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Caught in emotional affair

Linp posted 10/7/2019 08:38 AM

Hello, I have been married 18 years ( since I was 17). We have 4 kids two teenagers and two school age. Long story short I was caught in an emotional affair that has lasted off and on for 2.5 years. There was a 1.5 year break. He had suspicions then but no real proof.

My mom passed and we reconnected a few months ago. Things got out of control and my husband found very explicit texts, nude photos, and professions of love. I feel like I am waking up from a bad dream maybe the fog lifting. So my husband is outraged. Understandably so. At first through his anger he said we could regain the trust and had sex with me. Now he is saying there is no chance at reconciliation and canít look at me. I am lost. I do not know what to do. I have offered full disclosure, switching to a flip phone and went no contact. Im keeping this short because I have a counseling appointment set up in the next hour.

Someone help me 😔

hikingout posted 10/7/2019 08:43 AM

Okay, first - and I am only the first one who is going to ask you this. You had this affair going on for a long period of time (even with the break). Are you being totally honest that you haven't had a physical affair? How was that avoided? (long distance is the only answer that I can think of that is plausible here)

We can help, but we need honesty.

Linp posted 10/7/2019 08:45 AM

Yes, honestly there has been no physical contact due to distance. He lives states away and my husband knows there has been no physical contact. But as I said the messages were extremely explicit on both sides. Although I should add we had a concrete plan to meet in the next couple of weeks. I had a plan to visit relatives that live in his area and my husband read all about it.

Also I have been lying to my AP also. My husband and I have had problems and have talked about divorce since the EA started back up. I realize I have been rewriting our marriage in my head. I feel in love but Im realizing it is not real.
I have been telling my AP that we have been living as roommates for a year which is a big lie. My husband did not read that though.

[This message edited by Linp at 8:59 AM, October 7th (Monday)]

FoenixRising posted 10/7/2019 08:56 AM

The only person that can help you is yourself. Thatís first thing. You made the mess, you clean it up. Part of that now entails buckling your seat belt and preparing for a bumpy ride.

Your BSís head is spinning. It is imperative that give him time to figure things out. He may be wanting to hysterically bond (want to have sex) and after dispose you. Heís not on sturdy ground but heís trying to find his balance.

You, right now, must 1- accept full responsibility. 2- figure out WHY you thought to throw your marriage to the side and step out. That behavior has NOTHING to do with your H. That was all you. He had no knowledge of your choice to be intimate with another being. You stole that choice from him. You involved him in infidelity with out a choice if his own to NOT be involved.

You need support. Who do you have that can remain neutral and help yous out? Mom? Dad? Sister? This is not the time to pretend youíve got it all figured out bc you donít. Itís important you release control. Be there for BS as he needs. Whenever he needs. However much he needs. And donít grumble or complain about the things he wants to know, or the derogatory verbal stance he may take. Buck up. It wasnít so long ago you were hiding in a closet sending nudes and telling another man how great he is. in return your BSís is now exhibiting the CONSEQUENCES of YOUR choice.

Iím not saying all this to make you feel like shit. Iíve been there. I get it. It is shitty. THE SHITTIEST EVEN!! But unltil you get it, truly get what Iím saying above, you have no chance of a recovering, reconciling or a new marriage. Godspeed my fellow wayward.

[This message edited by FoenixRising at 8:59 AM, October 7th (Monday)]

Linp posted 10/7/2019 09:03 AM

I honestly have no support. My mom passed and I am an only child with literally no family other than some distant cousins.
I have no friends that I feel close enough to share this with either. Im sure this in part led up to me being so messed up. But anything I say to try to understand myself sounds like I am not accepting responsibility.

Linp posted 10/7/2019 09:17 AM

He just found out last week. But at this point I am almost wondering whats the point? He keeps calling me a sick whore anytime I try to talk about it. feel like no matter what I do heíll never love me the same way again. I donít want to put our kids through a divorce

hikingout posted 10/7/2019 09:19 AM

LinP -

What you are talking about is very common in affairs. You of course wanted to manipulate the AP in order to get the attention you wanted. I doubt there are many WS on this site who didn't do that and worse. And, don't feel badly, you will come to realize that the AP was manipulating you too.

There is a great article called "Romantic Infidelity" by Dr. Frank Pittman, google it. Without the physical, you probably are still experiencing limerence. The only way to cure it is complete and total No Contact. It's an addiction to another person, so total withdrawal has to happen. It might be helpful for you to leave social media for a while so you aren't tempted to look him up as any contact, even non-direct keeps the "highs' going.

Understanding this was a fantasy - a lot of feelings built on lies is very important. Another good book "Not just friends". There are some great resources here in the healing library as well.

