Getting “Unhooked” From An Emotional Affair

Image credit: Freeimages.com
Image credit: Freeimages.com

“How can I get unhooked from an emotional affair?” There is not easy way, and it will involve a process of time. In that process, several practices are important. First of all, separation is important. The emphasis here is on abstinence and sobriety. You don’t indulge yourself with the other person’s presence. You must stop exposing yourself to this shared life experience. The contact is what keeps these feelings alive; you need to stop feeding the compulsion.

I hasten to add that you just can’t bury these feelings. Therefore, the next step is identification. What is the “something” this person touches inside you? What unmet need does he tap into? Sometimes the infidel can process this with a spouse or a same-sex friend, but other times that will need to be done with an experienced counselor who is committed to restoring the marriage.

My experience is that the longings that underlie infidelity go back to childhood; the infidel brings them with him or her into the marriage. They often were touched upon or satisfied in the initial phases of the relationship with the spouse, but over time have been buried by the crush of life’s responsibilities.

The next process is exposure. Don’t allow these longings and feelings to remain a secret. The longer an infidel allows these feelings to continue as a secret, the more he or she will idealize the person the feelings are attached to. Idealization means this partner becomes perfect, and as a result, no one else (e.g., the spouse) can measure up. The partner is beginning to be seen as “all good,” and therefore the infidel will have to see the marriage as “all bad.”

As mentioned earlier, if you encapsulate these feelings at this point, they will only lie dormant to be triggered again later. I usually encourage the infidel to share his feelings with his spouse, after seeking counsel. After all, the spouse has been involved in this story already (in that all affairs are a triangle, even if the spouse is unaware) and might as well know the secrets that are occurring in his/her marriage.

The next concept here is to journal. Write down the feelings you are experiencing in this rather involved and tortuous journey. Feelings don’t have to control an individual, but their influence is strongest when they are held in secret. The longings that have led to this emotional affair are a part of the childhood magic; journaling them gets them out into the open, into the adult realm.

The next step is displacement. Use this process in tandem with some of the other processes. Here you do something else in lieu of focusing on the partner. You can exercise, get involved in spiritual development, or take on different projects or hobbies. This is the “doing” part of healing.

The final idea is to grieve. Though this is extremely difficult for the spouse to observe, it is important and necessary. Many times this needs to start with a “good-bye” letter (written to the adulterous partner). Most infidels find this very painful to do. It seems so unnecessary initially, because (seemingly “nothing evil has happened,” since they didn’t have sex. Only after thorough processing, and the passage of time, will the infidel be able to look back and see how befuddled his/her thinking really was.

This is also a good time for the infidel to review his/her “loss history,” and this leads naturally to grieving. What other significant caregivers, friends, loved ones, or pets has the infidel lost that parallel the lost feelings in giving up the affair? The infidel will probably want to do this in private and only later will be able to share the depth of the experience with his spouse.

(A caution here: The depression is not about what you feel for the partner, but just what you are feeling, period. Keep the partner out of the equation-it will make it easier for your souse to listen to your feelings, and easier for you to connect with the feelings in your heart that need processing.)

The Healing Process: Neither your partner nor your spouse can release you from the emotional hook you’ve experienced. Many spouses caught in this kind of emotional affair have found portions of The Serenity Prayer helpful:

“Lord, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Be careful of changing the components around. Don’t try to change the things you cannot change-that will only lead to frustration and anger. On the other hand, don’t accept the things you should be changing —that will only lead to feelings of victimization, a sense of “What’s the use? I can’t lick this, so I might as well give in.”

Time, the healing process, always requires a backward look. Encouragement is not usually the result if you look to where you need to be, feel like you ought to be, or even want to be. You will see the feelings diminish as you look backward to where you were three, six or nine months ago.

Rebuild and concentrate on the lost relationships that contributed to the vacuum that the emotional affair filled. That could require quite a search on your part, some intense conversations (even confrontations) with people in your life, a lot of focused reading, and even some trips/visits to significant places in your childhood.

