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Emotional Affair? If so, how to deal with

(71 Posts)
Outrageousfortune Wed 16-Oct-13 12:27:40

First time poster.... I'll try and keep the details brief

Married for over 12 years. Together for almost 19. 2 children. Thought everything was ok. Comfortably off, good lifestyle, but lacking a bit of togetherness and direction. Never had any doubts whatsoever about dw's loyalty.

About 12 months ago dw's mother was very sick. In fact, she died shortly after being diagosed as terminal.

About the time she was diagnosed dw went for a weekend away to somewhere sunny with a group of gfs. They had a great time. Told me how they met a bunch of guys on the plane with loads of money and then went on the yacht. I was pleased for her.

Roll the clock forward 12 months and dw goes away for business overnight. She calls me on the second day of trip to say that ds is sick and needs collecting from school. Unable to do so herself as at other end of country, or so I thought. DW due back home at about 9pm. Various exchanges of texts in the evening, as dw wants to go out with work colleagues after getting off train. DW finally arrives home at 6am the followining day! I smell a rat.

I have never done this before, but went through her overnight bag and handbag...no work clothes, no work papers. What i found was a wet swimming costume, going out clothes and a room card for a smart London hotel in a man's name. So, I tackled the issue with DW.

DW was initially very evasive but finally owned up. Apparently around December last year, owner of said yacht calls DW and invites her out with his friends for a night out. They then see each other as 'just friends' in groups of other people once every 4 to 6 weeks. Sometimes he met her for lunch or after work for a quick drink. The culmination of all this was him (with all his money) booking her a room in very smart hotel (with a pool) so that she could have some time on her own. Apparently, they went out with a group on the first night, but her went home early due to a family problem - yes, he too is married with kids. He did not stay at the hotel. He came back the next day and took DW out for lunch at a smart restaurant and they went out again, in a group, in the evening. They stayed out later as he cut the previous evening short.

Apparently, she does not fancy him, but thinks that he is a great listener and really interesting. She swears that there has been no emotional or physical relationship between them. I really want to believe her, but I still feel a huge sense of betrayal. I admit, I probably havent been the most attentive husband over recent years, but nevertheless...

DW says she still loves me, and we have maintained an active sex life throughout. I love her dearly. We are working successfully at communicating and giving our life more direction. DW says that her actions were as a consequence of her mother's death and my lack of emotional attentiveness. She has even offered for me to meet the guy and says she wants to remain friends with him.

Has dw been having an emotional affair - or even something else - and if so, what is the best way to mend things?

Apologies for the ramble. I am very confused, but I hope that you are not.

BitOutOfPractice Wed 16-Oct-13 12:31:45

First of all, sorry you're having to deal with this turmoil

Two things spring out at me.

1. If it's all so innocent and above boards, why has your DW been lying to yay for MONTHS. That tells you that she knew what she was doing was wrong

2. I simply don't believe they didn't sleep together and that they went out in a big group. That is much MUCH less likely than the alternative

Sorry hmm

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 16-Oct-13 12:35:58

"Has dw been having an emotional affair - or even something else - and if so, what is the best way to mend things?"

This is not a broken machine that you fix by attaching X and repairing Y. This is a relationship which means the complex, rational and irrational emotions of two people have to be taken into account. You feel betrayed, you're doubting what she's telling you and that's the place to start because 'trust' is the one thing no relationship can survive without. You love her which is a good start but if she's blaming your 'lack of emotional attentiveness' are you happy with that accusation or is it really an excuse?

'Mending' in this context can take as long as it takes. Complete honesty all round is fundamental, as is a wholehearted enthusiasm to stay together and make improvements. However... and this is very important... you may find you can never get past the feeling of betrayal, in which case things can never be mended. That's not a failure, just a fact of life.

anon2013 Wed 16-Oct-13 12:38:57

I very much doubt she's done nothing OP sorry. She's minimising the story to prevent you finding out everything.

anon2013 Wed 16-Oct-13 12:41:08

I'd tell her you want to meet the guy and he should bring his wife too.