And, whatever you do - get in IC immediately, tell your husband the total truth with no holding back. Be accountable. Figure out why you did this - and they should be reasons internal to you - no blaming him or the relationship.

That should be a little bit to get started. This is a really hard time for both of you - your H is likely in shock. Keep posting.

[This message edited by hikingout at 9:20 AM, October 7th (Monday)]

Linp posted 10/7/2019 09:29 AM

I am going to see an IC today. My husband refuses to go to MC at this point. I know its sick but I am actually feeling guilty because my AP is not married. Was during part of our relationship. His wife cheated on him and actually got pregnant by another man in 2017. I feel guilty because we had plans to have a real relationship. I told him that I was committed to him. .He thinks I am his soulmate. I thought that too but realize now how stupid that was.

hikingout posted 10/7/2019 09:59 AM

LinP -

It's too early for marriage counseling at this point anyway. The mantra is - the ws heals the ws, the bs heals the bs, and together then they can heal the relationship. You would be wasting your money. You have work to do on yourself, and your husband needs to work on what he wants to do and his own healing. You need to try and support him every step of the way.

It's natural at this point you feel guilty towards the AP, and I think it's also natural that you miss him. But, you have to understand that the reason you feel that way is what you have to work on. He is not an innocent party to this. Even if he thought you were roommates, he knows he was poaching a married woman and this is after he knew what infidelity felt like to him. Your responsibility is to your husband. You are doing the AP a favor is letting him move on with his life and be with someone who is whole and available. Your responsibility is to your husband, and at this point the AP is the co-conspirator of hurting him this badly.

Also what you miss is the affair feelings rather than him. It will take a little while in IC to see that, but you have projected things on him that you wanted him to be not really who he is. This will unravel in time. For now, make a total and complete commitment to No Contact. No Contact means no new hurts for anyone. Outside of the idea that you may want to compose a No Contact note to him that your husband reads and approves of before you send. It can not relay additional feelings. Something very short like

"I have decided to work on myself and my marriage. It was wrong for me to start a relationship while in an existing one. Please do not contact me any more."


I know that will be hurtful, but in the end, that's what is true. Do not lace it with anything to soften the blow, because he will see that as an open door. The reality is even if it doesn't work out with your husband, this person is not a good pick for you. He will likely never really trust you, and it will be a relationship that's rooted with a false foundation. In all likelihood, he was enjoying the attention and the sexual aspects but he will heal because it's unlikely he loved you. People who love you keep your best interests in mind. Had he done that he would have told you to "Contact him if you ever get divorced" but refused to go down a path with you that was without honor. I know that's a tough truth to face, but it's the truth.

[This message edited by hikingout at 10:00 AM, October 7th (Monday)]

Justsomelady posted 10/7/2019 09:59 AM

MC isnít a good idea anyway yet. Focus on IC and digging into what led you here - you were running into a fantasy to distract from daily life - why? Why did you not communicate with your spouse to resolve things instead? Are you avoiding such conversations? IF so, they have to find an outlet and it is unfortunately here where you have found yourself - the outlet is a total crisis at this point.

I sent you some links but learn more about limerence and obsessions and what purpose they serve for you.
Your compassion for OM is natural but misplaced - he was misled but he also knew you were married.
Send a NC letter to him and block him. Involve your husband in that If he wants to see it happen. Focus on understanding yourself and focus on healing your husband.

Breathe deeply and consider some meditations, exercise and yoga to help cope and also create good feelings har donít involve fantasy.

See my PM

BraveSirRobin posted 10/7/2019 10:02 AM

My A was also with a single man. He understood that I was in a primary relationship with someone else, and at first, he was fine with that. Eventually, we developed feelings for each other, and I felt terribly guilty after D-Day when I left him hurting. I refused to go NC, believing that I could let him down gently and stay friends even though the romantic/sexual part of the A was over.

This was among the worst mistakes of my life. It tortured my BH, and frankly, it didn't do the OM any favors either. It would have been kinder to have dropped him cold and let him hate me. I could never give him what he wanted, which was to be my boyfriend again. I refused to see that I wasn't ready to let go of the ego kibbles of having him pine for me. And it wasn't even the real me he was pining for -- it was the fantasy version of me that didn't make real life demands. I was giving up something real and important in exchange for something cheap and fake.

You really, really need to tell your husband the whole truth of whatever you promised the AP, the plans you made, etc. Trickle truth is the death knell of reconciliation, sometimes even more than the actual infidelity. If he finds out the full story later, and has to go back to square one in understanding what he has to forgive, that's an act of incredible cruelty on your part, and a totally avoidable one.

I do sympathize with how hard this is, but truly, don't worry about the AP. He'll survive. Worry about your BH and your marriage, which may not.

FearfulAvoidance posted 10/7/2019 10:15 AM

Yes, honestly there has been no physical contact due to distance.

