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Confession of Online Affairs, EA, "Sexting"

sodonewiththis23 posted 7/6/2020 18:35 PM

I'm a WW. I had been feeling an emotional disconnect with my faithful husband for many years, feeling lonely in the marriage, and feeling low self esteem all around.

I fantasized about having an affair, what it would be like to have a fun, flirtatious relationship- even a brief one- with a different man. I had the case of 'wandering eye' especially when away on family vacations, seeing men in public that I was very attracted to. I'd only been with my husband most of my adult life. I wasn't feeling the romantic spark with him anymore. He worked all the time, I raised the kids, it was always a traditional marriage. I wanted to go back to work, only to find dull and low-paying jobs that bored me to tears.

A little over a year ago, I began spending a lot of time on a certain social media site (not FB, not IG or Twitter) but a popular site with message boards, advice, chatting, and PM opportunities for just about any kind of online 'friendship' you could dream of making. I started getting into private messaging exchanges with men, which turned into 'pen pals.' Some of my male pen pals introduced me to chat apps like Kik and Telegram. Telegram was my app of choice. Out of all the guys I was 'pen pals' with, 3 men became my AP's in varying degrees.

The 3 affairs with long distance men lasted about 3 to 6 months each. The first was a more emotional affair, lasted from April 2019 to July 2019. This man and I exchanged a lot of friendly conversations and I felt attached to him, to the point where I let him go, because he was married also.

The second was a flirty and explicit 'sexting' affair with a single man. We exchanged photos, endearments and emojis, and a lot of 'wishing you could drive down and see me' hints from him. It lasted from December 2019, off and on into just this June. I remember feeling so sexually charged and so desired and youthful with him.

The third online affair was the kind of sexting and flirting relationship to the second, a single dad long distance. He was 10 years younger than me, and he was more interested in sexting and getting my "boudoir" photos than having deep conversation, which made that relationship less satisfying because I liked 'friendship' from my AP's. We pulled away from each other a month ago but he still comes into my messaging app saying he misses me, but I'm trying to not re-engage him.

I haven't told my husband the entire truth about the explicit sexting and flirting in the online affairs. I confessed to having online male pen pals, and that it 'got to flirting' and he was basically forgiving but unhappy with what I had done. I feel like if I tell him every detail and how sexually excited I was by interacting with 2 of the men, plus my feeling 'emotionally attached' to the first guy, he would be crushed.

I would like to start IC when the pandemic dies down, and to explain my husband I need to get some therapy for the depression and the core issues that led me to this. He's been trying to connect better with me emotionally, and sex has improved slightly. I'm trying to forget the fantasies of my AP's. It's almost as if they 'haunt' my sex life with my husband now. Sometimes part of the longing for an affair was because I was only with my husband? Wanting to know what it's like to have a relationship with someone different??

I want to stop! I love my husband dearly. I want him to be enough, to be ALL I DESIRE emotionally and sexually. I want SO MUCH to never be tempted again to have an online AP, or an EA, or even the final temptation of a PA which I came dangerously close to having if I'd decided to meet with the second guy.

I still haven't deleted the Telegram app. And I admit that the reason is because I've deleted it before- and re-downloaded. I haven't deleted my account. I know I should, mostly because I want to erase the fact this ever happened. My phone is fingerprint protected. I deleted all the sexual chats.

I just need some encouragement and to hear your stories if you have gone through something like this. A lot of times, it doesn't feel 'real' because it was online.

BS- please don't pile on the shame. I feel shame enough and am terrified to confess everything. I go to church with my husband and look the part of a nice, happy, devoted wife, and yet I'm sitting on this secret. :(

[This message edited by sodonewiththis23 at 11:27 AM, July 16th (Thursday)]

Midlyfewife posted 7/6/2020 21:05 PM

Hello Sodone-
I am new here myself, joined about a month ago. I can relate to the feeling low, weight gain, and just general loneliness. I had an emotional affair that became physical.
We started with flirting, then sexting, some sexual acts, and ultimately ended when my husband found out. This affair lasted 4 1/2 years.
My suggestion to you would be to tell him everything now. The fact that these affairs are safe due to distance, doesn't mean that one may end up going further. The line to cross can become so fluid when you say "it was only". I know from experience. Not shaming, trying to help.

While the rush of the attention is exciting, you will only feel worse as it goes on. The longer you hide the truth the harder it will be for your husband if he finds out the details later. If you can't find a way to tell him everything, find a counselor that offers video visits. You may also want to speak with someone in your church council. I have found a book called Healing your marriage when trust is broken by Cindy Beall. Her husband had multiple affairs and was a pastor. The church is not immune to infidelity. If you really want to prevent this from going further, you should tell your husband everything and tell him how you feel, about your self esteem and your fears.

