I read about emotional affairs and some of the signs are there. She isn't secretive with her phone really. If I ask to use it she will let me but takes a second to give it to me usually. Same with her laptop. If I want to use it and and it's in another part of the house, she always goes and gets it and takes a minute. She isn't deleting their conversations, they go back a long ways. But she could be deleting certain messages or history. Of course the opposite is possible, she isn't hiding anything and takes a minute to give it to me because she is legitimately doing/reading something.
Our intimacy has taken a pretty big hit. When she was pushing for marriage, the first half of our relationship, things were great. Then they dipped and it felt like we were roommates. No kissing, no cuddling, no dates, limited sex, fights. We had some issues that caused that, mostly my fault. This may have started way back then. It's also when she totally stopped pushing for marriage and when I brought it up either stalled or straight up said she didn't want to (yet). Things eventually got back on track, and we married. Things were good for a bit. A year into our marriage we had another issue and our marriage went into the dumps. We've been working on it since, it's a lot better but not were it use to be. I don't know if my behaviour is to blame, hers, or both.
When we kiss she tends to pull away, she says it's because my facial hair irritates her skin (wasn't an issue before). When we have sex she participates but her face screams that she doesn't want to be there. Whether that's her past or this guy causing it, I don't know. She has told the other guy that it would be easier to have had sex with him than me. We rarely go on dates, our schedules conflict a lot with me working nights and weekends. She wants to.
So I need to tell her that she needs to stop contacting him? It's what I, or the jealous side of me, wants but at the same time I feel guilty for forcing someone out of her life who helps her. She is in therapy as well.
I'm a few pages behind, so I apologize if any of this is repetitive.
She's having an emotional affair, but not a traditional one, if that makes sense.
Like it or not, she has a strong bond with this guy for a very legitimate reason. And that reason makes it almost impossible to pry her away from him.
In reality, you should have taken his place, in regards to a shoulder to lean on, but that hasn't happened, and it's, IMO, difficult to fault her. He was there.
Look, there's a reason they never really formed a real relationship together. I don't know what it was, but it's there. My assumption is that he is alternately her KISA and a reminder of a very dark time, rolled into one.
That said, a good therapist or counsellor or psychiatrist would likely recommend she try and transfer the level of trust she has in this guy to you. I am none of the above, but I imagine having a third party non-therapist (etc.) person as her rock, as opposed to her husband is not all that healthy, opposite sex or not.
All that said, these are very extenuating circumstances, and do not fall into the normal EA spectrum, IMO.
To be fair, she should NOT be discussing any marital issues (or complaints) with this guy. Talking about her prior terrible experiences - yes. The trust she has in him because of that is undeniable, and she obviously still requires it, and may always require it. But talking about you, or the marriage - no, absolutely not.
That needs to be addressed, IMO, but choose your words carefully and focus only on the discussion of your marriage to her. They may have an extremely close relationship, but that's not an excuse to discuss pet peeves and marital issues.