Advanced search

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 infidelity

(32 Posts)
Ellington Tue 06-Nov-12 15:47:20

I've been married for 16 years & have 3 DC's (12, 10 & 5) the youngest if whom has special needs. I live my husband, but our marriage is stale. Not sure i was ever in love with him really. I've recently reconnected with an old friend after 20 years. We slept together once back then. We're now messaging each other every day. I knew he had a massive crush on me but he's told me he was in love with me back then. I've been absolutely floored by the strength of my feelings towards him. It's not as if either of us are lookers now, but I feel such an emotional connection. He's married with no kids. He lives 200 miles away so it's really not likely this will go any further, but I realise most people would consider this cheating anyway. Can't eat or sleep for thinking about him & i feel sick all the time. DH is beginning to notice something's wrong. Anyone else been in this situation?

ShamyFarrahCooper Tue 06-Nov-12 15:50:28

It's a crush really but you have to stop all this contact. You are having a 'what could have been' moment and romanticising how your life could be with this man. The reality would be supremely different and your husband deserves to be treated with more respect than this.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 06-Nov-12 16:01:53

If your marriage is all washed up, then it's understandable if you look for affection or excitement elsewhere. Especially someone you knew pre-DH, pre kids, pre becoming a dreary middle-aged housewife with their life stuck in a rut.... However, I would treat your crush as a signal that something needs to change in your 'real life' rather than it being cheating per se. If your life is dull, liven it up. If your marriage is stale, ditto. If your marriage is over..... end it and start fresh rather than carrying on to keep up appearances.

BethFairbright Tue 06-Nov-12 16:27:17

You're having an emotional affair and your husband would (like you) regard it as cheating.

Because it is.

If you don't think you were ever in love with the man you chose to spend your life with, set him free to find someone who is. Apologise for lying to him all these years about your feelings for him.

Just don't feel you're entitled to a secret relationship on the side with a married man.

Because that's really low behaviour.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 06-Nov-12 17:20:33

It's not 'low' behaviour... it's the action of a lonely woman regretting her lost youth, starved of affection, and knowing that someone married and 200 miles away is not a serious prospect. There are far worse examples of low behaviour.

BethFairbright Tue 06-Nov-12 17:26:54

I disagree.

Deceit and lies and colluding in someone else's deceit and lies to his partner is very low by my standards as a human being. But we've all got different moral compasses.

Abitwobblynow Tue 06-Nov-12 17:34:36

Cog come on! Beth is calling it right. She is developing a secret away from her H, with intense emotions.

That is an affair, Beth is correct.

Abitwobblynow Tue 06-Nov-12 17:35:48

And isn't the NUMBER ONE thing, that revising? Charbon will be along in a minute to say this very point: it is after the infatuation starts, that they decide something is wrong with the M.

Lovingfreedom Tue 06-Nov-12 17:40:52

Erm...grow up both of you?? It didn't happen between you then...not going to happen now. You're saying you never loved your DH but you've got 3 little kids with him. Sounds like a bit of a fantasy about your youth going on. Not surprising given the everyday mundanity of having a husband and young family...but don't start thinking this is Prince Charming come back into your life.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 06-Nov-12 18:02:40

So it's a secret... So there are deep emotions.... So it's dishonest.... It's a fantasy thing. To all intents and purposes the man 200 miles away is an 'imaginary friend'. He's not writhing about on a web-cam and pouting for £10/minute. He's not meeting her at the local beauty spot for a bunk up on the back seat of the Volvo. This is symptomatic of a dull life, a dull marriage and a bored person. A prompt to do something about life, marriage and boredom... not an affair.

Ellington Tue 06-Nov-12 18:09:38

Thanks for the opinions. Actually I never said I never loved my husband, just that I wasn't in love with him & I can't imagine I would be the only person who felt like that in a marriage. I'm not justifying in any way what I'm doing & I'm assuming it will burn itself out anyway, especially with there never being the likelihood of ever meeting. I realise it's wrong! It wouldn't even be a dilemma if I didn't feel bad about it.

Lovingfreedom Tue 06-Nov-12 18:27:59

I don't really make a distinction between love/in love...that's to do with whether you fancy him/want to have sex with him?
Just think there's a danger of bigging up this guy who reminds you so much of your youth, and a one night stand and what might have been.
If it's a fantasy then fine...but this sounds like you've discussed some pretty emotional topics between you already...which takes it into RL rather than just fantasy. Don't take it any further unless you're ready to face consequences in your know that.

panicnotanymore Tue 06-Nov-12 18:31:28

When people start to invest their emotions elsewhere, their marriage suffers, and so seems to be increasingly stale, which justifies the emotional affair in their mind. It is a catch 22 situation. Your DH will also be aware that you have disconnected from him, partners always know, even if they don't realise what they know.

Try redirecting your attention back into your marriage. I suspect you will find it improves. If it doesn't, leave, and start anew.... Your DH deserves either a committed partner, or the freedom to find one.

BethFairbright Tue 06-Nov-12 20:31:44

Your husband probably feels the same way. People who are 'bored' in their marriages and are investing their energies elsewhere are usually shit partners who no-one wants to be around. What efforts have you made in recent times to revitalise your relationship? What have you done to cherish your partner and make him feel safe and loved? What actions did you take once you thought the relationship had got a bit stale?

It's easy to peddle a story about being in a lacklustre marriage and some people will fall for it and even embellish it to give you excuses for your infidelity, but there are always two people in a marriage and share the responsibility for it's overall health.