Enjoy the process and reschedule the experiences that made your marriage good in the first place. Here I encourage couples to each identify the “eight greats” of their marital experience. Independently, each spouse should identify the eight great experiences, or highlights, of their marital history, then decide together on five that they’d like to repeat. You see, shared history is a critical component of intimacy. Rare is the spouse who won’t join “the almost infidel” in this endeavor and experience recovery from close call. Why, most of us had close calls ourselves.

Some Cautions for the Infidel: Temptations do not an identity make. Some people struggle with the same temptation for years. For instance, just because someone wants to smoke again because he’s tempted doesn’t mean he’s a smoker. Don’t let the temptation to return to the partner shame you into feeling “What’s the use? I might as well give in. I’ll never be free of these feelings.”

Second, remember that in periods of high stress, difficult emotions, transition, and marital dullness, you will feel an increased desire to return to the partner or to renew thoughts of him/her. At times, infidels report that they have yearnings to think about this person just to see if the feelings are still “available” as in the days gone by. This “testing” is common to obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and the intent is to prove to oneself how far one has come in the recovery process.

Be careful —this process can begin to mimic the destabilization process of a Class 2 affair described in chapter 6. As mentioned there, such practices only intensify, rather than lessen, the attraction —and the hook goes much deeper.

Some Encouragement for the Spouse: First, remember that these longings were present in your spouse before you entered his or her life. You didn’t create them, and you probably can’t fully satisfy them.

Second, you did tap into those longings early in your relationship in some fashion. The longings were present in the initial feelings of what love is all about. For whatever reason, the infidel settled for the initial feelings of what love is all about and superficial satisfaction of those longings, versus deepening and maturing them. This is not your fault. Many times it is the result of a combination of circumstances: work, school, family, and so on. But the exciting thing is now you both can go deeper in your love for each other.

Last, both of you will eventually forget the partner. The memories of this experience will fade in the same way that a widow or widower forgets about the loss of a good first marriage if the second marriage is a pleasant experience.

It is possible to rebuild after an emotional affair has been discovered. Work through these steps and you will make progress. This is the kind of stuff emotional intimacy is built on, and that is the key to any good marriage.

The above article comes from the excellent book, TORN ASSUNDER: Recovering From an Extramarital Affair written by Dave Carder, published by Moody Publishers. This book is very comprehensive and is a great practical guide for dealing with extramarital affairs. It’s very comprehensive because it carefully sorts out the different kinds of affairs and deals with each kind —giving very practical and insightful information. It doesn’t lump all infidelity together “giving over-simplistic spiritual answers.” It’s practical because “it deals with daily, gut-level issues both partners face.” We highly recommend getting this book!

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Comments

1,862 responses to “Getting “Unhooked” From An Emotional Affair

  1. Dear Unhooked, and all, I have been here reading–but not having time to post! You my dear sister have been so heavy on my heart and mind these past 2 days, because I know how gut wrenching this can be when you can not avoid him. And he is hurting–and you do NOT want to cause anyone pain! BUT I want to encourage you to “keep doing the right things”–which it sounds like you are. RM and WP have given you much vital solid Biblical advice.

    I’ve walked in your shoes (twice now!)–and I can testify that God will never leave you OR forsake you. You being tried in the fire!! Grace and peace until I can post more! You are not alone, sweetheart.

  2. Praise God! Over and over He provides what we need when we need it! I was so very thankful to read your post, Unhooked, as to how God has snatched you from the clutches of deception. What you describe is a common experience among us here –the illusion of love, the fog, the drifting from the Lord, the former tendency to judge others (that was me, too!) –God DOES work all things together for our good! I have confidence that you will emerge a stronger, wiser, much more compassionate loving servant of Jesus Christ! Hour by hour, moment by moment, keep putting your hand in His and He will guide you and walk with you! Oh, how He loves us! Take courage.

    A huge thanks to RM and WP for your encouraging posts. You are a testimony of faith to us all. RM–once again there is much rich wisdom in your posts and I will print them to re-read and ponder.

    I have found blessing in my “mentor” sister –who has kept me accountable on a weekly basis. I have not been 100 percent ‘NO CONTACT” –due to our same social circles –but almost –I’m “a work in progress” :)

    One more suggestion to Unhooked –I don’t recall your details, but I would encourage you and your husband to work through this with a pastor or counselor. To quote the above article– “My experience is that the longings that underlie infidelity go back to childhood; the infidel brings them with him or her into the marriage. They often were touched upon or satisfied in the initial phases of the relationship with the spouse, but over time have been buried by the crush of life’s responsibilities.”

