Emotional affair? I thought affairs meant extramarital sex!

He tells me they’re just friends. Am I wrong to be concerned?

Can’t I have friends of the opposite sex?

Isn’t it better to give them a long leash?

Emotional affairs have become a hot topic in the last several years, resulting in much needed clarity for some and complete confusion for others. Conflicts arise in couples where one person’s friendship with someone else leaves their partner feeling neglected and angry, but also confused and uncertain about how to respond. “After all, they’re just business associates having lunch. I shouldn’t be so possessive.”  In the U.S., jealousy is frequently seen as a negative character trait.  This leads many to try to deny the experience of jealousy even when there might be good reason. If this sounds like you, it probably has been relieving to learn that there is such a thing as an emotional affair. Identifiable patterns of behavior between “friends” that can end up as a full- blown sexual and/or love affairs have come to light.  This is not to say that spouses shouldn’t have friends of the opposite sex.  But understanding how boundaries can easily melt, pushing the friendship across the line can be an important part of taking care of one’s relationship.

The Pattern

Most emotional affairs start at work, on the internet, or in some kind of intimate group experience, such as a spiritual community. The initial attraction is not sexual. Rather, it is the feeling that “this is someone who I can really talk to;” “this person gets me and I get her;” “we are great supports for each other;” “we are helping each other to be better people.”

Fueling the connection is the shared interest, for example, of work or spiritual growth. However, the conversations eventually become very personal and the talk turns toward relationships, specifically the primary relationship that one or both individuals are currently in. Suddenly, aspects of one’s marriage or primary relationship that had never been talked about with anyone other than the spouse become the focus of conversations. That may seem a bit strange, but after all it’s just talk, so it is labeled as harmless. And there can be  such a need to talk, one that hasn’t been satisfied in a long time.

Gradually, the intensity of these conversations grow; whether in person, on the phone, or on line, and so does the anticipation of these conversations. The conversations become the thing that is looked forward to more than anything else during the day, more than seeing the spouse, even.

It somehow seems a good idea not to share much about this friendship with the spouse, certainly not the intimate things that are spoken of. And bit by bit, one finds oneself  less “into” the primary relationship in comparison to the new one.

Time is needed to talk to this friend, or check  e-mail or text messages and compose responses. And this starts to take more and more time and energy. Never mind that the spouse  is alone in the kitchen trying to do the dishes and tend to a screaming baby at the same time. Or maybe it’s at night when the spouse is asleep that one sneaks out of bed to check their devices.

The spouse asks what is wrong and gets stonewalled.  They are told everything’s fine. If the spouse asks about the friendship with this person, they can be brushed off or met with defensiveness.

The distance between the spouses grow.   There is less and less chance that the primary couple will address what can now so easily be talked about with the new friend. The stage is now completely set for the friendship to become more than friendship.

It’s an Emotional Affair If…

You are talking about intimate aspects of your primary relationship that you are not talking about with your primary partner.

Time and energy are being siphoned from the primary relationship into this new friendship.

Aspects of the “friendship” are kept secret.

You are not comfortable sharing this friend with your partner.

You would be uncomfortable if your primary partner was having this kind of relationship with someone else.

You have more excitement about contact with your friend than you do about contact with your primary partner.

The Surprising Truth About Emotional Affairs

What seems so innocent in the beginning can end up being more damaging to a relationship than some other types of affairs. The most damaging affairs are ones in which the connection is primarily emotional rather than sexual. One-time anonymous sexual encounters are the least difficult for a couple to work through and heal. Some studies show that this varies according to gender. Statistically, women have more trouble getting over the emotional connection their partner had with the lover while men have more trouble getting over the affair if there was sex involved. However, an emotional connection can leave the person involved in the affair more confused about where their loyalties lie.

What To Do if You Think

Your Partner Is Having an Emotional Affair

Whether or not you give your partner “a long leash” is not the deciding factor in whether an affair will occur. If the affair is occurring because of relationship problems (and not all affairs occur for that reason) it is almost always because channels of communication have either broken down or were never developed in the first place.

If you feel uncomfortable about a friendship your partner is having with someone else, it is important to bring up these concerns. Invite them to talk about feelings about the relationship between the two of you, specifically, things that they previously may have felt uncomfortable talking about. Get clear on what is happening in your relationship that is making you uncomfortable, both in terms of your partner’s withdrawal, refusal to open up, and relationship with the other person. Be clear about what is okay and not okay with you. Ask him or her to read something about emotional affairs. If you are Asian American, you might want to read “Asian Americans and Affairs.”

If you cannot get through to him or her, advocate strongly for couple’s therapy.

I have seen hundreds of individuals and couples struggling with these issues. If you are thinking that individual psychotherapy or marriage counseling may be beneficial and you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, please feel free to contact me at 925-948-0562 or at info@aboutaffairs.com.  If you live outside of the area, please visit my “Links” page for a geographical listing of therapists who are especially effective with affairs.

This Post Has 77 Comments

  1. Nicole

    When you take a Vow to Love, Honor, and Cherish only one person, you don’t get to form a “cherished” relationship with another person outside of your marriage, that’s not how it works. No one hides friendships, but they hide things because they are selfish, insecure, entitled and feel like they are in control of the situation. They aren’t just lying to you, but to themselves and they are lying to the other person making the relationship “welcoming” as if it’s okay to disrespect my spouse and marriage by having this relationship with the other person. All lies. They lie by omission, telling you about everything they did that day except for the part where they had lunch with a co-worker and they giggled and laughed together with their cute banter that only couples would share together. Or they leave out the part where they texted the other person goodnight or that the text that came in after 9 pm was really her asking what his thoughts were about something meaningless but is just proof that another person was thinking about your spouse and just had to contact them when the world is full of single available people to do that with and not a married person. They know this, your spouse knows this, everyone knows this. They will justify it to fit their narrative so they don’t feel shame or guilt. If they are texting, messaging, playing online games together, or chatting about anything personal… that means they are thinking about that person. That’s what intimacy is… it’s not sex. It’s real. Generations before us used to write letters to each other to build intimacy…. short quick texts do the same thing over time. Check yourself, before you wreck yourself!

  2. Anonymous

    My husband and I have been married almost 42 years. Back in the late 90’s, he worked with a gal who is still his “friend” today. She is 45 and my husband is 62. She now works in a different department than he does. He introduced her to me in the late 90’s at his workplace and I have been in social settings with her about 2 or three times. I really don’t know her that well, but decided to ask her to be a “friend” on Facebook about 5 years ago. She seemed ok and I did not feel threatened by her. In 2015, she asked my husband and a mutual friend to a promotion lunch but left me out. I found out and was very hurt. I told my husband she didn’t seem like much of a friend to do that. He didn’t go to lunch because he knew I was upset. I don’t think he was very happy about staying out of the lunch. What hurt me was that he attended a promotion party for her at her office and did not tell me he went. He also gave her a hug because “everyone else was.” Previous, her dad had passed away and I got her a sympathy card and told him to give it to her and also give her a hug as a way to comfort her only. Well, when I found out about his other “hug” at her promotion event, I really felt hurt. He had told me that he only gives hugs to close friends and relatives. Right. Another red flag that came up was a job promotion possibility that he wanted in his company. He tried for it but was not selected. He emailed her and expressed his disappointment. Then she sent him a message that had another job opening that she suggested he apply for at her new department. He replied that “maybe I should.” He decided that he wasn’t qualified and it was too far away from our house to commute to. Well, to make a long story short, and I apologize for being so long winded, she just doesn’t seem to go away. She has been married 3 times and I am not so sure I trust her. I am having trust issues with my husband when he has told me she was just a friend; then later changing his story to” she is just a co-worker.” I have written a message to her and in that message I have told her I do not want her to continue this relationship with my husband anymore. If I send it, I will probably alienate a couple who also are friends with her and us. My husband has ended communicating with her; no more emails. He has them go to a delete box in his work emails and every Sunday, when we take his clothes to the office (he rides his bike to work); he shows me the “delete” section of his messages. I really want to let her know how I feel about their relationship, but I also feel it will open up a can of worms. I have no idea how she will react. I also fear I will cause my husband to feel very resentful towards me. I am so frustrated right now. I sent her some questions in the past about when the last time was when she sent him any emails and why I wasn’t invited to that lunch. I did not give her my response yet. I am hoping that she will just “go away” with the silent treatment. But I still have nagging thoughts about her and my husband. I was so hurt when he went behind my back and attended her promotion party. That is where the “trust issues” started for me.

  3. Anonymous

    When I was 16 I started dating a guy for the first time. Straight away he told me he loved me and I felt uncomfortable and like things were moving too quickly, but it was my first relationship so I didn’t know what to do. After only a couple of weeks I was wanting to break up with him, but terrified of hurting him and having people at school hate me for hurting him. At this time another friend from the same friendship group, who I had used to be quite good friends with but had drifted away from since starting my relationship (because I thought I shouldn’t be too close to other guys anymore) started dating a girl I knew he didn’t really like, but she had sort of bullied him into it. We started talking more again and I told him that I wasn’t happy in my relationship but didn’t know what to do. I knew that he used to like me, but since we were both with other people I thought it would be fine to hang out. We met up one day, and both our boyfriend/girlfriend knew about it, we were just meeting up as friends. But during that day we were probably too close. I rested my head on his stomach while we talked, and later when he came to the cinema with my dad and I, he stroked my hand. At the time I didn’t think too much of it, because that was the way our friendship had used to be before our relationships, and we both knew it didn’t mean anything. But I started feeling like I might have feelings towards him, which made everything more confusing. We hung out a few more times, but nothing happened between us, we were just good friends. He soon broke up with his girlfriend though, which encouraged me to finally end my relationship too. When I ended my relationship we had only been together for a month. For a while things were okay, and the other guy and I remained just friends. We started dating three months after my breakup, by which time I was sure I wanted to be with this guy. It has now been over a year and we’re still together. We love eachother very much, and have been completely faithful to eachother and become much more careful with our behaviour around others of the opposite gender. My mind keeps going back however to that one day when he stroked my hand and I rested my head on him, and I can’t help feeling extremely guilty. I hate the me from back then so much, and can’t believe how thoughtless I was. But at the same time, I would never have even considered kissing him or anything while in a relationship with someone else, nor would I have told him I had feelings for him. Because of this I can’t feel that it was an affair, but still feel extremely guilty and hate myself. It’s been over a year, but I’m thinking of breaking up with him to finally end my guilt. What should I do? I don’t want to hurt him either… I feel so lost…

  4. Anonymous

    I am so furious with my husband I could just spit. It started years ago with his co-worker. She was married but whenever she needed anything, he would drop what he was doing and rush to help her. He even let her decorate our kitchen when I was at work and he was home on medical leave. I was livid and told him if he ever did anything like that again, I was leaving. We were fine for many years until this summer when I caught him texting another female friend who I know as well. He texted that he loved her. When I confronted him, he said he was trying to comfort her because of her emotional issues. He said he was sorry of course and it wouldn’t happen again. Yesterday, he showed me a text from a different female friend who was also his client thanking him for all his help. She had pancreatic cancer and passed away a few days ago. When I scrolled down a bit, I saw where he was calling her baby. What married man calls another woman baby regardless of the circumstances? I am sorry she died but really??? I am so angry at what I think is his inappropriate conduct with his female friends. I have signed up for marriage counseling on my own for now to deal with this. He needs to go too but I have to get over my anger first so I can handle this as a rational person. He had the nerve to tell me I was a jealous person. I replied that if I was jealous he wouldn’t have female friends in the first place. What a jerk!!!

