Good Wednesday!

In an emotional affair, the intimacy that rightfully belongs in your marriage is evaporating, or has already disappeared altogether. Your spouse and the other person are sharing their deepest, innermost thoughts and feelings with each other, which is bound to create a strong emotional connection.

Maybe deep down, there is some level of guilt within your spouse, but at the same time he/she is getting some sort of rush from the attention – an enjoyable rush at that. At the same time, they may not necessarily want to jeopardize their relationship with you. The other person makes them feel “special” but yet they know that this really isn’t right, so they go to the trouble to hide their actions.

When you think about your, or your spouse’s emotional affair…

What fulfillment do you think you or your spouse is getting out of the affair?

What can you and your spouse do to find emotional fulfillment once again in your marriage?

As always, please respond to each other in the comments.

Thanks!

Doug & Linda

See also  Discussion: Should a Cheating Spouse Confess?

    35 replies to "Discussion: What Fulfillment is Received From an Emotional Affair?"

    • Saddenned

      My husband recently had an emotional affair. It lasted 12 days and the woman doesn’t live in the same state. He told me about it, rather than finding out, but I know what he was missing. He was missing us spending any time together what so ever. I had been wrapped up in career achievements that I left him out of my life. I wish he would have talked to me about it. I am sooo insecure now. We are spending time together, talking and holding eachother close all through the night. I want to heal from this so bad.

      • Doug

        Saddened, I think that the fact that you have both come to the realization of what was missing in your marriage bodes well for healing from this.

    • Norwegian woman

      Fullfillment? Exitement, being admired, feeling special, new and exiting sex, emotional connection, hourlong talks and so on. Everything you get when the relationship is new. All the things that over 20 years of bills, children, quarrels, jobs, hurts and adjusting to each other cannot provide for more than short moments.
      In an affair the feeling is constant and consuming. In a long time marriage the feeling only appears now and then.
      What can you do? Settle for those moments. But I don`t think you will ever forget that you can feel that way again. You can have that hight once more, if you want to.

      • Doug

        Norwegian, thanks for the comment. I think you summed things up extremely well.

    • Saddenned

      Doug thanks. It has been hard. My mind wanders, especially at work..I ask myself, is he on facebook? Are they talking? Does she have more to offer? Is he just staying because we already have a life established? We both got off of facebook and he changed his number after he told me. I think that was positive, since it was his idea, but I wonder if he has regrets. The OW was married as well. He holds me and tells me he loves me, and our physical relationship has improved a lot. I feel so in love with him that the desire is there all of the time. I have focused towards us and our family now. They are what is important. We are in counseling, but I still have a great deal of pain. We have 9 years behind us and two children. He was/is my best friend. I don’t want to lose our life together. He is the funniest guy I know.

      • Doug

        I’m sure it’s difficult to stop the mind from wandering. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could just turn your brain off sometimes? It sounds as though both you and your husband are headed in the right direction. Perhaps your husband can be even a little more proactive in his efforts to be transparent so that these nagging questions you have won’t strike as often. Transparency is more than just offering up records to cell phones, emails, etc., it’s also about being open and honest with feelings and thoughts, etc. Maybe I’m off base there since you both are in counseling. Just a thought on my part.

    • Robin

      I don’t think that my CS found “fulfillment in the affair”, but there was excitement and a serious ego boost. She was a beautiful woman from his past telling him all of the things that anyone wants to hear – “I have loved you all my life”, “you are my soul mate”. She was SO interested in his work and his research – (although I am positive she did not understand half of it) while he felt like I only halfway listened – and I did. I proofed his master’s thesis and every paper he’s written since, acted as a sounding board for every presentation, and attended conferences with him – I actually understand what he is doing, but it is not in my field, I don’t love it, and I have my own research interests…which have been focused on infidelity recovery for the last year! She was also really admiring of every aspect of him – and I love and admire him too, but after 30 years of marriage, and the last couple of years when everything for him became more and more about him and his wants and needs and less and less about me, our life, home or family, I expressed it a lot less because I was feeling it a lot less. So I guess hearing how smart he was, how attractive, what an amazing lover, blah blah blah, felt amazing and was hard to give up.

