Forum Archives

Return to Forum List

Betrayed by my husband's emotional adultery

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

TropicalWoman posted 9/10/2013 12:53 PM

Please allow me to apologize in advance for the length of my post. Iím new to this forum, and especially new to the betrayal that has been my torment over the last two months. My H and I have been married for 13 years, and have two small children (5 and 3). Weíve had intimacy issues in our marriage for a long time, but apart from that there was never any reason for alarm Ė we never fought, we never argued or even raised our voices to each other. Turns out that over that period of time my husband internalized the rejection he felt every time I postponed times of intimacy and never thought to discuss his feelings with me. Instead, he began a close relationship with a co-worker in February of this year Ė it started ďinnocentlyĒ enough, where he took her to lunch for her birthday, but it escalated from there to numerous dinner dates during the week and on Saturdays. I never questioned his late arrival at home since his job requires that sometimes Ė I always took him at his word when he said he had late appointments and training sessions on Saturdays. In the meantime I felt burdened and overwhelmed by the kids, tied down all the time, but I never complained.

In October of 2012 when I again postponed intimacy he became cold and distant for a few weeks, but then he warmed up again in December. He finally decided to voice his discontent in February when he suddenly went cold again, and I immediately arranged counseling. From that moment on I began to make a change in my attitude towards intimacy with him. The thing is that he continued to go out with the OW after the counseling session, while he acknowledged that I was in fact improving (turns out I wasn't doing enough). I found out about the EMA in June when I came across a questionable text message on his phone one Saturday. My suspicions were heightened when I realized his phone password was changed on Sunday. I confronted him about it on Monday and he actually looked relieved that I found out. He didnít deny anything. He admitted he became extremely close to the OW, to the point that he told her he loved her, but through it all there was no sexual intercourse Ė the A lasted for 3 months. He admitted to kissing her up until two weeks before the confrontation. I was devastated because in the past when I heard stories from other people I would be the first to say that my husband would NEVER do that to me. I couldnít be more wrong. The thing is, weíre both born-again Christians, and actually thatís what he says kept him from going all the way with her.

To cut a very long story short, we reconciled that Friday and he broke it off with her on the following Monday since she was out of the country for the weekend. She didnít take it well at all, and since he apparently didnít want to drive her over the edge he eased himself out of the relationship slowly. As it stands now, heís cut off all contact with her, heís stopped entertaining her calls, and heís very attentive to me. She even resigned from the Company. I acknowledge my responsibility in his betrayal since he wasnít getting the attention and respect at home, but I canít get all these images of the two of them out of my head Ė weíve had talks from time to time about the A, but not for very long because he gets really uncomfortable talking about it. Heís told me that he understands my need to discuss it, but what he really wants to do is to block the whole episode from his mind. In his words, he's beat up on himself about his actions many times, asking himself "what the hell was I thinking?". Iíve still got so many questions that are screaming out for answers, and I know that theyíll hurt, but I need to get closure. I can see that heís remorseful, and I know that on some level heís hurting about what he did to me, especially since I didnít lash out at him, retaliate, or even confront the OW (and I had plenty of opportunity to do that). Even my confrontation with him on that Monday was very calm. I love my husband very much, and I donít want to cause him any more discomfort over something that he canít do anything about since we all know he canít change the past, but what else can I do? Our intimacy has returned full blast and there are no problems in our marriage now except for the demons in my head and heart. Iím so tired battling them, so very tired. I feel like I'm being punished 24/7. Most of all, Iím afraid that I may have unresolved anger and resentment that could blow up in my face later on. What should I do?

[This message edited by TropicalWoman at 1:18 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)]

Lucky posted 9/10/2013 13:18 PM

Welcome to SI Tropical Woman!

You asked what you should do? Well, you should not rug sweep. By that we (general) mean avoiding the subject, not talking about, not digging into the why's, how to prevent it again, working on true remorse, eventual forgiveness....

I strongly urge couples to find a qualified MC (marriage counselor) who is trained in infidelity. Some have found that some religious based therapy wasn't helpful, others have found it wonderful. Just don't let an MC tell you to immediately forgive and never to discuss it. You will explode.

TropicalWoman posted 9/10/2013 13:23 PM

Thanks for your reply, Lucky. It helps so much to be able to quietly vent in this environment.

Believe me, I don't want to avoid discussing the issue - left up to me we'd be talking the heck out of it. My worry is that I'll be pushing him away if I keep trying to get him to discuss it. The last time we talked about it was two days ago. I've said nothing at all about it since then.

I pray that all of the hurting members of SI, including myself, can get closure and really move on to a painless future where this situation is concerned.

God bless you.

Lucky posted 9/10/2013 13:28 PM

Your fear is understandable especially for someone brand new into this special brand of hell.

Have you considered writing out your questions and asking him to respond in that manner?

