High Price of Emotional Infidelity – MM #84

workplace romance - AdobeStock_91473945 copy“Flirting is fun and usually begins in innocence. It’s a hard habit to break, even after marriage. Yet it causes jealousy. Worse, it puts us into situations we never intended to fall into, and it creates misunderstandings that can lead to infidelity.” (Jerry Jenkins)

Whether it’s intentional or not, flirting with someone other than your spouse is a form of emotional infidelity.

It’s a serious relationship matter, especially to the offended spouse. That’s why we’re approaching this subject by sharing a portion of a TV program titled, You’re Not the Person I Married, aired December 5, 2002 on the Dr Phil Show (which you can find more information about concerning this particular program and additional information, by following the provided “Show Archives” link to DrPhil.com).

In this show one of the couples, Joe and Karmen, were battling over his flirting with other women and the emotional affairs he later developed with several of them. To Joe, it was all innocent fun, because as he said, “there was no sex involved.” But Karmen felt hurt and betrayed.

They set up that segment of the program, showing a tape of both Joe and Karmen explaining their “sides” on the issue.

Karmen said:

“I was in love with Joe, and he swore that he’d be faithful to me when we got married. Joe’s been involved with several women over the years, and he says they’re just emotional affairs. But they bother me just the same. I’m suspicious of everything that Joe says to me. And I’m constantly checking up on him.”

To that Joe responds:

“I never thought I would really be able to give up the attention I want from other women. The flirtations with women I have, they’re just romantic. There’s no sex involved.” And “when I tell the truth” (to Karmen when questioned by her) she”gets hurt, so I sometimes have to lie to save her feelings. To be honest, I never thought we’d be married as long as we are now. I think the kids right now have a lot to do with us still being together.”

They then, show a segment where Karmen’s sitting with her son who was crying telling his mom “it’s all my fault” for the problems they’re having. After the video, Dr Phil asks, “Joe, you just saw the toll this has taken on your son. So how much fun is that flirting now?” to which Joe replied, “It’s not fun at all.”

Karmen said,

“He didn’t know that was going to be on there, but I wanted him to see how bad he’s hurting our son without him even realizing it. My son came to me and said, ‘It’s my fault Dad’s unhappy with life because Dad told me he wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for us and he’s unhappy being here.’ I said, ‘Joel, he was trying to let you know how much he loves you; that even though he’s not happy with himself, he’s here for you, that he loves you.’ But, of course, my son didn’t take it that way.”

Dr Phil addressing Joe, said,

“You say, ‘I got married, knowing I wouldn’t want to give up the affection of other women. I’m having emotional affairs, but nothing physical.’ You know, just color me cynical, but I don’t believe that. I’m not saying you are or you aren’t —I have no evidence. I can’t prove one way or the other —all I know is what you say, and just one guy to another, I don’t believe that for a split second. But —that’s your position. And then you go say this to your children? Do you feel any responsibility to the health and welfare of this family as it relates to your choices?”

Joe replied, “I never knew my choices would really affect the family the way they have. I have, in the past, thought sometimes, it’s better we should just split up, however.” Dr Phil said, “Well, that’s one option, that’s true, to just say, ‘You know, I’ll just go —and y’all make your own way.’ Joe then admitted, “You know, I like what I have. You know, I love Karmen; I love the kids. I don’t want to give that up either.”

When Dr Phil asked Karmen if she felt betrayed by these emotional affairs, she said, “They hurt just the same as if he was out having a physical affair.” Dr. McGraw said, “Well, you are betrayed.” Then turned to Joe and asked him if it truly was a betrayal to which Joe affirmed that they were.


Phil then said to him, “Let me tell you, anytime you turn away from instead of towards your partner to meet emotional needs, physical needs, needs that are appropriate to a committed, intimate relationship, that’s a betrayal. So you have these needs, and you’re turning away from your wife to meet those needs. What do you expect her to do about that?”

Joe replied, “Well, I know I lost her trust. And I know it will be hard to regain it. But all I can do is say I’m sorry. The feeling I was looking for was that new relationship feeling. We’ve been married 14 years, and, you know, I miss that feeling.

Dr Phil then said, “So you thought, ‘I’ll just go get it somewhere else. And I’ll let my children pick up the tab for that immaturity. I’ll let my wife pick up the tab for that immaturity. Plus, I’ll let our family go down in flames, so I can get a rush every 30 days?'”