      My best friend was completely outraged when she found out that he had an affair – because she felt that if someone was going to have an affair – it should have been me!!. We have been friends for twenty years and our kids are like cousins, and she has watched me put him through grad school, move and change jobs more than once because he had a new opportunity, take on most if not all of the family logistics, put others needs first, take care of the grunt work of childcare so that he could just show up for the fun stuff, and support his involvement in outside activities and research that advanced his career even though it put even more of a load on me – while I was teaching full time and balancing my own professional activities. Reading many of the stories on this site, it seems like the person who has taken on most of the responsibilities and burden of everyday life – and sometimes feels like the life is being sucked out of them – is NOT the person who cheats. The CS always seems to claim that they fell into the affair because they were bored… “because life is no longer fun”…they just wanted a little excitement OR WORSE that their spouse is no longer fun or sexy or spontaneous any more. The CS spouse never stops, when he or she is thinking “Gee, when did she (or he) get so boring…why did I marry such a dull person…why am I with someone who is never interested in sex” that the dull spouse might not be so dull if someone was taking on half the responsibilities so that every second was not filled up! I was outraged when I saw the cell bill from the month long affair and saw approximately forty calls and forty texts – and then discovered that there was additional contact -email, chat etc. Obviously, the emotional devastation was complete – but a solid second emotion was outrage. How could someone who didn’t have time to make a phone call or do an errand because he was so busy at work suddenly have the time to spend so much time in contact with someone else?

      Sorry for ranting – I think this topic hit a nerve….

      • anaffairtoremember

        Robin,
        I completely agree with all of your comment. Some days you just need to rant and rave and be mad as hell. The OW in my scenario really struck a nerve with me too in that she claimed to have followed my husband’s career – which I find really doubtful – but it pissed me off for the same reason: I gave him the support to have such a stellar career, taking care of everything here and practically being a single parent for the majority of our marriage, yet making sure my kids admired and respected their father, and in return I got this. It’s not fair, it’s a slap in the face and I will never understand it. And to those of us that have been the dutiful spouse for all these years, it really does make me question these other woman even more. I mean, really, I can understand (sort of) the need to betray your spouse, but your kids too? That’s the part I don’t get! My spouse thought this woman was such a great person, but here she was sneaking around, which to me is lying to your kids and robbing them of having a decent family life. Stellar parenting! Messing up kids lives – I don’t see how a decent human being can do that. But I guess it’s not for me to understand. Anyway, you’re entitled to your bad day, and the anger will subside – slowly. Comes back at the most inopportune moments, but I guess that’s the way it goes. Hope things feel better soon!

        • Robin

          anaffairtoremember, I only recently realized that I was angry – and not on the surface but deeply buried…and my counselor insisted that the healthiest way to let it out is to write about what has made me angry…so I am trying that…I think it does help 🙂

          I ranted so much that I didn’t really answer the second question in the post. We have done a lot to reconnect and revitalize our marriage since D-days (1,2,&3). We have gone away to a romantic B&B for the weekend a few times and just concentrated on one another. He has made an effort to really be present at home and has eliminated some of his outside activities and distractions so that he has time for me. He has also regained some of that romantic attitude that I fell in love with – sending me notes and little gifts. I reintroduced lingerie and perfume, and then explained CLEARLY that no one wants to make love to a grumpy critical man, but that a a romantic friendly man is a different story. Our present relationship is much more like the one before we had our daughter – who is now 21, graduating from college and living in her own house in town. So my question for the rest of you is – how do you reintroduce romance when you still have kids at home. We spend a lot of time with each other, connecting and talking …almost impossible when your kids are little, and I’m not sure any of our teenagers would recover from the idea that mom owned lingerie – or the IDEA that mom and dad had sex – so managing to be even mildly loving could elicit gagging noises… Plus all of this reconnection takes a lot of time, and I have it – but I didn’t when my daughter still lived at home!

