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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.....

Thisfuckerisaeuphemism Thu 24-Oct-13 20:43:29

Would this be the final straw op?

clam Thu 24-Oct-13 21:28:50

If it looks like shit, and smells like shit....

Sorry, bull, but with his history I'd be suspecting the worst. And be FURIOUS that they're taking the piss out of you by sending these 'oh-so-clever' emails, that they reckon they could defend to the hilt as being innocent.


tessa6 Thu 24-Oct-13 22:23:12

bull, with all the respect and love in the world, you are just crashing through your own bottom lines here. Porn is one thing (fine for some people, not for others) but he really expects you to believe he's been visiting hook up sites, lots of them, for 'curiosity'? And this with ANOTHER fucking colleague?

OP, you need to seriously stop and take a look at the man you're married to. You already know he's a liar and a cheat. He is disrespecting you again. What are you going to do about it? WHY would you stay? Do you really want to be sneaking around texts and internet histories in a year's time? Ten? It's been going on FIVE YEARS by the look of things. How old do you want to be when you finally feel entitled to get rid of this person who is and has been cheating on you?

We're here for you, but really, bull, now you are sounding stronger, it's time to read all this back like it was someone else's life and see what you need to do.

tessa6 Thu 24-Oct-13 22:24:46


jesus wept

BitOutOfPractice Thu 24-Oct-13 22:26:50

Oh op. This thread has made my heart clench. I think you should read back as if your posts were written by a stranger and ask yourself what yay would advise that woman to do. I think you have lost perspective of what's acceptable or not. And his behaviour most definitely is not.

tessa6 Thu 24-Oct-13 22:30:07

This man has absolutely no respect for you. None. He doesn't feel the need to tell you the truth or even stop cheating on you, despite the pain he's put you through.

Perhaps the other way to look at it, bull, is even if you want this relationship to work out (which you don't, you really really bloody don't, love) you HAVE to chuck him out to give him any sense of respect for you as a person anyway. So either way.

But seriously. I'm so happy about your job. But Bitout is right, you've lost perspective. Time to get it back.

anyclamfucker Thu 24-Oct-13 22:33:25

And you didn't go into details about this business with your aunt and her finances but come on! He's a thief? Seriously?

Can you really overlook all this and share a marriage, home and parenthood with such a man?

FatherJake Fri 25-Oct-13 03:14:26

Lurker here, as a bloke often feel that men get a very rough time on this board but seriously this guy sounds like an utter loser - the absurd lies, convenient development of a nervous twitch, self-pity, 20 quid ring, wanting to emigrate as far away as possible and of course possible stealing from his elderly relative - you really, really, really need to go. He is not worthy of you or your kid. And as for that last email - am personally 100% sure he is cheating again. There is simply no way you would use those combination of words in an email without a sexual context.

Howsuper Fri 25-Oct-13 05:09:32

Ummm I also think you have lost all perspective (and possibly some sanity - due to his lying and horrendous behaviour) if you really need to ask people if this latest shit looks bad...but since you ask:


KiwiJude Fri 25-Oct-13 05:25:47

Oh my goodness, I just found this thread. Bull, the guy's an arsehole. He's a cheater, a liar, a thief. Your children will grow up using your relationship as their template - they deserve better than that. And so do you. I am so sorry for the shit he's put you through.

myroomisatip Fri 25-Oct-13 21:44:56

OP, how are you? {{hug}}

CharlotteCollinsinherownplace Fri 25-Oct-13 23:54:32

Bull, you are still looking to him to set the pace. You are reacting to each new discovery in a rather passive way.

Who is in charge of your life?

Do you actually believe you have any control over it?

Do you feel you have to stick with him because that's what your parents want you to do?

Do you feel you have to stick by him because he's possibly stopped the affair and therefore you don't feel you have the right to make any more fuss?

What do you want? (It's quite possible that years of being married to a narc have rendered you almost incapable of answering this question.)

PinkHat1 Sun 27-Oct-13 08:22:32

I have read the entire post. So so sorry to hear you are going through this. The way I see it you have three options.

1.Leave him

2.Forgive him and give him and your marriage a second chance

OR 3.kick him out and tell him YOU need time to think about what you are going to do. You can't make either of those decisions with him and his lying manipulative self around you. Personally I think he is clouding your judgement?

It's so so hard which is why I think you need space and time away from him to gather your thoughts about what you want to do.