Joe said, “I never really looked at it that way. Honestly, I didn’t think it affected them a lot of times. I guess really it was, ‘What they don’t know don’t hurt’.”

Giving Up Wants

Dr Phil then replied, “You said, ‘When I got married, I knew I wasn’t going to give up my want for these other women. I didn’t think we would stay married very long.’ So I guess you just thought you’d just bring some kids in the world. Then you’d just leave them in your wake as you went to the next conquest. ‘What they don’t know doesn’t hurt them.’ Are you rethinking that as you sit here now?”

Joe said, “Oh, definitely, yes.” Dr Phil then said, “That’s a good thing because this is about wake-up calls. I’m not trying to beat you up. I’m trying to wake you up and get you to realize what you’re doing here.”

Joe acknowledged that he now saw his behavior in a different light and that he had been wrong but he wasn’t able to make a firm promise to stop for fear that if he failed he’d hurt his wife again with another “broken promise.” He did say he “wanted to” stop flirting and seeing other women.

At that point, Dr Phil said:

“Listen, I understand. Isn’t it all fun when you’re falling in love and everything is new and fresh and all that? That’s all fun just like riding a roller-coaster is great fun for some people. But the truth is, as we mature, we realize that love doesn’t get old; it just transforms.

You know, at first, you’re up all night talking and you’re doing all of this stuff and everybody gets all excited and everything. And I always hear them say, ‘Oh, we’re like soul mates. She knows me so well, she can finish my sentences.’ Then two years later, it’s, like, ‘Hey quit interrupting.’ OK? You know we get that evolution, but we label it as negative when really it’s just a change.”

“I don’t stay up all night talking to my wife because I want to go to sleep. But you know what? It may not be exactly the same; it’s better, but different. If you mature enough to allow that to happen, what you find out is —in exchange for some of the exhilaration in the unknown, you have comfort, you have security —you have a soft place to fall. And when you put effort and energy into it, you can create that exhilaration at the right time along the way.

But in the meantime, you mature into nurturing what’s there, learning to label that the same way you label the others. There’s a big difference between falling in love and being in love.”

Wake Up Call

We appreciate how Dr Phil tried to bring a wake up call to Karmen and Joe. Plus, he gives it to all married couples who will listen who feel flirtations aren’t harmful. What may seem to be “innocent” flirting in the eyes of one spouse, can spiral into all sorts of problems with a lot of innocent people to getting hurt. That’s not what marriage partnership is supposed to involve.

It comes down to the fact that marriage is designed to be entered into by grown-ups —those who are willing to act as mature adults, who vow to join together in exclusive partnership with each other and with God as a “chord of three strands.” It’s a relationship that is to be honored as sacred and protected by both partners so no one outside the marriage has the opportunity to divide what God has joined together.” (See Mark 10:7-9)

You might find it helpful to follow something that author Jerry Jenkins discovered and shared in his book, Hedges: Loving Your Marriage Enough to Protect It (which we highly recommend).

He wrote,

“I enjoy having fun and being funny, and my mind tends to find humor in words and unusual combinations of ideas. For this reason I could easily flirt with anyone I thought was receptive. Much flirting is funny. If someone says something flirtatious with me, my first impulse is to expand on it. I want to play with it, and see how quick and funny I can be. But I resist that. It isn’t fair. It’s mental and emotional unfaithfulness. I would be exercising a portion of my brain and soul reserved for my exclusive lover —my spouse.”

Jerry knows, and so should we, that this isn’t what we should be doing. It’s not God’s way and it shouldn’t be our way either. Think about it, isn’t that what marriage is supposed to be? Exclusive? If not, why marry?

We need to consider what God’s word says about our actions:

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. (Hebrews 13:4)

The flirtatious spouse might not think that he or she is being “sexually immoral” because he/she isn’t actually going through a physical, sexual act with another person. However, the Word of God says,

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person —such a man is an idolater —has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.(Ephesians 5:3-5)

Also, it is written:

You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.(Matthew 5:27-29)

We beg you to save your flirting for your spouse. Invest your energies in your marriage instead of with someone else. You could find your relationship so much better, feeling newer and revived. And as a result you, your spouse, your children, and your God will be blessed.