          • anaffairtoremember

            I think writing does help too. I’ve often thought that one day I might be ready to burn what I’ve written and release all the anger and finally be able to let it go. Not sure if that will ever happen! But it’s strange how, like you, that anger is not on the surface so much, but deep inside. It’s the one thing I struggle with the most. I think keeping it in will eat me up inside and I don’t want to turn into a bitter person. Ah well, lots of work left to do. But on the bright side, I have definitely become my husband’s girlfriend: flirty texts, daily emails, date nights, sexy nighties: it’s all definitely helping our marriage to be what I’d always hoped it would.

          • Doug

            Robin, I was wondering if you share your writing or is it just for you to see? I also agree with what you said in your comments about love, drama and how you felt about your husband’s affair. I felt the same way prior to Doug’s affair, that the life was being sucked out of me because of all the responsibilities and stress and all I wanted was to be left alone. I was not myself during that time but I really didn’t see any way out. thanks for your comments, I enjoy reading them. Linda

            • Robin

              Linda,
              Initially I was not writing about my emotions but just trying to clarify in my own head what had happened and what was happening – and every time I went back to write more I would realize that I was missing pieces, so I shared that with my husband. I have friends who journal regularly and just pour incoherent emotion on the page as a way of venting and releasing emotion, but I really have not managed to pull that off…I am now going back and trying to write about what I really have been feeling for the last year and a half, instead of just what was happening – and I have also shared some of that with my husband. Participating on this forum has really helped too. After careful consideration, I also wrote 3 messages to the OW, and let a friend read them first to make sure I didn’t sound demented – and all three of those interactions made me feel so much better!!

              Frankly, I have always been more of a talker than a writer about emotions, writing has always been reserved for business communication or literary or historical analysis – in other words, for school or work. I do see how it makes a real difference – it has helped me clarify my thoughts and get them into some sort of order so I can share my feelings without sobbing (or yelling 🙂 )

    • Saddenned

      Thanks again Doug. Your and Linda site is helping me in the healing process. I know it takes a lot.

    • Yuki

      My situation is very much like Robin’s. I am also as involved in my husband’s career as you are. He has also said that she didn’t really meet any of his needs, except for admiration and respect and that exaggerated excitement that comes from an illicit affair. Like Norwegian said, I can’t provide that excitement, though I thought I had always provided the admiration and respect. I really do admire his work, and until the affair, I admired his integrity and character, too. But she had dumped him 30 years ago, and he got a tremendous ego boost from being able to capture her heart again. He said it was very satisfying to know that he could take her away from the man who took her from him before.

    • hiswife

      my husband told me a week and a half ago about his 3 week long affair. he works nights and me days. he sleeps or well tries to sleep all day and because i know he doesn’t sleep well i was not spending time with him to try to let him sleep as much as possible. because of his scheduled i take on all of the responsibility for the house and the children. i resented him for not helping and needing his sleep and he felt like i was putting the kids and other things ahead of him and resented me for it. in a way i was. i was using them to try to fill the void i had from him not being there for me to spend time with. we were not effectively communicating to each other what our needs were or what we needed the other to do to meet our needs. since he is home alone in the mornings while i am at work he feels lonely and she was available to talk. my job is STRICT on cell usage even for texting and my job is demanding and doesn’t allow much opportunity to sneak in a quick hi i love you much less the connection he needs in the mornings. switching shifts is not an option and we need both incomes to make it week to week and the waiting list for him to move to days is about 10 years long at best and there is no other shift for me to go to especially since we have 2 children ages 9 and 4. we recognize that we have issues to work out and we see what some of these issues are. we have talked until we are sick of talking about the affair, Ow and us. i have had moments of rage, sadness, crying, hurt, anger and a host of other emotions. i was on the point of making myself crazy wondering about the OW who by the way honestly only met us a month ago yesterday and met us at the same time. i am mad at her because she knew we were married when she met him. he is going through a divorce at 22 and has a 2 year old daughter. She told my husband she has cheated on her husband multiple times and that her husband cheated on her like wise. he has agreed to counciling though i don’t think it was out of desire to talk to someone about all this as much as it is simply because i ask him to. he says he loves me more now than before his affair and that he didn’t realize how much he did love me until he had to tell me because he could no longer go on not telling me. he says the way i have taken it and handled it and helped him through the initial “break up” with her and been there to listen to him has shown him how truly wonderful I am and made him love me that much more. we have been together for 8 years (known each other 15) and are both 30 years old. we married when his daughter from his first marriage was a little over 2 and we started dating when she was 17 months old. He has sole legal and physical custody of our daughter from his first marriage. He says he feels cheated out of options other young adults get in college because he got his x wife pregnant when they were dating and married her. he feels like he was cheated because he had to grow up before he wanted to. the OW made him feel good and gave him attention and made him feel like he was getting the chance to have the options he didn’t get in his late teens early 20s. i believe we are going to be ok but i have to believe we are going to be ok to make it through this. i pray that we are both going to have fulfillment as an effect of his affair. i pray that its going to bring us closer and help us find fulfillment in each other again.

