I brought up a few conversations with Doug last week about details of his emotional affair with Tanya that really did not make him very happy.  I understand why, (my poor timing for one thing) but I also know that these conversations are an important aspect of my understanding and healing from his affair.

I knew that the last thing he would want to do is have another discussion about this today (Sunday), so I thought I would write him a letter expressing my thoughts.  I also thought it might be beneficial for many of you as well.

Dear Doug,

I know that I have been bringing up the emotional affair for the last two years and feel that I have exhausted every question, every reason. I know that you feel that there is nothing else to say that hasn’t been said before.  I want to tell you that isn’t true.  Two years ago when we began this journey your answers to my questions were completely different, and as the months and years passed your answers kept changing to the point that I believed you were discussing a totally different woman and relationship than you had two years ago.  So you can see my determination to finally arrive at the truth about your affair.

I know that you believe that I don’t need to know all the facts, which in some ways is true, but knowing the dynamics of your relationship and what you received from her would greatly help me with my healing.  I want to feel secure knowing that I am doing everything I can to make you happy.  I know you say that I am perfect and am doing everything right, but I need to experience that security myself, and feel in control.  Understanding your affair is the only way I am going to arrive at that place.

I finally feel you have come to a place that you understand the reality of your relationship with Tanya, and for the most part you have put the illusions away. I can deal with the reality of the situation – the fantasy was too unattainable and too out of reach.  The things that you tell me now help me understand why your relationship was so addicting and so difficult to give up.  It also helped me understand what you were missing and how she filled the void.

I also have learned that I don’t want to do the things that Tanya did.  Those behaviors demonstrate a person that has a confused idea of what real love truly is.  I understand why her jealousy and possessiveness was not a major problem for you because it was flattering.  You felt needed and loved.  I can’t act that way towards you because to me jealously represents an insecure way to gain control.

I know that there are many other ways to show you that you are a loved and needed, and I hope that I am displaying them to you in my way and that they are meaningful because they don’t include games, juvenile displays and being someone I am not.  I hope that I show you I love you every day by my commitment to our relationship, always having your best interest at heart and being supportive in everything you do.

I have resigned to the fact that I will never be a bubbling, flirtatious, jealous and controlling woman.  Deep down I know that is something you never really wanted anyways.  Fortunately, I have realized what you really need and that is to be appreciated, respected and loved and I am confident that I know how to do that.  I am warning you though, that it will not always be magical, addicting, and exciting, but with me you will always feel secure, it will always be real and it will last the rest of your life.   With me there are no games.  What you see is what you get.  I wear my heart on my sleeve but I am intensely loyal to the people I love.

So I hope you understand that if our real conversations about your emotional affair can produce this kind of insight, that it is a positive thing for the both of us. I know it is painful talking about something that produces so much anxiety and guilt. I really understand because I feel the same way when we talk about my mistakes of the past, but it makes those mistakes real, and helps us learn from them and  therefore we are able to make things better.

That is all I really want for us, to move on and have a wonderful marriage, but we need to really talk about things first.  I hope you understand that until you let that illusion go we really weren’t talking, you were just trying to pull me into your fantasy.  I want everything about our lives to be real, and I want the reality to be wonderful.

Love always,


See also  8 Communication 'Don’ts' After the Affair


    12 replies to "A Letter to Doug About His Emotional Affair"

    • D

      I’ve often heard couples who survived infidelity say that they’re marriage is better than ever. I thought my marriage was great. 8 1/2 months out I’m still waiting for the better than ever part. What the wayward spouse will never understand is that there is now a part of their life that we are not included in, that we are actively excluded from. That’s where the desire to talk, to know the details, to experience what they experienced comes from. We want to be a part of that part of their lives … and we can never be, even if they tell us everything. So it’s best to let it go, to realize the past is fleeting and gone and matters not any longer. We only have this moment. Instead, then, of looking at what is lost, excluded, damaged, we should look at what is really before us, together, this moment.

      • Linda

        D., Thanks for the advice, and you are absolutely right about why I want to know, and also about needing to let it go and live in the present. -Linda.

    • Rushan

      I also send my hubby a letter to tell him how I feel. I’ve asked a few questions, and the problem is every time I get different answers. That is why I can’t let go and want to know more. But now he doesn’t want to answer anymore questions. He said it is over between them, they have no more contact especially as she is living in another town and provence. Just last week I accidently got to talk on the phone with the OW. There was a strange number on the phone which was previously owned by my hubby and I send an sms to that nr. Someone phoned back to ask who it was that sent the sms and then I realise it was she. As I know her personally I asked how she was and how is her mother. When I said something about my husband that was going to happen the next day,, she said yes. If he didn’t tell her how did she know about it. If I ask him if they have any contact at all he denies it vehemently. I can’t trust anymore, and he can’t understand why.

    • Charlotte Santelli

      Rushan I am where you are. My husband says he has done nothing wrong even when I present him with concrete evidence to the contrary. He’s like a little kid with the broken cookie jar at his feet insisting he didn’t do it. Even worse, he says it isn’t broken!

    • Shari


      Your letter could have been written by me! The only difference is that my husband had a long term emotional AND sexual affair.

      I also know exactly what you meant when you once said to your husband “why were you so “whipped by her, you never felt that way about me”. This is been one of the hardest things for me to deal with. Most of our long married life he has never made me feel “special”, or that he would say or risk anything for me to stay in his life. Then this other woman comes along and he thought about her 24/7, was on the phone with her all the time (and he always told me how much he hated to talk on the phone), that she was clingy and dependent (aren’t men supposed to hate that?), that he lied, cheated, even risked his life (her husband had a bad temper and guns in the house) to keep this woman happy and in his life.

