Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

My DH has had an emotional affair

(470 Posts)
bullinthesea Tue 18-Jun-13 14:52:29

Hello,

I don't post very much, but I am a frequent lurker!

Sadly, I have discovered that my DH has been having an emotional affair with a woman at his work. I have met her a few times over the years, and have always liked her! (Not any more!).

He was supporting me through a nasty bout of depression, and she was also having problems with family illness etc, and it seems they got too close, whilst chatting. He has always been the type to help others out. I think perhaps his 'knight in shining armour' came out when he came across this 'damsel in distress'!

There were emails/Facebook messages/texts, (the texts were all deleted, but in plain sight on our joint itemised bill!).

I discovered the whole lot on Friday night, and confronted him on Saturday morning.

I told him to sit down and tell me the truth. He says that it was just a load of flirty e-mails, and that he knew it was wrong when he was doing it, that it had all fizzled out and that he regretted it. He was very remorseful, and asked whether I could ever forgive him. I told him it was about being able to trust him again.

I found comments such as

Him "I must have been on your mind, was this email meant for Mr X?"
Her "you're always on my mind"
Him "mmmmmmmmmmmmmm!"

And

Her "thank you for earlier, I feel a lot better now !!"
Him "yeah, me too, can meet up on Wednesday for a follow up if it helps smile"

Her "is there anything else I can do for you"
Him "there may be a couple of things that may rise up"

Him " look at you working on xyz"
Her "can never be too prepared?"
Him "I am always prepared!"

She also kept asking him about his knees, on one occasion, they were organising some work time, and he responded with:
Him "should be good"
Her " what do you mean, SHOULD......... Are your knees hurting?"
Him "no, they have recovered, it's my calf, I pulled it running this morning"

Another message went:
Her "how are your knees and feet now"
Him "well, no carpet burns! How are you, we,ve been thinking about you?"

Then there was the time about six months ago, when he was having some funny turns. He had to spend the day at hospital having tests. He had already phoned into work, to tell them that he wouldn't be in that day, and yet I discovered that he'd emailed her from the hospital, to tell her about the tests and said that it was scary, there were loads of exclamation marks at the end (and on lots of the other emails too). He then emailed her again later about the results, with the same message that he had texted to me a few minutes prior, but he'd added extra exclamation marks on hers.

A lot of the content of these emails (and some others that I haven't written about) suggests that things may have got physical.

He strongly denies that it got physical, and says that he doesn't even find her physically attractive. He has said that it was exciting, and that she had made him feel good, as it had felt like she wanted him. He also told me that she had tried to kiss him at an Xmas do a few years ago, but he didn't kiss back, and had thought it was odd.

I asked if he thought she might have a bit of a thing for him, and he paused and said, "yeah, probably".

I have told him that I am going to get tested for STIs, just in case, as I'm not sure I can believe what he's telling me, and want to be sure that I haven't caught anything.

We both cried a lot, and he buried his head in my lap and told me he was so sorry over and over.

I do love him very much, and feel that we became distant, (although things had been much better recently), that we need to focus on our marriage much more (he agreed) and do our best to recover the strong love that we always used to have.

Only thing is, if it did get physical, then I would have to end the relationship.

I am so confused, I can barely concentrate on anything, and I haven't a clue where I'd start if I suddenly found myself single - I'm a sahm, my son is 7, and I am not bringing in any income at the moment, so he supports us all financially.

I just don't know what to do next.....

bullinthesea Wed 19-Jun-13 09:52:53

Hi, I'll try & answer the questions that have been posted now smile

SaintTheresa - I'm so confused at the moment, that I don't even know what I want myself! I'm not sure if I could forgive any physical stuff tbh. What he's done is bad enough, but that would be even worse. I've been applying for jobs for some months now, it's tricky, as I want to work while DS is at school (p/t).

Schobe - yes, I've asked him about the carpet burns comment, and he says it was all just banter/flirting. I'm still struggling to believe that mind you.

Lovesfastcars - yes my H has also looked me in the eyes and sworn on everyone's (including DS) lives that he's not had sex with her. I have also given him the opportunity to tell me everything, which is when he mentioned about the time she tried to kiss him at the Xmas do a few years ago.

Bbqsummer - yes we have one DS, lol about the cream for carpet burns!

AgathaF - yes, he does need to interact at work, but not that much.

Maleview70 - that is a very good point and I will keep it in mind, thanks

snuffaluffagus - yes, I have done that on all his phones & iPads, thanks for the tip.