    • Norwegian woman

      It struck me that very many of us have men with successful careers….. and another thing…. many of us women are teachers….

      • Doug

        Norwegian woman, I have commented to my peers how demanding and stressful our job can be and often when we come home we don’t have much to give our families. Teaching can consume your life and zap your energy. I think the Doug is finally understanding why I was so tired at the end of the day. Linda

        • Robin

          Norwegian Woman and Linda,
          You are both so right. In addition to the paperwork and testing and tutorials and the genuine desire to help kids learn, in what other job in the world do you go to work knowing that someone may cry all over you, throw up in your trashcan, attempt to stab the person in front of him with a pencil, require you to wear the hats of the counselor, nurse, disciplinarian, lesson planner, paper grader, and occasional policeman… I usually explain the stress level to non-teachers by asking them if they need to have $1 million insurance policy, because teachers know that they can go to work on any given day, do everything right, and still end up being sued for things that are completely out of their control. Maybe that’s why the loss of control in our marriages hits us so hard!!
          We may need a support forum for teachers – is there such a thing?

          • Norwegian woman

            As teachers we face challenges, pressure, disappointments, anger, demands, joys and satisfaction every day. It`s very satisfying, but draining. And we NEVER give up on anyone, no matter what. No wonder we never give up on our husbands. We have seen the behaviour before… ha ha.
            I wonder what jobs the other Bs have. And the cheaters. Are there some common traits? I am often surprised by how determant most of the people on this site is on saving their marriage no matter what. One can get the impression that we live in a society where people give up on marriages when things get rough (both in America and in Europe). The people on this site seem like a different kind of human beings….
            Just some thoughts…

    • Saddenned

      Robin,

      Did it help to write the other woman. I often wonder if I should call or write her.

      • Robin

        I would not contact her without having an idea of what type of person she really is and a clear idea of why you want to contact her – if you are just standing up for yourself by drawing a clear line or are curious – and I was doing both – I think it can actually provide some healing. If you are looking for reassurance or want her to stop the affair because you feel like your husband hasn’t or won’t, I think it could be a disaster and make you feel much worse.

        I know that Linda decided it would make her feel worse, and then others have said that their contact actually turned their husband’s against them and toward the OP – at least briefly, but my husband was out of the fog so that wasn’t an issue for me. Just be careful and think through what you want to do.

      • Norwegian woman

        I have been up against two women. First one EA. I wrote a message to her. Firstly my husband called her and told her he could not have contact anymore. Then I wrote a message to her, telling her to stay out of my marriage, and expressing how desperate she had to be, when she went after a married man. My grown up son also sendt her a message (not nice one). This one she sendt to my husband. Probably she wanted him to feel sorry for her. My husband was still in the fog, so he thought she sent it to show him how much his son cared…..

        Some months later I had to deal with a PA/EA that happened before the one I discovered. I was contacted by her husband and I also talked to her. They both tried to cover up the whole truth by telling lies. But me and her husband had almost daily contact and turned their stories against each other. After a while a 3 month fling turned into 1 1/2 year affair. We stopped the contact when we understood that we would not get any further information. It may be that we have the whole truth, or it may be that they have agreed that nothing more must come out. In that case, the truth will eventually come out sooner or later. Without that contact, we would probably still be in a limbo.

