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In an Emotional Affair - help please from anyone who has been there(10 Posts)
I apologise up front to everyone here who is going through or has been on the other end of this. If you have its probably best you don't read anymore.
Basically I'm looking for help/advice or direction to where I can get this from people who have or are going through an emotional affair. More than happy to take this private because I know its a sensitive issue. The reason I read so many posts here is to try and get back to normal.
I have a happy marriage (yes really) with a beautiful child, never really looked outside of it before but my world has been turned upside down by someone else, I am questioning my whole life and really struggling to understand the situation. I lost a parent through cancer just over a year ago and found it quite traumatic, I am wondering if this has something to do with how I feel but cannot see the link.
I know this isn't really the right place to ask for help but if someone can point me to a place where I can talk to people who might be able to help, I would really appreciate it.
From someone on the other end of this right now- be honest to your other half. Its the fundamental thing which pisses me of, the lies and cover ups. You can limit the damage right now by taking this approach
Stop all contact. Delete from Facebook, deactivate all your accounts online that you are using to stay in touch, delete her number and tell her you are sorry but you need to focus on your marriage and you cant be in touch any more. This is your first step.
Just a thought losing a parent is devastating. Have you been getting the understanding and support from your husband. Does he understand and support you through your grief? Maybe you have looked elsewhere for that support? Or is the person replacing something you miss about your parent? Just a couple of things to mull over. Losing a parent is a big deal. What about bereavement counselling?
Sorry just realised you are a man so I meant she instead if he.
First of all I want to say that believe you when you say you have a happy marriage. By the sounds of it, your vulnerabilities lie elsewhere.
It is hugely significant that you have lost a parent in recent times. This is a recognised and much-written-about risk factor in infidelity. The reasons are complex. It's to do with confronting one's own mortality, being drawn towards an experience that makes you feel alive and full of adrenaline and also seeking an escape from grief or unresolved issues connected to the one who has passed.
Have a read of this article which explains some of this quite well. The author has a good book that delves a bit deeper (Private Lies) which you might also find helpful.
It is not unusual for people to have the capacity to develop feelings for someone other than a sanctioned partner, but you don't need anyone to tell you how unfair and damaging this is to that partner and how it inevitably adversely impacts on a relationship that was once good.
Unless you're willing to re-negotiate the terms of your marriage, if you want to keep your wife there's only one course of action available. You must end the affair and stay committed to that by having no further contact with the other person. It would also be helpful to explore your own character because although bereavement is a risk factor, it's never the whole story. There will be patterns of behaviour you've adopted throughout your life that in some way mirror this experience. Gaining an insight into how you self-soothe and self-medicate, as well as thornier issues such as selfishness, will help you recognise your triggers in the future.
But the first step is to decide what it is you want, whether that is achievable and then act to make it happen.
I don't really have anything to add to the excellent advice other posters have offered except to say that many, many women would consider an emotional affair possibly more damaging than an ordinary one, and that this is something you should perhaps be aware of.
I could probably forgive my husband if I discovered he'd had a quick sexual fling for excitement/mid life crisis, etc. I would find it almost impossible to recover from the betrayal of discovering that he had had deep feelings and a close emotional attachment to another woman - even if he'd not had sex with her.
If you genuinely don't want to lose your happy marriage I think this is a factor you need to be very focused on.
Having recently been in a situation with some similarities to yours, I can say that two main things compelled me to end my emotional affair.
First, forcing myself to focus and dwell on the consequences that would follow if it was discovered by dh. I hadn't wanted to think about this and I had pushed it to the back of my mind, with the excuse that as it was "just a close friendship" (ie no actual physical contact) I would be able to explain it away. Reading threads on here where people had kicked out their dp's because of emotional infidelity made me shit scared and made me realise that I was playing with fire and threatening a happy marriage, a stable family and the happiness of my dc's, not to mention OM's family and wife who I know is in a vulnerable position, all because of my lack of self control, and essentially just for a bit of excitement and self indulgence.
Second, forcing myself to confront what I was doing to dh. It was only when I put myself in his shoes and imagined how I would feel if I found he had been emailing and texting someone else in secret for months, if not initiating any "sexy talk" (this was another way I let myself off the hook) then certainly encouraging and perpetuating it. When I really made myself think about it I realised it was bitter infidelity, betrayal and really despicable and nasty behaviour
I really would encourage you to end your EA. Just put a stop to it like other posters have suggested, cut all links and direct your thoughts and emotions back to your marriage. I know it's hard, honestly I am still going through it and it has been so painful but the lifting of the burden of deceit and cheating is wonderful. I will regret my behaviour for the rest of my life and am so ashamed and sad but I am also proud and so glad that I had the strength to end it.
You know you are doing the wrong thing.... Don't risk your marriage any more, end it now and then think about why it has happened and what you need to work on and change, in yourself or your marriage.
Best of luck.... Keep reading stuff here, it's very helpful I find.
Just want to second what SOwornout said about women feeling more hurt and betrayed by an EA and protracted secretive contact, even if it is in the guise of 'just friendship', than a brief sexual encounter.
I'm not sure I will ever totally recover from the heartache of my DHs EA and possibly /probably neither will your lovely wife if she does find out. And this isn't meant to be a lecture or a rant , just a warning that she may well find out one way or another.My DH was being very careful to delete texts.His secret 'friend' however was not and her partner found them.
I'm sorry for your bereavement,and it probably has triggered all sorts of mixed up emotions.Counselling for us identified my DHs vulnerability was down to life changes ie. redundancy and subsequent business worries, and a fundamental weakness in his character at the time.
Hard as it may be turn your focus back on your family, and remember what you stand to lose?what about some counselling? the fact that you have posted on here is admirable, and shows you realise this needs to stop.All the best.
Thanks very much to everyone who posted advice and for the non judgemental way with which it was given.
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