I firmly believe proper boundaries are the key to preventing an emotional affair.

preventing an emotional affairBy Linda

Since Doug’s emotional affair I find myself constantly studying and clueing into the people and their interactions.  Whenever we are at a public place, restaurant, concert, bar, etc., or even at my school, I observe the behaviors of both males and females.

Before Doug’s emotional affair I really wouldn’t have paid much attention to other people around me unless they really stuck out, but now I am constantly seeing signs of people falling down the slippery slope to an affair.

A few days ago we were having dinner with a couple who are definitely at the “tag team” stage of their marriage.  They have two children at different ages that are both involved in sports.  In fact, their daughter plays soccer with our daughters on both the high school team and club team.  We rarely see this couple together at any of the games for either team.

While at dinner, they were talking about an upcoming weekend when their son has a soccer tournament about seven hours away.  That particular weekend conflicted with something going on with their daughter, so one of them was going on a road trip and one was staying home.  No big deal.

Boundaries After Betrayal – Everything You Need to Know

The husband said a mom from their son’s team works for a hotel chain and offered to give him a discount at the hotel they were staying at, and also suggested they ride to the tournament together.  The wife joked about her husband having a new wife for the long weekend.

See also  10 Rules for Avoiding Emotional Infidelity

Honestly I was alarmed about the situation.  Several years ago I probably wouldn’t have thought much about it if Doug did the same thing, but now I know the dangers of putting yourself in a vulnerable position like that.

I asked Doug what he thought about that situation and if he would have been comfortable with me doing something like that.  He said it depends on who the other person was.  I was confused by his answer.  Did he mean that if the person was good looking or overly friendly that it would be a problem?  He said that if he knew the person or if he was a good friend or something like that it wouldn’t be an issue.

I pointed out that many of the emotional affairs we read about on our blog involve “good friends” and that friendship is not an indicator that their interaction would be safe.  I told him that spending seven hours in a car and the entire weekend together would be enough for something to “just happen.”  We all know it doesn’t take much more than a few compliments, some validations or questions about how their marriage is going to begin a fantasy in their heads.

Then every time they see each other at practice or games they begin thinking how nice, fun and exciting the other person appeared and they begin to wonder what it would be like to be married to that person compared to their current spouse.  Before they know it they are deeply involved in an emotional affair. It all appeared so innocent in the beginning and now they are risking everything for this fantasy.

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You might argue that if a couple trusted each other completely then there shouldn’t be any problem in this situation, as trust alone would protect the marriage .  That might be true – but I believe it boils down more to the boundaries that need to be established and maintained within the relationship. 

For example, if our friends had discussed and agreed upon certain boundaries within their marriage and what is and what is not acceptable, I’m guessing the conversation about taking a road trip with another woman would never have come up – even for an innocent weekend at a soccer tournament.

There is also a lack of knowledge by the public in general about affairs and how they start.  It’s not until after an affair occurs that we gain all of our knowledge about infidelity, since not very many folks enter a relationship thinking that they are going to eventually be devastated by an affair.  I venture to guess that not too many of us read books or blogs on infidelity until this happened to us.

I’m sure if our friends had any idea of how easily and innocently an emotional affair or physical affair can start they would second guess the importance of saving a few bucks on travel expenses or they might eventually be fighting to save their marriage.


    45 replies to "Preventing an Emotional Affair Through Boundaries and Knowledge"

    • Notoverit

      Geez, my husband and I had the same discussion last week while we were on vacation. I, too, have started noticing how people around me behave when before I would never have noticed.

      Before the EA my husband didn’t really know about “boundaries.” We had never discussed what was and was not appropriate behavior. He is a doctor and, no offense to anyone out there, nurses are constantly becoming a bit too familiar. Before I never said anything because I trusted our marriage and that he would never cheat on me. The EA was with a nurse, a real barracuda, who saw him as nice and moved in on him without him even realizing it. He has said time and time again, “it started out innocently and when I finally realized what was going on I was knee-deep in a mess that I had no idea how to get out of.” He told our therapist that there needed to be more information out there about EAs because he honestly didn’t think he was doing anything wrong until I caught him on the phone with her and all hell broke loose. He is right, just as you are Linda, we need more education about EAs and their consequences. Everyone knows about PAs and the boundaries involved there (sex). But EAs is something that most people think are just harmless until they are entangled in one.