    A few years back when I went through this EA the first time –professional counseling with a wonderful Christian was a huge step for me. I fell again the second time when I started canceling appointments, and denying the depth of the “friendship” with the second OM. I had not completed my counseling sessions and so about 6 months after the end of the second EA –I resumed counseling again, and then and only then could I recognize the false beliefs and lies that I had based these affairs on. But I have confidence that God will provide whatever you need to obtain victory!

  3. Hi Trying, Unhooked, WP. Trying: yes, it is the fog, and the mist that seems to envelop us when we roam back in our minds to those times with our EA. To be honest, I”m actually feeling a bit vulnerable myself today. I finished work for the year, and this, as we know, is the time of year that is hardest in some ways for us all. It would have been the time, after work today, that I would have phoned her up (she was now a family friend by this stage) and we would have had a good laugh, just goofed around and talked over the day, and upcoming holidays. 99% was quite innocent, or so I thought. However, it was that black, horrible 1% that, like sin, destroyed it all in the end.

    So, today, sadly, I actually feel quite lonely. It is wrong…we have the Holy Spirit, so we are never really lonely. More later, but keep the faith and the fight. A good book arrived today. I will share with you later… gotta run! Blessings. RM

    1. Hi Running Man… Unhooked… Trying… I’m sorry you are feeling lonely now yesterday Runnng Man. I have had the same… as I think over the heady feelings with my EA. I know that all your and Trying’s comments, and the comments of Unhooked, and those of others are true. Yet still, that loneliness is there in unguarded moments. The letting go process is hard. It is then that I think of the Christ, His suffering for us, His great Love for us… the significance of Christmas… and the joy that awaits us only because of His birth, His death, His gift, His Love. All else fades into the background.

      I may have to leave my place of employment too… after 27 years, very good friends, a way of life… so in a way I have been preparing to exit virtually now… instead of three years from now. They have given me two offers now… this is not my initiative! It has been a strain now for the last 6 months. I will know very likely in January. If the offer is not OK, then I have 3 hard years ahead. I know what you mean when you say you feel lonely.

      Hi Unhooked… I hope you’re well today. Your last posts have been on my mind. I know how intense it can be, I’m hoping you’re all right. I’m praying that you will come through this crazy time… whole, strong, confident and steadfast. I still think of your text where you said your faith has been restored. I was so happy to hear that! I wish I could express more, but I don’t have the words right now.

      Hi Trying, Your texts are great! I go back and read them every so often. I did not have counseling… perhaps I should have, but here in the Netherlands it gets very expensive. Your words and those of others have helped me immensely to differentiate between the “heady, intense infatuation” of an EA… and the “strong, secure, steadfast” love of Godly marriage.

      It’s so nice to be able to share with you all… and to hear from you… has been a real joy for me. WP- Work in Progress

      1. WP- I have been praying for you as you face a potential career challenge. It can be very difficult –my hubby experienced it several years back leaving a job and a profession after 33 years!! But God has blessed him and our family in many, many ways, and he loves his new employer and profession, one he never, ever would have chosen on his own. We had committed the matter to the Lord and tried to be open and receptive to His leading not our own logic. I trust that you and your wife have also done that. She is a fantastic resource for you at this time (just saying ). Your comments about counselling are very true. It is also expensive in the US but our church body employs professional counselors and I was able to benefit through that resource. Another blessing!

        1. Thank you so much Trying! Yes… I know my wife is an excellent resource. We’ve been talking about it a lot. “Career challenge” is a nice term, but a more accurate description is “unwillful early retirement encouraged by my boss who wants to get rid of me.” This is my strong impression anyway. After being upset about it initially, I’m now just annoyed and in a more “pugnacious” mood. But I have to watch my attitude… and seek and find God’s special leading here.

