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Am I having an emotional affair?

(82 Posts)
newmaneforthis1 Sun 07-Dec-14 14:32:07

I have an ex who I have never fully got over.

We have been apart for 16 years and in that time I have got married and have a child.

About 4 years ago we got back in touch on FB

We've met up about 4 times now. DH doesn't know, though he knows we are back in touch. DH is very jealous and controlling so I couldn't tell him. Nothing has ever happened physically when we have met up.

But we talk on-line every day. We play an on-line game together and chat on that.

We do flirt a little. But nothing would come of it.

I have very strong feelings for my ex and care about him deeply. He has a family too now (though they are not married and the children are not his, but still a family). He lives 100s of miles away.

As I say, we talk every single day and have done for a few years now. We have both acknowledged we still love each other but that there's no way we would do anything about it as too many people would be hurt and we won't do that.

Am I having an emotional affair?

daisychainmail Sun 07-Dec-14 14:38:30

Yes.

ThirdPoliceman Sun 07-Dec-14 14:40:08

Yes. I think you are too.

catgirl1976 Sun 07-Dec-14 14:40:10

Sounds like it to me.

DreamingDiva13 Sun 07-Dec-14 14:45:10

Imo yes you are.

Flip it round, if it was your DH in contact daily with his ex, the both of them admitting they still loved each other and secretly meeting up now and again for a coffee and a catch up would you feel betrayed? Cos I know I would.

MirandaWest Sun 07-Dec-14 14:45:32

I think you are.

Tobyjugg Sun 07-Dec-14 14:48:30

It's almost a classic description of an EA.

YouAreMyRain Sun 07-Dec-14 14:54:08

Yes

Mrwillywonkasbitch Sun 07-Dec-14 14:54:21

Yup

newmaneforthis1 Sun 07-Dec-14 14:59:24

But what do I do? Whilst you might think I deserve it, I feel pretty miserable.

I can't cut contact with the ex. He means too much to me. I don't want to hurt my husband either and I love him.

I feel like I am living a total lie.

daisychainmail Sun 07-Dec-14 15:06:34

You will have to cut contact with ex if you want to keep your husband. Otherwise, if you really think you and ex were meant to be, then you may have to end your marriage. That's it really. But of course there are dishonest half-way options as you know. What do you want to do? Be honest, would you like to have a physical affair with your ex?

CogitOIOIO Sun 07-Dec-14 15:06:54

I think the only course of action is to be more honest with your husband & say you're friends with this man. You are allowed to have friends. What is wrong and when jt risks going into emotional affair teritory is having secret friends and secret meetings etc. Then it's dishonest. So be honest and if your husband gets angry or jealous or whatever, then that is entirely his problem

Stand up for your right to have a friend.

DreamingDiva13 Sun 07-Dec-14 15:10:34

Only you can decide what to do but for me it boils down to two choices.

Choice 1. Is your marriage. In which case you ditch the inappropriate friendship (as in completely no contact again) and you put your effort into reestablishing your happiness within your marriage with your husband. You need to pinpoint in your mind what it is you get from this friendship that you don't get from your husband and go to work at fixing that.

Choice 2. Is you choose your friendship. In which case you need to set your husband free to be with somebody who wants to be with him and who will not betray him in the way in which you are.

OneDayWhenIGrowUp Sun 07-Dec-14 15:12:23

Well, yes, sounds very much like an emotional affair. It's the secrecy thing that isn't cool.

But you say that your husband is jealous and controlling? Er, isn't that a pretty major issue?

newmaneforthis1 Sun 07-Dec-14 15:15:01

Do I want a physical relationship?

On one level, yes very much.

But I know that would hurt too many people. Myself included as I would find having an affair with him very painful, in that I would want it to not just be a sordid affair with us both going home to our respective partners afterwards.

And I know, if it ever went that way, I would either lose him or my husband or both.

