Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Have I crossed the line?(28 Posts)
My best friend is an unhappily married woman. Her marriage has been rocky for several years and only continues because of their children. In the last 8 months we have become very close. We send each other text message 2 or 3 times a week. She often says how unhappy she is and tells me about their arguing. We sometimes exchange mild flirty messages but nothing serious, just banter really. We have never discussed our feelings' for each other. We have never kissed or had a physical affair. Are we having an emotional affair?
Does the husband know about your friendship? If not, then yes you're having an emotional affair
How many of these warning signs can you tick?
5 Warning Signs That You Are Having an Emotional Affair
1.You Want to Tell “Your Friend” Important News First
If you tell “your friend” important news before you tell your spouse, then that is a clear sign that you may be having an emotional affair.
By doing this, you acknowledge that it is more important to you that “your friend” knows this information before your spouse knows.
This suggests that you favor the approval of “your friend” over your spouse. Not a good thing.
2.Gift Giving Beyond Friendship
Gift giving is normal, and happens between friends all the time. However, giving gifts to a friend that one would give to a spouse is an example of an emotional affair.
This can range from concert tickets to over the top, elaborate gifts. Not a good thing.
3.Withdrawing From Your Spouse
A clear sign that you are having an emotional affair is when you begin pulling away from your spouse.
This can happen because of a number of reasons, but when you are doing this because of interaction with “your friend” then you have crossed the line.
The problem is when you begin relying on another person, as opposed to your spouse for your emotional connection. Not a good thing.
4.Comparing “Your Friend” To Your Partner
Comparing “your friend” to your spouse is often a sign of an emotional affair.
It means that you are sizing up both as equals, comparing which one is better for you. Not a good thing.
The more you find yourself justifying the time you spend texting, chatting, Facebook messaging with “your friend” to yourself and others, the more you are committing an emotional affair.
When you begin spending more time communicating about intimate topics with “your friend” then you spouse IT’S NOT A GOOD THING.
Yes he knows about our friendship and our text messaging but she doesn't let him see them. I do have feelings for her and we have great chemistry. This is an extract from one of her messages a few days ago: "my husband and his parents are very disappointed with the wife and mother that I am. I don't conform to their notion. We are just from very different backgrounds"
The above checklist came from an article, I found doing the checklist useful when I asked myself a similar question to yours a couple of years ago. I believe 2 or more yeses means you are probably having an emotional affair.
The problem with those checklists is that they assume I am married, which I am not. Single dad, sadly widowed 3 years since. She did buy me clothes for my birthday but I thought it inappropriate to buy her anything significant so just gave her flowers.
We have never discussed our feelings' for each other
Bit of a strange thing to say if you're both just friends
Sounds like you're playing with fire. An affair is never a good idea and lots of people will get hurt including you. Time to back off I think.
Just tell her how you feel. If she feels the same and wants to leave her husband to be with you, so be it. You seem to think she needs a way out, so offer one. She is an adult and can make whatever choices she will in life.
I just wanted to make it clear that despite exchanging very intimate and personal conversations, we have never talk about infidelity. I wouldn't ever consider a physical relationship with a married woman anyhow. We have known each other for a very long time (13 years) and we have great chemistry. Her marriage problems are an accumulation of long standing problems, nothing to do with me. I have to admit that I am out of my comfort zone but I like her a lot, is it OK to keep talking to her?
Maybe go through that checklist thinking about how your friend behaves with you compared with how she behaves towards her partner?
You have feelings beyond friendship. If she does too then it could be classed as an emotional affair. The text she wrote is her giving an example of things that are wrong, however, her DH family likely would of held the same opinion when they met years ago and it was not reason enough to stop her marrying then. That leads me to think that she has started giving you examples of things wrong in her marriage to justify what you are doing. How long have these feelings been there on your part honestly? A dynamic of 3 in a marriage for years is always going to make the marriage reflect poorly, is she able to be objective in her assessments of it with you in the background?
Tbh I think you sound quite vulnerable here. 3 years is not long to process bereavement. You are a single dad, she is a long time friend. It is understandable that feelings might start to develop if you have great chemistry. However I think nothing good can come of this for you and you should take quite a few steps back and maybe think about dating other people and keeping this strictly a friendship with no blurred lines at all. It's just going to mess up your head otherwise.
If my DH was communicating with another woman, say a neighbour or a work colleague, about the state of our marriage and our private lives I would not be at all happy.
Yes, I think it constitutes an emotional affair.
She needs to put her energies into fixing her marriage or leaving, but neither will happen while she's having her emotional needs met by you.
Can you be sure she's being truthful? Does her DH know he's in an unhappy marriage? He may think things are ok or he may think they're working through things. He may be very upset by her emotional unavailability, because she is giving such a lot of her headspace to you.
This is heading towards disaster for all of you and I think you are right to feel uncomfortable, and should draw back from it now.
Yes she is 100% truthful, no doubt about that. There is a theme developing here and it seems that I best get out of this somehow. That will be tricky as I have known her so long and she is struggling so much at the moment. If I back off she will definitely ask me why. Obviously I know all the details of her marriage turmoil and the next 8 weeks are going to be very traumatic for her as certain things come to a head. I will feel guilty if she can't confide in me, especially when she was there for me 3 years ago.
It is possible for men and women to be close and supportive without crossing the line.
Think of her as your sister, also start to make comments about how you will always be there for your 'Sis' (if that's a term you would use).
It sends a message to both of you that this is, and will always be, a platonic relationship.
And stop with the flirting right now.
If you care about her and she is going through a difficult time in her relationship do you really want to add to her worries?
Sounds like an emotional affair.
If you want to back off, just tell her the truth. Better than making things worse
I don't really understand the range & definition of 'emotional affairs'; by those criteria, I've been cheating all my adult life.
I guess if your DH knows and is ok with how you are PushingThru, that's fine. I was a bit shocked to realise how close I'd come to having an EA when I first heard about them. DH & I draw our boundaries at completely different distances and I wasn't aware how vulnerable I was.
Sorry OP for your loss. I think it's very difficult to remain just friends in the situation you have described, but if you are both determined to make it work on that basis, I wish you well with it.
I see nothing wrong in her having a friend to share her thoughts with, being it Male or Female, you can not advise her on her marriage problems, ie: LTB
If anyone is having an EA it's your friend having a one sided affair . Don't abandon her, but make yourself clear, as to how you feel about this situation .
You will certainly be having a negative impact on her marriage if she is :
sharing how she feels with you instead of her husband.
Chatting and having fun with you instead of husband.
Justifying her secretive chats with you by focusing on what is wrong in her marriage thereby easing her guilt.
sorry to say this but are you being used
We have continued to message each other a lot this weekend but mostly just normal chit chat stuff. But then I got another significant one this morning. She is going to have such a tough time this summer,with her marriage and some other stuff too. She is in no physical danger at all, but I am genuinely really quite worried about her wellbeing. She is a very intelligent woman, more than capable of making her own decisions, which I am sure she will do so in time. I have known her for so long, it is ridiculous to say she is using me. Obviously I don't know if she has feelings for me too. I am pretty sure she does though. Actually I am still not quite ready to get into another relationship yet anyway but strange though it may seem that doesn't stop my feelings for her. It is proving very difficult for me to back off.
Do you think it's ok to have so much contact ?...and what impact do you think your relationship with her is having on her relationship with her husband ?
Join the discussion
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.