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. (US)  I am going thru the exact same thing right now. This advice really helps me. I don’t trust my husband, don’t think I ever will again. He claims it is a manipulation thing for him and he goes far enough to ask for sex and claims he doesn’t go thru with it but majority of these women are married.

    I don’t think it is safe for us to stay together because if he doesn’t stop it may cause danger for our children. He sees it as harmless and if I wouldn’t have looked in his phone I wouldn’t be hurt. However, I see it as he shouldn’t have had anything there for me to look at. It hurts and we are considering divorce now. I don’t know if our love is strong enough to conquer this.

  2. (USA)  It began with myspace social networking site. I noticed a man who did not know me, using flirtatious terms like sweetie, and sweetheart on posts on my wifes page. I asked who he was and got that he was just a friend. Any insistence of my own concern over it was deemed intrusive, silly, and jealous. Fast forward to facebook social networking, where this same man appeared as a friend on my wife’s friends list, and although I remembered him well, trusted my wife, yet now seeming it was more of a hope than a trust. Then one day he posted how he had always loved her on one of our mutual very long time friends page, and I saw it. I didnt even know it was my wife he was talking about, until I asked this friend, was told it was nothing to worry about, and then the post was deleted.

    We had had many problems of the typical nature in marriage, finances, intimacy, future plans, etc., but this was nothing I thought I would ever truly have to suffer. One day after a rather sullen seeming mood, she told me she did not know if she loved me anymore, that we wanted different things, and that I was more of a brother figure to her. I was devastated. I could have showed her a birthday card she got me weeks before saying how much she loved me. I was online reviewing our cell phone bill and saw over a hundred msgs between her and a certain number the day prior to this discussion between us. I asked her who it was, and again, it was just a friend who needed her consolation. I then noticed how often she took her cell phone into the restroom to talk, how often it was glued to her face, how it never left her side. I noticed the password protection on it, and wondered what secrets could there be between us?

    I had never pass protected my cell phone, and all passwords to email were readily available of mine. weeks went by like that, after thinking it was only some sort of midlife crisis she was going through. Hoping we could work it out. Then one night her cell phone lit up and I looked at it. It was a string of romantic messages between her and this same friend/date/lover from her teenage years who had professed his love to her on FB. I immediately confronted her and it was as if there was nothing on the screen. The immediate response was how violated she was of me looking at her phone, how did I get the password, and ultimately, we were thru. The next day she posted how she was “done” on facebook; meaning, done with me and our marriage of 10 years.

    During our big blow out about it, I found out she had at least gone and met him for lunch once, where they just hugged as two old friends would do upon a reunion. But the meeting was without my knowledge, and I was devastated. Despite our young child, I had to leave to clear my head. For 3 days I left the house to live somewhere else, and yet, found myself calling her to see if we could work it out. She agreed, and I moved back. When paying the cell phone bill a week later I saw the entire evening was filled with txt messages between her and this other man. My three attempts at calling and reconciliation while I was moved out, were right in the middle of probably nine hours of msgs back and forth between them.

    But I was there, and back, because my child needed me. I was the primary attention giver, expresser of love and tenderness for that child, and mommy was there sitting on the computer eight days out of seven, refusing to play with our child. Perhaps some of the guilt or maybe just hiding things better, seemed to take ahold, becuase the messaging stopped and I was promised by her that she would remove his number from her phone, with the intention of not calling or contacting him ever again. But then a message popped up once or twice in January. and then a few more in February.

    We were doing more things though, going to dinner, going out as a family, me, exhausting all Christmas bonuses and every penny I had to win back her interest in me and us as a family. But I knew in the back of my mind that something was still going on. Her mother fell on bad times financially, and I offered to open our doors for her to move in with us, and get back on her feet. My wife evidently spoke with her about her emotional affair.

    We went to a camping trip together as we do every year my wife, child and I, and I was ecstatic being able to spend quality time together. But when we got back, I was snooping again, unable to trust at all, and saw that this man had txt msg my wife two days before our trip, and then on a Saturday, while we were out at the campground. She responded both times. I dont know what was said. shortly after we got back, because the cell phone plan had initially been in her name, she split the cell plan up and made me responsible for my own phone, and her of her own, password protecting her bill online, so that I could never see how often if at all she was still in contact.