          Thank you for your prayers- they do mean a lot to me! We have not been a part of a church body now for 8 years or so, after several bad experiences. But we’re exploring the idea of attending a local church in the area… we’re “proceeding carefully.” The friend who has been inviting us has been very patient! You have a good day Trying… thank you for your prayers and interest!! Cheers, WP

          1. I have 2 friends that have taken “early retirement” the end of this year close to your age with similar situation. I will pray that during this time of uncertainty that you will find peace in God’s will for your future. I am sorry to hear of negative church experiences. I will also pray for you to find a “body” of believers to walk this journey with. I believe that is something that I do not appreciate like I should–having been blessed all my life with a Bible teaching, Truth-preaching church to worship and belong to. You have made so much progress and change by His grace in the past year. God will honor our requests; and answer our prayers in His own perfect time. Keep trusting and believing!

  4. Hi again all. One quick thought for you here: do you know that you will judge angels? I say this, as I have found so often, that when we are confronted with the TRUE nature of who we are, and what we are ultimately headed to, it CHANGES our thinking, and can lift us ABOVE the turmoil that so often entangles us. While so many head out to see Star Wars, we have something so outstanding, so incredible, so utterly amazing that is awaiting us!! It will make Star Wars, which is a total fiction, look like a mere dirty puddle in comparison to the splendour and wonder that our own eyes and spirits will enjoy. Think on this believers!

    Put on the amour of light dear Christians, and look upward. Even in the gloom, and in our dispair, if we know Him, then it is true of us that we will indeed judge angels! We will be transformed in the twinkling of an eye, and all our problems and concerns will be as nothing! We’re heading to this, and, more importantly, this isn’t something that is only in the future, but the Bible clearly says it is something that is in fact true of us here below! Enjoy the heritage that is yours, and embrace your adoption… you will soon recieve the reward… push on, and persevere to the end! Blessings RM

    1. Thank you Brother for the encouragement to keep our focus on Jesus! I do appreciate you each taking time to post. I have been keeping busy with activities and family, but that should slow down some, and I will post more later, but I do want to testify once again. God’s ways work! He makes NO mistakes. These trials are allowed in our lives to refine us, to polish our character, and form us into vessels to reflect HIS glory, power, and might!

  5. Hi Trying, Running Man, So good to hear these things again… I still need to be reminded. I know God’s ways work… I know He makes NO mistakes. I wish this were not so hard sometimes. But He knows us so well, and He knows what He is doing. I know why trials are allowed… we need to be trained, and refined and sifted. I need to remember these things. It’s just… hard. WP

  6. Dear ones, This has been a blessed holiday season for me–I have had quality family time, and we have had opportunity to share Jesus through the Christmas story from the Bible with some who have never heard it! This has caused me to reflect on the blessings of our Freedom to Worship here in the US, and to use this gift wisely. There is a peace and joy in our hearts that is a mystery to many, and we can not keep it to ourselves. This also sheds light on deception and lies that satan feeds us regarding relationships–The Bible is our guidebook, and following its instructions guarantees an inner peace. Although the world around us rages –we can have hope in Jesus. Fear and despair have no room in our hearts.

    As I reflect on 2015 today, I can say one thing–GOD IS FAITHFUL, AND HE WANTS what is best for us. We just never know if we will see tomorrow. I have visited the house of mourning often this year–said goodbye to loved ones I thought I would grow old with. Mourned and grieved over my brokenness and struggles, and yet I have experienced the ultimate sense of “Emmanuel”–God with us–because of Jesus Christ and the gift of life that I have in Him now and forever in eternity. My prayer for each of us in 2016 is that we would –live each day seeking His will, and following His footsteps. Nothing else matters! Many blessings of love, joy and peace to each of you in this coming year!

    1. Hi Trying, Your words are always so uplifting… Thanks so much. You have a special way with words. I look forward to your posts. You have been a special blessing to everyone who reads you contributions!! Yes… GOD IS FAITHFUL, AND HE WANTS what is best for us… Thanks for the reminder!! Cheers, WP

  7. I am glad I ran across this website, I just ended an emotional affair. Truly, I was not seeking out an EA, but the devil is so busy, that someone from my past of 20 years ago located me through a mutual friend. I truly thought it was innocent enough since the physical relationship was so long ago (he was married and still is and I as single at the time), but now 20 years later, he was able to spark something inside of me that was dormant for so many years.