    • Kathy

      From what my H has told me, the OW said all the right things. She was “nice” to him. He was feeling bad about himself because he had just turned 51 and thinks he is “old”. He had medical problems that only add to his feeling that way. The fact that I had intimacy issues made everything 100 times worse.

      OW must have made him feel special, “young” and wanted.

      With regard to writing things down, I have been journaling for a few years, and I am an emotional journaler! It helps me a lot. I also keep all of my journals, because it sometimes can help to read back and see how far I’ve come in different areas of my life.

      In addition I write about things that have happened, which in some ways has been helpful with this stupid EA. For example, when I found out this past Monday that my H and the OW were still sexting as of February 28, when I read my journal for that time period I discovered it was while I was gone to pick up my daughter from the airport 3 hours away. That means I was out of the house for about 8 hours total on the very day that they were still “sexting”, even though the EA was supposedly over.

      Anyway, I tend to get very emotional, and in conversation that isn’t such a good thing. Then I end up having a hard time keeping it together, so I find it’s better for me to blast away in my journal.

      Oh, and I did write an email to the OW this past Monday, and I told her to leave my H alone. I was direct, to the point, and I didn’t use any profanity or name-calling. It felt GOOD to finally get to say something to her! I don’t know if she’s even read it because there’s been no response. But I don’t really need a response from her as long as she stays away from him.

    • Robin

      Saddened – I think it really depends on what you expect to get out of it. Initially both my counselor and my husband’s were appalled that I had done it – mine because she was afraid it would either trigger a setback for me or trigger insanity on the part of the OW and my husband’s because he said it would tell her that she was still a part of our life. Both have since agreed that I made the right choice – for me. I read everything I could about contacting the other woman first – and understood that she might lie to me, tell me truth I didn’t need to hear from her, get psychotic etc.

      My first message to her was after I found out that the EA was actually a PA, and since I had been dealing with my husband’s guilt about what he had done to HER because she was such a good sweet Christian woman – and I sent her a message just saying that I had heard my husband’s version of the affair and was just trying to understand how a Christian woman could behave in such a way. She called me immediately and was so sweet and friendly, saying that she had loved my husband since she was 14 and he was her soul mate and that she had been looking for him for years and finding him brought her such joy…that he was such a good man and she knew that he was not going to leave me because I was such a good person and he loved me so much….When she insisted that she never meant to cause problems for me, I realized that she had called because 1) I had pushed her religious guilt buttons and 2) she was trying to find out if our marriage was really in trouble. When I assured her that our marriage was stronger than ever, and that I was simply trying to forgive her, she started sobbing on the phone and then talking about the wonderful new man she had met etc. I got off the phone shortly after that and I actually did feel better, because I could see what type of buttons she had been pushing in my CS.

      After the next installment of the truth, I friended her on Facebook (see stupid things I have done!) – I don’t recommend it because I actually ended up feeling sorry for her!

      Finally, I sent her a polite but VERY DIRECT message when she started contacting my husband again 14 months after NC – which is the contact that freaked out the therapists. I actually have stopped obsessing about her since I had that exchange with her, and in fact was quite proud of myself. My response to my husband’s therapist when he expressed his concern that she now knew that she was still a part of our life was that she is a part of our life – her intrusion into my marriage fundamentally altered my life, and pretending that is not true helps nothing. I actually asked her how she could portray herself as such a godly woman and the things she had done – followed by a specific list of the things she had done. I also did indicate clearly that I was fully aware of her attempts to reengage my husband because he told me about them, and that I would feel justified in taking actions to stop it if I needed to do so. I received to shaken and somewhat incoherent emails from her denying, justifying, and then apologizing, so I think I did break through her own fantasy about her behavior and scare her a little, so yes it was actually quite satisfying. I’m not really sure what she thought I would do – post the details on Facebook, call all of the people we know in common, take out an ad in her local newspaper???

      I fully expect that she will do it again when she is again between relationships, but I am not worried about it.

      • blueskyabove

        My response to my husband’s therapist when he expressed his concern that she now knew that she was still a part of our life was that she is a part of our life – her intrusion into my marriage fundamentally altered my life, and pretending that is not true helps nothing.

