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SoConfusedEagle posted 8/16/2013 22:41 PM


I need some help. I'm a married mother of two. I met a man over a year ago. We became fast friends. He is interested in art and our conversations were fascinating. He's a really great guy. He is married and has two kids as well. We talk about our kids often. Our friendship quickly progressed from acquaintances to really good friends. We texted a lot and talked on the phone occasionally.

He ran a store most of the first year I knew him. I would go and spend an hour or two there with him a few times a week just chatting. We were often alone, but we respected each others marriages. My husband knew about him from the beginning. He was okay with my friend until I told him how special my friendship with OM was and started spending a lot of time there. My husband started snooping into my text messages. He began telling me that he wasn't comfortable with our relationship and the familiar tones of our text messages. He said it was getting too intense for him and asked me to stop. I assured my husband that the OM and I were just friends and that we shared a special connection between friends. He'd be okay with it if he really understood me, the woman he married.

My husband became more and more obsessive about my relationship with the OM. It caused quite a few fights. I actually reached a point last summer where I didn't speak to my husband for almost a week because he was driving me crazy with his complaining and obsessive nature. He started claiming that as my relationship with OM became less casual, the intimacy drained out of our marriage. He begged and begged me to tell him I loved him that week, but I couldn't. He used to be a strong man but he'd gotten to be a needy, smothering and paranoid. He was starting to drive me crazy and into depression with his accusations.

Anyways, OM and I spent a lot of time together. Around November we exchanged a few “sexually charged” texts. My husband found them and exploded. He demanded that I cut off all contact with my friend. I told my husband that those texts meant nothing and they were only like the two of us writing poetry to each other. My husband was not impressed. He continued to demand that I end my friendship. Now OM was my only real friend. My other friendships were superficial and I don't really have any close girlfriends. I didn't want to give him up but finally I did and it was very painful.

My husband seemed to liven up at this point.

A little over two months later I sent OM a quick text just to say hi.

I sent him another text a month later on my son's birthday when we were out as a family having a special outing. My husband saw me texting and asked who it was. I told him it was OM. He almost walked out of the museum. I let him alone so he could get over it.

Another month passed before we texted again. He was just trying to help me get a job at this bar he tended on the weekends. A couple weeks later we started texting again on a semi-regular basis.

My husband noticed and spoke to me about it. When I had initially agreed to stop seeing OM, my husband had said that maybe in the future, once our marriage had recovered, our families could be friends. So I felt that this new contact was acceptable. Our marriage seemed fine to me.

We had been in MC for a while now. My husband kept insisting I wasn't being intimate and affectionate enough to him. I kept assuring him I was and that our life was really great and we had a nicely kept house and I made it very pretty for him and the kids.

About a month and a half ago my husband really broke down. He told me I wasn't paying him enough attention and I realized it too. So I began showing him affection again. He wanted to be touched and kissed so I did. But it didn't seem to be enough for him. A few weeks ago he he needed me to own up to the fact that I had an emotional affair with OM and show remorse towards him. I told him he just didn't understand my relationship with OM and that I didn't know if I wanted to be married to a man who wanted to keep and control me and choose my friends. Especially now when OM and I only text every so often and have only seen each other in person a few times in the past few months.

In our most recent MC session I realized that I did hurt him very much and that I wanted to be with my husband. However, I don't want to lose my friend and my husband is insisting I give him up for good, forever. OM and I barely talk and barely see each other but he is an important part of my life and still my only real friend. I'm starting to feel my husband getting needy again with all this emotional affair talk and how I'm not doing things right and why I would want to keep someone in my life who I “cheated” on him with.

I don't know what to do! I love my husband and want to be happy with him but I don't want to lose my friend.


BaxtersBFF posted 8/16/2013 22:58 PM

You can't have both. Your relationship with the OM is really no different than any of us here who are WS' s had with our OW/OM. If it was meant to be you two wouldn't be tearing the hearts out of your spouses and your kids.

