Newest Member: girlangry89

Just Found Out :
Wife having an emotional affair!

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 Emotionalrollercoaster10 (original poster New Member #79346) posted at 3:32 PM on Monday, August 30th, 2021

I have recently found out that my spouse is having an emotional affair. We have been married for 12 years and have two kids. I am former military and currently in law enforcement (so stress has been high in both professions). We got married at a young age and deployed immediately. I give my spouse a lot of credit having to move home for an entire year to stay with her parents and having little or no contact with me. After release of the military I never shared any experiences with my spouse or feelings and emotions believing I could handle them internally. I turned to drinking and was giving an ultimatum of marriage or drinking and I chose the marriage. My spouse is very quiet and reserved and rarely opens up which is okay. I am the exact opposite and of course when we would go out I started to do shady behavior when approached by the opposite sex. I would flirt and open up to them and when confronted I would simply leave because I didn't want to fight. It was a reoccurring them for a few years and I know the trust factor for my spouse has always been in doubt. About a year and a half ago I made the biggest mistake of getting blacked out drunk and texting a female from the bar, I never received a response and my spouse found the messages (I don't even remember sending them). I was disgusted, ashamed and I knew I hit rock bottom. I reached out for individual counseling and over the last year I am a totally different person. I found myself and I love who I am. Through counseling I was diagnosed with anxiety, PTSD and depression. I opened up to my spouse of all the death and carnage that I seen. My spouse listened as I poured years and years of feelings and emotions that I have bottled up. I felt like I made a huge connection with her and I feel so comfortable going to her about feelings that I am having. Over the last year I have changed myself, I have continued counseling, I cook, clean and do many things around the house and have been more involved with my kids. However, my spouse has become cold, distant, and always on her phone. I then found out she was using snapchat and talking to a coworker and when confronted she stated "He is just a good friend" Then I noticed her closing out messages when I would come around her and when I asked who she was talking to she would say everything but the person she was talking to. Eventually my spouse after hiding and communicating in secret has stated she has been having an emotional affair with her co-worker. They talk about the problems in their marriages and she eventually stated to me that she has been unhappy for years and feels that there is no connection anymore. I was absolutely devastated and the last two months have been hard for me mentally. My spouse says she is on the fence of wether to divorce or not. I suggested marriage counseling and she has agreed even getting the information and setting up an appointment. I know she is torn of what to do and she did state she had feeling for her co-worker to an extent. She states she believes she can be happy with him but she also doesn't want to make a rushed decision and later regret it. I have said if counseling has a chance to work she needs to stop talking to him but she refuses stating that he has been a great support system. I told her that it should be me that should be her crutch and the person she comes too to share her feelings. I know the communication hasn't been there recently with the concentration on myself and I have asked to spend at least a half hour every night just communicating moving forward and she agreed. She feels so distant that I feel alone, unwanted, under appreciated. She knows what she is doing is hurting me and I know she has guilt and shame. She has said I am sorry your hurting that was not my intention. Her responses just seem like she is just saying it. I am frustrated and nervous that this could be the end of our marriage with her appearing so checked out. I love her and would do anything for her but I also know that she deserves to be happy. Any words of advice I would greatly appreciate!

posts: 1   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2021
id 8686212
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Bigger ( Guide #8354) posted at 4:03 PM on Monday, August 30th, 2021

First of all: Welcome to the club nobody wants to join, but definitely needs to join when dealing with infidelity.

The go-to book for EA’s is the classic Not Just Friends by the late Dr. Shirley Glass. Get that book and read it in the next couple of days. Then ask your wife to read it or even better read it together. It can be an eye-opener for the WS to realize that the relationship is emotional infidelity.
You shop around for a MC – not your wife. When selecting an MC ask them on their views on emotional affairs. A large number don’t really believe they exist or are a sign of a troubled marriage. You want someone that recognizes EA’s and preferably agrees with Dr. Glass definition and handling.

Then there is the wife not decided or wife not committed…

Marriage isn’t an on/off thing. You can’t change and de-marry and change and marry and change and de-marry and change and… Either she’s committed or she isn’t. Marriage is a lot like swimming: stop swimming and you might be able to paddle about or float for some time, but you don’t get anywhere and eventually drown.

It’s an extremely powerful moment when you can tell your wife that she has options, but so do you. Something along the lines of:
"Wife. I love you and want to be married to you. But I realize that while you are emotionally attached to someone else you aren’t capable of being in this marriage on the terms I place on marriage. I also realize that when you say you aren’t decided you have already decided you don’t want this marriage, but lack the courage to tell me so.
Although I would do a lot to save this marriage there are two things I neither will nor want to do. I don’t want to share you and I don’t want to force you to be here. You are totally free to be with OM in any form or way – be it emotionally or more – only not as my wife.
There is no rush. We don’t have to be enemies or rush into anything, but until and unless you tell me you are willing to commit to the marriage I am simply assuming we are working towards separation and eventual divorce."

