Coping if Spouse Had Intense Feelings for Affair Partner

Affair sadness - grieving - AdobeStock_63769059 copyHow do you cope with the fact that your spouse had intense feelings for an affair partner? The trust you had for your spouse is shattered when you think that they could have cast your feelings off to the side in such a horrible manner. How do you get past your shattered feelings?

This article, written in a question and answer format, is not intended for those “who have recently discovered their spouse’s extramarital affair. But rather it is written for those who have been on a healing journey for a significant period of time, who desire to stay married, and whose spouses have done their part in taking responsibility for their affair and doing the work necessary to heal the marriage.”

Need to Take Steps Towards Healing

Sometimes we try to skip necessary steps in healing such devastation. Please know that it almost always takes years to heal from this type of betrayal. There are exceptions to most anything, although it would be rare if this would be one of them. Even if all the “conditions” are right, this is so. Please do all you can to allow yourself the time and make the effort to heal as you should.

With this in mind, for those that are ready, you can find the following article on the web site for the Beyond Affairs Network. This network, directed by Anne and Brian Bercht, helps those who are dealing with affair issues. It is directed by Anne and Brian Bercht. Please click onto the link provided below so you are able to read this article:

How Do You Cope if Your Spouse
Had Intense Feelings for Their Affair Partner

— ALSO —

Here is an article written by Joe Beam that gives insights into the type of love that affair partners start with. I believe you will find it to be especially relevant to this entire issue. He also explains why it isn’t a love that is sustainable at the same level and how it can go very wrong, eventually. I encourage you to read:


And then lastly, here is another article, written by Anne and Brian, that you may find helpful to read and prayerfully consider:

What Happens if the Cheating Spouse Loves the other Woman or Man?

We pray this helps in some way. May God give you insight, discernment, and healing.

If you have additional tips you can share to help others, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

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Filed under: Surviving Infidelity

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68 responses to “Coping if Spouse Had Intense Feelings for Affair Partner

  1. I have been happily married to my husband for 10 yrs we are not 12 yrs married! Last year I discovered he made contact with his first love who is married has children and grandchildren! I am 14 yrs his junior so I don’t see the point of him cheating on me as we use to be happily married! This woman came into the picture and has destroyed me emotionally; a lot of texting and emails were taking place, phone calls etc!

    She lives in another country so he goes twice year now to visit his mom but it’s more that meets the eye! I truly believe that he sees her they have committed adultery and her husband does not know about her affair! My husband denied that he slept with her, so I can I move forward! I was tempted to contact this woman’s husband! Please help!

    PS.I dated my husband for 9 yrs and in total 21 years to be cheated on! Quite frankly this is a disgrace! I am scared as I don’t want to contract any std’s diseases!

    1. 1. Have a test for STD immediately.
      2. Go with him to visit his mother
      3. Ask him to a supportive friend about his behaviour
      4. Tell him that you both need counselling or the marriage will end.

      I don’t believe leaving it will help. He needs to be shaken out of his fantasies before he crosses the line. What about his father? Is he or a brother able to speak to him?

  2. What does one do if… For 2 years you and your husband had a very hard time, you were diagnosed with a health issue that may or may not result in cancer or having or not having children. Your meds made you insanely crazy, mean, and jealous. Your husband also became at his worst distant, abrasive, and mean. Then he tells you he has been unhappy for some time and doesn’t know if he can move past the hurt caused by the both of us, and that the past 2 years was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting. That he feels we need time apart to see what happens.

    Then you find out he was also having an emotional affair, turned physical, with a close friend of yours. He tells you he is no longer in love with you, wants to separate to divorce, and is in love with your once friend. He still lives with you, you’re trying to fix the things he claimed needed to be fixed communication, attitude adjustments, behavioral pattern changes and so on.

    It has taken us months to get to a point of good standing. The affair is still on going. Then he tells you in an open conversation that he’s 50/50 about wanting and not wanting a divorce, that he wants one based on the unhappiness he felt, how we treated one another, and the fact that he allowed himself to get to a point where he betrayed me. That he doesn’t want one because we still have a deep connection, he loves me, cares for me, I’m still a safe place, a weakness, a comfort and I still feel like home to him.

    He also claims to have a similar yet different connection with her. Yet he also has reservations about them as anything serious because of the fact that she has 2 kids (11-20) She has no job, she lives with her mother, her father pays her bills, and that no matter what happens with us the guilt of how they came to be will always be there.

    He’ll be moving out soon and for 2 months he wants no contact with me. He doesn’t know what his decision will be by then and I’m honestly hoping for him to not make one. I know he feels guilty, and I know she does too. I know that what he feels fro her isn’t true, and that the connection they share is only how it feels because of how they came to be, and the infatuation they share.