BitOutOfPractice Wed 16-Oct-13 12:42:09

Cognito, if a woman came on here and said "my husband has had an affair and he blames it on me not being attentive enough" I doubt very very much if you'd ask if that was a fair accusation or not! You would say "that's just an excuse. Blaming you when he is entirely responsible for his own actions". And quite right you would be too. I think this op deserves the same treatment.

Imagine what you have written, the other way around.
So it's you that has done all this.
How would she feel?
Would she believe you?
I know I don't believe her 'story'!
Sorry but it just doesn't stack up at all.
If it was the other way around I'd be telling your wife that you have been having affair.
Works the other way around as well you know!
She's lied big time on many occasions. That in itself tells you all you need to know!
It the cheats 'script. Lie, deny, minimise! She's done it all so far. Next will be, it's your fault and passing the blame.

She has been having an affair. Men don't book women hotel rooms and then 'not stay the night'. I'm sorry.

Jan45 Wed 16-Oct-13 12:44:51

I would say definitely an emotional affair, not sure about sexual, perhaps.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 16-Oct-13 12:46:57

@BitOutOfPractice.... I'm not that interested in gender, I'm taking the OP on face value. He says I admit, I probably havent been the most attentive husband over recent years, but nevertheless... Which suggests he's half blaming himself based on the reason the DW has given for Yacht Man. I'm asking him to question whether that's a fair accusation.... and I don't think it would be a plot-spoiler to say that I'm hoping he concludes that it isn't.

Dahlen Wed 16-Oct-13 12:51:37

No one can answer that definitively for you. I have to say that I would be sceptical about her story to put it mildly.

If she's happy for you to meet this man now then why the secrecy and lies about him before? She'd already told you about him after the group holiday, so it's not like you were unaware of his existence and she'd have had to broach the issue from scratch. IMO she withheld information because she knew on some level that what she was doing was wrong. The mantra on MN seems to be to consider it an emotional affair if it's something that detracts from your primary relationship and if it's something you don't want your DH/W/P to find out about. On that basis, this fits the bill.

Whether the 'wrongness' is a case of inappropriate behaviour or full on sex, is something you either need to take her word on or make up your own mind about irrespective of what she tells you. Apart from the nature of their relationship, the one thing you do know is that she lied to you. sad

She can mitigate her behaviour with explanations of a reaction to her mother's death and your emotional unavailability, and they may well be factors, but none of them make what she has done ok. She chose to deceive you. She didn't walk into this situation blindfolded. The point at which she made the decision to meet this man, whether in a group setting or not, is the exact same point she chose to lie to you. She made an active decision to tell you she was working, rather than meeting this man.

I think for now, you need to ask her to give you some space to consider your feelings. Right now you're reeling from the information. You need time to absorb it and process it before you can decide what to do with it. She should respect your need for that and should that time herself to consider her actions, what she has to lose, and what she would do (assuming you decide to carry on) to prevent it happening again.

impatienttobemummy Wed 16-Oct-13 13:43:43

I agree with anon you need to meet this guy and his wife, my gut tells me this Won't happen

Outrageousfortune Wed 16-Oct-13 13:56:29

Thanks everyone for your understanding, support and words of encouragement.

I have taken the advice of those of you who have suggested arranging to meet up with the other man and my DW for a drink. Lets see what happens.

In the meantime, please keep the advice and thoughts coming. They are hugely appreciated.

I agree with impatient. It probably won't happen.

I think you need to steel yourself for finding out more: i.e. they had sex.

Outrageousfortune Wed 16-Oct-13 14:08:36

Thisisaeuphemism - Forgive my ignorance, but what do you mean by 'steel yourself for finding out more'?

I'm sorry if it wasn't worded well. I mean - I don't for a moment think they were 'just friends' and maybe you should prepare for worse.

