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How can I get over an emotional affair?

(67 Posts)
Samantha28 Wed 26-Nov-14 23:38:55

Two years ago, DH had an emotional affair with a work colleague. There was a very messy ending and the other person left the company .

We went for counselling but I didn't find it very helpful . Dh and the counsellor got on very well, most of the session were just him talking with her about other things and I sat there feeling like a spare part. He had some sessions alone with her, to talk about issues from his childhood. Neither Dh or the counsellor seems to think the EA was a big deal , because it wasn't sexual .

Dh was very reluctant to talk about it at home, he accepts it was a mistake, but mostly because it caused a lot of trouble at work , which took months to sort out . He thinks it was mostly an error of judgement, because he trusted the other person and he was let down , rather than because he shouldn't have been involved in the first place.

Since then , things have just gone back to normal for him. But my feelings for him have never been the same. I don't trust him and I'm not sure I ever will again. He travels a lot on business and is away from home about 1/3 of the time . When he's a home, he's very preoccupied with work . I'm not sure if I still love him .

Can anyone recommend any books or websites that might help me get over this ?

IsItTeaYoureLookingFor Thu 27-Nov-14 00:22:24

Im sorry youre going through this OP. I think your counsellor was rubbish and unprofessional. Maybe you could find another counsellor for yourself.

I think you need a bit of headspace to figure out exactly what you want to do. Lack of trust is a major issue in any relationship and you can't just "get over" something like this. Have you told anyone in RL for some support.

A good book recommended here a lot is "Not just Friends" Shirley Glass.

Joysmum Thu 27-Nov-14 00:25:05

You can't get over it if you don't feel the other person has wronged you and is remorseful and making an effort to reassure you.

If they don't think it's wrong, don't acknowledge your hurt, how can you even come part way in thinking your relationship issue is being addressed.

Samantha28 Thu 27-Nov-14 00:33:33

Thanks for your reply. I didn't know what to expect from the counselling, I know they don't take sides. So I wondered if I was being unreasonable , expecting her and DH to talk about the EA when Dh really didn't want to .

I never really thought about going for marriage counselling on my own , I thought they would want both of you there.

I've never talked to anyone about it in RL. Once it all blew up, we were very focussed on sorting out the problems at work , there were lots of legal and financial issues. That took months. Once it was resolved, all the emotional stuff just got swept under the carpet

Samantha28 Thu 27-Nov-14 00:42:11

Joys mum - I do feel he has wronged me, but he doesn't really, because it wasn't sexual

He accepts that he was very foolish to trust this woman. He gave her a lot of money, supposedly as a loan . It turns out that she also stole from the company, which is why she was dismissed. When they were checking her company emails to investigate the fraud, there were lots of emails about their relationship. So some colleeagues, the accountant and the company solicitor know about the EA.

I feel that he mostly feels bad about losing face in front of them, rather than about betraying me . He believes that he was a " nice guy" who was misled by a con woman.

Theorientcalf Thu 27-Nov-14 03:52:43

You 'can't get over it' when he is taking no responsibility for his actions. Until he stops minimising what he did and admit that he did this then how can you even try to move forward?

So far it's bring brushed under the carpet. As far as he's concerned the work stuff has been resolved, move on. He was more concerned about saving face than your feelings.

You can't get over it OP, and neither should you have to. He should be doing all the work to get you back here, but he isn't and he won't. He doesn't care about your feelings.

The counsellor sounds terrible! I would find another one and go by yourself. Your relationship won't move on until he's acknowledged what he's done, and it doesn't sound like he plans on doing that. Your feelings are being stamped all over, you don't have to tolerate this. It's about time he was made to realise. Your feelings are valid.

Theorientcalf Thu 27-Nov-14 03:57:53

Just to add, it's all about him isn't it? He even made he counselling all about him. The whole affair is about his feelings. He sounds utterly selfish. You don't have to continue the relationship you know.

AnyFucker Thu 27-Nov-14 06:57:47

You can stop this any time.

magoria Thu 27-Nov-14 07:01:24

What Theo says it is all about him.

EA was about him getting his ego stroked and feeling good from another woman.

