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Emotional Affair - What do I do now?

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RachelSFMom posted 4/15/2019 17:56 PM

First time posting here to after reading read advice on all sorts of stuff, and itís a biggie and I apologize in advance for it being sooo long. I somewhat recently got into what Iím realizing is an emotional affair with a man from work Iíve known for a few years, and now my life is unraveling.

To back up a little bit, Iíve been married to my husband for 9 years, dated for almost 2 years before that. Weíve had our share of problems, mostly stupid little things that turn into bickering and fights, but we do deeply love each other and our kids. We have all the usual issues with life stressors and bills plus some anxiety and body image issues for me and some anxiety, depression, anger for my husband. Weíve checked all the boxes to a happy life: Great kids, house we love, steady careers that put us in ďmiddle classĒ in a bigger city, friends, family mostly in good health. Iíve felt the drain the past year or so of loving my husband but maybe hitting an emotional rut, not being ďin loveĒ with him. Our jobs are both super stressful with longer hours and working online at home during what could be considered ďour timeĒ.

My job has been SUPER stressful for the past year as well. Itís corporate and an ďold boys clubĒ where Iím sort of a trailblazer and sometimes feel in over my head. I have strong friendships at work that have made me laugh and gotten me through both male and female. Iíve joked with my husband before about having ďwork husbandsĒ, but I never felt like it crossed a line until about 3 months ago with an older and also married work colleague who has really been a mentor to me. First things first, my work colleague Robert is a decent man - really well traveled and ethical, not a horny player or something and has always been respectful to me outside of the usual office compliments and what I thought was light flirting from an innocent crush. We went on this way for about 3 years until something just switched about 3 months ago. Like I said work has been soul crushingly stressful with people quitting, getting fired, freaking out as some bigger projects fell through. I confided more and more in my mentor and our once merely professional convos developed an air of the emotional. Some later nights in the office and lunches or dinners ostensibly for ďworkĒ that almost seemed like dates - not in the romantic sense but in terms of sharing hopes and dreams, learning about each other, and that excitement of discovering somebody new.

As the once innocent flirting has become more heartfelt and weíve shared about our individual troubles at home, plus gotten a bit flirty with compliments and some texts, but nothing blatantly sexual. Iíve felt Robert really ďgets meĒ and I might be falling a bit. Things at home hadnít been totally rocky but I did feel myself withdrawing a bit - into that marriage rut I mentioned. I hadnít planned to tell him all that was going through my mind and with Robert because heís an emotional guy and can get very angry - not at me as heís definitely not abusive, but definitely sometimes at his life. If I had to pick the biggest reason for a loss of love over time, it would be my husbandís temper, especially as relates to disciplining our kids, who are 8 and 5. He has never been abusive, insulted or belittled me or the children, but his anger can go from 0 to 60 and sometimes he gets loud. He gets frustrated when the kids keep misbehaving in the same ways, and claims that after the 4th or 5th time being scolded for the same misbehavior they need to get yelled at - again never critical of the kids, but reinforcing behavior expectations eg ďJeffrey!! DO NOT stand on that refrigerator shelf! YOUíRE GONNA BREAK IT!!!Ē This explosiveness is something he shares with his father, and says that in his own childhood the yelling was effective, but it hurts my heart to witness him yelling at my children and has made me withdraw emotionally from him over time. I know on some level itís a learned behavior but also suspect deeper roots that I wish he would explore in individual therapy. Again I do not think he is abusive whatsoever, but his strategy of ďletting out his emotions and not bottling them upĒ when something in his life makes him angry can seem like a black cloud over the whole house. Weíve also never really learned ďhow to fightĒ or how to co-parent in a way where the kids get consistent expectations from the two of us.

My husband has very strict opinions on cheating in a marriage, which I honestly do share, so I didnít want to cause a lot of drama over something at work that NEVER crossed a line into the physical besides some hugging and hand holding during tense periods at work, some very gentle caresses of my arm or neck - but really only when he can see that Iím stressed. I can sense Robert might *want* more, and Iíve thought about it myself but never considered myself someone who would cross that line.