JBWD posted 7/7/2020 00:12 AM

And most of all, I lost the feeling of sexual spark for my husband, mostly due to feeling so neglected and lonely.

So that's the 'why.'

I still haven't deleted the Telegram app. And I admit that the reason is because I've deleted it before- and re-downloaded. I haven't deleted my account. I know I should, mostly because I want to erase the fact this ever happened.

This is all pasted together to show the progress of your reasoning- Simply put, there’s much more digging to find “why.” The better way to understand “why” is to understand not “why I cheated” but better phrased- “How I convinced myself to cheat.”

The critical thing to notice in your post is that your answer is your BH made you feel less desirable. What you’re going to learn through examination and self-honesty is that your feelings are not concrete things that control you: They are powerful and deceptive, but you still reflect a belief that something vague made you cheat. YOU made you cheat.

Digging into where those deceptive feelings come from will help you dissect the rationalizing you used to cheat. But you’re going to have to work at owning these decisions.

Regarding the trickle truth- Every second you keep the full info from him is further damage to a relationship that you’ve blown up. If you do love him you owe him the informed decision on what he’s “forgiven.”

There’s no erasing this. You need to spend a lot of time understanding where your understanding of love deviates from openness and vulnerability. But that can’t work in conjunction with keeping this secret. Not if you want to become an honest, safe partner.

If you want stories about how sweeping online EAs under the rug and “doing better” ended up, you could talk to me in 2017, declining into a full blown EA/PA after online cheating. You HAVE to address what you’re doing. It might cost you this marriage. But you’ll emerge a much more whole person.

ETA: I don’t want you to feel dispirited based on my post. You can change yourself. And we owe those whose lives we touch our very best efforts. But I am a firm believer that we are bombarded with unreasonable copouts that conspire against what is the normal life’s process of facing discomfort and challenge- We can’t surgery and air-condition away a lifetime’s worth of deception and confusion. You HAVE TO SEE IT first.

I think I speak for everyone here when I say we’re proud of you taking this step and hope you stick around.

[This message edited by JBWD at 10:19 AM, July 7th (Tuesday)]

alwaysblue posted 7/7/2020 12:41 PM

Hello sodonewithit23...

I’m only 6 months post dd1 but I would like to point out one thing that I wasn’t aware until it was pointed out to me by my BS. Like you, most of my A was through messaging although very short time. I met my AP once for lunch and we kissed. So even though mine lasted 6 days in total, during that time, I did not love my BS. I didn’t exchange any inappropriate pics or have sexual conversations with AP. We did flirt a little bit in those messages (example: I’d love to travel to Bahamas, AP: I wish it was with me). I thought I loved my BS but that wasn’t the case.

I also took about 8 weeks to tell my BS the full extent of our conversations and my feelings involved. I thought I was protecting my BS but what it did to him was just to prolong his torture. He knew I was attracted to AP as I told him that, but my BS thought I was in love with AP. I kept telling him that I wasn’t and that it was impossible to fall in love with someone over 6 days. But my actions during those 6 days made him feel like I fell in love. If I hadn’t deleted my conversations with AP, BS would’ve been able to see the context of our messages. It would’ve hurt like hell to see them but it would’ve shown him that for one, I didn’t sleep with the guy and that our conversations geared more towards getting to know each other rather than diving into full blown sexual thing.
I regret deleting those messages now. We tried to get them back but because my phone wasn’t backed up during the A period, we were unable to get anything back.

As long as you are engaged in your A, either through messaging or not disclosing the full details, you cannot love your spouse. That’s not loving behavior. I too felt neglected and ignored emotionally but starting an A was not the way to fix that. We both know that now.

Also, if you have a way to retrieve those messages that you deleted, I would do that too. Your spouse will want to see them and it makes it way worse if you don’t have them.

I know the shame very well. My AP is very well known to the family so my BS was devastated when he found out. My A happened in his home country where we have a home so I know I will run into AP again. I dread that day happening.

One word of advice, the earlier you come clean, it will be best for all involved. Try and not to minimize the A, or make excuses for it. One thing I wish I did was to own up to my actions. It was stupid as hell to do what I did, but it made it worse to downplay it. It drove my BS crazy. So state the facts of what happened and BS will take it from there. Everything else is out of your control. My BS is giving me another chance and we are in R and it is the most painful thing ever. We’ve never had issues in the bedroom (married 15 yrs) but now I can’t help to think that I’ve ruined that IT feeling for my BS. Even for me, it’s not the same. I hate myself for this and it’s something that will be with me for the rest of my life.

