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Husband caught having an emotional affair

(46 Posts)
secretbiscuiteater Thu 30-Mar-17 11:57:12

Really am looking for some advise of others who have been in the same situation.

I recently found out that my husband has been texting a work colleague and that they have grown close. I’m told that noting sexual has happened, but I’ve seen the texts (some) and they’re all along the lines of ‘ can’t stop thinking about you’ etc… which for me is the worst kind of betrayal. Whilst doing things for mothers day he has been texting and thinking about someone else, and the texts have been reciprocated. I’ve confronted him and his initial reaction was to get his phone back off me, he was angry, seemingly not upset by my reaction (which was of disbelief, tears, me asking him to reassure me that I was wrong.)

I’m just so confused. He says that he loves me and the family and that he wants us to work on things (counselling etc.) I have said the same and that he needs to accept that I’m going to have lots of questions and emotions, however he doesn’t seem to be able to handle this in reality. He is of the opinion that he has said he’s sorry and that he loves me and ‘what more do I want?’ I’ve told him that I don’t feel as if he means what he says – his actions (to me) are speaking louder than his words. I don’t understand why he isn’t being proactive in sorting out counselling, why he no longer texts me from work just to ask if I’m ok (he knows that I am in bits), why when I’ve asked him about getting another job he hasn’t even started looking at other options, the dynamic feels wrong, it’s as if I’m waiting for him to tell when (or have the guts to tell me) that he doesn’t want me, and of course all this is worsened by the fact that I have no trust at the moment. I’ve been very clear, told him how much I love him, but I have said that if he doesn’t love me (he assures me the relationship with his work colleague is over and he doesn’t and has never wanted to be with her), that he should just say so. I’ve asked him why he hasn’t done any of the things above, his response is that he is confused too, and that everything is so recent, and that he needs a break from talking about ‘the situation’. This makes me rage inside (and outwardly) as to me it seems as if he just doesn’t care at all. I am also scared of pushing him too much but do feel that I deserve more from him.

I have admitted to him that even prior to me finding out about the relationship that we needed help, we’ve been very up and down, and typically lost ‘us’ – dealing with the strains of work, family life and his very difficult ex wife.

I feel as if I’m being toyed with – it’s like I don’t know him, I’m scared, I just want some reassurance, and answers and I’m not getting either.

Itsseweasy Thu 30-Mar-17 12:16:06

Poor you, this is a horrible situation and I feel awful for you. That said, from an outsiders point of view it sounds like the emotional affair is still very much continuing, however he is placating you with what you want to hear, or not wanting to talk about it at all. Actions speak louder than words.
By "not wanting to push him" you are letting him get away with this. You deserve answers and to know where you stand. If he hasn't chosen yet (which is what it sounds like) rather than let him call all the shots, I'd be asking him to leave for a few days to sort his head out and make a decision. It may well be that being apart from you for a couple of nights is the wake up call he needs to see what he will be losing.
If you do the "pick me" dance, in my experience you may well do the opposite and push him away in to her arms.
You need to take control of the situation and ask him to stay away from you until he's decided what he wants. Then it's up to you to decide if he is still worthy of your love.
A big unMumsnetty hug to you 🤗

user1479305498 Thu 30-Mar-17 12:17:18

Oh dear Secret Biscuit. Im in exactly the same position, so I know that sick, freaked out, no concentration feeling on your part only too well. In my case its something that happened a long time ago (11 years) and I found poems/song lyrics and songs he himself sang on and recorded to another (20 year old) who worked with us. They toured the world too . Im told in my case it was "all in his head" at a point he felt depressed (his mum was dying, our business had issues) . The fact it was a long time ago though doesnt lessen how I feel about finding them 3 months ago and he continued to have Facebook contact the whole time after she moved abroad. The problem is once you have seen those "words" you cant get them out of your head , you cant "undo them' no matter what they say. I too have a husband who has said sorry and that he never meant to say he wanted to walk off into the sunset hand in hand with her and he says he never stopped loving me etc, it wasnt about "me" it was about him feeling something was a bit lacking in life generally , however after the first couple of times it was discussed he gets very agitated if its ever mentioned, because I didnt tell him to p*ss off there and then he seems to thank "well thats all ok" onwards and upwards , but its like a vase, its been smashed and now glued but the cracks are there and I simply dont feel the same about "US". You do need to give it time and set yourself a period and if he is doing none of the things that make you feel safer or more engaged then I would say start to think about emotionally disengaging yourself and deciding mentally for you whats the way forward, be proactive rather than getting a shock one day if he says he wants "out" . As I said to my husband one day "you should have been bloody grovelling" if your marriage mattered that much--and to be honest--he has not-- that suprised me hugely and I guess you feel the same. I am myself not sure I w to be married to someone who seems to be so casual about causing me a great deal of anguish, however have decided that any upset ideally will be at a time to suit me and ducks are in a row etc