The thing is that I know I have a great if stressful life, and I donít want to ruin it, but the innocent flirting has put me in a position to feel something for Robert that I realize is emotionally cheating on my husband. I justified it as using my feminine wiles to survive in at work among some real Neanderthals, some of whom are VERY flirty or almost harassing, but Robert isnít like the rest of them - heís a workplace leader and always calm and collected in a crisis without getting angry and loud like my husband. Robert is a good father to adult kids out of his house, and a doting husband from what I can see... but this new relationship has developed despite all that. Heís not just some horny guy who wants to have sex with me and he has never overtly crossed that line with me - but heís protective, comforting, and cute with me almost like a puppy dog.

Now for how my life starting crumbling apart. My husband is a bit prone to jealousy, and lately had developed a laser focus on Robert, going so far as to warn me that getting to close to my mentor could backfire and ruin my career. Iíve told my husband that weíre just friends and nothing more, but inside I do have feelings for Robert that might not be practical but theyíre still ďthere.Ē I donít see Robert leaving his family for me, or me leaving my family for him, but sometimes itís nice to be pursued and courted by a guy who isnít my husband. Lately Robert has ramped up his efforts to make plans outside of work, asking me to walk in Golden Gate Park with him, asking me if Iíd like to go to a 49ers game, getting tickets to Cirque du Soleil and Elton John and asking if Iíd like to join him in a group. My husband learned about some of this and freaked out a bit, told me I shouldnít see Robert outside of work and asked me what was going on. It took quite a few STRESSFUL convos to fully come clean with my husband. I wasnít fully honest at first and delayed telling him at all because I was honestly worried he may have a volatile reaction that could have a domino effect given his issues with anger. When we finally had ďthe talkĒ, I told him our marriage has issues that need to be addressed, that I love him and our life together very deeply but Iím not ďin loveĒ with him anymore, and not sure if that honeymoon phase is something I can get back. Against my instincts I eventually did admit whatís happening with Robert but stressed itís NOT physical, and itís not. My husband didnít have an angry meltdown the way I expected - he cried a bit and pleaded for me to fall in love with him again, but no shouting and mean words.

The thing is that Iíve asked him several times over the years to consider couples therapy, and he always resisted, saying he was worried that therapy is the last stop before divorce. Now that Iíve told him about the emotional affair, he all of the sudden wants to jump into couples therapy feet first and has it all lined up for us starting this week.

I also did have a good talk with Robert where I admitted Iíve developed feelings for him and he acknowledged he has feelings for me as well. Neither one of us wants to be that cheater that breaks up 2 long-term marriages, so weíve agreed to stay friends and respect boundaries. I do believe that he truly wants the best for me and I believe that with his support I can accomplish so much professionally and personally. On the homefront, My husband has unraveled. He has skipped work a few times since ďthe talkĒ, gets up at weird hours of the night to pace around or just stare off into space, and has stopped eating regular or full meals. When heís not very sad or withdrawn, heís pestering me with questions about Robert, smothering me with unwanted affection, or pampering me with elaborate gifts that are I guess meant to show me he can move past my betrayal and start fresh.

Hereís the thing: Iím confused and I feel like a shitty person. I lied to my husband about my feelings and got into something that Iím now unsure how to get out of. I do care for Robert and I donít want to hurt his feelings. I also think heís a great friend and support for me in a stressful work environment and I donít want to lose that bond and that support. Itís impractical that we could ever be together, but I donít think breaking off contact completely is fair. I hate confrontation and donít want to make an already stressful job way more unbearable with emotional drama. My husband has never asked me to quit my job and knows I work alongside Robert but he has drawn a clear line that there be no out of office contact even if itís a work-related social event, and no non-work texts. I havenít agreed to this demand and think itís unnecessary. Itís also impractical for me to quit my job, as I make twice as much money as my husband and have the medical benefits for the family, so I consider myself the breadwinner at home. I donít think Robert will cross any physical line with me nor I with him, although Iím positive weíve both though about it at times, and I want my husband to trust me when I say that.

Iím more confused than Iíve ever been in my marriage. I canít just turn on newlywed intimacy like a switch, and I feel like Iím suffocating under layers of wet blankets when Iím with my husband because of what I can see this has done to him and the demands heís made to curb his paranoia about this relationship at work escalating again and him being fully cheated on. I truly do love husband and feel remorse for all that has happened, but our marriage has been far from perfect for 9 years and that emotional rift existed far before Robert and I developed feelings for each other. I donít want to lose my marriage and family, the house and assets, my husbands love, but I feel like Iím being punished for my feelings - which were not intentional. I canít quit my job, I canít give Robert the cold shoulder and not expect my job to become chaotic, but now my home life IS chaotic because my husband cycles between withdrawn depression and smothering gestures of affection. Either of those sides of him gives me major anxiety and makes me want to run far far away. I just want him to be happy and to give me space.

