Getting “Unhooked” From An Emotional Affair

Dollar Photo Hand about to touch another one“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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Filed under: Emotional & Physical Affair Emotional Infidelity

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2,056 responses to “Getting “Unhooked” From An Emotional Affair

  1. Hi Dearest WP. I hope u r doing well. So I have been thinking of u a lot lately and u have become a part of my life. Loggin onto this site is usually a mission for me, but it is u that compels my efforts.

    The 3 FB OW are out and your only temptation (real) at this moment is OWW which I believe u sometimes struggle to keep at bay even in thought. Allow me to depict how I see your situation. Firstly, u are guarded by the Almighty and it shows v well. God has His hand in your life WP and you arte His tool. You are a soldier of Christ now. You are fulfilling His purpose. Let me show u:

    You have been tempted and lured into this EAs. EAs upon EAs in your life. U attempt to rid of them so u can inherit your place in Heaven. And u have. Temptation blinds you so much at times and u trip NOT fall. U stumble. Just a bump. U have turned these desires into smethg positive. How? Have u ever read your words to me and to others on this site WP? Like really read it after a week or so? It makes a difference- the time lapse ie. Your words and advise are so powerful. So coherent and so pure. God utilises you WP in such a beautiful way. U r the perfect eg of serving Gods purpose.

    Yesd u have been tempted to commit sin and yes u struggle with ur own inner battles but somehow u find the strength EVERYDAy to come onto this site and HELP people overcome their struggles. HOW AMAZING! Fascinating!

    I feel mor positive and happy but still disappointed with the job struggle. I wish God could bless me soon with employment. All in His time. O well WP. I hope u r ok. Stay blessed. Always! SDN

    1. Dear SDN…Thank you SO so much for your very special words. I have much to say but do not have enough time to write right now. I will answer more tomorrow. In the meantime, Thank you Thank you !! Your text means the world to me. More soon…You take care and stay blessed….. WP

  2. Here I am again… Dear SDN, How are you today??
    Now I have more time to sit down and write. I have reread your text several times, and all your words mean SO much. Your comments about the 3 FB OW’s and OWW are exactly correct. Yesterday R mentioned that she prays for OWW a lot since OWW was having a rough time the last time (3 weeks ago) we talked on the phone with the three of us. I saw a missed call on my phone yesterday from OWW, (very unusual) so I sent her a text, (“How are you? Are you all right?”) and the conversation started. She did break up with the boyfriend, but she is having a terrible time really letting him go. One of her texts was, “Why do I allow myself to be treated so badly?? I just want to be loved.” I answered, “Because you are having a very hard time letting go… this is very understandable!” R asked me whom I was texting, I told her OWW, because I had a missed call from her. We ended up calling her together, and we 3 talked for about half an hour. R asked me if I had approached OWW at first, and I could say “No” since she had tried to call me. I suppose I could have ignored the missed call, but I had the feeling she was having a lot of trouble… and yes, so it was. You’re so exactly right SDN, I do still struggle somewhat with OWW. R knows I care for her, and R cares for her too! So far I “am successful” (whatever that means) because I absolutely HAVE to be able to say to R that I have not initiated contacting her. So far so good… OWW cried on the phone, her family has pushed her away…. her father left when she was very young.. all very painful… and I know how she feels. Today I sent her a “Happy Mother’s Day” text; I mentioned that to R; we both agreed that I would not contact her further. She replied with appreciation, so I’m happy she knows I understand. I feel better about it now…. but still it “niggles at me” somewhat.

    Your second paragraph… wow! “You have been tempted and lured into this EA’s. EA’s upon EA’s in your life.” SO true SDN… and it’s exhausting. Two or three weeks go by, I don’t think of her so much; yes I know I care about her… but it’s not such an “issue.” I am not really “struggling.” and then this happens. Yesterday I had to really push away the desire to just call her and talk.. because I like talking to her…I care about her…and I sense that she cares for me… and because I want to take away her pain… because I feel it. Today I’m more peaceful about it… I don’t want to have the temptation to write a text when I see she is “online.” You also say, “Temptation blinds you so much at times, and you trip, but do not FALL. You stumble, Just a bump.” Yes, SDN… you describe it very well. On the one hand, these feelings which are re-awakened are strong, and on the other hand, you and I both know what “EA trouble” is. I guess the one positive thing with all my experiences is that I can very well identify with people struggling with similar things. I think people sense this as well.

    You say I “attempt to be rid of them (EA’s) so I can inherit my place in heaven.” This is not quite true SDN. I attempt to be rid of them because I do not want to sin, I do not want to fall, I do not want these out-of-place feelings- even though they feel SO good! Your place and my place in heaven are a gift… given when we “believe” or “acknowledge that,” Jesus IS the Son of God as He claims. (Please see my text to Pie Lady, April 30, 2016 at 12:29 am it’s all in there.) NO person can earn his or her way to Heaven. THIS makes me VERY happy… I could NEVER earn such a position.

    Actually I rarely go back and read what I have written, unless I remember a section of text which I need, rather than writing it all out again. This doesn’t happen too often… Sometimes it is too hard to find the earlier text again! Thank you SDN for your words… such a help for me, Really! You have given me something very special.. Thank you.

    You sound better SDN. For me too the job search is frustrating. But we have had a string of wonderful warm sunny days… so we have been outside most of the time… walking or riding a bicycle. Is the winter cold starting now? Do you have snow? I have always liked snow… we had a lot of it when we were very young living just outside of New York City.

    I hope to hear from you when you have some time, and when “mummy duties” are not so pressing. Stay blessed always SDN… yes, God is looking after you. I can see this very well. You sleep well…. talk soon.

    WP (Work in Progress)

  3. Hi WP. I hope u are well. Its been quite a while since I have been here. I am literally watching my menace have a bath for school. I just spent 45min tolerating and talking her through getting off her bed. Now would be a good time to quickly write a few things. I am still disheartened and I am slowly losing motivation in finding employment. I feel sad. Its all I really want right now. My daughter is so defiant and rebellious that I just want to start work so my life could change. I nEed a change. Staying at home with the kids is just getting to me. I feel helpless sometimes. She is a ‘special’ child. Like the 1 out 10 super naughty 1.

    OM and I still converse now and then and I think of him a lot. Just shows, if u fEed your desires, they’ll increase. But my focus is not on him. I just want to succeed in my career. He just satisfies my emotional needs and gives me company I guess. Well, put rather bluntly!

    How have u been WP? I was not shocked to hear of you and your recent engagement with OWW. The Q is, how is it NOW? I think R is a v strong woman. I mean she literally knows of your attraction towards OWW but still tries to reconcile things. Make peace. Compel u into the right direction. What an amazing woman. Not a lot of women will put up with this. U have been blessed WP. Isn’t this the uncanny part? Here you AND I have thee best in a spouse. What more could we want? But we still pursue these EAs. Wish it would all end WP! I am emotionally exhausted. Everything all at once. Stay bleSsed Dear WP. SDN

    1. Good morning SDN! I am very happy to hear from you!! I really take my hat off to you for the difficulties of raising children… your daughter sounds very strong-willed, but, as I said before, perhaps there is something else going on with her… beyond “just being difficult?” There must be a reason for her to be THAT rebellious. Our daughter was (and is) strong willed too… I remember all too well.