Jerry Jenkins has a suggestion in his book that is a good one:

“If you want to flirt, flirt with your wife. She may not look, feel, or sound the way she did when you first flirted with her years ago, but she still wants you to flirt with her. Try it. Wink at her across the room. Blow her a kiss no one else sees. Play footsie with her under the table. Give her a squeeze, a pinch, a tickle no one else notices.”

He continues this thought by saying,

“Wouldn’t you like to be flirted with by someone who loves you, someone who can tease you about what she might do with you later and then deliver?”

You may think someone else might enjoy your flirtations more than your spouse. But when you took your marriage vows, you promised exclusivity with your marriage partner. So instead, try flirting with your spouse —you may like it! And it may just help to keep your romance alive. It sure has for us as we’ve flirted with each other throughout our 45+ year marriage.

Cindy and Steve Wright

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Filed under: Emotional & Physical Affair Marriage Messages

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97 responses to “High Price of Emotional Infidelity – MM #84

  1. (USA)  Like Dwayne above, I had an emotional affair (but was not thinking it was that at the time). My wife is 95% out the door and all I want to do is to have her stay, and I cannot.

    I am looking for someone to maybe explain to me what I can do to prove to my wife I love her and want her, and that my emotion is all for her. I lack the ability to communicate my feelings and need that push.

    I have devastated my wife, and potentially my child. While I wish I could gain advise from people, I can advise to people to open up to your spouse, and no one else. I love my wife and have basically lost her. Don’t do what I did.

    1. (USA)  Justin, I understand how your wife feels. Betrayed, lied to and deceived. That’s really hard to set aside. Have you talked to her about what you did and why? Now mind you, I don’t agree there’s any acceptable reason. Have you showed her how you truly feel? You said you don’t communicate your feelings. Well, you obviously communicated them to someone at sometime. Don’t you think you should to her? If you truly love her and your emotions are hers, then communicate this to her. Sometimes it’s not in just the words we say but HOW it’s said.

  2. (USA) My husband spent almost all of 2008 deployed to Afghanistan. He has always had a lot of female friends. In fact those were the only friends that would ever call him. Some of them were ex-girlfriends. I trusted him, so it never bothered me all that much. Right before he left, we found out that I was pregnant. It was both exciting and scary. At that time, our relationship was strong and healthy.

    It didn’t take long before that all changed. A month after he deployed, he opened up a Facebook account and reconnected with all kinds of people, especially females. I noticed a change in him. He would become very irritable with me. I later found out that it was during this time that he was chatting up a girl he went to school with. I read the messages between them. A lot of them were very flirtatious. In one of them, he told her that he would probably leave me for her if I wasn’t pregnant. Reading that absolutely devastated me.

    Their communication had continued throughout the year. She sent him a ton of pictures of herself early on, and then she sent him more a week before he returned home. The pictures that she sent right before he came home were nude pictures!

    There were times towards the end of the deployment that he would tell me that I was ruining our relationship and that when things got tough that he just wanted to be done. I couldn’t understand where all of this was coming from. Deployments are stressful, but I thought we were getting through it pretty well. He went through periods where he wouldn’t talk to me. He called me a total of 5 times the whole year and the rest of our communication was through AIM or email. After a week of not talking to me, he called me a few days and apologized to me. At this time, I still had no idea about his communications with this other girl.

    The first few weeks of him being back home were amazing! It was different beings we had a newborn now, but everything seemed perfect. The “friend” whom he would chat with and who sent him pics of herself would call him occasionally and text him and email him. She was having problems with her boyfriend and was looking for a shoulder to cry on. She was forwarding personal emails that her boyfriend sent her onto my husband! My husband thought it was funny.

    One day when my husband wasn’t home, I went back and re-read those emails looking for a solution for her and her boyfriend (I didn’t know about her involvement with my husband yet). I came across some older emails from her and that’s when I came across the disgusting pictures! I was in absolute disbelief. I thought things between my husband and I were great, and here only a week before he got back, she was sending nude pictures to him! Who sends naked pictures of themselves to a married person! (And she knew that he was married and had a kid.)

    I emailed this girl’s boyfriend letting him know that she was forwarding his personal emails to her to my husband and I also let him know about the inappropriate pics that she sent my husband. I didn’t care what he decided to do, but I just thought he should know what kind of a girl he was dealing with.