Athinginyourlife - he says he's sad because of what he's putting me through. No, he wasn't bursting into tears last week, although he said that he was thinking of telling me about it last week, as he was feeling guilty.

Musickeepsmesane - yes I had coffee with a friend yesterday, and had a chat with her about it. She also said it sounded like it was physical.

Hopingtobehappy - thanks for the PM offer smile

We chatted again this morning, and he said that he'd looked through those emails, and he didn't think there was anything really that bad in them, and they were all work related shock. I told him that it looked bad from my perspective, and I even said that he was trying to minimise it. After all, the work emails are scanned, so they're not going to put anything that bad in them are they?
I also pulled him up on the carpet burns comment again, to which he went quiet, patted my stomach, and whispered "sorry" (I have asked him several times).

Thanks again for the responses, it's hard to hear, but I need to hear it.

Marigold1 Wed 19-Jun-13 09:55:17

Hopingtobehappy - are you the same person that started a thread on having a 18 month affair with a married man? If so bit rich to be popping up on this one offering advice! If not you then apologies.

He had an affair with her.

Are you happy to live with that?

countingto10 Wed 19-Jun-13 09:59:55

Have you asked him what he is going to do to fix this? Yes you have to decide what you want but you need to be seeing certain actions from him, not weak apologies etc.

GobblersKnob Wed 19-Jun-13 10:09:44

I'm going to go against the grain and point out that I exchange FAR more lewd and ribald messages with friends than the ones you have listed.

Just looked at alone, I am sure if they were read people could easily be convinced I was sleeping around, when nothing could be further from the truth.

I have read that the most ribabld banter tends to take place among work mates and the most suggestive of all among those who there is no chance of anything ever happening. I could well be wrong and am clearly a lone voice, but not all suggestive banter points to anything of any concequence.

Xales Wed 19-Jun-13 10:18:22

I actually think putting his head in your lap and crying is quite devious.

It puts him in the role of comforted child and you in the role of comforter.

Hard to be angry and want to have it out when they do that and what about comforting the hurting innocent partner.

onefewernow Wed 19-Jun-13 10:30:41

One thing I learned the hard way is that a cheater who does not want his world to crumble can look you steadily in the eye, swear on you or the children's lives, rave against other cheaters, and still be lying.

That's the difficulty.

They behave almost exactly like those telling the truth.

I do think it seems to be a pattern that they seek comfort from you and pity themselves when caught out, and lots of us fall for it.

NandH Wed 19-Jun-13 10:34:43

Sorry sad
Run for the hills!!! That's more than emotional !!

For goodness sake, the knee thing could not possibly be more obvious.

Get some advice for a solicitor unless you want to be married to a man who cheats and lies and cries.

tessa6 Wed 19-Jun-13 10:51:54

OP, I know everything in you right now is telling you not to upset your life and to trust him and that he is hurting. But if this is swept under the rug and the truth does not out, it will fester and ruin things later down the line. That 'sorry' moment is horrible. NO cheater tells the whole truth when initially confronted. ALL of them minimize. The difference is between those that eventually, when they see they can't lie their way out of it, let everything out, see what they would be losing and fight like crazy to be honest and different from that point. He doesn't realise that the truth is the only thing that can save him here. Unless you would rather live with lies.

You need to just say 'You are lying to me' over and over. He is, OP. At the moment you both want the other version to be true, so you will both work to make it true. Doesn't mean it is.

Say you want to speak with her from his phone. Don't give him a chance to think about it or space to go off and text her or prepare lies with her. Although this is scary you need to shatter the intimacy between them and see what it truly is.
And he MUST commit to never working with her again, even if it means moving jobs.

Otherwise this is all a waste of time and in in six months time it will happen again.

So sorry for the pain and anguish. It is a dreadful thing to discover about someone who is supposed to protect you. Don't forget he cannot protect you from him.

MrsZoidberg Wed 19-Jun-13 10:58:53

Try reading "NOT Just Friends" by Shirley Glass - it really helped me and I'm not into Self Help books.

piratecat Wed 19-Jun-13 10:59:45

'he was going to tell me last week'??