Good luck in coming clean and don’t be afraid to ask. Lots of us have been through this but I just encourage you to do it as honestly as you possibly can. Don’t withhold.

sodonewiththis23 posted 7/10/2020 10:36 AM

I just don't know how to tell him. We are in a good place right now, we've been doing well and getting along with no conflicts, no moodiness on his part. On the rare moments he's home and not on the phone with work people, I'm trying to communicate better. He usually vents about his day and I listen. Our conversation is usually about really mundane topics like taking care of our dog, his workday, what I need to pick up at the store, etc.

I'm still feeling like 'we've become roommates.' We have very little time for romance or doing anything that would create a spark. :( Vacations, taking trips together are out this year because of the pandemic. It's possible we could do an inexpensive day trip.

I'm trying to be patient with his not being home due to his long work hours. He leaves in the morning to start his day at 8 a.m. or before. He hasn't been coming home until 8 or 9, sometimes 10 p.m. past dinnertime. All of our kids are home, though the oldest works full time.

And if you ask, I'm certain he's not having an affair himself. He is honest and pure and has no interest in other women, it's amazing. He's told me about female customers who flirt with him and he's had no interest in that! He's simply BUSY with tons of work projects and clients that pile up. It's a blue-collar trade, so it's not even extremely lucrative. We always have to watch our budget, we can't afford any luxuries. I'm still driving a 14 year old car, and we have the same furniture in our house we bought 2 decades ago. I lost my last job due to cuts and so now I'm between jobs feeling frustrated.

The nice thing about my husband, though, is that he wouldn't mind if I just quit work and be a SAHM again and try to turn my favorite hobbies into income (which would be my dream!) But part of me feels that if I stayed home, I would feel just dependent on him the rest of my life, and that's contributed to me feeling like I'm nothing other than a wife and mom with no other identity, and I'm not a good role model for my daughter (who's a college student studying for a career.) Today's society pressures women to have careers plus a home, husband, and kids.

I guess what I'm REALLY trying to say is that I confess the online affairs to my husband in their entirety, all the details about the sexual nature of my AP's- I would be screwed. It might make him want to divorce me, especially if I were to confess that I was 'sexually curious' about other men. It would devastate him. He has been my only sexual partner in real life, since we started dating young.

I honestly don't know how he'd react. My only hope is that he would think trading pictures and flirting and sexting isn't the same as sleeping with another man in real life. It's possible we could get counseling and work through it. I KNOW he would be angry and hurt. He'd tell me he would start to limit and monitor my Internet activity. I admit this would make me feel so 'under his thumb'- which I would dread. I guess because it would go against me wanting to become 'my own person.' This sounds horribly rebellious on my part, and I know it's a selfish feeling.

My main question is how? How would I initiate this conversation? I am friends with a female pastor at my church who I'm really comfortable talking with. I'm thinking of meeting with her and talking to her about it first? She would be shocked because I seem like the LAST woman who'd be suspected of adultery! Maybe I could meet with her first, and then tell my husband after her guidance?

We have always been part of a Christian church community ever since we first started dating. I sometimes feel like God hasn't answered my prayers about improving my marriage over the past years, bringing the "romantic feelings" back, so 'why?' It's a moral and spiritual failure all around, on my part, and to be honest I just want to sweep it under the rug, keep quiet, keep the peace, and forget it happened!

[This message edited by sodonewiththis23 at 2:22 PM, July 11th (Saturday)]

Pippin posted 7/10/2020 11:35 AM

My main question is how? How would I initiate this conversation?

You trust and believe the truth will set you free, ask for God to hold you and your husband, tell him you have something serious to talk about, make sure the kids are not going to interrupt, and jump off the cliff. Ask me how I know. The other side is wonderful but it’s a long hard swim to get there.

Talk to your pastor if you want to, but don’t use it as an excuse to delay. If she’s any good she will be far from shocked and glad to help you. If she’s not helpful, find a new pastor.

Write out a detailed timeline with all the facts but don’t use that as an excuse to delay.

Go and jump. It won’t get easier if you wait or think about it.

LifeDestroyer posted 7/10/2020 11:47 AM

Write everything out that happened. Don't leave anything out. You are not protecting him by omitting any details. Get it all out. Answer every question he has with the full and honest truth.