  5. Anonymous

    I’ve been married 46 years. My husband and I are tired. He was a truck driver and met this other guy driver a few years ago. I didn’t realize at first that they spend hours on the phone. We live in another state he never sees this guy and has never shown any gay tendencies. After discovering how much time he spends on the phone with his guy I confronted him. They do not talk on the weekends or after work hours. But now he sneaks to call him and every time I leave the house he’s on the phone from that second to the second I pull in the driveway. Half the time I found out they don’t even talk just stay on the phone, he’s never really had a “good buddy” before. Is this natural??? Bugs the hell out of me.

  6. Anonymous

    Wow! I guess I’m going through this now. Didn’t realize it was that bad til after I married the s.o.b and had a child with him. I did everything for him and all I ever hear about is this woman… can’t even have dinner anymore without him talking about her and her problems. Makes me sick. And he tries to get me to be friends with her! Help! What do I do ?!?

  7. Anonymous

    I’m so glad I tried to find info on what my husband has been up to. This is what my husband of 45 yrs has been doing for the last 4 months. I could not believe it. He, of course, kept saying no, no. I had several different illness and he started drinking. I found out I had cancer so he went into a retirement home. This is where he met his sweetie. It’s like 400 phone calls a week the majority only 1 minute, 2 minutes 4 minutes tops. What can they be talking about? I’m so depressed. I would like to pull her tonsils out. What to do?

  8. Anonymous

    Wow, reading these responses seem so real and I realize that I am not alone. Yes, emotional affairs sting to the heart and they generally start out innocently and gradually shift over to sharing one’s most inner thoughts to the non-spouse friend. I have watched for over 2 years the same thing happen in my life and even after I relocated across the country for a job transfer, the emotional affair stuck across the miles. I have learned over the years, that where there is smoke, there is a usually a fire. Trust your gut and find an outlet and take care of yourself. Once a cheater, always a cheater. Find someone that Is worthy of your love. Life is too short to put up with these lowlifes.

  9. Anonymous

    I wrote the above message. He is so addicted to that phone. I have never been so hurt and betrayed in my life. This is so hard to face each day. I gave him my heart when I was 18 and I always thought we would grow old together. Now that I am 62 I just feel like I am yesterdays garbage. I would not wish this kind of hurt on anyone.

  10. Anonymous

    My husband got a new cell phone in July of 2016. He learned how to use messenger, what apps, hangout,and more. He had over 4,900 friends and then it started. He would message women all hours of the day and night. They would tell him that they loved him and he would tell them the same. Then he would tell them that he needed them in his bed and how he wanted to spend his life with them. Then the talk got more graphic and sexual. I took pictures of the messages and he told me that I should not have been looking at his phone. This went on for months until I could not take any more. I told him that he could give up his phone or I would get a divorce. He told me he didn’t make choices but he still has his phone and I got divorced this January after 43 years and 7 months of marriage. He still says that he has done nothing wrong but in my heart he committed adultery. I

  11. Anonymous

    My husband’s emotional affair started after he joined Facebook. An old grade school girl had always liked him, but they never dated. Well, she saw us at a concert and came up to him and told him that she have always liked him. This was before we were married. He told me what she said and I didn’t think anything about it. It was only a “crush.” Then we got married and things changed. He checked his cellphone for messages and looked at his Facebook account. I realized he was messaging to her Facebook account every day and maybe 4 or 5 times a day.
    I confronted him and he was very defensive about it. I tried not check his Facebook account but I can’t help myself. When I bring up the subject he tells me I are not giving him his privacy. He continues to talk with the woman everyday. It hurts my heart and I can’t stop it.

  12. Anonymous

    This hits so close to home. I am in this situation with my husband right now. He confessed to her that he was starting to have feelings but then decided that was wrong. Bravo. BUT, he didn’t tell me this until after they rekindled the relationship and became friends. He would ask me if he could go to lunch with her. I said no because it wasn’t allowed for them to have lunch (a policy at work.) He kept asking me if he could have lunch with her, if we could all go out together (so they could spend time together while I supervised or got tied up in their drama).

    He decided to confess and use it as ammo to hurt me and defend her. I was crushed. He only said he confessed feelings and that she rejected him (he rejected her himself because at least he knows what physical cheating is, and that it is wrong.)

    I begged him to tell me what happened. I told him I wasn’t comfortable with their “friendship.”
    Finally I explained to him how I was feeling, I got his mom involved and my brother to the point where he was questioning the whole thing. Maybe he was doing wrong. But he fought back. He fought back so hard to keep their relationship. I just wondered why it was so important that he could throw away our marriage and his son for this girl and her friendship.

    He finally realized he was being stupid. He saw that I was hurt enough that it really was affecting me. He tells me he comes home happy. He says he calls her after work and talks to her before he comes home. He instant messages her. She knows him, she knows his past. They make each other better, they need each other because it’s making (our marriage) better.

    Well finally he noticed it doesn’t make him a better person. It’s not helping our marriage but he still doesn’t think it’s that bad. He feels guilty for hurting her because my solution was to drop her completely. He said he was a bad person, made me feel sorry for him AND this girl (who is trying to divorce her husband). He wants to be there for her but also be there for me and know that I’m OK with it. I’m not. He was contsantly asking me to trust him. Based on the secret friendship I can’t trust them, can I? Nope. I hope to show this article to him. I hope that this may clear up some things he is confused about, why it is so wrong. I’m so happy to have found this. Honestly I hope this saves our marriage. I hope he feels guilty enough to leave her alone and never bring anyone else into our bubble.

    Our situation had an issue. We were not as open as we were before. I don’t know how it got to that but it did. We lived with his mother, stayed in a guest room sharing it with our 3 yr old son. It was a low time for us and I can now understand what is happening. I’ve tried to understand. I knew they both had feelings for each other but they were “hiding” it which they thought would make it OK. It’s not. It’s giving it the chance to open the door to becoming physical… exactly what everyone was trying to explain to him that he could not understand. He’s hard-headed, but he’s not a bad person. I don’t think he knew he was doing this. Hopefully if he reads this he will get more interested in his problem and not in her.

    I want him to cut ties completely but all I could get him to do was no talking unless it’s at work and there is a work related reason to be near her. He accepted. I hope they both feel as terrible as they made me feel. That’s they’re problem. They thought I was being selfish and childish and jealous. No sir, they are. I don’t deserve to stress over yall’s petty drama. Take that shit and burn it. Don’t ever come back for the ashes. It’s gone, and it isn’t ever coming back.

  13. Anonymous

    My wife of 20 years had / has an emotional affair with a married man living close by who is in our circle of friends. We have 3 great teenage boys and my wife and I have been mostly happy in our marriage and have always loved each other, getting through tough times and celebrating our successes with friends and family for over 20 years. As we approached our 20th anniversary, I noticed a definite change in her. Despite things going well, she was drifting away from me emotionally. Her behaviour was getting more sexualized but she was repelled by me. Not to brag, but I have a gym body and easy on the eyes so it’s not that I am unattractive. I just got to be that way in her eyes somehow. We had a spa weekend to celebrate our 20th and she had no physical interest in me, using avoidance strategies. I didn’t want a fight so I just tried to make the best of it. We went on a lavish trip to a beautiful location and again the avoidance behaviour was very evident. All intimacy was by me pushing my agenda on her. The room had two queen beds in the suite, she would sleep in her own bed and not visit me in mine. That Christmas things hit a tipping point. She was just plain mean to me, my feelings had no consequence to her and it showed. I called her on it and things erupted. I felt that someone was secretly taking all the love and interest she once had in me. I was right but would not find out until 8 months later. In that time we go through a cycle of her being a cold bitch, we fight, she gives make up sex, then it starts all over again. She is always texting in private and makes sure I don’t see what she is doing or writing on it. I ask her if she is seeing someone, she says no. I ask her to explain her behaviour and she says she is confused. She says we are not meant to be monogamous. Ya, so what? Are you seeing someone else? No, no, no she lied to me over and over again. For anyone out there who has suffered this frustration, you know the pain it brings as you try to maintain the marriage for yourself and the kids. I decide to investigate on the low down. First discover she is sexting regularly with sexy picture exchanges. Then find out she is watching porn, something she not want me to know or entertain doing with me. By hacking her phone I uncovered the sexting message trail and who my enemy was. There were ‘I love u messages which really broke my heart. I was in total shock with who it was. She has agreed to stop contact with him but I know she desperately wants to. She has done well to make up for her actions and our intimacy is much better. I just don’t trust she can maintain control of her emotional feelings she developed for this guy. Worse, his name comes up with friends and he is invited to similar social events. This always picks at the scab and does not bring out the best in me. Obviously I’m still trying to heal otherwise I would be sharing this with all of you. 🙁

  14. Anonymous

    I am married and been having having an emotional affair for almost 10 years now! And before people slam others for these emotional affairs let me remind you! None of you really know how some of these other affairs may have came about aside from your own experiences. So it’s unfair to bash others based on your own scorn! That having been said here is my story: I have been having an emotional affair for the past 10 years with my husband’s friend! Now realizing this sounds horrible let me first say this was never suppose to happen I didn’t like him at first. But he spent so much time at my house and was around and my husband pushed so much for me to get to know him that well when I got to know him I realized he was a pretty amazing person! My husband is an asshole and tends to blow his friends off a lot and when his friend needed him the most my husband pawned his friend off on me to counsel and talk to. We have been close friends ever since! Does my husband know this (no) he does not! We have been through illness, death, children being born, you name it, each others’ motivation, support, we have bitchfests, talk about what we want out of life and how people don’t understand us! Or how we know we’re crazy but we really don’t give a shit because at this point we are too old to care! We don’t pressure each other to leave our spouses or girlfriends and we have never had sex, kissed, hugged, not even held hands! Most we have ever done is sit next to each other on the couch! Don’t get me wrong there is tons of sexual tension but we do have restraint! When the time is right and life allows or if life allows and we are single then we can make a go but until then… why not just let it be! My relationship with my husband is happiest when I talk to his friend because his friend makes me happy; he brightens my day! He fills all the gaps that my husband doesn’t fill! You can’t expect your spouse to give you everything you want! We set such high expectations that when we do get in a relationship the person we get with can’t meet them! Those that say all emotional affairs lead to sex… I’m living proof that they do not always lead to sex and that you can have a relationship with someone without any physical contact at all!