    Yes, I am currently married and was feeling lonely in my marriage. As the relationship progressed, I became emotionally dependent. Although we live over 2,000 miles away from each other, we re-developed an Erotica relationship. I started praying and asking God to remove me from this lustful relationship. How did I allow this to happen? But after many months of praying about it, I found the courage to send the final e-mail to end the relationship and delete the app we’ve been communicating with. Please continue to pray for me; I don’t ever want this feeling to revive in me again. It’s not fair to my spouse; I have to work on our relationship. I had so much going on in my life, I felt suffocated, frustrated and discouraged. I thank you for listening and I also pray for all of you going through the same.

    1. I am so thankful you have done the right things, and made a break with this relationship. You have been blessed and God is loving and merciful –He does not leave us to our own foolish ways. He will give you the grace to walk this journey–but there are consequences that will be painful to bear for a time. This website is loaded with encouragement and valuable information. Be kind to yourself, and know that you are NOT alone. Satan will do all he can to discourage you and pull you back, but keep looking to Jesus, your Protector and Guide. I am praying for you!

    2. Hi Struggling Woman, Well, you are certainly not alone… and I can tell you that the very kind and understanding people who post on this website have been an enormous help to me. There is no judgement here… only simple compassion and a willingness to “bear one another’s burdens, and so fullfill the law of Christ.” I had no idea what an EA was until I was in the middle of an on-line EA. I never met the other women… (OW’s) but the feelings were intense and difficult to sever!

      I can very well recognize your struggle to send the final email and delete the texting app! For me it was deleting my Facebook page- now 6 months ago. My wife and I together wrote letters… It was very difficult! But now, with many exchanges on this website, and the contributions of Trying and others, I can say that progress in getting over these relationships has been made! Please understand that I do NOT say this lightly. You are welcome to go back into older comments and read the rest of my history if you like. Deleting the FB page was a good thing, that made it virtually impossible for me to go back and seek contact; it was good for me. (It took a few weeks to finally do it though!!)

      I think it is accurate to say that you have the prayers of the readers of your post. We have all become like friends here… even though we have never met each other. All of the information you contribute in your posts is treated with the utmost respect. I have certainly found that to be true after 6 months of being part of this site’s community. Hope you come back again… Cheers, WP (Work in Progress)

  8. Hi Trying (and others too), I would like to respond here to your post of January 4, 2016 at 9:53 pm- re. early retirement and a church body- thank you so much for your comments! You really grew up with Bible teaching your whole life? Wow!! That is amazing!! I did not know what “Bible teaching, Truth-preaching church” meant until I was in my late 20’s :( (I grew up outside New York city, am now living in the Europe since 1984.)

    Here in the south of the Netherlands, such church bodies are hard to find. For many years we spent time with Christian friends- was a good development. Now we’re really looking at going back into a more formal “body” since I can imagine the enormous impact that it has on one’s growth and development.

    Anyway, your prayers are much appreciated… thank you! As far as my “career challenge” I will know far more this Friday Jan 8. We are a prayerful family. I feel better about it now than before. I really don’t want this! But we will see. Thank you Trying… very nice of you! As usual, your words are to the point and always “just right.” Cheers, WP

  9. Hi Everyone: I like the bold new look to this site and find it easy to read the headings and comments by all of you. I wish you God’s guidance in the New Year as we all walk through these difficult situations that we are in. I will briefly address each of you in my post below.

    Running Man: Your comments are inspiring and thoughtful and I pray that you are less lonely now. I really get it and it’s a void that somehow our spouse cannot fill.

    Trying: I mourn with you as you have had to deal with the death of loved ones and are finding your way through the difficult process of grieving. Have you had contact with OM #1 or #2?

    WP: I am so glad you have a good relationship with your spouse and that she has been supportive and stood by you. Are you going to seek other employment? Also, I hope you can find a church family that will work for you. I have been going to my church for many years and appreciate the support of the friends that I have there.

    Struggling Woman: I know how difficult the unhooking is, it takes time and tenacity and please know that we all support you here. I hope you can stick with the no contact. You will feel better with time.