    I am at my emotional end. I never felt so betrayed. even during our initial fallout about it, and attempt at reconcilation at first, she would send me messages about how she felt the trust was over, taking responsibility for it being ruined, but still, telling me she couldn’t live like that and that the marriage was over. I had talked to her mom about it recently, and her mom divulged an entire different meeting between her and that guy where this time it was a friendly kiss shared. Nothing to it she says. telling me that he was “good for her ego”, and that the failure was mine in that I “used to be romantic”.

    I guess I was supposed to wine and dine my wife forever, no matter her approach or lack thereof towards me. The same disfunction that causes this woman to have to live with us was easily passed down to her daughter, and now I am as a man with a wife like this faced with knowing that where I live, the courts almost 95% of the time award full custody to the mother in the pursuit of a divorce. So my child would then be raised predominantly by my wife and her mother for as long as her mother is here.

    I guess all I can surmise from this, is that secrets are not privacy; that my wife removed all trustworthiness about herself, and then demanded full trust of herself from me, only to dig deeper in her secret emotional affair. It tears me up on a daily basis, and I really do not know how I am still sitting here typing this after all this. A long time ago I would have been long gone, but now find myself having only one person in this world to worry about, my child, and he may very well be taken away since I cant prove anything. Thanks for letting me post my story.

  3. (USA)  Belief and trust are instilled at the heart of a true Christian marriage and faith in anothers behavior must be a part of that bond. It is always sad when a partner strays but there are always ways to solve any cheating and straying. Clara

  4. (USA)  I have been married 3.5 years, one child and one on the way. When we got married I was aware of my weakness, which is flirting and emotional attachments, so I cut all contact with my opposite sex friends and have managed to avoid emotional affairs.

    However, now I am so lonely and depressed, I almost long for the sin of an emotional attachment/affair so that I can feel something other than this emptiness. I try to keep holding onto the hope that God knew what he/we were doing when we married, that things always work out. I have prayed for God to change my heart, my attitude, to help me love and see my husand as he does, and more, and I still feel the same. It is affecting my work, my children, everything.

    I have talked to my husband about it and for him, the issue goes back to after we first got married and I freaked out about being married, sharing my fears that we had made a mistake etc. He says I make him feel like a failure and like he will never be good enough.

    I have a degree. He was going to school until recently but it just never works out, now he is a waiter and helps care for our child, which is an issue since we are basically living each other’s idea of what life should be -me teaching, and him staying at home with the kids. Now he is teaching himself programming, but he spends all his time on it or playing with out daughter and I feel so alone, so alone that I don’t even want him to try anymore sometimes.

    Then there was an incident in which he embarassed me at work in front of our boss (we used to work together) and I lost a lot of respect for him. Respect, which I have not been able to regain, no matter how much I pray or try to focus on how good a dad he is etc.

    Sorry for the rambling, I’m sure it doesnt make sense. It kills me that I almost long to sin so I can feel something. I have even had dreams of cheating which ended as nightmares because I don’t want a divorce and I don’t want this misery of this moment.
    :( What can I do?

  5. (USA)  My husband had a physical affair 10 years ago, which resulted in a child being born. We have since goten back together, and my step son lives with us and I love him very much. It was so hard to regain trust – took many years, lots of sorrow- but we eventually made it work.

    Fast Forward to today- Last week I found out that my husband has been texting flirting with my sister -n- law and there are others that he denies, but I do not believe him. He has lied about money, loans and now I feel I am getting the 1/2 truth from him about the texting, flirting, money… My brother found out about the texting and confronted both my sister n law and husband, then they all decided to keep it from me, until last weekend- when we found out that my husband was also flirting with his ex-and several others on face book.

    I am hurt, mad as heck and my self esteem is in the gutter. When I asked why- why did this happen all I am told is there is no why – nothing happened it was mostly joking flirting- what does that mean? Should I feel better about it? Because I dont!

    Not sure what I am going to do now, weighing all of my options. We have no minor children together our boys are now adults, just my step son- whom we have custody of.

    God Bless – anyone who is going through this or worse. Keep the faith, dont make a hasty decision and do what will make you the happiest.

    Right now- I am not sure what will make me happy anymore.

  6. (USA)  Emotional affair… I call it “tempted by the fruit of another.” I had never even heard of it until they hired a young single secretary at my husbands work. She lives around the cornor from us with her mother. I don’t really have all the details, but she needed a lot of yard work done and my husband stepped up to the plate. Then came the phone calls and the texting.