  15. Anonymous

    I divorced my alcoholic husband after 12 years of marriage (on paper). He’s not a young man anymore but still enjoys drinking with friends at the bar almost daily. I never wanted a divorce, but I had to file to maintain my own dignity. He swore he never cheated, but I’m sure he had his share of women friends. As what happens to many drunks that have had successful careers and lived the good life, the drinking takes over and they go downhill. He only had enough money to rent a room when he moved out. After one year he wanted to come back to live with me again and after several talks, I agreed. His intentions weren’t exactly clear. He also had a woman friend who was also looking for a place to stay and since I had another extra bedroom I agreed. I liked her upon meeting her. The day she moved in she was drunk. I couldn’t believe it! Well long story short, she turned out to be a trouble maker, drunk when not working, and tried to make it clear to me that my ex husband was her best friend and vice versa. She had deep seated issues, the same as my ex. I finally managed to get them both out of the house. My ex blames me for the drama he says I created due to my “jealously” of her and accusations that were not true. Why would he leave out pertinent information from me that she was a full blown alcoholic and that they had been enabling drunk buddies for over a year before she moved in. I managed to throw both of them out. He still wants to remain friends with me, but never again. He is an abusive person who pretends to not know the result of his foolish choices. Good riddance!

  16. Anonymous

    I met a Dallas PD Officer 2 plus years ago; he responded to a 911 call I placed. It wasn’t an active all, but to meet a complainant, i.e take a report. It was a Saturday in June in Dallas. He arrived by himself and I was by myself. Typically, I date other types of men, but he caught my attention and I caught his. He stayed for 3 hours taking a stalking report and called numerous times after he left. I remember feeling so mesmerized by this officer. He was and still is the sexiest man I know. We got along wonderfully. He was married, so we agreed to have only a physical relationship. It sounds terrible, but I think we both wanted it. As time grew, he became attached to me and I to him, although this was never intended. He told his wife and yet she stayed with him. He would call me first to tell me what was going on in his day, his decisions, his thoughts, his wants, his needs, his dreams. For some reason, I am made to feel guilty by some. I gave him what he wasn’t getting from his wife. He told me it was a sexless marriage, perhaps. Once I said to him, “fuck me,” and he later confided how much that meant to him… to know a woman wanted him, his touch, him. She controls him, gives him chores, treats him like a child. He is a very capable and wonderful man. I saw that in him, I respect that in him, and I still want him, if only he knew how much. Of course its complicated and I don’t know if I will ever see him again, but I loved him in a way she could never. Her love is controlling and imposing and conditional, mine… I just the love the man, and am so proud of who he is; he is a good man, who deserves to be loved and happy, however he sees fit. I miss him, but I just pray he finds happiness and the respect he deserves. He knows I am a good woman, and that is the most important thing in the world to me, is for him to know that. I do love him and miss him.

  17. Anonymous

    Hi Everyone, My husband of 26 years was caught in an EA by me. I suggested the many ways he was acting weird and told me I was crazy. My bottom line is we are trying to overcome this affair of 2 1/2 years with his co-worker. I have to either accept this mess and work it out or cut my losses and walk away. Trust is the problem. It will be his loss and not mine. The other woman, is married, has grand kids, and serves on various charity boards. My husband isn’t the first of her victims and will not be the last. Prayers for all of us.

  18. Anonymous

    Here is my scenario. Please don’t judge me, as I have struggled with this for a long time! I am a married male and I am in my second marriage. I have been married to my second wife for nineteen years and for the most part they have been good. We have three children. But we are not as compatible emotionally as I would have hoped. We rarely fight, except about raising the children (ages 18,16,16, all girls). I have a female friend that lives in another city and we have been friends for over thirty years! We are extremely compatible in every way and should have taken our relationship to the next level, but I let my what turned out to be my first wife get in the way when I was in college. This friend and I always stayed in touch, because the bond is just so strong. We can go a while without speaking, but it is as if we are soul bound companions! We have reconnected again and have even visited. She is married and lives in my home area. She is married with children that are a little younger than mine. We are both “fighting” it, but I can tell the attraction is there. IT ALWAYS HAS BEEN! I can’t help but think that one day we will find each other. As I stated before, there is such a strong natural bond! The spouses have met, but when we were all together, it was as if they didn’t even exist. I have spoken of her to my wife many times. My wife can’t help but know about this friend, because she has been such an integral part of my life. I’m certain she talks about me to her husband. I’m so confused. I know that there are definitely emotions playing here, but I also have tremendous loyalty to my family. If I were to…..OMG….My heart is pulling me apart and aching! Thoughts???

  19. Anonymous

    Thanks for writing this. I did like some of the responses but there were too many to read through all of them.
    I myself am in the early stages of an emotional affair with a much younger woman that I’ve known for about 16 years. Strangely enough her husband was the one that sparked my interest a few months ago. He jokingly suggested that I move in with his wife so that he could move out!
    I care about all the people involved including myself so I’m establishing clear boundaries before something stupid occurs.
    If she does get a divorce I want to date her. That’s the real reason I’m not allowing this to go too far.
    Again thanks for writing this, it really helps me to do the right thing.

  20. Anonymous

    I’m in what I think is an emotional affair. Our reunited relationship is secret, we share in major events, understand each other in ways his spouse can’t, gift giving, etc. Now it’s progressed to casual touching… a bump on the shoulder, pat on the back, hugs… this is all in the workplace. And a sense of “familiarity” and a LOT of sexual energy. But it’s so good to feel so understood when your own family and friends don’t understand and to be supported and encouraged by someone. I give him respect and encouragement. Validation. You don’t know until you’re in it truly how hard it is to break away. It’s the right thing to do. I was in denial and just saw it as a friendship…until I wanted more time with him and was having fantasies about him. I am ending it, but it is painful, as painful as if we really were in a relationship. It’s a lose-lose-lose.

  21. Anonymous

    I have been married for over 25 years with three children… a good marriage with its normal challenges. We love each other. Here’s the thing; for several years my wife has developed a friendship with another married man mostly through our kids’ sports, including managing teams. When sports stopped, they maintained contact to keep up to date on things by going out for coffee, which is all fine and innocent. My wife is very open and honest. In the past year visits have escalated; they’ve gone out for drinks, almost weekly, and she tells me everything. Like I said, she’s very honest. I respect her openness and honesty, her maturity, her love and respect for me, her freedom, and her friendship. I also know her friend as an acquaintance. He’s physically fit, handsome, and very successful at everything he does; he’s a good man, father, and husband.
    He has also told his wife about his visits with my wife. So it appears all is fine.
    I am on this site to ask the question: what do others think? Are there any stats that might help predict the future direction of their friendship and situation??

  22. Anonymous

    this is for #55, you should stop intimate hugging and kissing on the cheek.. a simple handshake will do… that is not appropriate behavior, simply ask her stop.If it feels wrong, you should not do it!!!!!

  23. Anonymous

    I am having a difficult time separating the affection (intimate hugging, kiss on cheek) from a married woman half my age from my growing feelings of affection for her. She has in no way gone past any boundary but I feel she is using me as a father figure when she needs affection. My wife is aware and we have discussed it. How do I determine what this is?

  24. Anonymous

    I am so confused about this. I married my husband and he started checking out single’s websites. He says he is bored and is only just looking around?? I don’t understand this behavior!! But now his ex-wife has found him on a website that he gets on, and she has tons of fake profiles. She is a pretty 21 year old women, and he thinks he is chatting with her. He is 61 years old, has been behaving like this for 5 years and we are now SEPARATED!!! I cannot take any more. I told him that it is her. He totally refuses to believe me. She has divorced her 4th husband and is trying DESPERATELY to get him back. What will he do when she walks through the door, she is 52, overweight. Their divorce was bitter and mean. I know she suffers from cultural differences, loneliness,and I think mental illness. They have been divorced 15 years but she pursues him nonstop. I think they both are nuts!!! Is he involved in a emotional affair??

  25. Anonymous

    Number 5, Hi. I totally agree with you. I’ve been married to this fool for about two years now, but we have been together for 15 years. I always wonder why it is that I walk around with a frown on my face, all day, everyday?….Hmm… let me see, could it be because my husband has accused me of sleeping with every male member of his family, including his own father and his maternal grandfather (deceased for almost three years now) which is sickening, or the fact that he accused me (and still does) of having climbed on top of his uncle and bouncing on his d***, or for “why I began getting and having contractions (ooh wee was I in some f****** pain) with our first child”. I was on the toilet because my mucus plug had fallen out and I immediately began feeling the pain of labor and delivery pains…and contractions while calling him for help; he heard me but chose to ignore me…..I stayed. Baby No. 2, I stayed, and No 3, I’m still here. Married, still here.
    I think it was and still is a pattern that some men hold over women that take advantage of them that the men use to their fullest. They feel no remorse, especially if they are doing drugs and or alcohol. Mind-altering substances mixed with a weak and feeble mind is not a good combination. These types of people (men) will end up taking all of what has hurt them as children and end up taking it out on you. He accused me then and still does, just to be able to sneakily cheat. Why are people like that to the nice ones (such as myself)?????