      Finding employment continues to be a frustration for me as well. Disheartening really. After my bad experience with my previous employer, I have resolved that, for me, I really NEVER want to say or do things to other people which I wouldn’t like done to myself. One day, these managers will “meet themselves.” But I wish them no harm, just that they would see the effects of their actions to their employees. But I don’t think about it so much now. It’s just as well.

      This brings up OWW. Yes -you’re so right in what you say. I haven’t contacted OWW in any way since that last phone call. I was just visiting with a few friends from work, and I could truthfully say to R that I did not contact OWW at all. R trusts me, and I never want to violate that trust. I know that R is a wonderful and special wife. I never want to take that for granted. OWW is less and less an issue for me now, since I have purposely kept to the agreement that R and I worked out. The thing is, R knows her and does care for her. R prays for her. Still, I never want this to become an issue again… so I do not mention her now, (and I do not “secretly think about her…”) My focus is now on R and the family, and making the most of my days… to see the good in people and to be a blessing to them. So many people are hurting…. If I think about it too much I become very sad.

      You say that you converse with OM now and again… you think about him a lot, but you are not focused on him. Are you two settling down to more of a real friendship without the “EA element?” He keeps you company and satisfies your emotional needs in the sense that you feel valued and you are taken seriously? Or is the “EA element” still there, with the “excitement” as well? Do you think it is possible to men and women to be true friends? Without the “EA side” or the sexual attraction part? I would really be interested in your opinion on this.

      We go to the US on Monday the 16th. :)) I’m a little nervous about it still, but I am still happy we are going. (My parents very much want us to move back to the US… but I really don’t want to do that.) We have not seen my extended family now for three years. We will visit with my parents on the 17th… then after that we will drive to my sister’s house where we’ll stay for the rest of the week. (That’s nice!) We’ll visit New York City, where I come from…my two brothers and sister, and one good friend. These will all be special. We’ll be there only for a week… then we return on the 24th to the Netherlands.

      SDN, I am happy you let me know how you are. I do pray for you and I do feel that God is looking after you. I very much hope that your continued conversations wtih OM do not backfire with more trouble coming should OM’s wife or your L learn of your renewed periodic contact. We both know how tricky EA’s can be.

      Anyway, you take care of yourself! May God surround you with His angels and His Love, and protect you and L and the children. May He raise up your family and renew and strengthen that special husband-wife bond between you and L. May nothing and no one come between you two. May God give L a better understanding of your needs, and you a better understanding of L’s needs, and of course provide for a job which is just right for you. I should be able to write from the US… I hope anyway. Bye for now… WP (Work in Progress)

      1. Hi WP! What a positive message from u. I’m so happy the way things are with u. I wish I was also in that ‘good and safe’ place u find yourself in. Yes u did mention maybe there IS more to my daughter’s behaviour. L and I have to seriously consider our options on assessing her behaviour and why she acts this way. I know L isn’t too open minded on this tho and he will say she’s just acting her age. Lemme rephrase my earlier posts, my daughter is difficult WITH ME! Its like I’m the weakling. She knows how much I love her and how I am. Children sense these things. I don’t have much tolerance. Well atleast NOW, I am learning to have some.

        OM??? Sigh. Its not friendship only. No. And No two ppl of the opp sex cannot be friends ONLY. One of them will fall for the other or have a sexual attraction AT LEAST. I want to move away from OM so much but I don’t wnt to hurt him and I am in my comfort zone when I am conversing with him. Yes I am afraid of consequences (his wife), but the caution taken is really strong. What worries me is I DO NOT WANNA SIN. That’s the only thing that will stop me from conversing with OM. I don’t like the darkness abt our relation. The book I am reading is called ‘Speaking Mom-ese’. What a lovely bOok. Thought provoking. Christian based. Beautiful. Today whilst reading it, I felt the urge to just cut ties with OM but hw can I keep playg him like a puppet? Its hard to stay away and hard to stay as well. WP, I secretly feel that if I get a job, my mind won’t be idle and I won’t feel the void. I’ll be occupied. I’ll talk less and less with OM. But also, I hope not to meet sme1 else. SIgh! Frustration ALL around. Where do we win?

        I want to walk with God and follow His ways. The Ways He want for us. I want to expose the darkness in me. I want Christ to shed light on me. I feel alone WP. My personal struggles that NO1 knows of is consuming me daily.

        Thank u for the prayers. I cherish your friendship. You stay blessed WP and I hope u make the most of your time with your family. Ahhhhh! I’m envious of your visit ;) How exciting it will be. Take care. SDN

        1. Hi SDN, That was fast! Thank you for your answer. Yes I’m in a safe place for now, but I should take nothing for granted. I know that if OWW contacts me, that the old intense feelings will come rushing back. And I don’t want that. It’s the same as with you. I too do not want to sin. All the memories of my online OW’s come back now… And I remember how hard it was to delete my FB page. BUT, that was the solution SDN… It worked!

          You have already exposed the darkness in you, haven’t you? All your texts… So well written, so honest and heartfelt… These are precious to God. See Psalm 51. The same struggle is described there too. It’s good that you are reading “Speaking Mom-ese!” It’s an effort to occupy your mind with healthy things but it is so worth it!! This is very good. Getting a job will be good… But be on your guard. Yes you will be occupied- but the temptations are there I’m sorry to say. You have come a long way. You will do well. God is looking after you :))

          I’m thinking of your daughter. You say she is naughty only with you? Oh! That’s perhaps different- and could be that your daughter knows she can get away with it with you. Little girls are smarter than little boys I think at getting their own way. My daughter is quite strict, but fair, with her 4-year old. Little M gets away with nothing! Crying and screaming is met with a calm, “If you want to do that, then do it in your room. You let me know when you’re finished. Bye!” I wish you great patience but also keen discernment… You can do this! But you don’t have to put up with any nonsense. :))

          Christ IS shedding light on you and for you. He waits for you to come to Him. And to ask Him into your heart and to believe that He is who He claims to be. He can and will help you in ways only He knows. His timing is perfect, His Love is unending. He knows your personal struggles better than even you do. He knows your heart.

          You have my prayers. You too stay blessed… And thanks for your well wishes for my visit. It’s nice to hear from you :) Bye for now, You take care! WP

  4. Hi WP. Thank u for your last post and most importantly your kind yet forceful words of encouragement. It makes a big difference in my life. I know what u mean when u say u r sort of in a safe place for now with OWW. The feelings u feel are only hidden. They’re probably being pushed away by your enthusiasm for the upcoming fam visit OR the excitement for the weekend or maybe u have been occupied lately with stuff at home. The lure of the EA usually attacks when we r alone, when its quiet, when our minds wander to THAT place. This is the reason I want to start work soon as well. How I am pining for it. I just can’t be at home any longer. I AM being positive. At least I’m trying.

    Yes Mom-ese, the book that inspires me. I want to buy more ‘mom’ books that could help with my daughter. I sometimes feel like my dad when I reprimand my sweet girl for somethings she has done only to feel like a monster thereafter. A part of me feels I am with her the way that I am because of the way I was raised. I need to reprogram myself. But wait wait… She is naughty x 10000000000000000. Lol. Perhaps change my approach towards her so she listens to me. O Dear God, please help with that!