    I debated on whether or not to confront my husband. I ended up confronting him that day. I asked her about his relationship with her and he responded that “she’s just a friend”. He got defensive and asked why I was snooping through his things. He was trying to make me out to be the bad guy. I told him that he had to chose between our family or his female friends. At one point earlier on, he had told me that if I made him give up his friends that we’d be getting a divorce. That’s the response I was expecting, but he told me that he would cut off all contact with all females. It was a relief, but it still hurt to think that during this past year, this woman had replaced me. I cannot describe the amount of pain that this has caused me.

    It’s been about 6 months since I found out, and our marriage hasn’t been the same. I want to be able to forgive him and trust him, but it is so hard. There’s been days where I feel like I’m going crazy. He has done what I have asked, but it doesn’t make what he did go away. Emotional infidelity is very damaging to people and relationships. I don’t think he did this to hurt me. I think he thought that it was innocent at first, and then it just escalated.

    After he got done trying to minimize what he did and minimize my feelings, he finally accepted what he did was wrong and has apologized over and over again. He wants our marriage to work. He said that he used the other women to vent when he was upset. He shared practically nothing with this woman, so I imagine it was an easy outlet. He never lived with this woman, paid bills with her, had a family with her, etc… He has told me that he has always loved me and never actually meant what he said to her. He never wanted her, but he would use her to vent and in return get free porn from her.

    There has been some other women who have sent him pictures. I feel bad for these women because I think it is an ego boost for my husband. All he has to do is ask, and these women have no problem exposing themselves. Women need to be careful what they put out there because it can turn around and haunt them later on.

    The bottom line: Do not under estimate the damaging effects of emotional infidelity. He thought that beings it wasn’t physical that it was fine, but that left me devastated and now our marriage is on the rocks. In an emotional affair, attention is being taken away from the spouse and is given to someone outside of the marriage. If you have to hide your phone, or emails, or other messages from a “friend” so your spouse won’t see it, then it very well could be emotional infidelity. It is easy to fall into, but very hard to come out of intact.

  3. (USA)  This is so incredibly sad and a huge relief (to see I’m not blowing things out of proportion) at the same time. I’ve been married for 23 years and stumbled across some correspondence just like everyone else. I was in complete shock as I believed everything was great, that we had the ideal relationship and I loved him so very much. I confronted him more than four times, regarding the communication only to be met with him changing his passwords and getting better at hiding the conversations.

    I too, felt crazy, and when explaining it to others was somewhat treated like I was crazy because my husband is such a nice guy. I finally left; but he has the kids and the dogs and the house. Our kids, who have never seen or heard us fight are equally shocked and confused. They are all teenagers and I didn’t want to uproot them so I gave them the choice to move with me or stay and they stayed because it is their comfort zone. However, they are angry with me because they don’t understand all of the circumstances and without going into great detail about it with them, it appears to them I was just jealous of some female co workers their father has had.

    This has been brutal. I am shocked and angry that he would do this to our family and to me his “soul mate” and I feel utterly and completely rejected.

    Does anyone know of any online support groups for this type of issue? Counseling doesn’t help and I could sure use and would be glad to give support.

  4. (USA)  Ladies, thank you for sharing your sad stories. We are all in the same boat. The degree of suffering from mental torture, emotional breakdown and humiliation after each discovery and confrontation depends on our attitude.

    This is my sad love story… My husband of almost 3 decades is a natural flirt and the worst part is he doesn’t consider it a bad behavior. He flirts in my presence, everywhere we go, in parties, restaurant, even in church functions. Definitely, he flirts at work too. In fact, 2 weeks ago, I opened a can of worms. A young woman co-worker called his cell phone on a Saturday morning and when I checked our AT&T phone bills I noticed multiple calls from this woman. Furthermore, this woman’s home address is camouflaged like an email address in his cell phone. Isn’t he clever?

    Once again, he promised to change his ways. With a broken-heart I forgive and pray for divine intervention. Only the power of God can change my situation.

  5. (US) My story sounds so much like every one else’s. My husband sent divorce papers last week. I don’t have a date yet, so in the meantime he turns my cell off. I am having a hard time understanding something. He walked out, and now is upset with me because I did not sign the papers. He is upset because he has to go to court and spend money, so he is trying to hurt me because I didn’t sign.