"The culmination of all this was him (with all his money) booking her a room in very smart hotel (with a pool) so that she could have some time on her own. Apparently, they went out with a group on the first night, but her went home early due to a family problem - yes, he too is married with kids. He did not stay at the hotel. He came back the next day and took DW out for lunch at a smart restaurant and they went out again, in a group, in the evening. They stayed out later as he cut the previous evening short."

You don't believe it either, do you?

Outrageousfortune Wed 16-Oct-13 14:31:49

Thisisaeuphemism - Thanks. You are spot on: speaking as a man, I can't fathom why another man - a married one at that - would be so indulgent in respect of another woman, without expecting something at the end of it. To be honest, I feel sick to the pit of my stomach thinking about it.

DW tells me that he is very generous with all his friends - male and female - and finds her to be great company as she comes from such a different background from him. Who am I kidding?!

My heart is telling me one thing and my head another. I want to believe my heart.

anon2013 Wed 16-Oct-13 14:45:39

Ask her if she has 100% told you the truth then I'd say you want to meet this "lovely" "gentleman" and seen as there's nothing going on and tell him to bring his wife.

anon2013 Wed 16-Oct-13 14:49:13

She didn't even apologise and blamed bereavement/you too sad

If she was a he I think you would've got far more help on here OP. Hope you sort it out

And no grown woman would accept such a generous offer, and miss seeing her poorly kid, AND make up all these lies, unless there was something very powerful driving her to do so - friendship doesn't do that. Sex does.

It must be very painful for you and I'm sorry but don't let her treat you like a fool.

It's pointless meeting him alone, because its in his interest to keep this covered up. His wife has to be there too.

skyeskyeskye Wed 16-Oct-13 15:00:06

The fact that she chose to hide it from you and to actually lie about what she was doing, means that she knows that you would not be happy with it. If she needed to hide such an "innocent friendship", why? Because not many husbands would be happy about their wives going to stay with men in hotels...... She knows that what she is doing is totally wrong. Even when confronted with obvious evidence, she was "evasive".

They booked a room overnight.... that to me would indicate that they intended to spend the night together.

If they have such a wonderful friendship then they should be happy to meet each others partners and spend time together as couples.....

yes, men and women can be friends, but it is not a friendship when it is hidden from their partner.

If she hasn't already deleted stuff, you may find out more by checking her mobile and emails.

I am really sorry that you have discovered this. I know how gut wrenching it is. When I discovered thousands of texts to OW, I argued with myself endlessly that they were just friends, to it not being anything because I trusted him and he would never cheat...

Outrageousfortune Wed 16-Oct-13 20:49:21

So, today I have asked DW to set up a meeting with the OP, which she says she will do.

She has also pleaded her innocence again - which I so desperately want to believe, and I kind of do (call me stupid) - but I also asked her to explain her rationale for her behaviour. She said that she was not thinking of anyone else and just wanted to be 'me'. I explained the importance of her rationalising her behaviour but she got upset when I pushed the subject. I said that it was important to me and our ability to build trust and move our relationship on. She's gone out with girlfriends for the evening, so can't conclude.

God knows where we are going to end up.

impatienttobemummy Wed 16-Oct-13 20:59:20

So you've just had this bombshell dropped on you... And she is out with her friends?! hmm

I hope she doesn't just think this will all blow over, you need this meeting with the OM and his DW asap otherwise I fear she will try and sweep it under the carpet with time. Your upset and hurt surely she should be home reassuring you?

Looksgoodingravy Wed 16-Oct-13 21:01:17

I'm sorry OP but I believe your DW is possibly minimising.

It doesn't make sense does it. 'Yacht Man' by coincidence gets a call on the night he's booked into the same hotel but still manages to return the next day. Bloody convenient that!

Sorry I think she's lying about this. I've been where you are and was eventually told the truth.

Looksgoodingravy Wed 16-Oct-13 21:03:20

And you're not stupid for wanting to believe her, of course you do!

I just think it's often to painful to think of the alternative.

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