        Finally, someone else recognizes the disingenuousness of pretending the OP didn’t affect your life! I couldn’t have cared less if this was what my H’s AP thought. It was true. She did affect me/us/our marriage. I was willing to face it and I have never regretted my choice.

    • Yuki

      That’s really is funny how so many of us are teachers. So am I. I am a resource teacher for a K-8 school. I have a wonderful story about my students after my D-day. I stayed home for a week afterwards, but went back the following week. The students seemed to just sense that I was dealing with something horrible and their hearts went out to me. They were angels! I got a lot of spontaneous hugs for weeks after that, too. When I started to get stronger and able to deal with things, they started to test the limits again, like kids always do. I love it. My students have helped to keep me going through all of this.

      But yes, teaching is not for the weak. It takes a lot out of you to be an effective teacher. My children always helped me with my job and enjoyed being a part of it all. My husband never did and was sometimes resentful of the time and energy it took.

      • D

        Yuki~
        I agree teaching is not for the weak! I have a very difficult class this year. The EA emerged Christmas night while I was on break. Coming back to school was very hard and I am convinced that my students knew that I had changed. There were times that I stepped out of the classroom, choked up, several times a day. They did not know what was wrong and I could tell that they were wondering what had happened. Then….I had to start taking time off for counseling. One student actually asked me if I was sick and going to the doctor. (I have lost a lot of weight through this ordeal).

        My husband was similar to yours in the respect that he was resentful of my time and energy both inside and outside of the classroom. He always thought that my work day should end at contract time. But as we all know, this does not happen. The meetings after school to late night grading all come with the territory. This was one of the catalysts for the EA was my time spent on work. The OW did not work. She had tons of free time to dote on my husband and stroke his ego.

        Now he is understanding of my effort to be an effective teacher. He came in to my classroom after the EA, every day for 2 months at lunch. He was able to see me as teacher, not just his wife. He could see the trials and triumphs I face every day before I come home. I dont think that he could actually say that he knew much about my day before then. All he ever heard was the end result, instead of seeing this first hand. So now at the end of the day, I get a “How did your day go?” and “Do you need any help tonight” instead of a “Why are you late, in a bad mood, etc?”.

        In return, I am more respectful of his time/effort in his job. Rather than taking his job/duties for granted which I did for 13 years (thinking that is what he does and has done forever), I became an active observer in his job. I talk to him daily about his job and what he did during the day ( OW was obsessed with what his duties were, again, making him feel incredible because the wife at home did not appear to do so). This has really been a learning experience for us both in re-opening our eyes to what little things matter such as simple appreciation and admiration of what your spouse accomplishes.

        • Doug

          D and Yuki, I was very blessed the year I found out about Doug’s EA because I had one of the best classes in all of my years of teaching.. I also believed they knew that I was in deep pain and were very respectful of that. When I would sit at the back table and stare into space they would let me be and when I needed a hug or a laugh they were there. I remember going the coat closet and having breakdowns, then dust myself off and go back to teaching. It was so difficult trying to be present everyday while going through this. My peers were so supportive, knowing that I was going through something terrible but also realizing that I didn’t want to talk about it. They would leave little gifts on my desk, or try to feed me because they were so concerned about my weight loss. As much it would have been easier to stay in bed everyday I believe that going to work kept me moving forward and somewhat sane. When I am teaching there isn’t room for self pity I just have to just suck it up and do my job. The kids always come first. Linda

    • melissa

      Going back to the original question about what fulfilment the CS got out of the EA, I can only guess as my H (as I’ve said many times) won’t talk about it but I guess:

      Ego boost – the AP told him he was her ‘mentor’ (as I see it, she was using him for her own career advancement). This led my H to feeling that he was her knight in shining armour and he liked that feeling
      Excitement of a new relationship, that moment when you ‘feel in love’ – sadly, my H could not see that this is ephemeral and based on a fantasy, that’s the moment when he started criticising me and distancing himself from our marriage
      Thrill of the chase – having secret meetings, long conversations, lunches and dinners and knowing deep down you’re doing wrong but doing it anyway because it makes you feel ‘alive’

      All these, I think, are characteristics of a person who is unable to take responsibility for themselves and their relationships: it’s so easy to look for something else if you’re not able to look for the good things in what you’ve got. It’s childish but at the same time an extremely destructive behaviour to people around you, but also to yourself as the CP.