    He has another woman, and has received a large sum of money and has not in the last year of separation helped with any bills. I have paid all the bills and now have been laid of from work. I am hurt and am trying to stay close to God in prayer for comfort. I pray for his salvation. If he is so happy, then why go out of his way to cause me hardships?

  6. (US) I can identify with everything about the excruciating pain of finding out your husband has had an emotional affair. My husband is a composite of how other posters described their husbands: he has always had a way of joking around women, he is considered a nice guy by most people, our marriage seems to be more stable than most–but none of this had any bearing when he decided to embark on an emotional affair (I didn’t know what it was called at the time, but learned by reading Not Just Friends, and when I explained to him what he had been doing, it didn’t really register at the time).

    He became upset when I confronted him the first time, and convinced himself that he wasn’t doing anything wrong, and continued the affair for some months later. When I found evidence that the emotional affair had almost become physical (there probably was some type of sexual activity, but not full-fledged sex) I made the decision to leave him and he saw that I was not making idle threats.

    After individual counseling for myself and finally couples counseling that he surprisingly volunteered for, we are almost 98% back to loving and respecting each other the way God intended husbands and wives to be. I will say, however, that after he revealed the things they talked about, the gifts/flowers, the poems and letters that he wrote– it is going to take a looooooong time for me to get over the hurt and heartache that I still feel sometimes.

    To the poster who wanted to know where to go for help: just type in the word “infidelity” on any search engine and you will be directed to any number of support groups for women and men who have been affected by various types of infidelity. Some support groups are better than others, but my laptop and my very good friend were tremendous helps in getting me to muster the courage not to end my life in the aftermath of my husband’s infidelity.

    Believe me, the devastation that comes with the discovery of emotional infidelity is something that you will never want to experience in your lifetime.

  7. (US)  WOW – Reading these stories is soothing. I just found out 3 days ago that my husband is having an emotional affair with a co-worker. I stumbled upon an email chain from them. We have been VERY happily married for 8 years and all of our friends are always shocked about how affectionate we are to one another. I never thought he would ever do such a thing.

    The hurt, pain and betrayal I feel is so overwhelming. I always told myself that it would only take one time (meaning a guy would cheat on me once and I’m out of there). I don’t think I could ever trust him again if I stay with him. We have a small child and she will be completely devastated if we split.

    Of course he is saying it’s completely nothing and it was just a few words. Well inviting someone to your house for lunch next week while your husband is out of town for “lunch” and also asking if she can help him with some things in his office with the door closed, doesn’t seem too innocent to me! Maybe it’s just me?!

    He has been crying all weekend long and says he will make me the happiest girl in the world. I just need to believe in him. I know he knows that he messed up big time. But he is a flirt and I don’t think that is something that you can change in someone. He never flirts with others in front of me though. What the heck do I do? My heart is broken in pieces!

  8. (US)  WOW. I too am enduring the pain of my husband of 21 years having an emotional affair with a female “friend”. He met this woman in a bar about a year ago. She was the bartender at the bar my husband would stop at occasionally (I too used to be a bartender when we met). My husband is a deacon in our church and when she found out that she started to ask him all kinds of questions about religion.

    This was back in October of 2008, then it escalated and she would text him on his phone 10 to 15 times per day and also calling 2-3 times a day and they would be talking 30 min up to an hour at a time. At this point in time I knew nothing about it. He had casually mentioned this woman’s name. The only time she would call is when I was not home or when my husband was at work (my husband works 11pm – 7am). This went on for about 2 months. When I was looking at the phone bill and saw the # of calls and text messages then I finally confronted my husband.

    We started counseling in Jan of 2009 (we still are in counselling). After we started counselling, he was asked by the counselor to cut off all communication with her to see what his true feelings were. He did that, and then after a week they started to talk again. The communication level went right back to where it was, so I called this woman and confronted her. She said she would feel the exact same way I did and that she would not be contacting him any more. That lasted for 2 weeks. Then she started calling again, so I called her again and confronted her again. She said she would quit calling which I thought she did.

    Fast forward, to Jun 09, my husband tells me that someone he works with is switching facilities and that is who is calling on a restricted telephone number. Fast forward to Aug 09, there is a call to that woman and immediately following a call comes in on the restricted telephone number. I put two and two together and guess what? He has deceived me and lied to me for the last 3 months that it has been her calling him again, and it has been almost every day. Since I found this out there has been no contact.