I feel like Iím spiraling out of control and just want a peaceful life. I donít know what I want longer term for our marriage or what to do in the meantime, but I canít undo whatís already happened. Iíve come to the realization that I did have an emotional affair and Iíve disappointed myself too. Help 😥

firenze posted 4/15/2019 18:04 PM

Neither one of us wants to be that cheater that breaks up 2 long-term marriages, so weíve agreed to stay friends and respect boundaries. I do believe that he truly wants the best for me and I believe that with his support I can accomplish so much professionally and personally.

This is foolishness. You cannot continue to have any kind of relationship with this man.

pinkpggy posted 4/15/2019 18:10 PM

You really romanticize "Robert" in this post and villify your husband. It's clear you are in an emotional fog and the better the scenario seemed with Robert, the worse things seem to be at home. You need to take a giant step back and realize what you are risking by continuing any contact with Robert. It needs to end and you need to tell him if he truly cares for your well being he will honor no contact.

Get yourself into therapy to see why you allowed another man to fill the void you had within yourself.

This isn't about Robert, or your husband. This is about you and your need for attention, validation and outside sources of happiness.

Make fixing yourself and your marriage your priority. Start with No contact to Robert and coming clean completely and apologizing to your husband. You've made him feel crazy about something he knew was happening. You've gone down a very slippery slope and at least realized it before it was too late.

[This message edited by pinkpggy at 7:49 PM, April 15th (Monday)]

OrdinaryDude posted 4/15/2019 18:29 PM

If youíre not willing to sacrifice your job and paramour for your husband and marriage, then that means youíre willing to sacrifice your marriage and husband for your job and paramour.

There is no middle ground here, you need to recognize that quickly.

Honestly though, if you feel you need to use your femininity rather than your professional value and ethic to have constructive work relationships and advance your career, then you have no business in that career field, or any where men are present.

You have definitely crossed a line and have now confirmed to your husband exactly why he should be jealous. If you think he has been in the past, you have no idea what kind of shitstorm you have created in his head.

You want to fix this? You start by walking away from the job right now. If you canít do that then your chances are slim to none.

Striver posted 4/15/2019 18:57 PM

but sometimes itís nice to be pursued and courted by a guy who isnít my husband.

Sometimes?!? Yuck. How many times have you done this!

Lately Robert has ramped up his efforts to make plans outside of work, asking me to walk in Golden Gate Park with him, asking me if Iíd like to go to a 49ers game, getting tickets to Cirque du Soleil and Elton John and asking if Iíd like to join him in a group.

Your AP, aka "Robert", is a player and probable serial adulterer.

Robert22205https posted 4/15/2019 19:06 PM

You are being too easy on yourself and too entitled. You created this mess. Not your husband. You are 100% responsible for your EA. Lot's of spouses feel just like you about marriage/life but they didn't chose to cheat.

Affairs are based on pure fantasy and you are now addicted to a fantasy that could destroy your family (sounds your husband no longer feels safe and is slowly dying inside).

Seeing the OM everyday is like an addict carrying coke in their pocket. You're addicted and it's not going away by flipping a switch. You have to separate from the OM and go NC.

Neither of you really know the other (not like your spouses). EA/PAs share a common personality profile: selfishness (your posting is all about you), entitled (my husband as a temper but he's not abusive...), deceitful (yep you did deceive and you still are deceiving your husband as well as yourself, and you lack empathy (refusing to make him feel safe).

I wish you and your family well. And hope you take the appropriate action.

NeverHealed posted 4/15/2019 20:02 PM

Robert is a decent man

No, he's not.

He's about to ruin your life, his wife's life, his childrens' lives, your husband's life, your children's lives,

all for the thrill he's going to get when he ejaculates inside you.

That's what it's all about, for him.

PSTI posted 4/15/2019 20:10 PM

Wow. It's nice to see how everyone here is perfect. Seriously. No one here has felt flattered when a stranger complimented them or tried to pick them up? Honestly?

How about a little understanding? Clearly OP isn't trying to screw up her life and wants a way out, or she wouldn't be here. Is vilifying her truly the way you think is best to help her "see the light"?