Scubachick posted 9/10/2013 15:02 PM

You did nothing wrong so why are you pushing aside your feelings, questions and concerns just to make him more comfortable? Just like your husband didn't discuss the rejection he was feeling from postponed intimacy, you are now doing the same thing. He should know how you are feeling. He should be more than willing to feel uncomfortable in order to be there for his wife and help her work through the damage that he caused.

Skan posted 9/10/2013 20:17 PM

The more you talk, the faster you both will be helped to get through this. NOT talking is what contributed to this situation, after all. Have you considered a MC? Your church may be able to refer you to one. In our conference, we have a Christian-based counseling group. Our MC who is now my IC when I need to talk is a Methodist pastor, and my FWHs IC is a Lutheran pastor. There is no religious talk unless it's wanted, but they are both fully accredited councilors and fantastic people. Perhaps having someone like this to jointly talk to, might make it easier for both of you.

TropicalWoman posted 9/10/2013 20:26 PM

Thank you all so much for your input. You've helped me more than you know. God bless you all.

PamJ posted 9/10/2013 21:27 PM

I am surprised no one else mentioned this, but how exactly do you know it was not a PA,that there was no sex? Are you taking his word for it as you did not confront the OW.

I am just curious as you seem willing to take most of the blame for the cause of the A and he seems 'uncomfortable' talking about it.

Well, he SHOULD feel uncomfortable, but he has to talk, you both have to talk about it or it will resurface in some form or other again if not dealt with.

IMHO taking the word of someone who deceived you is folly.

[This message edited by PamJ at 9:27 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)]

ladya posted 9/12/2013 05:36 AM

Our stories are very similar. I think you are still in shock and functioning on auto pilot. An EA can be just as traumatic as a PA so don't beat yourself up over that. I think you will need a MC to truly fix the issues and not rug sweep. He needs to understand that you have a right to talk about it and he owes that much to you. My FWH still hates it when I talk about it but he deals with my questions.

He needs to be open and transparent with you at all times and be crystal clear with her that there will be NC ever again.

I hope things go well for you. You'll be in my prayers.

lifeishard24 posted 9/12/2013 07:47 AM

I just wanted to add my two cents to something Lucky stated earlier. We are 1 year out from my wife's emotional affair with our brother in law, and are no closer now to R than before counseling. Our counselor was religious based, but took the approach of minimizing everything to avoid confrontation. Called her thousands of texts and photos "inapproprate messages", doesn't like to use the term affair (sounds dirty), etc.. Lets work on the positive and pretend none of this happened. Well, you can guess the rest. His refusal to make my wife face her actions and the circumstances that eventually led to her seeking comfort from another man has allowed her to continue her communications (why not, she did nothing wrong in the first place? Otherwise the counselor would have used the term affair!) I felt we were in R, but after reading others stories and receiving advise here, I now know we are not. I'm beginning to wonder if we ever will be. They need to have their feet held to the fire. This is no place for turning the other cheek. The only way to rebuild is to tear down and start over. Pretending it never happened allows it to happen over and over again. I realize everyone's circumstances are different. I dont' want my wife to suffer a life sentence for what she did. But I do want to see a little remorse for her actions.

Blobette posted 9/12/2013 07:51 AM

Also, sounds like you might be candidates for Retrouville. You can do a search on it -- it's a way to improve communication and gain intimacy. I'd love to do it with WH except our lives are so complicated right now (kids, jobs, etc).

I hope you're right that this wasn't a full out PA (physical affair). But be warned that we have a few cases on here of ministers who have cheated! So being a committed Christian guarantees very little, apparently. I only say this to brace the shock if you do find out this is true. So often we have folks on here who swear up and down that it was only an EA, only to find out later that the WH was minimizing their sin, trying to "protect" their spouse. You should probably read through the Healing Library (in the yellow box in the upper left of the screen). And do tell your WH that being anything less than 100% truthful will only harm your chances of making it through.

And please, please, don't assume too much of the blame. Your WH had options other than cheating. None of us is perfect and our imperfections do not justify cheating. I'm sure your WH has his own issues. But you didn't cheat. This is on him.

And even though you're talking now... the fact that you never fought or whatever doesn't mean your R was good -- it may mean you suppressed an awful lot. So there is probably a lot of stuff to discuss in MC and ways to improve your marriage. But you need to work through the affair first.

Good luck. So sorry you're here.

TropicalWoman posted 9/12/2013 10:48 AM

Thanks so much everyone, for all of your responses. Yesterday was particularly hard since thoughts of the affair were foremost in my mind - when my husband heard my state (over the phone, I called him at the office) he was very compassionate and when he got home he was extra attentive to me.

I've taken Lucky's advice and written a letter to him with all of the questions that are currently in my head and heart, but instead of just giving it to him I'm going to try to get face-to-face time with him tonight after the kids are asleep and read it out for him. It's important to me that I see his reaction he sees mine.