And then you hum your favorite tune and go get a sandwich.
Trying to convince her to work on the marriage while she thinks you are the only one feeling threatened won’t work.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 9858   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8686222
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Cooley2here ( Member #62939) posted at 5:55 PM on Monday, August 30th, 2021

If you have time to read many post on this particular site you’re going to find over and over again the betrayed spouse says they were a horrible husband or wife and try to make excuses for their spouse cheating. We don’t buy it because that’s not fair. She could have turned to you many times over the last few years and told you she was done with the marriage if you didn’t straighten up. She didn’t, she just stay quiet and seethed with anger. You have now become a much healthier man but she’s decided you’re not worth it anymore but she forgot to tell you that. This is the time for ultimatums. This is a time for hard boundaries. If she cannot give you what you want it’s time to move on. Sometimes I think it’s just time to cut bait. For whatever reason this marriage started off with y’all separated by an ocean and then you just never quite got things right. I am so sorry for the amount of stress you brought home with you. I’ve read enough to know that soldiers just never quite get over what they witnessed. I’m so glad you’ve had therapy. Look after yourself and accept the fact that maybe it’s just time to move on. You’re young enough, and obviously your children are still young enough, that if the two of y’all can make friends with each other, look after the kids, and have separate lives.

To thine own self be true. Shakespeare

posts: 2907   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8686252
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asc1226 ( Member #75363) posted at 9:36 PM on Monday, August 30th, 2021

Does the pos coworkers betrayed spouse know about the affair and the talk of being together?

I make edits, words is hard

posts: 370   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
id 8686293
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Aletheia ( Member #79172) posted at 9:55 PM on Monday, August 30th, 2021

ER10-

Really sorry that you had to find your way here. There is no point for MC while your wife is actively engaged in an affair. And you cannot reconcile with an unremorseful WS. She doesn’t regret her actions or that she’s hurting you.

You want to save your marriage? File for divorce. It doesn’t have to be finalized. But there’s two reactions from your WW, she agrees to a divorce & you don’t waste more time on this farce marriage you’re currently in. Or she pulls her head out of her behind realizing she can really lose you. You’re currently your WW’s Plan B. She wants to try things out with AP & if it doesn’t work, she has you to fall back on. Please don’t be her Plan B. File for divorce & ask her to leave the home. If you’re scared you will lose her by doing so, take note, you’ve already lost her. Good luck.

Your best must be just as glorious as your betrayal was destructive.

Don’t allow people to “Life is short” you to amend bad relationships. Forgiveness /= reconciliation. Leave them people where they are. Life was short when they did what they did.

posts: 185   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2021   ·   location: Everywhere & nowhere
id 8686297
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Marz ( Member #60895) posted at 10:53 PM on Monday, August 30th, 2021

Sorry man but an emotional affair with physical contact can be a hidden physical affair. Cheaters tend to lie a lot. A lot!!!

[This message edited by Marz at 10:54 PM, Monday, August 30th]

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13YearsR ( Member #58259) posted at 10:55 PM on Monday, August 30th, 2021

I have said if counseling has a chance to work she needs to stop talking to him but she refuses stating that he has been a great support system.

Reconciliation is not possible with someone in an active affair. Also, an affair partner is not a "great support system" for your marriage. That's ludicrous.

You want to save your marriage? File for divorce. It doesn’t have to be finalized. But there’s two reactions from your WW, she agrees to a divorce & you don’t waste more time on this farce marriage you’re currently in. Or she pulls her head out of her behind realizing she can really lose you. You’re currently your WW’s Plan B. She wants to try things out with AP & if it doesn’t work, she has you to fall back on. Please don’t be her Plan B. File for divorce & ask her to leave the home. If you’re scared you will lose her by doing so, take note, you’ve already lost her. Good luck.

100% this. Let her feel the reality of her choices.

They talk about the problems in their marriages

So he's married. You must tell his spouse immediately, even if your wife objects. (Don't tell her. Just do it.) The other BS deserves to know the truth, and nothing kills an affair more quickly than dragging it out into the sunlight. Odds are, he'll dump her immediately.

