Mebartone1949
M husband had a two year emotional affair with a co-worker. I found out by accident when they had met one day for breakfast. He would surprise her at work with breakfast regularly and share lunch with her several times a month that he always paid for. He would visit her department daily to talk. They texted daily and talked on the phone, in addition to seeing each at work. They  met only once outside of work when she was moving to another state for that breakfast which turned into a few hours of shopping at the mall. 95% of what I know is from my own digging. It wasn’t physical as she was not interested in him as anything more than a friend. She did not discourage the attention or meals either.  He admitted having feelingsfor her, confiding in her, and being enamored with her. He says he never planned on leaving me, but just liked the attention. He is 43 and she is 30. He has always had a problem with getting older. I have read every text message. He never said i love you, in writing at least. He says he didn’t love her, just had a huge crush on her. He did tell in text he missed her when she would call out of work and would text her while with me and the kids (of course I had no idea).  He has apologized to me, and we are in therapy. D-Day was 6 months ago. He was never a communicator and always avoided conflict. He comes from a family that ignores the elephant in the room all the time. His father is a philanderer and his mother ignores it.  He didn’t start talking about the affair until a month ago when I told him he had to move out if he didn’t start communicating with me.  He has said sorry many times and has been transparent with all his accounts. He cries when he talks about how sorry he is. He gave me GPS and still tells me his whereabouts. He even gave up the two friends who started and encouraged this downward spiral. I am having a hard time moving forward. I can’t let go of the fact that he calls her a friend when he treated her like a girlfriend. When he apologizes he says he is sorry he had a friend outside our marriage, that he is sorry he did this to us. It hurts me and makes me angry when he calls her a friend.  I have told him this. He says he wants to be honest with me and that’s why he calls her a friend. He argues over the length of the affair, which you can see in the messages when it changed from a friendship to him turning up the flirtation and planning lunch dates days in advance.  He argues over the significance of him secretly bringing her lunch on Valentine’s Day saying he did not do it because of that specific day.  He also surprised her with lunch on her birthday. When he argues the details of the affair it hurts me.  I don’t know what else I need to move forward. I believe he is sorry that he hurt me and sorry our marriage is falling apart. Why can’t i believe he is sorry for the relationship?  Is It the word friend that puts a barrier up for me to move forward? Am I foolishly keeping myself in this pain and pushing him away?  Part of me I know is stuck on not hearing sorry the sincere way I read it in the infidelity books. I don’t know what to do. 
Quote 0 0
HangingOn
Anything that doesn’t feel right to you....probably isn’t.  He is still justifying and minimizing.  Sorry doesn’t cover that.  Hugs.  Listen to your gut.
Quote 1 0
Experiencethedevine29

Actions have consequences don’t they? Perhaps you might think about what the consequences of his actions means to YOU.. as you’ve said you aren’t sure whether he’s genuine about his ‘sorry’.. I personally don’t believe he is from what you’ve described. To repeatedly apologise for having a ‘friend’ is at best immature for a man his age (and conflict avoidant as you point out) and at worst horse manure.

This woman was not a friend...married people have friends both as individuals and couples, but they don’t  hide them away and keep them secret do they? No.

Time for some consequences to his actions  I believe, and those consequences are of  YOUR choosing.  

If he comes from an environment where nobody addresses the obvious and deals with it you’re going to have to consider whether you make him face his reality (which is he had an affair, just like his Father, and expected it not to be a big deal, just like his Father...😳...) but the difference here is that you don’t want to ignore it like his Mother did, so that means he must face the consequences of his behaviour whether he cares to or not.

its natural for you to keep him at arms length because he isn’t giving you what you need and you feel unsafe and you don’t believe him so maybe it’s now time to give HIM the responsibility of showing you he’s worth keeping by telling you what you NEED to know....exactly what this ‘friend’ meant.. no? His crocodile tears wouldn’t wash with me I’m afraid, that’s just good old fashioned manipulation, but then I no longer suffer any kind of bulls*it after what my DH (that’s ‘dickhead to me...😂... forgive me, but most here know I’m partial to a profanity or two when expressing myself now, where I didn’t swear much at all before I discovered I married a liar and a cheat)...did to me.

Don’t allow fear of the unknown stop you from making choices that are important to you. If I learned one thing throughout all the turmoil in the aftermath of my own dday, it’s that NOBODY has the right to make decisions on my behalf unless I’m on my bloody deathbed.



