As all of you know, recovering from an emotional affair takes much strength and patience, as well as having constant conversations in your head.  I know that I talk to myself all the time, going back and forth between the reality side and the fantasy side. I have to remind myself about everything I know that is true about affairs and override the fantasy thoughts that I have.

For instance, yesterday as I was lying in bed I found myself briefly going against my New Year’s goal to stay in “the present,” because I was thinking about Doug’s emotional affair. So this post is going to be a bit of a vent as a result of those thoughts.

To start with, I was thinking about everything that Doug receives from our relationship compared to what he received from the emotional affair. I know that he highlighted the feelings he received from Tanya that were missing in our marriage, however I feel he took for granted all the ways I was (and am) integrated into his life.

He failed to look at all the things I did give him; how I have supported him and loved him unconditionally.  I feel that he can truly be himself when he is with me.

I know that he believed he was receiving everything he needed from Tanya, but I am confident that if he took everything away – his marriage, his family, home etc., that she really couldn’t offer him a fraction of what we do. I believe he would be empty and once again wondering what was missing in his life.

I also had a revelation of one thing that is missing in my life.  Yesterday I ran upstairs to get ready to go grocery shopping, and Doug rushed in and closed the bedroom door.  My first reaction was that he wanted me.  That perhaps while he was downstairs, he thought about me and decided to run up to have his way with me.

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Well I was wrong.  He came up to brush his teeth and get ready to go to the store as well.  As I stood there disappointed, I realized how wonderful it would have felt for him to grab me and experience the urgency of his desire.

I realized how much I miss receiving that feeling. Doug does a great job of showing me he loves me and cares for me, but the feeling that he would move mountains just to be with me is not there. I am sure it has to do with our present situation more than anything, but I do miss that feeling.

I began to think that when your are the other woman (or man) you receive that feeling constantly.  The person that you are having an emotional affair with is sacrificing everything just to be with you.

I can only imagine how exciting that feeling can be.  I would do anything to know that Doug wants me so much that he would sacrifice everything just to be with me – his family, his job and his marriage.  That kind of feeling would be exhilarating.

I know that in a long-term marriage a man tends to show his love by working hard, taking care of things around the house, being a security blanket, etc.  But for a man to display that they want you and they will do anything just to be with you…well I guess that is why emotional affairs are so addicting.

    40 replies to "Venting About the Emotional Affair"

    • J

      Not sure its just a man thing, Linda, as apposed to just a betrayed things. I have to say, I am spot on with you on everytyhing you say. I know my wife loves me, or she wouldnt be here fighting through this. At the same time, I have this need to over compensate, see desperation on her part, to the same level I am desperate to move beyond the affair. Its hard, I know as she is processing guilt, among other things. I continually have to shut the voice off in my head, but I am at least honest about my needyness when (seems almost weekly) the feelings are there. I think the reasureance I am thinking I need is only to help me know beyond a shadow of a doubt she is here for the right reasons. Its like the difference between seeing God and knowing he is there. This too takes faith, seeing love, or knowing its there.

    • Katrina

      I really appreciate your insights on this topic, Linda. You’ve touched on a sore spot here. The meat-and-potatoes daily love between married spouses does look bland sometimes compared to the flaming-cherries-jubilee of an affair. And you are also spot on that it looks like the WS is experiencing(or has experienced) the best of both worlds…having his/her proverbial cake and eating it too…(switching food metaphors here)

      In reality, well…the excitement of the affair is mixed in with a whole lot of stress, guilt and shame. I have been on both sides of the equation(something hard to admit on this site)…a BS and a wayward one…my husband and my relationship began as an affair(and we’ve been together for 21 years, so we definitely beat the odds) and I would never want to repeat the anguish, guilt, pain and shame that we went through. Yes, it was exciting and passionate. But that pales in comparison to the negative effects on my life and the other lives that were affected. My H’s EA has opened the door back up to our affair, and I have been completing the grieving process related to it…a lot of losses to grieve. I also came to the realization of how much I had romanticized our affair, and how much I had absorbed our culture’s views of infidelity in general. It was an eye opener to be on the other side of the equation and see everywhere the lies about infidelity that are so pervasive…especially in movies and television. It’s been quite a sobering experience to cope with my H’s EA and to see our own PA under the bright light of day.

      My heart also craves deep intimacy and passion in my marriage. Thank you for your honest post…it’s provided much food for thought and reflection.

    • Jeffrey Murrah

      Linda,

      The recovery from an affair, even an emotional affair also requires doing business with the fantasies of each party. The cheater has to deal with their fantasies, as does the resolute spouse. Since there are so many fantasies surrounding the actual events of the affair, there are times that the fantasies are more exciting that the affair ever was.

      Each of us as humans need novelty and excitement in our lives. Affairs have a way of rewiring the need for excitement and turning it into a nightmare for all. With EA’s and virtual affairs, it is especially tricky, since all the affair action is in the heart and head. There are times that it is harder to forgive a fantasy than to forgive an actual action.

      The idea that the cheater is sacrificing all is indeed a powerful fantasy since it plays on ‘romantic’ notions of being swept away by Prince Charming.

      In the world of drug addicts, those who are honest will tell you about ‘chasing the high’. They know that they will never achieve it, but the excitement of the chase delivers a powerful adrenalin rush. When that is applied to affairs, the excitement of what may happen or what they might do often provides more stimulation than the person themself could ever provide. Thus people are often more attached to the fantasy lover than to the real person. The thrill of the hunt in such cases is more powerful than actually catching the prey. The resolute spouse also has fantasies about what may happen or could have happened. Although they are more of a negative nature, they is still a level of stimulation going on.