    WP, please know that you have made a huge impact on my life. This site has brought my deepest struggles to light. I am educated now that I am on this site and more so because I have acquainted with u. Take care. I hope all goes well with your visit. Pls remember to post and let me know how u r feelin. Stay blessed, Always. SDN

    1. Hi SDN… Thanks so much for your very kind comments; I know you’re busy and your time is precious. Again… You are exactly right about OWW. I push away the feelings and, as you say, they rush back in unguarded and unexpected moments. Emotions are intense to be sure! In some ways they are the “stuff of life” but they can cause such anguish too! You’re very perceptive! But I have said this before:))

      Going to work will be good for you… I hope and pray for a good job that’s just right! But yes, temptations await in the workplace too. But “forewarned is forearmed.” You have weathered much… You can overcome this too :)

      Re your daughter… I recognize your comments in myself- I was raised in an extremely strict way- which is fine up to a point, but dangerous when taken beyond that point. I believe I was taken beyond that point… And therefore tended to go too far in the opposite direction with my own children. I had to learn that I was my children’s parent first. And then after that their friend- not the other way around. Does this sound like you? What do you think? I settled on the following basic policy:
      – pick your battles carefully, and win them decisively.
      – say “yes” whenever possible.
      – “no” means “no,” not “maybe.”
      – lying is not tolerated.
      – backtalk is not tolerated.
      – always feel free to express yourself in a respectful way.
      – a reprimand’s severity should fit the crime, and should be done only to correct, and never to hurt out of spite or anger.

      Thank God I have a good relationship with both children now. This I do not take for granted. God knows I’m far from perfect. I’ve made my share of mistakes- some of which you know; I struggle with wrong thoughts and have caused hurt to people… I fall short in many ways. I have much to learn. So I’m thankful that my comments have meant so much to you SDN :) This makes me truly happy.

      Yes I will of course remember to post… It should be possible from the US. I’ll need to find a WiFi spot. I’ll do my best. We leave on Monday the 16th, and return on the 24th. I’m nervous!!! I’ll let you know. You also- please let me know how you are. May God bless you always, look after you, and surround you with His angels today. Bye for now… WP

      1. Hi WP. Thank u for your recent post and parenting guidelines. I have stored them in my brain. Always good to get advice from some1 more mature and also who isn’t corrupt full of complexes. I am trying my best in raising my daughter well. For me too, I should be taken as PARENT 1st then Friend. My parents, esp my dad was wayyyyyy to strict and irrational in his ways of discipline. I had to always act accordingly! EVEN in my OWN home in my own free play time. I don’t know what he was thinking but his dad was also a tyrant. My mum was somewhat oblivious to the EXTREME abuse and…slavery. WP, I never mentioned this before and only L knows of this part. A few times whilst growing up my dad did make subtle sexual advances on me. And I was not very small to misunderstand the acts or misconstru them. No1 knows of this. He was always a pervert anyway. I have a love/hate relationship with him.

        This weekend I spent at home. I did miss OM but not intensely. We only converse during his work hours. No exception. The sports day is coming up in 2weeks. I hope his wife doesn’t recognise me. I am positive she won’t tho. U can never knw really. I am excited to see OM on that day. I know he will be fixated on me. That alone will make me feel good. Ofcourse.

        Anyway WP, all the best for the 16th . I will look forward to your posts but if u can’t it is fine. I just hope nothing major happens between that time. Who else will I turn to?

        Stay bleSsed always Dear WP. Take care and be safe too. SDN

        1. Hi SDN, As usual, I am very happy to hear from you :) And yes, your upbringing sounds very similar to mine. But you and I can resolve not to allow this pattern to continue through our children. It sounds like you are already putting a stop to continuing this legacy, but of course we need guidlines, and examples of what is OK. Again, pray, and seek the advice of other trusted parents… and listen carefully to your own heart. You are doing well SDN. I am proud of you! You have weathered well the most potentially damaging element of your upbringing, i.e. your Dad’s advances. Perhaps your Mum was shutting her eyes to the whole thing… because she did not know what to do? Very hard to say. Please KNOW that this was NOT your fault, and that you are a quality person. You have shown this quality side of you in many ways. Remember the letter describing the “real you?” Remember you said it was hard to argue with the attributes mentioned? Don’t forget!!

          Tomorrow we leave for the train station in the late morning local time here (which is 9 hours later than the time mentioned in the posts on this site) and arrive at our destination 24 hours later. I am more ready now than I was earlier; I am more confident now. Of course I will let you know how it goes… :))

          Yes, I have not forgotten your sports day. Be ready SDN, and please have a care… please do not get hurt!! Please be careful with your ongoing correspondence with OM…. Do not allow yourself to fall into that “pit…” We will be back when your sports day takes place, and of course I am curious about the outcome. (a little question- do you mean OM1 with your expression “No1”? Just wondering)

          I will write soon. Meanwhile, please take care of yourself, and stay close to God, and ask His advice. Be blessed always and do not forget who you are. Again, I am proud of you! :) Please let me know how you are when you have a chance. Bye for now, WP (Work in Progress)

          1. Hi SDN… I hope you are well. We’re in the US now- travel was long but turned out fine. I hope things are all right with your ongoing correspondence with OM… It makes me nervous though. I hope you see this post and please let me know how you are doing. I also wanted to tell you- your texts have been a real help to me- how you have pointed out my faults and things I did not see with OWW. Thank you :) Keep reading the “Mom-ese” book… Stay close to God… He knows your heart better than anyone… Stay blessed always :)) ok? Take care! WP

  5. Hi WP. I hope you are well. Its just after 7am in SA and I am wondering how u are doing. I hope you are enjoying your trip. It must be so good visiting your parents and fam after sooooooo long. I HAVE to see my mum every week. And I speak to her more than once in a day. We are very close.

    WP, something interesting haPpened. Yes I still converse with OM. Yesterday he told me smething very dark . He said that at the age of 10 he was abused by his neighbor who was in high school at the time. It was sexually orientated acts but not the actual ACT of sex itself. I ddnt know how to receive this information. He told me something so private. I immediately thought that now having known all this and that he really opened up his wounds to me, its gonna be extra hard to leave. That was my 1st thought.

    What do u think WP?

    I have been applying for jobs like mad. Some days I am frustrated, other days are better.

    Pls let me know what u r doing and how it is in US. Which part of d US are u at? Sooooo fascinating!!!

    Stay blessed WP. Always. Take care and be safe there in the US. SDN

    1. Hi SDN! I just read you text now… so wanted to answer as soon as I could. I’ve also been wondering how you are. Yes I am enjoying our trip… I visited the area where I grew up just yesterday; was a bit strange, but a good time basically. It is another life really, my whole childhood, now so long ago. We are staying with my sister in on the coast in Connecticut; my twin brother, and younger brother also came to visit a few hours ago, so it’s the first time all 4 of us have been in the same place now since 4 years ago. We’ve been talking, conversing… Not so easy, but very positive.

      Re. OM’s confession- wow! This is very significant, in the sense that OM feels very safe with you to admit to such an event in his life. I wonder if his wife knows. You are right, this development makes it that much harder to leave. SDN, I’m worried about you… how are you going to handle this anyway? I went through the same thought process; I remember thinking, with the on-line OW’s. “This cannot go on forever,” You’re running the risk of OM’s wife, or of L learning of your continued correspondence… and of course you know this. I know how you feel, because I have the same with OWW. I run across her name, and the old compassion comes back, and I really wonder how she is doing, and if she is all right. She doesn’t contact me, because of our agreement, and I don’t contact her, for the same reason, but I know the feelings are there, just buried underground. She wished me happy birthday 2 weeks ago (May 15) and it was wonderful to hear from her… but I know that my wife comes first, and I know that I cannot contact OWW without telling R. It’s hard… you and I both know that. Just have a care SDN, please do not endanger yourself, your marriage or your children. I know that bringing up 2 children is a tough job, and that you are doing your best.