To the OP: yes, I think you are experiencing NRE, or brain fog. The important thing to remember is that your feelings aren't "real", and neither are Robert's. They're about the idealized version of yourselves. If you do some reading about NRE, you'll see what I mean. It literally hits the same trigger in your brain as cocaine does.

I also agree that you've got a decision to make. Continuing to play with fire is going to eventually lead to someone getting burned. I think that you need to cut back communication immediately to professional only. That may mean dropping the mentor aspect as well. I would make this clear to Robert, too, that you are entirely disinterested in continuing down this path and would like to keep all conversation formal/business related.

Channel that foggy energy into yourself and your husband. The grass is greener where you water it. Find a way to make special time with your husband. If you are concerned about your relationship skills, then book a marriage counselling appointment. There is nothing wrong with doing this!!

One day at a time. Take some time to yourself and really think about what you want to do. You're in a place now where what you decide can affect your whole future life path. That deserves to have thoughts about it that aren't made in the heat of NRE. What do you truly want?

pinkpggy posted 4/15/2019 20:41 PM

Wow. It's nice to see how everyone here is perfect. Seriously. No one here has felt flattered when a stranger complimented them or tried to pick them up?

I'm a wayward wife. Far from perfect. The OP seems to be in an affair fog. Everything is foggy. She has at least made the right steps bt recognizing the EA and posting here. But it's clear she doesn't understand how deep she has gotten herself.

hikingout posted 4/15/2019 20:57 PM

Fellow wayward here...This is already a full blown affair. The things you are telling each other about not wanting to cross boundaries and ruin marriages...let me tell you what comes next:

ďWe couldnít help it, we fell in love. We are soulmatesĒ

Firenze is right- you cannot have any contact with this man. I would start applying for other jobs.

Read the book ďnot just friendsĒ and an article by frank pittman called ďromantic infidelityĒ just google. Read about limerance. Both will start to clue you in on the dynamics of an affair. And they play out literally over and over in the same ways. The patterns are eerie.

You are getting a high from the feelings you are getting from this man. Itís based on artificial things. You are doing just about every text book thing - from romanticizing the Ap to villanizing you husband. We all do that. And believe me, this man very much wants in your pants and you want in his. Grown ups donít have romantic crushes without elements of sexual fantasy. Please stop. Please read what I have recommended. Get in IC immediately. You can decide you donít want your marriage but donít do it under the influence of there dopamine chemicals that are swirling round in your head.

I hesitated to even respond because you seem intent on flirting with disaster and I donít think people could have talked me out of this. The AP in my situation was ďmy star crossed loverĒ I finally thought I was being fully seen.
I hope you will stay and you will do the work to unwind this. I promise you every day that you continue this is another step towards disaster and much pain. Yes, your husband is going nuts about it - he sees his wife putting another man above him. I hope you know I am not trying to judge you or be harsh I am just begging you not to go further down this path. I have seen what is on the other end of it and you donít want it. Get an apt for IC first thing tomorrow morning.

BraveSirRobin posted 4/15/2019 21:01 PM

I see so much of myself in the early stages of post-A. Gently, you cannot imagine the depth of the pain you are creating through your ongoing contact with Robert. You have absolutely prioritized him over your husband. If his wife knew you had shared your feelings with each other and considered you a threat, would he break contact with you? If so, would you honor that? And if not, what does that say about your stated goal of "not ending two marriages?" Do you honestly believe that your bond with her husband is more important than hers with him, or yours with yours?

When I split from my OM, I refused to go NC. I said many of the same things as you. He's a good man, not a player. I didn't go looking for these feelings. We're not going to do anything physical (anymore, in my case). I'm committed to you, so you don't have to worry. I deserve trust. I don't want to hurt him. See all the "I" and "OM" in this? Where was my concern for my BF (now BH)? Far behind my concern for myself and for OM, that's for sure.

I also didn't say some of the things you're saying. That questions from your husband, about a man you admit you're in an EA with, are "pestering." That his love "smothers" you. That you love him but aren't in love with him. Essentially, he's an inconvenience. You just want him to be happy so you can go back to spending time with Robert guilt-free. This is classic wayward detachment behavior, vilifying him to justify the A.

My BH got PTSD from my contact with OM after D-Day. He was in constant terror that my self-restraint would crack and that I would resume the affair. Like you, I refused to see what was in front of me. He'd "won," right? I picked him. I surmise that's what you're thinking about your BH, and that you and Robert "deserve" to stay friends because of your grand self-sacrifice. Meanwhile, your BH is crying, pleading, offering MC, can't eat, can't sleep, and you're focused on how great Robert is. What's wrong with this picture?

