ogre77
Is the act of hysterical bonding only been found to happen in the case of sexual affairs or does it also happen in emotional affairs? I've been looking everywhere for an answer and can't find one. Thanks in advance.
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anthropoidape
I don't know if there's any book that would tell you but logically it seems like it could happen in both cases just about as easily. I guess it is one of several natural responses to these crazy-making situations. 
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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Fionarob
I can only speak from my own experience here, but I am sure there is no set answer as anthro says. 

My h had an emotional affair and I did not experience any type of hysterical bonding.  A few years later he had a sexual affair and there was definitely a period of hysterical bonding and a need to 'reclaim him' in that way, if that makes sense.

Either way, I don't think it matters.  Everybody reacts in their own way and experiences things differently.  I don't think there is any typical way we should behave or things we should expect to happen.  The discovery of an affair is always painful, whether emotional, sexual or both.
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ogre77
I'm wondering because my wife had an emotional affair from what I can figure out. She thought about him all the time, text him good morning messages, would ask about his day, thought he had the most beautiful smile and would tell him, would text him just to let him know she was thinking about him, would get butterflies when she would see him, talked about him to her friends all the time, thinks he is the nicest guy, she says she's never wanted anyone as bad as she was him, they sext all the time, they decided to be friends with benefits before I moved out, but she says she has absolutely zero feelings for him. All she wanted was sex from him, but claims that never happened either. He's our neighbor and I was gone for a month. I knew nothing about the affair when I moved back in. But that's when the sex started and she was asking me to do things that we've never done in the 22yrs we've been together, all night and day. We have never done that, and it continued for weeks, but somewhere in there I found out. Her story always changes, her favorite is I don't remember. Her own friend says she was infatuated with him and she told me at the time she had fallen out of love with me. We can work this out with honesty and communication, but she would rather lie. I don't understand. At least all signs point that direction. Do you think it's possible that she doesn't care for him and even though she wanted him that bad and he wanted her they didn't hook up?
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Fionarob
It doesn't make sense - she says she has zero feelings for him, and yet she had butterflies just thinking about him and thinks he is the nicest guy?  To me that sounds very much like feelings - not necessarily true love, but a very strong lust.  Is she really claiming it was purely a sexual attraction and nothing else?

I would be very surprised if they didn't 'hook up' during the time you were gone.

What does she mean by the phrase 'friends with benefits', because in my book that is someone you have sex with?

There are certainly lots of things that don't add up, but unless she can start being completely honest then you may never understand fully what has happened.

Has their 'relationship' or her infatuation with him now ended?
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jmh78
Anything is possible, but I think it's unlikely.  Odds are it is/was an emotional and physical affair and has probably been going on much longer than you think.  I'm guessing she has admitted to what she has, only because you had evidence proving what she had done.  The rest of what she has said is likely lies that take into account what you already know and spin the least damaging and most sensible story she could come up with.

The first thing to understand is that it isn't your fault.  I always recommend listening to Joe Beam's podcasts on limerence (search for Marriage Radio).  It seems to fit the description you've given.  That will help you to understand what you're up against.

I'm sorry you're here, but you're in the right pplace to get appropriate help.  Unfortunately you are only at the beginning of a very long journey.
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anthropoidape
It sounds a bit like she knows she screwed up and is trying to save your relationship. Which is something. But of course honesty is essential so she cannot go about it the way she currently is. 

Be aware that a rollercoaster lies ahead. There is nothing like it. 