      The mind is not only a terrible thing to waste, it is a real mess when it has been rewired and reprogrammed by an affair.

    • Yuki

      It is so good to hear that there are others like me, and those who understand me. Linda’s post, as well as all the above comments, are really helpful. I struggle with wondering if my husband really loves me, or if he’s staying to keep the family together. He adamantly states that he loves me and no one else, and that he will never so stupid as to have another EA, but I can sense that it is not exciting to him. Certainly nothing like what I saw in the emails that he wrote to her. They are so full of emotion and longing that I doubt I can ever be enough for him.

    • mil

      Yuki, your feelings sound exactly the same as mine. My husband is adamant too and we have injected a lot of excitement back into our lives but like you I feel that a ‘mere’ wife can never be as exciting as an OW by the very nature of the situation.
      Do you mind me asking what sort of things you read in the emails? The only texts I managed to see were things such as he felt randy at the thought of her in lace undies and told her he would wait when she said she felt guilty as they’d done ‘nothing yet’. There were also ones about loving and missing each other. That’s not to say there weren’t any worse than that and one of his called her ‘a dirty little minx’ so god knows what she’d said before that!!

    • Yuki

      Mil, it soothes my soul to share with someone who understands. I may never have found out about my husband’s EA, even though it lasted for six years, except that one night when we were on a trip he fell asleep at his computer. I woke him up to go to bed, and then I sat at his computer since we only brought one computer with us on the trip. An email from her was open right there on the screen. I searched the computer and found dozens more. They did not mention actual sex in their emails, though the phone records I later checked show that they talked a whole lot more than they wrote. And my husband has admitted to talking about sex. The emails were just very romantic and loving… things that I yearned for him to share with me, he instead said to her. Every email included something about how he would love her forever. From This Moment On was “their” song and they would quote from it frequently… from this moment on, I will always love you. They also always mentioned that they were keeping their dream of being together alive, no matter how hard or how long the journey. They met each other once, and after that the emails were the most full of longing and missing and hurting. He told her that knowing she was sad made him hurt more and that he wished he could be there to wipe away her tears. How I wish he would talk to me that way! Even now, as we are working to rebuild our relationship, he does not speak that way to me. I think if he did, it would do wonders to vanquish those fantasies from my head. But so far, no. He tells me he loves several times a day now, such a change!, but not with such romance and ardor. I’m just the one who has always been there for him, but I don’t feel he is passionately in love with me. Maybe if I continue working on meeting his emotional needs, he will love me more. I don’t know. I so want to be the most important person in his life. If I cannot be, or cannot become the most important, then I should probably leave. I don’t want to be second fiddle for the rest of my life. Is that too much to ask?

      • Doug

        Yuki, the thoughts that you wrote about are quite common with the betrayed — including Linda. She knows I love her and am doing things to show her I love her, but it’s not quite enough. In fact, we had a discussion about this the other night. From our discussion, I realize that I need to increase the level of good old fashioned romance. If you haven’t already, express your feelings to your husband just as you have expressed them here. A 6 year EA is a long one, and you would assume that there were some pretty strong feelings involved there, which will probably take your husband a while to withdraw from.

    • Yuki

      Thank you so much, Doug, for your reply. I really appreciate hearing it from your perspective. My husband had already broken off the relationship before I found out. The email I initially found was the OW trying to hang on. So he maintains now that he has already worked through all his feelings for her, and is not going through any withdrawal. I don’t think I believe him. He’s not trying to hurt me more or anything – I think he believes he is sparing me more pain. I also think he has been lying to me for so long that it’s difficult for him to admit to things he’s been hiding in the past. But anyway, I will take your advice and talk to him about this. I guess I’ve been sort of testing him by seeing what he would say and do as we work on our relationship, and as you said, it’s not enough. It makes me feel he doesn’t love me as he loved her, and maybe still does. So I’ll have to be the one to step up and say straight out that this is my problem. Again, thank you, Doug! I’ll let you know how it turns out.

    • mil

      Yuki, sorry to sound thick but how did you get a transcript of your H’s phone conversations to know that they were about sex??
      As I said, I only read a very small tip of the iceberg of my H’s texts as I mentioned them in my previous posting.
      I have had a mixed day today. It was my birthday and as always I got the most wonderful card and verse. I also got a beautiful bouquet from the florist next to his practice (where I know he’d ordered flowers for her on behalf of the committee they were both on).
      So true to form, instead of accepting them gracefully I started delving into what type of bouquet he’d ordered her compared to mine.
      He has got me flowers from there a few times and I’ve hinted that I’d prefer them from a different florist not connected to her.
      Do you think I’m a selfish ***? All I see when I look at these bouquets is her and wondering what she would have thought of them.
      They weren’t personally off him, it was just his job to order them as secretary but now it’s all associated with her.

    • MLB

      How do I stop obsessing about every detail of my wife’s affair? After reviewing the text records, I now think of every day of this past summer when I was with her knowing that she was not really with me. Every memory that comes up from this summer kicks my brain in gear to think of her texting from the moment I left for work in the morning until hours after I was asleep for the night. I can’t stand it anymore. My whole summer was a fraud. I was lied to and made a fool.

    • MLB

      I’ll write more later, my wife just walked in and I feel guilty writing here. I’m pathetic.