Think of it another would you feel if your husband was spending so much time texting some woman?

stilllovinghim posted 8/16/2013 23:44 PM

IMHO, you're lucky your H is still there. You have not realized the hurt you've inflicted. Not at all. It was only pointed out to you. You've trivialized the whole damn thing! It was "only " this or it was "just" that. Bull. The OM, is not a "great guy" nor is he a "friend". He is a liar and a cheater. Like you. He is an enemy of the M.

Right now, you need to decide if you're willing to stay or go. Now. Not later. Now. Stay and work your ass off, or leave and be in a relationship with a cheater and break up two families. Come on. Do the right thing. Put on your big girl panties and roll up your sleeves. Start by heading over to the Healing Library on your left. Post, read and get thyself into IC.

pizzalover posted 8/16/2013 23:53 PM

Welcome to Si! This is a great place to post to get a lot of help and feedback, even though the feedback may sting at times. In order for you start to heal your marriage, you need to go NC (no contact) with the OM. You cannot continue to see him, email him, text him, or call him. He cannot be a part of your life if you want your marriage to survive. Delete his number. Delete him from FB (if you're on there). Delete his email. Don't go to the bar he works at. Cut off ALL communication. The OM is NOT your friend. I convinced myself of that while I was in my A, but it's a lie. A friend wouldn't engage in an activity that would hurt you or your marriage. I also convinced myself that I was a friend to his wife (you can read my story for more info).

I see that you're in MC, which is good. However some IC would benefit to start to dig into your Wayward behaviors. Have you started that? In the meantime, I suggest that you read the Healing Library. There are a lot of great articles there. And keeping posting here. It helps!

[This message edited by pizzalover at 11:54 PM, August 16th (Friday)]

EvolvingSoul posted 8/17/2013 00:23 AM

I think one of the best things you could do right now is read "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass. That book was the first step for me to begin to see what my relationship with OM actually was. Still took a long time to come to grips with it. Might be an eye opener for you.

Trying33 posted 8/17/2013 01:11 AM

You will NEVER feel close to your husband or have any emotional intimacy with him as long as this other man is on the scene.

It's irrelevant the frequency of which you communicate/have contact with him. Even the anticipation of doing so, occupies your mind and distracts you from your real MAIN relationship.

Many people on this forum will identify with feeling ENTITLED and the whole "well why can't I have both?"

I used to think the same. It's absolutely NOT possible.

And one more important thing:
By the sound of your post, it really is only a matter of time before it becomes physical and before you get so "fed-up" of your H that you will take it underground (become secretive about it).

Don't do it.

Joanh posted 8/17/2013 09:29 AM

So Confused, WElcome here. There are going to be hard times and hard decisions coming up here. The people on SI have really helped me and kept me on track. So stick around read and learn , take what works and leave the rest.
Stop texting and thinking of this man. You are emotionally cheating on your husband. WHo obviously loves you and wants to be with , He's asking . He's giving you the chance. Please listen to me. I had the opportunity to step away. Last summer I was told this "friend " was trying to get take our family away from my H. I just said we were friends and we were just having fun like we allways had. The difference was I enjoyed our friendship. I didn't want to give up that "friend" It turned Sexual. And I had NO intention of it going that way. It just did and I allowed the journey to happen. And now not only does my Husband Know that his wife has shared her body, but also there were emotions involved as well.

Seriously reverse the roles. Don't bull shit yourself. If he was doing what you are doing you would be yelling at him to stop, and scared that you are going to loose him. Sorry you have really two options. Leave your H or NC the AP. You can't have both. Read Not just Friends. Its an eye opener. The fact is I don't have many friends either. I have one girlfriend and this AP has been a friend of the family for 15 years. Never would I have thought it would go to this point. How wrong a person can be and how we can lie to ourselves.!