Early on, when I first found out, we had counseling with our Pastor and through his help and guidance we are actually in the "honeymoon" stage of reconciliation. The intimacy issues we had in the past are no more - completely non-existent now. But our Pastor's advice to me was that I should focus on where we are now, how much better our marriage is, how committed he is to me now (which I actually see in his actions) and just move forward, not going back into what he did. Since I know that his advice is really not going to change, I have not approached him recently.

After tonight, though, I really am going to try to move forward without dwelling on the affair. It's too painful right now, and the questions that I have written down to ask are really the only ones that I need answered. I plan on facing my triggers head-on (for example, he has to take me to dinner to the restaurants they've been to so that the stigma of "that's THEIR special place" is removed). It'll hurt initially, but I'm going to beat this. I'M GOING TO BEAT THIS.

Again, I thank all of you so much. For those of you who are still going through this, I hate to meet you all under these circumstances and I pray for full restoration and peace for all of you. I thank you also so much for your prayers. Pray for me tonight.

learningtofeel posted 9/12/2013 11:16 AM

Dear TropicalWoman,

I send you all my empathy for the journey ahead. It is just so hard. But we are here and I can only say that in the past few months I have found enormous solace in the realization that everyone goes through this more or less in a similar way - with individual variations, of course - but the process is out there and we will support each other.

When I first started reading SI posts I didn't think I'd see myself in others, but now I do all the time, and I take strength from knowing that we can get through this.

So keep reading posts. You may get some TT (trickle truth) along the way from your WH (for example, they do really want to minimize and it takes a while for it all to come out)and that will be hard, but we will be here.

It's a roller coaster. Time helps and it takes time to even realize that.

We are with you.

TropicalWoman posted 9/14/2013 08:50 AM


I sat down last night with my husband and we discussed - in detail - his affair. It was painful, but the good news is that he was completely open and there was full disclosure. He didn't hesitate to answer any of the questions I asked him. One very painful detail he shared with me was that even though there was no full sexual intercourse between them both, the OW performed oral sex on him but he never reciprocated. He said he always found an excuse not to return the favor, most times by telling her "next time" or "here's not the right place". He said they only did it three times before he realized that he wanted to end the affair.

I have to say that in speaking to him face to face, seeing his reactions, reading his body language, I am very satisfied that he's told me the truth. He also admitted that he was in "the fog" during the affair, and after "the fog" lifted, he couldn't believe he did what he did. As it stands, he wants nothing to do with her; any thoughts of her are associated with regret. I learned a lot about his mindset during the affair and he's determined to do whatever it takes to help me heal. Another thing he said was that even though he told me (when I first confronted him) that he fell in love with her, now he realizes that it wasn't love. Many times last night he told me he was sorry for hurting me the way he did. He still wants to just forget the whole nasty episode, but he understands that I will need to talk about it.

As far as my triggers are concerned, he smiled when I told him that he has to take me to the places they went to together because even though he understands why I need to do it, he doesn't really want to go back there because he doesn't want to remember their dinner dates. He's agreed to take me, though.

All in all, I'd say that we're on the right track, and most of the gaps in my head have been filled. I do feel better this morning. I know there'll be good days and bad days, but I'm determined to get over this sooner rather than later. Thanks for your advice. I'll be back here from time to time, to be sure.

P.S.: He also told me that two days ago she sent him a text asking him "Are you alive?" (he's not communicated with her at all). He deleted the text without responding. He's committed to showing me any text she may send in the future.

brokensmile322 posted 9/14/2013 10:54 AM

Tropical Woman,

I am glad that you had a good start to your discussion. Your reaction to his information sounds like you handled it well. That can really bode well for you in the future. Some of us go ballistic right away and it can make a WS hesitatnt to be forthcoming with information.

I am sorry that you found out that there was a PA. Please get tested for STD's, just in case.

Also, now is the perfect time for your WS to send a no contact letter to the OW. You two can help formulate what it will say. There is an example in the Healing Library.

Hugs to you!

PamJ posted 9/14/2013 11:47 AM

<<One very painful detail he shared with me was that even though there was no full sexual intercourse between them both, the OW performed oral sex on him but he never reciprocated. He said he always found an excuse not to return the favor, most times by telling her "next time" or "here's not the right place". He said they only did it three times before he realized that he wanted to end the affair.>>

I'm sorry to seem negative, but I don't buy this, I've heard this script from many people and it's usually an iceberg of info. When trickle truth starts dripping out they only admit to what they think you can handle, usually what really happened is much worse, 10 X's the frequency etc. You cannot take his word for anything here. And after reading hundreds of these stories , you are not getting the whole truth. Read and ask questions from those who got this type of initial information on a newly admitted PA.

[This message edited by PamJ at 11:53 AM, September 14th (Saturday)]

Return to Forum List

© 2002-2018 ®. All Rights Reserved.     Privacy Policy