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Thread: Husband had Emotional Affair -- Am I making to big of a deal

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    Husband had Emotional Affair -- Am I making to big of a deal

    Recently I learned that my husband was having an "emotional affair" with a girl he works with. He acknowledges that they have an close friendship, that she is in fact his best friend, but he does not describe it or feels that it is an emotional affair. He did not volunteer the information about this friendship. He had mentioned her a lot, and one time asked if I would mind if he saw a movie with her - just her. I told him that it made me feel very uncomfortable, that I would prefer that he went to the movie with a group of people. That I felt it was like a date if it was just the two of him. I made it very clear I was uncomfortable with that thought. He told me he would see the movie with a group, but later I found out that he went out, just the two of them. He lied to me. That really hurt me, made me feel as though there was more to the friendship that he was telling me. As result, I started snooping. I'm not proud of myself for this, but I felt that he wasn't be truthful with me. He told me that this girl was moving out of state to be with her family. I was relieved, but I still felt as though something was wrong. I eventually found a letter that he wrote to her, a letter that she wrote back to him, and a poem that he had written about her leaving. These items were locked in a cabinet in his game room. He had typed the letter to her and saved it on a disk, not on the computer that we use, and hid it where I would not see it.

    Although his letter does not hint at a sexual relationship, it does express a friendship that I feel has crosses the line. He says that he could die from the pain of her leaving, but is not that lucky. He says that he will never forget her face, that this is a chapter in his life he could look back on with no regrets . . . that she is what life is about. He also mentions that he is glad that they have agreed to be eachother's backups (like on Friends - if anything was to happen and he was single, they would marry). In his poem, he says that he misses her already, misses her the moment she leaves. He says that he knows he has to move forward, but he cant see his future, he refuses to see his future since she won't be in it.

    Before I confronted him with what I found, I asked how he felt about her leaving. He acted nonchalant, like he would miss her but it was no big deal. When he used to lie, I could tell. Now he has gotten so good at it. I told him I found the letters. He told me that they didn't mean anything, that she was just a friend that he could talk to about his problems. He felt that he couldn't talk to me, that I ignore him. That I cut him off when he speaks or just don't seem interested. (He doesn't seem to take in consideration that I work full time and take care of our two boys, with little help from him) He was angry that I snooped through his stuff. That I didn't have the right, that I was sneaky and underhanded. I asked if he was going to keep in contact with her. He is. They are going to continue to talk through email and phone. He says if he is going to cheat, he is going to cheat. He says he loves me and would not let this friendship progress to another level. He doesn't think I should ask him to stop seeing her or contacting me. That he doesn't want me to restrict him.

    This is killing me inside. He thinks because there was no sexual acts, that he has done nothing wrong. Am I making to big of a deal about this? Please help. I need some advise.

  2. #2
    Member Mar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    I would say he's overstepping the bounds of acceptable friendship with another female. NOT to say it's not allowed, but there are certain lines you don't cross. Granted, you shouldn't have snooped, but he also shouldn't be hiding things from you regarding her and then lying about it. Lying about ANYTHING is wrong-lying about your relationship with another person is especially bad when the person you're lying to is your significant other.

    There are certain acceptable behaviors in having friends of the opposite sex. Rule #1: introduce your spouse/sig. other, etc.! (This is just my personal opinion, but I've found, having a lot of male friends, that it reduces any tension/friction greatly.) Have them all hang out a couple of times so everyone knows everyone else and nothing is "weird" if the two friends want to hang out by themselves. The 'threat' is reduced then.