TimeToManUp posted 8/17/2013 11:25 AM

This was probably the only real "fog" I ever had to clear away from my thoughts after DDay. I knew right from the moment I was confronted that I wanted to be with my wife and kids. At the time, I was still under the delusion that since it never led to sex it wasn't that bad. The OW was a coworker in our case. When my BW told me I had to go NC with OW, I resisted at first. Initially with "Oh, I don't have many friends. I work so much all of my regular friends don't call anymore because I'm never available. What will I ever do without my work friend who cheated on her boyfriend with a married man and father of three young girls? Oh boo-fucking-hoo for me." And the sick thing is, my BW actually felt BAD at first for taking my friend away. The next rationalization was "It's going to look weird and feel uncomfortable when people notice we don't talk anymore." What? WHAT?? Did I actually say that? Yep, I sure did. Because I was a selfish, confused child. How could I have ever expected my wife to allow me to continue a friendship with this person?? From where I sit now, and I hope it's a place you one day reach if you truly love your husband, I can't believe that you can write those thoughts down and read them and think about them (I read every post I type after it's posted to make sure I didn't miss any points) and not see the absurdity in them.

Please don't think I'm being judgmental, because as I've said I was in your shoes myself once. You can't stay friends with this man. You have shared too many intimate thoughts. Too many inside jokes. Too many special moments. If you love your husband, OM MUST go. Good luck to you.

NoGoodUsername posted 8/17/2013 13:01 PM

I understand your feelings here. As a WH, I was there not that long ago and I understand your problem in my bones.

Please listen to me. You are in an emotional affair, not a simple friendship. Just because you haven't been physical yet, does not mean this is not serious. Depending on the situation, an EA can be more damaging than the physical side. From what you have said, you are probably in that situation.

You are siding with your affair partner against your spouse.
You are taking resources from your marriage and putting them elsewhere.
You are realigning your loyalties.
You are experiencing self-deception. You get emotional benefits from your affair and the conflicting feelings about loyalty to your husband and the attachment to your affair partner are causing cognitive dissonance. You are self protecting by coming up with justifications about why it is not only OK, but good to maintain this friendship. Almost all of us have done this. It's very human but that doesn't make it OK.

You are about to step over a line that you cannot ever undo. Please stop now before you do irreparable harm to your marriage. This is the voice of recent experience talking.

If you want to have a chance of saving your marriage, you must go 'no contact' with your affair partner. I know that you don't want to hear this and that it feels impossibly hard. So many of us on SI know this pain. You have to do it anyway.

You have my empathy in this.

(edited for typo)

[This message edited by NoGoodUsername at 1:46 PM, August 17th (Saturday)]

3xloser posted 8/17/2013 15:21 PM

If your husband is telling you that your relationship with your friend is draining energy and attention away from your M then it is. He isn't being paranoid. He feels your emotional needs being met elsewhere at the expense of his own in an emotional affair. You need to choose who is more important to you. If it is honestly your husband then you need to respect him enough to end your friendship. If that isn't the case, you need to respect your husband enough to let him know.

SoConfusedEagle posted 8/17/2013 17:16 PM

Thank you for your responses.

The OM is NOT your friend. I convinced myself of that while I was in my A, but it's a lie. A friend wouldn't engage in an activity that would hurt you or your marriage.

He IS a good friend. We are both very sorry for how far we let the relationship go. He hasn't told his wife about it and my husband has known since the beginning. We are truly sorry and won't let it happen again but we want to remain friends.

If we're careful and realize that these feelings are in the past we will be fine. I remember a quote from somewhere, along the lines of "You can't step in the same pool of water twice."

Like I said, we barely see each other anyways!

You will NEVER feel close to your husband or have any emotional intimacy with him as long as this other man is on the scene.

It's irrelevant the frequency of which you communicate/have contact with him. Even the anticipation of doing so, occupies your mind and distracts you from your real MAIN relationship.

Many people on this forum will identify with feeling ENTITLED and the whole "well why can't I have both?"

I've had lots of male friends in my life before this little blip. My husband was ALWAYS ok with it. It seems like now he has forgotten who I am. Why can't this be any different?

I realized I pulled away from him and I'm trying to correct that now. I'm as affectionate as our hectic day allows and I do love him so much. It's just that I can't imagine my husband wanting me to let my friend go. I can't imagine letting him go! I'll be left with no friends ad such an emptiness. My friend fills a big hole left by my choice to give up my career and my interests and be a stay at home mom.

TimeToManUp posted 8/17/2013 17:32 PM

I've had lots of male friends in my life before this little blip.