      We have reconciled and like you, have worked out all the “why’s except for this…Could you or especially Doug give me a better understanding of this?

      • Linda

        Shari, your comment could have been written by me, including the husband having guns in the house. I don’t have an answer, however it is one of the things that is difficult to accept and is actually very unfair. I often wonder why she deserved that kind of treatment, it is much easier to be with a man when you always see him at his best. When you are living with someone through all the hard times is when you really need to feel special. I imagine they would say it goes both ways, which is probably true, but a lot of it was based on an illusion. It was so easy, reality isn’t like that. I am pretty confident that with a few doses of reality the specialness and the 24/7 would have quickly disappeared. Its all about the fantasy. Linda

      • Linda

        Sheri, I had a funny thought last night, it sounds like our husbands had an affair with the same woman. LOL Linda

    • Cat

      Thank you for sharing with us the experience from both points of view. I discovered my husband’s emotional affair on his 30th birthday. (4 days ago) We have fought so much over him protecting the OW’s identity when all along, I was spot on. She is one of his staff from work, supposingly happily married with 2 kids. We are in our 2nd year of marriage and this is devastating because prior to our marriage, he had a sexual affair. The emotions were overwhelming, I felt that history is repeating itself. The lies, coverups etc. When confronted, he said it was only a “game”. It wasn’t real because they both know nothing will come out of this. To him, he is not cheating on me because there was no physical sex involved. When he found out that I called the OW in e middle of the night, he was protective and told me that if I need to confront, do it to him only as our marriage is already on the rocks, while she has much to lose, with 2 kids. I was furious and disillusioned. The next few days that follows were an escalation of quarrels, my desperation behavior, threatening to kill myself, begging etc. While he mentioned he has enough and wants a divorce. Digging deep down, reading your blog, I realised that what we are going through is normal, the behavior from both sides. even exact words that my husband used as Doug. He too is skeptical of my behavior and attitude. He says Im bipolar with extreme mood swings and behavior. I realise it was my desperation at work. Taking a short break from work, praying to GOD, I realise that I needed to change. Not for him, but for myself. Yes, I will make it! I learnt to accept it and will continue to build a stronger relationship with him.

    • Joan

      All I know is that my husband’s infatuation with a young woman literally knocked me for a loop. I felt just like I did when I discovered a long-term boyfriend was cheating on me in college – sick to my stomach, unable to think of food, etc. I think that when you trust someone implicitly – which I find difficult to believe I will do now – that you know them. Here was a side of him I had never seen – writing lengthy, flirty and fun emails back and forth with this teenager – and I had no clue. I did not see anything except that he was unhappy and because he was unemployed and looking for work I did not really think much about the computer use late at night. Yet he worked at this – I found in the trash little notes he would write to himself during the day about what he would write that night – questions he would ask and I know because of his style how much time and effort he put into them. Easy to work on a young woman – she wanted to be viewed as an adult and he told her how much more mature and wiser she was than others. He made her feel great about herself and in turn she flattered him and told him that he was wise and wonderful and she wanted to be just like him – and that she missed him (and others) from our church while in college. Then I saw how they acted around each other (4 days after D Day – and I had kept my discovery a secret). He only had eyes for her and at the end of this gathering (group) he said he would love to come over and have coffee with her on a Saturday and she said that would be great. What followed when I exploded (in the car – told him all I had discovered) was a nightmare – went on for months as he was angry and denied feelings and then deceptive – for nearly another year that it took him to stop looking up her whereabouts on social media. And we still saw her at church – so he would look for her and then try to stand near her so he could hear her talk (he had written her a “goodbye” that I think she was surprised by – because it said he was too emotionally involved in their correspondence and it was affecting his marriage. In any case – over time – the problem has been that he keeps recharacterizing wha the did – as “not that bad” and that I “misread” things. He doesn’t want to feel badly about it and wants me to get over it. But I do not trust him primarily because he did deceive me when he told me he wasn’t interested anymore but kept looking her up (not contacting) – and I found his numerous searches. He told me how “interesting” she was because they had a lot in common and that all he wanted to do was ask about her career prospects and schooling, etc. Because he was so smitten and still doesn’t want to talk about his feelings – except as “foolish passion” – carefully chosen words, not really from the heart -but carefully chosen – it is difficult for me to tell what he is feeling. I am cautious. I could forgive him if he would only stop changing what happened – and stop telling me that I misread it – when at the time he reacted so vehemently. He wants to reinvent history. And he thinks that we should “move on”. But is not remorseful about his behavior – only that he hurt me. That bothers me because I don’t know that he would not do it again (he swears not – but I could believe that more if he felt differently about what he did was wrong as well as hurting me). Emailing lengthy, flattering letters to a college girl 40 years younger, keeping them secret, enclosing a secret letter with a gift from the family (she was a family friend – friend of our daughter’s) – all of these things he misremembers.

    • Strengthrequired

      Hey Doug did you ever respond to Linda’s letter? I can see how she definitely put herself out there, as all of us bs do. As Linda said, wearing our hearts on our sleeve.

      • Doug

        SR, I did not respond in post format, if that’s what you’re asking.

        • Strengthrequired

          No Doug, just to her.

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