      Since D-day, I have educated him on appropriate boundaries, including personal space and talking. I told him it’s okay to discuss football or how his weekend was, i.e. nice. BUT under no circumstances do you listen to personal information like “I’m having problems with my husband/kids/marriage/pets/ whatever.” That is how the barracuda started this mess – her dog died and he felt sorry for her (geez). She took that as interest and there they went. Men sometimes don’t get these boundaries but women do (they push boundaries if they are interested in the male – no lectures please from the men whose wives have cheated – I only have one perspective here). Any way, women are much more intuitive and they know. Since the EA, other women have started talking to my husband and he has immediately, to use his term, “run.” He does not engage in any banter now. He also uses the “Dirty Dancing” boundary “This is my space and that is your space” (Where Patrick Swayze showed Jennifer Gray about space between them). My husband is a wonderful, kind man and that is what got him in trouble. Granted, he chose to do this and he sincerely regrets it but if the boundaries he now uses had been up, this WHOLE mess probably wouldn’t have happened.

      And NO WAY would my husband go on an innocent soccer trip with another woman. As you said, that is just asking for trouble.

    • Roller coaster rider

      Oh, I so agree with you, Linda. I am positive that a lack of understanding about boundaries was the slippery slope for my H and once he started sliding, there was no going back. I hope and pray that his therapist can help him get some insight…thanks for this post!

    • changedforever

      Before my H’s EA/PA with a co-worker/subordinate, I recall thinking how ‘overly possessive or jealous’ other spouses seemed when I heard comments from those spouses about their NOT allowing ‘co-mingling’ of their wives or husbands, in situations such as you mentioned in this blog. But I was guilty of not being one of the ‘overly possessive’ and was a trusting fool. Now I am paying dearly for that choice. If ‘this’ could happen to me, ‘it’ truly can happen to anyone. And no one can ever make me believe otherwise…ever. Now, it has become my ‘life’s work’ to protect my H and my family from all tthe vultures out there, as my H proved he cannot.

      • Paula

        changed, I was the same, I never had a problem with the fact that my OH was always very comfortable with other people in all kinds of social situations, especially women. I alwyas put it down to the fact that he only has sisters. And I get it, because i only have brothers, and I’ve always been more comfortable with men, because they are not catty, but I have NEVER been attracted to these men, they’re just my mates. Our friends were in awe of how comfortable we were about each other’s interaction with the opposite sex. I am pretty sure there was nothing before this, or was there? That is what he did, he created doubt for me about our entire history together. The beginning of this problem happened because I was so secure, I let him take this piece of work away to our holiday home overnight, I was joining them in the morning, they both took their kids, our two teens one pre-teen, and her one little pre-schooler, IDIOT!! There was no EA, he just lay in bed wondering what would happen if he hopped in bed with her, BAM, PA (I was such an idiot, she was his – much despised by him – cheating ex!!!!!!!) and after several hours of that thinking, he did it. He didn’t do it again for about four months, but the opportunity was there, and he didn’t resist it, and then the EA developed whilst I was flat out with 60-70 hour work weeks and managing a household and kids all alone (he was extrememly busy with work, too, which is one of the reasons why, when I did start asking a few questions in my head, I stupidly thought he wouldn’t have time for it, let alone the inclination, she lives several hours away, it was a huge logistical nightmare for them to “hook up” – their words)

        I liked being trusting, it was secure, familiar and comforting. Not anymore, I will never feel like that again, with anyone, obviously I never should have 🙁

    • Norwegian woman

      “I liked being trusting, it was secure, familiar and comforting. Not anymore, I will never feel like that again, with anyone, obviously I never should have :-(”

      This qote really hit me hard…..

      I too thought that I was secure and safe. I often wondered if I ever had a jealous bone in my body…..

      All this is taken away from me…. I just want to cry when I think of it…. I liked who I were. I was proud of it.

    • Healing Mark

      ABSOLUTELY there needs to be more awareness about the negative impact of an EA on the existing relationship(s) of the EA participants. While it is possible that establishing appropriate boundaries for friendships with other people (for example, no discussions about marital issues without the other partner’s blessing) could make it easier for one partner to identify the beginnings of the “slippery slope”, at least it would prevent the partner beginning to find themselves becoming involved in an EA from denying that they knew that they were doing anything wrong in the first place.