  26. Anonymous

    Anyone have a husband who has an emotional affair with their biological child who is not a teenager but an older adult? My husband and his 48 year old son act like two homosexuals when they talk with each other and paw over each other. I am not the only one who notices it. The son influences my husband on everything and has cussed me out because I told him to stop interfering in our lives. This son’s own marriage is a complete sham and no children. He is a self-centered, self-absorbed and manipulates/controls every body he comes into contact with. My husband is a total wimp and refuses to tell him to mind his own business. My husband is extremely insecure and his ego apparently is stroked by this son. Unfortunately, this son has interfered so much with our marriage that any love we once had has been destroyed. This is a very, very sick relationship and it is sickening to see a grown man in his 70’s being played like a fiddle. The thing is – my husband could have a very loving wife BUT he’s destroyed all respect and any love I ever had for him. I don’t want another relationship – not ever. Marriage counseling is not an option – my husband would just lie – he puts on a front in front of people he wants to impress. I live my own life and stand my ground. I’m sorry I ever married him.

  27. Anonymous

    It seems to me you would be better off without either of them…..your only other option is to go into therapy with or without your husband….

  28. Anonymous

    Hi … I am a professional in a reasonably stable marriage, with two grade school kids. A year ago met up on social media with this old friend from college of 2 decades ago, he is seemingly very happily married with kids similar ages too. We live in distant continents. But being that we have a lot of similar interests n the gift of gab and fun and mildly flirtatious natures, plus some perpetual mutual attraction, one thing got to another and in no time, I went deep into an emotional bind unto him, finally getting into the rosy dreams and desire to have a soulful union with him and so I fantasized n suggested in a fantasizing manner about someday fulfilling this desire just once. That suddenly caused him to hit reality and he rallied back so quickly and suddenly that I never expected so much of a cold frozen change. Thereafter he has been present for emotional support to get me through this mess and has consistently encouraged me to come to reality because he doesn’t want to complicate matters and wreck his family that he feels responsible for and loves and understands that realistically I wouldn’t want to break my family either ( from my side my main concern is kids, my husband can sometimes be a depressed verbal jerk at times and often, although deep down his morals are solid and he is there to support me in times of real drastic needs… he is a great and caring dad too but has little control over his temper and verbal upheavals, causing a very disconcerting home atmosphere and that bothers me a lot especially considering the kids. I feel really stuck sometimes. Don’t know if I should stay or leave. But I worry for the kids. Told him we should change our dynamics but he always thinks I am the troubled party, not him!). My married guy friend seems to be a great husband who listens to his wife and serves her well, reasonably mild mannered and gentlemanly. I adore those qualities and feel jealous of his wife at times. I wish I had such a nice family life and marriage. Although I admit I have never seen this family. And the little bit I know about them is from what he had shared in the early days, a year ago. Now with time and a lot of help from friends, I am recovering quite well from the difficult needy attachments and desire for him. We have decided to meet and befriend each other as families. We still text each other every few days ( few and far between, brief and neutral topics, none of the passionate philosophical and deep discussions about life and our goals etc etc as before… he has determinedly changed the tune of the relationship). It seems like he is there for me if I have a need or ask questions but he does but rarely so, initiates conversations with me. He feels guilty that his wife will not like it if she knows of our friendship… she is a possessive woman. My husband knows of this friend but trusts that I will not cross lines and is ok with a friendship with him if it is strictly platonic. He expects me to keep good boundaries ( which is what I find hard but am keeping conversations to dispassionate topics). But I am the one who misses not seeing him and every two days or so of not hearing from him, I say hello n keep some conversation or contact alive with him. I still miss him. I look for him. I search him out. It is taking a lot of time from me and preventing me from investing in my present, my career and my family. I am still only half present here for my family. My husband continues to be in his own solitary space, we lead parallel lives with different interests and different sleep wake cycles and our only common thread seems to be our kids and their future. There is still hope perhaps if we try hard. But I feel he is a flogging horse, only half present mentally for us with his own issues. I wish I could freely associate always with my friend – I still lean on him sometimes for some advice and emotional needs. But he prefers not, for his family’s sake.

    What should I do? I feel lost and confused and like the rest of my life is doomed to be lived in this prison!!! And suddenly will find myself too old in a decade. While now I still bear some charm and good looks. I am NOT interested in pursuing any other affairs or connect with anyone else to replace this guy. Even if I had to fully cut off from him. It’s him or nothing. Advice? Ideas?

  29. Anonymous

    My spouse has been having an emotional affair for almost 2 years now. In looking back, it started out as his just being nice, but when he made sure we sat next to her at school events, would tell me about some of their common interests, and even suggested I become friends with her, I began to wonder. The alarm went off when she sent me an email picture of the two of them with their heads together and smiling at one of the school events. He swore it was just a joke and that they thought I’d think it was funny…wrong! He promised he’d quit emailing her and not interact with her anymore. He was only kidding himself. Things calmed down over the summer, but have started back up again. She has purposely positioned herself near us at school events or walked in front us numerous times throughout the event. I found out they’d begun texting, which he denied until I told him to stop lying to me, so he came up with a lame reason for their texts, all of which he’d deleted, knowing I’d be upset if I found them. Since we had taken two cars to a recent school event, I left after it was over, not wanting to be exposed to her behavior while waiting for my son. My husband and son came home an hour later. My husband barely talked to me and immediately went upstairs. I went up 10 minutes later to ask him a question and found him masturbating. Needless to say, it felt like I was punched in the stomach. I no longer trust, respect, or believe anything he says. Emotional affairs hurt and his recent behavior has driven the spike deeper. I’m to the point I doubt our marriage will survive.

  30. Anonymous

    My fiancee and I have been together for 4 years and I have felt like an outsider within her circle of friends from the beginning. She shows her loyalty towards her friends more than me, her man. There has been a constant pattern of her showing disregard towards my suspicions of her clearly being sexually involved with numerous members of her friends circle. I get lied to about her communication with certain friends whom she has previously agreed with me to cease interacting with. There is always a denial of her flirtatious behaviour. The amount of sneaking about she is always being called out for is a joke. My ex’s all were clear in showing their attraction towards me but my lady barely initiates intimacy and rarely replies to my flirty texts. I feel like she is cheating on me with multiple people, and using me for the simple fact I have a lot of money.

  31. Anonymous

    My husband is talking to a woman at work. I figured it out two years ago. He denies it but I’ve noticed too many things that are familiar because he’s done it before several years ago. Back then he made me start to think I was crazy until the co worker admitted to me that they had been good friends for a long time all the while he kept telling me he couldn’t stand her. He had talked to her about every personal thing between him and I and our family and our life together . He gets defensive and mean. He blows up when I try to talk to him about it now just like he did back then.He sees what it does to me and how hurtful it is but he doesn’t care because he still continues talking to her. He has crushed my self esteem and my spirit. I feel so defeated and alone. I don’t know what to do to resolve this.

  32. Anonymous

    My husband is a joke. I have been with him for 26 years and in all that time I have been completely faithful. I’ve always had this feeling about him that he really didn’t want to be married but felt trapped because we had kids together. His the sort of person that wants to appear to be the good guy and wants everyone to like him. He would be very happy for me to leave him so he can say, she left me. He’s always saying to me things like, why don’t you just leave, or if he sees another down & out kind of guy on the street, he’ll say, there’s your boyfriend. Recently, I had to go to another state for an operation he wouldn’t take time off work to go with me but he could of his work would of allowed him. Whilst I was away, he was cold & distant but updated his facebook profile picture, which made he look very happy. About 5 years ago he started using facebook which I didn’t know about he didn’t invite me to be a friend I don’t remember how I found out but by the time I did he mostly had old female school friends which he said he never contacted (lies) and then said he was just looking at what they were up too. He did get rid of some of them but he had message them which I saw but this was before he knew how to set up privacy on his facebook wall. Over the last few years facebook and female friends have been and ongoing issue mainly. He can’t help himself but lie and I always catch him out. He said he was only looking at family on facebook not true his family hardly post on it. He constantly looks at facebook and lies about doing this. He said he doesn’t use linkedin but then accidently mentioned it. He has more than 1 email account, lied about this. He takes his phone everywhere he goes, even to the toilet. Only time he doesn’t take it with him is when we go for a walk together. I mentioned I didn’t like the phone in the bedroom. He didn’t care, he even slept with it under his pillow. Recently whilst I was away having my operation a new female work mate appeared as one of his friends. Her page was open and I could see her stuff. He has previously worked with her and when she resigned from her previous job he was very upset and I think depressed he eventually quit the job too, the first job he had ever quit. Then he got a new job after 3 months in a different state (mentioned her once in that time). But about 1 month after starting his new job all of a sudden he was interviewing her for a job where he works 60 hours a week. I was upset because I didn’t even know she had applied(he contacted her about applying), he had mentioned 2 other people for the job but not her. He gave her the job but apparently they are only work mates, then the next time they don’t talk, then the next day it’s only about the kids, then the next day she’s really social. His eyes light up when he talks about her and I can’t say anything negative about her because he becomes very defensive. Such as why is she a facebook friend, which he claimed was a mistake, he had gotten a lot of friend requests and he was going to unfriend her but wanted (here’s the classic line) talk to her about it first. I was lying in a hospital bed whilst he was telling me this. 2 weeks later they were still facebook friends but her wall was no longer open. He ended up unfriending me, when I said I wanted to come home (I hadn’t even mentioned her). He just yelled at me to stay another week. When I did end up going home, he said he had thought about leaving me 4 days already this year and didn’t think we got along and we were really only …. surprise …together because of the kids. I didn’t say anything that day. A few days later I mentioned something briefly about that female work mate and a friend request, he thought I said, a friend request or something like that had come up from her and he quickly unfriended her. It was really weird. I did ask him him if he thought about having an affair with her or if he wanted to, he paused then said, no she had a boyfriend (not exactly an answer to the question). For the next few weeks he expected me fool around with him in the bedroom I couldn’t have sex due to my operation but he only thinks about this old needs. I agreed to go along with it, I must be crazy and no self worth but I wanted to be close to my husband. Then her name came up again and I realised once again he was still bloody hell lying to me.. wake up I say to myself. In all this time I have been there for him, supported him, listened to him. When we walk down the street he has wandering eyes (said he can’t see without his glasses) but I can always catch him out on a lie, I asked what are you looking at (I see him looking a other women, especially young Asian women) he said, he was looking to see who was in the bars we seem to always have to walk past (but for the last 9 months, he couldn’t see without his glasses, finally the truth came out). His also looking at all sorts of things on facebook but likes to stop these days and say, see this is what I’m looking at (picture of monkey), lies, I can see the reflective in the glass doors behind him). He is just trying to me nice because he wants sex. That’s all I am to him these days. For the last 3 nights he has finally left his phone out of the bedroom, I don’t know why. I have tried many times and ways to have a calm constructive conversation with him about the sneaky things I feel his doing. There is no room in a relationship for me,him and his phone and her. He shuts down for days and won’t discuss it any further. But last night I just couldn’t stand it any longer and I checked his phone ( I know from sharing an ipad with him that he deletes the history etc). I’ve never checked him emails (I’ve wanted too) I’ve tried to give him privacy and space but I’ve had enough. I thought he’d catch me, I expected him to come out of the bedroom but he didn’t. You know I think he left it out because he wanted me to check it, remembering he wants me to leave. I checked it. LinkedIn, no surprise who’s on his list (his female work mate) and some other grubs. Gmail messages to people we both know that he could of mentioned would of been no big deal. Facebook stupid dirty guy stuff, not surprised but a few new names on his friend list he’s been sneaky, kept his friend number the same just replaced some friends( most are grubs). Private messenger that apparently we only used for our kids, not true. He had messengers from quite a few different women (no surprise old female school mate, two way conversation, female navy mate – why he is watching her career – she’s married with a baby and I didn’t even know they worked together, so why are they messenger each other, couple of Asian ladies who are also married, recently lady I have no idea who she is, not on his friends list), so all secrets and lies. When does he have time to message these women, whilst he’s at work, he said he doesn’t get reception (another lie, he messaged my daughter via facebook just a few days ago). So the man lies and knows he going to get caught but wants that. I know maybe I shouldn’t of looked at his phone. But it’s all out now. When he got up at 3.30am and I was still awake, I have slept in a different room I saw he very quietly walk past he looked other at me but he didn’t see that my eyes were open and he picked up his phone and took it back to bed with him. I went into him a few minutes later, at first he pretended to be asleep(why) then I asked him if he was awake, he rolled over, and said yes (I’m sure he thought he was about to get lucky), I said, hang on a second and I went and my sons door and the bedroom door, he had moved him phone and rolled over as if he wanted me to jump on him. I put my reading glasses and read some words I’d written down. Mentioning things, like wandering eyes, wandering mind, sneaky, lost of trust and freedom (took about 30 seconds of his time)and that he female work mate wasn’t probably not the problem but just caught up on the underlining issues here (I looked up at him when I mentioned her name, he had a little smile on his face). When I finished speaking, he said, like what, I said I’m not giving you any examples (I knew if I did that he would lie about it all and make me feel crazy and stupid, or he would just shut down and tell me to leave), as I was about to walk away, he said, what why now. I walked away back to the other room. He got up and carried on with him usual routine and when to work. Of course he didn’t say goodbye or ring me today. When he get homes tonight, he won’t speak to me either. After a 2 or 3 days he would say, why don’t you leave or he might even do it this time himself. Who knows? All I know is what is done is done (I’m sure he left he phone out even or me to read it or hoping it would make me feel like having sex with him). I can’t and won’t because he now makes my skin crawl he creeps me out. I’m sorry if this is a long message, there is a lot more but don’t worry I’m not going to type anymore. There is no happy ending.

