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.
Emotional Affair?(51 Posts)
Sorry for the long post but I've let it all out.
Morning!. I fixed a friends PC over the weekend and she showed me mumsnet so I've signed up today for advice really as after reading a bit on here I think I've been having an emotional affair and don't know what to do about it.
Been with DW for 10 years and married for 6. We have a hectic life through work so don't get as much time together as we'd like. Anyway, my behaviour over the last year or so I'd written off as being a good friend to OW but thinking about it now...
I met OW who was an old school friend at a friends birthday about 2 years ago who I'd not seen for years. She was over the moon to see me and introduced her long term partner and was talking about him hopefully popping the question soon. I was very happy to see her and delighted she had someone she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. Anyway later that evening I saw something that made me think that he wasn't as fully committed to the relationship as she was (he didn't cheat but his behaviour was one of someone not happy).
A few months after that it popped up on Facebook that she was now single so I sent her a message asking if she was ok. Turns out he didn't want marriage and had instead gone off with her friends. She was in a mess and I messaged her a lot during this time and was very supportive. We flirted a little but nothing more.
A few days later I went out for a friends birthday (DW was away) and OW was out too. She looked stick thin and was very drunk. I took her back to her place and made her some food and slept on the sofa. I left in the morning and came home feeling guilty (I've never told DW). We then messaged each other every day on Facebook until she told me she was getting back with her BF. I was sad but wished her well and cut ties as I wanted her to have a clean slate with him. I cringingly said to her "sometimes I wish I was him" when very drunk one night. Still cringe and regret saying that now.
Few months passed (no contact) and they broke up again and she got in touch. We pretty much chatted every day on Facebook about everything And I never felt bored talking to her and it was nice having someone to listen to and would listen to me, we did flirt and joked about meeting up many times.
She started dating again so we stopped talking as much and then a few weeks later I went to meet a friend who I hadn't seen in a while and he had a new gf who yep was the OW!. This was very awkward for me as I couldn't chat to her properly if that makes sense?. Eventually they had a messy break up which I helped her through. The flirting got worse and one morning I decided to meet her for coffee in a cafe for a chat.
I told her that I care a lot about her but never wanted to become one of her guys that she has bad memories about plus I didn't want to cheat on my DW (I did long ago which we worked through). She agreed and said that she couldn't imagine her life without me in it and I cooled it off again.
She's just got in touch again after breaking up with another guy. Talking to her properly again on Facebook made me happy as I'd not heard from her in a while.
I'm in some kind of weird emotional affair cycle aren't I?.
I feel really sorry for your wife. You've barely even mentioned her in the entire post.
She isn't even interested in you unless she is at a loose end. It is you who is doing all the chasing. How would you feel if it was your dw doing this behind your back?
Perhaps she is, I wouldn't blame her.
Either pack it in or leave your dw so she can find someone she can trust
Sorry I didn't mention DW much, I love her very much and apart from the lack of time we get together everything is fine. Just reading on here about EA and other threads has made me see what an idiot I've been.
Actually, I'm not even sure this would be an emotional affair, because as I understand an emotional affair is where two people are emotionally attached. And in this case it sounds like you're in love with OW who really just sees you as a friend / backup option.
Please focus on your marriage, on your wife who (I assume) loves you and cut contact with this woman immediately.
Or, come clean with your wife and end things, so she can find someone who deserves her.
Would you be ok with your wife behaving like this?
You are removing energy and time and care from your marriage
...and giving it to this woman
It's a lazy affair and you're kidding yourself (or have been)
Cold turkey and never see her again. Or tell your wife.
Think about the amount of time you spend chatting on FB. Do you do it while you're at home? Spend that time with your DW instead!
I understand the OW is a friend but she's not your DW's friend, is she?
The fact that you refer to this friend as the OW throughout speaks volumes. You know you have to cut contact with her. She's this unobtainable, fantasy figure currently, she's using you as an ego-boost (and I think you're flattered) and - whilst we all need friends - this is not a healthy friendship.
And the origin of 'chilledguy' as a moniker. Do you want to believe that this is a relaxed and cool thing, that you can have female chums while your married and you'll 'behave' so it's fine and not a problem?
I think you know that's not really true or reasonable.
BTW... you say you've already cheated on your DW once and you 'worked through it' but you've clearly learned nothing from the experience
Good point Cog. I bet your DW is suspicious that you're up to something. Again.
And you are.
There's nothing behind my moniker it was literally what first came into my head. I only put OW as I saw it on here and didn't know what else to out. DW is not friends with OW and she doesn't like the fact that OW likes any photos of me I put on Facebook.
I knew I've been an idiot I guess I just wanted confirmation from a third party as I don't really have anyone I could confide in like this in real life . I'm going to mute her on Facebook (deleting would raise suspicion on both sides) and not get in touch.
