Re: Had an emotional affair and partner can't get past it...
The dynamics vary from one couple to the other. In our case, we had a strong marriage and were very close, which helped to prop up the illusion that an affair could never happen to us.
When he told me, I could not believe it, but when I found out who it was, I knew it was true because of what a manipulative, conniving person she had been at another time in his life.
It didn't occur to me to end our marriage, there was too much there. I did decide that I would try my best to not inflame the situation. There was no screaming, but that's not to say there wasn't tears, heartache, etc. I made the decision to forgive, however, forgiveness still has to go through the wringer, too. I was in shock for weeks before I started to thaw out and fall apart.
My husband got on board with me and although it was a learning experience for the both of us, he tried to conform to my needs and did very well. There were a few slip-ups with him forgetting to call me if he was going to be late, etc., and some resulting tension and anger, but he has really poured himself into showing me how much he loves me.
I'm of the opinion that an affair is not necessarily the end of a marriage...chronic cheating is another matter. The most important thing is a commitment to honesty and transparency and a plan to avoid people who want to interfere in a person's marriage. No lunches with members of the opposite sex, and when things begin to warm up with another person, inject, "Let me tell you about my wife/husband."
We won't be caught off-guard again.