      Keep going with your job search… and stay blessed… You take care of yourself too… I hope to hear from you soon. I have great respect for you you know… WP

  6. Hello everyone. I seldom frequent the site, but as some of you know, I’ve been a frequent visitor here over the years. I am here to tell you the good news that there is great hope for those struggling with an emotional affair. Psalm 51 is your dearest friend. David sinned greatly, and yet the Lord restored him. He was accounted ‘a man after God’s own heart” – and although his sin was ‘greater’ than ours in one sense, he was beloved of God. I can never boast, but I will encourage you, that by God’s great grace, love and mercy, entirely through Christ, you can be restored, healed, forgiven, and even be granted a service more potent and purposeful than before your great trial.

    Although my healing was long and painful, the Lord has indeed restored my soul from the pit, and placed a new song, new desires and even new avenues of service. The Lord has placed a real burden on my heart for the lost, and for going into the highways and byways and sharing the gospel. I wish to proclaim His great news of salvation in Christ, and my journey through this may have stripped me of the place of ministry within the walls of the church, but not so on the streets. Indeed, I have even more desire in this area than before, and I feel the sting of sin and the warning perhaps comes from a deeper place now for me.

    While it is unlikely that I will drop in here very often, if at all, I wanted to leave a link here to the culmination of the story of my journey in the form of an article I wrote, designed for use by this site, and anyone who may find it helpful. My troubles began I believe as I began to preach within the church, and in my naivety, I thought myself strong enough to tackle the subject of spiritual warfare, and preached on the world, the flesh and the devil. I completed the first two, but by the last topic, I had indeed been taken down by our great foe, and in my sinfulness, I succumbed to this particular sin in a profound way. It is from that vantage point that I focussed my article on the strategies the devil uses particularly in the formation and outworking of an emotional affair, and the various stages a believer may pass through during such an ‘attack’.

    My article is far from complete, and I have refined it as much as time allowed, but it has many gaps. To be honest, upon reflection (and after reading a wonderful book – “The Christian in Complete Armour – a puritan classic) I think the spiritual battle is far, far stronger in all our lives than this brief article makes out. Nevertheless, my only prayer is that someone may find this helpful. I have used a pen-name for my article by the way.

    I do wish you all the best, and I trust that in some way, I have encouraged some here. I know you have done the same for me.

    Here is the link to my article:

    Once again, blessings to you all. Running Man

    1. Hi Running Man, Many many thanks for your very comprehensive article- well written and obviously from an author who is not writing from a basis of theory and books only. I trust that your essay will be of great help to many… and I am confident that your journey/story will be a clear illustration of Romans 8:28 “For we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” You take care… WP (Work in Progress)

      1. Hi WP. I really hope u are well. I am here to tell u that have started a job at a law firm. It is hectic WP.

        WP, OM is still ‘there’ but somewhere in the back. I have NO TIME whatsoever now. I am still finding myself in this new transition. It is so difficult WP and I am praying.

        The job is a small start but with huge proSpects of me being an attorney sooon.

        How are u WP?? I miss our conversations so much. U wre such a big help for me and played a huge role at this point in my life. I wish u all the best WP. I want to know how u r and how is things with OWW and R.

        Its too soon to say but L is somehow nicer. Odd. U learn about your spouse everyday.

        Take care WP and stay BLESSED, always. SDN

        1. Hi SDN! I’m very happy to hear from you! I too look forward to our conversations :) So now you are working! A new start! Yeesss… hectic… I’m all too familiar with THAT :) You will soon be an attorney? Very impressive SDN! (What kind of attorney? Criminal law? Social / Family issues?) You have worked hard on your schooling, and now you have a chance to go somewhere with it. I’m very happy for you! I just hope you can strike a good balance between home and work… that’s a real “judgement call.” I had to decide numerous times between family and business travel…and sometimes (but not too often) I would say “no.” My daughter would be awake very early to see me go… she really missed me when I was gone. THAT was hard to hear!

          I am basically well SDN. It is now 4 months of no work, and I’m still adjusting. I like the stress free situation now, but I’m really looking for a new “passion” to work on. I have been a photgrapher for years and I was asked just yesterday to put together a course for landscape photography for a outdoors sports group. Looks interesting. :) I’ve been covering parties and special events for friends, but that’s not really enough.

          I think I have a balance now with OWW. We write every once in a while, but not too often. OWW is back with her boyfriend again, she said to me she hopes it is now “forever.” I’m truly happy for her and I’m happy that we’re therefore more in a “good friends / father daughter” situation. I wonder if she and her boyfriend will work though. Between you and me, I have my doubts. She has a birthday on Wednesday, so R and I both wrote her a card and sent it earlier today.

          Wonderful that L is “nicer!” I’m glad to hear that :) OM is in the background now… sounds good. But you have far less time now anyway. So nice to hear from you and to know you are well. I know you are busy… but I always welcome any news from you. Please let me know how you are when you have some time, OK? Take care and be blessed always too… God is looking after you. Don’t forget!! WP (Work in Progress)

  7. Hi Running Man, WP, SDN, and others! I hope you are all doing well! Your posts sound more and more cheerful! Running Man, I can’t even begin to tell you how much hope your post gives me. I am still in the stages of recovery and it seems like such a slow and painful journey. My mind becomes more and more clear every day, which is so refreshing! I am starting to feel like myself again instead of the lobotomized, brainwashed version of myself that I became during this experience.

    My question is, when does your heart heal? Mine was damaged beyond recognition. It’s like I kept trying to give it back to my true love while an intruder kept trying to yank it from me. Not that I don’t shoulder any of the blame. I do. I should have guarded my heart, but failed to. It just feels like this big broken lump in my chest now, beaten down from all the warfare. I finally understand what the Bible means when it says the heart is deceptive. It’s like mine took off running as soon as this person came along and spoke all the right words to it.

    Granted, I was very lonely during that time and things were not good at home, but that is not an excuse. I should have turned to God and not someone else who wanted to meet those emotional needs in a very unhealthy way. The hard thing is, I can’t hate the person. When someone is kind to you, no matter how misguided, it’s hard to dislike them. It was such a slow and subtle progression. I didn’t see what was happening until it was too late. I was naive. My heart ran away with me and it took all my strength and constant turning to God to yank it back before something worse could happen. I thank God every day for helping me through it.

    I sometimes worry that I will never completely heal, but I know that’s a lie. I know God heals the brokenhearted. I know the person I can be. I know I can be the person my spouse deserves. I keep clinging to God’s promises. Faith always lights the way home, right? God bless you all.

    1. Hi Unhooked…Wow!! So nice to hear from you again!! Your words describe this terrible dilemma so well…It is actually hard to read your text since it reminds me once again of the struggle and the strong emotions… It is scary to me that these forces have such power. We can know in our minds to “steer clear,” and yet the pull is so strong!!