    • AlmostOutofIt

      I read this post from Linda when she posted it and have thought about it since. Being on the cheating side, I can see Linda’s struggles (and the other people responding) and how they might feel. I imagine why my wife would feel the same way if she read some of the texts/emails that went back and forth between me and the OW. I have a couple of comments… This is strictly from my experience so take it with a grain a salt…

      1) Linda made the comment that being in an EA, the person is risking everything. To be honest, risking everything never crossed my mind. I assumed my W would never find out and thus there wasn’t much of a risk. It might seem like it from the outside, but at least from my perspective, losing my family/kids, etc. never crossed my mind. The risk of losing them didn’t – at some point I thought of leaving my W, but that’s a different story. But I wouldn’t over romanticize an affair to assume that the CS was rationally thinking they might lose everything and yet still continued the affair.

      2) Linda made the comment about wanting to feel Doug’s urgency. This comment may get me into a little trouble here. But in my A, the OW showed me an urgency that my W wasn’t. So I would say to Linda and the other BSs, if you want your CS to show that level of romanticism, urgency, etc., are you showing that to them? In my case, I too was missing that in my marriage. It was easy to have that level of urgency with the OW because she was showing that right back to me. It’s harder to have that level of passion/urgency/whatever word you want to use if your partner isn’t also showing that.

      Completely agree with Linda – yes, an affair is enticing because the OP shows they want you – even craves your attention. I have tried to begin to infuse some of what I loved about my A in my relationship with my wife. In my case, much of it was related to physical intimacy and sex, and that’s been a bit of a struggle. But some of it was just knowing that the OW was thinking of me. We would text frequently so I knew I was on her mind. That felt good – to know someone was thinking of me all the time. Some of the texts were more risque, which also was welcome. I’ve told my wife I would love it if she told me that she wanted me (in that way) and that she was looking forward to making love. I got those feelings from the OW – she would tell me she couldn’t wait, etc, etc…

      As a BS, if you can figure out some of the reasons why your spouse cheated, perhaps you can infuse some of what he got from the OP into your own relationship… If you want them to be more romantic, don’t forget to act that way as well. It’s much easier to mirror a behavior than it is to do it all by yourself. Instead of just focusing on what your spouse wrote, think about what the OP wrote to get them to talk like that. If you want your husband to call you a dirty little minx, then think about what you can say to get him to say that. For me at least, a big part of why I talked the way I did wasn’t just because I wanted to say them – it was to a great extent a response to what the OW was saying.

      Hope that helps…

      BTW, I’ve tried to read some of the more recent posts, but if you asked me a question in an earlier one and I didn’t respond, please ask me again. Being out for 10 days or so, it’s hard to read all the posts.

      As for my vacation, thanks for all the well wishes. It was really good – we got along well, didn’t fight and had a good time together. Can’t say the sex part is much better and I still struggle with that. Linda, your comment about wanting Doug to have his way with you is what I’m craving myself. If I walked in the room like that and my W made a comment about wanting to make love, I think I’d have a heart attack. We’re both craving that level of urgency from our spouses. But you’ve made a better choice by not seeking that elsewhere….

      • Doug

        Almostoutofit, I understand everything you are saying but have to realize that most of us on this site have been trying to do everything we can to bring the feelings of the affair back to our relationship. For the last two years that has been my highest priority. I have texted him telling him I want him, I sent him pictures of me that my children would die if they ever saw, dress up, I tell him I miss him, buy him little things that I know he would appreciate. I have done it all, I want nothing more than to bring the excitement that Doug felt during the affair in our marriage. It’s hard to believe that he will ever feel that way when he is with me and I have to accept that. I think it’s all about priorities and I am sure that you were receiving so many good feelings from the OP that you were making them your highest priority, often slacking on other areas of your life. You have to realize that most of us who are trying to save our marriage have gone above and beyond to do these things, and because of all the emotions associated with ending an affair our spouses were unable to return the effort. There came a time when I just got tired of trying and I needed to feel that he was making as much effort in this area as I was. And he is doing a much better job of it now. I think to a betrayed spouse it didn’t feel like effort, because of the situation it just happened naturally. When you have been together for 30 years it just doesn’t happen that way, it does take some effort. It appears to me that they don’t want to return to the intensity of the affair, they like their comfortable, secure relationship. I really don’t know what it is. If I knew, it would make me feel a lot better. Linda

        • AlmostOutofIt

          So it sounds like you were doing a lot of what I suggested. Then my comments aren’t a relevant as I thought they might be. I was just hearing from posts that I wish my H would do this and say that without understanding the efforts going into saving the marriage – what you just said.

          I realized while I was writing that post, that my experience is more much more simplistic than most because my affair was more physical. I don’t think it was nearly as emotional as others. If my wife did the things you just mentioned, we wouldn’t be having some of the issues we’re having. I think if she ever texted me that she wanted me or sent me a naughty picture, I’d probably pass out. That’s why I had mentioned at one point trying to “shock” her a bit, without telling her all the details.

          You’re right in that I was totally making the OP a priority – my Blackberry was never far away, just in case she texted. In some sense, that level of intensity can’t continue for long. I think that’s probably one reason my affair began to fizzle out, it was just too much for her. But remember back when you were first dating Doug – I imagine you felt that level of excitement together. I don’t think its sustainable in a long-term relationship. An affair offers the opportunity to feel those initial falling in love feelings again as part of the fantasy.

