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Thread: 2 emotional affairs, or does husband just prefer confiding in other women?

  1. #1
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    2 emotional affairs, or does husband just prefer confiding in other women?

    Husband and I have been married two years, and he has had what I consider to be two emotional affairs. The first time it was with a female friend who he briefly hooked up with before meeting me. The friend was interested in a relationship, but he was not. He lied to me about hanging out with her once and texted with her frequently, reminiscing about the fun times they had and sometimes inviting her to run or cycle with him. When I lost it over him lying about spending time with her and told him to cut things off, he said he would. However, he did not and instead told her about our fight and continued to confide in her about his frustration with me for many months. It took me blowing up at him many times and finally threatening to leave for that to end. We had been dating for a year when it started, and two years when it ended.

    This time around, the potential emotional affair partner is the woman I considered my best friend, who was our mutual friend (husband and I met through her). She was my maid of honor, we did everything together (often with my husband - the three of us hung out together a lot) and she was my listening ear when I was having trouble with my husband and anything else.

    My husband and I had a big fight 6 months ago where I got blackout drunk and called him a liar, a cheater, etc. I can't remember most of it but my words were detrimental to the relationship. This fight occurred in front of my best friend so she heard some of it, thought it was not about her (it wasn’t about anything in particular, I just lost it over years of anxiety I guess).

    After this fight, my husband and best friend more or less shut me out and began talking and spending time with each other without me. They both got more and more distant with me, and while I suspected they were both avoiding me I wasn't sure why. My husband acted like I was a burden and my best friend was distant, cold and sometimes didn't interact at all.

    I recently accidentally discovered an old device in our home is still linked to my husband's online chats. By this point I was seeing 2 therapists weekly and popping anxiety medication all day due to my unease about my husband and I, so I looked at the chats. Nothing was flirtatious, but he was confiding in her for months, usually daily, about how frustrated he was with me. I had asked him for years not to tell friends about our private conversations and problems and he agreed, but he told her everything and then told her not to tell me. He was inviting her along to things I thought were rare dates between himself and I. He was making plans with her, without me, and they were both mystified as to why I thought that was a problem when he would tell me he was going out with her. They met up while I was out of town and agreed not to tell me about it. Once my husband hurt himself while he was out of town and drunk, and messaged her all about it while ignoring my phone calls and texts. I didn't know what was going on and was worried about not hearing from him when I could see he was online, so I messaged my best friend freaking out. She was chatting with my husband at the same time, but she pretended to be as confused as I was and spent the next 3 hours consoling me and suggesting that maybe he was fast asleep instead of online and ignoring me.

    The two of them chatting daily and spending time together without me never happened until after this fight 6 months ago. In these chats, it is mostly him sending "Hey what's up" messages, generally late at night or when he's out of town, especially after we have been fighting. It also appears he deleted two months worth of chats in between the existing chats as well as their text thread, which I find odd.

    I confronted him about all of this and he is scrambling to make good with me. He is saying all the right things and is very worried I will leave like I'm threatening to, and says he cannot believe what he has done. Blah blah blah.

    Honestly I want to leave him over this because I feel so uneasy and cannot trust him anymore. He betrayed my confidence so many times, and turned to my best friend of all people. I don't believe he had physical affairs but this still shatters me.

    TL;DR - My husband confides in other women instead of me. He doesn't flirt but shares intimate, non-sexuaal thoughts and tell them about private conversations between himself and, especially when it involves them. Are these emotional affairs?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    By this point I was seeing 2 therapists weekly and popping anxiety medication all day due to my unease about my husband and I,
    Well, I've said it before and I'll say it a million times again I'm sure: If I ever get this bent out of shape over a man, then just kill me now.

    Honestly I want to leave him over this because I feel so uneasy and cannot trust him anymore.
    Then why haven't you? You've been married two short years and he's triggered you into a giggling mess of emotional jelly because he's not happy unless he's getting female attention outside of your union. I suspect that he has had physical affairs (particularly with your mutual female friend who betrayed you to the nth degree by posing when she knew how worried you were That is a gaslight extravaganza if I ever saw one.) but even if he hasn't, he's been unfaithful emotionally and totally cruel to you.

    Have this out with your therapist and work on getting the strength to change you and your codependency on him so that you have the courage to do something about your unhappiness with him rather than just complain and keeping the status quo.

    If he means what he says about his behind your back antics then he will get the therapy HE needs to figure out why he keeps seeking out other women to emotionally fulfil him... Marriage counselling for the both of you as well.

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    Rather than asking if he does it, and what he does - how about asking why he does it?
    Sounds like to me he needs someone to talk to, and instead of you being that one, you might have become the reason for him needing this in the first place.

    Just saying...