      What I wonder about is…some people seem not to have a real problem at all with temptations and EA’s… and some… like ourselves… DO wage a battle in this area. I know this is a difficult question, but I wish with everything in me that I did not have this fight.

      Here is what I wrote at the end of last April: (I insert “Unhooked” in here now) I think ONE reason people get into EA’s because they are crying out for someone to validate them, to help them feel better about themselves, to close the “festering wounds,” to take away the pain that is always there… but in the background.

      After all this time, I can say that the one single factor that helped me was receiving the love of Christ for me personally. This is taking a long time (for me) and is anything but easy (for me). I am still not there yet… “Receiving the love of Christ” means to believe / realize that He loves YOU… as an individual person…. YOU- “Unhooked” That Psalm 91 and Psalm 139 are true for YOU, “Unhooked” That He went through the horrors of the crucifixion for YOU, “Unhooked” as an individual. That He cares for YOU, for “Unhooked” and that your real worth and value as a person are defined and demonstrated by HIM, the Christ, the Son of the Living God!

      I realize after finding the above text again from last April, that when we feel the old emotions and temptations more strongly, I think perhaps we will also discover that we have strayed away from God, little by little. Isn’t it true that when we are close to Him, communicating with Him, established in our relationship with Him, that “EA troubles” take a backseat to the joys of fellowship with the Living God? I would think so.

      Maybe healing comes as we “let go and let God,” to coin an often-used phrase in another context. He says in His Word that “He is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Ps 34:8) and that He “heals the brokenhearted” (Ps 147:3)… see also Isaiah 61:1.

      I wish very much that I had had a spiritual father. Wow!! This is something I find hard to imagine. Must be such a blessing.

      Anyway, I hope to hear from you soon Unhooked. You are not alone…It is good to share your thoughts here. Yes, you.., and I…, and others who are truly seeking, WILL find healing- this is His promise. His Word lights the way home I think. “Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path.” (Ps 119:105)

      Unhooked, please take care , and may God “finish the good work He has begun in you in Christ Jesus.”
      WP (Work in Progress)

      1. Thanks WP!! It is incredibly scary how much power these forces have! It does give me hope to know though that there is a way out with enough separation. We can find freedom from the pull with the renewing of our minds. People are tempted and pulled away by their own desires so I believe it is very important that we get to the root of these desires and weed out any unhealthy beliefs we may have. I think when we make an idol of the validation that you mentioned, it puts us at risk for being tempted and opens the door to spiritual attack. At least, I felt very spiritually attacked and now wounded. I may be down, but I am not out. “My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees,” – Psalm 119:71

        Nothing in this life should ever be set above our relationship with God. God is our protection and when we stray away in our walk with him as you mentioned, it makes us vulnerable. I believe this is why he compares himself to the good shepherd. He wants to protect us. We are at risk because of our desires and he knows they can lead us into trouble if we aren’t careful. Look around and you will see people with endless desires they can never satisfy. It’s such a prison. I think God wants us to step out of that prison. I think his word is the key.

        This has given me great sympathy for those that suffer from various addictions. People have no clue the hell this is! I can’t even imagine what people are going through who struggle with substance abuse and various other addictions. I judge no one now.

        Thank you for the reminder about receiving the love of Christ. I still struggle with that. I used to feel his presence, but now I have trouble and fear this has put some distance between us. I will trust him at his word though. He promised nothing could snatch me out of his hand so I will keep believing even if I can’t sense him as strongly as I used to. I trust he is there. I hope some day he can still call me a good and faithful servant. Thank you for the many words of encouragement and the reminder that I am not alone!! God bless.

        1. Hi Unhooked, Thank you SO much for all your words…they come at just now the right time for me. I am in a difficult place now and your words are such a help. The “OWW” I mention in earlier texts here. is a woman at work whom I have known for about a year. She sees me as a father, but in my own heart I have an unhealthy emotional tie to her…and I think also she with me. I have had several talks with my wife about it (my wife knows her) … and I know I have to break this relationship. This will happen later today. It’s hard Unhooked…it’s very hard. I hurt now and I know it is best to make a break, and I know the hurt will dissipate over time, but right now it is fesh and raw. You are so right with everything you have written. I can see answers for others, and I do know what is right, and yet I can rationalize my own situation ohh so well.. :(

          I love my wife so much and I don’t want to hurt her. Yet I have hurt her…and this is enough for me. How would I feel if my wife had a relationship like this with a man at work? Of course I would not like it. I know this. So I have to call OWW later and tell her. I don’t want these temptations and intense emotions!! I am tired of this fight! :((

          Your second paragraph is so true. Thank you. I will come back and read it several times again in the next days. I need to stay inside God’s fences, His boundaries define safety and security. You ask when will my heart heal? I know so well how you feel!!! We WILL heal, I know we will, I trust we will, I look forward even now to a whole and happy heart. But we have to seek God, and stay so close to Him… my wife keeps telling me this… why do I keep resisting? I have to make a change….

          My talks with my wife have cleared my head, and now I am acting on what I know I have to do. I just want to get through today and come out the other side now…I hope that you or someone else reads this and replies…I could really use a bit of help now…Thank you. I will write more later ….
          WP (Work in Progress)

          1. Hi…Well…It’s now done. I put everything on the table. I had allowed myself to become too attached to her, and my wife could feel this and was clearly hurting. We wrote and sent the letter together. So now I am reading all the material at the beginning of this site (again).

            It’s not that I have a bad marriage…not at all. I have to guard my heart and seek God more each day and go through the material at the beginning of this section. I hurt now…but I know that what I am doing is right. I know the pain will get better. I hope I can sleep OK later.

            I know what you mean Unhooked, when you say you struggle with the love of Christ. It took so long for me to appreciate the depths of His Love, and yet sometimes I fall back into my old distrustful thought patterns. Your text, “He promised nothing could snatch me out of his hand so I will keep believing even if I can’t sense him as strongly as I used to. I trust he is there. I hope some day he can still call me a good and faithful servant,” really resonates with me. That is something I needed to hear and be reminded of. So…. Thank you :)

            Yes our hearts will heal. I will continue to believe that. It’s one of His promises. :) I hope to hear from you… WP (Work in Progress)

  8. Dear WP: I can sense the pain in your words and I greatly understand what you are going through. The road is long and hard, but if you keep your focus on God, you will get through it. I believe our faith/mental focus is like a muscle. The more we learn to strengthen it, the stronger we will become to fight against these things. We are in a battle to think with our spirit and not our flesh. This is a slow painful process, but with great rewards and freedom in the end.

    Jesus said he came so that we would have life more abundantly. Our holy God saw our suffering and how we became ensnared in ungodly desires, things promising great rewards, but ultimately leading to poisonous results. “Stolen bread tastes sweet, but it turns to gravel in the mouth,” Proverbs 20:17. I don’t believe God likes our unnecessary suffering. I think sometimes he allows suffering for reasons I don’t completely understand. Maybe to teach us? Our father calls us to peace though. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,” Matthew 11:28.

    You may also want to pray with a trusted Christian against anything that may be trying to attack you. I believe when we sin, it weakens our natural spiritual defenses. Maybe you are not in the same situation as I was, but when I prayed with a friend, I felt something dark leave so I believe it’s important to pray against any strongholds in your life. I don’t say this to scare you, but just so you are aware to protect yourself. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind,” 2 Timothy 1:7. God is so much stronger than anything that could ever come against us so there is no need to fear. He will get rid of anything coming against us when we ask in faith and he will not give us more than we can handle. He is such a good God!