Minimize much? Do you have any idea how hurt your husband would be if he knew you thought this "friendship" was just a "little blip?" I imagine, from my experience, that he would either go off in a rage or break down in despair.

My husband was ALWAYS ok with it

...Until now. Which should show you that there is something different and WRONG with this relationship. He apparently has never cried wolf in the past to make you feel bad about these friendships, so when he tells you this one hurts, it's probably because it does. And just my opinion, but if you REALLY think this friendship is OK, I'd be inclined to think some of your past male friendships may have been sketchy. Again, I'm not judging you. I just want you to really think about what you're doing and what effects it is having on your husband, your marriage and your family. You will find a lot of support here, because we've all been there... But you're not going to find many (if any) who feel that this relationship should continue.

uncertainone posted 8/17/2013 17:58 PM

 He IS a good friend. We are both very sorry for how far we let the relationship go

My best friend that was more like sister to me had an affair with my ex. She was a good friend. She truly was. I found this out after we divorced and was posting here. I'm wayward. I can understand how some can make these choices. I can never be friends with her again. She fractured the foundation and destroyed all ties to me with her choices. 

You and he have done that to each other. Your choices individually and collaboratively denigrated the importance of you both keep promises and commitments. You supported each other in that assault. That level of disrespect of yourselves and each other are lethal. To push that aside creates repeated trauma. 

The quote is "you could not step twice in the same river" but you are misusing it. It is quite possible to make the same disastrous choices with the same person. It happens all the time. Heraclitus was speaking of life changing us as the flowing water changes the river. The river will be different as will the man be (the rest of that quote basically). The problem with that is that unless the change is made at our core to understand why those choices were ever considered as viable no matter how life changes us the outcomes are not going to be different. Toxic thought processes poison. 

You still have them. Start digging and finding what internal support system you had and added on to in order to enable those choices. It's hard. It's priceless. This site can help. Welcome

Alyssamd24 posted 8/17/2013 18:03 PM

How old are your children? Are there any playgroups or other activities in your area that you could get your children involved in, and at the same time meet other mothers that you could build relationships with?

Or maybe sign yourself up for some type of class or something similar so you can explore your own interests?

While I understand the lonely part, you cannot fill the void by having a relationship with a M man, especiallyy when said relationship is causing so many issues in your M.

When my A was discovered I also explained to my BH that my AP was a wonderful friend to that I had had sex with and snuck around with for three months before my BH finally caught us. I thought that AP was such a great guy because after my BH kicked me out of the house, the AP was still there supporting me and listening to me, and offering his advice....I understand how you feel, I really do.

I had an extremly difficult time going NC with my AP, and am finally now taking the steps I need to move on with my life after 8 months. I thought that I was in love with him and he with me and couldnt imagine my life without him....but as long as he was in my life I knew I wouldnt be able to R with my BH and fix myself.

My BH and I are still seperated, he has refused to let me move back home, and at this point it looks like I am about to start my life over as a single BH is asking you to end your contact with this man so you can fix it now before its too late, before your BH gives up on you and you also begin your life as a single parent.

No friendship should be more important than your relationship with your H. And if it is, then get a D.

floridaredman posted 8/17/2013 20:04 PM

He IS a good friend. We are both very sorry for how far we let the relationship go. He hasn't told his wife about it and my husband has known since the beginning

Why do you think he hasn't told his wife about his wonderful female friend that he shares intimate and emotional chats (if that's all) with?

Because she would make him stop. Just as your husband has tried to make you stop.

Your husband is not trying to break up your friendship, he's trying to break up your affair.

You know for yourself that this is inappropriate even if you say the contact has "lessened"
You're bargaining with your husband. You show him love and affection just to keep OM in the picture.

If he was a good friend he would be supporting your marriage. Not taking from it.
He's taking from your husband and you are allowing it, minimizing it and keeping it for selfish reasons.

Your husband would not feel threatened if this man was a real friend.
He may be a "Good" friend to you,but he has become an enemy to your husband and marriage.