user1479305498 Thu 30-Mar-17 12:41:50

I would also like to say that I had suspicions at the time and never "pushed it" as I was too frightened and financially dependent etc (we work together) --I so wish I had done so at the time when their was "evidence" and I could have seen what all the texting was about. I now only have his word that it was one sided and all in his head. On reflection I would have told him to "stick it where the sun doesnt shine" unless I had seen full remorse. Have a google on "genuine remorse" its something I think me and you are not getting. I also think a certain kind of guy feels "embarrased" that you no longer think they are Mr trustworthy/Mr Wonderful and have seen they are just as prone to smoke being blown up their arse/ego stroked as any other guy. Indeed I think with a lot of emotional affairs in particular (and from both sexes) thats what its about combined with getting a bit of a "buzz/pepping up the day" and I think some people too get a buzz from "secrecy" even if they never intend to take things further. Technology has sadly made all this so much easier and more casual than in the past.

JellyBean31 Thu 30-Mar-17 12:56:59

I have been in your situation, although it wasn't a work colleague so contact was cut as soon as I found out (she was married too and was terrified I'd tell her husband).

He swore nothing was physical so therefore it wasn't an "affair", I tried to explain that the intimacy involved in texting someone on a daily basis for (in my case) years was actually worse than if he'd gone out had his head turned and had a drunken shag - but he never got it.

I forgave, we tried again, but he never took responsibility for what happened. By agreeing to stay together it was like it should all be forgotten, I was never allowed to mention it. Like you there were problems before this happened, and things did get better for a couple of years, but then they slid back to where they were before.

We split up anyway and my biggest regret is that I didn't do it then when I found out.

PsychedelicSheep Thu 30-Mar-17 12:58:54

I'm sorry to say this but it reads to me like he's very ambivalent about whether he wants to stay with you and is just going through the bare minimum in the hope that you shut up and get off his back while he thinks about things some more. I agree with PP, you really need to take some control back here. It's been said on here that the only thing that gets through to cheaters is loss. It'll make you feel better without having him in your space too.

secretbiscuiteater Thu 30-Mar-17 13:13:31


Unfortunately what I've been thinking. I just can't believe this! I can't eat, sleep, barely function. We have two children and his DD lives with us too... It's such a mess.

Why doesn't he just have the balls to tell the truth?

I don't know how to take control back - not sure what we'd tell the children about where he'd gone, and weirdly I just miss him so much....

I confronted the woman who said she'd have nothing to do with him, but I have no access to his phone bill etc so I'm totally in the dark - of course all Whatsapp's were deleted fairly swiftly.. And of course they're at work together...

I just want to hide, I'm so so sad. I thought we both had everything we wanted. Waiting for a relate appointment is killing me - at least if we had that booked it'd be something..

sassandfaff Thu 30-Mar-17 14:48:55

I've been on here long enough to know that the only way to take back control and have half a chance, is to ask him to leave.

The shock of that to him, might be enough to make him be remorseful, look for another job and book counselling.

I've also been on here long enough to doubt he will, but it's your only chance, imo.

Paperdoll16 Thu 30-Mar-17 14:52:15

Im so sorry you're going through this, OP. I know exactly how you feel as I was where you are only four months ago.

Unlike your H, my H did and continues to show the remorse I would expect, although it took him to realise I wasn't prepared to stick around and accept the minimising of it 'only the odd text' 'nothing in it' 'never wanted to be with her' 'I've always loved you' etc etc etc. Because as far as I was concerned he had broken our vows, he had not forsaken all others and he had chosen to text her telling her he missed talking to her after they hadn't spoken for several days AFTER just texting me telling me I was the 'best wife'! When I looked at the timings of his texts too, I had actually been in a text conversation with him that he cut off short as she had replied to him (this was the day I found their last set of messages)! Hmm, no nothing in it but she was clearly was a priority and meant dumping the boring wife to talk to her.

