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Ending an emotional affair...

(30 Posts)
ReapingTheConsequences Fri 15-Feb-13 13:45:10

I ended a 7 month long distance emotional affair on Saturday sad
Am so relieved it is over but I miss him terribly and so, so, so, so want to contact him again sad
Please help me not to, how can I stop thinking about him all the time. I honestly don't want to go back to anything inappropriate with him but I just desperately miss his friendship, care, love. What's going on in my head, given that I have a lovely dh who loves me dearly?? sad
Just want to cry all the time. I know I've brought this on myself by ever going along with something i knew was wrong (despite the fact we're on opposite sides of the world) but telling myself that is not getting me anywhere. Can anyone help me understand what's going on in my head and move on? At the moment, contemplating the rest of life never hearing from him again just seems unbearably sad sad

Imogencodpiece Fri 15-Feb-13 14:12:53

Hi OP,

First of all I have a couple of questions in return,

How did this start?

Why did you decide to break contact? did your DH find out?

What are your reasons for choosing your DH over this other man?

Hopefully the answer to some of these questions will help you remember why you must not contact him again.

You need to keep busy, delete his number/email, block on Facebook ect and change your own.

Buzzardbird Fri 15-Feb-13 14:14:45

It's all an illusion and would never be the same in RL.

Imagine how you would feel if your DH did this to you?

It's all a huge cliche.

Keep busy, cut contact, work out why you needed this in the first place and work on that.

ReapingTheConsequences Fri 15-Feb-13 14:30:25

Thanks for replies
No dh doesn't know. I know how awful it would be for him and us if he did find out. I know it is a cliche and illusion. MN relationships board has been HUGELY helpful in getting me to confront all this and get me to the point of finishing it so am grateful.
Just want a bucket of cold water over my head, that's why I've posted! Posting something so private/secret and yet so cliched has made me feel ridiculous so that's a good start. Have been v interested by posts on other threads with insights into emotional affairs, eg that the secrecy by itself can make it so much more powerful - I hadn't recognised this and it's certainly true.

Buzzardbird Fri 15-Feb-13 14:40:53

I know its hard but every time you feel you are weakening just think "cliche, tacky, predictable, sordid"
stay strong.

Fast Fri 15-Feb-13 16:09:22

Think of it like a bereavement - if someone you care about dies you don't suddenly 'get over' them. It will take time but it will get better.
Meanwhile, put your emotional energies into your marriage.

(and please don't think I am being patronising but well done on ending it)

ReapingTheConsequences Fri 15-Feb-13 16:27:26

Thank you. I don't think that is patronising - actually I feel that ending it has been a huge achievement and something I have found very hard to do. I am so grateful for support and for words that help me to keep a right perspective. Thank you xx

Halfaworldaway Fri 15-Feb-13 16:59:12

I had an emotional affair. It was awful and wonderful at the same time. I got caught up in the drama of it, felt love like I'd never felt in my life. Until I realised that leading a secret life was destroying me, and my marriage. My dh knew but wouldn't talk about it, he just said 'deal with it'.

I finally understood that i needed to completely break away from talking to this person (he was someone that I'd had an intense relationship with when I was younger). It was hard but we have now completely cut ties.

While it might have been a cliche, and tacky and predictable, it was also very painful. I found that accepting that I did have feelings for this man and then moving on from those feelings helped. Even my dh said 'you can't help your feelings'. I'm very lucky to have him. A few years' on, we are very very happy. I still think about OM constantly - he's someone that will always be in my heart. But he isn't right for me. And I don't want to be with him. My life is with DH.

ChateauCollapso Fri 15-Feb-13 21:15:46

I can't talk about what happened to me. It was many years ago and almost destroyed my marriage and my mental health. Looking back, it was a diversion. You might think you've met your 'soulmate' but it isn't like that in reality. It might feel all consuming but no good will ever come of it. Managed to save my marriage but it took years. In hindsight I would never do it again. I've also had to help friends through this type of situation. Just think you've had a lucky escape and forget it. He's only a man. No-one special. And will also run a mile if you say you're leaving your husband for him. That's when the 'I love you, want to be with you, have a baby with you' bollocks ends. Don't risk it. Address the problems in your relationship. I'm truly giving you this advice from my own terrible experience.

thimblena Fri 15-Feb-13 22:46:22

I posted here recently about my DP who has just stopped contacting me after 5 years. Besides getting support from MN, I've deleted/disposed of everything relating to him. I don't have his number in my phone, his email address in my contacts, any stuff he's ever given me etc. This doesn't mean I don't think of him, but there's less prompts.

I must admit to being rather envious that you have a lovely DH waiting in the wings. Your relationship with him is real, the one with your OM wasn't.