  33. Anonymous

    My husband & I have been together for 5yrs and married nearly a yr. In those 5 yrs, he has had several intimate emotional affairs with women he knows. As i am a very sexually open minded woman anyway, he thought that i would get a laugh out of these text messages and fb messages and just laugh it off. I held it together for a long time and then it all came out. There were explicit photos sent back & forth, explicit personal discussions between them. This went on for a couple of years with 3 different women with whom he knew and one of them had house sitted for us on a few occasions. I confronted him and told him how i felt…Since then, everything had been ok.. (or so i thought) Next thing i know, a few weeks ago, i find he’s been stalked by some strange woman on fb and they started texting online. He claims he told her to go away and that he was happily married etc but she just kept insisting he was hers…I told her to back off from my husband and then i recieved a threat from her that she was going to come around to my house (my husband works away) and put a bullet in my head! Ok..so…what he thought was harmless fun and a bit of a laugh turned out to get nasty. we blocked her off his fb page and any of her friends and hopefully will never hear from her again. Then a week later, we meet a young girl who is the girlfriend of a friend of my husband’s..Next thing i know..they have become ‘good’ friends. The night they met, I had a sick feeling in my stomach and as he is a natural flirt anyway, i could see a connection between them. I hate to admit this but i checked his fb inbox and there were pages and pages of conversation between them about our marriage and her relationship with her partner and then she gave him her phone number and they have been talking on the phone quite a bit whilst he is away..now every time I hear him get a text or mention her name, my stomach flips in knots. He says he’s not interested in her like that and that she’s just great to talk to but my gut is telling me otherwise…They play silly games on the phone together and make jokes and she ‘gets’ him. What do I do and what do I make of this? I don’t want to tell him who he can and cant be friends with but I have a little red flag going up on this one….

  34. Anonymous

    I have been in a corrupted marriage for 8 out of 15 years. My husband has been in both emotional/sexual affairs, mostly emotional. I’m ready to be out of this marriage. It has been an emotional “rollercoaster”

  35. Anonymous

    Met a foreign girl through work, in a real emotional relationship, she’s single and 30. I’m 50 and married. Started off her asking me to meet for a drink and her telling me about guys she was dating and letting her down. I decided I would take her out a few times for lunch, which then led to nights out. We decided to stop and she would start dating guys more her age, but then we would text again and talk about the good times we used to have together. That’s when I started to fall in love with her, we haven’t slept together, she feels she can’t cross the line of sleeping with a married man. Been going round in circles for the last four years, but although we’ve both tried to break away we end up back to meeting for coffee, lunch etc. We are always going to be more than friends, and I think emotional affair is the best way to describe it, I know people will criticise but until you have been in this type of situation you will never realise how powerful and frustrating love and lust can be

  36. Anonymous

    My husband has an emotional affair with his sister.
    I know, gross right?
    Well, because they are brother sister they think they can get away with it and that I can’t stop them. They think they have a “normal” brother-sister relationship. I’ve bee to counseling and I hardly mentioned the details and my psychologist immediately flagged their relationship as not respecting boundaries and not being normal at all.
    It would be easier to deal with if it was someone I could get rid of.
    The sister knows what makes my husband tick and she encourages him to see everything negative in me and preys on his insecurities. He likes his ego stroked a lot and she does that alright!!!
    He always hides his phone and takes calls with her for hours privately. She buys him underwear!!! She sent him a huge thank you letter that was soo gushy about how special our wedding-honeymoon was for her…it sounded like they were the ones getting married. She wore black to our wedding and took the microphone at the reception and did an inappropriate/uninvited speech about how special her brother is and cried like she was losing him forever. She’s divorced and expects my husband to be at her beck and call, fixing things for her all the time. Fun times! Wish I’d payed more attention before we got married. We have two kids now and she’s not going away.

  37. Anonymous

    Okay 27/28, I see nothing wrong with open marriages as long as that’s what both people want whole heartedly, but I see something very wrong with coming onto a site with a bunch of traumatized betrayed spouses/SO’s and casting judgements right back onto the fact that for most of us, we really want someone faithful. If everyone deserves the kind of relationship they want, then monogamy is no exception and it happens to be the majority preference. This might be a good arrangement for some, but it’s certainly not for everybody and I think having been hurt as badly as a lot of us have, it becomes less likely that we could ever make that work without compromising our own emotional needs, which yes in this case come first because it was the original agreement of the relationship that there would be fidelity.
    I find your post more judgemental as expecting someone to be faithful when that was the implicit standard when falling in love with our partners, is not “owning” someone as you say. It’s a perfectly reasonable expectation in adult partnerships and hard to rewire ourselves on due to everything we’ve learned and processed growing up in matters of love and relationships. And I guarantee that a lot of straying partners on here or mentioned here would be willing to relinquish their hurt partners’ commitment to only being with them physically/emotionally.
    I understand where you’re coming from on a different lifestyle that may work out better when there’s openness and less restriction, but owning someone is more like a cheating spouse who manipulates and dominates their spouses feelings because they’ll do what they like and refuse to be questioned, but expects their partner to be faithful. It’s no owning someone when you make your own sacrifice to “forsake all others” in return for your spouse forsaking all others. So your use of “owning” for all partners that desperately want fidelity from the love of their life, comes off and more narrow-minded and judgemental than anything.
    I know you’re trying to help and this conversation has it’s place, I just don’t think it belongs here and directed towards people trying to overcome that trauma. The last thing a lot of us want to hear is that we’d be better off letting him have her/him (or another).

  38. Anonymous

    My husband is in group msg with a mate and another female. The female he has only known for 4weeks and met her through this friend, he became friends with her instantly on Facebook and has been in a group msg with the 2 ever since I have told my husband I am not comfortable with him being in this msg as it is every day all day . He keeps telling me that they are just friends and they all have certain things in common when I ask what they talk about he just says stuff. I finally looked at his phone and found a couple of inappropriate msg within the group admittedly he doesn’t msg a lot but it still bothers me. My husband was cranky that I looked at the msgs but says he has nothing to hide and that he can’t leave the msg and if he does he would then have to get her phone to start texting. How am I supposed to feel about this?

  39. Anonymous

    My wife is having an emotional affair with a co worker. It has been going on since confronted for a month. That is when they actually talked about feelings. They had talked for longer than that. We have 2 young kids. Overall have a pretty good marriage. We have been married for 7 together for 11. I just cant believe this was her. She has a job that requires her to work 55 hours plus for a portion of the year. She is going to individual counseling hoping it will help her make a decision between me and him. Is there any hope? She has given me little reassurance that she wants to be with me.

  40. Anonymous

    My husband also had an emotional affair with a co worker. It was going on the 1 1/2 years. We have been married for 25 years. He came back from a business trip and I thought he was acting wierd. So, I just put two and two together and figured it out. I started to check his phone records and I found out he was talking to her everyday all day long. I finally confronted him and he said they were just friends, which was bs. He admitted he had feelings for her but he cut everything off. He says he loves me and wants to work it out. I am having a very difficult time with this.should I divorce him or try to work it out? I don’t want to throw it all away, but it is killing me!!

