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.

Emotional affair - trying to rebuild, need help!

(32 Posts)
BossyOfficerFlossie Thu 08-Oct-15 00:52:33

So my OH had an emotional affair with someone at work, all happened earlier this year, nothing physical happened and they apparently realised what they were doing and called it quits. Lovely. Stayed friends, still messages, borough each other the odd book, coffee etc, still Facebook friends... I found out by accident looking at old emails trying to sort out an iTunes mess up on our shared lap top. We have had lots of long discussions about what happened and why, essentially he felt under massive pressure at work and this was his escape. Have talked about why this might not actually be a good form of escape, had a couple of sessions of counselling from Relate on line, trying to work through things. But... Cannot get past this. She still works with him, still follows him on Facebook and Twitter... She is younger than me with only one child and a heap of childcare so has a social life and hobbies, and still runs the marathons I used to. I am 29 weeks pregnant with our fourth child. I no longer run marathons. And she is a psychologist who does some relationship work and is all over t'internet handing out advice to others... And posting trite quotes about letting go of your anger. Essentially I want us to work and to get back to where we once were, but I also have moments of wanting to rant at her on line about her hypocrisy... How exactly do I get past the rage stage?

MatrixReloaded Thu 08-Oct-15 01:41:45

I'm sorry. It seems you've had what's known as a fake reconciliation. It's not going to be possible to repair your marriage while they are still in contact. At this point you really need to consider whether you want to continue the marriage. Any apologies for this affair are meaningless. They are still in a relationship, of whatever sort, and they are doing so at your expense. All this , after you were willing to try again.

You must be willing to lose your marriage in order to save it. Cheaters don't need long chats or hours of talking about their poor feelings. They don't need or want relate. What they need, what is absolutely necessary, is harsh consequences.

The following site is very helpful and will give you an idea of what you're dealing with and what sort of action you need to take.

spudlike1 Thu 08-Oct-15 01:44:22

Rant at her online she's being a hypocrite
Rant at well
And what matrix has said

MatrixReloaded Thu 08-Oct-15 02:05:14

I really understand the desire to rant at her . I've actually done something similar and I regret it now. In reality no one will give a toss. Unless it's their spouse who cheats they don't care, it's just gossip. Plus it puts you in a weak position. Don't fuel your husbands ego by publicly arguing with her.

I would give the pair of them exactly what they don't want, which is each other. Neither one of them wants the other on a full time basis. If they did they would have gotten together officially.

BossyOfficerFlossie Thu 08-Oct-15 02:28:08

I realise that the on line ranting, though briefly cathartic, would really not help anything, and just leave me plastered on line looking desperate. Though might put a dent in her psychology and counselling career for a bit... I won't do it, but am just trying to find ways of getting past the point of wanting to lash out. The excuses for staying Facebook friends are that otherwise other mutual work friends will want to know why they aren't friends, which is feeble. The coffees and books and messaging have stopped. I cannot really stop him going to work as that would be pretty counter productive right now. Trying to find ways to move on but still stuck at the irrational and shouty stage... Which even I am starting to find unhelpful but cannot shift. Pregnancy hormones not helping either...

Will take a look at that website though, thanks for that.

MatrixReloaded Thu 08-Oct-15 03:10:23

It's not possible to move on from something that's still happening , although it IS possible to rug sweep. Rug sweeping, while tempting, is not a good idea.Even if they had immediately stopped contact, found a new job, genuinely committed to counselling, it would still be very difficult and would take a long time.

As uncomfortable as your feelings are, I would just feel them. They are a national consequence of the betrayal you've suffered and they're telling you something very important. There used to be a poster called whenwillifeelnormal who gave excellent advice about these things. It's worth searching for her old threads.

LucySnow12 Thu 08-Oct-15 10:11:15

OP, Matrix is right. They need to have no contact and that means FB and Twitter. I think the excuse is lame. I doubt very much that work colleagues will notice if they are no longer friends. And if they do, so what! Your marriage should be more important. You should also have full access to his phone and emails. Do you? Definitely search the old threads of whenwillifeelnormal. Her advice on affairs was incredibly insightful. She also always recommended the book "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass. Your husband overstepped the boundary and he needs to understand why. Lots of people experience massive work pressure but they don't choose to have affairs. I don't believe that is the reason. whenwillifeelnormal always said that, people have affairs when they are not giving enough to the relationship NOT when they are not getting enough. You can pull through but your OH needs to work hard to rebuild your trust.

0dfod Thu 08-Oct-15 10:34:32

Op, nothing has changed, if he was serious he would delete and block her, even find a new job so that a space is created for sincere relationship repairing with you.

He is not putting you first.

He is behaving like a dog with two dicks.

MatrixReloaded Thu 08-Oct-15 17:23:33

National consequences ? Whoops.

BossyOfficerFlossie Thu 08-Oct-15 17:42:11

When I finish this run of night shifts we will have (yet another) talk about this. I know the Facebook and Twitter un friending and un following might provoke a remark or two but seriously! I am furious that he thinks feeling a tad awkward at work is a problem given what has happened. I do have more access to his phone and emails, but tbh he is a bright chap so any dubious emails or dodgy internet history will be long gone before he brings then home... Sadly I just have to trust him, which right now isn't easy. Him moving jobs is pretty impossible for the next couple of years, so not sure what we can do about that.

Whenwillifeelnormal seems to have a lot of insight, will have more of a read later. Might suss the book out too.

Basically am I being madly naive to think we can stay together and put this behind us? Please tell me some people manage it?