    Since I last wrote to you about struggling to feel his presence, I now feel his presence more than ever!!! It’s as though he saw my words and wanted to show me he is here! I am completely amazed. Take heart, WP, you are, “worth more than many sparrows,” and “even the very hairs on your head are numbered” Matthew 10:30-31. One thing that helped me that may help you is as you let go, limit the time you grieve for her. Maybe an hour or two a day? Then refocus your attention on God and an activity you enjoy to distract you. This is an addiction and thinking about her excessively will only make it harder on you.

    Lastly, learn to meet your own emotional needs. They are important needs that you have the power to fulfill with enough practice. God will comfort your soul. Please rest in him during this hard time. Don’t give up, friend! Keep fighting the good fight of faith! You have been a blessing to many people on this site. God sees that. He knows your heart. Turn and rest in him, the one who loves you more than any human ever could. Take care and don’t give up! This storm will pass in time and you will have peace again. I will be praying for you! We are all here for you! God bless!

    1. Hi Unhooked, Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to write your text! It means so much that you have devoted some of your time to me. I have read it several times through, and your words are a real help to me.

      Today I took a walk with my son and his family… sometimes my thoughts would return to OWW and I became so sad inside. Then I am distracted, then I feel hopeful… and then sad again. All this makes me realize I really WAS in too deep, and that this break is a good development, even though it hurts. I had to admit to myself and then to my wife that I clearly had deep feelings for OWW… I so looked forward to her texts, and I so enjoyed her company. I felt a strong love for her, because we both experienced deep rejection as children, and we understood each other very well. It never became physical, this would be a grievous wrong… that was not such a temptation for me… but I have to admit, I was really attracted to her.

      I did try and stop this several months ago, and it worked for a while, and then we fell back into our old patterns again. She said she missed me… and I told her I missed her… my feelings were very strong! But where would it have gone? Stress for me trying to keep contact with her without letting my wife know what I was doing… very stressful! Knowing in my heart that this is not good. No… this is a good development now. It would have only grown worse and harder to exit.

      But enough… I do grieve right now… and I have to let this process take its course. You’re right… I need to limit this. You’re right… too much dwelling on her will make it harder. Through the last few days and talks with my wife, I feel as if I have come out of a “grey” place into a place of “more light.” The “dynamic” between my wife and me has “opened up,” something has clearly changed for the better between us (not that it was so bad before). It’s hard to describe… I think this is a spiritual change as a result of this relationship coming to the light with everything on the table. I have to let OWW go now. I hope she doesn’t hurt too much… I pray for that.

      I feel a little embarrassed by all this to be honest, although I also feel safe here. Yes I have replied to other people on this site, hoping to ease their pain. And yes it is easier to look at another person’s situation and have a pretty clear idea on what to say. But I never want to portray myself as the “guy with all the answers…” far from it!! I have said this once before I believe, but I’ll repeat it here anyway. :) My wife is a strong “prayer warrior,” and prays for me against attack already. Your words about this are just right… I will return to read them often.

      Yes I do need to learn to meet more my own emotional needs. I need to know my Father better… as “Daddy.” This is still a new concept for me, and I will learn to rest in Him. Very true. I need to know Him better. He alone can completely fill my longings… I need this very much. Thank you for your time and your prayers… they really mean so much. I hope you reply once again… but if not, that’s OK, I know you are busy. You are a real inspiration you know. Thank you, Cheers, WP

      1. Hi WP, Unhooked, RunningMan.
        I am on this site after a very very long time. I find it interesting to read that RunningMan has written his article. Praise God! In His perfect time, He will use it to bless many others. I saved it to read later.
        WP–there is a concept that I am keeping in the front of my thoughts “total honesty” with myself first and now my son has been struggling intensely with depression, and now has told me that he has been lying for a long time. The freedom he felt upon confession was physically visible. Freedom comes from Total Honesty. I rejoice that you have reached that point–painful as it was (even though it has been a month since your last post.). How are you doing by now? I think of the booklet “Emotional Dependency” that I referred to last year, and think it would be helpful for you to reference again as you go through the unhooking process.
        Unhooked–it has been 6 years since my first EA, and we rarely see each other. I have no feelings for him at all. I got much more attached to the second man 4 years ago, and it has been more difficult. Last summer, it had been over 2 years since we had any one on one interaction, and I thought my heart had healed. (we see each other socially from time to time). BUT we talked one evening, and then did not see other for 3 months. After this, started a confusing rocky period where our families were interacting with church activities, and he started seeking me out for advice and help again. I was determined not to return to anything inappropriate, and I did not, but many memories were triggered. So once again, I sought out an accountability and prayer partner, to work through this confusion. I asked for prayer for relief from false guilt. I sought to turn any thoughts of him into prayer. I discussed my struggle with her. I continually surrendered him and his family to God, and prayed for their healing. This past month has been very busy and stressful with a family illness, and I did not experience the nostalgia and memories at all.
        Of course, No Contact would be ideal, but it is not my reality, so the Lord has graciously shown me a way to “walk in Truth and Victory”. My marriage has not changed at all–but I am at peace because of Jesus and His love for me.
        So how long to completely heal? Depends on the depth of the wound. And the scar will be left as a reminder. It will become very faint, and barely visible. But the gain from growing in faith, and walking in freedom will proclaim God’s love and mercy to all we meet. The joy in our hearts will reveal our peace.
        My heartfelt prayer for each of you!

        1. Hi Trying, So nice to hear from you… you are clearly doing so well! I take my hat off to you- you are a real example for me and others here too I am sure.

          I am doing pretty well myself. You are right, 100% NC is the only way, and this has done me a lot of good. The hurt is far less now, and I am more and more free as time moves on. I have the booklet “Emotional Dependency” and have read it several times through… and I am identifying far more with the love of God and through Jesus His Son for me personally, which has been and is the only way to true freedom. We continue to walk by faith… the journey is a bit daunting sometimes. But it is the only way to go through this life. After all, God Himself designed us this way. You take care of yourself Trying. So good to hear from you… WP (Work in Progress)

        2. Trying, It is a wonderful thing to hear your son is finally being very honest with you, although difficult for you to hear what he has been doing. This is a good development. May God look after you and all your family… You are being tested, but not above your ability to handle it, and the sun does come out!! I don’t say this lightly, as I think you know. Take care Trying, and May God be VERY close to you these days, WP (Work in Progress)

        3. Hi Trying, It’s Laura from way back when. I haven’t visited this site in years, and needed some strength today. What a blessing to find your name and postings. You have so much to offer everyone. I’m saddened to hear about your son’s struggles and the impact it has for everyone. I will continue to pray for you through all of your life’s challenges and pray you find peace and contentment once again.

          For today, I’m telling myself to ‘stay the course.’ It’s my mantra in my head right now and I’m asking for prayers to stay strong as I resist reaching out and trying to close the gap between me and the OM. Stay the course–I can do this.