So eventually, after kicking him out for 10 days (and yes our DD's did wonder what was going on but if you just smile and tell them daddy is away with work those days soon go by without them batting an eyelid) and him realising I was NOT going to put up with this shit any longer (it also wasn't the first time I had found him texting another woman unfortunately, although to a much less extent) he soon changed how approach..

I had access to the phone bills (and saw the phone calls he initially denied), his bank accounts (to confirm he had never met up with her as there was nothing unaccountable on there) and he came off Snapchat (and continues to stay off there) which is where he mostly conversed with his new young friend. hmm

Like you, I also confronted the woman and she was answering everything I asked her and told me things I didn't particularly want to hear that my H had been saying (even though he maintains she's not telling the truth on some of the more hurtful things but honestly why would she lie?) but I think as I told her I knew she had a DP she didn't want me to tell him and she promised she would never talk to my H again and blocked him on everything. She said she felt like a counsellor with him anyway! shock He portrayed us in a negative light a few times (as part of the script) so that she would stroke his ego and make him feel better for doing all the things he did as a father and husband which I didn't appreciate!!! hmm

Anyway, I'm rambling but despite seeing him cry for the first time in our marriage and showing the most amount of remorse I would expect that pain in my heart just doesn't go away. He broke our vows and hurt me in the most possible way. Four months down the road i manage my emotions a little better but it's still there eating at me all of the time. She pops into my head most days, and my dreams. They do together. And I'm supposed to be happy now because he says we should be looking forwards and to the future and how he treats me now. But I can't undo what has been done. And neither can he.

OP, the fact that they still work together is not on. Not if there is any hope of reconciliation. He also needs to give you access to his phone bills and bank statements. From all other threads, all those that do not allow transparency always ends up with more coming out of the wood work later down the line. If I were to find out anything more now I would walk. Even with anyone or anything else. My tolerance is so low as I have been disrespected enough already. If you allow him to carry on as he is then I'm afraid this isn't the end of your hurt and there is danger they are continuing talking about how they are feeling.

He's keeping his options open at the moment and that isn't fair on you, at all. flowers

SandyY2K Thu 30-Mar-17 14:54:05

The waiting list at relate is long. Try and find an independent marriage counsellor in your area. Check online and see if you have one with experience in infidelity.

In the meanwhile, if he really is remorseful, suggest that he looks at and joins a site called

You can also read there for support. So many times they say it was an EA, but it's a PA. If there was opportunity and desire, then the chances are they were physical.
Why would they not take it up a level?

All that sexual tension through texting and they haven't kissed or engaged in any sexual relations... And they see each other daily??

Don't jump to forgive if you don't have the full story. That he can't be bothered to reassure and text you, indicates he's not really fussed and has likely taken the affair underground.

I suggest you play detective and plant a VAR in his car. See if he lingers in the car when he gets home.

Try saying you're phone battery is dead and you need his for a moment. See what his reaction is to that.

I don't mean to sound negative, but you need to stay calm, not tip him off that you still suspect anything and start looking at doing the 180.

Don't let him think this is okay.

SandyY2K Thu 30-Mar-17 14:55:03

Here is a link to the 180.

NeonGod73 Thu 30-Mar-17 14:59:59

I am absolutely astonished at how many people go through their spouses' phone as if it's their own. Of course it can lead to necessary discoveries otherwise you never have made, but is sneaky. And it seems to be the leading method of blowing cheating spouses' cover. Is everybody doing this with their partner's phone?

Paperdoll16 Thu 30-Mar-17 15:10:31

neongod I guess when posters come here feeling like they feel something isn't right in their relationship and all of the red flags are there would then encourage them to sit back and just hope that all is okay??

