We received a comment over the weekend that is significant in that it is from a reader who is actually involved in an emotional affair, and has been for the past four years. It sheds some light on the emotional confusion that one can feel when involved in an emotional affair. It also confirms (at least in our minds) that this person she is involved with is satisfying a deep emotional need that perhaps her husband cannot–or will not. It’s obvious that this person has sincere feelings for her affair partner that will make it difficult for her to end the affair.
What we’re hoping for by posting this comment is to initiate some serious, constructive dialogue that might help in guiding this person towards a positive resolution to her situation.
Here is the comment:
“Hello and thank you for your website. I have been searching for information/help for me; the cheater not the cheated on. There is very little out there for us wearing the Scarlet A and yes, as you stated in your blog, coming to this place is as difficult in some ways as learning about it. This is a little tricky for me…I am the one engaged in the emotional affair, not my husband. I have been involved with the same man for more than four years now. When I look back on the past four years, how my relationship began and where it is now I am full of mixed emotions. I can at times logically think things through but really it is not a logical place I find myself. It is a crazy mixed-up emotion laden place I find myself in.
My husband and I have been married for almost 19 years; more if you count the three years we lived together before getting married. We have two teenaged children, one boy and one girl. Until recently I have been a stay at home mother and a trailing spouse. This is a term used by companies for the spouse who follows their husband or wife as he/she relocates for work purposes. My husband comes from a very different background than I do. Interestingly enough so does my lover. He and my husband are actually closer in background than I am to either of them. For many years I felt lost and alone in my marriage. My husband went to work, and as a true work-a-holic (person with a strong work ethic) spent many hours each day at the office. His need for social interaction was fulfilled by the daily encounters he shared with his work colleagues. Me on the other hand, well my life was spent around our children and the home. At times it was very lonely and although I really loved the challenge of moving in and out of the US and Europe, it is difficult to relocate every 4-6 years and begin a new life. (Gosh this is long but amazingly helpful to begin writing it down.) When we moved to our present location we left the only place that most of us truly considered home. It was a difficult and expensive move both financially and emotionally. In some ways it has proven to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
I have more to say but I don’t know how much to share or how you can help me. I am confused, recognize the fallacies in the relationship I have with my lover and don’t have the strength to leave an imperfect marriage that is in need of repair nor to leave a dead-end relationship with my lover. I feel the need to tell you that my lover and I try to be upfront with one another. We are on one hand very close friends, which also makes ending it more painful because the hole it will leave is HUGE, however I also know that I am not “the one” for him. I am 10 years older to begin with, of a different nationality and different religious persuasion as well. Although we both love each other, he has made it perfectly clear that one day everything will change and what am I doing to prepare myself for the inevitable? We have tried to end it before but end up back together. I guess our attempts have really been half-hearted because we both give each other something we need in the present, even if we don’t think there will be a long future. This must sound really screwed up to you. It does to me. I can’t help it. Despite everything I have found to read, I feel that I love him. That the love I feel is real and true, not a figment of my imagination. I love and respect him as a person and as my lover. I guess if you spend 4+years with someone it isn’t a fleeting passion but it is still wrong and unhealthy.
I am lost confused crazy sad depressed a myriad of mixed up emotions that fluctuate between panic fear happiness anger and love.”
Please submit your constructive comments!