    For two years this went on and then I asked him, what does this girl mean to you? His reply, she’s my best friend. We split up shortly after. I needed time to think. How could I not see this coming? I confronted the other women and she thought of him as a mere handyman. She was probably flirting with him and giving him attention. I asked him what his definition of cheating was and he said, when a married man becomes physically intimate with another woman. I never heard of an emotional affair before, but I knew I had been cheated on.

    We separated for a year. Once the relationship was exposed and brought to the attention of their boss (initiated by me) her gardening and yardwork needs and his texting stopped. We have been back together for about a year now and my eyes are wide open. I think about it everyday, and go over it and over it in my head, trying to make sense of it.

    I pretend that it is over and that everything is back to normal, but looking back, it wasn’t normal to begin with. I don’t think we had the same views on marriage or the same morals. I feel like he got married so he could have someone to cook and clean for him and care for him when he is ill, and someone to be intimate with in the bedroom. All the other things he gets outside of our marriage.

    We were both married before and he turned the wedding ring from his first marriage into a piece of jewlery in the form of a lightening bolt that he wears daily around his neck. It never bothered me before, but it does now. What does it mean? Does he still carry a torch for her? He said, it is just a necklace and it no longer symbolizes their marriage. I found pictures of his past girlfriend that he has kept. Is that normal? I got rid of all mine. I could go on and on, but just wanted to tell my story. Good luck to anyone going through this. It’s a heavy burden to bear.

  7. (USA)  I began suspectiing something was going on with my wife. She seemed a little distant to me but happier in general. I began snooping and found emails, texts, etc… Nothing physical happened, but it could have. He lives across the country, but they were both together at a convention in Vegas:-( He basically blew her off– thank goodness! (I found this through texts and voicemails.) I would love a female’s opinion.

    I have not been the ideal husband. When we fight, she is a yeller, then I lose my cool, and I typically say things that are very hurtful. I am guilty of this, and she claims this is why she did it. “This was just fun, because you have said horrible things and life is stressful.”

    For the record, we had been getting along and been very sexually active with each other. We are now in counseling, and I am going to forgive her since I have been lacking, have said horrible things and I have 2 beautiful kids. Could I have driven her to this? It helps me sleep at night. The thought that I could have married a “cheater” kills me. I’ve been just as miserable as her, but I have not done this? Opinions? I wish everone well… it’s very demoralizing.

    1. (USA)  Don’t beat yourself up! Yes, you should have, could have, etc… But SHE made the choice, and NO you did not drive her to this- SHE made a choice. You can’t undo what’s been done, but you can make healthy choices from now on, choose to grow from the lessons in this demoralizing experience, and hopefully by now with some counselling -walking a path leading foward together.

      I, too, made a wrong choice, and God in his love, has heard my prayer, and we are working on renewal and restoration! It can happen.

    2. (INDIA)  In one sentence, it’s my story to a large extent. DONT HURRY UP INTO ANOTHER MARRIAGE IF THIS BREAKS. My friend, don’t marry again. My story is in this blog.

  8. (USA)  I am currently going through this very same thing. About a year ago, my husband told me that he was not sure if he still loved me or if he wanted to be married anymore. He later said that he wanted the relationship and we began counseling. I later found out that my husband was having contact with a Facebook friend that had led to very sexual flirting via text and Facebook. When I confronted him about it, he told me that it was none of my business what he was doing. He eventually apologized, and after much consideration, I decided that I would stay and continue to work on things.

    Things really seemed to be going great, but about a month later I realized that there were a ton of text messages between him and someone I did not know. It was another old friend that he had reconnected with on Facebook. He apologized and said that he would stop contact with her, and as far as I knew he did.

    Fast forward a year, and he is flirting with an ex on Facebook. We have a 4 year old, and I really don’t want to break up our family, but I don’t know how to trust him or how to ever feel secure in this relationship if he continues to have these relationships with other women, especially when he has seen what this had done to me. Any thought or advice on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  9. (DOMINICA)  I am married for six years. My wife was my world but she was a lazy person. That pushed me away from her. Recently we went on a six month vacation to her parents. While there I came across a conversation online between her and a 22 year old (she is 30 yrs old). He was saying that he loves her and he does not want to betray me cause I trust them.

    I confronted her. She convinced me that there was nothing. He looks up to her. A month ago I came across several e-mail conversations with her and two other guys having internet sex –the whole works. The 22 yr old was supposed to come work for our compnay in January. She tells him everything we do including sex.