      Sorry Doug, but just by knowing who the person is or even knowing that the person is a good friend, allowing your partner to be put into a situation that lends itself to establishing an even closer friendship can be dangerous. Not looking for sympathy, but a person I had gotten to know pretty well over 4 years and who I considered to be a good friend volunteered to assist my wife in planning a fairly large party at my house, which at the time seemed not only harmless to me, but a welcomed gesture of good friendship. What I didn’t know was that my “friend” had secretly had a crush on my wife for sometime and was looking for a way to get to know her better. I also had no knowledge at the time of the fact that he and his wife were going through a very rough time in their marriage. Sure, if my wife had not been attracted to my “friend” I doubt an EA would have ever been established (prior to the preparations for the party my wife had little interactions with my “friend” other than at social functions he was attending with his wife and at which he could not act so flirty and friendly toward my wife without pissing his wife off), but my “friend” decided his friendship with me meant less than pursuing my wife. He’s also a pretty good looking guy and very funny and friendly and he took every opportunity he could to do things to make my wife feel important, funny, pretty and no doubt the best wife there could be. He also made it clear that my wife was everything he was looking for in a woman, and something that his wife was not even close to. Top this off with me working 60 to 70 hours a week to keep a struggling practice afloat and not exactly spending much quality time with my wife, not to mention the many fights that we had during the EA where I shook my head and said “Where did that come from?”, and you had a perfect recipe for an up to that point fantastic wife to fall into an EA and literally change before my very eyes.

      Fortunately for me, my wife and my children, my wife and “friend” reached a point where one or both decided that what they were doing was wrong (my wife still hates the term EA since affairs in her mind mean sex and she swears that she was never going to have sex with her EA partner unless both of them were ending their marriages, something that in the end neither of them wanted to do, although initially that was more, I think, about not wanting to hurt the children than it was about not wanting to hurt their respective spouses), and they ended the EA and my wife finally agreed to go to marital counselling with me and we “fixed” certain problems we were having in our marriage. Funny, but by snapping out of her EA, my wife became much more easier to live with and be romantic to, and learned of needs that my wife had that I was unaware of and that my “friend” was aware of and was doing everthing to meet. Now that I can meet those needs, my wife is a much happier woman and neither of us sees much need in maintaining our friendship with the other couple (fortunately, the other couple had moved about 30 minutes away and seems to have fallen out of our mutual social circle and hopefully into another one that my wife and I plan on having nothing to do with).

      Finally, Linda, I love how you end your post! The cost to travel separately is SO much less than the “cost” to the husband and wife if an EA were to develop.

      • Melvin

        Well Mark, your experience pretty much mirrors mine. I also was busy making a better life for DW and our teens, going the extra mile to help her in time of need. She had plenty of time on her hands to cozy up with her ex-fiance, unbeknownst to me. I love the “where did that come from” line, as I experienced several of those moments that made me suspicious and led to the discovery of the EA. And my wife also hates the term EA – she says no sex and we were “just good friends talking” (all the while planning vacations together and more clandestine breakfast chats). After D-Day, we also did the counseling (in private) and also “fixed” issues with each other. Not all the way back, but better. And like your DW, she is easier to live with, much more in tune with her actions and behavior.

        After months of “no contact”, her ex called her at work just last week (her cell phone is blocked from him) to inform DW that his mother had died. DW knew her way back during their engagement as they were months away from the alter. They supposedly had a short 10 minute talk about mom and to catch up. She told me right away. She also sent him a sympathy card. On the one hand, I like to think this was just her being caring. On the hand, I don’t trust the guy for even one second. Did I say he is divorced twice and now eligible? So I did what every good husband would do – I sucked it up and let it pass. I’m still left wondering, what’s next ?

      • Doug

        Mark, you can thank Doug for that, I will confess that most (all) of my posts are a joint effort. I begin with a good idea and Doug definitely cleans it up and usually adds the ending. By the time I get to the end of a post I am emotionally drained and can’t think any longer. Thanks for the great advice you offered and input you offered today. Linda

    • RecoveringMommy

      Well I’ve always considered myself a somewhat jealous person but wouldn’t say over jealous. Before meeting my H, I had been involved with the same guy since I was 14. Throughout that 7 year relationship, he managed to sleep with at least one girl in what seemed like every place he visited (hometown, vacations, etc…) He was even sleeping with my cousin behind my back. So I know that trips with the opposite sex without your spouse present are a big NO NO!!! Needless to say, in response to Linda’s friend’s situation…there is NO WAY IN HELL my husband would be doing that.

