Last week Doug and I celebrated the milestone of being together for 30 years.  Throughout those years we have experienced so much happiness, accomplishments, rewards, as well as hardships, disappointments and challenges.

The thought of us being together for that long is also a constant reminder that we are getting old, our kids are getting old, as is our dog, our house, our cars and the list goes on.

With getting old comes reflection and realization that maybe life isn’t exactly how we thought it would be.  Yet even though we still loved each other very much, we blamed each other for our discontent. At times we treated strangers better than we treated each other.

Unfortunately for me, a woman came along who made Doug feel better about himself and his life.  Doug thought that she was exciting, fresh and fun-loving and that she was the answer to his discontent.

By somehow making Doug feel this way, this woman reaffirmed what he had been thinking in that it must have been me that was causing this unhappiness and frustration in his life, when it was obvious that he was equally at fault.  

Consequently, he found himself falling for this woman and began comparing her to me, yet all he saw was the good side of her.  I basically became emotionally insignificant in his life.

Then something happened that caused a jolt of reality and Doug began to question if this women was really better than me. Did he only see one side of her; was it the situation that was so exciting and new, and not the person?

Doug also realized that there is no one who will love him as much as I do and that I love him despite his faults, shortcomings, and mistakes.  Unfortunately this revelation came too late.  The lies, betrayal, and hurt had already taken place.

Man, emotional affairs really suck!

    16 replies to "Emotional Affairs Suck!"

    • cabrina

      Can I save this marriage from an emotional affair that has been going on for a year and a half and he has moved out and filed for divorce? He talks to me here and there and then ignores me for weeks. We have two kids that we just had a custody hearing about. Is this over forever? The other person is still with her husband as far as I know.

      • admin

        Nothing is impossible. It’s always tough to answer a question like this without knowing the whole situation and what elements contributed to the emotional affair to begin with. That being said, you need to prepare yourself for the possibility that your marriage is over, and take care of yourself and your kids.

    • Alyssa

      What do you do if you have accepted that he is having the emotional affair and you are trying to talk to him about it but his is in denial, deflecting that you’re crazy and insecure and won’t acknowledge it. Plus tells you that you are not going to choose his friends??

      • Doug

        Alyssa, Thanks for commenting and welcome. That’s a tough question because on one hand you want him to realize what’s going on (as he may not see things clearly) but you also don’t want to accuse and/or interrogate him or he will completely shut down communication. I think the best way to handle it (without knowing anything about your particular situation) is to calmly let him know how his actions with this woman are affecting you and that you would like him to stop. Try the old, “if the shoe were on the other foot, how would you feel?” type conversation. At least if you let him know how this is hurting you, he might open up and talk about it some more so that both of you really understand what is going on and can then better address the situation within your relationship..

        • Alyssa

          Thank you very much for the response. I am so suffering. I have tried the “shoe on the other foot” and he just seems to focus on the “friendship” and not the inappropriateness of the contact. I can see the phone bill and texts after I go to bed. It’s heart wrenching. To make it worse, she is emailing me about my new job and going to dinner and trying to make friends with another couple we introduced she and her husband to – it is as if to sabotage and make me the issue. My husband and she are in the IT field and her claim is that all her friends are guys… I can see by the texts – she is pursuing… My husband is closed. I have tons of friends (women) and he’s never had many. This woman has now come along and with my questions, he’s gotten more stubborn.

          • Doug

            Alyssa, Sorry to hear he is in denial. Does her husband know? To me it would be a last ditch effort, but making him aware might end things, but it could also backfire on you and create a stronger bond between the two of them. Somehow your husband has to know that his actions are killing you and that if he wants to remain married to you that they have to stop, and he has to invest the time and effort that he is investing in her–in you and your marriage.

          • Last2know

            Alyssa, this is the woman in me speaking but if she is emailing you then share (as a friend) information about what you and your H did the past weekend, tell her about how he chases you around the house and can’t keep his hands off of you. Tell her about one night last week that you both got a blanket and laid down just to watch the stars together and reminisce about passed memories. This may really piss her off because if she is like Tanya (go back and read my posts) she would be very jealous about this. Now if they really are just friends it shouldn’t matter right?
            If she asks your H about it and he says it’s not true, she won’t know for sure if it is or not. Because she knows he’s lying to you so why wouldn’t he lie to her? It will bug her. Tell her how he called you his “soulmate” for the first time ever. If she is already in contact with you pretend you don’t know what’s going on. If worst comes to worst tell her Husband. The H of
            the OW in my H’s EA told me and if he hadn’t I don’t know where we would be today. Women who hang around with nothing but men do it to be the center of attention. There is no competition when you are the only woman surrounded by men. They choose that because of their own lack of self esteem. I wish you luck. Hang in there and be patient.

    • Lizzie

      Alysa, are you sure your husband is having an emotional affair or are you just over-reacting? One of the cornerstones of an EA is the secrecy and if this woman is e-mailing you openly, she may really just be a friend. I am not sure if you are in the IT industry too but it is generally a male-dominated field and its not unusual for a woman to have male friends in the same industry. The fact that your husband does not have many female friends does not mean that cultivating a new one is leading to an affair. Having platonic friends with people of the opposite sex is healthy and removes the allure of fraternising with the opposite sex when married. As they say, you always want what you cant have. Dont jump to conclusions – he may really just want a friend to talk about inane IT stuff and a wife. You can be that wife that he comes home to and be his friend to talk about non-IT stuff which is essentially what makes a Life much more worth living.