          Another thing – part of what made the affair so exciting is that you don’t have all the mundane stuff to deal with. There is no talk of school, or who is going to pick up the kids, or the mortgage payment. You get to only talk about the fun stuff. There aren’t typically any of those things that get in the way of those good feelings. So all you have is a high – in a marriage, those other things need to be discussed.

          Wish I had a solid answer for you Linda….

          • Doug

            Almost, You’re right. It is difficult to maintain the level of excitement that you felt when you first were dating, and that is a huge challenge in any long term relationship. We get lazy. We get bored. We get settled into a nice comfort zone. You are also right on when you say the affair offers the opportunity to feel the initial falling in love feelings again as part of the fantasy. I’ve been lucky that since the affair, I’ve been able to feel the falling in love feelings again with Linda, and it’s not out of the question that you can do so as well with your wife.

            BTW…We must be on the same wave length today as our post deals with the affair being an oasis from the mundane.

          • Karen

            So glad to hear your time away was wonderful, AOOI. I just wanted to butt in on Linda and your posts and say I just haven’t felt the need to compete with my H’s 2 year EA as it was a fantasy, and fantasy=fake in my mind and cannot be competed with. Did I have to make some major changes to reinvent my marriage? Yes. But I can never reach the fantasy level of excitement that you got from your OW or any of our spouses did from their EA’s or PA’s, nor do I want to as it was fake and full of deceit and selfishness. Yuck!! Who would want that??? I’m very competitive in many things, but I choose to stay out of competing with something I know intellectually and emotionally I can’t win at. It does bother me when you compare your wife to the OW in even the slightest way. Your OW, in spite of the great sex, is not worthy to wash the feet of your wife. And the word “Tanya” cannot even be used in the same sentence as the word “Linda” in my view. The choice by your OW and Tanya to insert themselves in your and Doug’s marriage
            by choice contributes to my opinion in large measure. Happy New Year!!

          • Doug

            Almostoutofit, I am sure you are thinking why I didn’t do all of these things prior to the affair. Well for the same reason that Doug didn’t do them, we felt that we were in a secure, (boring) committed relationship and we shouldn’t have to do these things to keep the passion alive. (stupidity) We also were very busy, wrapped up in our children’s lives, overworked and exhausted. I am also sure that Doug didn’t realize how important these gestures were until he began to experience them during the affair and believed that was what was missing in our marriage. I hope he realized there was more to it than the than that.

            I also know that for the last two years I have made it my number one priority to bring the feelings from the affair back to our marriage. I would really want nothing more but I have come to understand that we can never have that feeling because we will never be in that kind of situation. I believe it had more to do with the atmosphere that surrounds an affair than the relationship you have with the person.

            I also realized that by making this my highest priority I have neglected every other aspect of my life. I have come to realize that there needs to be a balance, that my job performance has decreased the relationship with my family, my responsibilities at home. I am sure that if you look back at your affair you would see how you also neglected some of your responsibilities. Being involved in an affair takes a lot of time and effort and I have learned that if each of us would have invested that much effort into our marriage we would never have been here in the first place. Linda

            • AlmostOutofIt

              Nope Linda, I didn’t wonder that at all. I know from my own experience why you (and Doug) didn’t. Things always got in the way – kids, work, bills, etc. It’s too easy to take each other for granted. I get it completely. In a twisted way, I think my affair was sort of a blessing in disguise (not excusing it at all – and I am SURE I would feel differently if my wife knew about it). We were both unhappy, but stuck in a rut. I think momentum is a dangerous thing. We were moving along, barely content being married, but not willing to end it and not truly understanding how to change it. I have now seen and experienced things that opened my eyes a bit. Life is too short to be unhappy all the time in a relationship. I also have a better understanding of what I need and am trying to apply what I now know to my marriage. I also think I understand more about what my wife needs and wants – a great deal of that from places like this site. Could I have learned all this without an affair? Sure…. But it helped move the process along quicker I think. Again, I am not excusing my behavior…..

              I guess it’s sad in a way that it can take something as destructive as an affair to bring people closer.

              Mil, I believe part of the issue of the euphoria surrounding an affair is because the relationship never gets to the mundane. Think back to when you and your H were dating. You probably felt similar euphoria. But then the relationship progressed and that feeling got less strong as you got more comfortable (I truly don’t think that intense level can be sustained – doesn’t have to disappear completely, but it’s too intense to continue forever). Then, after years together, you can barely remember those feelings of euphoria. In an affair, I think they often end still in the euphoria stage. Or perhaps just as the affair becomes more mundane. But it doesn’t get to the normalized level in a long-term relationship. So the cheating spouse is left with only the euphoric feelings.

              I absolutely love what Karen said – I can’t imagine how hard it was, but choosing to not compete with a fantasy is just great. Mil, if your husband is telling you that you are the love of his life and you truly believe him, then focus on those feelings. Don’t worry that he’s not feeling the same high he felt during the affair. I’m sure he didn’t have feelings for the OW as deep as he has for you… And that’s what important.