Kione Fri 15-Feb-13 22:56:25

I was in a similar situation, qnd I just focused on DP so much, we where going through a bump and I told him what I wanted him to change, he did and I am just trying to think about him all the time. If you have thoughts of OM, switch straight back to DH, sonething you would like to do with him, look forward to come home for a cuddle, glass of wine, whatever. Try to have similar nice, romantic conversation you where having with OM, and hopefully you will see how wonderful he is. Keep strong!!

jenny99 Sat 16-Feb-13 09:20:11

kione am very interested in your post (not wishing to hijack..sorry)...when you say your DP changed - how long ago was this? Do people really change? I am in a similar situation, but wondering do people change and does it last. Thank you

Kione Sat 16-Feb-13 09:46:42

In our case yes, I think you can't generalise, everyone is different. Just after Christmas, he said it was work that made him miserable, to be honest he was like that when I met him, but I thought he was "serious" not grumpy and the physical attraction was incredible. He never fell in love head to toes with me, he was very reserved, not sociable, never came to gatherings with my mates, he befriended one in my home town but thats about it. Then I got pregnant (we where only living together in his shared house cos I had lost my job) I was over the moon, his words when I told him where "you are fucking joking me". I said I am nit letting you spoil my happiness, if you are not ready I'll do it on my own (my mum single mum, so had all t he instructions, flus I wad 10 years oldet than her when she had me). He went on a work trip, though about it a decided to stick with us. The first surprise wad when the baby wad born he actually became a lot cudlier!! so we cracked on for 3 years but he became increasingly grumpy and boring again. After lots of thinking after Christmas I told him I was leaving, only down the road and rent a flat, we coupd have DD 50/50. I am not sure if it was before or after this chat that DD jumped in the sofa next to him and said "daddy you are grumpy". Also a girl at his job resigned and his bosses wife left him because if the work too (not sure the details but involves not being there fir their 3 kids under five). All this things really made DP think and realised I was serious too and we could do without a misserable sod in our lifes. So he changed, started.being more possitive, talking his worries with me instead if bottleing them up and most importantly nit letting work get to him. his cilleagues jokingly said he was on drungs as he was happy!. he takes us for lunch out and came to one of my friends birthday parties, he wad surprised ad he knew people and had a giod time!
Anyway, sorry the long post, but yes he did change. Now I needmy feelings back, but thats another story, we are getting there... ask whatever else you need or send me a private if you want.

Kione Sat 16-Feb-13 09:49:05

sorry the spelling, I am on touch phone

jenny99 Sat 16-Feb-13 10:47:13

Thank you for such a long reply. I am not meaning to 'disappear' but am about to get on an aeroplane! Won't have wifi. A bit (a lot!!!) concerned how I will cope!!! smile

TheCatAndTheFiddle Sat 16-Feb-13 11:07:21

I've been thinking about starting a thread like this too...

I have been involved in an affair (mostly emotional, not much physical contact really) since September and it has been the most horrendous, difficult and depressing 5 months of my life. Over the last few days I've turned a bit of a corner - yesterday we didnt text at all which is a first for us since this whole mess started. I'm just concerned now about keeping it up, we work together in a fairly small company and I'm worried that unless one of us leaves, it will never properly be over. The problem with that being that we both have our dream jobs that have better pay and conditions than we could get anywhere else. I suppose you reap what you sow...

Anyway, what has helped me reach this point has been:

Identifying what led to this behaviour in my marriage - I have had a few frank conversations with my DH about what our marriage lacks and how I feel. He has been brilliant and has taken on board much of what we've discussed
Attending individual and couple counselling re the above
Turning all of my thoughts and attention to DH - we've been ignoring each other for a long time, and I needed to refocus all of my attention from the other man onto my DH
Realising my behaviour just lacked respect for everyone involved. It lacks respect for my DH and the OM's wife (and children!). It also lacks respect for myself - I would never stoop so low as to see a married man if I was single, why the hell would I do that when I'm in a relationship?!
Thinking about how cliched, nasty and selfish my behaviour is. Yes, I think there are some serious and deep-rooted reasons for it, yes my marriage has slowly been decaying, but although these are reasons they do not excuse the behaviour - nothing can.
Remembering how bloody unhappy the whole situation has made me! The stress, secrets, lies, heartbreak, jealousy, sadness, shame, guilt... Not worth it!

Anyway, sorry if I've high jacked your thread a bit- just want you to know there are others going through similar. Breaking off contact is the best thing you can do - then think about how and why this has happened, and what your future looks like. Good luck!

badinage Sat 16-Feb-13 11:20:29

You'll get there TheCat because you've not let yourself fall for all the usual excuses. There's so much self-deception and self-excusing in these things. Makes such a change to hear from someone who's not doing that. No contact out of work and just the professional when there, sounds like the only way to go. Best of luck.

ReapingTheConsequences Sat 16-Feb-13 11:33:19

Really helpful hearing of other people's experiences - thank you
TheCat - I can relate so much to a lot of what you say - esp the misery of it and shock/disbelief at how easily I've been persuaded to discard so many morals I thought I held dear - loyalty, faithfulness, truthfulness, openness to name but a few. It's been a ridiculous rollercoaster over the past 7 months - lots of lows and some incredible highs but always tinged with guilt and shame. It is painful walking away from it all but feels so good and right to be finally taking control and saying "No". I really feel for you being in a position where you see the OM regularly, that must make it a million times harder. I hope things go well for you and that you can stay strong and away from the texts. Good luck

TheCatAndTheFiddle Sat 16-Feb-13 11:33:33

Thank you badinage, I appreciate that. I have spent the affair making the excuses, realising they are just that, beating myself up, and making the excuses again in a difficult, heartbreaking cycle. I've found so much of my behaviour has been cyclical and it is consciously deciding to break those patterns that helps - the only way to do that is to face the reality of the situation and not get lost in the fantasy.