          1. Oh Father, I lift up Laura to You at this very minute. Come close to her and wrap Your loving arms around her in a very real way so that she senses Your presence and feels safe and secure in You, as her Father. Speak to her softly and pour Your truth into her heart in a way that she grasps onto it and clings to it every moment of her day. Give her Your wisdom to enable her to stand strong and resist the temptation. Show her how to wear the armor that You give us in Ephesians 6. Do something unexpected in her life today that puts a big smile on her face and let her know that it is a gift from You to her. Give her a clear path forward, following You, in the her marriage relationship, and give her hope and a glimpse of a future for her marriage that draws her forward. I ask these things in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus, Amen!!!

  9. Can I bring this up to my husband even if he is not ready to quit the affair? I know this is what he is doing but would I look desperate if I bring this up?

    1. Hi Karen, As far as I am concerned, anything I have written on any of the Marriage Missions sites is available for you and other visitors these sites to read, and to answer if you wish.

      I don’t think you would look “too desperate” to your husband if you were to direct him here to this site- especially if you emphasize to him that you are fighting for your marriage, and also fighting to spare him, and other family members from significant pain, rather than focusing too much on your own perspective.

      Affairs are dead-end streets, home killers, family wreckers, and all kinds of other terms you can dream up. I and others know this all too well- even though affairs seem SO wonderful and feel SO good. It is a “wrong type of good” if I can say it that way… your husband knows deep within himself that it’s wrong… but still an affair is very hard to give up.

      Your husband needs to fully appreciate the expreme hurt this causes you. Until then, he will likely not have enough incentive to give up the affair. Challenge him with the question, “Is it OK with you if I text “John” (use the name of a man you both know, who is good looking and could be a clear threat to him), meet John behind your back, tell him private things, and… (use your intuition here to add other things). Would it be OK with you if I get physical with him? How would you feel about that? See what you think.. and Take care Karen… Please let us know how your are doing? WP (Work in Progress)

  10. So I just found out through Facebook that the man I had an emotional affair with (an old boyfriend) is getting married. He had told me when we were in the emotional affair that he is not interested in getting married to anyone because he was waiting for me to become available, knowing that would only be if I lose my husband, since we would never divorce. I guess I have thought maybe that could happen. Now knowing the chances of that ever happening are greatly diminished since he is getting married feels a little sad, though I am happy for him that he has found someone to love. I always felt bad that I could not give him what he wanted. Now he can have it with someone who can rightfully give it to him. It is also freeing for me, that he has found someone.

    1. Hi Pie Lady, I hope you read this very late reply… I’m very happy for you! This development is better for you both really… I can understand that his getting married makes you feel a little sad; I would have the same feelings.

      1. Thank you, WP. It is hard, still. It will take time to let go of him emotionally, completely. Through our affair, which lasted close to 3 years, we would become close, then pull back, then become close again. I have read that when former lovers reconnect, the intensity of the emotions is very high, because all of the old feelings return very quickly.

        1. Hi Pie Lady! Yes… all what you say here is so true…! As hard as it is, we both know that the end is the same- a sense of deep loss and hurt feelings… and should affair partners marry, the probability of the new relationship working out is extremely low. It just IS.

          3 years is long! But you CAN and you WILL recover. You have already come so far! I know it takes time- the same has been true for me too. Sometimes I still think of the OW’s and the memories return, and the feelings return with them. But as time passes… these emotions are less intense. I KNOW that if I were to return to these relationships, that all the ground I have gained would be lost in an instant. :( AND the cycle would start AGAIN. No thank you… I have to say that I am proud of you Pie Lady. :))

      2. WP, I meant to thank you for responding to my post earlier. I did want to add that I have been seeing a counselor, who is a pastor as well. He has been a source of help, as I am recovering from this emotional affair, as well as dealing with the roller coaster emotions. I have because of my daughter’s mental illnesses (due to her being raped repeatedly in the orphanage when she was 4-6 years old).

        1. Hi again Pie Lady :) You are very welcome. I’m happy to hear from you again. So good to hear that you are progressing well, that you have access to good counseling. Also for your “rollercoater emotions” due to your daughter’s past experiences. I do have an idea what that is like, only because I went through similar experiences when I was very young (those I have mentioned in earlier posts of mine in this section). It took a long time to recover…

          One key event was a special picture given to me… I don’t think a vision per se, more of a vivid impression. I was thinking on the Crucifixion, as I sometimes do, and very suddenly I saw myself standing in the deep forest under a heavy waterfall. The water was washing me clean, as if He were telling me, “You are just fine the way you are. I can wash you completely clean, and I am glad to do that. This was not your fault.” A very good friend who is an artist drew the picture as I have described it here. One additional item was included in the final product, which was not part of my own impression, but which fits very well. It was a rainbow. I believe God would tell your daughter the same thing. Take care Pie Lady, Cheers, WP

          1. Thank you for sharing that illustration WP. I’m sure that meant so much to you that your friend drew that. You know I told you I was sexually abused as a child, but not to the extent that my daughter was. Besides, she was not only abused, but she didn’t have a mother’s and father’s love for almost 7 years and was instead neglected. There are a couple songs that have really helped both me and my daughter through the tough times. One is by Casting Crowns, called “Just Be Held”, and the other is “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again”, by Danny Gokey. Have you heard of either of those?

            My daughter and I saw Casting Crowns in concert at the beginning of this month. In fact, in the fall last year, I was driving my daughter to the hospital cause she was contemplating suicide. (She had a couple months prior been hospitalized for nine days in the psych unit cause she was suicidal). On the way to the hospital, I stopped at McDonalds, and the song “Just Be Held” came on, and I asked her if she had heard it before- it was new to the radio. She told me yes, and it’s her favorite song. We sat and listened. Then, she told me she didn’t want to go to the hospital after all, and could we just spend the day together instead? Of course! We watched the Peanuts movie in the theater together, and got some food, and went to the mall. She hasn’t been hospitalized in the psych unit since.

            Regarding my past emotional affair, I wanted to share what led to him finally finding a woman to love (besides me). We reconnected through favorite Facebook, then he attended my dad’s memorial service, which meant a lot to me. A few months later, we started chatting a lot. Like I said before, for the next 3 years, we were close then would pull back for a time, then we’d be drawn together again. What happened last January, though was the final turning point for me. We crossed a line, but restrained ourselves some. At that time, he told me that I was the only woman who turns him on. That made me feel good, but horrible at the same time. I knew we had to stop this once and for all.

            Nothing happened between then and July, when I talked to him and told him that what happened in January, will never happen again, period. (As much as he and I both wanted it). I was in a way telling him I have no ties to him anymore and he was free to find someone else. So he did. And this woman is 11 years older than him!! (I am two years younger than him.) She friended me on Facebook, interestingly, and I accepted, though I have never met her. Part of my recovery for myself is posting comments saying they make a great couple (when a picture was up of the two of them together) or that I’m happy for them, or just “liking” loving things they say to each other. I am trying to be happy for him, and basically I am. It’s just sad that my dream is shattered, but when I think that way, I have a selfish attitude, so I have to instead focus on what is right- trying to be the beet wife I can be to my husband.