^^

tell you what exactly. about 'nothing' ???!!

come on op.

skyeskyeskye Wed 19-Jun-13 11:08:21

OP. I am sorry for you. When I discovered XH's thousands of texts to OW I tried to believe the best, and think that they were just supporting each other, but MN is the best place for a wake up call. In my case, my XH had already left and our marriage was over, but there is no doubt in my mind that he left because his feelings for her killed his feelings for me...... He walked out with no warning, after getting involved with her emotionally.

While your H is investing all his emotions and needs into that woman, he is not thinking about you and your DS.

If your H thinks that he has fooled you, he will continue to see this woman because he thinks he has got away with it. sad

You need to tell him that you are not stupid, and that you do not believe what he says. What they have exchanged is far far worse than flirty banter.

GiveMumABreak Wed 19-Jun-13 11:16:03

I'm so very sorry this has happened to you.

I think the only one you are going to get the truth from is her - if you can contact her (in a non threatening way so as not to scare her off) and ask her to be open and honest with you.

Wishing you lots of strength - Good Luck!

hellocatty Wed 19-Jun-13 12:37:17

I am going to go against the grain as well and say they could just be banter (not that they didn't have intent behind them) you could read all of the messages two ways and I initially read them and didn't think they were that bad then re read after everyones else comment's and thought "oh yes I see what they mean".

However the fact remains that he has deceived you and seems to be continuing to manipulate the situation.

I would assume the worse possible scenario and base your decisions on that as really emotional/physical affairs are still wrong and unfair to you and not what you deserve.

People do continue their relationships after affairs so good luck with whatever decision you come to.

Umlauf Wed 19-Jun-13 12:44:17

I don't think its the messages as such... they could be explained away as dodgy banter, even the carpet burns could be "fun" innuendo relating to a non sexual incident made to sound sexual for purposes of flirting....

What worries me the most is his response. You wouldnt then delete the message ending it, if 'it' is really nothing. And why did he go quiet about the carpet burns comment? I would be fighting to explain away the exact circumstances that led to a text looking that dodgy, an instant "it's not what it looks like!" rather than a mumbled sorry...

OP I wish you all the luck, relationships can survive affairs but now is not the time to make any instant decisions. I wonder if you would feel up to contacting the OW and asking for her side of the story, before your DH has a chance to warn her? There is no guarantee she would tell you the truth but if you act as though you know everything she may confirm more than your DH has. Don't do it in an accusatory manner though as that will get her back up and she wasn't the married one.

lazarusb Wed 19-Jun-13 12:44:31

Has he explained the carpet burn text at all? It seems an odd subject and a difficult one to explain away as innocent...

There is nothing even remotely sexy or flirty about carpet burns, unless you have done something together that would warrant carpet burns. hmm He is taking you for a mug!

He patted your tummy and whispered "sorry"? shock

Manipulative bastard.

DonutForMyself Wed 19-Jun-13 14:20:20

unless either of them are physiotherapists or carpet fitters those references are definitely dodgy.

tessa6 Wed 19-Jun-13 15:10:53

Re-reading them, OP, they seem guilty as hell but you can't prove anything definitively. The oldest, shittest trick in the book is for a man to claim a woman he has had an affair with had a 'thing' for him. This should always ring warning bells.

I think you might feel better if you spoke to her, you know. And she should have to face that you're a real person who she can't imagine out of existence.

bestsonever Wed 19-Jun-13 16:17:47

He went quiet and patted your stomach and said sorry - hmmm, what's the betting that you were pregnant at the time of the 'carpet burn' moment? What a dick!

urmydarlings Wed 19-Jun-13 17:10:08

what enrages me the most too is the - patted my stomach. He is a f*****. get shot of him u deserve better. You will survive on ur own. Ask urself honestly if u will ever be able to trust him again? Or will you be sat at home wondering what he's up to.

clam Wed 19-Jun-13 17:14:35

Well, if ever there was any doubt, the moment he swore on your son's life should have nailed it. Classic response of someone who's lying through their teeth.

IamMrsElf Wed 19-Jun-13 17:49:44

You need answers. It all sounds like he's been physical. He sounds like a manipulative arse. If he won't spill then ask her.

When I was at Uni my BF cheated on me, found the details written in a diary (wanker). I had my suspicions for a while. Found out later from mutual friends that she was not the first. It felt so hideous to find out like that. I think he wrote it down for me to find. What makes it worse is I took back the manipulative little shite - emotional black mail - please take me to visit my mum's grave, I feel so low right now - cunt! It was the worst mistake of my life and nearly ruined my degree.

Trust your instincts and keep going until you get the truth.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now