ETD🌻

Expectation is the root of all heartache.. ’Will Shakespeare
Quote 1 0
Mebartone1949
Thank you for your reply. I am definitely scared of the unknown. We have been together 23 years and have a 12 year old and 8 year old. I have said to him the word friend does not go in the same sentence as I was enamored, pawned after or had feelings for this person. None of it feels right. It is no doubt cheating. It seems that our support is not very good. His therapist tells him to move forward and that the past is in the past, focus on the present and future. My support system tells me that I need to accept I may never hear the things I need to hear. My heart literally hurts every day.  I know none of us think we will ever be in this position. We talked about him moving out and then I got scared and asked him not too. I want to be stronger but I don’t know how to. How can I give him consequences that I am too scared to deal with?   I just don’t know what to do. 
Quote 1 0
Experiencethedevine29

Thank you for your reply. I am definitely scared of the unknown. We have been together 23 years and have a 12 year old and 8 year old. I have said to him the word friend does not go in the same sentence as I was enamored, pawned after or had feelings for this person. None of it feels right. It is no doubt cheating. It seems that our support is not very good. His therapist tells him to move forward and that the past is in the past, focus on the present and future. My support system tells me that I need to accept I may never hear the things I need to hear. My heart literally hurts every day.  I know none of us think we will ever be in this position. We talked about him moving out and then I got scared and asked him not too. I want to be stronger but I don’t know how to. How can I give him consequences that I am too scared to deal with?   I just don’t know what to do. 


with respect, his therapist is a twat. History affects the future does it not? Changes things considerably. You can focus on going forward but history is just that..history. You can’t change it and you can’t get rid of it, BUT it has influence on what happens next. What his therapist is doing is commonly termed here, ‘rug sweeping’.. in other words failing to address that ‘historic’ cause which gave your husband a sense of entitlement to behave in a manner detrimental to your marriage.

 And for what it’s worth, I don’t give a rats ass what he or his therapist concoct as an excuse, it’s a blatant  failure and disrespectful to YOU  at every level. Your dick head needs both a new therapist and some balls frankly. If your initial thought was for him to move out while you decide what YOU want to do, then I would very kindly encourage you to follow through with that if it was an instant, GUT reaction to your circumstances, because your gut is always RIGHT.

IF you fear being on your own after being a pair for so long, or you fear he may not come back, let me put it this way. On your own, you will rediscover who YOU are, and you may not want him back. Also, if he decides he doesn’t want to come back, what have you lost? A man without courage who isn’t strong enough to support you and who thinks he can do what he wants at your expense.  Either way my lovely, take courage because YOU win. If he comes back to you a better man then you will also be stronger for giving yourself the opportunity for self discovery.

ETD 🌻

Expectation is the root of all heartache.. ’Will Shakespeare
Quote 1 0
AnywhereButHere
Hi Mebaritone1949,

Our stories are strikingly similar. After 26 years of marriage and five kids, my wife had an emotional affair with a coworker that lasted at least five months. She was the interested pursuer while he was principally interested in one thing...foot fetish photos which she was happy to provide. They didn't have sex...but it seems likely that I have my wife's AP to thank for that. My wife had a troubled upbringing that left her an emotionally dysfunctional woman who can't be pressed too hard for too long about details and explanations.

We're almost 2 years out from DDay. I had sobbing spells for 8 months, constant anxiety attacks, lost 40 lbs in a little over a month and developed high blood pressure due to sleep deprivation.

Just briefly, what was your marriage like before you discovered this affair? How did you feel about it? What did he say he felt about your marriage?
BH, 5+ Mo EA, DDay 3/8/18
"...regarding all as God after God."
Quote 0 0
Mebartone1949
My marriage for the two years during the affair was not good. He was mean to me and controlled me. He failed to get several promotionsNothing I said or did was right and I couldn’t figure out why. Clearly this is why. Prior to that our lives were not great either. We had our share of disagreements as any marriage does. He flirted with women which he knew i hated. It may sound silly but i wanted him to display his affection more with flowers or gifts of things he knows i love. His idea of gifts were a new dishwasher or garbage can. I suffer from depression and anxiety all my life but it has been very well controlled. The past two years my anxiety has been off the charts and still is today. He says he thought our marriage was okay the last two years which i know is a lie. The warning signs were there. I refused sex regularly because I did not fee emotionally connected. I told him this, and pointed out the difference in days of emotional connection vs not. He equated sex with love and would tell me he thought I stopped loving him. He wants to reconcile and is hurting. I have only seen him cry before this a few times. He cries all the time when we talk about our future and the affair. 
Quote 0 0
AnywhereButHere