    • Yuki

      Happy birthday, Mil! I hope you were able to have some fun on your special day!
      How long has it been for you? It has been ten weeks for me since D-day. I was a crazy woman for the first six weeks. I lashed out at him physically and verbally, and nearly went out of my mind looking for signs of his betrayal in our house, our records, and his computer. I spent hours and hours going over the last six years in my mind, creating new meaning to every event in the context of his affair. It seems everything was a lie, and is now tainted and dirty.
      I didn’t get any transcripts of my husband’s phone calls. I looked at our cell phone bills and saw the listing of the phone calls. The rest my husband has admitted to me in some of our many long conversations. He has been as honest and forthcoming as he can, though I still feel like it’s pulling teeth to get anything out of him.
      During the last week, he has become increasingly resistant to telling me any more about the affair, and has become angry if I say anything about being depressed. He wants it to be over and done with already. Our therapist said basically that same thing. She told me that if I have forgiven him, then we don’t need to bring it up anymore. Needless to say, I am looking for another therapist. So now my husband is not cooperative, but I’m going to try Doug’s suggestion to speak openly with him about my fears and desire for the romance that he had with HER. Maybe he is in withdrawal from the OW and maybe he is trying his best, but if this is as good as it’s going to get, it’s not enough. I will leave. But right now, I’m still hoping beyond hope that it is going to get better and he will feel passion for me again someday.
      I don’t think you are being selfish for wanting him to order flowers elsewhere. Any associations to things bought for or done with her are naturally an affront to you, regardless of the reason for it. Flowers from that shop would be a trigger for me, too. Maybe you need to be straightforward and just tell him that… nicely, of course. Is your communication with him open enough for that?

    • MLB

      Thank God for this blog. I see other people having the same anxiety and obsession that I have. I feel like I’ve gone crazy. I found out about my wife’s EA on September 29. Deep down, I knew something was going on over this summer. I am/was devastated, heartbroken, resentful….and very pissed off. A few days after the discovery, I put a keyboard tracker on the computers. She found out a week later. She was very angry that I was making her feel like a prisoner. WTH did she expect? She created this monster. I’ve been walking around with my head on a swivel. Every text she gets I get an adrenaline rush. When she takes a bath, I look for her phone. If she’s online I’m paranoid. I can’t trust her.
      She says it’s over and that they were “just friends”, yet she told me that she had developed feelings for him and she had told him she loved him.

      I was sickened to go over the phone/text records and found out that over the summer she was with him and not me. Physically, she was here, but she really wasn’t here.

      She called him three times from our family vacation over the fourth. She texted him from dawn to past midnight every single damn day. She sat in the backseat while taking my oldest son to college and texted him the entire time. Our ANNIVERSARY, I took her to a bed and breakfast…and she texted the entire weekend. I should have known when she needed to be on the side of the bed near her phone. I remember getting pissed off, but she always said it was her best friend in California that she was texting. (So I resented her friend all summer).

      I had planned a surprise birthday party for her..on her Bday I made her breakfast in bed and later found out while I’m downstairs in the kitchen, she’s texting the asshole. (I’m sorry for the language… I just can not hold in the venom I have for this guy. He’s also married…for the second time.

      My wife and I have been married for 21 years. We have four beautiful sons. To the outside world we are the perfect couple. It is all b.s.

      I don’t know how to move forward. We have a blowup and then don’t talk about it for weeks. I keep trying to talk about it, but she can’t handle it. I don’t know if it is guilt, shame, or she just doesn’t care. I don’t believe she loves me no matter what she says. She says she loves me. How can she love me after what she did?

      I bear responsibility for emotional distance between us during our marriage. I’m and ACOA and was abused as a child. I have walls that at times prevent me from showing compassion to the person I love most, my wife. She knows my background and why I am the way that I am. She also knows I love her. I tell her daily, many times per day.
      We have many years of resentment towards each other that contributed toward her EA.
      I’ve been emotionally distant, she’s been sexually distant. We’ve gone in circles for years. I feel she has always rejected me at night. I’ve told her for years that I’m sick of our sibling relationship. In her mind, sex just isn’t that important to a relationship. In my mind, sex creates and sustains intimacy and emotional connection.

      I’m sorry for the disconnected thoughts. I am sitting at my desk at work, just typing like a madman. I have nowhere else to turn, nobody to talk to about this. It’s eating me up inside.

      • Doug

        MLB, Thanks for sharing and welcome. Sorry to hear of your situation. Your’s is very similar to many other’s on this site. If you haven’t already, read as much of the posts and comments as you can that pertain to your situation. You might also want to check out some of the recommended resources, and possibly join the Affair Recovery Group.

        You’ve had a few months since D-day to catch your breath and get an idea of what is going on… Has she indeed ended all contact with him? How is her attitude towards you at this point… Does she show remorse for her EA? Is she willing to work on your marriage? etc. Are you talking much about the affair together, as well as the other issues in your marriage? Have you considered therapy?

        Sorry for the interrogation, but knowing these things may help us to help you better.

    • mil

      Yuki and AlmostOutofIt,
      Yuki, it’s been about 2 and a half years since the first discovery but he then got a secret phone to keep texting which I discovered 8 months later. He swears it was for business only related to their job and that committee, hmmm. He was DEVASTATED that I found out about it and we had been having the most marvellous sex and were really madly in love again by then so I was gutted and couldn’t believe he would take that risk. I am getting worse not better as I am filling in the gaps and what I think are lies with my own version.
      AlmostOutofIt, apart from my H’s affair not becoming physical to my knowlegde, you could be him!! EVERYTHING you say is like listening to him. He even called her a ‘dirty little minx’ but unfortunately I didn’t see her text that provoked that. This drives me MAD as that used to be my favourite saying to me. Although he loves and desires me like mad and me him (I didn’t during the menopause which is what may have triggered his EA) I, like Linda can not believe that I can ever match the excitement and newness etc of an affair partner. However much he tells me I am the love of his life and he adores me and that I give him everything he wants and needs, I can’t believe I can match the euphoria of an affair by its very nature. What are your thoughts on this?
      This is very depressing because it implies that nobody can be truly happy in a long term relationship and will constantly need outside stimulation to satisfy that aspect of their needs!!

