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My DH has had an emotional affair

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


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!"


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.....

VianneFox Sun 01-Sep-13 11:02:14

Yes, I agree with checking what you will be entitled to financially. There will be a way for you to cope if you decide to end your marriage, as scary as it does seem

Bogeyface Sun 01-Sep-13 12:52:55

Regarding the money (I take it he kept it and spent it?) I think that for that alone you should seriously consider leaving him. If, as I suspect, what he has done is theft then he could end up getting investigated by the police and they will interview you and want access to all your financial information. You could end up implicated in a crime you knew nothing about, and now you do know about it there could be a question mark over why you didnt report it.

FFS dont let him drag you down with him.

bullinthesea Mon 02-Sep-13 09:02:11

Bogeyface - you've raised some very good points, thank you, you are right in what you say.
I also wonder if some of the cash withdrawn was spent on the OW, so that it wouldn't appear on his bank statements...

What I can't understand is, the way that during this affair, he was talking to me about renewing our vows, we had little dirty weekends away together, he always seemed focused on the next thing that we were going to be doing together, i.e. holidays, nights out, social events etc. I am just struggling to grasp how someone can be giving such an impression of commitment, whilst having a relationship with someone else for 3+ years.
How do these men do it?

Thisisaeuphemism Mon 02-Sep-13 09:09:33

I don't think that's the question you need to ask - the question for you is why do women put up with it?

You sound so nice. He is such a twat. Is this what you think marriage should be like?

AnyFucker Mon 02-Sep-13 09:09:36

I am at a loss to understand why you are still breathing the same air as this man

He still hasn't made up his mind to stay ? Seriously ? Throw him the Fuck out. Where is your self respect
,love ?

Thisisaeuphemism Mon 02-Sep-13 09:12:20

And what AF said!

Seriously, you started out saying if it was a physical affair then you would split. Then you find out that it was a sexual affair of many years duration. You keep on finding out more and more shitty things about him and now, HE is dithering over whether he wants in or not!! Why don't you make life easier for both of you?

Ezio Mon 02-Sep-13 09:21:54

What AF said, A man who has had an affair for that long wont ever change, he has no reason too, you havent made him pay for his choices, in a few months, you'll be back again, because hes cheating again.

Can you honestly look at your H and think "I still respect him"?

Xales Mon 02-Sep-13 10:02:02

So if you don't behave he has a downer and leaves you wondering if he will still be there when you get back.

Very nasty and controlling.

How long are you willing to tip toe around and be treated like that when he is the one who behaved badly?

MadAboutHotChoc Mon 02-Sep-13 10:19:25

Jeez shock

No wonder he takes the piss out of you.

He so needs to be told to go away to give you time and space to think about whether you still want to be married to a lying cheating and now thieving arse.

Taking money from an elderly vulnerable relative has got to be the worse thing - how can you still love and respect him?

He does not want to do any of the hard work required in changing and helping you recover. Instead he is making you do the work - who the fuck does he think he is?

A good father does not treat the mother of his DC like this. They must be picking up all kind of fucked up messages about adult relationships. If apart, they can still have a good relationship with him on their own.

Don't contact OW - its HIM who is the issue.

Wellwobbly Mon 02-Sep-13 12:28:01



Sack your counsellor!

bullinthesea Tue 03-Sep-13 09:12:16

Wellwobbly - does Relate have a bit of a reputation?
Thanks, Bull.

JaceyBee Tue 03-Sep-13 09:22:34

They're just not very consistent. They do their own in house training, not as thorough as an independent counselling training programme. They are not usually BACP/UKCP accredited because of this.

Like all Counsellors there will some amazing ones and some shitty ones. But I think mainly they are well known and popular because they are a 'brand', and that most people would be better off finding a private counsellor who works with individuals and couples (and is BACP/UKCP accredited).

Wellwobbly Tue 03-Sep-13 10:04:06

Hi, Relate counsellors can only have a basic counselling certificate and some of them can have an old-fashioned view in that affairs result out of a 'lack' in the marriage. What this approach does is blame and re-victimise people who had no responsibility at all in the the affair, to believe that they had some part to play.