    Rule #2: Friends should remain on friends level. Sounds kind of dumb, but what I mean is that, if you're with someone, your emotional outpourings should generally go to that person, not to a "friend." My best friend of 12 years is male, and my fiance knows him well and likes him. He has no problems with me going to hang out with Troy, because he knows that, in addition to the fact that Troy's married, we've always just been friends and there is NEVER anything inappropriate going on. I saw Troy this weekend for the first time in awhile, since we're both busy with our separate lives, and he was saying how nice it was to hang out and that he missed that. I replied that I did too, and was happy that I'd moved closer so I could see him and his family more often. Acceptable. Now, if he'd said how he couldn't stop thinking about me and that I was his world, in his thoughts all the time, that's completely different. That crosses the line of friendship into something more. Not cheating, exactly, but more than friendship, in my opinion.

    Sorry to get way off target here-my point being, if your husband has THAT much of an issue with the way he thinks you communicate or don't, he needs to TALK TO YOU about it, not throw up his hands and go running to someone else to fill that role. I also had to pause when you said that he said if he was going to cheat, he'd cheat. generally doesn't tell one's spouse something like that if there aren't some serious underlying problems.

    Talk to your husband. Ask him what his issues are with you, and let him know your issues with him, this obvious one aside. Let him know that what he sees as 'friendship' is crossing certain boundaries you're not comfortable with and that the two of you need to work on getting on the same page of your relationship. I'd suggest counselling, but I'm guessing from the sound of it that he doesn't see the present situation as a problem except for the fact that he'd been found out, and wouldn't be willing to try therapy. Most people aren't, it's seen as a failure on their part, and no one wants to admit failure. But DO talk to him. Ask him what he wants out of this marriage, what he'd like to see changed, and let him know what you'd like to see changed. But stay calm. Shouting will kill a conversation quicker than anything, and you'll get nothing out of it except insults and frustration. If it starts to get heated, drop it and let him know you'll discuss it another time when you or he can remain calm.

    The issue does need to be addressed, and I wish you all the luck in tackling it. It sounds like there are underlying issues he's having, and this friend of his is an easy means of escaping from confronting those issues. But if you're to continue this relationship without loss of trust or faith or love, a talk must be had!


  3. #3
    Member Sara_M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003

    Wake up call

    Ok, here's the situation as I understand it:

    He lied to you.
    He's hidden things from you.
    He minimized to you the extent of his feelings for her.
    He's being sneaky.
    He's being defensive (instead of addressing the real issue, he points out that you were wrong to be sneaky in trying to seek out the truth).

    if your husband is being honest in saying he's never slept with her, fine, but what has happened still shows there are serious issues to be addressed within your marriage.

    First off, it seems you both have differing definitions regarding what constitutes cheating. Many men consider any behavior with other women that is short of having sex, ACCEPTABLE. In other words, he may feel he's done nothing wrong. People assume that "cheating" is defined in the same way by everyone. Clearly it isn't.

    From you message, it sounds like you're feeling hurt. And in your position I'd feel the same way. My boyfriend and I have had many discussions about this topic. From these conversations, I realized that he feels the same about this issue as me. We both feel that forming a deep, emotional bond with someone of the opposite sex can be harmful to your primary relationship. How did you feel when he first said she's his best friend? Did you talk about it?

    Also, in noticing your husband's responses when you confronted him with the letter, poem, etc. he wrote to her -- he's giving you very important information about your relationship. The things he said need to be addressed. It sounds as if he's saying that you're not available to him when he reaches out. It sounds as if you're feeling overburdened by the everyday load of running a household and family. Resentments tend to build. it's possible he didn't want to bother you, and then here comes someone who's caring and supportive of his concerns and problems. I'm not saying his action was correct, but over time people tend to make inner decisions when their needs aren't being met.

    Overall, it sounds like there's hope. But it's time to have a real honest discussion. It's time to talk about some things that maybe one or both of you would rather not talk about. It's time to clear up the blockages that have gotten in the way of your true love and feelings for one another.

    Now this is very important: If you can find it in your heart to move past your feelings of hurt and betrayal to get to the real issues of why he feels you're not there for him, I think you might find some peace. Try to remember what it was you loved about one another when you first came together. There may be some clues there to help you find your way back to your love.

    best wishes~


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    He HAS Cheated!!!