Look, you can't have your cake and eat it, too. You can be a wife or a mistress. Being a wife means NC with Robert. No contact outside work issues is the absolute minimum your BH deserves. Really, NC of any kind, and leaving the job, is what's called for here. Texting? Walks in the park? Sharing hopes and dreams and troubles at home? No, no, no.

I'll add one thing that many posters here will not. If Robert is as good a man as you say, then staying in this EA is almost as cruel to him as it is to your BH. You could be breaking up his marriage and family. Taking a man that people think well of and turning him into a liar and a cheat. Losing him the respect of his children. Possibly getting him fired, if he's in a "mentor" role. This is how you show you care about him? No. That's how you show you care about yourself and what he's giving you, about feeling young and sexy and alive and free. That's why you feel like a shitty person, because there's still enough decency in you to know that all your excuses really are cover for not wanting to give this feeling up.

Get out now, before this gets worse and both your lives explode. Please.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 10:39 PM, April 15th (Monday)]

Wool94 posted 4/15/2019 21:18 PM

Please listen to the advice you are being given. The fact that you are choosing to stay in direct contact in any way with Robert is horrifying. It truly means you have chosen Robert over your husband and your kids.

If your husband came on here, some of the first advice we would give him would be for you to find another job. Then we would have him tell the other betrayed spouse.

I went through everything you did to your husband. I got the ILYBINILWY speech as well.

That's one of the cruelest thing you will ever do to him.

We would also tell your husband that you are not the prize. Right now he is.

I remember the anxiety my wife put me through. She seemed to think everything she did was innocent until it wasn't.


While I'm concerned for you, I'm more concerned for your husband. Once he grasps what's going on with you, he may very well hate you forever.

Just a fair warning, my wife has done everything she can to reconcile, but some days it's not enough. We're trying to save you this pain. There are times that I literally hate her.

Don't follow in her shoes. Avoid temptation by staying away from Robert.

NeverHealed posted 4/15/2019 21:33 PM

What do you do now?

Think about which half of your children you're willing to give up for Robert. Because that's what is going to happen. And maybe not just half. Your children may hate you at the end of this, and his children may hate him.

Ahhh, but you care so much about each other, right?

Wrong. You care only about yourself. Not about Robert, not about your husband, not about your children. You care only about yourself. If you cared about anyone else, you wouldn't do this.

SilverStar posted 4/15/2019 22:11 PM

Not only is Robert not a decent man, he IS a player, and a very good one. He plays a long game and has a lot of patience. He's about to get you where all the office neanderthals failed.

My WH was like this. It took him a long time to groom his COW APs, and he started by making himself out to be a really good guy and a good husband and father, so they would feel safe to be his "friend." Then came (fake) emotional connection and sharing, "accidental" touches, "dates" like drinks, meals, spending time together at conferences, flirting, personal texting...

Many COWs figured out what he was up to and went NC or set boundaries with him along the way, so he would always have a few projects/targets going at once when he was feeling itchy, and eventually one would pan out.

He didn't care which one or if it took years; it wasn't about OW as individuals. It was about the distractions and the ego stroking and the thrills. So you probably aren't the first, and you probably aren't the only. A man like this can have a lot of irons in the fire.

Both my WH's APs now rue the day they met him, after everything. But they can't go back and fix these situations with their 20/20 hindsight. You can't un-f*** someone. You can't unburn down your house. You can't unbreak your BH's heart.

You know what my first clue was about this Robert, that he is not a decent man but indeed a player? Decent men do not pursue MW.

ibonnie posted 4/16/2019 00:18 AM

I know it feels like you're in quite a pickle, but the answer to your problem is quite simple -- if you want to have any chance of saving your marriage, you need to go no contact with Robert ASAP. No big goodbye. No closure. Just -- "I've realized our relationship has crossed the line into inappropriate territory and needs to end immediately." And then do everything in your power to either get a transfer to a department/building/location away from Robert where you will have no contact, or look for a job elsewhere.

I know you said

but I donít think breaking off contact completely is fair.

But I want to know who it's not fair to/for? Your husband? Your children, whose mother is risking her marriage and the breakup of their family? To Robert's betrayed spouse? I know you probably don't want to think of this as a "full-blown affair," because you two have only hugged or held hands or caressed, but an emotional affair is just as damaging.

