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Trying so hard not to restart emotional affair(36 Posts)
So.. Had emotional affair online for 5 years, both married with kids, we lost our virginity to each other as teenagers, he lives abroad. I have a great life, just loved the thrill and attention of his messages. DH found out early on, nearly wrecked our marriage of 20 years but he forgave me. Still thinking of online friend every day, wishing my life was more exciting., like his seems to be. Always feeling guilty but trying so hard to stop myself from restarting it. Surely this must be more common than I think, in 2016? How to move on please?
Why don't you chat to your husband about making your life (separately and together) more exciting, instead of risking it all over someone you only know on a computer?
If it's about excitement then is there anything that you could do to work on bringing that out more in your relationship with your husband? Are there issues in your relationship with your husband that you aren't acknowledging to yourself that you could also try to address in order to make things better there and reduce the pull to your online friend.
Seeming to have an exciting life on-line doesn't sound that unusual and lots of people present a tweaked version of themselves online, you've already had the opportunity with this man once in real life and you ended up with someone else so is there a risk that you are projecting your own needs onto this man?
If you love your dh and want to be with him then don't do it. If you don't, then break up with your dh and you can do what you want. Unless there's a backstory here then your dh doesn't deserve this. And if there is a backstory which means you're unhappy with him then you don't deserve to stay in an unhappy marriage.
Thanks,all talking sense, can't discuss this with anyone too close to me. No backstory, lucky to have DH. Posting that last night stopped me from messaging other man, it's like an addiction. Think I'm just a bit messed up from parents' v messy divorce when I was little. Trying hard not to mess up my own fairly stable marriage. Really appreciate advice. Never posted before.
Sign up for some counselling , try and work out why you are acting and feeling like this . Work on getting to know you self.
You sound like you have a sensible perspective on this , but there are deeper issues that are causing this irrational compulsion , try to unravel those so that you can gain some control .
Do you want your marriage to end ?
Then go right ahead.
Are you prepared to sabotage your marriage for this man, who is married and lives overseas? I would guess the answer is 'no', so you really need to delete his contact info and take a long, hard look at why you're fantasising about something that will probably wreck your marriage if it happens again and, like last time, your DH finds out. Many people have a self-destructive streak and you need to explore why you do. You stand to lose everything with this reckless behaviour so step away from the keyboard and get some help before you do something you'll probably spend the rest of your life regretting.
God, this MN advice is honest and blunt, more direct than anything my own friends would tell me but so spot on. Think self destructive issue may be from mild sexual abuse suffered when I was 6 from close male relative. Think my childhood problems now causing me to think I'm dissatisfied with dh, though rationally I know how lucky I am. Wouldn't,t have time for counselling, work full time and two teenagers to organise! Feeling more positive this morning, thanks for helping.
If you had time for EA you surely have time for counselling. Investing time in healing yourself is a much better thing to do, unless you want to waste a lot more time not dealing with it and suffering the consequences. This yearning for excitement suggests at the very least you feel something is missing from your life so why not add something constructive like COI selling rather than risk more destructive behaviour? Seems strange to dismiss the idea, esp as there seem to be past issues to resolve.
If his life is soooo much more exciting, why did he have an emotional affair with you? Things aren't always what you perceive them to be.
Are you dismissing counselling because it the thought of it is too challenging ...much easier to have cosy online chats with a virtual stranger who makes you feel temporarily high .
Like you say it's addictive
teenagers don't take up every working hour, nor does working
if you really meant to move on you wouldn't dismiss counselling so flippantly
Can anyone tell me that f counselling really helps? Does it not open a can of worms? Has anyone tried it? How do people even access it? I suppose I have always had a cynical view of counselling as therapy for self absorbed people, because surely everyone has problems and we should all deal with them ourselves and not lumber the responsibility on others. Maybe I should look into it properly.
But you are dealing with your problems by having an EA, which is potentially harming yourself, your family and the family of the object of your EA. A little self-absorption - or examination / development / analysis - is surely the better route. The can of worms is already open by the sounds of it. You could start by googling private counselling services in your area I guess but someone else may be able to suggest the best national bodies/networks to approach for local services.
Talk to H about why you feel the marriage is unfulfilling and see if you can work out how to get that emotional fix from him. If not seek counselling with H to see I ther third party can help.
OP - it reads to me as though counselling might be good for you to deal with your past experiences at some point, but I don't personally think it is necessarily the quick fix you need to help with this particular EA situation right now.
From what you've said, it seems like there are two things: 1) that you are enjoying the attention from this man, and because of your history with him, perhaps it also reminds you of a time when life was simpler/more exciting - to me, that's understandable and normal, but it's not real, because your life has moved on and it's fantasy to think you can go back; 2) that you see an exciting life that he is portraying (might not be entirely true!) and it makes you question whether your own reality is good enough - also totally normal I think!
However, I think it's fair to say that if you delve into this again, the most likely outcome is that you will lose your marriage, either because your DH finds out and won't forgive a second time, or because you decide to leave him in the hope of something more with your friend, or at the very least, because you will have built up the fantasy so far that your own relationship just pales in comparison, and will breakdown or change irretrievably.
I would try to play this scenario out in your head. Take it to its natural conclusion, and imagine how you would feel then. Suddenly the fantasy is gone, but also gone is your reality, one that sounds pretty good to me. If that happened, you would come back to earth with a bump and suddenly realise how much you valued the life you lost. You'd start appreciating your marriage way more, but it would be too late.
If I were you, I would examine your real life, focus on what's good about it instead of comparing it with something that's not even real (even if this man's life is super exciting, it's not real for you) and try to develop appreciation for what you have. Find ways to make your life more like what you want, but as part of the reality that you already have. This other man will be getting a thrill from your attention too. Stop servicing that, and put the energy into your own real life.
Very long-winded, sorry! But I hope makes some sense
Relationships are subjective also - you might be in one where it all looks OK in terms of detail as far as anyone else would be concerned, but its not working for you.
Its important to think about what this EA means and why you are so keen to get back into it.
(Not that you said you were keen, but you seem to be struggling to put it out of your head).
OP - if you are truly unhappy with your marriage and life, then that's something you need to look at closely, but my point is that this EA will massively cloud your feelings on that, so I think you need to recognise it for what it is - ego boost, nostalgia, fantasy or whatever - so you can get rid of it and focus on your actual life instead
This EA is a side issue, a consequence of other unresolved issues. Your marriage is probably quite good also.
Counselling may help you uncover these deeper issues that you have, sort these out and you dependence on this fantasy will fade
Stop looking for validation from the OM. Find your own inner strength and self belief. Getting messages from a cheater and being one yourself is not excitement. It's an act of selfishness and disregard. What has this other man truly done for you?
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