    I’m worried; I want us to work, We’ve both agreed that if he comes back things will change. What really grinds my gears is the fact that I feel sometimes that she doesn’t know where he stands with us now, that he is intentionally not telling her because he wants her to continue to hold on until he figures it out.

    In the beginning he told her he felt he was over us, wanted to separate and divorce due to our issues. He claims she’s secondary to his decision and that he feels he can make a sound one while continuing to see her, be separate from me, work on a friendship with me, hang out with me and see what happens… I’m dumb founded by this because if he feels how he feels for her then won’t she play a big part in his decision? I honestly don’t know what to do. I love this man, I want him to come home to come back. Any advice???

    1. Hi Tina Marie, You need to concentrate on yourself at the moment. Get busy with a course, get fit, keep up contact with your friends or try a new hobby/sport.
      Regular exercise helps with being positive and clearing your head. This works! This means you’ll be calm, not emotional and in a good place when you eventually talk to him.

      Don’t waste any more time crying or worrying over him, concentrate on you. Then when time his No Contact periods ends you will also be in a better position to know what you want too!

    2. You mention he wants No Contact and still wants a friendship? From my experience in a similar situation this offer of friendship means that you still have a big chance. (Bigger than you realise.) The relationship can possibly come back if pathways are open and you maintain a friendship.

      I suggest you think about how you lost yourself in the relationship and how to get yourself back to you and to a good and happy place. This was true for me. You will need to improve yourself and get yourself back.

      I think he is genuine about his comment that she doesn’t play apart in the decision because it can be her or someone else. There are things that he is unhappy about in the relationship and/or with his life.

      Is he in the mid-life crisis age range?

      Though, it’s been a month since you posted. How are things moving along?

  3. Hello, I’m a spouse of a sex addict. He had no sexual relations with another women. Porn and masturbation for 45 years, 40 of those years he’s been married to me. I caught him first on the second day of the honeymoon. Then 3 others times in the act of self gradifacation and porn. Church leadership told me to go back home and pray harder, try harder and have more sex. Some even admitted to doing the same thing, while counseling us. I have never said no to him even when I was recovering from an illness or mayor or minor surgery. Whatever I could do for him I would. Even though he’s a computer researcher of everything else on the Internet, he never looked for help there for himself.

    He told me 2 weeks after I left this time, that he knew there was something wrong. I told him that years ago. He never listened to me. I’ve been separated from him for 9 months now. I filed for divorce 40 days ago. The heartache is in real. When I found the porn this time, I felt like a knife fell out of my heart. I stuck around for 2 days cause I had hand surgery and couldn’t drive. He never packed his bags to leave himself, even though he said in 2008 that if it ever happened again that he would leave. I couldn’t even speak to him this time as before I would go off on him. I packed my bags 2 days later and left on the train to my home town. When I got on the train I felt the Lord say: let him go and I’ll take care of him. I keep thinking of those words and I have to struggle everyday to let it go let it go!

    He’s in recovery with Pure Desire Ministery. For the first 7 months I’ve been gone, I got horrible emails and text from him. Even though he has been in counseling. He never tried to woo me back. I never heard him cry. Or plead with me. Even his 1 set of elders told me that they even asked him if he really wanted me back, or wanted the divorce too. They saw no humility in him. Of course he said he wanted me back, but that had said I didn’t want reconciliation. And I don’t. I have felt like I was in prison and I’ve been falling out of love with him for 3 years. I’ve never felt like I want to go back to him. I don’t feel like I could ever be his wife and lay with him again. They say I would have to have a plan set in place if he relapsed, and I just can’t do that anymore. I can’t take the pain anymore. So I guess because I told him I didn’t want reconciliation, he’s never been sweet or talked nice or you know tried to woo me at all.

    He has sent me an email saying he was sorry for everything, just 2 months ago. Please forgive me. He sent an email to our two grown adults and told them too, and that he was a hypocrite. Asked them to forgive him and all. I could see he’s finally getting it. I know he’s sorry. I feel sorry for him at times. He has heard from his 87 year old Mother that his own Father was involved in porn and emotional affairs. His Uncle too. Generational curse. His Father died at 63 years old and his Uncle too. They left him with a curse instead of a blessing. My husband has not told our grown adults yet about their Grandfather and Uncle. I mentioned it to my Son, and encouraged him to ask his Dad about it. Then left it at that. My husband’s mother kept it a secret all these years. I don’t even know if she’s told the other 2 siblings about the sin of their Father and Uncle. This is also a family that has a world renown Christian family name. My husband was born and raised in the church.

    I’ve asked God. Please Lord if you want me to go back, give me the desire to want too. Give me the desire to want to be with him. Let me feel some kind of love from my husband that feels like he’s understanding what his betrayal has done to me. 40 years I’ve submitted and done what the elders or pastor told me to do. But I just can’t go there anymore. I know he’s in a new place now with his Pure Desire counseling, but I have no desire to return to him. I’m just done with it. He also called me a thief and an extortionist. He’s not said he was sorry for that. I don’t want to go for tit and tat. He this, he that.