  4. #4
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Adding: I see that in your other posts that you've been accused of having insecurity over his female friends. I think this new predicament goes beyond anyone calling you insecure. To be missing in action while him and this mutual friend are online with each other while you worry is beyond anything to do with you. It was cruel, it was devious, it was betrayal to the nth degree by both of them.

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    Originally Posted by caraboots
    He lied to me about hanging out with her once and texted with her frequently, reminiscing about the fun times they had and sometimes inviting her to run or cycle with him. When I lost it over him lying about spending time with her and told him to cut things off, he said he would. However, he did not and instead told her about our fight and continued to confide in her about his frustration with me for many months. It took me blowing up at him many times and finally threatening to leave for that to end.


    After this fight, my husband and best friend more or less shut me out and began talking and spending time with each other without me.


    I had asked him for years not to tell friends about our private conversations and problems and he agreed, but he told her everything and then told her not to tell me. He was inviting her along to things I thought were rare dates between himself and I. He was making plans with her, without me, and they were both mystified as to why I thought that was a problem when he would tell me he was going out with her. They met up while I was out of town and agreed not to tell me about it.


    Honestly I want to leave him over this because I feel so uneasy and cannot trust him anymore. He betrayed my confidence so many times, and turned to my best friend of all people. I don't believe he had physical affairs but this still shatters me.

    TL;DR - My husband confides in other women instead of me.
    First of all, I am so sorry you are going thru this. I went thru some very similar issues with my first husband and I know how tough it is. Marital betrayals aren't just about infidelity and infidelity itself isn't just about having an affair- emotional or physical. He has definitely betrayed you multiple times. And IMO, had at LEAST emotional affairs with both women.

    Please re-read the above that you wrote. I can tell you what your husband definitely IS- a Liar and someone who has NO problem repeatedly betraying your trust. Which, to me, IS a form of infidelity in and of itself. He seems to turn away from you in times of trouble, which means he does not trust OR respect you. Anyone can make a mistake ONCE, any can go thru a rough patch, but when the same thing KEEPS HAPPENING OVER AND OVER- That is a PATTERN. That is who your husband IS.

    The most worrisome thing is that you asked him directly to keep certain things private and even though he said he would- he did what he wanted anyway. He doesn't care about your feelings or your boundaries. In my experience with my ex, he would only express remorse when he was caught, try hard to "win me back", then keep repeating the same behavior. I'm sorry to say that you appear to be in the same boat here.
    He's not going to change. No matter what, ditch this "friend" who is NO friend. As far as your husband goes, you have two choices.

    1. Either accept this is who he is and be okay with knowing he is going to keep seeking out female relationships, betraying your trust and just lying about it. You cannot trust him. He has PROVEN over and over that he isn't trustworthy. If you stay with him, this won't stop. Everyone makes mistakes, but there is difference between making a mistake once, fixing it, and trying your best never to repeat it versus what your husband is doing, which is just lying to you and disrespecting you whenever it suits him. Patterns of behavior rarely change. So, if you stay with him- expect this for the duration of your marriage. He'll express remorse, until he meets Lady # 3.

    2. Or start looking into divorce. How can you trust someone like this? Moreover, why would you WANT to stay with someone that cares SO little about your feelings and trust?

    It's your decision, of course. But please remember, it took you blowing up at him MULTIPLE times and threatening to leave before cutting off his first affair. And even though he did, he ends up going after your best friend and repeating the same behavior and asking her to lie about meeting with her. IMO, that was definitely an emotional affair and I wouldn't be at ALL surprised if one of these got physical, too. How would you ever know? He'd only lie about it. GOOD LUCK TO YOU. I've been thru it, so please feel free to PM me if you need additional support. *HUGS*

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    Platinum Member Keyman's Avatar
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    I don't personally think these could be considered emotional affairs, especially since there is nothing flirtatous about them. He sounds like he prefers to talk about his feelings and issues with women. There are plenty of us men out there who like long non-sexual/flirtatous conversations with women and I don't think there is anything wrong with that. I have many female friends who I talk to a lot, perhaps not messaging constantly, but we talk regulary about many things. When I was in relationships, this was the same, and I would somehow talk to them about issues with the relationship. It is someone to listen to about the problems that might offer either advice, or just a ear. Guys don't often talk about these kinds of things between us, so who are we supposed to talk to about them?

    I note that while you distain him talking to other people about the issues he is having with you, or arguments and the like, you seem okay doing the same to him. Your female friends likely know some rather intimate things about him, because you needed to share.

    Honestly, I think this relationship will take a hell of a lot of effort to repair, and if things continue going the way they are going, it will fail entirely, sooner rather than later. Your general distrust of him, your need to vent constantly to friends, and his need to vent to friends does not equate to a happy life. If you are on meds to deal with it, it has likely already gone beyond your control. It can be fixed, but a lot of joint counselling will be required.