Good luck thanks

bullinthesea Mon 28-Oct-13 14:39:35

Thanks for your replies everyone.

myroomisatip - yeah, maybe they do think they're 'oh so bloody clever', although he didn't reply to her e-mail, and when he does correspond with this new person, he doesn't use similar language, so maybe she's the one trying to titillate. Not sure.

lemonstartree - things between us have been different - his attitude has mostly shifted a lot, he seems much more focused on 'us' at the moment & wanting to spend time doing things with me etc. trouble is, a lot of his focus seems to be on how he's feeling, and how down he is at times etc.

AnyDozyFucker - I have been thinking about this, there's many reasons why, but with each indiscretion, he's chipped away at me & my desire to be a part of this relationship. We've been together nearly 14 years, married for 8, and I just can't imagine a life without him. When I was ill, he was my rock (or so I thought - he has admitted that he shagged her 'once' while I was ill). We own a house together, have a son together, and do things as a family together. It's a lot to throw away, without giving it your best shot at repairing things. I have been wondering what my life would be like as a single mum though.

Clam - yeah, with the first OW, he claimed all those other e-mails were innocent & work related, so no doubt he'd do the same with this situation. I think I have to wait & see what else is sent between them, so that I can be sure.

tessa6 - yes, you are right. I never thought I'd put up with so much shit in my life.

fatherJake - thanks for your post, yes, that combination of words literally made me gasp as I read them. It was a sinking feeling of 'oh no, not again'.

Howsuper - thanks, the whole thing has shaken me so badly that I really do feel that I've lost perspective (yes and maybe sanity!). Thank goodness for this board, as it tells me like it is, and I really do appreciate that.

Myroomisatip - thanks for asking how I am - I'm bearing up, although I've got this feeling of 'what the hell am I going to find out next?' and, 'how on earth will I support myself & DS if he goes?' (He's the main breadwinner in our household). I've been on the website, which was useful. I still don't think there'd be enough money coming into the house though, to cover the bills etc.

Charlottecollins - he is quite controlling (he suffers from OCD too) and over the years, yes, he has dominated things, I wasn't aware of it until I started therapy for my depression. It was the same with my own parents, my Mum is very much a 'I do as I'm told' kind of woman. I suppose I have a lot invested in the relationship, years of history, financially tied together, child etc, so a separation would be a massive undertaking. I'm worried I'd regret it.

PinkHat1 - yes, you probably have a point that he is clouding my judgement. You're right, it is harder to see the wood for the trees when I'm around him.

myroomisatip Mon 28-Oct-13 15:43:23

I never had to deal with your situation but I have a sense of how you feel.

My Ex complicated our situation so much that I was completely overwhelmed at the thought of trying to separate. Also, he was dead against us separating, he did not love me but did not want anyone else to have me either.

In the end, I left for a couple of months.

It helped me to see my situation more clearly and I sought help from everyone, everywhere possible. I am now on my own (with my adult kids) and I am much happier.

Would it be possible to get away for a little while? Or make him leave? Maybe you would see things differently if you could get a break.

CharlotteCollinsinherownplace Mon 28-Oct-13 16:39:27

I second that. Separation could be temporary. I honestly think it is your best shot at repairing things.

fringles Mon 28-Oct-13 18:17:23

I've been lurking on mumsnet for ages, but joined just to post this, as your situation is so close to something I sadly know far too much about, and I wanted to add a couple of things.

Firstly, I personally don't see anything necessarily untoward in the new email you mentioned - particularly since it was to a different co-worker. I completely know how sensitive something like this can make you though, so I don't think it's unreasonable that you did! AND you may be right - but I just wanted to say, I don't see it - it's unfortunate wording given the circumstances though!

BUT I think if your husband really wants to work on this, he needs to know that you will be hyper-alert to any funny business, and reassuring you whenever/however you need him to, no matter what it's about, no matter how long it takes, is what he needs to do 100% consistently in order to begin to get your trust back. He needs to understand that you would vastly prefer not to be worrying about this sort of thing, but that because of him, you are.

I personally couldn't recover. I spent a long time trying, a long time being told I wasn't doing enough to 'get over it', and to be honest quite a lot of time getting very wound up about quite minor things (which was understandable, but still no fun) and eventually he had another affair. He then said that the new affair was because I had driven him away with my 'craziness'.

We didn't have children, and I'm grateful for that. I really feel for you, but in my experience this type of thing is almost impossible to come back from, and it really does need your H to be almost superhuman in his efforts to repair what's been damaged. I'm actually glad mine had another affair, as without it I don't think I'd have had the guts to walk, and there is honestly nothing in my life I am more glad that I've done.

bullinthesea Wed 26-Mar-14 14:18:27

Hi all,

I wasn't sure whether to start a new thread, or post here, but I just wanted to update you all.