    She, when confronted, says it was only games and they don’t have feelings for each other. That is adultery but my wife can’t seems to believe that. What is your opinion and should he come work for us? She says she would not give up her friend because her parents told her to break the friendship between them. She wants me to forgive her and move on and trust her again but she won’t accept that she was adulterous.

  10. (NL)  It’s a bit strange, I’d come to a Christian site to find “comfort” on emotional cheating, since I’m not religious. He is however, so I thought. If I had him read this, he’d understand a little, do some moral and value rethinking and try to change his ways. It’s too naive. I don’t believe you can really change a person, unless he knows he’s wrong and has the will to do so.

    2 years ago, an IT savvy, I wanted to fix his laptop that had crashed. I got it starting and found half naked pictures of an underaged girl on his laptop. This raising troubled question marks, lead me to check his MSN history messages. Soon finding out he had been having cybersex with a lot of different girls.

    I confronted him when he got home from work. He got so angry, blaming me for not trusting him and snooping around. He wanted to kick me out of the house. At the door, he begged me to stay, so I stayed. Even when you’re betrayed, you can’t magically stop yourself from loving someone.

    This year, engaged, where he had proposed to me, he broke off the engagement after I’d booked a ticket to get married to him (we were having an Long Distance Relationship). I came to visit him anyway, plus I’d already paid for the ticket, and wanted to see if we could talk about it face to face. He broke up with me, while talking to a girl he used to have cybersex with. Of course, I didn’t know they had been in touch, until I got here. They’d been talking almost everyday since I was there. Texting on the phone every night. He’d been distant with me.

    At night, I had logged onto messenger to see if I could find someone to talk to and at least take my mind off things. It logged onto his account instead, revealing more sex chats he had been having with the same girl(s) 2 years ago, while he was with me. Now you see how this goes on. I thought his relationship with me was developing and we were getting tight, but so were all his relationships with them.

    Even so, I still love him, because he says he loves only me. But I can’t imagine how anyone can love someone and do this to the one he loves. And the thought that he can’t comprehend, not feel guilt, is terrifying, because it’s screaming for a repeat whenever he feels he’s lacking emotional affection.

    While he could sever his relationship with me so easily each time, he would fight fiercely to sustain his relationships with them. If only he’d put that much effort into ours.

    How is a person like that worthy of love at all? I don’t think it’s the mistrusting, I think what hurts most, is because you trusted. And that’s why you feel betrayed and deceived.

    I just know I should be more careful now. But man, the pain. I wish I could take a pill to make it disappear. I just can’t let go of him, because I’m still in love with him.

  11. (US)  I met a girl five months ago, and all she does when we go out is stare at guys, and tries to get their attention. It is really strange how she does it. She will stare at a guy till that guy turns around and notices her. They will then smile at each other, right in front of me, and flirt. She will go as far as looking behind me at guys, and waving to them knowing that I am watching her. She says she is just smiling, and she does it to everybody.

    She is going out with her ex of five years this Sun. I said I don’t feel good about this, and she said they are just continuing their friendship. She is also constantly receiving texts, and texting back in front of me. She also goes out with guy friends for drinks… I don’t like it. She says I am jealous or insecure. I am noticing her drinking habits everyday, and night. She is home now with her best friend. Tim, just friends. I feel humiliated, anxious, and hateful… Is it possible with this behavior that she might cheat? I don’t feel good about it. What would you do?

  12. (US)  Funny thing is she is not acting, or treating me any differently. Her smiles are the same, actions. The thought had crossed my mind that she may be living two different lives??

  13. (USA)  What if the emotional affair is with an adult daughter? It is impossible for me to be jealous of this becsuse of what it implies. However, clearly that is what my husband is attempting. He even snidely asks me if I am jealous, so this indicates that is his goal.

    He is sick with this usage of them to hurt and manipulate me. If I call it what it is, I am evil to suggest he is trianglating in a sick way. Everytime we have a fight about his lies or emotional abuse he runs to one of 4 daughters for the consoling and admiration he has destroyed in our relationship. He “excludes me by design in his relationships with them, then gets his ego strokes off of them while deliberating and maliciously knowing what he is doing. How sick is that? I would prefet an affair with a woman, not my own child.