    I am really heart broken that I have been deceived and lied to. He says that it would not have had to happen if I would have let him talk to her. I really don’t know what we are going to do at this point in time. We are continuing to see a conselor but I don’t know what is going to happen. He says he loves me but there is so much hurt and the trust has been broken.

  9. (US)  I recently found out my husband was having an emotional affair for the past six months with someone he was carpooling with.

    He, like many, denied anything was happening even after I found that they were texting up to 700 times per month and spending 3 to 4 hours on the cell phone each day; including my birthday and weekends, as well as his sending emails from a “secret” email account I just happened to stumble on.

    It has taken almost two months for him to admit what he did was wrong and to understand where my hurt and loss of trust is coming from. It has not been an easy journey thus far, and although I decided one day to no longer let this woman intrude in my marriage, there is still paranoia and fear – he has the use of a work Blackberry which he could now be using to send her text messages and for calling her. He claims he has had no contact with her since he told her it was over, but that’s where the paranoia sets in because I don’t trust or believe him completely.

    The strange thing is that his infidelity has brought us closer and working through it has given us a new glimpse into what we were doing wrong and why he needed, or thought he needed, to look outside of our marriage for emotional intimacy.

    Marriage counseling has made the biggest difference as now we know how to communicate lovingly with each other and even when we hit a roadblock, which is less frequent than I can ever remember, we are able to talk it through with dignity, respect and love; whereas before his first impulse was to yell and scream when I would ask questions, he will now, for the most part, hear what I have to say or ask and reply accordingly.

    I don’t know if I will ever be able to trust him 100%. It’s still pretty raw, but I pray that with the help of our therapist, our willingness to make our marriage stronger, and strength from God, we will be happier and more closely emotionally bonded in our marriage.

  10. (USA)  I ache for everyone of you that has posted to date. I too have unwilling joined this group who’ve experienced emotional infidelity from their spouse. My pain has been hidden because no one else but my husband and his “friend” knows that I know. It’s been tough to be around others and pretend that all is well – I know you all understand what I mean.

    My saga has gone on for much of this year. My husband and I own a business and he hired a new sales gal at the first of the year. From the beginning he spent a lot of time with her, taking her to lunch, driving her everywhere — supposedly this was all “training”. However after 3 to 4 months it became apparent that her training period had gone on longer than normal. They went on a business trip in April (I was not happy about this and told my husband so but he said there was nothing to worry about) and after returning, my husband told me about her behavior there – drinking heavily, dancing with 5 to 6 men at a time, talking graphically about sex. One of our married clients was there and he tried getting her so drunk that she’d have sex with him (!!)

    She is very inappropriate in her conversations with everyone – including clients, male co-workers, etc. She will discuss her sexual preferences in great detail and finds no harm in it. She is very open about “being like a guy” in that she can sleep around with anyone and not have it bother her that she never sees the guy again.

    It was after this trip that my husband began to work out; cut his hair and dyed his white whiskers weekly; he began dressing up all the time and continued to spend long days at the office. I expressed my concern on several occasions but he just said that there was nothing going on.

    In May, he called me late on a Friday and said that he had a meeting with a new client the next morning. (We NEVER meet with clients on Saturdays). I questioned him but he just said that that was the only day he could meet with both of the contacts that he needed to. I asked if he was taking her, but he said no, it was just he that was going. The meeting was to be at 9:30 and was only about 1/2 hour from our house.

    The next morning he left 2 1/2 hours before the meeting. I have the ability to check gps tracking on all our employee’s phones so I looked hers up. Guess what? She was at a local meeting place (even though she lives about 1 hour from there) that my husband uses. I was irritated but went on with my morning. Several hours later I checked to see if they were done, but turns out that they had travelled somewhere else – 2 hours away from where he was supposed to be. I confronted him about it and he denied that he had even seen her that day. It was just “coincidence”.

    2 weeks later a company credit card bill arrived and there was a gas fill-up that day in the area he swore he was not in. When confronted he said that she had shown up for the meeting and called him — when he said that she didn’t need to have come, she “pitched a fit” about wasting her gas so he drove to where she was locally and gave her the gas card. He insisted it was she that drove to this other location alone and filled up her own car.