    • Paula

      I think the book, Not Just Friends, by Shirley Glass is the best resource on this. The thing I took from it was the idea of another person being a “friend of the marriage” not just a friend of one or the other partners (in the case of the person being of the opposite sex, if heterosexual) – I realise in hindsight that this wasn’t the case, but it wasn’t that obvious at the time, because he was sharing a lot of information with me about her, I knew where she was all the time (travels for work a lot) because he told me, etc. I now get that by thinking it was okay to let your partner have a “friendship” with his ex, where there was a lot of texting going on, and I think I knew I wasn’t seeing much of it, was so wrong. I never thought that way before, because I’ve never had anything to hide from my OH with my friendships with men, so didn’t understand that, and wasn’t threatened by it, after all I loved and trusted him, and he used that to initiate seeing her outside of the hours I worked by inviting her on holiday with us, to dinner, my birthday party, etc. It all seemed so plausible to me at the time. I did question it a couple of times, especially near the end, but felt like a real shit for doing so, I said a couple of times, when feeling tired and a bit vulnerable, “you must think I’m stupid,” or, “I must be the stupidest woman in the world.” His answer would always be a big hug, and deep kiss and “you’re not stupid, you just trust me.”

    • mil

      Notoverit, I am interested to know your H is a doctor. Mine is a dentist and she was also a nurse, although not one at his practice, she was secetary on a committee he chaired and they had to liaise over that plus he had to oversee her practice when her boss was off with a breakdown so lots of contact. We were also going through a bad time and I was very unloving (due, as I now realise, to the menopause).
      I read texts referrring to loving and missing each other and sexy stuff although nothing filthy but there again I only saw a tip of the iceberg as all others were deleted. My H also said he told her he’d wait (for sex presumably) but swears it was all a stupid game and they both knew nothing would come of it.
      Do you mind me asking the depth of your H’s EA and do you know the sort of things they said to each other and how close they were to it becoming physical? Do you think you were in any danger of losing him? Mine is adamant he has loved only me (but can text other women that he loves them but apparently according to him you can ‘say anything you want in a text, you don’t have to mean it’ LOL) and had no intention of hurting me (aka being found out!!!!)

      • Notoverit

        Yes, he is a doctor and I am a lawyer (no jokes please). I was also going through the same tough time but I had no clue that there was anything wrong with the marriage. From what I could tell, no there was no sexting or any mention of sex. She hadn’t made that move yet. My husband said that it was the fun of doing it, not the person. Kind of a high. He says he had absolutely no feelings for her. She was just a tool to get the high of sneaking around texting and calling her. She’s not good looking and overweight with a husband who’s always travelling (now I know why). She’s really got some issues which have come out more as time passes. After D-day he never spoke to her again. However, she has since turned her attention to me in an effort to devalue me. She has made repeated attempts to undermine me, i.e. sending emails, textforfree.com and notes by the post. I have thwarted her each time. After D-day, my husband started finding out how much the woman lied – telling others they were having an affair, using him for protection when she got into trouble and telling so many lies (while the EA was going on!).

        No I don’t think I was in danger of losing him to her BUT our marriage was in trouble. We weren’t talking and we weren’t close. She was really a wake-up call for us. We have made many changes and are really working on the communication. This is not to say that he was blameless, far from it. He chose to do this and to perpetuate this EA for about three and a half months. I still have down days but we are working on it. He has always said he loves me and me alone. Our biggest problem is never knowing when the witch will do something which is a really big trigger for me. The last shot she fired over the bow didn’t rattle me so much. I see her attempts now as pathetic. I have set so many boundaries I doubt my husband will do this again. He made a mistake and he gets this one but no more.

    • Kristine

      I’m also very in tune to couples around me. I notice a lot of little things. Women and men who dismiss their spouses in public. It can be very small and subtle, something that I might not have noticed before but I do now. I notice couples who go out with couple friends and how some of them flirt with each other. It seems harmful when you’re a couple with another couple that are close friends and it’s all in good fun but now I know how dangerous the line is. One of my husband’s best friends is very flirty with me. He’s kind of a womanizer, I never paid attention to it, I’ve known him as long as I’ve known my husband, he’s like a brother to me but now I get uncomfortable. We just saw him two weeks ago and when my husband was showering and we were in the kitchen he said “you still have that hot body.” In the past I would seriously roll my eyes and tell him he was such an @ss. This last time I literally felt very flushed and uncomfortable. I didn’t like it and the fact that my husband wasn’t in the room when he said it was a red flag for me. I felt like a line had been crossed and I had to leave the room.