I certainly didn't check my H phone regularly. If I had I probably wouldn't have discovered a nine month little secret relationship he had whilst I thought all was rosy! I picked up his work phone that I hadn't seen in a while that he had left in his car overnight. He had forgotten about it when he asked me to jump in and collect him (as he had blocked my car in) and bam I thought hmm that phone.. and there is was. Their little love messages 💔

JellyBean31 Thu 30-Mar-17 15:38:47

I never checked my ExH's phone. He went out in a Friday night & accidentally left it at home...(I still wasn't tempted to look at it).

At the time DS1 played football on a Saturday morning, when a text came through I thought I'd better check in case it was the manager changing arrangements. It wasn't it was a stupid joke off've one of his mates.

Then because I felt guilty that I read a message so was looking through his phone trying to find a way to mark it as "unread". It was then I saw the messages - up until that point I trusted him 100%.

user1479305498 Thu 30-Mar-17 15:40:37

I think many of us dont even think about the phone thing until we get red flags and at that point Im sorry but quite often the survival instinct kicks in and "you need to know" . In my case last year (totally different scenario) I started noticing WhatsApp messages popping up from our assistant to my husband and he was deleting them-- now it so happens that what I saw was all crap-- but the fcat she was doing it "al lot" and he was deleting and never mentioning them got my radar up again. Its all very well saying "talk" to your partner, but some of these guys seem to have bullshit responses at the ready for anything like this, even when your general communications are really good. I honestly think for some its like a "sport" !!

JellyBean31 Thu 30-Mar-17 16:07:38

My ex still denied it even after I found messages, OW was in his phone as Mark. I only read "sent" ones (this was back in the day when there were different folders for sent & received) as he'd deleted all the received, but the luddite didn't cotton onto the fact the sent ones were still there.

It was only after I got access to his online phone records, his technophobia served me well as he hadn't set up an online password so it was easy, that he finally admitted it.

Some of the messages were sent to OW & me at exactly the same time and were exactly the same size...but he denied ever sending exactly the same message to us both!! as if!!!

ShowMePotatoSalad Thu 30-Mar-17 16:09:30

He wants to have his cake and eat it. He wants the emotional affair to continue (and possibly turn into a full blown physical affair) while staying with you. I would leave him.

rumred Thu 30-Mar-17 16:10:40

Jesus. Why are phones so sacred? Diaries yes but phones no. I'm happy for my beloved to see mine. I have no dirty secrets

Happybunny19 Thu 30-Mar-17 16:44:06

Neongod, what a load of bs. It's not the fault of the partner looking at a phone, it's the other partner having something to hide in the first place that's the issue. Stop victim blaming.

My partner is welcome to read my phone, email and social media because there's nothing to hide. He feels exactly the same.

Your comment provided nothing to this thread and certainly didn't help the OP in the slightest.

NeonGod73 Thu 30-Mar-17 19:04:15

Happybunny19, you should live up to your name a bit more. I am very far from victim blaming, I was just asking people how common it is to go through someone else's phone. I condemn the husband too. I was generally saying that checking other people's phone is kinda sneaky.

MissingHours Thu 30-Mar-17 19:52:36

Indeed, DP has full access to my phone and knows all my passwords. Why's it an issue if you have nothing to hide?

PaterPower Thu 30-Mar-17 20:27:02

"Why's it an issue if you have nothing to hide?" said every Police State that's ever existed!

Privacy should be a given. Nobody has the right to look through phones, diaries, journals, email accounts, social media or whatever, unless the owner knows and gives permission.

HeavenlyEyes Thu 30-Mar-17 20:28:58

and having an affair is kinda sneaky too! How you can shirty about checking a phone when someone is unfaithful - well bit ridiculous don't you think?

PaterPower Thu 30-Mar-17 22:10:08

No, not really. Particularly given that I was cheated on by my exW. I had plenty of opportunities to check her phone, statements and whatever but I'd have brought myself down to her level by doing it, IMO.

Not that I didn't want to, believe me, but there's no good justification for it in regards to checking on an affair.

Now if it were about protecting children, or someone's physical safety, then it would still feel very wrong but I'd probably do it, but not for this.

mineofuselessinformation Thu 30-Mar-17 22:17:41

'Why doesn't he have the balls to tell the truth?'
Because he's a massive coward who has been caught out and won't admit that he's in the wrong.
If he can't own up and be honest with you, all of the mediation and counselling in the world won't help.
If that's the case, save yourself a massive load of heartache and get rid of him now.

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