    Flash forward 2 more weeks – Knowing that he had now lied about his first story, I check the company cell phone bill – no calls between them that day. HOWEVER, he did call a phone number — again in the area where her gps tracked her to. At this point it had been a month, and when I called the number the guy said did not recall meeting my husband or her but I could tell that he was nervous talking to me and couldn’t get off the phone fast enough.

    When trying to find out who this guy was and why my husband would have taken her to that area, I checked his emails (something I’d never done before). There was no record of this guy but I did find numerous emails between them, some having gone on for hours on Easter and other days that we were all at home. The emails were flirtatious and sexually suggestive – my husband was using some bet that they’d made to come up with ways she would have to “pay” if she lost the bet – these ways all involved spending time going somewhere on short day trips or shopping for new outfits, etc. I was sick at heart and furious.

    I thought all of this had been driven by her (due to her general behavior with all men) so I drove to our office and took her out to lunch. I let her know that I knew what was going on, that the personal contact was going to stop, etc. She denied having any interest in my husband.

    When she would not talk to him that afternoon at work and said “she had a lot to think about that weekend”, my husband was livid and we got into a huge fight that night. He said that he was angry that I hadn’t trusted him — that I’d been wrong to come down there and cause problems. He said that he would probably be moving out of the house. So I left for the weekend to give him time to figure stuff out. When I returned home, I found that he’d sent me an email and told me that he’d been wanting to leave me for 8 months – that he wanted to see if there was “more” out there. He denied that anything had happened with her and there was nothing wrong because they hadn’t had sex. He wasn’t sure if he was going to stay or not. He was considering moving into an extended stay hotel for a couple of weeks.

    I don’t really believe his story that he’d been wanting to leave me for that long – I think that he’d begun thinking of this once he took an interest in her. I believe that they originally bonded over shared interests (music, dancing, sense of humor) and he later developed an emotional connection with her over our problems in running a business, etc. Once all this was established, I think that because he does not like to be alone, he was trying to develop HER interest in HIM and had he been successful, he would then have left me for her. My taking her out to lunch “ruined” his plans so to speak.

    Since this huge fight he has chosen to stay, however there is a significant distance between us. He has only recently started limiting his time spent with her at the office, but there have been several times that I’ve heard him answer his cell phone and since he actually talks differently with her than anyone else, I immediately know it’s her. He had blocked me out of all his computers and even the gps tracking system for a number of months. I’m back able to track her again but still have no access to his computers. Every time I see him on there for an extended period, I still wonder if he’s sending personal notes back and forth.

    In late August, he told me that he wasn’t sure if he could commit to our marriage or not — he wasn’t ready to say that yet. When our anniversary came in mid September I was just basically going to ignore it. What’s the point in celebrating something that really means little? Several days before it he started making a huge deal about it – “reminding” me several times that it was coming. He went out and spent over $700 dollars on some items, including a bottle of Cristal. (He NEVER does this). I thought he’d gone a bit crazy at that point. :)

    I later found out that he’d sent her an email detailing what he bought and how much he spent. There were items listed that he didn’t even get me. He said he wanted her “opinion” to see if these were good enough for all the years that I had put up with him. I have no idea what her response was but needless to say, this ripped another hole in my heart knowing that he was just our anniversary and his gifts as a way to impress her (she’s what most would refer to as a “gold digger”).

    I have prayed and prayed for him and for our marriage. I’ve prayed for strength and the ability to forgive him, but there are some days that I just want to walk. I believe in the sanctity of marriage and believe that marriage is until “death do us part”. This has been the most difficult thing that I’ve ever been through (even more painful than losing our second daughter years ago) — I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to forgive him or forget. The hardest part is knowing that he thinks he did nothing wrong (again, there was no sex involved so he wasn’t “unfaithful” in his mind) so what is my assurance that he won’t do this again – either with her or another woman down the road?

    I pray for all of you and hope that we can all find peace and healing in what ever way it eventually comes.

  11. (USA)  At least the wives here appear to respect “emotional connection”, “intimacy”, “respect” as major priorities within a marriage. In my situation the other party seems to think that these are optional.

    I found out in past situations about “affair magic”, it’s basically a “god syndrome” and can hurt your life pretty bad, because it means that you are likely slipping or overdoing it in other area’s of your life.