    I just don’t feel that he really wanted me back in the first place. I think he knew it was over, after I left. 40 years is such a along time to be married and live under this spirit of lust and un faithfulness. It has taken a toll on my body as well, and my health. Just can’t do it anymore. I only cope cause I go to women support group. It helps me get through another week. Thanks, shine any light on me if you can. In Him, Jeannie

    1. That CAN happen. That doesn’t mean that it is good or right for all involved –especially the spouse you pledged your commitment and fidelity to in marriage, but it can happen. Feelings can be fickle. They can go all over the place and include people we shouldn’t. But it comes down to what love do you feed? When you put energy into keeping “love” alive, it can grow. That, which is starved of time and energy will eventually have more of an opportunity to die. Just because we have feelings for someone, that doesn’t mean we should invest our time and energy into being a part of their lives and letting them be a part of our lives.

  4. Been together for 14 years, married for 7, with two children… I had a two year affair with a co-worker/close friend before and after this person got married. The affair was exciting and new and a definite escape for me as a woman trying to find her identity after kids and looking for an emotional connection that had gotten lost with my husband.

    While the affair was exciting, it caught us both off-guard to see how feelings were developed. The guilt and dishonesty ate me alive everyday but the connection I could not deny. While the affair was at one point mutually emotional, there was a change of how and why we were still having the affair. Then the relationship became toxic and went back and forth with who wanted to end it first- wanted to end it then changing our minds etc. The final straw in order to finally try to disconnect myself was to write an email to his wife regarding everything. He responded with hate and an 6 hour phone call how it was all my fault.

    Months went by and I did reach out again via email to encounter another 5 hour phone call of how he couldn’t see me but wanting to know everything I was up to and my husband as well and a verbatim recollection of the infamous email I wrote to his wife.

    I love my husband with my heart and soul and I confessed and we are both trying to struggle with everything to save our marriage. I do somehow feel as though I cannot get this person out of my mind and my life. I have definite trouble letting go of things but why do I still wonder how he is? I feel as though I’m stuck in a moment that will never end and I really want to move on with my life although it don’t know how… This ended 4 months ago… Just looking for honest 3Rd party opinions.

  5. Hello, my husband and I are married now for 35 years, together 38 years. In July 2015 I found out he was having an affair with a woman from a place he visits for work. He lied of course and when I confronted him he left but was only away for less than eight weeks and asked to come home.

    He was in bad shape, his blood pressure up, he was a stressed out mess, so I let him come home. We are going to marital therapy and it’s been going okay for the most part, but I have obsessions about this woman, and I looked in his phone and there was a message from her saying she hopes he is doing well; Hope it is going better and that she loves him. I confronted him and don’t know what I should now do. Help me.

  6. Well my situation is my husband had an affair on me but resulting in having a baby. I can accept the fact he’s got to support his child and that’s what he wants to do. The hardest part is trying to get over the child part, that it isn’t mine. I feel like he should support his son but right now he has no choice but to go over her house to see his child because it is a newborn. I feel that’s not right for him to go over there because that makes me feel insecure of what is going on. Even though he told me he doesn’t want her and it isn’t about her it is about his son but how do I know that for sure? I told him I want to work out my marriage but everybody keeps telling me we’re going to have a hard time because he has another child from somebody else. How would I handle this situation about this child??

    1. Chelsea, I’m not sure if this will help you process all of this, or not, but please glean through and consider what is posted on our web site at: Also, try as best as you can not to listen to what others are telling you. I’ve seen this over and over and over again where everyone else has “advice” for those in troubled marriages and with that negativity, it puts additional shadows over the whole situation. They may mean well, but they aren’t in your shoes, so please be careful about listening too much to what they have to say. Yes, it will be difficult and yes, boundaries need to be determined by both you and your husband, but I’ve seen it work fine, and even good. It isn’t what you would ever have chosen, obviously, but good can still come out of a difficult situation, if you allow it to. Please know that.

  7. My husband had an affair with a friend! They both lied about it; it also cost him his job because of all the emails he got while at work on work email. It’s been 7 years since that but I know he still has strong feelings for her. They talk about me behind my back and I’m always the bad guy when there is a problem in the friendship like now we (me and her are not talking). They sneak around and don’t tell me when they instant message, text, email or see each other. Help

    1. Hi Joanne, I am a husband married 36 years with 2 adult children. This is really difficult. He had an affair? (now over?) Or he is still having the affair now? Your text implies that you know her. 7 years ago but still not over. All you can do is decide for yourself what you’ll put up with, and what you will not tolerate. Pursuing open dialogue, telling him how this makes you feel, and being the best wife you know how to be are certainly positive actions for you to do. Do you know why/how this affair started? It does not have to mean you are inadequate in any way- please understand that…

      I had online affairs I am sorry to say. We never met each other, but the feelings were there. I had to decide the direction I would take. My wife and I had several talks about it… and we ended up writing letters to the on line affair partners together. For me this was VERY difficult. That was 1 year ago this month.