Honestly, you should read around here, and see how similar your post is to others, but make sure to read in Just Found Out so you can see what it's like on the other side, and why your BS (betrayed spouse) is doing the "pick me dance" right now. Your post is practically straight out of the cheater's handbook. Have you glorified Robert? Yup. Robert sounds like a charming, dashing older man... and not like someone who's hitting on a married mom with two little kids. His children are grown up, yes? Do you think he has any desire to reset the clock and raise another man's elementary school aged children again? Deal with science fair projects and kids throwing up in the middle of the night and missing the toilet and Jeffrey standing on the fridge shelf after being warned four times to get down so he doesn't break it and injure himself?

Vilified your husband? Yup. After reading your post (which was largely about the wonderful Robert), the only thing I could remember you saying about your husband is that he has anger issues and goes from 0 to 60. Maybe he does. But..... I consider myself a pretty good mom, and if I had already told my 5yo to stop standing on the refrigerator shelf four times, you can bet the fifth time is going to me be losing it and yelling, "GET OFF THE FRIDGE SHELF NOW!!!!!" And I wouldn't consider four warnings to be going from 0 to 60. Aside from turning your husband into your enemy, rewriting marital history is pretty standard among cheaters.

My WS (wayward spouse) actually said to me once that I never wanted to go out and have fun anymore, which is why his affair happened. Obviously he forgot that we had an infant at the time that never wanted to sleep, never wanted to take a bottle, and none of our family wanted to babysit because she was such a fussy kid. So did I want to go out and have fun when I had literally been awake every two hours for eight months straight breastfeeding our baby? Um, no. But now that she's a toddler, drinks from a sippy cup, and is less fussy, can we leave her with her grandparents for a night and go out? Yup. But I digress...

So far we covered glorifying the AP (affair partner), vilifying your husband, rewriting marital history, all trying to justify why you're doing what your doing. Your post also tries to minimize your affair but saying it's only an EA, but I think you know that holding hands/hugs/caresses are a short step away from a stolen kiss after some "stressful" work event. Or maybe Robert will share something so emotional one day, need a little extra comfort, and you can't help but try to kiss his pain away. You're already flirting with physically touching. Would you ever think it's remotely appropriate to hold another (male) coworker's hand?

And lastly, you spend very little time contemplating the very real consequences that could happen to you. What if your husband does a 180 and decides that he's done trying to win his wife back -- he's the prize here, not you, and YOU should be bending over backwards to prove to HIM that you can be trusted and faithful -- and serves you with divorce papers? At work?

What if he figures out a way to contact Robert's wife to warn her of your affair?

How would you feel if his wife were to inform you that you're not his first affair partner? Or not the only one he's even purusing right now? Read around on the wayward side, you wouldn't be the first AP/WW to find out that her AP was lying to her, too, in addition to his wife.

How would you feel if your husband or his wife contacted your boss or HR to report your affair?

How would you feel if your family/friend/coworkers found out? Many BSs are advised to EXPOSE their WS's affair to any and all that matter.

How would you feel if your children found out? We never discussed it in front of them, but my 8yo overheard us fighting when we thought he was asleep. And then when we told him that his dad was moving out, he put it together and asked if it had to do with a woman at work and stuff getting deleted on his phone. At 8, he was threatening to physically assault his dad's affair partner if he ever met her, AND was trying to enlist anyone who was listen into a kidnapping plot because if he got rid of the AP, then magically his parents would get back together and everything would be okay.

How would you feel about only see your kids 50% of the time? Divvying up who gets which holidays? Paying your WS child AND spousal support because you said you make considerably more money than he does?

How would you feel if thinks became more intimate and Robert started bragging about you to other male coworkers? Sounds gross, but there's a poster here (Rideitout) that seems to work in the corporate world and is always sharing stories about the gross men he works with showing off the pictures their side chicks send them, or bragging about theit blowjobs. How would you feel if the office gossip was about you, after you've worked so hard in a male-dominated office?

How would you feel if your husband asks you to leave, or files for divorce, and instead of Robert choosing to leave his wife, he drops you like a hot potato because he was just looking for a good time, not to get saddled with a second wife + step children? All while paying his wife spousal support?

Have you considered any of these possibilities?