      • Doug

        Lizzie, Good food for thought. One has to be careful though as often those platonic friendships can evolve into something more serious. I think that it is certainly possible to have friends of the opposite sex, but one must keep strict boundaries.

      • Last2know

        Lizzie, why are you on this site? Have you been affected by an EA either by being betrayed or being the betrayer? Just curious to hear your story, tell me where your initial post is so I can better understand. Opposite sex friendships NOT ACCEPTABLE unless all spouses are included. Work related discussions with opposite sex remain at work on work time. PERIOD.

    • Alyssa

      Last2know and Doug, thank you so much for your insight and support. I’m not over-reacting. #1, I am a female mgr in the financial services industry for the last dozen years so I could not be in a more MALE dominated field myself. Many, many times I am the only woman at the table thus I get it fully.
      I believe something at issue is my H has not had many male friends either. And being a woman, she’s working to cultivate this and I did put my foot down and say the after hours texts are wrong and commented to her about it as well… He just doesn’t see he has crossed the line. We’ll see what happens.

      I like the idea of just trying to let go and push more about the happiness of my marriage at her too since she is acting like she wants to be my friend. I will try that as she is trying to schedule dinner with me now as a couples deal. She is very manipulative. Ironically, her husband works in the building next to me and I guess I should see if he wants to do lunch since our spouses go to lunch multiple times per week… but just don’t have it in me yet. You guys have been a Godsend to me. Thank you so very much.

    • Suzie Suffers

      Lizzie…..YOU are dead wrong. Flirty with a co-worker is way off base regardless of the industry. If it was all girls in the department, would they be “flirting” with each other to socialize. I think the telltale sign is the number of emails, text messages and phone calls late at night. How many of your co workers send you multiple texts and phone calls late into the night when your spouse is asleep. I don’t think so…..This is absolutely inappropriate and this “platonic” relationship is just the building blocks they are using and the excuses to allow this “relationship” to grow…..

    • Lynne

      I agree with “Suzie Suffers” post above. This supposedly innocent flirting is the potentional beginning of an inappropriate friendship–in other words, isn’t this how these EA situations often begin? And I would wonder, why is it that these communications aren’t primarly taking place during the work day? How is it that there is so much to discuss late into the evening?

      I have been through an inappropriate “female friendship” situation with my H, that he swears meant nothing, despite several years of lies and deceptions about their interactions. We have had several months of working through it, and a couple of counseling visits, and have now agreed to put it behind us. I am still working to rebuild my trust in him, as he claims there was nothing to it, and it was not an EA……regardless of whether this was or wasn’t an EA, there was still a lot of lying and witholding about her, so he has proven his ability to repeatedly lie to me!

      It’s possible that I am on high alert these days and may be overreacting a bit, but this week brought about a new concern for me. A woman that is involved in his company sent him an email (based on a work email string that went back and forth for a few days) that said “we have to stop meeting like this, people will start to talk!”. It struck me as a bit out of line and unnecassary. Then in another email came his reponse back to her “let em’ talk–he, he”. Did I mention that she is a single, very attractive woman!

      In any case, I don’t want to overreact to it, but it did make me nervous, as I know that this is exactly how these things begin. Any feedback from anyone here as to how that might react to this kind of email conversation? Given the history here, would it concern you at all?

      Thanks all!

      • Saddenned

        Lynne,

        A small suggestion might just be to ask him what it meant. Put all of your thoughts aside until you ask him, point blank. Don’t hide your feelings, it could lead to a worse outburst later.

      • Paula

        Hard lesson learned, I thought like Lizzie, that it was okay, and appropriate that my OH had a text friendship with my old friend, although I guess I did start to wonder near the end why she texted him so much, and me, not so much, I still remember the bolt of “hell, what’s going on here,” one night at about 11.45pm, when we were snuggled on the couch watching a late movie, text alert on his phone, “what you up to?” I asked him what was going on, and he, who always made out he thought she was such a dick, said, God knows, must be drinking or something. My response was, does she fancy you? He said, obviously not, as she shagged four guys while we were going out 25 years ago, you know her, she’s an idiot. My response wa,s things change, be careful here, she shouldn’t be texting you late at night, do you think I’m an idiot? He just hugged and kissed me deeply and said, you’re not an idiot, you just trust me, everything’s fine, I’d never do that to you, you know that. I still shiver when I ever hear that particular text alert sound, Pavlov’s dog.

        I thought it was innocent too, as they were sharing a lot with me, they were pretty careful not to be explicit in text messages, as I guess he thought it would be too easy to get caught out that way. However, they were actually having a full-blown PA, and the inclusion of me (see, we’re all friends here, aren’t we, nothing to worry about at all) in discussions/holidays/dinners and parties was the perfect cover.

    • Lynne

      Saddened-

      Makes sense, but I can’t go there! In the midst of the things that happened in his other female friendship he said “I was creating a slippery slope of distrust of him that would be something we’d end up being sorry for”. Regardless of his actions with the OW over five years, he still can’t believe that I would not trust him, just because he was lying and witholding the details from me, he didn’t ever do anything inappropriate (his words). For me to bring up a question about his work emails, he would flip out!!!

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