      I even notice people who spend time with neighbors a bit too much alone or there is too much overlapping in lives. One of my neighbors is w/out a car right now (it got totaled) so she’s always walking over to the family across the street to get rides here and there. I see the neighbor/husband taking her to the store sometimes. I would have NEVER thought anything about that before. Now i see that and I think “OH HELL NO!”

      I think I take boundaries way more seriously now than my husband does even after his adultery. My husband has never been flirty with other women but now I view little things he does and try to see what another woman might interpret it as. Some of my very close friends hug him when they come over and vice versa. If we’re going out he’ll say “looking good ladies”. Now that bugs me! I think to myself I don’t want him hugging anyone else but me or giving anyone else a compliment but me. I don’t know what someone else is interpreting and my husband is a very good looking guy. I don’t want anyone thinking the wrong thing and making a move. I trust my husband won’t go down that road again *but* it’s always in the back of my mind. I want a VERY FIRM LINE drawn and I want it to stick. This is something I need to talk about with him obviously. There hasn’t been much he’s done in my presence that has set me off where I’ve felt the need to talk about it but this post reminds me it needs to go on the list.

      Is anyone else blown away by all the issues infidelity brings out in the marriage, in you personally, the way you view things, the triggers, etc etc… it’s a lot.

    • Kristine

      Oh I forgot to mention this. You know what I notice ALL the time? Women now who have fallen into the same rut I did. So worn down and worn out with small children, they’re no longer on the “to do” list and it shows in the way they take care of themselves (or lack thereof). I see the frazzled look in their eyes and I can see they are a shell of who they used to be and I worry and wonder about the state of their marriage. I know not ALL marriages are doomed to experience infidelity when this happens but I know a lot that are. The husband’s needs aren’t being met, the wife is overwhelmed with household/children responsibilities and it can go on for years. That doesn’t excuse the infidelity by any means but it’s a slippery slope to the marriage not being a priority. I see that all around me and I cringe with a painful reminder.

      • Paula

        Kristine, that is one thing that does annoy me a little, I have always taken care of my appearance, sometimes I gain a few kilos, then I lose them, but I have never been heavy, curvy, yes, but never fat. I have always been interested in edgy fashion, and get a lot of positive comments about the way I present myself. My kids are proud of how I always turn up polished, without being a complete dick about it, after all, most of my working life has been in the agricultural sector, you relish the opportunity to “scrub up!” I’m not obssessed with the way I look, because I have always known that the content of the book is always what counts, not the shiny marketing and blurb! How come, when I did most things right (and I’m obviously not just talking about the way I look here) this still happened to us, this great bloody couple? I know the answers, but struggle with the child inside me who keeps screaming, “it’s not fair!” Three catastrophic events, an uncommunicative and struggling partner, a huge life change, and a friend who was actually a vulture, circling.

        OW is boring, conservative, yes, thinner than me, but no sex appeal, and that’s not just me, other people have said that to me – “her??? wtf?” Even my OH has said she’s not a patch on me, he would turn up to meet her and think, “OMG, WHAT is she wearing, grey, grey, grey.” But what does that matter in the end, they still did it, over and over and over, and I can’t get it out of my head or heart. Only 48 hours to go to see new counsellor, I’ve been struggling to hang in there for this this week… Hope I get something out of it

      • Holding On

        That was us. I can see I got in the mothering rut and thought he was a “big boy” and could take care of himself…the kids needed attention. I really regret that. It came to him figuring I didn’t love him anymore, which he just put up with. He said that maybe he should have gotten mad and angry with me, maybe yelled or not put up with it and gotten my attention. YES!!

        I think that would have been so much better to get over a husband who is yelling and screaming at you for attention than to get over a husband betraying the marriage, breaking your heart, creating this huge gulf of separation to have to work through.

        Yes, please yell. 🙁

    • ClearEyes

      mil…..my H said the same type of thing about his EA and the OW. He had no intention of leaving me nor did his EA partner have any intention of leaving her H. He says it was all just a game or fantasy and was never a threat to us as a couple. And that nothing was ever going to become of it.


      If it wasn’t a threat, then why all the secrets? If it wasn’t a threat then why didn’t he just tell me he was kissing and caressing another woman in his office…..? Why didn’t he just show me all the emails and texts they exchanged?