I hope you keep reading and posting. And in addition to reading on SI, please read Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass and How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair by Linda J. MacDonald ASAP. Also, consider going to counseling to figure out why and how you chose to have an affair. If you don't figure that out, you'll never be a safe partner for anyone.

[This message edited by ibonnie at 12:21 AM, April 16th (Tuesday)]

Carissima posted 4/16/2019 03:29 AM

You write of your BH's reactions to your affair as if they're some kind of inconvenience. You are putting this man through hell and you don't even care all you seem concerned about is that you keep your relationship with Robert!

In what world is it acceptable to hood hands or hug a work colleague? Do you think your other colleagues haven't noticed and aren't talking about you? If you can't cope with the pressure of the position then you shouldn't be doing the job.

You are cheating, Robert is not this paragon of virtue you insist make him out to be. If he was he would not be cheating on his wife! You are also vilifying your BH to justify your behavior.

You need to go NC with Robert but of course you will have dozens of reasons why you can't and will continue to literally torture your BH in the meantime. I wonder how long out will take for you to take the affair physical...

Wool94 posted 4/16/2019 04:32 AM

Read and reread ibonnie's post. She totally nails everything that I wanted to say and feel you needed to hear.

When my wife decided she wanted a divorce, seemingly out of the blue, it devastated my children, who were 7 and 9, at the time.

Then she took them to her bedroom and told them she just didn't love daddy anymore.

Telling a child you can just stop loving someone is cruel. The child will think, if she can just stop loving him, she can just stop loving me.

Think of how you'll explain it to your children, or better yet, how your poor husband will have to explain it to your children.

As a BS (betrayed spouse), we're always told to never vilify our spouse to our children .

Do you know how seriously difficult that is when one spouse has ripped your heart out?

No you don't.

Take ibonnie's advice. Read in the just found out forum.

We have posters wanting to commit suicide over this. You may say that sounds ridiculous, but the pain is that bad.

Right now you are creating scars that may never heal!

[This message edited by Wool94 at 4:34 AM, April 16th (Tuesday)]

Adlham posted 4/16/2019 04:34 AM

Frankly, I would argue that you've gone beyond an EA.

If my husband were holding hands, hugging, and caressing another woman, I would flip out because that is not what friends do, especially at work.

I would also argue that you aren't remorseful. Regretful, yes, but remorseful? You complain about how it would be unfair to go NC with Robert. That's not remorse, by any stretch.

Remorse would include going NC, bending over backwards to save your marriage, as well as putting your husband & children well ahead of Robert.

And no, personally, I do not find it at all flattering being pursued by a man other than my husband. I find it extremely disrespectful if the person knows that I am married. If they don't know, I immediately let them know that not only am I married, I am flat out not interested and they best back off. The occasional compliment is one thing, but pursuit is a whole different ball of wax.

Marriage, even good solid ones like my current one, have ups and downs. Neither my husband or I are perfect, our marriage isn't perfect. But we work at being a team. We communicate our needs to each other if we feel like there's something that needs addressed. Admittedly, it's usually me telling him that I feel extra needy and could he please drop whatever he's doing and give me extra attention, because I have some fun mental health issues, and he does it both willingly and gladly. On the rare occasion that it's the other way around, I, too, respond in kind.

As others have pointed out, I would be willing to bet that your coworkers suspect something is up and are gossiping about you. I've seen it over and over during my career because I work in a very female dominated industry. I even had a boss who got into trouble and eventually fired for sexual harassment. We definitely suspected and gossiped about his poor behavior. He thought he was being sly, but he really, truly wasn't.

I hope that you follow the advice from the WW who have chimed in. If you truly believe you shouldn't have to give up Robert, than I would urge you to let your husband go. What you are doing now is cruel to your husband and extremely unfair to him.

If the situation were reversed, how would you feel?

Wool94 posted 4/16/2019 04:38 AM

Ooh and check this wonderful side effect out. It's 4 a.m. and we betrayed are still awake. Yippy!!!

Barregirl posted 4/16/2019 05:26 AM

Please read and reread the posts by ibonnie and Wool, and by hikingout. As a WW myself I can tell you that no AP is worth the pain you are causing your BH. You need to go NC for all the reasons already listed. And one more, what kind of person do you want to be? The kind who destroys two families for her own selfish whims or the kind that sees a loose boundary and shores it up with a new job, IC, and working with her H to reprioritize their M? Ultimately only you can decide who you are.

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