    As for me, well…I thoroughly enjoyed the holidays, visiting with family and friends, performing with my choirs at school and church. It has been a meaningful and busy Christmas season. I have resisted contacting OM now but he did phone me before Christmas; we talked awhile and he wanted to meet me for coffee. I didn’t meet him, wanted to in my heart, it still really hurts at times, but I keep telling myself…stay with no contact, stay with no contact. Distraction of course is the best and carrying on with what’s meaningful in life…spending time with husband, my 2 sons, extended family and the church life. The loneliness and missing him does penetrate into my deepest thoughts but I know there’s hope from God on the other side. Hugs to all of you!

    1. Hi Elaine, and everyone, Well the day has arrived :) I will stop work at the end of January. I, and others helping me, were able to work out a good package to bridge the 3 remaining years until compulsory retirement. It took 6 months, but now it’s finally completed. The sadness will dissipate and I will get used to getting money for not doing anything!! Yes I’ll look for other work- I would find it hard to be at home all day getting in my wife’s hair!

      The longer No Contact can be maintained, the easier it is to get beyond these EA relationships which feel so good, but…/ Ah well, we all know how to finish that sentence. The last contact I had with my online OW’s was in June 2015. The ache and longing has become far less to be sure, but I still found it hard to see old email notices from Facebook indicating that they had contacted me. Emotions can be very forceful… I really had no idea!!

      My heart goes out to Elaine, Struggling Woman, Trying and RM. We each have these difficult situations to work through, and your support has been wonderful. Elaine, you say that, “The loneliness and missing him does penetrate into my deepest thoughts…” Yes we all know what that is like! But you’re doing the right thing… no contact, no contact…etc. You have our prayers… as do you Trying, Struggling Woman, and RM. Hope you all are well, thanks for your hugs Elaine… very nice of you! Cheers, WP (Work in Progress)

      1. Our Trials are sent to draw us closer to the Heavenly Father and our dear Savior Jesus. I have had a sister in law pass away unexpectedly 3 days ago. I cannot believe how many times I have said good bye in the past year–so very thankful that all were believers in Jesus Christ and that we WILL meet again someday! But the parting is not any easier, and the sorrow of the ones left behind is still deep.

        Elaine, it is so good to hear from you–and I am thankful you did not meet him for coffee. I pray you can find the grace to Keep making the right choices. I have not had contact with #1 for almost a year, but #2 has been in and out of social circles this past month. I do miss him, especially now with another loss in our family–would love to talk with him–but WILL NOT–Honoring the boundaries we have agreed upon.

        WP–ok! God has prepared you for this huge life adjustment by walking through the past 6 months with you as you unhooked from EA. I believe you will find much comfort as you transition out of your job in God’s Word and prayer, help from your wife–the same things that have helped you through this trial.

        I pray for you all–and have assurance that God, the Creator of Heaven, and Earth–hears and answers prayer!

        “God be with you til we meet again”–is the sweet hymn that plays through my mind these days!

  10. Dear all, A brief comment re. the new site layout- in general a good change! The font is easier to read, and the general look is more simple… and restful. I would like to say though, that I miss the number of comments, which were always posted on the opening page. This is not there now- I found it very useful to be able to ascertain right away whether a new comment had been posted. Now that it is not there, I have to scroll all the way through to see if there are replies, or a new addition at the end. Isn’ is possible to put back the number of comments?? I hope so.

    I like this site! I’ve been coming here now for 7 months, and I find the information helpful, the basic rules for posting comments very appropriate, and the people who post here very respectful, helpful and supportive. A big “Thank you” to the founders and administrators of this site! Cheers, WP (Work in Progress)

    1. Hi WP, Thanks for the positive input on the redesign of the web site. We appreciate it. Actually, the “Latest Comments” are still previewed on the Home Page of this web site, even with the redesign. You just have to scroll down further on the side bar. They’re there… just take a look. :)

  11. I was innocent before about conversation through chatting text message. But then I found I was hooked in an affair called emotional with a young lady half of my age. Tells lie just to win his heart and it seems she is also interested with me. Sometimes our conversation ends until dawn for three or more days. She knows I’m already married until the day comes we break our communication emotional break up, but it really hurts. I still remember the way we talk, the laughters and her voice. I’m suffering now in emotional pain. How can forget her or how can I get over??