  41. Anonymous

    hello number 36 – you are totally justified in feeling the way you do – it sounds as though you feel your boundaries are being crossed, it depends on how your relationship functions, but maybe going out somewhere ‘neutral’ where you can talk to your husband kindly and honestly, might make you both connect about this issue and see it from both sides? You sound very strong and selfless, not the jealous type – so you’re on the right track for starters. I think these situations arise because we’re all human, love attention and feel flattered – finding a balance is the hardest part. best of luck to you both.

  42. Anonymous

    I had suspicions that there was more going on than a casual friendship between my husband and another woman for awhile, especially since he would be terse with me whenever we saw her at frequent events. I recently found out they had been emailing each other for quite awhile and he was sharing more with her in the emails than he was with me. I finally decided to ask him what made her so special after I saw an email that said he had programmed her phone number to a special ring tone, just so he had reason to smile if she called, plus another email saying he missed seeing her at a recent event. He said they were just friends and he talks to others at these same events, true, but she’s the only one he spends the most time with and was emailing frequently. I then found out he started texting her, but had deleted their messages. She, in turn, sent me a message wanting to get together to talk. I ignored it, asked him why she had sent me a message, and asked him why he deleted their text messages. Once again, he said it was nothing, but then said something to the effect that he told her I said there was a rumor going around that the two of them were an item…his terminology, not mine. I told him that this was between only him and me and that I never had and never would say anything to anyone, including her, about my suspicions that they were overly friendly with each other. Needless to say his telling her there was a rumor going around made being at the weekly events even more uncomfortable and we (she & I) avoided each other. The clincher is at a recent event she came over, sat down next to me, and proceeded to carrying on a conversation with my husband. The two of them chatted back and forth and carried on as though I wasn’t there. If I could’ve escaped, I would have, especially since his face really lit up while he was talking with her. Am I wrong to think they truly have an emotional connection? I’m deeply hurt, have told him so, and his response is there’s nothing going on and that I need to get over it. Thanks for listening!

  43. Anonymous

    Yep, it’s tough.
    We’re on the same page, I agree with you… hence, I have mixed feeling about my friend being honest and disclosing our relationship to her husband as long as I have reasons to believe that things are not “right in her head” (details in comment 396 on https://aboutaffairs.com/2008/07/the-other-woman-or-man-a-paradoxical-experience/ )

    For you, the only advice I can give you is to come across as trusting and non-threatening as possible so that he leaves the door open for you to see what’s going on in the friendship, and then provide it within your marriage.

    My opinion is that coming across as threatening would only cause, first secrecy and then well, the things that you don’t want to happen between your husband and his friend.


  44. Anonymous

    OK – 27/28 – thanks for your response, made me realise my ranting is emotionally charged on an atomic level..Hell hath no fury like a woman’s scorn.
    Let’s be clear ..my husband is totally honest, no grey areas, he is an open book – which is tough now and again, as the truth can hurt – but I respect him and love him for his straightforward attitude – although it does sting badly now and again, it’s by far the healthiest attitude, no secrets and no deception, full on communication. He is also very open minded and free thinking – but the attitude towards an ‘open relationship’ has grown over the last few years, prior to that he wouldn’t entertain the idea. Maybe it’s an age thing, a curiosity, a confidence he feels we can experiment with as we are so open with eachother? He doesn’t feel jealous, and this is where we differ. I do get the green eye – which is why I can’t condone another woman spending decent quality time with my husband, having a close friendship with him, let alone sleeping with him. He’s open to the idea of me having sex with another man or woman as he thinks I would enjoy it too – I guess it’s not a ‘WANT’ or a ‘NEED’ but more of an intrigue – also fuelled by the fact he fancies tons of women, one in particular – who he has said he does. At the moment I’m pissed off with him for voicing his interest in trying an open relationship – it’s hurt me, and for naming a woman he fancies – it’s made me feel angry, deceived ( how could he fancy her so much for so long and not tell me)(which goes against the ‘honesty’ theory) as I could not imagine ever seriously getting involved physically with another person. I know I’ll come out of this eventually, but it will take time and I think we will have more heated debates before we can move on – I just have to have faith that everything moves on, and ‘good comes from bad’. He would never pressure me into anything I didn’t feel comfortable with – so really, it’s up to me to move on and trust him that he won’t have an affair with his ‘friend’
    I’m glad to hear you came out of your shell and met people, – you probably have a zillion other sites you comment on – so thanks for sharing your opinion on this one.

  45. Anonymous

    Hi 32,

    Thank you for your response.

    Well, I see a huge difference between 1) letting a spouse know that it would be ok to have sex with others and 2) WANTING the spouse to have sex with others.

    The second one is deeply unhealthy. It is probably somebody who already had an affair, feels guilty and want the spouse to do the same, to reduce guilt. Or for some other reason, somebody wanting to end the relationship. Either way, not healthy – and very different from the first one in my mind. Besides, wanting the spouse to have sex with others is probably even more controlling than wanting the spouse to not have sex with others (letting the spouse know that he/she is free to do whatever he/she wants is the least controlling in my opinion).

    Well, my wife didn’t provide some emotional support I needed. She would have been plenty enough if she had.

    Well, let’s see, I went on social media to promote my blog for business reasons and interact with like minded people within my profession.
    I am an introvert and for 10 years didn’t have friends, male or female, don’t talk with people in the subway, eat lunch alone, kept conversations with colleagues to a minimum. But as I erred towards being self-employed, I felt that I needed to interact with people to generate business/sales. Does that qualify as “need another female friend as well as your wife?”.

    For some reason, I find men to be superficial and I like to relate with friends – as opposed to scream at a TV playing sports while drinking beer.

    Well, as it turns out, no, I didn’t think to myself that trying to have a relationship as similar as possible to a traditional friendship between girls, with clear boundaries and no secrets to my wife would be acting in a way my wife might find upsetting.


    Not sure I understand “not sure if he’ll be happy forever without this need of his being met”.
    Wanting to have a relationship with others is not a need, it is a want / a way to fill some other needs. If you figure out what the underlying need is, you can provide it within the marriage.
    Wanting the spouse to have sex with others is not a need either, it is a want. But whether it fills another want of wanting to reduce one’s own guilt, or to end a relationship, it is so fucked up that some mental health professional should get involved (either couple or individual therapy).

    A need is something like “I need to be free”, “I need people to love me”, “I need to do the right thing”… It is a general statement. The specifics of how to get it will determine the wants – but a want can be exchanged for another to get the need. The need will remain however.

    So, that’s what I think. I look forward exchanging a few more messages with you.


  46. Anonymous

    hello Number 27 & 28
    You sound like my husband – he wants me to have other sexual relationships but I don’t. His attitude is very similar to yours – why wasn’t your wife enough for you at the time? Why did you need another female friend as well as your wife? Didn’t you think to yourself you were acting in a way your wife might find upsetting? I don’t want to divorce my husband, I don’t own him – but I don’t get thrills out of having sex with other men, and I’m not sure if he’ll be happy forever without this need of his being met. What do you think?

  47. Anonymous

    I personally would hate to be curtailed, but I am 100% monogomous in my attitude towards my relationship with my husband, I don’t court male friends, I love having a laugh and being sociable, but I can’t cross a line – it would make me feel unfaithful and disloyal – and I love him truly, I still find him attractive and we have a good connection together – so this is why it hurts me so much that he can even entertain a friendship and wants a sexual relationship with another woman (the ‘friend’). I feel it takes away part of our closeness, part of the shared time and shared connection we have. I can’t get my head around the thought of : A. the physical contact B the emotional closeness of a friendship – this is the part I find so heartbreaking to find a solution with. I wish I could free him and say Go ahead – fuck her brains out,yes darling I know you love me the most, yes dear you always want to be married to me, so go ahead and be best friends with her and I’ll still be your loving dutiful wife of 20+ years – but I can’t do that – I’d rather be on my own and living my life without all the emotional upheaval. The worst part is trying to understand why he’s voiced his request? Where have I gone wrong? Or is it because he’s 49 and needs to indulge his mid-life crisis??? I don’t know how to stop resenting him – I should be glad he is able to be open and honest – black and white – we have always been like that – but I can’t see a way around this, I said I feel so incompatable right now, like a Penguin being married to a Lion. The hurt is relentless – I haven’t told anyone, but I think about him and her and his ‘open relationship’ request every day. I don’t own him, I don’t want to – he can do anything he wants – as long as it doesn’t involve another woman. Is that right or wrong? She isn’t even an architypal man-eater – more like mousey do-goody nicey nicey – I’m strong willed, gregarious,impulsive and pretty much the opposite. Is that the attraction? Half of me wants to confront her – and say what? ‘ I’m aware of your friendship? ‘ just how stupid and pathetic does it sound? then why do i feel so insecure and uncomfortable? She is married(and has been for 25yrs) to a man who is 20 years older than her – is it any wonder my husband has become such an attraction? I’m not actually scared of losing my husband – weird isn’t it – I just think it’s his loss if he throws it all away – so why does it bother me? Is it because I’m so hurt and feel he’s been disloyal? I’m sure it’s so easy for anyone reading this to see all the answers – but right now I can’t see anything atall, I’m a penquin living with a Lion who can’t swim. I wish I could respect his wants, but I know I cant, no matter how much he reassures me he loves me truly and only wants me forever, and there would never be any need to feel rivalled. Am I stupid?

  48. Anonymous

    Hi all,

    I’m the guy from 27 & 28. I don’t mean this message as a way to say that anybody’s guilty or anything (such a concept would be unhelpful and to a large extent not appropriate).

    I find it amazing that we have so many comments on the topic of EMOTIONAL affairs among all things, and the talk is about “oh, he wants to be with this girl, not me. what an asshole !!!”.
    I don’t see any talk about unmet needs, different views of life. Rather, a lot of finger pointing, and the most ironic thing is the finger pointing about the secrecy.

    My view is that “love, cherish, be loyal” is more important than “forsake all others”. To be 100% honest with you, I think that there is one person who should always come before a spouse and that is oneself (over the years I’ve compromised myself to abide by my wife’s rules/demands and that destroys a marriage). We need to understand each other and love and cherish each other. To me being loyal is not about what kind of penis-vagina activity occurred but rather want the best for the other person.
    And yes, I have a strong belief that people don’t own people. In my case, my wife would never cheat on me, for the simple reason that I told her she could have sex with others (I’m not talking about now that it’s over but throughout our relationship).