          2. WP, A couple more things- thanks so much for your kind words of encouragement and please excuse my typo (and I didn’t know I wrote the word favorite before Facebook)

  11. Hi Pie Lady! Good to hear from you so soon… again, you are very welcome. Yes I remember you told be about your own abuse… and I seem to recall that I commented at that time that you and your daughter can understand each other far better since you have both experienced the same thing. That was some time ago now!! Your daughter must be 14 or 15 now? She is so fortunate to have you as her mother … it shows so well since she seems to be very open with you and wants to spend time with you – she didn’t want to go to the hospital, but would rather just spend the day with Mom! Wow! How many teenagers do that these days? I do not know either of the songs you mentioned but I’ll try to find them on You-Tube :))

    You watched the Peanuts film, got some food, went to the mall…exactly what she needed! She knows that someone else (you) are in her corner… is on her team… is watching her back. In one afternoon you seemd to have turned a major corner with her – because she realizes she is not alone. Worth GOLD, Pie Lady. God is looking after you both in a very special way :)

    I can so well follow your comments re. your 3-year long affair. I can only imagine how difficult that must have been. You felt good but horrible at the same time – – – well said, Pie Lady. You and I both know that, had you kept going in the “horrible direction,” your life would have been shattered, with perhaps irreparable damge being the result. Now that you have made the oh so difficult choice of backing out and staying out, you can sleep at night without feeling guilty. You know you have done the right thing, and you know that you have avoided far more terrible heartache than the pain of breaking the relationship, as good as it felt at the time.

    I had the same thing. I felt very good, but very bad at the same time. I really do not want that kind of conflict again. It’s been over a year for me now, and, thank God, the emotions are steadily decreasing. Your policy of posting positive comments about their looking great as a couple is very good. I think you are, in your heart, happy for them. This shows a lot of character on your part Pie Lady. I deleted my page on Facebook and can never go back. I know that if I did, that it would be a huge mistake. This is not at all a hint to you to get off Facebook, I am just telling you this to indicate to you that yes, for me the affair(s) were very intense, even though I never actually met the OW’s on Facebook. (Again thank God). Perhaps now is a good time for you to stay away from his FB page completely rather than seeing him and them as a couple on Facebook. Seems it would just prolong the pain.

    Anyway, I can so well identify with everything you have said. You are doing so well Pie Lady!! You know yourself very well… and you are a woman of great integrity.

    You take care of yourself. Would be good to hear from you once in a while. WP

    1. Thank you, WP, again for your kind words. Did you find those songs on YouTube? Actually my daughter is 16 1/2 years old. Time really flies! Have you ever heard of the book Not “Just Friends” by Shirley P. Glass? I’m reading it now and it is quite helpful. One thing that kept me from continuing the affair was realizing how devastating it would have been for my husband and children, and grandchildren. My husband and 4 of my 6 grandkids knew about the affair, but not how intense it became.

      1. Hi Pie Lady! I just found both songs now… “Just be Held” on GodTube. I have never heard either one before now… both very restful. “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again” is similar, but seems to follow “just be Held” and go beyond it. Very inspiring! I’ve bookmarked both of these :))

        I have heard of the book by Shirley Glass, but have only read small paragraphs which were quoted in other articles. Seems like a very good book!

        Your point about not continuing your affair because of the devastation it would cause… Oh… I know how intense an affair can be!! All too well!! I had the same thought process at the time (I mention this in my previous texts) – that was also a very big help for me too. What I find frightening is the fact that normal, sane, and otherwise very well meaning people can become so caught up in an affair. These things are far more powerful that we fully appreciate. Even though our reason screams “Don’t do this!! BAD idea!!!” We find ways to rationalize what we ourselves find crazy. Breaking away was Extremely Difficult… but I have found that once it has been done in a decisive way… the emotions do subside over time and the sun slowly clears away the clouds and warms us when we look up and take a few deep breaths.

        The triggers, which knock us back a few paces do show up… seeing a person in a crowd who looks like the OM or OW… a song… or passing through a specific place …an old email… you know what I mean. But even the triggers lose their power when we stay steadfast in our place of grace.

        Your family is worth MORE than gold as you of course know. 6 grandchildren!! Wow!! We have 2 children and 3 grandchildren :)) When we think about our families, and the horrible fallout, which would otherwise occur, it makes it much easier to turn our backs on that which we know is wrong and damaging. Let alone the price of the Crucifixion needed to pay our debt.

        You have a good day Pie Lady. Take care of yourself and yours… and I wish you a very special 2017 with your family. Let us know how you are doing when you have a chance? WP (Work in Progress)

        1. Happy New Year to you too. Actually I mistyped. I have 6 children, ages almost 16 through 30, and only 2 grandchildren, ages 3 and 5.

          1. Hi Pie Lady!

            6 children!! That is a notable achievement! “Only” 2 grandchildren?? I am sure that number will increase before very long… You are doing so well Pie Lady! Stay on course, keep your eyes straight in front of you …..(Deuteronomy 28:24) Now the fun begins anew :) Our 2 children are ages 28 and 31, and the 3 grandchildren 17 months, 20 months and 5 years. Cheers, WP

  12. WP, Your kids are close in age to my older kids (30, 28, and 26. The younger ones are 18, 16 1/2 and 16) The youngest two are adopted from China. I saw my counselor this evening. It is so good to be able to talk to him about my former emotional affair. It will still take time to get over him. I wonder if he is over me, even though he has found someone else to love. I have been reading some, and have found out that people finding old flames on Facebook is very common, but if one or both are married, it can be very risky for a possible affair. I am talking to my counselor about what I can do to make my marriage better, now that the affair is behind me.

    1. Hi Pie Lady! You are so fortunate to have a good counselor… here that service is very expensive :( and there really isn’t such a service available through the church we go to (very small- more a family than a classic “church”).

      I am very sure that finding old flames on FB can pose a real threat to a marriage…. I promised my wife I would get off FB, which I did… now a year and a half ago. That was a very good change, although difficult at the time… details are in earlier posts in this section “Getting Unhooked…” I never met the OW’s from FB, but even so, the feelings were strong, and very hard to break. A more recent involvement was a colleague at work; she really saw me as a father, but I have to admit I had a strong emotional attachment to her. My wife knows her…. my last correspondence with this colleague was now 7 months ago. (Posts also here in “Getting Unhooked…” I think you were part of those threads as I recall.) Breaking these involvements was very difficult, but was absolutely necessary.

      I find that as time passes, when we maintain NO contact, and involve ourselves with our spouses and children and other pursuits, that there is far less time for thoughts about affair partners! Things really DO get better. Looking back, I see also that these involvements were very stressful, although that isn’t so obvious when in the middle of an affair. The stress is removed, and I feel much more free. My wife and I talked these things out at the time, and the issue is pretty much laid to rest. Once in a while I do find myself wondering how these people are doing, and I do pray for them. I don’t want dwell too long on thoughts about them… I find that the old feelings can come back- which is painful.

      My big affair now is my wife and my 2 children and 3 grandchildren. I’m working only part time now, so we are doing more things together, – walking in the woods, going out for a coffee, taking the grandchildren to the zoo or the park.. etc. etc. Talking with my wife, taking little excursions together, visiting friends, being together, watching a film together, cooking together, finding things to do together, while still having our own pursuits (me – photography, and my wife – her extended family and her friends) are all marriage bulders.

      Nice to hear from you Pie Lady… you take care of yourself. My sister also adopted a child from China (a little girl), who is now 23 and living on her own in the US. Please let us know how you are when you have time?
      WP (Work in Progress)

      1. I’m doing fine. I didn’t want to let go for so long. It does become easier as time goes on, though. I’ve been talking to my counselor, trying to analyze why I let myself become involved in an emotional affair.