    1. Hi A! I went through the same thing – Facebook EA with also women much younger than I. Was very hard to break, very emotional. The information given at the beginning of this section is very good. The way is not easy, nor is it fast. BUT you CAN get beyond this!! I told my wife and we had several long talks. We decided to write a letter together on Facebook to end the correspondence in a correct but firm way. That was last June 2015.

      Since then, the hurt has become much less…The only really effective way is No Contact at all. No texts, calls, emails… photos… all that has to go. The first days and weeks were very difficult… for sure! But now the pain is far less…Thank God. I thought that was impossible in the first days after writing the letters. But NC (no contact) really does work. Not easy, but it DOES work!

      All the readers and contributors on this site are here with similar difficult situations and are very willing to pray, to tell about themselves, and to offer support. This site, after 8 months, has been a wonderful help for me. I hope you come again. Take care, WP (Work in Progress)

      1. Thank you for your responce. As of now I’m in healing process, pain, stress is the only price that I take. By the way do I need to find another church to avoid her in order for my feelings not to come alive again?

        1. Hi A, Sorry for this late reply. My first impression is that perhaps it would be a good idea to find another church. Continued contact only lengthens the time needed and increases the pain of letting go. Trying to avoid her during church gatherings will never be easy and will only awaken those intense feelings. If you can be at the church meetings when you know she is not there is perhaps a solution…you would know best. “No contact” means just that, “no contact,” not “only a little contact” if you see what I mean.

          When I finally shut down my FB page, I had to wait for two weeks before it was taken off the Internet. Oh those two weeks were difficult! I so longed to log on and talk…BUT…I had promised my wife. The two weeks finally passed and it was hard, but the break had been made. As long as my page was there, I still had a way to contact them. Healing could not really take place. Once my page was gone, then the healing process really began. Perhaps the parallel here is your finding another church. See what you think. The letting go is difficult, but you CAN do this! The sun will come out…but you need to make the break first. Take care, I hope to hear from you…. WP

  12. I’m not sure if I’m having an emotional affair or not. I’ve never admitted to any feelings to my former co-worker, but we text each other about random, funny things on almost a daily basis. But it’s during the day when we’re both working. We rarely text at night when he’s home with his wife (he is an empty nester, I have school aged kids), and this almost daily texting has been going on for 2 years.

    So here is my question…is it an emotional affair if we have not discussed anything between us? I’m hoping I’m making a bigger deal out of this than it is, but I’ve found myself dependent on his texts and get upset if I don’t hear from him. Not sure how to get over someone I don’t know that I am under…

    1. Ellie, I think you already know the answer to your question. 2 years… really? Even a few times can cause an emotional hook that can lead to more. And the fact that you’re looking forward to his texts and upset if you don’t hear from him… what spouse should allow themselves to be in that place? The more time and energy you invest in this “fun” stuff with another man, the more you you’re hooked to him, and you distance yourself from your spouse emotionally. Can you do this with your spouse? Even if you can’t, you need to find other ways to have fun with your husband and let this man find ways to invest time in having fun with his wife. I’m sure there are others in this comment community that can tell you how this pattern has led them to really tough times of trying to break away. Thankfully, they are… I hope and pray you will too.

      1. I appreciate your response… I’m trying to come to terms with this. I know that I’m in denial, but believe this is the first step of making a very hard change.

        1. I’m proud of you for making the first step; many don’t. How I hope that you keep making other steps in the same direction –away from this attachment. I believe you can, even though it will very, very difficult. The longer you invest energy into that, which you shouldn’t, the harder and more painful it can be to break free. Please start that journey sooner, rather than later. Please know that I’m praying for you and I’m sure that many others are doing the same within this community. We’re cheering you on :)

    2. Good Day Ellie, Whether you admit it or not, I’m pretty sure it is a sign of an emotional affair. Often you are expecting someone to text you, waiting and scrolling your phone.

      1. You are right. I think I have justified it cause I don’t know what his feelings are or the level of connection he has to me…but it doesn’t matter what his level is. I am grateful not to know, cause it is so hard and would be harder.