We're still together at the moment, he's applied for about 6 jobs so far, but as yet has not been short listed for interview.

I have access to his phone & emails, and has told me that he does his best to avoid her in the workplace. I can see some evidence of this, as he now goes to a different colleague to get some of his queries answered etc, although there was an email from this new person commenting that 'she knew he'd chatted to (affair partner) about a particular area of work'. When I brought this up with him, he got annoyed and said "I don't need this as soon as I get in from work". I then explained that I suppose it's one of the consequences of what he's done.

Also, he's put me in an awkward spot yet again, as his brother split from the mother of his kids recently & needed to get a flat. As he earns more than he declares, he asked H to put his name down as a tennant, so that he could rent a place. H didn't discuss this with me, just went ahead. I was furious - his brother has a history of gambling problems & was considering bankruptcy not so long ago. Not a good bet. So basically, the way I see it, if his brother doesn't make his payments, then H (and therefore me as we're married) then become liable!! We can't afford an extra £700 per month to cover him!

We have a holiday booked for the Easter holidays, some friends have moved abroad & we're going to visit. The husband wants to go out drinking with H while his wife & I look after the kids (great). I'm not too pleased by that idea, after what H has done, I obviously have issues trusting him, and I feel that he ought to consider that. I explained that I felt it would be fairer if we all went out as a group. He sent his mate a message saying "I think I am gonna struggle getting out for a drink, she is expecting for us all to go out!"
Charming. I'm not keen on the tone of that, it feels disrespectful really.
After the affair came out, he said that he'd told this friend all about it, but now I'm wondering, bet he's just told him a load a bull about me, to get everyone feeling sorry for him. As always.

Anyway, I have been working and saving. I'm going to get this holiday out of the way, and then consider separation. Don't know if I will have the guts to actually go through with it, but that is my current thinking.

Thanks for reading if you've got this far.

This thread kept me going at a time when I could barely think straight, I'm so grateful to those that posted. wink


MargotThreadbetter Wed 26-Mar-14 14:47:50

Hi Bull,
Are you happy? You don't sound it.
I would never, ever trust him again, so for me it would have been game over a long time ago. He's still disrespecting you from the sound of it, and it must be exhausting constantly having to check up on him.
If you're planning to leave him, then picture your single life as a really positive thing - it is - I'm a single parent and love it. You will be free of his bullshit, the deception, the lies... What is there to lose?
Good luck for the future.

Linguini Wed 26-Mar-14 15:26:34

This is absolutely no emotional affair, it's a full blown lusty physical sex affair !

You need to find out how you will be able to support yourself, without him. With a DS of 7, it will be hard but not impossible as he is presumably at school during the day, part-time work might be out there so is help from the state.

So sorry he's done this to you...

bullinthesea Wed 26-Mar-14 15:29:35

Yes, thanks Linguini, I was just posting an update wink

LavenderGreen14 Wed 26-Mar-14 15:43:47

I don't think you sound happy at all either. Just very sad and like you have to police and analyse his every move. He doesn't treat you very well at all and doesn't seem to have any respect. What are you going to do when he does it again?

AdminGirl Wed 26-Mar-14 15:48:17

A relationship without trust is not worth it

MissScatterbrain Wed 26-Mar-14 15:52:10

Welcome back.

I often think that the cheater's process of changing one's core character and addressing flaws is what holds up recovery from an affair. This is especially true if his views/beliefs/habits are ingrained. Challenging these can be such a bore and a chore that often the betrayed party loses all respect for him, realising that separating is probably the easiest and best route.

Are you pulling him up on the stuff you have mentioned, explaining that you both should have an equal partnership and that he needs to be showing far more consideration and respect towards you?

Has he been doing any work on himself? If so, what has he done so far?

bullinthesea Wed 26-Mar-14 16:01:11

Yes, I think that I'm not particularly happy today, as I'm poorly with a dodgy stomach. Then I spotted that message (I'm off work so have idle hands) and felt quite annoyed by it.

Yes, I agree about the trust, at this point in time, he's meant to be trying to earn that back if he wants things to work out. I wish I could trust again but that will take time.
This holiday is meant to be about togetherness & rebuilding, having proper time as a family - not going out on the beers like he's a single man with his mate!

Maybe I'm just really irritated by it now & not thinking rationally about it.
I expect I'll calm down in a bit.

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