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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.....

tessa6 Wed 04-Sep-13 14:19:03

I was responding to bull's confusion that during the affair, her OH seemed to be very keen to plan events or holidays and even suggested renewing their vows at one point. I was simply trying to widen the shot a little. After an affair revelation, the cheater and betrayed often go through a huge reconsideration of their relationship and the effects and betrayals and unmet needs and so on. The focus becomes the marriage and the horrific 'event' that has knocked the marriage, like an iceberg to a ship.

But the real truth is that the affair has been a relationship just as complicated, profound (sometimes) and difficult as the marriage at points. In long terms affairs, a cheater will have periods of feeling incredibly guilty and making a lot of effort at home as a result. There will be other occasions where the affair partners row and hate each other, occasionally even calling it off completely, at which point the cheater will return home, quietly thankful for his 'good, solid' wife who, for no reasons he can understand, gets flowers and sex and renewal of vows suggested to her, only to have things fade a few weeks later as the lovers she knows nothing about make up passionately.

So really there are two ships. and the affair ship for a period is more honest and enticing, because everything is out in the open, but often more volatile and exciting for that. The home ship is quiet and ignorant and safe and a source of great security.

The truth is there are some occasions where an affair actually keeps a flawed primary relationship GOING because the cheater is unhappy but feels such guilt and pity for their partner (because of the affair they are having!) that they can't find the self-esteem or reasons to walk out. This doesn't excuse the behaviour of the cheater. It is still reprehensible and a waste of everyone's time.

MissStrawberry Wed 04-Sep-13 14:31:59

OP, you sound scared. What you need to do is arm yourself with good legal advice, a better counsellor if you feel you need one and go alone, and start making plans.

He shagged someone else.
He hung his lover's gift in your son's room.
He took the piss - crying in your lap, patting your stomach.
He is annoyed you aren't over it yet.
He has robbed his aunt.
He bought you tat as an eternity gift.
Depressed my arse. Just a convenient excuse.
He gets annoyed you ask more questions.
He is setting a terrible example to your son for how a husband should behave.

Why the fuck are you waiting for him to decide if you are good enough to stay with?

tessa6 Wed 04-Sep-13 14:36:42

bull, i'm sorry but i Have to agree. Please don't carry on letting this get swept under the carpet. You deserve the truth. He has been so unimpressive. I hope your first day at work went well.

hellsbellsmelons Wed 04-Sep-13 14:51:49

Just returned to this and see that he is still in your house and your bed!!????
This is insane.
He's keeping both of you dangling while we decides what HE wants - seriously???
Kick him out now.
He needs a swift sharp lesson on what he's losing.
Not a lesson in how his wife will put up with all sorts of crap.
You KNOW you need to kick him out.
Stop putting it off and do it - today!!!
Pack him a bag now and tell him to go and give you some space.
Don't settle for the scraps he's willing to throw you.
It's a terrible example to be setting your children.
Be strong and do it!

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 04-Sep-13 15:29:07

Hello bullinthesea had missed your updates. Hope you're enjoying the new job?

How could H play along with romancing you, weekends away, discussing vow renewal, all these signs of commitment you call them, yet conduct a 3 year affair?

tessa6 has mentioned guilt. Add to that the entitled personality who sees life as "rewards".
What better way to keep up the momentum of treats and pleasures with OW than to indulge in similar with DW? Also throws you off the scent and scores Brownie points for "H of the year".

Now the bubble with OW has burst so no more parallel treats with you. Sorry but am startled he was quickly back to sharing your bed and trying to scupper your plans to see friends and sulking about you telling your parents. As a bonus that counsellor must have cheered him up no end. Practically inviting you to shoulder it all!

No wonder he has the brass neck to buy a bauble as an "eternity" ring and no, the value is not the issue.

Weeks on and he is all but tapping his foot in vexation every time you bring up The Elephant in the Room. He is wanting to run halfway round the world as if that will blot out his actions with OW over so long a time! God knows what he's done with elderly aunt's money. (If he really doesn't have a credit card how else was he financing his jollies?).

Most of all astonished at the lengths you go to trying to fix this for yourself and DS all on your own. The ship hit the iceberg bull but H seems to be toasty on dry land while you are emotionally still bobbing in the icy water.