You have to make a choice now. You crossed the line so now you have to choose. Your marriage or your OM. You can't have both now.
One more thing, if he was really a friend you would have never referred to him as OM.

[This message edited by floridaredman at 8:06 PM, August 17th (Saturday)]

EvolvingSoul posted 8/17/2013 20:05 PM

I've had lots of male friends in my life before this little blip. My husband was ALWAYS ok with it. It seems like now he has forgotten who I am.

Your story has some strong parallels with mine. I too had had many friendships with males over the course of my life, leading right up to the affair. My husband knew this when we got married. I told him I could not abide jealousy. He appeared to tolerate so much questionable behavior. Even when he told me (many times) he was unhappy with how much time and energy I spent on OM (and this was when he did not know we were having sex) each time I felt justified in wanting both. I rationalized why I needed both. I rationalized that I wasn't taking anything away from my him or the marriage. OM and I just had a special connection. We both thought we might've known each other in former lives. We talked about being soulmates with bad timing. Even after D-day my position was that the only thing wrong with my relationship with OM was that we had crossed the line with sex. I was ambivalent about even trying to reconcile and I made very similar arguments about not wanting to be controlled and BS not really understanding who I am.

I'll say right now that the person who wasn't understanding who I was at that time was me. What NoGoodUsername said about cognitive dissonance is absolutely spot on. It is at times a necessary short term coping mechanism but as a long term coping strategy it'll wreck you. To sustain it takes a lot of emotional energy and it desensitizes you to the effects your choices are having on the people around you. I think that's why you have been able to trivialize what has assuredly been an identity breaking experience for your BS as a "blip".

The choice you have in front of you is not BS or OM. It's Mental Health or Not Mental Health. Choosing the former starts with a commitment either being married or a single parent. UncertainOne explained why OM cannot be a mentally healthy choice for your future.

Start some personal work and do some research on the true nature of infidelity. This site is an invaluable resource. Lots of books and counsellors out there too who can help you figure out how your brain is wired for betrayal and how to rewire it so you become a safe person to be in relationship with for others, for yourself and for teaching the same to your kids.

I hope you go NC and stick around.

Edited for typos.

[This message edited by EvolvingSoul at 8:21 PM, August 17th (Saturday)]

PhantomLimb posted 8/17/2013 20:34 PM

WS only on stop sign threads.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 8:54 PM, August 17th (Saturday)]

JustDesserts posted 8/17/2013 21:39 PM


You're receiving incredible insights, support, and guidance borne of experience, hard knocks, and healing here. I hope for your sake your listening ears are in the fully on position. JD

Good topic and great read.

SoConfusedEagle posted 8/17/2013 21:57 PM

I have been listening and it seems I have a lot to think about.

I'm afraid. If I give up my friend, I'm afraid that I won't be able to participate in our marriage. I've said that to my husband before, I've said I wanted to be in this marriage but I don't think I could do it without having my friend.

I also don't know what to think about my husband. As I've said he's being very needy and emotional right now. This whole situation is driving him and me into depression. He seems to have taken something so minor and gone crazy with it. I don't want to lose him. I don't want to hurt him anymore.

I don't want to be lost anymore and I don't think he wants to either. If I choose to stay, go No Contact with OM, how do I treat my husband when I know he made me give up someone close to me.

Alyssamd24 posted 8/17/2013 22:10 PM

so confused,

i am not trying to judge you, and as i said before i understand your pain and can truly empathize with you...

that being said, why do you need to have your friend in order to participate in your marriage? A marriage should be between two people, not three.

your BH is not trying to hurt you by having you go NC and ending your A, he is trying to save your M and the life you two have built together.

The reason your BH has been emotional and needy is you are hurting him and breaking him by continuing your A with your "friend".

An emotional affair is defined as:

"A relationship between a person and someone other than (their) spouse (or lover) that has an impact on the level of intimacy, emotional distance and overall dynamic balance in the marriage. The role of an affair is to create emotional distance in the marriage."[1]

You are involved in an EA...not a friendship.

Like I said, I am not trying to judge you or be harsh, but I think you need to re evaluate your situation.

Good luck to you

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