Whether the DW is suspicious or not, 'working through it' after an affair means being truthful. That's the part the OP seems completely oblivious to. How difficult would it have been to say 'DW, I met this old friend at a party and I'm worried about her after what I've seen on FB?' It's not a 'weird emotional affair cycle' therefore, it's a web of deception, dishonesty and ego-centric thrill-seeking.
I think the minimum you do now is tell your DW that you've been in contact with this woman. (Leave out the smug crap about sleeping on her sofa because she really won't believe you.) And then drop the contact and ffs learn from your mistakes.
I actually feel ChilledGuy is being honest with himself after reading some of mumsnet and is having a bit of a wake up call. There's some pretty hostile responses here and I think that its not the most helpful to someone who seems to be really trying to look at himself clearly.
ChilledGuy its clear that this makes you uncomfy'and pricking your conscience. That's the most important thing. So ... I think you know what you need to do.
This Emotional Affair has gone too far, yeah, but as long as your focus really is on your wife I don't think there is the faintest need to tell her and let her find someone else. You've cheated in the past, it looks like you don't want to do it again, so just explain to the other lady as nicely as possible that you need for your own sake not to be in further contact, and then keep well clear.
I've felt sick reading what some people have been put through on here and knowing I did the same many years ago (it was short and I ended it as I knew it was wrong but no excuses though).
So why go for a repeat performance? You knew you weren't getting back in touch with this woman for reasons of friendship. You knew your DW didn't like you being in contact with her. It was selfish to plough ahead so, I'm sorry, 'feeling sick' just sounds very fake and self-pitying. Grow up.
I agree with Meerka. Op, you've been a bit of an idiot, but you recognise it and have asked for advice.
You need to cut all ties with this woman. You have been putting more energy into your relationship with her than you have with your wife, from the sounds of things. She sounds like she is using you as an ego boost, as other posters have noticed, and tbh is a bit of an emotional mess. You are not the one who can help her, you have other responsibilities, ie your wife. You have hidden the extent of your friendship from your wife, therefore you know it is not acceptable.
Put it this way; who would you rather spend your time with?
And no, don't tell your wife everything. You'd only be doing it to salve your own conscience and that's your own problem. Besides, she probably knows more than you think, given her dislike of the OW's 'likes' on Facebook.
DW 100%. I think OW has filled a gap as DW's job means we don't get a lot of time together and I'm down the list on priorities which is fine and im very supportive. I think I've seen it as an ego boost and maybe I'm an attention seeker. I think I've just come on here for help/advice and the slap around the face and positive comments have been helpful.
Chilledguy, you've realised that what you've been doing is wrong, which is half the battle. You know what you need to do now - stop having cosy chats with the OW. Now.
Some of the responses here have been very harsh. Would they have been the same if the OP was a woman? I doubt it.
This isn't an emotional affair, you have simply been used as a mug by this woman
If your wife finds out and ends your marriage, which I wouldn't blame her for, it would be because of your cheap and pathetic need for attention. Any attention that is, even from someone who clearly doesn't give a shit about you, just how you can flatter her ego
You have been very stupid. Jealousy of your wifes job is a Piss poor excuse.
Like cog said, it seems you are not learning from past mistakes.
I think the very fact OP has sought out help on here says to me that OP is learning from past mistakes.
Cease all contact with OW and focus your attention on DW or if she's not around friends/family.
You can do it. Grass isn't greener and all that.
You have behaved badly - taking her back to her place when you met her that night is inexcusable, regardless of where you slept. Talking to her about not wanting to have an affair with her as you don't want her to have bad memories of you. Saying you wish you were her boyfriend.
I'm sorry, OP, but you have cheated on your wife. You have engaged in inappropriate behaviour that would be deeply hurtful to your wife if she knew. If I found out my husband had taken a drunk woman back to her flat and 'slept on her sofa' and then hidden it from me - especially a woman I didn't like - I would leave him.
Now, how to fix it? Well, you've obviously identified that you're having an off/off affair, so that's a start. Next, don't just 'mute' the OW, wait till next time she tries to engage you on FB and then keep it very above board. Talk about your DW a lot, and the nice things you do together. Do so during any future chats.
She obviously comes to you for an ego stroke when she's between boyfriends - make it clear (without saying so) that this is no longer available to her. Then mute her after a while - but she'll probably stop talking to you anyway as it's not you she likes but the attention you give her.
Next, focus on your DW. Lots of people work a lot so stop making that an excuse. There is plenty of time to spend together if you work hard on it. You've certainly spent plenty of time on Facebook - you could instead use that time to plan nice things for your wife, cook her a meal for when she's getting in after a long day, take up a hobby together, go to the shop and buy a DVD and bag of doritos for a night in together... whatever. Get your head back into your marriage.
Agree with the latter part of the previous post. Hope it works out well OP and you've taken some of the comments on board.
Join the discussion
Please login first.