[This message edited by 13YearsR at 10:58 PM, Monday, August 30th]

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. ~ Gloria Steinem

DDay 2004 Successful R and going on 33 years married

posts: 439   ·   registered: Apr. 13th, 2017   ·   location: TX
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Blandy ( Member #79252) posted at 10:56 PM on Monday, August 30th, 2021

she did state she had feeling for her co-worker to an extent. She states she believes she can be happy with him but she also doesn't want to make a rushed decision and later regret it.

Do not allow her to make a choice. You are not plan B. You are either her husband or you're not. Let her know that you can make the decision easier for her by removing yourself as a candidate.

I have said if counseling has a chance to work she needs to stop talking to him but she refuses stating that he has been a great support system.

While it seems WAY too early for MC, state the boundaries. He goes or you do. Expose the EA to the co-worker's wife without warning. At a minimum, she needs to put in her 2 week's notice and find a new job. If she balks, report them to their HR. Again, do this without warning.

"Wife. I love you and want to be married to you. But I realize that while you are emotionally attached to someone else you aren’t capable of being in this marriage on the terms I place on marriage. I also realize that when you say you aren’t decided you have already decided you don’t want this marriage, but lack the courage to tell me so.
Although I would do a lot to save this marriage there are two things I neither will nor want to do. I don’t want to share you and I don’t want to force you to be here. You are totally free to be with OM in any form or way – be it emotionally or more – only not as my wife.
There is no rush. We don’t have to be enemies or rush into anything, but until and unless you tell me you are willing to commit to the marriage I am simply assuming we are working towards separation and eventual divorce."

Bigger nails it here.

posts: 59   ·   registered: Aug. 8th, 2021   ·   location: TX
id 8686310
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Wanttobebetter ( Member #72484) posted at 11:09 PM on Monday, August 30th, 2021

100% what Bigger said. It seems you were doing the pick me dance and it never works. You can't nice her back. You do need to continue your IC and improve yourself though.

Good luck.

posts: 138   ·   registered: Jan. 6th, 2020
id 8686313
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ShutterHappy ( Member #64318) posted at 11:14 PM on Monday, August 30th, 2021

Your WW refuses to stop talking to the OM because she’s emotionally attached to him. As long as she persists, you can’t really work on any Reconciliation. She took those decisions, and you have no choice but to take yours. Don’t do the pick me dance. Marriage is not about being committed unless someone else comes along to provide « emotional support »

Try to deal with this situation in a calm but firm way. She is choosing to continue the A, you chose to not be a victim and start the D process.

Other steps to take:

- STD test ( that "emotional affair " with a coworker is probably not only emotional )

- consult with a lawyer

- consult with a doctor if you have trouble sleeping, eating etc…

- find out who the spouse of the OM is (the OBS) and inform her. That will bring your WW to reality. Exposure kills the fantasy.

- seek support from friends and family

If she comes around, you can work on R if she takes the proper steps to reestablish trust and show remorse and empathy.

[This message edited by ShutterHappy at 11:21 PM, Monday, August 30th]

Me: BH
Divorced, remarried.
I plan on living forever. So far so good

posts: 1435   ·   registered: Jun. 30th, 2018   ·   location: In my house
id 8686315
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guvensiz ( Member #75858) posted at 2:28 AM on Tuesday, August 31st, 2021

They can be physically together often, so the possibility of they're having sex is high. This much bonding can't happen with just talking.
Don't do the pick me dance. Don't accept being a plan B.
Cancel MC. They will probably tell you why it's your fault your wife cheated on you. Let alone being useless, it can even cause harm.
Inform OBS. Then watch what these two lovebirds complain about their spouses to each other do when their A is exposed. When the fairy tale comes to an end and they face reality, you also see how someone who wants to save their marriage will throw the other under the bus.

posts: 477   ·   registered: Nov. 14th, 2020
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SnowToArmPits ( Member #50943) posted at 6:25 AM on Tuesday, August 31st, 2021

Sorry you're here.

Tell her what Bigger wrote.

Once you've told her that, don't give her forever, set a time limit a week? two weeks? and if she's not on board the marriage with you, if she's still talking to the other man then talk to a lawyer. Get the lay of the land of what divorce would mean for you. Talking to a lawyer doesn't mean you're divorced that day, takes time you can stop the process if things change with her. But I think it's best you get educated.