      Seriously. How stupid does he think I am?

      Like some of the other posters here, I didn’t pick up on the warning signs. We’ve been together almost 30 years and married 28. He’d never given me any reason to not trust him. He had boundaries. It wasn’t an issue.

      Now? His boundaries have obviously changed and he hasn’t gone out of his way to give me reason to trust him. He supposedly gave up his friendship with her….but I have no way of knowing for sure….(she still works in the same building, but for a different company now)….for all I know, they could still be in contact. How would I know?
      He wants me to trust, but I can’t verify.

      Back to the topic of discussion…..How would I feel about my H going off on a weekend youth sports tournament and sharing a car/gas/travel expenses with a woman/mom of teammate?
      He can do whatever he wants…..but the locks would be changed and his stuff would be out on the front lawn when he got home.
      Not an acceptable arrangement. Surely there’s a better solution to the travel with the team issue……

    • mil

      ClearEyes, you sound a down to earth lady. You sound in a very similar situation to me. Are you giving your H another chance like I am?
      How did you find out about the kissing and caressing? My H is adamant there was nothing physical at all and a saving grace is one of her texts that said ‘I feel guilty leading you on as we’ve done nothing yet’. Of course, ‘nothing’ is open to interpretation!! Also, he got a secret phone (which I discovered EIGHT months later) to keep in contact after that discovery so who knows what developed then. He was soooo loving to me after my first discovery and our sex life became amazing again, I can’t believe he still carried on with the sex texting. He says he had to keep in work contact and texting was easier and it was all work related!!
      The scarey thing is because it is your own ‘darling’ husband, you think his excuses and stuff are unique and believeable but as we read other people’s experiences it seems that is a stereotypical excuse they all give and that shatters the bit of belief we cling on to that it’s not happened to us.

    • Lynne

      We are also a couple who never discussed boundaries beyond each of our feelings about a PA. We now find ourselves a couple who is dealing with different definitions of an EA. To him his 5 years of hiding a female friendship (and believe me he has used every line in the classic book of “there was nothing to it”….blah, blah, blah!) means absolutely nothing, and it is me that is overeacting, to my definition that if it was nothing, you wouldn’t have needed to hide your calls, meeting and interactions. We are at a stalemate on this one! To him, there is no work to be done at all. To me, it says that if he has learned nothing from this, we are bound to be headed toward trouble again. My counselor says this is a common tactic of deflecting and not owning his actions, and that his definitions and boundaries are clearly different than mine. I’m at a real loss on this one, as he feels that I just need to get over it and move on.

      • Holding On

        I get a little bit of this type of stuff on why I should get over it. I should get over it because there was never even any “emotional attachment” so it wasn’t an EA even. See how he could give her up as soon as I knew about it and not even look back? No attachment.

        He thinks that should make me feel better, but I don’t think he thinks about the lying, the secrecy, the devastation that he was doing this for months behind my back. And how did he think I would feel reading his romantic and flirty words (of course with no attachment) to another woman???

        I’m so ready to get off this ride. It’s made a mess of my mind, I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, I don’t know how to act or react, I love him, then I push him away. I’m waiting for it to get better.

        More on topic of the discussion:

        Some of our boundaries that I have had to emphasize since this is:

        I don’t want you calling any other woman beautiful or pretty. It makes me feel ugly. Only our daughters, his sisters, mothers, grandmother, or maybe a lady on her wedding day.

        You don’t do anything that you wouldn’t feel comfortable with me seeing. Or that I wouldn’t feel comfortable seeing (since I think his ideas are way more lax.)

        You don’t flirt with other women when you are married!

        I guess those are the ones that stick out. I thought we had boundaries before, like the sport trip would never happen, but I knew the above boundaries, but I guess he didn’t??

    • Candace

      the trip is definately something I would have permitted before or after the EA. It is just too much of a temptation. I certainly notice the interactions of other couples or friends more now. The EA has made me more attentive in all areas of our lives.

    • Paula

      Candace, me too, can’t be the police, just be a grown-up, please, my darling boy, like you always used to be before this, and I know you are trying to show me you still are. Yes, we are both super-alert to other people’s relationships, and their interactions with each other and those around them. We did have clear boundaries, they didn’t mean anything though, easy to ignore if you have emotionally checked out.