Phalenopsis Wed 04-Sep-13 15:39:03

Delurking here OP.

How can they do it? Well, aside from the reasons mentioned, some people are very good at compartmentalisation. They find it easy to separate themselves from the shit storm they have created.

Oh and most of 'em are bloody selfish too.

Doha Wed 04-Sep-13 16:02:28

FFS Bull where is your self respect. You are still allowing this arrogant c**t to decide in this relationship. He is still manipulating and trying to control you.
Get him gone out of your bed and house.

MissStrawberry Wed 04-Sep-13 17:19:35

OP, no doubt these last few posts have had to run for cover and feel you can no longer ask for support when you have appeared to have decided to stay with your husband. Rest assured, while we all think you should leave him for your sake and your son's sake, it is your life and you are the only one living it and you have to live with the consequences along with your son. We will be here to support you but we will not say it will all be fine if you stay.

Shapechanger Wed 04-Sep-13 20:17:02

bull I am lurker just throwing in my pennies, hope that's OK.

I was very pleased when I heard about the job, anything that removes practical obstacles to your leaving is great. Whether you stay or go it is empowering and helps you to feel you have choices.

This resonated with me as it was totally my experience with Relate:

This is Relate right? They are notorious for this. Really old-fashioned perspective and they see their role as anything to keep the marriage alive.

Also, finally, what he says doesn't add up. You can only move forward and save the marriage (I wouldn't but I am happily separated) if he is completely honest with you.

The carpet burns comment can only mean that he shagged her recently. Trying to fob you off that he was talking to her about shagging you is ridiculous.

Imagine this - he had an affair years ago, the physical side was shortlived but actually she wanted him to leave you. Scroll forward a few years and they are exchanging messages that look compromising. Carpet burns suggests rather passionate, spontaneous sex, not boring in the dark marital sex which is part of the script to to OW. Given that the OW wanted him to leave you, do you really think it is likely he would be telling her about carpet burns sex with you.

He has told you as many lies as he thought he could get away with and has continued to do so. As time as gone on he has had to tell the truth more and more (ie admitting the affair was physical after lying about that). But he is still not being open and honest and he is still lying to you.

As long as he does this you cannot move on and keep the marriage going. But I suspect full disclosure from him would make that impossible too. It's a lose-lose.

Really sorry to hear you are going through this and hope that you are feeling better and stronger soon.

This man doesn't deserve you.

Tiredemma Wed 04-Sep-13 20:36:26

Get some self respect and throw this cunt out.

Beccaloolah Wed 04-Sep-13 21:07:16

I appear to be messaging in so many threads right now - but I had this.

My OH had messages saying "I can't stop thinking about kissing you" "I would shave my pussy for you"

His explanation - she was sharing online dating fantasies! I was sooo shocked I kinda believed him.. Er, what a bloody numpty I was.

When I confronted him at the time - I found them on holiday in the middle of the night when clicking on his phone for the time and a message popped up - I was upset - obvs - and went to sleep in the same room as my son. Then went straight back in to where he was to have a pop at him. He was TEXTING. I asked if he was texting her and he said no. Just checking to see what I had read.

A few checks on the phone bill a month later and he had been doing just that. He had clearly warned her to back off. He promised it would stop then promptly texted her the second we landed. He went out to Barcelona 24 hours before me and texted her 46 times and me twice and wasn't at the airport to meet me and our son.

He promised transparency but quite frankly that should have been there in the first place - it shouldn't be a request just a fact in a relationship!

Beccaloolah Wed 04-Sep-13 21:08:17

Oh and EMOTIONAL AFFAIR! Betrayal is betrayal. I no longer think the physical act is needed. Sorry XX

Wellwobbly Fri 06-Sep-13 10:17:13

Beccaloolah, what did you do?