I think you are right, totally professional at work, and no contact outside of work is the only way it will work. Thanks, I'm feelings a bit more confident after getting all of that off my chest smile

TheCatAndTheFiddle Sat 16-Feb-13 11:35:14

Thanks Reaping - good luck with the future.

Kione Sat 16-Feb-13 17:20:33

My weak moments are when I have PMS ( I suffer badly with mega change of moods) I get peed of with DH by anything and used to turn to OM texts to feel good. I confided in a friend who made me delete his number there and then and I text her instead when I feel the urge (as I know the number anyway) and concentrate on.DH specially when I am in a good mood

CrispyHedgeHog Sat 16-Feb-13 18:45:47

Not sure how relevant this is but have any of you seen catfish? It started as a one off documentary about a man who fell in love online, his journey to meet her and what the out come was.

He's now making a series with other people in similar situations. It's on MTV I think on monday nights.. very interesting. One couple had been communicating for 10 years and never met.

LauraGraig Tue 19-Feb-13 14:18:39

These type of relationships are very normal. In such cases, taking steps to getting over these affairs as soon as possible helps in saving your replationship and build trust again. If you're interested to read more, you can do so at www.squidoo.com/getting-over-emotional-affair

knitpicker Tue 19-Feb-13 16:04:15

Hi all, it is so reassuring to hear your stories. I am recovering from the end of an emotional affair. No contact now for over a week and it is hard to stop obsessing - it is interfering with my work and sleep. It helped me to read up on Limenence - the feeling of being in love and how all encompassing and addictive that can be. I am also worried about reaching out to DH, we are mostly in a good place - frequent sex, chats about kids and work but no touching or affection and the feeling is there that he has withdrawn a little bit too. We got together young, unplanned pg and still together 18 plus years and 3 kids later but financially things have been tough and stress has taken a toll. I miss the way OM gave me self-respect.

Kione Tue 19-Feb-13 18:08:37

Knitpicker, does DH knows about the emotional affair? how do you manage sex without afection or touching? that is how it was for me a few months ago and that is in my opinion why I started getting addicted to OM

plinkyplonks Tue 19-Feb-13 19:20:24

OP - well done on ending the affair!

I see relationships kind of like investments - they are only as good as the love and care you put in them. You and your DH are a team. Stop trying to join another team. Invest all that time and love in your real life relationship and all those things you crave will come with time smile

Good luck smile

ReapingTheConsequences Wed 20-Feb-13 12:42:01

Well it's been 10 days now with no contact at all. I still think of him through every day from the moment I wake up till the moment I go to sleep, but no longer with such intensity of emotion - already the whole thing has begun to take on an air of unreality and I am just ashamed at how naive, immature, selfish and two-faced I've been sad. I do miss the attention, the texts, the knowledge that across the other side of the world there was someone thinking I was wonderful, but one thing I'm realising more and more was that he was never "in love" with me at all, he was just in love with the idea of me... and I fell for it like a fool.
For anyone going through a similar experience I think the advice on this thread has been brilliant, especially muttering "sordid cliched predictable tacky" like a mantra - brings you right down to earth! Going ahead (and never wanting to repeat this experience) I am going to be much less naive about personal compliments from other men, no matter how innocent they might seem at the start, and never again to allow myself to be drawn into a correspondence I wouldn't want to share with dh (this all took off when OM asked if he could send me just one private message not for dh's eyes, I thought just one would be ok.....)
I've a way to go but already it's much better smile
Thanks for brilliant anonymous support smile

Slippersox Wed 20-Feb-13 19:46:04

Just want to say well done for being strong and breaking off your EA, and realising it was a fantasy bubble of a relationship that if your 'lovely' DH ,as you refer to him, had found out would have devastated him no doubt.
I sadly found out about a secret friendship my DH had with a work contact as a result of her partner finding explicit texts and I love you's ( from her to my DH).It broke my heart and nearly ended a marriage that had been strong and happy for many years.And my DH would second the fact there was essentially nothing wrong between us until OW started texting him and he was weak and selfish enough to enjoy and encourage the flattery and flirtation.
Of course you've a long way to go.10 months of addictive, secretive behaviour is going to take some significant recovery time.But all the best, and try not to be too hard on yourself.Focus all your energies on rebuilding your relationship with your DH , because believe me even if he never ' knows' what went on this will inevitably have detracted from your marriage big time.Good luck and stay strong.

Slippersox Wed 20-Feb-13 19:47:39

Oops sorry meant 7 months.Had read your post properly but been a long day!

stationlady47 Thu 02-Jan-14 09:45:42

Hello, Reaping the Consequences .... just wondered, are you there? I wondered if I could ask your advice, please!

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