I confess the online affairs to my husband in their entirety, all the details about the sexual nature of my AP's- I would be screwed. It might make him want to divorce me, especially if I were to confess that I was 'sexually curious' about other men. It would devastate him.

Yes, you will be screwed and he may want to divorce you, and it will do more than devastate him. There's no way to sugarcoat it. You will see pain in his eyes like you have never seen before. Pain that you created. He still needs to know though.

I still haven't deleted the Telegram app. And I admit that the reason is because I've deleted it before- and re-downloaded.

Since you haven't deleted it, you're still having an affair even if you're not talking to someone. You're purposefully leaving that door open.

MrCleanSlate posted 7/10/2020 14:56 PM


Ah yes, yet another 'Christian' churchgoing person who cheated and lied and carried on outward appearances. You think any of that churchgoing makes a difference? Are you seriously trying to blame god for your failings?

You cheated and lied and now you want to keep on lying.

Look, you want to bury this go ahead. Just know that at some point in the future when this comes out it will be way worse.

JBWD posted 7/10/2020 22:17 PM

I guess what I'm REALLY trying to say is that I confess the online affairs to my husband in their entirety, all the details about the sexual nature of my AP's- I would be screwed. It might make him want to divorce me...

There it is. He’s the one who’s screwed. You can resent his long hours, feel bad about betraying your ostensible religious sensibilities... OR you can dig deep and learn about the true nature of love- Centered on truly giving freely. Things are “going OK” because you’re still lying to him.

I understand you’re nervous but you’re at a crossroads where you have opportunity to live the principles you’ve been paying lip service.

I'm still feeling like 'we've become roommates.'

Gotta tell you, this is a troubling statement, because it further highlights that you’re blaming the relationship. What has he done that makes you feel this? I’m willing to bet that if you walked this back a little further you’d find that feeling comes from your unease being around him as you continue to lie to him.

What you’re trying to foster isn’t a feeling. Love is a verb, not a feeling- Do something to build the trust: Like tell him the truth.
ETA: While recognizing that trust is a distant hope given this thread. But giving freely means your truth is not given for your benefit, but simply because it’s the right thing to do.

We’re here, screaming from the bleachers, because we’ve ALL DONE THIS. If I had been immediately honest I’d likely still be in R. IIRC “Helping Your Spouse Heal...” has a section on how to disclose. Use it. Get the truth out there.

[This message edited by JBWD at 10:34 PM, July 10th (Friday)]

FearfulAvoidance posted 7/11/2020 12:20 PM

I'd like to echo the suggestions of disclosing everything at once. Yes, it will be scary. Yes, it might be too much and he may ask for a divorce. I can promise you those things will be better for both of you in the long run, regardless of the outcome.

I had an online EA extremely sexual A for 6 months. I didn't tell my BS all the details for over 2 years past Dday2. Seemingly "not a big deal" details like having phone sex in our bed instead of on the couch, or the full extent of my porn use throughout or relationship. These things, after 2 years of painful trickle truth are what have destroyed my wife far beyond the initial truama of my actual A.

Yes, she has said she likely would not have stayed if she'd known the extent of my transgressions at the start. However, had I fully disclosed her brain would not be broken with years of trauma and she would have been able to heal. Most importantly she would have had the option to CHOOSE the reality she wanted to exist in, not the one I fabricated to make myself look/feel better.

If you truly love and care for your BS, you will give him the option of that choice. And you will accept whatever consequence that follows with grace. You will both be better off living in the same honest reality even if it hurts like hell. Whatever you choose, your marriage will never be the same and will either end or go through a painful and slow rebirth. I hope you choose the option that gives you both the best chance at healing, together or apart.

JBWD posted 7/12/2020 10:59 AM

Hope you're building a plan SoDone... Any news?

sodonewiththis23 posted 7/12/2020 19:20 PM

I haven't had one single opportunity to have any conversations with him since I posted. My husband gets up early leaves at 7 and comes home late. Last night he came home from doing his jobs at 1 a.m.

This morning he made an omelet for breakfast like he always does on Sundays, and I hugged him and said I missed him last night. I'm realizing how much I love him. Not just as the father of our kids, not just because he provides a home for us, because of him- the funny, quirky, cute man he is who was my first and only real, true love. We met at 19 and 20 years old.

I can't bear the thought of destroying his illusion of a loving, faithful wife. (I am going to be faithful again. The online affairs were April 2019-July 2019, and from December 2019 to June 2020, between the 2 men.)
My husband believes what's been going on with me mainly, is being depressed. I've told him this over and over again for the last few years- "I'm depressed." Because it's been true, and I've been on meds for it.