      Your husband needs to do the same. This is very hard on you to be sure, but also will be difficult for him to break these very strong ties. Please see the following website- I hope it helps: There are several other sites on the sidebar… also very enlightening.

      Take care… perhaps we hear from you again? You are always welcome here :) WP (Work in Progress)

  8. So my husband had an affair with a woman that he works with. I kicked him out; he came back, he left, he came back. We’ve been married 21 years and have a 3 year old and 10 month old. He said he chooses me and the kids when we are together, but when he goes to work and sees her he gets confused and his feelings for her come back and he says he doesn’t know what he wants. He said he’s told her that he wants to work it out with me, but every time they talk she tells him how happy she wants to make him and how much she wants him and to be with him. I’m praying and trusting God, but I’m so exhausted from the back and forth and the games and the no feelings one day,feelings the next. I don’t want my marriage to end; I want to work it out…but how much longer can I be expected to live like this??

    1. I read this and cried because I truly understand your pain and suffering. I just found out my husband of ten years had a 5 month affair. He wants me and our son but I don’t trust that he has cut off contact with the OW. He called her in front of me and told her the cannot talk anymore and that he wants to work things out with me. She was so mad because she thought he and I were seperated. Nope. It’s the worst kind of pain and it’s hard for me to be in the same house with him right now. I don’t know what to do. I am sending your virtual hugs! I wish I had someone here who knows what I am going through. I could really use the support.

      1. I am going through the exact same thing. He had the affair and even called her and put her on speaker so I could hear him tell her he was working things out with me. She got mad and started sending me nasty text messages and calling my phone. She still calls him and now I don’t know if its even over between them. I hate this feeling; I just want my marriage back.

  9. Ok, so I’m not married but I’ve been with my partner almost 4 years and we have a 19 month old son. While I was in the hospital with our sick son I found out that he had been having a 5 month affair which he of course denied and then when I said there are text messages (proof) he finally confessed he had slept with her, but only once. Now, I looked back at the messages and it seems to me it’s not on one occasion if someone says, I quote: “I can’t wait to get my hands back on you and your gonna love,” am I weird in thinking they have obviously slept together more than once? I’m soo heartbroken.

    Things weren’t great at the start and that was my fault but we grew and I thought the love and foundation we had built was fairly strong. We haven’t been arguing and we just celebrated our 3 year anniversary in February but he started seeing her in March. I’ve spoken to the other woman and he apparently told her we had split up and that he is only being civil for the sake of our son and I’m not there for him and he has never felt close to anyone like he has her. Worse part was the dirty texts which went into detail that I had to read. I physically feel sick. I’m not sure I could ever go there with him again but he has said he would do whatever it takes to make this right; he’ll do whatever I want so I thought maybe we could see a counselor and get a professional opinion and then after the final session I can see if this is something I would want to continue with or go on my own path and start a new life with my son.

  10. Two years ago my husband had an affair with his female friend. He admitted it was a sexual thing; she would call and get him aroused. He has rejected me for sex ever since. I cry and plead to see why he got aroused for her then but doesn’t with me. He only says for me to leave if I’m not happy.

  11. My husband used to exchange text with other women and got caught. Though he is telling that he is not maintaining the relationship anymore, the thought seems to prick me throughout my life that he cheated on me. He loves another women but ours was also a love marriage. Can you give any solace?

    1. Maitreyee, I’m so sorry that your husband did this to you. How I wish I could give you a hug and assure you that all will be well. I pray that God will minister to your heart, and I pray for your husband that he will open his eyes to see that what he did to you is beyond horrible. All I can advise you to do is to try as best as you can, praying that God will help you, to not keep thinking about this as much as you can. The more you allow it to spend time in your mind the more you will be haunted by it and it will do more damage than what you have already experienced. When these horrible thoughts come into your mind throw them out as if they are junk mail. They will do you no good, and will only harm you. And then find something else to put into your mind immediately. Put something good in, such as praying for your marriage, and crowd the bad thoughts out.

      Also, find ways to grow your love with your husband. Marrying because of love is wonderful. But it takes added effort for the rest of your lives together to keep growing your love, or it could die. Yes, God can resurrect the dead, so love can come back, but it is better to keep growing it, than to go through that difficulty. The more you show love, the more your love has a chance to grow, and the less he will be tempted to look other ways. My mom did this when my dad had intense feelings for another woman. Eventually, he left the other woman, and came fully back to my mom as she kept doing things that grew their love once again for each other. They eventually had a very good marriage again. I hope and pray this can be the same for you.