    Yes, you should be worried and he has cheated with her even if he doesn't think so...just because they didn't have sex (Maybe???) with her, it doesn't matter...He is playing with fire and he's not the only one who is going to get burned...

    Two good books to read about this are "Emotional Infidelity" and "Not Just Friends"...[you can see them advertised on the side of the page where your original post title shows up]...

    When someone has a secret like that and keeps it from their spouse, it's a big red flag...

    I would also suggest marriage counseling to help your husband see why it's was wrong to do what he did and why keeping in contact with her is so wrong too...It's only a small step from "best friends" to "sex friends"...

    Good Luck...and let us know how it goes...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    I am so sorry to hear what you've been going through.

    To be honest, I dont thinik your husband is coming out with the entire truth here. Firstly, marriage is about honesty. You do not lie to your wife about anything especially if it is about some other woman from work. What can you do? You can't spy on him 24/7 at work which leaves us to the curiosity as to waht the hell really goes on when he is at work. And how long? Asually in most cases, that someone you call your "bestfriend" who happens to be from the opposite is someone you have deep feelings for on a 'more than a friend' basis. It's not right. And as his wife I think it was such a respectful think you did, suggesting him go to the movies with her with a gorpu, if i were you i wouldn't have even let him go to the movies with her alone but the fact that you opened up and gave him teh option of going with a group of friends, i admire you so hgihgly of doing so. I dont know how many women out there would feel comfortable with their lovers going off with some other woman.

    Your husband needs to sit down and speak freely and openly about what has been happening behind your back. I'm putting myself in your shoes and because at this point everything just seems like a big confusion a big mystery that he hasn't clarified to you, i almost feel like there was no choice but to clarify it for yourself.

    That letter was so disturbing. That isn't a letter you write to a woman friend. I can't go on without you in my life. What the hell.

    He really needs to come out soon with the truth because otherwise it is just going to build up. and having two children to care for, having work, caring for the entire household- its got to be hard to pull it all off with a smile on your face.

    Just remember how much you love him and reassure him that youi want to talk to him about it everything and openly because you love him adn want to work it out. Just that if he could be honest and open and that you love him adn want to work it out.. I'm sure you do want to even though its hurts what he did. But maybe he has his reasons fro doing it, and thats what you need to find out...

    And with what he said about you cutting him off when he tries to talk to you about his problems. Who knows if that is just a back up excuse or maybe you really do need to think about if that's true.

    Either way, my approach to solving probelms is always by remembering how much you love that someone and imaging what life would really be like without them and that feeling must be so powerful that you woudln't want to lose him. So try your best to make it work. After all the truths have been revealed, then try to weigh out all the wrongs from teh rights..because sometimes, you can go too far. I just hope the best works out for you two.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    How Are You Doing???

    I've been thinking about you and I was wondering how you are doing...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Thank you all for your advise. I really needed to hear this. My husband still does not think he has done anything wrong. I just don't understand how this person, whom he has known less than 6 months, can be so important to him. What really gets me is that he made a back-up pact with her. I told him that it really bothers me, but he says its no big deal and that it would be rude to break a promise. Hasn't he broken his promise to me by making the back-up pact with her?

    In his poem, he says that he refuses to see his future without her in it. I'm beginning to think that he is going to have to see his future without me in it. I know they may not have had a sexual relationship, but I'm sure it was more than just a friendship. She is leaving on Friday, and all last night he was tossing and turning. He told me that he was not feeling well, but I'm not stupid. In the letter he wrote to her he said that he had a dream that she ignored him and he woke up with tears. I know he was thinking about her.

    I am going to try to work on my marriage, if nothing else for my boys sake, but it is hard. I hope it starts getting easier.

    Once again, thank you all for your advise.nhbv

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2003

    You're a strong strong girl. I really admire you for your strength. Your love for him is unbelievable.