      • MLB

        Mil,
        I totally get your feelings. I walk around the house feeling ashamed of myself. I feel like I am inadequate. I compare myself in my mind to the OA (other asshole) 🙂

        I sit across the room at night and am so self conscious. I can’t help but think I’ve put on too much weight, or I’m not as handsome, or whatever other negative thought attacks my brain. It is hell.

        I’m sorry you and the others are going through this, but I’m thankful I can read and understand that I’m not alone.

    • MLB

      Hi Doug,
      I want to thank you and Linda for this site! I’ve read much of it already. It’s been a lifesaver for me this past week.

      I’ll quickly answer your questions..
      As for her contact with him, she says she has ended all contact. As for phone/text records that is true. A few days after the discovery, I destroyed some stuff in our garage and she walked in on me. I told her that I was going to find that guy and confront him. She made a call to a mutual friend to warn the guy about me. I believe that was the last contact…which was through a third party. (After my discovery of that contact I was even more angry and felt betrayed again)

      As for her attitude towards me now, I don’t know what to say. From my perspective, she acts like nothing happened. She has shown remorse when I confront her. She says she is a horrible person and takes all the responsibility for the affair. However, after each discussion (argument) I can’t approach her about it again. She feels like I am beating her over the head with it. I can’t help how I feel. I have more questions for her than I think I can ever get answered. Last Tuesday I gave her an article on the effects that EA’s have on the betrayed spouse. It touched on many of the issues I am dealing with now. It validated my actions since the discovery. It showed that my reactions are normal and that I haven’t gone crazy. She read it next to me in bed and ended up having a panic attack. When she calmed down, I wanted to ask why she reacted that way. Was it because of how her affair affected me? Was it guilt? Was it because she can’t still have what she thought she loved? I still don’t know. After each discussion we have she does not want to come back to the issue.

      As for intimacy, there is none. This has been an issue for years. We are on different planets with this. It has driven a wedge between us. It is a vicious cycle. She has a wall up regarding physical intimacy, I have one up with emotional intimacy.

      I’ve been going to bed earlier every evening hoping to fall asleep before she comes to bed to avoid the feeling of being shut out by her once again.

      It is ironic, that I being a self proclaimed emotional cripple, has in the last three months read over a half dozen books on various topics. ACOA’s, overcoming abuse, Love languages, forgiveness, etc. I’m obsessed about trying to “fix” this. I don’t see any effort from my wife. She always comes back to, “I need to go to therapy to find out why I did this”.

      This leads me to believe that she truly doesn’t love me. She says she does, but that doesn’t make my heart or mind believe it.

      As I’ve said in an earlier post, I take much responsibility for issues that led to this nightmare. We both need to bear that. I just want to move forward, but can’t without her working with me.

      My wife has brought up therapy and I’ve always been 100% against it. I know that it has to do with my own issues and demons. I am afraid to fully expose myself emotionally and fear the repercussions if a therapist gets me to open up completely. However, I am willing to do whatever it takes.

      Sorry for going on so long. I have written so much, yet it isn’t even the tip of the iceburg of what is constantly circling in my mind.

      • Doug

        MLB, I’m happy that our site has been helpful to you. I think that you have realized that you are not alone, and there are many others who feel just as you do. Linda has been in your shoes as well.

        Now I’m no therapist, but it seems to me that you each have had some issues in your marriage that may have contributed to her affair. But please remember, the affair was not your fault! On the positive side of things, she appears to be remorseful, she has suggested therapy and she has stopped all contact. She may though still be somewhat in a fog or is having some affair withdrawal issues.

        Her not wanting to talk about it, or feeling as though nothing has happened is a defense mechanism for her. She may feel guilty, ashamed, or whatever the case may be, and simply does not want to discuss the affair. But she needs to. You need to help her, but you need to communicate with her in a way that will reinforce that it is OK for her to do so. Don’t get angry, don’t interrogate, don’t be accusatory, etc. Be understanding and empathetic, and let her know that your only aim is to save your marriage and need to understand why it happened.

        I wouldn’t necessarily interpret her wanting to go to therapy as an indication that she doesn’t love you. She may have some other deeper issues that she needs to explore, such as low self-esteem, lack of intimacy, etc. Since she is willing to go, it might be a great place to start. You might want to consider going with her, or at the very least suggesting she go it alone to start with. In fact, that might be a good idea for you as well, which might help you with your inability to expose yourself emotionally. Then at some point, when you feel comfortable, you can go together.

        Regardless of what you decide to do, one of the things we truly believe in, is the power of working on yourself. Here is a post that may be helpful: https://www.emotionalaffair.org/4-ways-to-empower-yourself-after-the-emotional-affair/

        Now these are just some thoughts off the top of my head. I’m sure there is more that can be added. Perhaps I will add more as I think of them, or maybe some other readers will chime in. Best of luck!

    • MLB

      Don’t get angry, don’t interrogate, don’t be accusatory, etc. “Be understanding and empathetic, and let her know that your only aim is to save your marriage and need to understand why it happened.”

      Doug,
      I’ve failed miserably in this department. My reactions to the answers she has given me has certainly influenced her willingness to participate in these discussions.

      I will try to show her that my intentions are to move forward and not berate her for her actions.

