emotional affairI realized a very important lesson recently and that is because of Doug’s emotional affair I am very vulnerable to having one myself.  Could I actually have an emotional affair with my best friend’s husband?

By Linda

For two years I have been fantasizing about what his affair was like, and wanting to have the same feelings that he experienced during his affair.  I didn’t realize until now how desperate I was to have those feelings.

This past weekend I called a friend to confirm that she was going to a monthly get together, but her husband answered the phone – which is usually the case.  I’ve known my friend and her husband since high school, and we have traveled together and spent a considerable amount of time with them and their family.

Whenever I talk to her husband the conversation usually turns toward his wife and our little standing joke that she pretty much rules the roost. 

She had just gone back to work full time and I asked how she was managing.  Her husband said she was managing fine because he is still the one cleaning the house and taking care of everything else around the place.

This is usually when our conversation becomes dangerous, as he typically complains and then I proceed to tell him that he shouldn’t take that from her.  He usually says how understanding I am, and that I know how to treat a man, etc.  You can only imagine how in our joking way that this conversation could get way out of hand.

The Thin Line Between Joking and Emotional Infidelity

In the past I would have thought the conversation as just good-natured joking, but that day I felt differently.  It felt good to have someone acknowledge me.  It was flattering, and it was exciting that someone thought I was better than his wife.

I could have been in the initial stages of an emotional affair! 

I realized that it really wouldn’t have taken much effort because he is as vulnerable as I am.  It could begin as an innocent text to remind him to do a chore she had demanded he take care of or an arrangement to spend some time as a couple. 

Any gesture would give him the impression that someone cared about him and was more interested in him than his wife. On the flip side, any opportunity for him to make me feel appreciated and validated would produce those infatuated feelings.

Confrontation and Realization: The Impact of Emotional Affairs

Before Doug’s emotional affair, if I felt this way I probably would have just put it to the side, blamed it on our stale marriage and fantasized about what it would be like to be married to him.   Now I feel the need to let the feelings out because of everything I have learned from the affair.

Doug was out running an errand during my phone call.  When he pulled in the driveway I met him at the door expressing my guilt and feelings.  I told him I just set the ground work for an emotional affair.  Now I was really upset, and he just looked at me like I had lost my mind (I get that look a lot lately).  Little did he know that I was really concerned and understood how he felt when he was with Tanya.

I know that I made a good decision to tell him, even though I don’t think he took my admission seriously.  It’s also apparent that we need to talk about why I had these feelings.  What is missing in our relationship or within me personally that allowed a few complimentary words make me feel lightheaded and confident?

Reality Check: Understanding the Limits of Attraction and the Risks of Secrecy

The positive in all of this is that I know this man (my friend’s husband) pretty well, and even though he has some traits that I find appealing, I also know enough about him to realize that being in a long term relationship would never be something that I would want or would last.  The traits that I find appealing would also become boring over time and I would eventually find myself needing the fun and thrill that I have with Doug.

This experience has made me realize how easy it is to enter the fantasy world of an emotional affair, and how keeping your feelings secret can produce a lot more illusion about the person than what really exists.  I understand how important it is to communicate these feelings to your spouse – not because you want to make them jealous – but rather to let that fantasy go.

When you keep things inside and secret it is much easier to turn it into something it is not. 

I am sure the Doug took it lightly because he knows that my friend’s husband is someone I am not compatible with.  I am also sure if he would have told me about Tanya at the beginning of the emotional affair, I don’t deny that I would have been upset, but I believe that putting it out in the open would have eliminated the illusion and helped Doug communicate better about how he was feeling when he was around her and what was missing in our marriage and in his life.

    14 replies to "My Emotional Affair With My Best Friend’s Husband"

    • Jeffrey Murrah


      You are correct when you mention that we are all vulnerable to affairs. When we are under stress and emotionally vulnerable, the risk is even higher. It is not by chance that the incidence of cheating is high among care givers (police, pastors, healthcare workers, teachers) since they are motivated to ‘help’ people. What happens is that that help can easily turn into something more.

      Recognizing your own vulnerability is crucial in overcoming the risk of affairs.

    • NotBroken

      Linda… I think about this often. What would it be like? I imagine it would be amazing… but the aftermath would be horrible. I don’t want that weight on my shoulders. I can’t imagine changing someone’s life forever. The guilt would eat me alive. I also told my H that I feel more vulnerable to having an affair, that he opened up a closed box. But in reality I’m not sure I could do it. The fear would be to consuming. I guess I’m just not that person.
      I’m very lonely these days. My H and I have been arguing and we don’t speak much. Sometimes I imagine that while my H was involved in the EA that he never felt lonely. That if we fought and he was angry that he would just go running to her and all the anger would subside. He had someone to fall back on, while I was alone. I desperately need someone to talk to now. Someone who will make me feel happy, exciting and special. Someone who will make me forget all of this damn sadness, that I could escape my reality for awhile and live in a fantasy. I can definitely see the allure of an affair, I just don’t think I can fall prey to one.
      I’m not sure if you are familiar with Dr. Gary Neuman, he wrote a book about EA’s. He says that a spouse should tell their partner when they feel vulnerable and are about to start an affair. I think you are definitely right about telling Doug. If my H had came to me in the beginning and said I think I like this woman and I am starting to have feelings for her, things would have been different. I’m sure I wouldn’t have been happy to hear it, but it would have avoided so much heartache and sadness. He says that telling your spouse helps you put a stop to something that could turn more serious. Your right about the secrecy, once something is not a secret anymore than it’s just not as exciting. You see this person for what they are and start to realize the grass is not greener.