So it staying non-physical allows me to think "We are just friends. We are doing nothing wrong and the secrecy is only down to DH"

DH knows we are back in touch. He then hacked my facebook, read the messages and concluded we were having an EA. This was before we had ever met up. He demanded I never spoke to him again. I refused that and said we were friends and I was entitled to have friends but DH hates the fact we are in contact at all. He has no idea about the frequency of that contact or the meetings.

daisychainmail Sun 07-Dec-14 15:17:21

Very tricky situation. I imagine your DH's behaviour really makes you dislike him too.

Would your DH do this about other male friends / colleagues or is it just this one guy?

InfinitySeven Sun 07-Dec-14 15:18:20

You'll lose them both the way you are going anyway. You can't live a secret life forever, and it sounds like your DH is already fairly aware. It won't take him long to work it out.

CogitOIOIO Sun 07-Dec-14 15:19:45

Perhaps the OP could say more about the jealous, controlling husband? Do you have aother friends OP? Hobbies? Work? A social life? Doesn't excuse having secret friendships with exes (and are a you a secret from your friend's partner or does she know all about it?) but a jealous partner can result in isolation.

newmaneforthis1 Sun 07-Dec-14 15:21:16

DH is like this with all men. People at work, friends from school etc.

It's just, in this case, he has something of a point (though nothing has and never will happened physically).

His jealousy is a big issue. We had counselling for a while. It's insane in that his biggest fear is me keeping things from him, but the way he behaves means I don't feel I can say

"Me and XX are friends. We talk a lot and we've met up for a couple of drinks / coffees over the last few years. We care about each other and we get on great but neither of us want anything more than friendship. He's got a family that he loves and so have I and neither of us are cheaters. He lives miles away and I very rarely see him but we chat on-line as friends. I know you may not like it, but trust me, he is a friend I care about and nothing more."

Which is what I would like to be able to say. But I can't

newmaneforthis1 Sun 07-Dec-14 15:23:32

I am pretty isolated really.

It's very hard for me to "get a pass" to go out. (Although some of that just goes with the territory of having a young child)

But DH always makes it awkward for me to go out, so it's hard to maintain friednships when you are always bailing on arrangments. He won't stop me as such, but he is sulky, rings non-stop, gets angry if I am home late, questions me, and something always seems to go wrong that needs me to come home .

if I have to go away for work it's a nightmare. I have to call constantly, Skype round the hotel room so he can no one is there etc.

newmaneforthis1 Sun 07-Dec-14 15:25:04

I can't remember the last time I went out tbh. Certainly not without DH. I don't even go to work Christmas parties anymore.

I've never been able to relax on a night out anyway. Not with the constant phoning etc.

At the back of my mind I know ex might be a red herring and an escape that could be anyone but it's hard for me to think that could be true.

FelicityGubbins Sun 07-Dec-14 15:25:39

You can't say that because it's a lie, and nothing to do with your husbands jealousy op. I think you need to get on with your life and stop pressing your nose against the window of this other man's life, you're not going to have him, so move on...

OneDayWhenIGrowUp Sun 07-Dec-14 15:25:44

Your husband sounds horrible. All blatant emotional manipulation. How do you feel about his behaviour?

newmaneforthis1 Sun 07-Dec-14 15:26:03

We went to Relate but they refused to take us on as they were concerned by his behaviour and wanted him to go on a course on his own, which he wouldn't do.

Sorry. I'm really rambling now and I will have to get DS up from his nap in a minute. sad

AuntieStella Sun 07-Dec-14 15:26:35

I think you might find it useful to read the book "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass.

You have gone through an awful lot of boundaries to be in a position when your emotional needs are being met outside your marriage, you have daily contact with your OM and it's all in secret. And you meet up sometimes.

You say in OP that your DH is very jealous. Well, actually from what you describe that would be an entirely reasonable reaction if he knew. Right now though, he's probably aware something is up.

Be aware that you could get caught at any time. And that you are well down the path to a full on affair, using the immensely popular baby steps route.

You need to decide what sort of future you want. You have been able to take the steps that started this affair. You can take the steps that determine what happens next.

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