      • Doug

        MLB, as tough as it might be, give it a try. It worked for me when Linda approached me in that manner.

    • mil

      I am sat here feeling very annoyed, to MLB and Yuki in particular….I don’t know about you but I feel when we read each other’s posts on here we may sound like pathetic little people clutching at our cheating spouses and others may think ‘God why would anyone want to be with that pathetic person?’.
      Well I want to say now, although I was 57 yesterday, I am very glam, tall, slim, blonde (don’t really know why that’s relevant LOL), funny, popular, vivacious, very intelligent (physics degree and maths teacher), super mum, sexy, etc. etc. and that’s not my own opinion. Everyone I know says my H is lucky to have me and how I’m so much better looking and better all round than him. Haha when we were students many years ago I remember walking along hand in hand and some fellas walking towards us said quite audibly, ‘How the hell did he get her??’. We get invited places because people say I make it fun and light up the room.
      Well I’m not a pathetic little wife but feel that’s what I’ve been reduced to by this monster in my life called betrayal and an emotional affair!!!!!!!!

      • mlb

        Wow, Mil, I don’t know how to respond to this. Since “Dday” I haven’t spoken to anybody about my feelings. I’ve kept it inside until I felt I couldn’t anymore. I felt safe posting here after reading many posts over the past week. When I used the word “pathetic”, I meant that is how I now feel as a result of this affair. This is what I’ve been reduced to in my mind.

        I don’t consider me a pathetic person. I was simply voicing the insecurities that have infiltrated my mind since the discovery. I am a great father of four boys. They all know they are loved and are probably sick of how many times I tell them i love them. I am a faithful husband… far from perfect, but faithful. I am devoted to keeping our marriage and family together.

        I apologize for annoying you, but I finally felt safe to unload my feelings. I know I wasn’t articulate or eloquent. It was the emotion and anger spilling out of me.

        Yuki, I totally get what you are saying. Every song I hear in the presence of my wife gets my mind racing and angry again. I hate to use the term PTSD, but it is so accurate. I get angry, adrenaline rushes from any trigger. It makes me want to question her… “why did you do that”, “what were you thinking”, “did you ever think about my feelings during this time” “what terrible things about me and our marriage did you spill to him”?

        I feel like I need all of these questions answered, and all she can say is she’s sorry. Is the problem with me? Am I not a big enough person to just accept “I’m sorry”? Should I just bury all of my unanswered questions and move forward and pretend?…….

    • Yuki

      I am also not a pathetic little wife. I am normally an independent and fun person. I am also making extraordinary efforts to bring the romance back into our marriage. As per Doug’s advice, I talked to my husband about needing more romance and about how hard I’ve been trying to make him see that. He said he was afraid to be more romantic because it would trigger memories of things he had said and done with her. He is partly right. I have been super sensitive about him using the same pet names – like sweetheart – and playing songs that he has sent to her. They used to be some of my favorites, but now it’s like PTSD – I hear them and the pain feels like Day 1. And he was so romantic and loving with her that there is little he can say or do for me that will not bring up a memory of him saying or doing that same thing with her. So is it a lose-lose situation?

    • mil

      mlb and Yuki, NO NO NO I’m not annoyed with either of you. I particularly had you in mind because you both sound as broken as me. My point is how annoyed I am that these affairs can make us BSs feel inadequate etc. even though we are not. So sorry you thought I was having a go at you. Quite to the contrary, I was sympathising with the plight we’re all in xx

    • Yuki

      Oh, I didn’t think you were annoyed with me – sorry if I gave that impression. I’m just agreeing with you that I am also a very successful high-achiever, and that I am making every effort to move past this, but it is the most difficult thing I have ever had to do in my whole life. I know it is the same for you, like Linda said earlier. I am grateful that we can share with each other.

    • Yuki

      mlb, I am at the same place you are with the questions. I don’t think we can just pretend and move forward, and I think it’s selfish of our spouses to expect that. Of course, they don’t want to think about it anymore and they want to push us to forgive and forget. Easier said than done. I’ve read that the infidel can move past it because they see the whole picture – they know everything about the affair. So they can look at it, understand it, and move on. We are looking at an incomplete picture, so we cannot see it or make sense of it. Therefore, we cannot understand and cannot move forward.
      In my case, it is made worse by the fact that I keep finding out new information, even now after almost 11 weeks. At the beginning, he said he never loved her. He enjoyed the ego boost. Then he said he was sometimes confused about his feelings. Later he admitted he had actually fallen in love with her. Just a few days ago, he admitted that he had been closer to her than to me during their affair. And that’s just one example. There are many other facts that I’m just now finding out about. I don’t know if or how I can move beyond it.

    • mil

      Yuki, again ditto!!!! Having found the original texts, a few months later my H had to put his sim in his old phone and when I checked it there were texts from before the others I’d found. They were worse than the others and it cut me like a knife again. My H has denied loving her even though on one text he said ‘Love you even with garlic breath’. He says it was just like you tell a friend you love them haha.
      I suppose at least he’s always denied real love for her and says I’ve always been the love of his life. Why would your H torture you more by saying those things or to his credit, is he trying to be totally transparent?
      He took me for an amazing birthday meal last night on the 34th floor of a top restaurant and when we sat down I had tears in my eyes. He had to bush tears away from the side of his eyes too. He said he was so emotional at seeing my reaction. I am so overawed.

    • Yuki

      Hi Mil, I’m glad to hear about your birthday meal! It sounds like it was a wonderful evening. Seems like you have lots of great reasons to stay and work on your marriage. I’m getting all emotional with tears in my eyes for you! I understand how meaningful it was and I’m so happy for you.