    • appalled

      Linda, can you give some info on same sex EAs? I am a little over a year dealing with my wifes EA.

    • Melvin

      Fulfillment Spouse got out of Affair ? —- Norwegian Woman pretty much touched on most of it. The biggest thing she got from the OM was that he made her feel better about herself. Thrill of the moment was another big factor. It was like that 1980’s Calgon commercial (“Calgon, take me away”). Her words: “…. I was feeling disengaged in our marriage and he carried me away. I felt reckless, daring and alive. It was the excitement that was mine and mine alone – very different from my life as a wife and mother. Very selfish in hindsight. It was my altered reality. I could converse, share and not be judged. I had no faults. I was the perfect unscarred girl from college that was in love and carefree. All my baggage was gone. As time went on, it became an addition that I could not stop. Like a drug….” I point out that the OM was her ex-fiance in college; they were engaged for several years and he broke up with her 5 months before their wedding. Facebook brought them back together.

      Emotional Fulfillment once again in our marriage ? —- Yes, I do believe so. However, it is requiring changes in both of us in order to achieve it. We are both showing a newfound committment to each other in many ways that somehow got lost and caused our marriage to end up in the ditch. Trust is by far the hardest thing to deal with now. I would take at face value her many words and replies. Now, I question (in my head) everything she says. I have told her this often that she threw me under the bus. I went the extra mile for her on several occasions during her EA to show my love only to be discounted. I took a night off from my busy volunteer work before Christmas to go shopping with her. I actually enjoyed it. I picked out and bought her a beautiful short red dress coat and matching scarf that she now wears daily – she had been looking for one. The next day they exchanged over 30 texts and even shared a 35 minute phone call. I feel so foolish for allowing her to pull the wool over my eyes for such a long time.

      They say time heals all wounds. Doug and Linda are a testament to that. I hope someday to say the wound is healed – I am getting there. Our marriage is surely out of the ditch and back on track, thank goodness.

      My heart goes out to all of you who are still struggling with the aftermath of the EA. It ain’t easy, that’s for sure. As they say here at work, if it was easy they would hire monkeys.

    • appalled

      I keep asking my wife about her sexuality because of her same sex emotional affair, she denies it (of course) and once I found out, she dropped all contact for fear of our marriage being on jeopardy, am I being naive in thinking she is or isn’t bi?

    • steadyandtearful

      Teachers cheat too. I’m a teacher. Everybody looks for patterns, but the harder you look the less you’ll see. The fault lines that set these things up are deep deep inside of us, and most of us will never tell. I am strong enough to tell you that I was sexually violated as a teenaged girl, multiple times, and then publicly shamed by my parents when I first had sex in a positive way. Does that explain my emotional affair? Maybe, but it doesn’t explain yours.

      When I was in it, the fulfillment was about going back to teenaged years and, this time, being in control because the OP was younger. I thought it was about getting older myself, and maybe it was a bit, but now I see that I wanted to relive that horrific time and have it go right instead of wrong. Of course, it went so wrong. Subconscious minds are foolish like that.

      Now that I’m out of it (and have been for over a year), the main thing I do to focus on fulfillment is to look for, read, and really seek out stories and images of couples who have sustained long-term, committed, loving relationships. It brings tears to my eyes, as it did before the affair, to think of my spouse and I facing the long uncertainty of life together. Growing old, becoming lost, finding each other over and over again. That narrative is the emotional fulfillment I long for, and it can only be found by living day by day through everything together.

      • PTY

        That is a very powerful statement. I wish you the best on the adventure.

    • Saddenned

      I feel everyone’s pain. Many days I wake up and wonder if I can make it another day. I love my H, but the trauma has overwhelmed me. It has only been 6 1/2 weeks, but I relive the feelings daily. We are going through counseling and I think that helps. I am also going through individual counseling which I think should be recommended to everyone. Good luck and stay strong.

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