    I was just wondernig, have you told your husband what you've told us? There is one part especially that i thought was just so power.
    In regards to his "Back up pact" with that dumb witch, (you know what i really wanted to say instead of witch??) That he has broken his pact with you??? That is so important.

    The thing is, what he did was ABSOLUTELY wrong, NO doubt about it. If you two switched places, and you were turning and tossing over at night thinking of a guy i'm sure he'd be feeling what you were feeling right now. But if we look at the big picture- we have to accept the fact that our 'partners' will alwyas find some other women more attractive or indifferent than us that make them attracted to them. It happens. I find that hard to accept myself. (I almost feel like i'm possessive thinking this way you know anyway)

    I am always open to forgiveness and it seems like you are too but i would never let him get away with it. And especially because you two are married, the meaning of your relationship is just all tha tmore important. IT's sacred. However, sometimes, forgiving may not always be the best thing to do. I know its osmething not easy to decide upon in a day...I know it might take a while weeks..months? But its worth thinking it over

    And in time it might have just been a stupid phase he was goign thru.."oh a hot girl" and then the world stops..Jesus. Men. Pigs.

    Also, try getting him back. Buy yourself a HOT NEW SEXY night dress and remind him how sexy you are and how lucky HE IS to have YOU in his BED every night!! Cos, you could easily be with anohter man!!!

    girl power to you!

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Don't want this to happen to me...


    I am afraid that what happened to Jennalyn might happen to me.

    Maybe I'm being silly, but my husband seems to be mostly sharing personal information with a female co-worker even though he is friends with the guys he works with.

    More and more he is mentioning her name and telling her things that he doesn't talk about with the guys.

    Also, we went to a Halloween party held by one of his co-workers this weekend and he had mentioned that she was probably going to be the only one of his work group there--and he kept looking around the party for his "co-workers". He even had to make the rest of us wait to leave so he could check "one more time." I think he forgot that I knew she was the only one who was supposed to be there for sure.

    Also, once before he worked somewhere and spent a lot of time talking to one particular female and when she met me she was VERY rude to me (I thought this was very odd).

    When I asked him if he thinks this current female co-worker will like me he said, "probably not." So...??? Why would she have an issue with me unless she feels some sort of ownership over him?

    Today was sort of the last straw for me because they are having a Halloween contest and he had told me this weekend he would have someone at work put on his black eye makeup for the costume. I asked him who and he didn't specifiy but insisted there was someone who would put it on for him.

    I knew he probably meant her, so I told him I wasn't very comfortable with that and since the eye makeup wasn't necessary for the costume maybe he should just go without it. He agreed.

    However, today he said that he is going to have her put it on for him and obviously wasn't going to tell me (I just happened to call right before he was going to have her put it on). I got upset and told him that he shouldn't disregard my feelings just for some eyeliner.

    Earlier in the conversation he also said that this woman was complaining about her husband and that he made excuses not to go to the party this weekend and that's why she didn't go (so she is even putting down her husband to my husband).

    Just now he called and was very cold to me and he said the he did the eye makeup himself. I told him we need to have a talk because even some online articles show he is crossing the line and he became very defensive and rude.

    This keeps gettting worse...I know the signs are not so obvious, but to me I feel like there is something very wrong and I am uncomfortable.

    And, before you ask, we fight all the time in our marriage. We go back and forth between being really sweet and fighting day-to-day (and always have, unfortunately).

  10. #10
    Bronze Member law1204's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Pacific Northwest
    Florida and Jennalyn:

    It's still early enough in the madness - PLEASE BOTH OF YOU go directly to therapy as fast as you both can. And if you have to drag your spouses kicking and screaming, do it. I guarantee you you both know exactly where this is going, and believe me when I say it ain't pretty.

    I have been there, and if I were both of you, I would insist on therapy at the earliest possible convenience. Do not pass Go, Do not collect $200.

    Best of luck to you both.


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