    • Paula

      Whoops, Candace, I just re-read and realised you meant you wouldn’t let this happen, I was saying I would, but now I would ask a few more questions, and would never let it be with someone I didn’t trust, eg ex-girlfriend!!! I can’t be the super-vigilant police about who, what, where, he needs to take responsibility for his own interaction with members of the opposite sex, as he always had before, and does now, but I don’t think he would ever ask to do this now, he says HE changed the landscape of our relationship, and HE chooses now not to spend time with women alone (even with kids in car!) out of respect for me, and what HE did to my trust.

      • Healing Mark

        Your husband is a smart man now as to keeping a boundary that makes you comfortable with his actions and has no chance of potentially causing you to mistrust either his intentions or actions.

    • Paula

      Healing Mark

      I know, that’s why I’m still here, working hard to recover my sanity, and why I’ve always loved him 🙂

    • Broken

      Since all of this happened and I have learned the meaning of boundries, emotional affairs etc….sometimes it just seems like such an effort. Before my Husbands EA we just went about our lives…it seemed simplier …less complicated now everyday living has taken on a new meaning thanks to his selfishness. A poison has seeped into our lives that will always be there, perhaps buried deeper and deeper but never gone. Linda I too look at other people and how they relate…never did before. I am also extremely hypervigilant when it comes to my huisband and gosh I get sick of it. I follow his eyes when another woman enters a room (and he always looks) then I compare myself and I never use to care about that stuff. He seems like he is always trying to please me and live up to some kind of a standard he may not be able to live up to. Eventually I think he feels smothered and angry. Its such a ridiculous dance that I never wanted to learn. Just want my life back and yes much of what it was like before the EA…I liked. I dont like feeling this way…never knowing what today will be like. WIll I be sad, will he be nice, will he be angry? Before it just was now theres a reason behind everything and it is just plain tiring. I know in my heart what was there before the EA and my husbands deplorable behavior for many years was not healthy and he needed to change. But the sanctity of just the 2 of us is gone…i really want that back

      • JS

        Amen, amen. It feels so complicated now. I want my life back, too. My simple life where I trusted my husband and believed in our marriage and thought we had something special. Being happy with who I was and not comparing myself to someone half my age. I just want that back.

    • Liz

      I agree with you 100%. Very well put. 🙂 I also do the same thing ,with observing people, I could tell by comments of couples if they are capable of heading towards an affair.

    • beckylynn

      Husband has attractive co-worker that has since left his company, but he still skypes her frequently and they just chit chat about “stuff”, nothing of great import, and he assures me they never speak of their marriage or any home related concerns…though she now has a major adversity in her life, and her husband is deployed somehwhere else, she has no girlfriends, and she turns to my husband for rides there and there, and to stand with her in court, and to help with her severe adversity…I feel guilt because I feel like I should be more sympathetic to her. Before my feelings were hurt by them…I would’ve been the friend she needs. But she prefers the company of men and is pretty much a loner. My husband is loyal and kind and has never before given me any reason to not trust him….and now I’m alarmed and setting boundaries, which are causing remarks like, “we’re just platonic friends” “there’s been no sexual contact, but admits to just kinda wondering what it might be like to “be with her” I’m kinda made to feel like a fifth wheel whenever rides are needed and I insist on accompanying them. Do you think I have just reason to be concerned about an EA, and what more can I do besides insisting on no skype, no texts, no phonecalling just to check in, no more hauling her around….what more can I do…he has ED but we’re still enjoying the trying, the sex is pretty good even thought it’s probably not as frequent as he’d like…we’re 66. I’m feeling like he’s brought another woman into our home, our marriage, our heart, and I don’t know what to do with her, or him. He swears he loves me and will do whatever I insist upon even though he says it’s all platonic and I’m being overly concerned. I feel like we may just have dodged a nasty bullet and this is our wakeup call, but I’m having a hard time getting past the feeling like someone else came into my personal space here. Do you see red flags here…I’m not crazy am I?

      • Notoverit

        End it all now! Set those boundaries and tell him no contact. I am sorry but she sounds like she is overstepping into your life and your husband’s life. I totally agree with Lynne. We have all heard the “just friends” excuse. This relationship between your husband and this woman has a very big potential to get out-of-hand. My H (who had an EA) wishes every day he had told me at the beginning about the younger woman who was talking to him at work. That got out of hand. Do what your intuition is telling you and set those boundaries.

    • Lynne


      Yes, sounds like big red flags waving in the wind—and no, you don’t sound crazy!