    1. Wow! This is a horrible issue you have going on in your marriage. You are right when you call it sick. Mitzy, it’s not difficult to perceive that there is a lot of toxicity going on in your home. But it doesn’t have to KEEP going on in your home. You need to get some help from a competent counselor. This is way too complicated for the average person to sort through.

      There’s also a book I recommend you look over and then read. I’m including a link to it and encourage you not only to look over the potential of this book, but others that Amazon recommends, as well, on this issue. It’s called The Emotional Incest Syndrome. This and the other books will address the “child” who is caught up in this –to give him or her the help and insight that is needed. But I believe you can gain a lot of insight if you glean through it as the other parent. I would get them as soon as you can to stop this sick cycle from going on. However, I wouldn’t let my husband see you reading through them because you may end up causing more of a fight than you are truly prepared to battle. Pray, read, get counsel and then do what you know will stop this cycle of sickness.

      I’m sure your husband doesn’t realize just how sick this is. I’m sure he thinks he’s a good dad, who is siding with his daughters against you, because he thinks that’s ok. But it isn’t.

      However, if you confront him about this prematurely, you can just cause him to run even faster to his daughters than he is. That’s what happens in these kinds of situations. And I have a feeling that your daughters are clueless as to this type of syndrome dynamics going on. This is the “normal” they know right now. But, I have no doubt that it WILL effect them (if it hasn’t already started to) in many ways for the rest of their lives. They need their mom to look at it in truth, find out how to combat it, and be their hero here.

      Even though your daughters may seem to be against you at different times right now, that does not have to always be that way and shouldn’t be that way. Mothers and daughters often go through oppositional times. It’s a daughters way of pushing at her independence. But eventually, the relationship changes and daughters come back. (I’ve seen it over and over again — it did with my mom and me.)

      Please, Mitzy, pray, read, pray, get good counsel, and also work on the part of the marriage issues, which you can. Get help for that too. I sense so much bitterness in you. And it’s not that I don’t understand it, it’s just that this will poison you, your other relationships, your future, and whatever future you and your family can have. Please do what you can to break this cycle of sickness and get onto a healthier way of approaching matters. I hope you will.

  14. (INDIA)  Oh I wonder whether people who can share the thoughts in my blackbox. Me and my wife were in love for 2 yrs and got married for 11 yrs, brought up two kids to 9 and 6 yrs. We dreamed of being global citizens. I moved to London from India to set up the business. My wife got entangled with her saucy boss, acted weird and wrote crazy mails. I went back to India to solve the problem, but she has gone too far. When I investigated she dumped the kids at her mom’s place and went around for days with her boss in the name of the profession. I cried, checked her phones, email …the more I did the more my chest pounded like a drum beat through out the day. I lost my weight from 87 Kgs to 67 Kgs with in 5 months.

    I pleaded with her not to break the marriage. She brought in her lawyer and threatened criminal case. I couldn’t figure out whether I am mad or dead. What will happen to kids? Question haunted me. I accepted a forced mutual consent divorce that can be given earliest with the kids, with 100% custody and responsibility on me. I’m heart broken, financially broken and have lost hope on love and trust.

    My kids failed the school in 6th and 2nd standard. After that, I got married to a conservative lady who had a similar experience as mine with a kid from her last marriage. It was an agreement between us that her son gets a father and family and my sons will get a mother. From the first meeting to marriage it all happened in 10 days.

    Both, my ex wife and her boss went ahead and broke the marriage of their boss. And they threw alimony on his doting wife (that was a love marriage for 20 yrs).

    The real twist in my pysche comes. The experience of invalidation brought out the charmer and infidel in me. I can talk many women into bed in the confidence. I hate the flirt in me but I am not able to stop, to pin down flamboyant women, their marital status doesn’t matter. It has become an obsession. My wife seems to develop some sort of dedication for me. For me she is a good friend, good care taker and partner, nothing more. I don’t love her nor feel for her, nor any woman in this world.

    The images of my ex wife screwing around with that man runs volcanoes in me. My wife sees through my pain and feels bad that I don’t love her. On the other side she even feels I have become restless emotionally. I openly talk against marriage. Marriage is only for bearing and bringing up kids, otherwise, it is mutual suicide in this flattening world of cross cultures.

    My kids are still 13, 10 and 6 (the new addition). I am ok career-wise and financially. Many times I feel like divorcing this second wife as well, and not living with guilt. HELP ME DEAL WITH MYSELF.