What about phone calls? Phone sex? Did you both masturbate together at any point either through a phone or a screen? I don't mean to be vulgar, but those things matter in the context of your healing and also to your BS's understanding of your A. There may not have been body to body physical contact, but sharing those kinds of experiences with another outside of your marriage is extremely hurtful because there is a level of intimacy in it.

I ask because I've been there and have seen the damage an online A can have. As said above, it is pure fantasy, but can feel very real. Limerence is a bitch that way. You aren't out of the fog yet, not even close. But at least your eyes are open enough now to what is right in front of you. Cling to that while you go through withdrawal. Because after an addiction that has lasted as long as yours, there will definitely be withdrawal.

Also, find a support system. You've been using AP as a support system in your time of grief. You will need to find others to lean on. What kind of partner has your BS been since your mom died? Was he there for you? Did you let him be? Or did you retreat into fantasy with AP to escape your grief?

Again, I ask because I've been there too. Maybe I'm projecting. But I think it is important that you look at those things and what kind of role your grief may have played in reconnecting with AP after such a long break. On that note, you said that is when things got out of control. Were your exchanges not as explicit and/or soul mate-y initially? What made you go back to AP? What does "reconnect" mean? Did you reach out or did AP? These details matter as you try to crawl out of the wreckage.

One more thing. Expect your BS to flip back and forth about wanting to try with you. He is all over the place right now. Try to take his anger in stride (easier said than done). Work your IC for all that they are worth. Maybe find a grief support group? Or any kind of group that is applicable to you. In all of this just don't forget to take care of yourself too. You won't get very far otherwise.

NotSureAboutIt posted 10/7/2019 10:23 AM

You have received some really good advice so far. Please follow it. Your absolute last contact with your AP must be a clear concise ďNo ContactĒ massage with absolutely no emotion or equivocation. Let your husband approve it, send it and have absolutely zero contact if any kind with the AP after that. Zero. Ever.
Then be brutally honest with your husband. Tell him everything - especially the really painful emotional feelings that led you into the affair. Only then can he decide if he is willing to go on and try to rebuild a new marriage with you. Anything you withhold or paint in a more positive light will come back to bite you in the ass. It will get worse before it gets better. But it will get better. Good luck. Be strong.

Linp posted 10/7/2019 11:22 AM

Yes there were phone calls, nude photos, and mutual masterbation which my husband found evidence of all of that.

Linp posted 10/7/2019 11:28 AM

Yes things were not at serious the first time between AP and I. He reached out to me a few months after my mom passed to ďcheck on meĒ. That is when things really got out of control and I was probably in limerance the entire time we had a break. I canít explain how reconnecting felt after going that long without contact. I missed him desperately. I definitely used him as an escape from my grief. Talking to him was the only time I didn't feel dead inside. My husband was definitely there for me but we have never had deep, soul connecting, meaningful conversations the way I had with AP. My husband is just not wired that way.

hikingout posted 10/7/2019 11:54 AM

My husband is just not wired that way.


I used to think that about my H. Especially during and just after the A. But, at some point I realized that it was because I had stopped trying to be that way with him as well. I had stopped sharing my internal world. I resented that I was lonely, and I felt like I wasn't being seen. But, at some point, I came to realize that I was lonely because I stopped sharing. I was unseen because I had stopped living authentically. Just food for thought.

FearfulAvoidance posted 10/8/2019 00:00 AM

My husband was definitely there for me but we have never had deep, soul connecting, meaningful conversations the way I had with AP.

How was he there for you? Did he hold you while you cried? Make sure the house and family were taken care of? Help you make arrangements so you weren't carrying the burden alone? Did he stop doing those things after a few months and that's why you let yourself get lost in AP?

I am asking because you said 'he was there BUT'. When 'but' is used in a statement it has the effect of negating whatever came before it, and puts the emphasis on what comes after.

You say your BH isn't wired to have soul connecting conversations. Did you try to share with him your deepest hurts in the months following your mother passing? How do you know he is wired that way unless you have tried and asked for such a connection? Hikingout makes good points regarding that.

And on the idea of soul connecting conversations with AP...

He thinks I am his soulmate. I thought that too but realize now how stupid that was

You realize how "stupid that was" yet you are still referring to your conversations as soul connecting...

How did you meet AP? Have you ever actually met him? I am not of the belief that your soul can connect to another without having ever been in their presence and having looked deep into their eyes. At least once. Did you ever feel that way about your BH?

I get that I ask a lot of questions that don't particularly answer your initial plea for help. And you don't have to answer them here. I do think though that looking hard at the honest answers to them will help you untangle yourself from the fog and eventually help your own healing. Will it save your marriage in the immediate? Probably not. But you can't save something if you don't understand why you broke it.

