wrong. Social media can deffiantly get people in all sorts of trouble if you are not using it in an open and honest way with all parties involved.

  47. Rachel March 9, 2014 at 9:55 am #

    What’s with all these cheaters hooking up with their old boyfriends/girlfriends???
    Making plans for a future, leaving their families to be together, soul mates????
    I just don’t get it? My husband divorced me to be with her and she never left her husband to be with him. Makes me laugh now. Dumb ass.

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