Tiredemma, we get there in the end. It is just such a shock to find that the person you invested your heart, eggs, and effort into is not who you think they are, and then it is a DOUBLE shock as they confirm that (they have no inner spiritual integrity) with their ducking and diving. So this heartbreak takes time. Putting down the pipe of hopium, is a process.

bullinthesea Sun 22-Sep-13 10:22:56

Oh god, I've just discovered he's been going on loads of dating sites & hookup sites, and porn on his iPhone. I feel sick.
Will post more later sad

KatieScarlett2833 Sun 22-Sep-13 10:24:30

Oh Bull, so sorry hmm

DorothyBastard Sun 22-Sep-13 21:42:32

Oh how terrible for you. I have been lurking on this thread. Hopefully this will be the nail in the coffin to make you really see what a revolting human being he is. He does not respect you in the slightest, he is only out for one person - himself. You are worth so much more than this.

Thisisaeuphemism Mon 23-Sep-13 10:32:30

Hope you are ok, OP, it must feel never ending.

I hope this gives you the final impetus to let go of this selfish twat.

Thinking of you. x

Wellwobbly Mon 23-Sep-13 11:19:55

Bull, do you see clearly now?

THIS ISN'T ABOUT YOU. It isn't about idiot OW either. THIS IS ABOUT HIM.

tessa6 Mon 23-Sep-13 11:56:00

bull, well done for coming back. You're doing well. come and let us give you support rather than take any comfort from his explanations.

frogslegs35 Mon 23-Sep-13 17:50:01

I've just read from the start and was hoping for a positive ending for you Bull

This would be the absolute finish for me, after everything the selfish, cheating bastard has put you through, now this.
sad so sorry.

bullinthesea Fri 18-Oct-13 17:25:34

I've been meaning to update the thread lately, but haven't had a spare minute lately.

So, I pulled him up on the dating/hookup sites & porn.
He said he found it 'interesting'. (no wonder he always clears his browsing history!). He said he's been watching porn since about age 15.
I asked him how many dating sites he'd registered with (I found loads in his history). He said he hadn't registered with any.
He always said that he didn't set out to have an affair, but this - this is him actively looking for it in my view.
Then came the blame shifting - "well we've both been pushing each other away for the last 5 years" etc.
This '5yrs' figure has been mentioned by him a few times now, I'd be willing to bet that it's also the length of the affair.

On a positive note, I am enjoying my work - it's only 20hrs per week, but it's ideal for fitting in with the school runs.

H has said he couldn't possibly face my parents at Xmas, so I'll have to take DS to see them on my own.

I really do look at H through different eyes now, I just see a big liar/cheater/thief before me.

He is well aware that I will throw him out of there is so much as a hint of a whiff of another woman, yet he still seems to want to try & get things on track with me.

I have ditched the counsellor & not sure if it's worth bothering trying out a new one really, in light of the latest findings.

Thanks so much everyone that's taken time to reply to me I do read them over & over, and it helps, knowing that you are all there.

Yes, pitting down the pipe of hopium does take time, but it's happening gradually!

bullinthesea Thu 24-Oct-13 16:18:40

Ok, I know this is probably obvious to you all, I don't know, I'm so sensitized after everything that's happened, I'm probably looking into things where there's none, but what would you make of this.

Different female colleague, he has to do her annual performance review, it's due in tomorrow. Message from her to him reads:

"Are we meeting this morning? To do the bottom bit? If you want to we can rough it out quickly and then I can flesh it out tonight and give it to you tomorrow?"

I just saw: are we meeting, bottom bit, rough it out quickly, flesh it out tonight, give it to you.

Am I reading too much into this?

Sorry to keep bothering you all, it's only 4 months since discovery, and it am still hurting.

myroomisatip Thu 24-Oct-13 16:21:26

Oh my word! I don't blame you, given your situation.

I would see the same as you sad Sorry.

I would also feel that they think that they are oh so bloody clever.

lemonstartree Thu 24-Oct-13 19:31:55

Oh Bull. I'm very sorry but honestly, when I read that, I saw what you did. I saw two 'oh so bloody clever' smart-arses planning a meet and 'arranging it' in clear sight of everyone.. which such language designed to titillate each other.

Im so very sorry - maybe I am just hypersensitive - but I don't think so. (Never to my knowledge-thank goodness - been cheated on)

how are things between you and him ? how do you feel his demeanor is? his attitude? is he remorseful ? does he show he is sorry ? do you feel loved ?

AnyDozerFucker Thu 24-Oct-13 19:43:55

Forget the latest possible OW, why oh why are you still with this man?!

Leave the bastard!

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