Counsellor was all about him getting his head patted and there, there, there poor poppet.

You? He clearly doesnt give a shit about your feelings. STFU and stay in your box. Just because he loaned family money and got some nice feeling from TWO women if you include the counsellor. So what.

The counsellor may have been good for him. She was shit for you and the marriage.

You can't get over this because it is a symptom of how unimportant you are to your H and that shows even now 2 years later.

mariposaazul Thu 27-Nov-14 07:18:08

Do you have children together?
It seems you have talked about it both at home & in counselling and each sees it differently -,what do you want him to do? After all this time it doesn't seem he is suddenly going to change the way he thinks about it...

HellKitty Thu 27-Nov-14 07:36:49

What Theo said. And go for counselling on your own, it may help you realise a few things about your relationship.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 27-Nov-14 07:44:29

Another one suggesting that it's not down to you to 'get over it' but down to the person who has betrayed your trust to prove themselves trustworthy. All the time he regards it as himself having been betrayed rather than you, you're not going to achieve that.

If you are doubting the future of the relationship, I think that's what you tell him. Explain the problem, explain the consequences if the problem is not resolved and follow through if necessary. e.g. 'You have not acknowledged the hurt caused to me. I have no faith in you. If nothing changes to my satisfaction, I see no future in the relationship'..... ball firmly in his court.

Samantha28 Thu 27-Nov-14 09:09:45

We have young children and I don't want to leave him , if it's possibel to work through this. I've told him that I don't think I love him anymore but he doesn't seem to take it seriously

We haven't talked about the EA much at home, we spent all our time trying to sort out the consequences . There was a huge mess at work, the police were involved. DH has done nothing illegal as the money he gave her is ours and she defrauded the company , without his knowledge. Although it was her job to supervise him , so he was negligent .

So all the attention was trying to keep his job, co operate with the investigation and the police, lawyers , etc. we got some of our money back but not all, and it was a lot ( tens of thousands ) . The company didn't get any back.

And we didn't talk about the EA at all at counselling, as Dh didnt want to . We coudl both see that the counsellor realy liked him and he wanted to look good in front of her, so he talked about the sad things that have happened to him that weren't his fault IYSWIM, like childhood problems and a family bereavement . So she felt sorry for him

When I did try to raise the EA she just brushed it off with something like " well yes of course, you shouldn't have done that . But anyway , to get back to what we were talking about ......"

So we didn't actually talk about his unfaithfulness at all. I think he feels that he was " punished " enough by all the humiliation over the EA at work. He lost face in front of people he really cares about .

Samantha28 Thu 27-Nov-14 09:17:24

I don't think he's going to change his views about the EA. He doesn't see it that way at all. He feels he was betrayed by someone he trusted. And he ended up looking a fool in front of all the senior people at work . And we lost quite a lot of money .

So in his mind he's suffered enough for what he sees as poor judgement , not an EA. And I woudl just be rubbing it in if I wanted to talk about it more.

So that's why I was asking how I can get over it , I know this is something I have to do myself

Ive ordered the book that a PP suggested down thread, thank you

I'll also investigate counselling. If I go back to the same agency as before, won't they give me the same counsellor ?

JohnFarleysRuskin Thu 27-Nov-14 09:19:44

Um, well it was much more than an emotional affair wasn't it.

It was a financial affair - he gave her your family money. Your children's money.

I would be struggling to forget that. I don't think you should just get over it. He doesn't sound like he realises what he did to you - personally - and it doesn't sound like he understands why he did it and it doesn't sound like he had to work hard to keep you at all.

I'm sorry he put you through this.

NeitherHereOrThere Thu 27-Nov-14 09:22:12

YY to reading Not Just Friends by Glass - she also has a website. Make sure he reads it as well.

Sounds your counsellor was crap, but many especially those at Relate do not have the experience or in depth knowledge of infidelity so counselling can be very hit and miss.

Samantha28 Thu 27-Nov-14 09:25:18

Thank you everyone for your advice, I do appreciate it . It's hard to see the situation objectively when you're in the midst of it

NeitherHereOrThere Thu 27-Nov-14 09:29:26

Have realised I missed your later postings - not only he cheated on you, he also gave away family money to OW, fucked up his career and got the police and lawyers involved and then refuses to talk about it.