Going outside it for secret kicks is silent sabotage.

If you are truly after some advice, then end this affair forthwith and give yourself some time to decide whether you really were 'never in love' with your husband or whether this is the affair talking. If the affair was a symptom and you've been lying to your husband all these years about your true feelings for him, then end the marriage with kindness.

Ellington Wed 28-Nov-12 00:01:47

Well I've got my just desserts. I chose to continue my emotional affair. It's developed further. We talk everyday. Gone as far as phone sex & are talking about meeting. I'm overwhelmed by my emotions. I try & ignore him, but he always restarts it. But I know it's all going to end in tears. My advice to anyone even thinking of reconnecting with an old friend or lover is don't! Not unless you're prepared to accept the consequences.

AnyFuckingDude Wed 28-Nov-12 00:04:03

There's no fool like a middle-aged fool sad

You can still stop this, btw. You just don't want to. I hope your dc don't get too hurt by your selfish actions.

Ellington Wed 28-Nov-12 00:06:51

Oh and my husband clearly suspects something because I'm classically permanently attached to my phone. I'm wrecking everything. My husband, my kids even the OM, never mind his wife don't deserve this. I am such a terrible person.

AnyFuckingDude Wed 28-Nov-12 00:07:36

Then stop.

Leverette Wed 28-Nov-12 00:11:00

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Charbon Wed 28-Nov-12 01:01:47

Advising other people not to have an affair and saying you're a terrible person are just hiding mechanisms that stop you dealing with some hard truths.

You clearly didn't take the advice from some posters on this thread when you initially posted, so why would anyone else? You're not going to take anyone's advice this time, are you? Saying you're a terrible person already is a permission process - what you're saying is that you're already irredeemable so carrying on with this is not going to make it any worse.

In reality things are going to get a lot worse, for everyone involved including you and the OM, but only if you continue headlong into this affair. You can stop it if you want to avoid a world of hurt. You are not powerless in the face of an addiction.

Everything you have done and will do in the future is an active decision. At no point can you say after the event that it 'just happened' and you didn't know the likely consequences. Even if you convince others, you will always know that these were decisions you took cognisant of all the facts.

It's not too late to stop this and put your energies back into resolving your marriage one way or the other. Don't hide behind thoughts that you cannot, or are too far gone. You can and you're not.

spoonyfucker Wed 28-Nov-12 01:56:44

Cogito wrote

" To all intents and purposes the man 200 miles away is an 'imaginary friend'. He's not writhing about on a web-cam and pouting for £10/minute. He's not meeting her at the local beauty spot for a bunk up on the back seat of the Volvo"

Oops ! He's now got as far as writhing about on a phone line (though probably on some sort of call-inclusive tariff and not at £10/minute) and it sounds like the bunk up on the back seat of the Volvo is not far away......

To the OP: you're indulging in complete escapism here, and you're about to hit the point where reality comes crashing in on the fantasy.

Real love is action, conscious decision, not this lethal mix of nostalgia, flattery and pretend-helplessness. You know that.

bradywasmyfavouriteking Wed 28-Nov-12 08:51:17

What happened when, having come to you senses, you told the OM to never contact you again?

Slippersox Wed 28-Nov-12 08:53:00

Read this thread initially and didn't post although I was rather incensed by Cogito's dismissive and simplistic post so thank you Spoony for reminding me of that one.You see OP I have been in your DHs shoes.Unaware of an insidiously developing realtionship between my DH and OW although sadly there wasn't 200 miles between them.They worked together.They didn't get as far as having sex.I still regard it as an affair.As would your DH if he found out today.
When the shit hit the fan ie. her DH found explicit texts my DHs first defence was 'it just happened ' but Charbon is spot on at no point can you say that or will your DH accept that as a reason.Nothing 'just' happens.You make it happen.
Today you have a massive choice .Go back to your marriage and focus on that.If that's not what you want long term be honest with your DH ,but only when you have worked it out without this fantasy bubble of the other man clouding everything.
If you persist be aware it's almost certain you will get found out.Sounds like your DH senses something is wrong ,and that's not surprisingly given the level of detachment and distance you are putting between you.
Maybe even as I post his wife is going through his phone because she feels something's not quite right and your OM has not been as careful and controlled with his phone as you are with yours ?Don't believe that could happen ?Oh yes it does.Get ready.

fluffyraggies Wed 28-Nov-12 09:05:16

There's nothing terrible about falling out of love with someone. There's nothing terrible about falling in love with someone who is married to someone else. It happens.

The terribleness is the deceipt. The way you are treating your husband. The way presumably your OM is treating his wife. Why are you doing it????

LEAVE one relationship before starting another. Your DH does not deserve this. His wife does not deserve this. No one does.

Have your OM - but set your DH, and the OMs DW free first.

meditrina Wed 28-Nov-12 09:32:49

You have crossed the line if you would not want your DH to read the messages you are sending.

If this is the case, then you are at a crossroads: do you want to work on your marriage (in which case you must break off the EA totally in order to give yourself the slightest chance of placing your emotional intimacy with your spouse) or you accept that your marriage is over and end it, giving both yourself and (importantly) your spouse the freedom to find a new (and better?) life.

What would be wrong, very wrong, is to continue a deceitful course. You may have ended up being emotionally unfaithful by accident, or from very real needs unmet in your marriage. But now you have recognised it is wrong, this is the only chance really to decide your attitude to continuing with this infidelity.

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