Emotional affair - confused.(8 Posts)
This is my first post so please be gentle. I've been a long time lurker and have seen some great advice given to others. Have been with my DH for 20 years married for 13. We have 2 gorgeous primary school aged children. My DH has suffered from recurrent bouts of severe anxiety and had a severe bout in November which left him suffering depression but still managing to go to work etc. He is at the top of his field and excellent at what he does(works with children). Most of his junior colleagues are female. He is a lovely person always friendly and never arrogant at work so he is v. popular. (Unusual in his field) He likes attractive people (who doesn't) and mentioned a woman at work who he found pretty and we laughed about it. We've always been open about who we find attractive. Anyway dec 2013 we both went to his work Xmas do. The morning after she had sent him a pm on Facebook asking how his hangover was, and he replied. (We have open access to each other's accounts). I said I did not want him to pm her anymore as I knew he found her attractive and that private messaging could lead to problems (he had an emotional affair in 2009 which was again on Facebook and started when she confided in him about the end of her relationship and he confided in her that we were having problems which were mainly because we were both stressed moving countries - he developed feelings told me and went total NC and things became much better.) Anyway he agreed to not having any out of work contact with is current colleague for the past year, however I did not go to this years Xmas party. Apparently at this one she started crying about her last boyfriend hurting her and various friends leaving and he confided about his depression and how he felt it was due to not being a good Dad and the marriage having gone a bit stale. There was a bit of Pm after this which I saw and asked him to stop. This time he was all defensive and said he needed a friend who wasn't me. ( we have lived here 4 years but he feels he has no really good Friends here). Anyway a few days ago he confessed that he did have deeper feelings for her than is appropriate and she had even advised him to download snapchat so I could not see messages! She basically has been giving him relationship advice. We had a huge chat and spoke for hours and decided we needed to make more time for each other without the kids and he is to have no more out of work contact with her. He is deactivating Facebook and going to reactivate it with only family and close friends (no work colleagues). He had met her last week for a drink before she went on nights which he confessed to and I'm glad he did. I think that's when he realised it was wrong and had to tell me. I honestly think she just sees him as a good friend but who knows!
Anyway if you've lasted this long well done -given he has had two fairly mild emotional affairs which still have been v hurtful to me how on earth can we stop it happening again. I absolutely still love him and know you can easily develop feelings for other people - I personally ignore anyone I fancy!!
Hope this makes sense.
He's got terrible boundaries - 2 emotional affairs (if he's being truthful) isn't acceptable and if he's not careful, he's going to progress to a full-blown affair.
He can't be having these kind of conversations with women he's attracted to & who he knows are attracted to him - it's just asking for trouble!
Sensible people know this & make an effort to avoid these situations - he is playing with fire.
My exH was the same - finally escalated to a full-blown affair, which with hindsight, was pretty inevitable.
You can't 'do' anything to change his behaviour beyond rejecting it. He is the one with the roving eye and the lousy excuses. Yes, we all need friends but anyone already caught out once is bloody stupid, not to say disrespectful, if they go and choose yet another woman to chat with inappropriately behind your back... He's very lucky you gave him a second chance to prove himself trustworthy but, if you give him third and fourth chances, he'll stsrt to regard you with contempt if he doesn't already.
Even if you love him and even if he appears apologetic, take a much harder line.
Good morning, Littlehen
I'm sorry for your emotional stress. I'm sure you'll get great advice soon.
Goodness, it must be exhausting to supervise him all the time though, I think?
You're right I do need to be harder but I'm not sure how to be. He knows how much he has hurt me especially as I warned him a year ago. We have both cried so much over this, but I just don't feel I can end a 20 year relationship where we still love each other over some inappropriate feelings for 1 month. I feel at the root we have a good marriage but we've become v lazy with each other. I had been on a pill for my endometriosis for the last 6 months which made me bleed all the time and killed my libido. Whenever he suggested sex I would say 'god no' which I'm sure made him feel just great! He is waiting for CBT for his depression and once that is finished we are going to do couples counselling. I hope that gives me some answers, though I have been thinking of going to counselling on my own. Maybe that would help.
Yes supervising at the moment is stressful but generally I don't just have joint ipad which we use for both fb accounts. I agree supervision should not be needed in a good marriage. Even so I did not find out about his pm her this Christmas as he deleted the messages so I could not see them .. But confessed a few days later when he felt he was developing feelings for her... Should I give him credit for that?
Ending your marriage might be premature but I think all these excuses you're putting up on his behalf are really not helping either. You seem to be saying thst because you are unwell, not saying yes to sex enough and because he's a little depressed and knows what hurts your feelings, it's somehow OK to make you feel betrayed.... again. If he knows it hurts your feelings, why do it in the first place?
It's either OK to flirt and get inappropriately initmate with other women or it isn't. If it isn't - and you know it isn't - then be very uncompromising and accept zero blame. 'Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me'
'he confessed a few days later'
Not at all. Why confess? What are his motivations? Did he do it to make you feel better or himself? ..... Did he tell you to improve your trust or to deliberately make you feel insecure? He sounds monumentally selfish and unkind.
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