Thanks for all your responses xx

laughingatweather Thu 08-Oct-15 17:58:22

He doesn't think your feelings are more important than some mild discomfort at work?. It's more likely he likes to continue with contact with her.

And the 'escape from work stress' is a classic excuse. He should have escaped from work stress with you.

It's not her you need to rant at, it's him. It really doesn't matter if she's a PPsychologist giving out advice - she has the qualifications and is probably giving out the right advice.

It doesn't mean she practices what she preaches and it doesn't have to. The same as a GP can give out the correct advice about smoking cessation but privately smoke like a chimney!.

NumbBlaseCold Thu 08-Oct-15 19:08:13

He would delete and block if serious.

He would be honest to mutual friends if serious too.

He is putting his own selfish needs and her first, above you your children and your baby's.

MagicalMrsMistoffelees Thu 08-Oct-15 19:31:26

Even if we accept his 'reasoning' for remaining friends on FB and Twitter (which I don't, it's pathetic), there is another option which won't rouse his colleagues' suspicions about him and her...come OFF FB and Twitter altogether!! Stranger things have happened in this world. It's not compulsory to be on social media. I'm not.

Like a PP said earlier, the only thing he will understand is harsh consequences. Until then he will happily keep the little flame burning. He'll keep picking at that scab. Ugh.

You are so vulnerable right now, you don't need all this crap.

LucySnow12 Thu 08-Oct-15 20:17:23

Bossy, if Your H truly wishes to save your marriage, HE must be willing to do anything to regain your trust. If blocking her on FB and Twitter would make you feel more secure, then he should be willing to do that without question. If he doesn't, then I would wonder if they are messaging each other. I would also expect him to share his email account. There must be complete transparency so you can learn to trust him again. He had an affair!!! He detached from you and transferred his loyalties to another woman! I really don't think he gets how serious that is! I think he might still be attached to her. Please get the book I mentioned.

BossyOfficerFlossie Fri 09-Oct-15 06:53:10

So he has unfriended her of Facebook and un-followed her on Twitter, seemed surprised I was so adamant but did it fairly happily when I said that yes, I would really rather he did... I can see his emails etc on his phone or iPad when he is home, which helps as he used to be welded to his phone, so he is being more open with these things...

Janey663 Fri 09-Oct-15 07:13:38

Make sure he blocks her on Facebook not just unfriending. They can still message each other even if they are not FB friends, I know from experience sad

LucySnow12 Fri 09-Oct-15 08:34:59

Bossy, you should have his logins to FB and Twitter and his email so you can check when you need to. That he was surprised you would want him to block her, says to me, he still doesn't realise the enormity of his betrayal. How long ago was it you found out? So they had an EA, stopped but continued messaging, coffee ect. When did that stop? After you found out? He needs to be WAY more proactive in rebuilding your trust. He should be doing the leg work. Is he reassuring you when you need it? And like Janey said, make sure he has blocked her!

BossyOfficerFlossie Fri 09-Oct-15 10:25:02

It had wound down before I found out, sounds like they realised it was turning into a 'thing' and neither of them would have taken it any further. Think he genuinely thought they could still be friends. The gifts were very soon after they had stopped things, and the messaging had stopped. Coffee was v occasional and usually not just the two of them... Will chat to him re having log ins etc. but surely at some point I have to stop checking everything and start trusting him again? Difficult though that sounds...

NumbBlaseCold Fri 09-Oct-15 10:50:57

Good, so he should.

He has lost the trust and he must regain it.

Blocking yes.

A part of me thinks there is always a way around these things and he may try that, but if you want to try (which you do) and make this work then you have to trust just a little too.

He does not deserve it at all but it is the only way forward and if he does again then you must be sure in kicking him away Bossy.

BossyOfficerFlossie Fri 09-Oct-15 10:58:42

I think that is half my problem, there is away around anything really, they can email but just delete things, internet history can be cleared, his work have helpfully given them all an instant messaging thing on their work computers.... So I have to trust him to a degree wether I want to or not. Not finding it easy mind. Partly concerned that as he knows that I know this was all email and FB messages if anything does happen in the future he will just find another way as he knows I will be looking at these. And yes, this is definitely a yellow card, a hint of a whisper of anything else and my children and I are high-tailing it back to the coast where I grew up and where all my family are based. I have gone as far as to work out exactly what I need to do to transfer my job back there and have checked out nurseries etc, and he knows this...

LucySnow12 Fri 09-Oct-15 11:25:10

Yes, there are work arounds which is why he must be willing to do everything in his power to prove he is worthy of your trust again. You didn't say how long it's been since you discovered. From what I've read, it takes MONTHS to get back to normal. With many ups and downs and triggers. And your H needs to put up with it because he caused it. You are going through a grieving process. Grieving for the relationship you thought you had and the honourable H you thought you had married. I'm glad he knows he will have no second chances.

Annwfyn Fri 09-Oct-15 11:35:53

I never know if it would help but my relationship survived and affair and I think is genuinely much much better now than it was before.

But we did everything wrong by the Mumsnet Rules For An Affair - practically the opposite really - so maybe that's not much help at all.

BossyOfficerFlossie Fri 09-Oct-15 11:38:29

What did you do that broke the MumsNet rules? I don't think there can be only one approach surely?

BossyOfficerFlossie Fri 09-Oct-15 11:39:38

And yes info know of others whose relationships survived affairs, and not just brief ones that were voluntarily stopped before they were discovered, so I am holding out some hope.

Annwfyn Fri 09-Oct-15 12:11:47

I have sent you a PM.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now