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    Just wanted to add. I have a male best friend. But my husband KNOWS about it. He knows about every single time we hang out- where we're going and what we're doing, he is always invited to join us and we never talk about anything private between my husband and me. THAT is a friendship.

    LYING about meeting up with someone of the opposite sex and asking them to keep quiet about it, bashing your spouse to them, and repeatedly confiding in them about personal marital matters ISN'T FRIENDSHIP. THAT is an affair.

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    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear this. Is this an arranged marriage? Can you have it annulled or start the process of divorce? Do you work? "Popping pills all day", going to 2 therapists and sifting through devices searching for infidelity is no way to live.

    Have you seen a physician recently? Is it possible you've become dependent on prescription medication? It sounds like time away from this marriage to address your health would be a good idea.
    Originally Posted by caraboots
    Husband and I have been married two years, and he has had what I consider to be two emotional affairs. My husband acted like I was a burden and my best friend was distant, cold and sometimes didn't interact at all.
    By this point I was seeing 2 therapists weekly and popping anxiety medication all day due to my unease about my husband and I

  10. #9
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Sorry about all this.

    My big picture read—the generous one—is that this is just a round hole and a square peg. Which of course is code for: this is very, very messy—and it kind of seems like "messy" is the foundation of this relationship. Were I to venture a guess I would say that you each dislike the other far more than you love the other, and that neither of you likes—or respects—your own human selves inside this relationship.

    You're drinking till you black out, seeing two therapists a week, popping anxiety pills? If I had it on airtight authority that your husband was a saint I'd still nudge you toward leaving him, out of basic care for your human health and goodness, as anything in our lives that triggers such behavior (a job, a home, a friend, etc.) is just something that is not serving our life.

    Your husband, of course, is not a saint. He is, at best, shady. How shady, exactly? I'm of mixed minds, and I'm not sure it quite matters. The bottom line is that he does not see in you someone he can connect with emotionally, and I'd say that was there from the start. If I gave him all the benefit of the doubt and saw Friend One as someone he was just friendly with—well, he still hid it and lied about it. He chose shade over sunlight, and so your relationship is built on a foundation of shade. You had a hand in that too, as it seems like your main point of connection and sense of power became seeing how shady he is. Which isn't to blame you, as that's kind of the only way you can even try to connect in the shade.

    As for this new business with your friend? It's just more of the same. I can't get into his head, but were I to venture a guess it would look something like: he is scared of you, hates himself next you, has always hated himself next to you, maybe hated too much of who he is before you, but, alas, he is a human being who wants some form of genuine connection, and so he cultivates in the shade. He long ago decided—not consciously—that you are not a person he can open up to emotionally or find any real comfort in.

    And that, it seems, is what you two share more than anything: a near complete belief that the other person is awful, untrustworthy. Which makes each of you feel like awful people, in your own skins. That's the worst part about all this, past the specifics of the behavior, the various labels (emotional affair, etc.). He gets a little release texting your friend, or whatever else you don't know about, as you do with the little pills. It's not enough, though, so relief gets sought in even more unhealthy ways: pounding booze, spying, accusing, periodically going to war.

    Very toxic stuff. Stuff that is very, very hard to eradicate from a relationship, especially one where the poison is baked right into the core of the engine. It's both the fuel and the pistons, the glue holding the house together and the bomb igniting in the foundation. If there is any chance I'd say it will come only if both of you are gung-ho to commit to a year of marital counseling, to each of you fully acknowledging just how broken this engine is and then trying to build a completely new one. Odds are slim. It almost means sitting together and seeing if you can become different people in order to be in a completely different relationship.

    Do you want that? Does that sound awesome? The answer has to be yes—and he needs to think the same thing. Or does waving the white flag and calling off the war sound better?

  11. #10
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by samat
    Rather than asking if he does it, and what he does - how about asking why he does it?
    Sounds like to me he needs someone to talk to, and instead of you being that one, you might have become the reason for him needing this in the first place.

    Just saying...
    I see no purpose in blaming the Op for her husbands poor CHOICES. If he was feeling neglected or mistreated by her then the least he could have done was communicate to her how he was feeling so she could at least have the opportunity to remedy.

    Originally Posted by Keyman
    I don't personally think these could be considered emotional affairs, especially since there is nothing flirtatous about them.
    There doesn't have to be any flirting involved for it to be an emotional affair. The very dynamic of their so called "friendship" is the epitome of the definition of "emotional affair." She is not his psychiatrist nor is she his professional counselor with whom he should have been confiding in all of this time. Not some (IMO) floozy who hoodwinked the op when she knew that her husband was fine (as she was texting with him) but kept it to herself and pretended that she didn't know his whereabouts.

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