Doing the pick Me dance is getting you nowhere right now. Three months from now don't be sitting in this same quicksand, stuck, your mind full of hopium that she'll rejoin your marriage.

posts: 344   ·   registered: Dec. 25th, 2015   ·   location: Canada
id 8686377
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BindassBP ( Member #75283) posted at 9:19 AM on Tuesday, August 31st, 2021

Hi Emotionalrollercoaster10,
Sorry you had to find your way here. You will get the best support here.
Right now she sees you only as an option probably option-B. And you dont want to be an option in your own marriage. Until she cant see you as an option there is no chance rebuilding it. You should have never been in a position to compete with OM. She put you there. Just remove yourself from the equation, let her realise what she will be missing out, tell her what Bigger posted above. Don't do it out of spite, do it for your own good. As she is having an affair, your old marriage is already over. What you can do is start a new journey, and it's upto her to join you or not. Your first priority is to get out of infidelity and have a better life with or without her.

posts: 72   ·   registered: Aug. 29th, 2020
id 8686385
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Robert22205https ( Member #65547) posted at 1:49 PM on Tuesday, August 31st, 2021

I few comments:

1 - we all felt like we contributed to their decision to cheat. At some point (weeks or months) you'll realize that's not true and you will get very angry.

2 - affairs are based on fantasy. She hasn't lived with the OM, raised kids with him, solved problems/argued and experienced the daily grind with the OM. Therefore, she does not know him in any meaningful way.

3 - if she needs time to think about her husband vs the OM, then you already lost her. Refuse to give her time to think about it. Experience shows that your best strategy for saving your marriage (if that's what you decide) is to show zero tolerance for her relationship with the OM. In her current state of mind obsessed with the OM who she doesn't really know, strength and decisiveness attracts her. Begging, crying, passiveness does not.

4 - as long as she has any contact with the OM: let her see you taking steps to divorce her. In order to be taken seriously she needs to believe you will divorce her rather than tolerate this inappropriate relationship.

posts: 2409   ·   registered: Jul. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: DC
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Robert22205https ( Member #65547) posted at 1:54 PM on Tuesday, August 31st, 2021

Exposure kills affairs (including EAs).

Your best ally is the OM's wife. Inform her (without first warning your wife). Don't even hint that you may call her. If you warn your wife they will talk to the OM's wife first and discredit you as jealous etc.

IMO it's likely the OM's wife is not even aware that they are having marriage problems (although may wonder why her husband has been distant).

Exposure blows up their fantasy world and forces the OM back to reality - to chose his wife (and kids) or your wife.
He can't afford divorce anymore than you; and doesn't want to lose his kids anymore than you.

Put an end to his game - expose him to his wife.

posts: 2409   ·   registered: Jul. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: DC
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Tigersrule77 ( Member #47339) posted at 2:24 PM on Tuesday, August 31st, 2021

ER10, I have to agree with the others that your WW is very likely having a PA. She is offering MC and such to placate you, while she tells you she is going to continue her relationship.

You cannot work on the M while your WW has any contact with AP. If they work together, one of them needs to change jobs. There have been too many people on this site (and from my own experience), you are trying to be nice and allow her to have contact with her "friend", but unless she cuts him out of your life, your M has no chance.


She states she believes she can be happy with him

she needs to stop talking to him but she refuses

Your WW is telling you that she is not all in on R. If that is the case, it won't work. She needs to be fully committed, not partially.

posts: 1512   ·   registered: Mar. 27th, 2015   ·   location: Maryland
id 8686404
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Bigger ( Guide #8354) posted at 7:17 PM on Monday, September 6th, 2021

Hey emotional
I’m hoping you still come back and see if your thread has been updated. I often wonder if the hard-sounding advice we tend to offer drives people away. Unfortunately a lot of the hard advice is totally true.

I’m a former cop. Like you I dealt with serious PTSD that nearly wrecked my present marriage. My story is in my profile, but basically I had to come home during a night-shift because the front of my shirt was splattered in blood from some kid that thought himself capable of driving at 100 mph only to have a utility pole prove him wrong. Walked in on them having sex. Met my present wife about 2 years later and about 15 years into our marriage I nearly wrecked it due to my PTSD.
I had the sense to get help. The therapist took a couple of sessions to realize and tell me that although A LOT of my PTSD was due to events like that young-man-meets-utility-pole, getting cut by a troll on steroids and speed, picking body-parts from under a truck… NONE of that was a bigger trigger and cause than the infidelity. Fortunately he taught me how to deal with it all. I still trigger but understand why and deal with it.

I want to mention my background because I think it can be relevant to your situation.

As a cop you are trained (and learn through experience) to approach each situation with a certain level of distrust without letting that be the dominant or controlling thought. You stop a and you aren’t expecting the driver to pull out a gun, yet you watch out for their hands and approach with care. You ask a driver if he’s consumed alcohol and you don’t rely on his answer, but rather the smell and his appearance.
Recognize that grip? The one you use if you are talking to someone that might become agitated or aggressive? The grip where you loosely grab their wrist so your hand covers the back of their hand? The grip that is non-threatening and even might be considered friendly. Often hid with an extended hand-shake. The grip that with a simple twist becomes a lock that can get you complete control of the person.
Well… that’s how you approach infidelity…

What we are suggesting is that you don’t take your wife at face value. Combine words and actions and behaviors to evaluate the truth.