    What I’m saying is most helpful at the start of a relationship/affair. After 6+ months on the wrong road, not sure there’s a way back…

    There’s a reason why there is secrecy and guilt. Yes, that’s because it’s the forbidden fruit. Forbidden by whom? [I’ll let you fill in the blank] If the spouse is not threatening, then it is possible to be open and include the spouse in the friendship.

    I tried to get my wife and my friend to be friend, not have secrets… But guess what, one evening, I was chatting (text chat) with my friend about business matters (we’re doing similar things and sharing business advice). My wife came upstairs, for the sake of not hiding anything I left the window open and visible (as a matter of fact she could have scrolled up and seen things that were less business related all fine by me). Then my wife looks at it and says “It’s legit, BUT I’M STILL JEALOUS”. Then 30 min later, I go downstairs, ask my wife if she wants to speak with my friend (with the hope that the 2 will be friend), and she says “1) No and 2) I was feeling better when I was no longer thinking about her. You can speak with the girl but don’t tell me about it.” Wow, holy cow, despite my desire to be open, do you think that such a reaction would cause me to increase or decrease the level of secrecy I had with my friend? Just make a guess ok…

    Then there’s the fact that the friend meets some needs that were unmet before.

    To me, there are 2 main problems:
    – The secrecy. I think that what goes on between the 2 of them should be shared with you. And you should have an opportunity to see what is going on, what he likes in this friend. Being judgmental prevents that and just fuels secrecy.
    – Unmet needs. If you could get a better sense of what he finds outside your marriage you might be able to provide it in your marriage and therefore render the mistress useless.

    On the other page https://aboutaffairs.com/2008/07/the-other-woman-or-man-a-paradoxical-experience/ , it said “However, at the same time you know you are treating yourself as if you do not deserve someone who could be there for you 100%.”. Now let me get out of my nerves, because well it touches a nerve, and it applies equally to the spouse, the mistress… Why in the whole world would you feel the need to own somebody 100% of the time? And yes, by the way, it’s owning, not loving. I don’t see much love in wanting to control somebody. I have a great friend I can talk to a few hours a week, she supports me, I can honestly share my life, how I feel and be understood. In case of emergency, I can email her at work with a business question and I’ll get a faster and better answer than any research service would provide. Why in the whole world would I want more than that? Why would I want her to leave her husband and put her kid in limbo to live with me so that we can argue about who does the laundry, who takes out the trash and the fact that the roof does not need repairs. I have a friend. We can share good times – give each other compassion and support in bad times, basically have the best of both world (minus the silly sex – but I don’t see why I would potentially destroy 3-4 people’s lives for the sake of a few minutes of pleasure at most – more likely zero due to guilt) and respect the spouses.

    I see something disturbing about a mistress wanting the husband to leave her spouse.
    The spouse who would rather own the other spouse as opposed to love and cherish him/her, well I would like to not be nearly as harsh but I don’t know.

    I’m the guy from 27 & 28 but from now on I’ll just sign:


  49. Anonymous

    my husband of 20 years has always been a flirt and charmer – women love him, I have been jealous in the past, probably too much. We have always had a deep connection and have never been unfaithful to eachother – ever – but last year I had the inkling he was getting ‘friendly’ with a woman – ‘just friends’ – and I knew they had a major crush on eachother. I confronted him about this 6 months ago, and he just said ‘so what’. Basically – ‘get over it, it’s nothing’. I am constantly feeling undermined by this friendship – no matter how much he reassures me he only wants me and loves me more than anyone else in the world bla bla bla. 5 days before Christmas he asked if he could have a mistress – and named HER – yeah..SO..my husband now wants an open relationship ‘you know what I’m like’ – he said. I am totally utterly devastated, I knew he would never be unfaithful, but right now I feel like it’s just a matter of time. We have 2 teenage children, I am incredibly pissed off about the whole situation, I feel undermined and betrayed. He knows I will never consent to an open relationship let alone a mistress – but how long can he carry on without getting closer to this ‘friend’? I am feeling totally alone and so angry – I’m completely messed up – even though he’s not been physically unfaithful, the emotional side seems even worse. He says he could ask me as he knows we are open and honest with eachother – but I’m not sure I can ever see him in the same light again as I feel he’s totally betrayed me. Surely I am worth more, and btw I am very attractive, fit and run my own business – I am not needy, but right now I am really really hurt. Is he being selfish? Or am I being overly jealous? Is it fair? I haven’t ever been unfaithful, I don’t have male ‘freinds’ – I couldn’t sustain a freindship which I knew was making my husband unhappy or as uncomfortable as I am – but he thinks it’s nothing, and I’m just jealous. I am jealous – insecure, incredible really – as I am an independent fully grown woman, with friends and a life of my own. I wonder if I should draw a line under our 20 year marriage, think it was pure gold until he changed – then I can be free, I know the emotional fallout will be the worst in the world – and that’s the part I can’t put my teenage children through – they don’t deserve their lives becoming messed up because my husband needs to have a female freind who he would love to have as his mistress. If I say to him ‘ stop your freindship ‘ he will call me controlling and restricting – he will be miserable. What a complete mess. I can’t see any way out.

  50. Anonymous

    I’m the guy from 27. It’s an interesting article about emotional affairs in that usually articles speak about the prospect of sex/romance as part of the definition.

    For my part, when I realized I had such a great friend and that she shared characteristics with my wife my natural reaction was to ask my wife to become friend with her. Wife was not interested. What I thought was fucked up and lead me to reconsider my relationship with my wife, was that I wanted the 2 of them to be friends so that my wife (of 10 years) would understand me thru my friend’s eyes.

    Not sure what to think about “You have more excitement about contact with your friend than you do about contact with your primary partner.” – well another factor was that I had more excitement joking with the female dental assistant when she was cleaning my teeth than with my wife. Clearly a sign that marriage is doomed, but emotional affair???

    Finally, the above criterions could most likely apply in a traditional friendship between girls. If you’re taking sex/romance out of the definition, does that mean that girls friendship would also be emotional affairs?

  51. Anonymous

    In my opinion, Emotional affairs are much more damaging then physical affairs. I have experienced both and am presently suffering from the end of an emotional affair where I was convinced that I was madly in love with a married man ( I too am married with kids).
    Getting through the guilt and pain is going to be a big challenge but I’m doing it to save my family and my sanity.

  52. Anonymous

    She must be the same one I have been dealing with….she wants a promotion in her job so she is a stroker….strokes aging balding pot belly men for her next promotion and raise…on the move….and doesn’t care bout his family…

  53. Anonymous

    Yes it is wrong for any adult male to be a supervisor of another…and have an ongoing secret relationship with this person that is totally kept from his family….If it was not an affair he could be open and speak about this person at home with his family. And affair is just that …something that has to be kept secret in some kind of sick place in someones mind…I say sick because it makes everyone including the two parties sick.

  54. Anonymous

    Let me tell you that you are stealing someone else’s spouse. I have been verbally abused by my husband because some blonde bimbo dumped her husband and tried to take mine because she thought he was better. She broke up her family, yes she has children. He bought her gifts and I got nothing; I got, “We don’t have the money to exchange gifts”. Really! The entire time my children suffered because there father was having fun with someone else instead of being with his wife and family and working on his marriage. Those of you who interfere because you think the grass is greener then you need to obtain counseling or find someone else. The grass was not greener on my end because I suffered meaness and now I don’t have trust in my husband. Why would you take a father away from his children? Do you people ever think of that? No you only think of yourselves. You are selfish people and you need to think about the innocent children and spouses involved before you try to steal someone else’s spouse. You think this is a game or innocent it isn’t. You are playing with peoples lives. Have the guts to send the spouse home and say, “What about your children?” Grow up and get your own lives. I was left wallowing in the snow and need help when I was snow shoeing my husband left me there but was more than willing to give counseling to blondie train bimbo about her marriage.

  55. Anonymous

    My boyfriend has been having an emotional affair with his daughter. I think you are spot on. Good luck. You will need it.

  56. Anonymous

    I think that you may be feeling some jealousy towards the relationship. It seems to me that he may be trying to make up the time and care that he wasnt able to give to his daughter when she was a young child. There is a lot of guilt and sadness that comes with giving a child up for adoption. He maybe trying to deal with those feelings by trying to be there for her now and building a relationship. He should try to build a relationship but not to the point where it is causing hardship and emotional turmoil in your family. You should tell him how you feel and what would be acceptable from your perspective but go lightly. Remember the emotions he is going through right now are probably pretty strong and keep those thoughts in your mind as you talk to him.

  57. Anonymous

    My husband has a daughter 6months older than myself . I am 35 she is 36and he is 55 He was only 16 at the time of her birth so the daughter was adopted out. He has had contact with her all his life. In the last 12 months he has been lying to me says he is going to work but he has been hanging out with her taking her for coffee lunch ect. He totally adores her and will do anything for her even in neglect of his other children . And she loves him they go to the beach gym ect together. I have noticed money go out of our bank account and confronted him, it was gifts for her when we didn’t have a dime to our name! I have told him this makes me physically sick and somthing very weird is going on here, am I over reacting???

  58. Anonymous

    My husband had an emotional affair that turned into a sexual affair with a co-worker. Then the OW decided that “she will not be responsible for breaking up his marriage “. What?! After all she has done, NOW she has a conscience attack? She was “the love of his life” and he was devastated after this rejection. We had a good marriage before she came into our lives. Married 20 years ad 2 beautiful children. No marriage is perfect all the time. I suspected and confronted him, but he denied everything. Six months ago the truth came out and I wished I could just stop breathing. My husband gets angry when I talk about the affair, irritated when I’m sad , just generally very unsupportive. I believe he still longs for her. I was desperate to have him back and now that he is back, we are just not getting it right. I long for the happy times we had, I am still in love with the man he was. Stuck,stuck,stuck and afraid all the time.

  59. Anonymous

    I caught my husbands emotional affair through cell phone records. I cant trust him now,when i ask him why, he wont say a word. I have gotten the we were “just talking” line, they were talking several times a day for hours, I lose more love for him every day, he ruined our relationship and now wants me to forgive him and work things out,how is that possible? the trust i had for him is gone. This is so painful,but i have been trying to envision my life without him and even if i were alone i think it would be better than going through this mental turmoil everyday. I hear people say let it go and get past it ,do the people saying this know what it is like to be betrayed by their spouse? seriously? A spouse that has that much disrespect for their significant other , does not deserve another chance with a faithful spouse, I say let them go….