    Marriage sex can be the best type especially if the partners respect each other. I respect all of you women who are doing right by your marriage in the bed room and outside. There are a lot of societal pressures for you to shortchange, abuse, and cheat your husband and you are doing it the right way.

    Keep in mind a “man is a man”; he puts on his two pants legs like anyone else. That when he has a good woman, sometimes the pressure is greater from the outside to cheat. That’s right, the other women will want him more the more you are doing right by him. After a while, most men, even the most respectable of men, can slip. With that being said, I can also expect that women are human can falter, and can cheat. However, I believe we can all agree that affairs are dangerous and can end your life, or at the least mess it up some.

    There’s a lot of good information on this board, and I am glad I can contribute.

  12. (USA)  By the way, my wife got into what was said a 3 months affair with another fellow. During this time period she worked nights, and I had a complaint that I was not seeing her, as when she would be home she would not prioritize her time to spend any at all with me. All I got was the “butt end”, of complaints, hatred, bad attitude which basically injected me full of poison.

    I found out during 3 months of this time, which I happened to not being having intercourse with her, that she developed an affair partner. This guy she met in a bar. I was told she cheated on me because she felt like she wasn’t getting any attention from me. I’m sure she told the other fellow this too. The relationship has never been the same.

    I learned the hard way that when men cheat, they may have feelings of guilt, we usually do not feel our wives are inadequate, we simply feel that we are being selfish and greedy.

    That when women cheat, there is something different about the psychology. That in many cases, for the affair to make sense they have to make themself hate the husband. So there will be nothing he can do right, as she is now looking at him through a critical lens because she is cheating on him. Also, that the hard way that incessant nagging or complaints whether it is a husband or a wife has a cost to the reciever. Is a sign of lack of respect or that the person is not looking at you right. There’s a way to go about these things in mostly a positive manner. Affairs suck, but people are humans and can get weak and cheat.

  13. (UK)  Less than 2 days ago, I found out that my husband was having an emotional affair with someone he works closely with. She sent him texts telling him she dreams about him and calling him all sorts of endearments. What really hurt me is that he replied her messages, asking what her dreams were about and stuff like that. He maintains that the only thing he did wrong was not telling her to stop sending flirty/sexual messages. But I feel that he encouraged her. He tells me he spoke to her at work, told her to stop and asked her to apologize. I would heve loved him to make that call in my presence. At the moment I am so emotionally withdrawn from him, hate it when he touches me, and feel so betrayed. I’m even considering calling the lady to tell her what I feel about her sending him these texts.

  14. (USA)  I’m a husband, newlywed, that’s going through the pain of his wife constantly texting another guy and recently found that she posted a profile on an online dating site and used pictures of another women claiming that was her. I also found that the she has a Facebook page under the same alias that she used on said dating site. To my surprise, the guy that she texts all of the time believes that to be her and lists them both as “Engaged” under the relationship status on Facebook. The guy does not know who he is really engaged and that the person he is flirting and supposedly marrying is really my wife!

    I confronted her concerning the text messages, in which I read on her phone. But I ended up being the bad guy who was “Paranoid” and lacks “Trust” and that I should “Never” go through her stuff. However all I wanted to know was who was texting her in the early morning hours, say 3 AM? Not to mention the phone was right next to me and that the message came from some guy…so I was curious…

    After reading how much he loved her and how she was the best thing in her life and called her by a different name (alias); I finally dug a little deeper and found to my surprise that she has committed online identity deception and not only will the truth hurt the poor guy, it’s currently hurting me and destroying our marriage.

    I don’t want a divorce but I can’t live my life with someone who prefers another guy over me. I don’t even want to go home after work anymore as I feel so awkward when she is constantly texting the other guy or chatting on Facebook. I can’t even talk to her, watch a movie with her or even go out without that stupid cell phone in her hands constantly texting. She’s with me in body but with him in her mind.

    I’m the one taking care of her, paying the bills, putting a roof over her head, food on the table, and giving my whole life to her but she’s put me to the side and spends more time with him, even if it’s just texting, than with me… Basically, I feel as if I’m only there just to pay the bills… and that’s not working out to well. I’m tired of hurting… I’m tired of working all day only to come home to see my wife “Cheating” on me with another guy either online or over the cell phone…