Linp posted 10/8/2019 05:12 AM

Thank you fearfulavoidance. That gives me a lot to think about. He is a friend of the family that lives in another state and we started talking innocently on Facebook in the beginning. We havenít seen each other in person since we were kids. We connected after his dad passed and his wife had just left him for another man. He reached out to me while he was at a very low point. At first we were talking as friends and I was trying to help him through it.

Thinking back, he knew I was happily married back then and really worked a number on me with attention and compliments. It was the first time I felt truly desired for years. i think the high from that was better than any drug . I felt on top of the world for a while. Why do I need that in my life? Why do I need validation from other people?

I realize I am not thinking clearly. My husband has always been there for me. He has been a good spouse and father. I know a lot of our issues before this were my fault too. My husband and I had a long talk last night and he vented a lot. In the end he still wants to be with me and try. He initiated sex with me but It didnít go well. It was after lots of venting and talking about the A. For one Iím on my cycle. But also I canít just flip a switch after basically being berated for hours. I am trying to be understanding that he has to get this out and just listen to him and answer his questions.

Also, my AP is contacting me through another avenue saying he was getting drunk and going to sleep with other women. He has a past drug problem and he threatened to go get drugs and asked me to talk him down. I realize how manipulative this is today. I did not respond.

I am wondering if itís really worth the fight sometimes. Will he ever really love me again? Will he just end up miserable and with regrets? Why do I feel like Iím going to miss out on something in life? How do I get past all of these feelings and be happy in my marriage again? Is it possible? I am educated and able to financially support myself. The AP has a criminal history and is not someone I would normally associate with. I want to be happy in the end too.

Linp posted 10/8/2019 05:30 AM

My husband has always been there and has held me many times while I cried. I cant say I had that connection with him but Ive also been with him since I was 16 years old. He feels like comfort and home. The connection with AP was a rush and not real Iím sure . Youíre right. I haven't tried to have deep soul connecting conversations with him. I cant remember the last time I looked in his eyes or passionately kissed him. Our sex became routine with almost no foreplay or real affection before the A. And when he did try I rarely got turned on. But I can think back to 2015 and before and we did have a satisfying sex life then. Can those connections come back with effort?

I feel like all the fantasy land talk with AP has really messed up my head in that department.

Zugzwang posted 10/14/2019 09:20 AM

I am wondering if itís really worth the fight sometimes.
It has only been 2 weeks. You really haven't faught that much for a 2.5 year affair that involved long distance sex. Of course it is worth it. To become someone better. It isn't just about saving the marriage and being happy. You obviously aren't a happy person to begin with to be in any relationship. You need validation so much you are willing to step on people to get it. Do you want to be that person all your life?

Will he ever really love me again? Will he just end up miserable and with regrets?
No absolutes there. Are you willing to work for that?

Why do I feel like Iím going to miss out on something in life?
Why? It is the end of the world if you are unhappy for a awhile? Learn how to deal with that in a healthy way. Get some coping skills. Instead of running and taking the easy way out. What are you missing out on? Deep conversations? If you need that so bad and you can't wait to see if your husband can get there in a few years after recovering from his trauma then divorce now. Or better yet, get a girlfriend you can share with.

How do I get past all of these feelings and be happy in my marriage again? Is it possible?
Yes, with a lot of work and deciding what is important and what a relationship looks like to you without the whole "want and need" that you aren't feeding yourself but depending on from other people.

Right now you are much too dependent on other people like objects to make you happy. Of course you are unhappy. You depend on others because you need to work on you.


My husband and I have had problems and have talked about divorce since the EA started back up.
started back up? So, you were caught already and chose to cheat again? Are you still in contact?

I have been telling my AP that we have been living as roommates for a year which is a big lie. My husband did not read that though.
Does your husband know that? He should know everything. He deserves the right to make an informed decision and not to be manipulated.

Thinking back, he knew I was happily married back then and really worked a number on me with attention and compliments.
You aren't a victim. He didn't work a number on you. You chose to accept his advances. Take ownership of that. You were the one that was needy for validation. You accepted that. He just filled what you wanted and from your words wasn't working you if he really felt you two were soulmates. You did things to make him feel wanted to and you did it to get more kibbles. Accept your part in this. You weren't happily married because you were a wink link to begin with. Things can't be happy if one person is a rotten apple at its core with itself.

You have chosen to take your husband for granted and to take advantage of him. Because you are chasing that drug high or new love. You are chasing the desire and thrill of the first stages of a relationship. You have not matured through the other levels. Where a healthy adult would feel the comfort and appreciate their spouse married them out of all the other people on this Earth and see it as desire, you are still immature and chasing the chase. This is about you. Not your marriage. Not what your husband couldn't give you. You set your needs and wants and they are very unhealthy to the point you are willing to hurt people to feed them.

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