Sorry but I would find it really hard to get over this massive betrayal and pure selfishness. He does not seem sorry about the hurt he has caused you sad

He needs to do the hard work in helping you and the marriage recover. Its unlikely he will do this from what you have written sad

I would go for individual counselling to find out why you feel compelled to stay with him.

Theorientcalf Thu 27-Nov-14 11:45:21

So your feelings are unimportant, it's all poor him and you've just got to get over it. Well that isn't going to happen is it?

He's not even bothered that you don't love him? Why exactly are you trying to make all the effort here? It doesn't sound like he cares about you much.

Joysmum Thu 27-Nov-14 11:50:09

It's all been about him and his feelings, nothing about you and yours.

You can't get over it because what he did was bang out if order and he won't see, acknowledge or try to fix the damage he's done and just blames you for your feelings.

This isn't your fault, this isn't up to you to get over. You won't move on unless he takes full responsibilities for his actions. If anything this will continue to permeate your marriage and that's not healthy for any if you sad

dreamingofblueskies Thu 27-Nov-14 11:59:54

It is bad enough trying to get over any affair when the person who did it is massively repentant. To try and get over one when he doesn't see what hurt he has caused would be nigh on impossible I would have thought. He should be doing everything he possibly can to get you to trust him again, instead he doesn't sound like he's bothered at all.

My husband is doing everything in his power to get me to trust (and hopefully eventually forgive) him and it's bloody hard. He fully admits the hurt his EA caused and I do think that he is sincerely sorry. Despite all this I am not sure yet if we have a future. If he wasn't doing this I wouldn't even be trying to reconcile, it would be dead in the water.

Your counsellor does sound crap, ours is wonderful and never takes sides. If you go back to the same service for the individual counselling and they try and give you the same counsellor again just say that you have no faith in her abilities and you would like to try a different person.

Phalenopsis Thu 27-Nov-14 12:06:08

OP, you have every right be livid and hurt by this whole episode. It does not matter that they didn't have sex and your counsellor sounds like a prize tool who wouldn't know an emotional affair if it hit her. And then there's the money side of things. I know in my heart that should a thing happen to me, there'd be no way I could forgive my husband. I just couldn't and I wouldn't have any respect for him either.

You've said that he won't take any responsibility for this affair and you are asking how you alone can get over it. You can't is the simple answer because he isn't interested in the damage that he has caused to you and the children in any way. I agree that counselling for you alone would be a good idea and I think once you've had it, you'll realise that unless he tries to make this up to you, your marriage is dead.

The Shirley Glass book is good and for counsellors, try this website:

Jan45 Thu 27-Nov-14 12:18:38

OP I honestly don't even understand why you are still with him, he has shown you over and over again that he doesn't give a shit for your feelings or how his disgusting behaviour has affected you.

He will do it again because he has no remorse whatsoever, in other words you are just a spare part in the world he lives in.

Sorry to be blunt but it's screaming out at me.

Theorientcalf Thu 27-Nov-14 13:17:38

OP, he should be mortified that he's done this. He should be moving heaven and earth to make things better. But he isn't. So because of that, no you can't get over it, and neither should you.

MiniTheMinx Thu 27-Nov-14 13:19:03

I'm sorry you are going through this.

I agree with the others here he needs to own his part in this, and fully accept that he did wrong, not just with his judgement of her character but in doing something that has hurt you. However, some people, very often men try to put things behind them and think that going over old ground prevents this. Others like to discuss and disseminate and process things by analysing and talking. There is a mismatch here where one thinks to get over something is to act as though it never happened, and the other can only accept its done and over by talking about it.

I think the other thing is, if someone doesn't seem to be genuinely sorry, it really is difficult to forgive. But he has clearly had a number done on him and he feels ashamed. I think his reactions are probably due to shame. Maybe he feels shame because he feels taken in by a charlatan or maybe because of what he did to you? I think you need to know which it is.If he feels only ashamed because of allowing this women to take the piss (she did) and not because he hurt you, I can't really see that you can ever get over it.

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