Her words on how she’s been unhappy for years, how she’s not sure and all that…
As is only words. Right now she’s placed the threat. She’s sounding you out. She’s even possibly trying to negotiate having you (but on her conditions) while also being able to have OM. (Remember – as is it’s only emotional and often a WS doesn’t see that as an affair. He’s just a "friend" … That’s what the book we recommend covers). She’s like that drunk driver questioning your right to stop him or your right to demand he step out of the car.
What would you do if this was on the street? I’m hoping you wouldn’t pull out your gun and blast him – in some ways that’s what those that insist you need to file right now and show her consequences are suggesting IMHO. But I would also hope that you would hold your ground. Slowly but surely ensure the driver got out – be it on his own will or you eventually forcing the issue.
It's like I sometimes said to myself when dealing with some ahole: You can protest all you want and posturize and spout your pseudo-logic and law, but at the end of the day you will be in a cell and I will be home.

The script I gave you: The goal with that is to help your wife realize her threats aren’t worth anything if she’s not willing to carry them through. How could she do that? Well… by being decisive in that the marriage is over. Friend – if it’s reached that stage it’s better to know. However I don’t think so. I think your wife is still posturing to get a better position.

"I’m so unhappy and have been for a long time"
I’m sorry you feel that way. If we were working on the marriage we would definitely have to deal with those emotions but seeing as how you have chosen to lean to OM then there isn’t any need for us to deal with that issue.

"I think I can be happy with him"
I’m sorry you feel that way. I would want to be married to you, but if that’s where your happiness lies then I won’t stop you.

"I’m on the fence on divorce"
I’m sorry you feel that way. I don’t think a marriage can survive if one or more partners don’t believe it can be saved and/or can’t commit to trying. If you can’t do either then feel free to file. Don’t need my permission and I trust the judicial system to ensure a divorce is fair.

Basically – remove her excuses. Leave her where you can place more emphasis on her actions and her behaviors rather than what she’s saying.


Finally – If your wife has already told you that she could be happy with this man, and if this man is sharing his marital issues with your wife… You definitely 100% need to tell his wife.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 9858   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8687302
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MickeyBill2016 ( Member #56459) posted at 9:44 PM on Monday, September 6th, 2021

I was going to post something but after reading Biggar's post I realized he said it all...listen to him.

Just want to add the what ever she says is most likely partially true.
She says she's been unhappy for years...maybe since she saw your message 1.5 years ago.
She says they just talk, probably if the EA has been going on for more than a few months it is a PA.
She says she doesn't know what she wants to do, she knows but is in a awkward situation, if she leaves you will her BF leave his wife for her? No one knows.

About a year before DDay noticed my XW was reading a book called "I don't know what I want but it's not this" ostensibly about unhappy job situations but she said it could apply to life in general...that was a red flag for me.

Good luck

9 years married.
13 years divorced.

posts: 1176   ·   registered: Dec. 17th, 2016   ·   location: West of the 405 North of the Mexican border
id 8687317
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GoldenR ( Member #54778) posted at 10:28 PM on Monday, September 6th, 2021

Adults that work together don't have secret pen-pal/texting affairs.

They have sex.

Unfortunately you only have the tip of the iceberg.

posts: 2642   ·   registered: Aug. 22nd, 2016   ·   location: South Texas
id 8687323
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Bigheart2018 ( Member #63544) posted at 3:16 PM on Tuesday, September 7th, 2021

Dear Friend,

I'm so very sorry you are here. I believe you are in a critical place in time that requires you to make some difficult decisions. It is time to stand up for yourself, your kids, and your family. I will list my recommendations for you.

1.) Make it known to your wife that you will NOT tolerate her involvement with her AP.

2.) I'm a proponent of exposure therefore, let everyone know of the affair (possible PA).

3.) I would report the affair to the company HR. You have nothing to lose with telling them.

4.) If the AP has a significant other, let her know.

My recommendation will take a strong man or woman to execute. You are ex-military and you know how to develop and execute a plan.

Stand Strong,

Best

Bigheart

[This message edited by Bigheart2018 at 3:17 PM, Tuesday, September 7th]

posts: 348   ·   registered: Apr. 24th, 2018   ·   location: Southwest PA
id 8687394
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