  60. Anonymous

    My significant other started his affair with a married woman emotionally. It hurts me because they seem to be more connected than me and him ever was. They trully seem like soulmates and it hurt me . I really am having a tough time with this. Sometimes I just wish i could run away and not come back. We have kids together and I just can’t face him. I think he likes making me miserable.

  61. Anonymous

    Boy am I stupid… I too am a victim of my own naive mind… my husband insisted I be friends with his friends when I married him. Fine I said. Stupid me. Over the years I noticed one in particular whom we traveled with, raised kids with, etc… was too chummy. She to him, him to her. Then she started telling me damaging secrets. In a nutshell he had a physical affair while he was living with me, and says it was just a one night thing. She said they were living together when we met and were friends with benefits. They have always had an affinity to each other, and he has given her preference over my needs at times. I am devastated. He does not want to give up this friendship. And it is MY fault. I say to any woman who finds out this kind of garbage.. RUN and RUN NOW. Don’t wait until you are 53 and feel totaly s*&^ed.

  62. Anonymous

    I’m a betrayed man. My wife said it was only a friend, yes right!. I don’t believe in EMOTIONAL Affairs. They All lead to sexual intimacy.

  63. Anonymous

    My husband is having an emotional affair, and thinks there is nothing wrong with it!!

  64. Anonymous

    My EXwife was seeing this guy, and old Bf, last year, she said he was a “Friend” lol. The Rationalization and Denial of it all was almost laughable on her part. I think it was too ease her conscience, now and at the time. WE are split up, the children live with me and she lives with her sister about an hour away.
    In my opinion, these two Cheaters had no boundaries, he was seducing her, she was an easy mark because we were going thru some tough times. An he was there to ‘Listen’ and to ‘Understand’ and all that stuff my Ex made him out to be. In the end, these 2 Cheaters will get what they deserve, but not by me. Their own lies of having to sneak around, taking calls in the bathroom, or texting in the middle of the night have caught up to them. Neither one trusts the other. Of course there is ‘Zero’ trust in their relationship and rightly so. I take a little pleasure in watching these 2’s relationship slowly dissolving. Sooner or later, one or both will cheat on each other. This all started with one of them, I don’t know which, probably saying “Hello” on ‘facebook’ and the emotional affair turned into a physical one. So I say people who have a lack of boundaries, lack of respect for their partners or other people, easily sets them up for affairs when they are vulnerable and open to someone who will come along and it goes from there.

  65. Anonymous

    My fiancé met up with an old “friend” from school whom he hadn’t seen in twenty years. But he immediatly felt a closeness to her. We were having a minor argument one day, and while at work he was emailing me saying he was doubting our relationship. When he came home that night he told me that he really liked this woman as a friend, and that if he were single he’d begin a relationship with her. We had planned on meeting this woman and her husband one weekend for dinner, but he changed his mind because he was afraid he would develop feelings for her and that I would develop feelings for her husband. I have never once looked outside of our relationship, as I’m happy ( or was). Now my fiancé and this woman talk all the time. Her marriage is on the rocks, so she discusses it with him all the time now. I even found an email exchange between them with sexual innuendos in the text. I don’t believe they have been physical yet, but I do feel it’s an emotional affair. He rarely talks to me anymore, he spends most of his time blowing me off, we do nothing together anymore, and the sex has become almost non existent. And now I have doubts. I wonder if he thinks of her all the time, and if he’s fantasizing about her when we are intimate. I have thought about talking to her personally and to tell her to back off and work on her marriage and leave my life alone. But I know it would anger him if I did. I don’t know what to do and if I talk to him about it he gets angry or just says I’m being jealous, and then won’t talk to me for hours. Help!!!

  66. Anonymous

    I had an affair with my co-worker and wrecked my family for sex. I need help

  67. Anonymous

    I found out through cell phone records that my husband was having an affair for the last 18 months. I was devasted. It was an emotional affair. They talked for hours several times a day. They talked while we were on vaction, on my anniversary, on any and all important family days for the past year and a half. I cannot explain the severe pain, humiliation, and saddness that I have felt over the past couple months.

    When they say that the wife knows. There is something to that. I really did have a feelings in my heart that something was not right with the two of them. I even asked my husband multiple times why she acted to “familiar”, the way they interacted when we all four were together was strange. They even sat together at a spiritual function. When i asked my husband why, he said it was all her idea. he didn’t want to sit by her. I asked why didn’t he move? He told me he didn’t want to hurt her feelings. But he knew it would hurt mine to find out what he did. Even after this conversation and a few others, their emotional affair continued for several months.

    I found out several weeks ago. I feel like such a fool some days. Yet, other days I feel so liberated. I don’t know if i am going to lose my mind or not. But i feel stronger than i have ever felt in my life. I have faced a demon and i am still alive. Even as she tries to turn our mutual associates against me,i am not worrying about what she says. i am growing emotionally in ways that help me know that her misery is only my problem if i entertain her energy. And i don’t want that in my life. God will handle all matters.

    I am learning to be strong enough that with God’s help I can survive anything. I don’t want to think, have dillusions, that i can control my life or anyone else. I want to know that i can control my attitude, my outlook, my emotional state and this will help me with whatever I face.

    I know that they met each other several times. Of course they down play those meetings. Both say there was no physical contact other than pecks and embraces of friendship. Her husband feels so guilty over cheating on her in the past he is very gracious and understanding. I have ever have been faithful to my marriage. There were of course things that I would liked to have been different in our family, but I never looked outside my marriage for them. If that is the whole truth or not time will tell. “What is done in the dark will come to the light.” I have been married for 20 years with 1 child. I am going to law school right now. It is so true…”what doesn’t kill you…”. I am not dead!! And I cannot fortell the future of how this will all turn out, long-term.

    Now, he is very accomodating and remorseful. Answered a battery of questions early on and does not want to discuss it any more. I am doing all i can to move on. But mostly i am working on me. I exercise everyday. I read for school and self improvement everday. I am feeding my mind and my spirit. Because, the act of betrayal, on any level, indicates lack of character in them not us!!!

  68. Anonymous

    My husband was having an emotional affair with a woman he works with.
    It went on for 18 months and I had no idea. When I saw them in his car I knew
    something was up. For 10 weeks he denied that they were just friends. I thought I was going crazy because I things just didn’t add up. He finally admitted that it was an emotional affair but there is no empathy for my feelings. He just wants to forget about it and move on. We are going for counselling but I’m not sure if it is going to work. He is also going for individual counselling but wants to quit. I think the reason is because the counselor is nailing him and getting him to get “in touch” with his emotions. Also the counselor he is seeing is male so he can’t wrap him around his finger. I just found a receipt for a silk blouse that he purchased for Christmas, too bad I didn’t get a blouse.

  69. Anonymous

    We both fulfill a need in each other that isn’t met in our relationships, he is married and I have a boyfriend.
    Our connection is primarily emotional but it is also sexual, although we haven’t had sex yet.
    This has been going on for over a year we have both tried to stop and there are no excuses.

  70. Anonymous

    i’m married for 15 years and still facing this problem on and off.My husband thinks that having girl friends and talking secretly to them is not a big deal since he is not doing anything(he mean no sex). He uses the word “friendship” to justify the relationship. I also gives the reason that i’ll be jealous and wouldn’t understand the friendship.Is it normal for a boss to have such a friendship with a female co-worker who is in low ranking position?

  71. Anonymous

    don’t think all friendships outside of your primary relationship are affairs. I like having guys as friends and I always have. I do have a jelous husband and in his eyes having these friendships are not acceptable. Is this goign to ruin us I have no idea but I won’t give up who I am for anyone.

    Not all opposite sex relationships are affairs, or emotional affairs, but when your other half’s feelings are ignored, or your otherhalf is not comfortable with something about your opposite sex friendship, or wants to set boundries, then their feelings should be taken into account. If you are unable to take their feelings into account then damage is being done to the relationship, and a conflict sets in.
    I am in a situation that my husband is in an emotional affair but he does not admit to it, or realize he is in one, or the damage it is causing, and beleive me it does cause a lot of conflict in the marriage. A wife gets a gut feeling, and when there are sure signs of emotional involvement, then there is definately conflict in the marriage.
    If you love someone, then sometimes a sacrifice has to be made in order to solve any conflict. That is part of love, marriage, and a committment.

  72. Anonymous

    My husband is having an emotional affair and tried to pass it off as a friendship. Tells me that i don’t need to know everything. This is true i don’t but when the friendship is kept secret for over 6 months and the contact is over 20 times per day what am i to think? This is not a normal friendship and i am not a jealous wife. This is abuse as far as i am concerned and the lack of respect makes me physically sick. This is not a husband and i don’t want to share my heart any longer with this cheating lier that is so immature that he cannot be truthful to himself. Sweetdreams loser. I don’t see my 25 years of marriage as a loss, i am not crying over you because you have just given me the best christmas present ever. The freedom to find an honest man, a new life full of laughter and hope, a new beginning. I no longer need to worry or cry i found out. You can share the rest of your life with this other cheater and doubt each other for the rest of your lives. What goes around comes around.
    You will also have to live with the knowledge that your children hate you for what you did to our family. They hate what they call your whore. I am sure your flirt was alot more fun when it was a secret.

  73. Anonymous

    Am in the midst of emotional affair. Started as mutual attraction, has advanced to weekly calls, texts and meetings 2x per month. No sex involved, but intense physical chemistry. New experience for me – never involved with a married person before. Extremely difficult situation that will test anyone’s internal fortitude like never before!

  74. Anonymous

    I don’t think all friendships outside of your primary relationship are affairs. I like having guys as friends and I always have. I do have a jelous husband and in his eyes having these friendships are not acceptable. Is this goign to ruin us I have no idea but I won’t give up who I am for anyone.

  75. Anonymous

    Waste of my life

    I am just ending my second affair.total 9 years of my life gone. They never leave their partners. I divorced a good man lost trust of my family and myself esteem. He wasn’t even my type.I met him at work. He was just more like a father figure. Short, bald,poor and a compulsive lier. I ask myself why???????????

  76. Anonymous

    I have one of these about every 18 months, despite swearing each time not to do it again. I don’t know why, weak character? Selfishness? Inability to achieve an intimate connection with my wife? Probably all 3. Wish I knew a way out, she found out about the last 2, told the kids, all 3 of them were devastated. Now I am in another one, this time with a grade/high school person who contacted me through Facebook. I really don’t like this about myself, but seem drawn to them.

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