No. There is no such thing as a perfect marriage. Imperfect marriages do not 'force' someone to step outside. This is an issue within the person deciding to cheat.

Chyochan Tue 03-Sep-13 15:58:05

Im new so sorry if Im butting in but I think we should cut Bull some slack. It is VERY hard to leave a relationship with someone you love, someone you believed to be a good guy and trusted compleatly. However much of a shit they turn out to be it can take ages for that to sink in emotionaly, years in fact. Its not about being weak I bet everyone here has at sometime or another allowed someone to behave to them in ways they would never normaly. When something like this happens it can undermines every aspect of your life and you dont trust your own reality anymore. I think this is how men get away with it to the extent they do, the confusion makes you feel like you are losing everything and gradually you end up compromising more and more.

Chyochan Tue 03-Sep-13 15:59:42

It will only get worse tho, so if you can bite the bullet now and move this fucker out asap. Good luck, I feel for you.

MadAboutHotChoc Tue 03-Sep-13 17:32:33

Chyochan - many of us have actually been there so we do know how hard it is and equally why its so important to be tough and that this approach is OP's only chance to save her marriage.

AnyFucker Tue 03-Sep-13 18:11:08

Chy, you criticise other posters approaches, then immediately follow it up by saying the exact same thing everyone else.

New or not, that is not a useful contribution.

AnyFucker Tue 03-Sep-13 18:11:22

as everyone else

Wellwobbly Wed 04-Sep-13 11:48:33

Chy, I agree with what you say, so true. It took me four years, with AnyFucker kicking my ass all the way.

Immediate swift action is the only way of saving anything. 'Trying to understand' and any other placating (as I did) just makes what is lost inevitable.

Welcome to Mumsnet. Meet AnyFucker - under the growl is your bestest and most loyal mate.

tessa6 Wed 04-Sep-13 11:57:16

bull, never forget the power of guilt during an affair. And the ups and downs of an affair (between them, you excluded) include such emotional highs and lows that the partner at home becomes the 'steady' one, absorbing and deflecting all sorts of stuff they know nothing about so the cheater can carry on having a secure stable home and family and all the passion of a bit on the side.

Chyochan Wed 04-Sep-13 12:52:54

Also have to say your counsellor sounds totally toxic, 'just move on' after a couple of weeks if that?! what planet is she on. Please dont listen to a word she says, must be a gift for him tho, just what he wants to hear. Get rid of her asap is my advise.

onefewernow Wed 04-Sep-13 13:01:25

This counsellor does indeed sound poor, from what you say.

However, it simply isnt true that all Relate counsellors are internally trained.

They do have an in house programme. However, many also do BACP accreditation. In addition, a further number are brought in from outside and trained elsewhere, and are BACP accredited. Some, like mine, have a further qualification in sexual counselling, also BACP accredited.

The point is, I agree, they are variable in both skills and experience, and qualified to differing levels. Some are independent and work through and with Relate, and some are employed.

liquidstate Wed 04-Sep-13 13:11:51

Its not just Relate, I think all counsellors vary and you are perfectly within your rights to ask to change to a different one.

When we went for our introduction session we both found the lady doing the assessment a bit too old fashioned and annoying so we asked them to make sure we had someone else for the actual counselling. The request wasn't that unusual to them and they accepted that we would need someone we felt comfortable with. The chap we were allocated was actually brilliant and its thanks to him that I am still married.

Have you been offered solo sessions? We had two together sessions then two solo sessions then the rest were together.

JoinYourPlayfellows Wed 04-Sep-13 13:24:33

He stole a large sum of money from an elderly woman?

And now she has no money to pay for her care?

Is that really what happened?! shock

This is not a nice man you are married to.

At all.

Wellwobbly Wed 04-Sep-13 13:53:36


bull, never forget the power of guilt during an affair. And the ups and downs of an affair (between them, you excluded) include such emotional highs and lows that the partner at home becomes the 'steady' one, absorbing and deflecting all sorts of stuff they know nothing about so the cheater can carry on having a secure stable home and family and all the passion of a bit on the side.

Wow. Can you elaborate? Such an important point, I have never thought of it before.

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