In the beginning of this May, (when my 3rd LDAP pulled contact with me and I was upset about it but didn't want to reveal why!) we cuddled in bed before we went to sleep. I opened up about being lonely because he works all the time, and not having many real friends, feeling isolated, and spending too much time on the Internet. THAT was when I told him about those 'guys I wrote to online." I told him I was sorry for falling into such a thing. I told him I liked the attention, for self esteem.
He had so many good and wise suggestions to feel better-- Pull away from the Internet. Go outside, take walks, take nature pictures, call my mom on the phone more often, go to all social events I'm invited to. (I went to a girlfriend's baby shower, and it felt so good to socialize with other moms.) It felt like we were doing better, and even though it's still touch and go, roommate like because he has to be out of the house so often, we are sharing more affection, joking around, pretty much being best friends like we were when we were young and dating.

It's such a calm and peaceful time ever since I decided to let the 2 LDAP's go. It's a relief even. But still- that shame, the guilt. I want to find the right moment. I want to call the pastor. I need the words.

[This message edited by sodonewiththis23 at 7:42 PM, July 12th (Sunday)]

LifeDestroyer posted 7/12/2020 19:54 PM

I can't bear the thought of destroying his perception of a loving, faithful wife.

None of us could or wanted to but that's what happens when you choose to betray your husband. My BH said he would never be proud to have me as his wife again. He will only see me as the woman who hurt him.

I understand that things may seem and feel so much better now, but he still needs to know. Maybe he will ask for a divorce, but maybe he won't. Maybe he will find a way to work through what you chose to do and give you another chance.

No matter what though, your BH deserves to know what you have been doing.

Pippin posted 7/20/2020 08:25 AM

I haven't had one single opportunity to have any conversations with him since I posted.

Come on, that's not why you are not talking to him. If you said honey, we need to talk about something very serious, poof! The opportunity would happen.

From what I see, your Christian background could be very helpful! It's like you've been in training camp. You've got the prayers at your fingertips, the psalms, the relevant Bible passages. You've done some amateur praying about little stuff. You've now been catapulted into the Christian Major Leagues and it's time to step into the batter's box and swing at that fastball that's coming at you at a hundred miles an hour. God has your back. If you let him. When you pray, and still your mind and listen very closely, is he telling you to live a lie, to allow your husband to live a lie? I really doubt it.

You know all that stuff about chains and being a slave to fear? Your chain is the appearance of being a good Christian wife. Time to be a real Christian soldier. I promise it's worth it. And let your husband lean hard into his faith as well, to help him through this. His journey and story may be different from yours but it's all his own.

Maia posted 7/20/2020 15:33 PM


Okay, I'm going to talk to you in terms of Life and Death. I'm also going to talk in terms of myself. I'm going to tell you what I've found to be true. You accept or reject it as you see fit.

Life is an energy. It's the feeling you get when your child laughs. Or when a puppy does something really silly. Or when you read a novel and it is perfect. Or when you do something good.

Death is also an energy. It is prevalent in many churches actually. Fear and Shame are signs of Death. Fear, shame, anguish, doubt, confusion. (Lots of reasoning but no answers)

I couldn't find what I needed in any man. People couldnt fulfill me. Only God could do that.

I felt alone because I needed Life.

Now, a person can find Life in healthy places. It's to be found in anything one enjoys. In things that are beautiful. In music. In exercise and a dozen other things most would recognize.

The problem is, if that's the only place I go for Life, without going to God, I continue to feel parched. and I end up with counterfeits. It doesnt matter what the counterfeit is, it eventually turns into an addiction. Sexting. Shopping. Exercise. lol.

I have a lying junkie mind without God. I will lie and lie and lie. And say, "I won't do that again" Even when I know. Deep down? I'm gonna.

I think of Fear, Shame, Confusion, Anguish... all of the above as spirits. I tell them to go away. I ask God out loud what the truth is, and for Him to tell me. I ask Him for the love and life I need.

It helps.

I'll pray for you.

Maia posted 7/20/2020 17:40 PM

The other thing is, I don't know if you've seen the movie Nanny McPhee?

But there a real principle at work in that movie.

In the movie Nanny McPhee appears ugly. The family acts ugly. As the movie progresses she looks better and better as their behavior improves.

It's the same with us.

We will be insanely attracted to counterfeits until we act different for a while. You won't feel right. Keep going for real good things. For Life. After a while it won't be so hard and it will feel right.

Keep with it it works. It's why we have the Fog, withdrawal. Etc.

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