      Yes, my husband is trying to be transparent. I do believe the only time he lies to me now is when he’s trying to protect me from more hurt in hearing all the details. But he also gets mixed up in his facts because it was a very long EA, and there are so many half-truths and omissions. He can’t remember what he said and didn’t say, and if I phrase a question differently or if I’m asking about something else, he sometimes spills out stuff he thought I already knew or he says things without remembering about how it doesn’t match up with other facts, and then I corner him with it. As of now, however, I no longer have many questions. My version of the story is not quite the same as the version he tells me, but I believe I have figured out most of it by now. I now need to decide if I can move past it or not. My three-month mark is on the 17th. I know I am stronger and more in control than I was at the beginning. He also knows my therapist told me to wait 3 months before making any decisions, so…

    • bigsur

      I know i’m going to get beat up but i’m looking for some help. I started an EA probably over a year ago. I didn’t realize it at the time, but every chance to be around this OW I had, we migrated toward each other. We work together and play sports together. Now I don’t say this to excuse my behavior at all, but when I think about why I allowed it to happen, I come up with this reason. After we got married, we tried to have a child. One year………two years….no luck. Then, we started a journey of 3 1/2 years of infertility treatments during which time she became obsessed with having a child, we blew through 10’s of thousands of dollars, sex became what could be best described as a chore. During this time I became very angry because I felt like I had no choice. I felt at that time, that if I wanted to stay married and have a happy wife, this is what I needed to do. It took me months of therapy just to realize this. Then, we finally got pregnant through IVF and I was relieved. Two months later, my EA grew deeper and I realized it but I did it anyway. This carried on for 4 months before I got caught. I did not hide anything and told my wife everything. We started seeing a counselor but I simply can not give up this OW. My wife has given me chance after chance (god knows why) and I keep disappointing her and me. Why do I feel like I need this OW??? Then in Sept, our beautiful boy was stillborn at 1 day shy of 40 weeks. We found out when we went to the hospital. I really tried to stay away after my sons death, but I could not get this woman out of my head. I do love my wife and don’t want to hurt her any longer. At the same time I know i’m hurting this OW as well. I know that everyone will say F the OW feelings and I can understand. I am just so attached and I can’t break it. I ask how to do it not even knowing if I can or want to. I feel like two separate people with each half wanting something different. I’m just so lost and immensly sad.

      • Doug

        bigsur, Sorry to hear about your son and what your marriage is going through. I’m not sure how long you gave the no contact rule after your son’s death, but there will be a period of time when you will basically experience withdrawal from her. The longer you go, the less the withdrawal symptoms will be there. Perhaps a period of time away from her, and at the same time making a sincere effort to save and rebuild your marriage is appropriate.

    • BreeAnn

      Bigsur, I won’t beat you up like you suggested – you’re doing a good job of doing it yourself. I’m so sorry to hear about your son, and your marriage. And, I so feel your wife’s pain. I think you’re living in an affair fog and you don’t realize it yet. I can also “hear’ what you said to your wife all the times you told her about everything. “…but we’re just friends… why would I tell you about her if there was something going on… we’re just friends”
      I’m not sure how much of this site you’ve read already, but you’ll soon discover all the different phases of this devasting thing called an emotional affair. My sister lost her unborn baby in Nov and it was terrible. I tell people that my partner’s EA was the 2nd worse thing that happened to me after losing my niece. You’re going through some major issues and I want you to know that this community here can help you. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to you coming out of this a better person.

    • Kristine

      This: Yesterday I ran upstairs to get ready to go grocery shopping, and Doug rushed in and closed the bedroom door. My first reaction was that he wanted me. That perhaps while he was downstairs, he thought about me and decided to run up to have his way with me. Doug does a great job of showing me he loves me and cares for me, but the feeling that he would move mountains just to be with me is not there. I am sure it has to do with our present situation more than anything, but I do miss that feeling.

      I’m right there with you Linda. I too feel that my husband was so passionate in his adultery. (perhaps me romanticizing the affair) and because he put someone else before me, because his actions showed he desired someone else over me, I have this great desire for my husband to express a passionate desire/need to be with me as well. I want urgency, fire and brimstone, passion and desire. The thing is, I can’t say this or it won’t mean anything if he does it after he was told. So I sit and wish and hope and feel second best. (just came to that realization after typing that out, I feel second best at times)

      This healing after an affair is hard work. There is so much I desire, so much I want to hear, so much I want to see happen. I have to reconcile with my own feelings, figure out what’s fair and not fair for me to expect, get past triggers, let go of wrong thinking, talk myself up, get out of my own head, stop myself from spiraling downward, keep myself in the present… The hard work is on the betrayed spouse. I’m not saying the spouse who did the betraying doesn’t have their own pain and process but it’s nothing like this.

    • Theresa

      Linda, a while ago, even before the most recent episode, I was talking to him about the emptiness I felt. The way I described it to him was that I did not feel like he was ever “hungry”for me. He counted on me for the practicalities. I was just there as a companion. Not a lover. No pursuit, no passion. No intimacy. Nothing shared. No creating a cocoon for 2.
      Within hours of an less than pleasant exchange, the lovey dovey shit starts again. Which I have told him too may times, makes everything worse. Makes me feel my feelings don’t matter to him. Makes me feel disrespected. Makes me feel used.
      Ok, that’s my rant and now I feel better.

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