Good luck. There are a bunch of us here who have some idea what you are facing and we are here to listen and make well intentioned but often wrong comments from our own experience [smile] 
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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Jam
I also agree that bonding can happen after the reveal of any type of affair.  That doesn't mean you know the truth nor does it mean their relationship was sexual or non sexual. I think what it means was their was a need to try to reclaim you.  Most of us feel more connected to our spouse when they are also our lover.  I am truly sorry for your pain!  I don't know what really happened what I do know is that VERY few people that have affairs admit to the truth at any time but certainly NEVER do in the beginning
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stillfetup
Most probably as was stated above-limerence.
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Jam
I am very sorry your wife had an emotional affair.  I don't know the answer to your question; however, please know that almost NO ONE gets the full story right away.  It took me three years for my husband to admit it was more than an emotional affair.  Now what?  I moved out 4 weeks ago and I am trying to get to a better place.  I wish there was a way to make them understand that until they tell the WHOLE truth, you can't forgive or start to rebuild your marriage if that is what you both decide you want.  They justify in their mind that they are trying to avoid hurting you further.  Please believe me that is not the truth.  They want to avoid having to truly own everything they did because they are truly humiliated and now know they acted like a school kid.  I felt my husband's remorse right away and do believe he ended things (for the most part) when he said he did.  I don't know how many times I heard "I don't remember"  Of course they remember!!!!  Don't take that excuse but please know you cannot MAKE them tell the truth, just like you can't make an addict stop their drug of choice.  I KNOW how painful that is to hear; however, please know we have all lived through that and know it to be true.  I hope you have a good day today!
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HML
Emotional affair happens either before or after the physical affair one will lead to the other or vice versa. Sigh let's not kid ourselves that either are different the fact that the cheater emabarked on such a course does show us that they never thought about us when they made the choice to cheat and didn't even stop to think for one minute how much hurt they would cause and the terribly trauma that would follow suit.
Who cares what they say about the zero feelings they felt for the other our primary concern is the feelings they had for us could not stop them from committing the adultery act so please quit the bull about no Love no feelings but send out heaps of Love n sextexts all day long to th other ?? 
Does that make any logical sense??
what happened to th marriage vows??
Simple I dun remember also??????
Soree but you must come to terms that what is done cannot be undone now so as much as you want to find out what happened the I dun remember answer will be the reply  to your WHYs!!!!
Must stop much easier said than done but simply have to block the whole phase out!!
Just the texting and the phone calls and the sexting oredi will drive one crazeee let alone the physical bit where u simple cankot imagine the level of intimacy that could b shared sooo casually with a total stranger??? No fear of STD or disease in total limerance and what's worst if the other is also married you will have to deal with th fact that you spouse has no conscience at all !! At times wishing the only way to make them understand what they caused is to do the exact same to them and then watch how they handle ?? 
Easy peasy to say Soreeee let's see if they accept it when we switch places!! 
Yesssss I wish we could just walk away from the pain as the main trigger is your spouse everyday in their daily behaviour all the affair vibes comeback to our minds just looking at them send a text out now becomes a worry!!! The can of worms they have unveiled have left us to be now suspicious over even the smallest daily detail and yes the PHoNE is one heck of the worst in promoting affairs!!
Best now to be transparent in all phone n email details between husband n wife!!
What either one cannot see is oredi the opening door to secrecy and never allow this to happen ever again !! Make sure at all times either pick up n view even whilst texting to anyone all can be seen without any hesitation whatsoever!!
The aftermath of an affair is TOUGH as the time passes if you at staying on you will be able to handle what your spouse did and hopefully the remorse n repentance will ease the hurt !!!
2 years everyone says so guess we have to wait out the time of healing.
No hope ever of forgiveness for what has happened but hope for peace and serious conditioning to handle all trigger thoughts in a better way without fury anger tears hopelessness n despair for their lies deceit nastiness  and betrayal that rained upon us.
A better way to begin to at least enjoy our marriage with true Love and happiness it is going to be hard uphill task but the choice is now ours as to whether we want that for better of us and the marriage!!
Good luck and wishing you all the  very Best!!
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BrokenHearted
ogre77 wrote:
Is the act of hysterical bonding only been found to happen in the case of sexual affairs or does it also happen in emotional affairs? I've been looking everywhere for an answer and can't find one. Thanks in advance.


My husband had a 2 unemotional affair. When I discovered it, there indeed was hysterical bonding. It was awkward at first, as we had no intimacy during his affair, but once we got past that it was a way we found worked to bring us closer again.

I'm still healing from his betrayal, but I have to say that it has really helped us.
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Jam
Be very careful what you believe about emotional affairs. It took three years to discover it was physical as well. You are still asking this question because something feels off to you. Don't let that go. My sister told me I should think the very worst when it happened and see if I could forgive that.  Great advice but I was struggling to believe my husband had an emotional affair... I could NEVER comprehend a physical affair!!!!!  And yet that's what it was. If you want to believe it was only emotional and want your marriage quit asking. If you want the truth you should trust your gut and keep asking
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BrokenHearted
Jam wrote:
Be very careful what you believe about emotional affairs. It took three years to discover it was physical as well. You are still asking this question because something feels off to you. Don't let that go. My sister told me I should think the very worst when it happened and see if I could forgive that.  Great advice but I was struggling to believe my husband had an emotional affair... I could NEVER comprehend a physical affair!!!!!  And yet that's what it was. If you want to believe it was only emotional and want your marriage quit asking. If you want the truth you should trust your gut and keep asking


Wow my H affair was primarily emotional, I know that there was kissing and holding involved. So on that respect I know that there was some physical contact. However oh, I do tend to believe him when he says there was no sex involved. It's hard to explain, but I do know him and have known him for 30 years. I know it sounds cliche but I do believe that he did not have sex with her. Sometimes I think it would be easier to deal with a sexual affair. Pure sex and it's animalistic form. I could accept the fact that he is highly sexual and just needed that physical release. But the emotional end of it, especially when he believe that I did not care for him anymore, even though I supported him and everything he did and was there for him 24/7 as I always have been, is what's really hard for me to deal with. Maybe if sometime he will tell me it was sexual, and I will have to deal with it all over again. But I will say it again, the hardest part was knowing that his heart belong to someone else while the kids and I sat home wondering what he was doing.
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Sorry
I think hysterical bonding happens from a bit of a place of desperation to "make everything alright again". Sex leads to the release of a number of different hormones which make both people feel good and also bonded (God bless oxytocin).

In the aftermath of an affair some sometimes all you want is the reassurance that it will all be okay, that you are still connected, intensive sexual acts give you that feeling.

It is important to remember that a lack of sexual desire or an overwhelming amount of it doesn't really say too much either way. So I would not over think it either way.

The real work thar determines the happiness of a marriage after an affair has so much more to do with communication than sex.
 Though right at the start when an affair is discovered and when all of the feelings are so raw I feel that we definitely put too much weight in the sex as a reflection of the state of our marriage.

Lots of sex does not equate to everything being good and a lack of sex is also not something to panic about.

Hindsight is wonderful. (it definitely was not as obvious at the time)
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