    • Jennifer

      I have 2 separate trains of thought reading this.
      One, I can remember when my husband told me about this teenage girl he had started working with (‘watching after’ her as a favor for her mother) and how he was ‘helping’ her and her mother with a difficult situation at the time. I felt that him being in that relationship was inappropriate and told him so (which he shrugged off) and left it at that. I wonder if maybe that was his way of telling me he was about to engage in an affair. His ‘cry for help.’ I feel stupid and selfish for not seeing the signs and handling it better.

      Two, I remember the wonderful feelings I felt talking to an old friend online during my EA. (It’s difficult for me to call it that, but that’s what it was.) I knew I wasn’t really attracted to this man and I had no desire to have a long-term relationship with him, but he made me feel like a million bucks. He was so eloquent. And he asked me about my situation like he truly cared how I was – even gave me advice. (Then he asked for pictures and naughty words.) Meanwhile, my husband was ‘working late’ and ‘spending time with his brother.’ It was so easy to get involved with the other man. It even feels silly now to call him ‘the other man’ because I feel like it wasn’t serious at all. But looking back, it was VERY much so. Even though he and I never met in person, those were the strongest and happiest feelings I had had in a very long time. I guess when it comes down to it, I can understand my husband’s feelings. Those are the feelings that now make him question whether he wants to be married at all. Amazing how something that begins so innocent can turn SO volatile!

    • ppl

      totally off topic but i was wondering who is picking these icons for us. when they first appeared, i figured there was an option for us to attach an icon, but i now have seen one for myself. i have to question why it only has one tooth. i dont see anyone elses with such poor dentition. i am also looking skyward like i have no clue. please change my icon, no wait dont do that, i dont want to see what else you come up with.

      • Doug

        Hey ppl, Sorry that you don’t like your avatar. Perhaps it strikes a nerve with you because of its uncanny resemblance. 😉 Actually they are automatically generated through the system if one does not create their own. I got tired of seeing everyone as a shadowy figure, so I thought I’d jazz it up a bit.

        • ppl

          also noted its yellow, am i a coward or juandiced from alcohol abuse? just kidding around with a wierd sense of humor but curious what others think of their avatars, why not use movie star likeness instead.

          • Doug

            ppl, I’ll have to investigate if there is some sort of movie star avatar generator plugin or something. If not, there’s your idea to become a millionaire. By the way, my avatar isn’t exactly flattering either!

        • Kate

          I believe they are set from gravatar.com, as that is where my avatar is setup.


          You can then upload any image you like and it will be used on most WordPress blogs that you comment on. 🙂

          • Jennifer

            Kate is right. That’s where I set mine up as well.

      • NotBroken


      • Jenn

        OK, this made me laugh. Or it would, if my mouth wasn’t taped over. Hey, at least I can see with these glasses!

    • D

      Well I am not one to sit idly by so after months of telling my wife that if she was not going to commit to our marriage, why should I, I went out and found that someone who was “into me.”

      This was 5 months after D-day. It was an eye-opening experience. Talk about text book. This woman at times said the exact same things that my wife told me she said to her lover. “I need to get a grip.” “I feel so safe with you.” “I wasn’t looking for this.” It was both wonderful to get that validation and excruciatingly painful to know what my wife felt for another man. Also, while I wasn’t nearly as emotionally invested in this woman as my wife was with her AP I did feel the constant guilt and panic my wife felt for 18 months.

      I also came to understand what my wife told me was her sense of obligation to this man, to not allow him to feel like she was just using him. She had to justify her actions by believing she must be in love with him and out of love with me in order to do this. I felt the same way.

      In the end all I did was hurt a person who didn’t deserve to be hurt.

      Ultimately I told my wife about her because this wasn’t at all what I wanted. I wanted my wife to feel and say the things this other woman did for me. It was a typical, textbook revenge affair. Although, not so much revenge as Call for Help affair.

      In my experience affairs are about two things: pleasure and pain, and always in that order.

    • brokentrust

      How would you guys Händel a sister n law my brothers wife and my husband haveing a sexting afair. I never told my brother because he and she were already having marital problems and I did not want to destroy him like I was destroyed. It has been 2 months since d day as of 2 days ago and my sister n law wants to reconcile with me I don’t know if I can. I’m suppose to meet her for lunch today Bhutan not sure I can. My question is what would u guys do. My brother and her have since reconciled and my marrage is still shakey there will be times when I will be forced to socialize with them due to family functions. I am so confused and scared.

    • Chris

      My wife and I haven’t been intimate with each other in five years. Further in our 35-year marriage we have gone years without sex several times, including the first year we were married. I told both my therapist and my wife that I see us as a “couple-at-risk”. We are both so starved for intimacy that I believe a random third person could approach either of us and blow up the marriage. My therapist agrees with that thought. After five years without, every women looks 10x more appealing to me than they normally would and any advance would probably not be rejected. I’m sure it is the same for her.

      People may advise us to talk about it, and we have, but to no avail. I have had this same talk with her at 29, 39, 49, and now at 59. My plan is to ride it out and focus on improving myself. I don’t see how I lose if I do that.

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