      These statements by him are very telling………

      “we’re just platonic friends” “there’s been no sexual contact, but admits to just kinda wondering what it might be like to “be with her”

      Once a man (or anyone for that matter) crosses into “what it might be like to be with her”, this should ring alarm bells for all involved. I see it as quite natural to find others attractive, but when someone starts to wonder about sexual interaction, it’s time to put some distance between this friendship. In other words, it is no longer a completely pure and platonic friendship. If your H cares at all about your feelings, he will take steps to show you that he is not ever spending time ALONE with her, and that you are included in his interactions with her. His honesty about the above statements is commendable, but what is he willing to do about it now???

    • Anita

      I agree with Lynne,
      Your not crazy and yes red flags are waving.
      With him wondering what it might be like to “be with her.”
      is a huge red flag. Our thoughts if not controled or
      managed can very well lead into actions.
      It doesn’t seem to matter what age people are, affairs
      still happen, and many people get hurt. Sorry that at this
      age your having to deal with this.
      Not to longer ago I heard of a couple who were near 70,
      and retired and the husband got involved with a younger
      woman and emptied their entire savings on buying new
      furtinure and other things for the other woman. Then
      the affair temporarily ended, and the wife took him back,only for him to run out on her again to the other
      woman. Sadly this woman, lost her life savings
      before she divorced him.
      I hope you can nip this in the bud now.

      • Anita

        This woman who was near the age of 70, trusted her
        then husband, and couldn’t believe he was capable of
        such a stunt. I don’t know the whole story, however
        because she trusted him I imagine she didn’t think
        twice about him going in a taking their life savings.
        Now she’s left picking up the pieces of her life and
        all those years of hard work were sabotaged by his
        greed and selfishness.
        So if your seeing red flags, also keep an eye on all
        your accounts if you have any life savings.
        Also this other woman, let her husband through out the
        years take care of the bills and other business dealings.
        Instead of having a part of it. So do what you have
        to do to ensure this doesn’t happen to you, if it doesn’t
        that’s great, however if it does your not left picking up the

        • Anita

          Typo on “also this other woman”, it should say the wife let
          her husband”

    • Ann

      No female friends that are not marriage friends. Period. In fact the wife should be good friends with the wife and NOT the husband. Never keep your mouth shut for fear of seeming possessive when you feel uncomfortable….NEVER!!!

    • Truth

      there is no friendship between a man & a woman

      If a man get close to a woman in the first place , in his head maybe I have a chance with her

      Men are hunters by nature

      It’s ok knowing someone, but to spend time with him or she alone that’s a mistake, chatting it’s a mistake, calling & talking about random things it’s another mistake

      I’ll never give my phone to a woman , or to spend time alone with her alone, feelings are tricky thing & the only protection is to avoid these situations.

      If I will spend time alone with another woman , she will be my girlfriend only

      If she want to do something with any man, I’m telling her keep yourself away & don’t discuss anything personal with him , if the conversation goes towards interesting subjects & it will take a while then just cut it & leave

      She sometimes act negative about it , but I always say , I apply it to my self first so you must do it this way , if not then the cost will be our relationship

      I’ll prefer work on my relationship rather than going along hard way for someone else.
      I’m spending time & effort to build up this relationship so I must keep it safe. It’s a life project so fight for it

      If someone call this controlling then yes I’m like this cuz I controlled my self first

      I’m a man & I know my race very well

      Women see through their harts & this is the most great thing about them , but also it’s their doom

      Men think differently & sometimes they also fall very hard

      My strong opinion, never stay with a cheater no matter what , cuz respect comes before love & cheating destroy every respect for the the other one

      We are filled with media bullshit about how a woman can get along with men & vise versa

      We men don’t stand how women talk , how they feel & how they deal with things, we will never understand their logics

      & women don’t understand why men do that cuz we are different in nature

      So after this , how the fuck can someone believe that a man is listening for a woman for nothing, it’s impossible unless we think of a reward somehow

      I listen to my girlfriend sometimes even if I felt annoyed , cuz she is important to me

      I want to build a life in future that keep me & her together to the end , I want to appreciate her everyday as the way she is , I want to work hard to keep her happy & inspired, cuz one thing most people don’t know that the happiness of the family life is mostly through a happy & satisfied wife but it doesn’t mean she can life with no boundaries, cuz I’m the boundary.

      Fuck these media that changed people believes through time & make them act against there true nature…

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