He could very well be in a state of denial about his relationship with this woman – insisting that she was a mere ‘friend’. Obviously, he was doting over her out of his infatuation and keeping it hidden from you. Part of his denial mechanism is call her a ‘friend’ and, more than likely, he has already stressed the significance (to him) of the fact that they didn’t have sex. Maybe he’s even said, as my wife did to me, “Gee, the way you’re reacting I might as well have had sex with him.” Persons caught and ‘in denial’ about an emotional affair will do that, because they believe, or least want to posture as believing, that having sex is the BIG delineator between a REAL BAD affair and something that a betrayed spouse should be able to deal with. But, if you feel like I do…you’ve probably come to realize that if he had a drunken one-night-stand with this woman and confessed it in tears to you the next day, even though he had sex, it would have been better than a two-year, behind-your-back, emotional, though sexless, love affair that he has had. Sex is a big ugly factor in affairs, but it isn’t the be-all and end-all that spouses who commit emotional affairs want it to be. An emotional affair cuts pretty damn deep.

Your marriage having been different than mine to begin with, I can’t advise you very well on how to restore and improve things. But I think I can offer some pointers that would be helpful:

  1. The first pointer is holding to a no contact rule. Is such a rule in place? Does he acknowledge the necessity of absolutely cutting off all future contact? Is this practical given that she is, or was, a coworker? If not, is he able to start looking for a new job? Aside from writing a ‘No More Contact, Goodbye’ email, the two of them should never converse again. My wife left her job at my request.
  2. Take care of yourself. Exercise and, if you are getting only 1 – 4 hours sleep every night deal directly with that right now. I lived on 1-2 hours sleep every night for a couple of months, I lost 40 lbs in a few weeks and now have high blood pressure that I need to take medication for. This is the first time in my 57 years I’ve had to take medication for a condition. If sleep is a problem, consider taking Melatonin but definitely see a doctor about it. Stress-induced bad sleeping patterns will do you serious harm.
  3. Write. Your husband is a non-communicator. My wife is an emotionally dysfunctional woman. Neither seem able to deal with everything they’ve forced you to deal with and at the rate they’ve forced you to deal with it. But it’s got to go somewhere and you could benefit from getting your thoughts organized. Just open a Word doc and start typing. Write out the things you would like to say to your husband but won’t say just now. Some things you’re feeling right now you may reconsider later when you gain more understanding or learn new information. Writing them down now for later comparison and analysis is a great way to see and experience your growth and development during this difficult time.
  4. Focus on you and consider pursuing a level of detachment from your marriage. This doesn’t mean separation. It means that after a few decades comfortably and appropriately defining yourself largely as “Jim’s wife”, the way I primarily understood myself to be “Joan’s husband” (names changed to protect the guilty) focus on yourself as nurturer and caregiver to your children and develop interests that are your own. I took up hiking in the mountains in our area. My wife wanted to be a part of it early on…but I let it be known that I wasn’t really interested in her joining me. She and I have other things we do together…things that are still ‘ours’. But being stuck and bleeding now precisely because of her intention behavior, I needed some modes in which to define myself separately from her – something I didn’t need to seek out before. Look up the concept of detachment in marriage on the web and read some articles about it. Most are oriented toward couples dealing with porn and sexual addiction…but the advice is easily conformable to our situation.As a practical example, take your difficulty with his persistence in calling his AP his ‘friend’. You know the truth. What does it matter if he has to persist in denial to protect himself? Knowing the truth, take care of yourself.
  5. As a component of detachment, as soon as you believe you know enough about what happened between your spouse and his AP, let go of discovery and snooping. It’s not your job to be the marriage’s policewoman. And if your marriage needs a policewoman, maybe it isn’t a marriage worth carrying on in. I hope that isn’t the case…but that should still probably be your attitude. And with the sophistication of electronic media today, if your husband or my wife are going to emotionally cheat…there is nothing we can really do to stop them and it is a waste of too much of our lives to try and prevent them through surveillance. Maintaining their faithfulness is their job – not ours.
BH, 5+ Mo EA, DDay 3/8/18
"...regarding all as God after God."
Quote 1 0