Emotional Affair - HELP!
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Coping with Infidelity Relationship recovery from the destructiveness of infidelity.

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Old 09-16-2009, 08:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Emotional Affair - HELP!

My wife of 15+ years has been having an emotional affair with an old boyfriend from 25 years ago (high school). They talk 2 hours or more a day and she constantly texts with him. He lives 400 miles away. She now says she is confused and doesn't know exactly what she is feeling. She does want to see a counselor but its more to figure out her feelings than to save our marriage. We have three kids and have had a great marriage. I never saw this coming. I want to forgive, forget and get on with our lives, but she is not committal. Will the counseling help our marriage or will she go to him? She claims these feelings are resurrected feelings from 25 years ago and this is different from emotional affairs between co-workers or recent acquiantances.

She said she needs space to figure it out but is willing to stay with me as long as I don't corner her about this. She is still talking to him and has said she couldn't give up talking to him if I asked her to. Is there hope for our marriage?

I am a wreck. I worship this girl, she is my life.
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Old 09-16-2009, 09:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Emotional Affair - HELP!

An EA is an EA but because she has a past with him it was probably easier for her to fall into it. On the positive she has acknowledged and confessed to you her feelings for him. The problem with the LDEA is that she doesn’t spend “real life” with him. She doesn’t see the day to day issues, flaws and faults with him, but she does live with yours. Her fantasy man says all the right things, makes her feel good and fills a void she thinks exists in her relationship with you.

Yes counseling can help but it should be individual as well as couple. You stated your marriage was great but there must be some areas for improvement in it and in yourself. She wants space and unfortunately that’s about all you can do for now. That and work on your behaviors to improve how she perceives you. Be caring and understanding of her but don’t smother her. This will take time for her to sort out and she won’t likely listen to your words much. Don’t attack him, she will draw closer but there should be no physical contact between them.

EAs are difficult to get passed but it can be done. My marriage nearly ended a couple of years ago due to my wife’s EA. But with time we’ve moved passed it are in a greatly improved relationship. You are just at the beginning of this.
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Old 09-16-2009, 09:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Emotional Affair - HELP!

This is so difficult. I found out how deep this was on Thursday and this is Wednesday. I don't sleep or eat and can think of nothing else. We discussed it last night and she told me I was putting too much pressure on her. I don't want to push her farther away. I have attacked him and have gotten rather heated. I am the victim here.

Yes we have some issues, such as financial (other guy has $$$) but she claims she is not interested in material goods. She has always been a good wholesome Christian woman. This is so not like her.

As to the counseling, she is wanting it for her, I'm not sure if I'll be invited to any sessions or not. I feel I need it too, but I guess she needs to discover exactly what these feelings are first before we can work on each other. Am I right?
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Old 09-16-2009, 09:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Emotional Affair - HELP!

I think a few sessions on her own would be fine. She needs to get her arms around it. Make sure it is a counselor who is trained for couples counseling. Let your wife know you’ll give her the space but that at some time you need/want to be part of the process. Money likely has little to do with this. Yes you are a victim but she doesn’t see it that way. There are likely issues that you have contributed to.

I know how you feel. I lost nearly 30 lbs in the 60 days after discovery day. That’s normal, as is the anxiety, sleeplessness and the feeling of loss of control. It gets better. If you are of faith, pray for strength and guidance.
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Emotional Affair - HELP!

Does she really believe that they are the two same people from 25 years ago? They've both changed so much that this can't truly be reawakened feelings. It is more fantasy than real.

I'd ask her to break contact with this other man while she is going to counseling and to admit that she owes you at least an attempt at trying to repair the marriage. You didn't go through all of this "life" together for this other guy to walk in and just steal it. This other man has no right. He wasn't there.

Also, is this guy single? Does he actually want her? Does she even know?
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Emotional Affair - HELP!

I have asked her to stop talking to him during this time, she said it would only be fair if she moved out away from me at the same time. I don't want that, thats just inviting him to step in.

He has told her he has been in love with her since HS. Been through 2 failed marriages, one only ended last month, after he had been talking with my wife a few months.

She says he has offered to step back but she won't let him. She admits that. My kids are oblivious so far (all under 13). This will destroy them (and me) if it ruins our marriage.

I know she is just confused. In her heart she knows the right thing but I know now I can't help her with that, I'm too close.
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Does she have her own assets?

And really, she chooses to believe a two-time loser when he claims love? What did he tell the girl he was with only a month? Why did his other marriage fail?

I'm sorry but your wife is delusional. She needs to see a shrink who will help her recognize the signs of a manipulative loser who has to dig back 25 years to comfort himself when he can't manage a close-proximity relationship.

And if he wanted to step back, he would. He doesn't need your wife to do that. He can block her calls and stop accepting her emails. So he's not exactly honorable.

Further, a guy who would steal someone out of a solid marriage would also not fail to cheat when it suited him as he has no respect for marriage or other people. When he gets comforted on your wife (who is a rebound), what do you think he'll do next? Probably look for his next conquest.

Me? I'd tell her to go. If this loser is really what she wants, have at him. I get angry for you just thinking about how stupid and selfish she is being. And this guy, he deserves a smack upside the head.
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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All our assets, what few there are, are shared. I am hopeful a good counselor will help her sort this out.

I share your thoughts about the guy, if he were truly honorable, this would never have happened. If she chose him, there would be more hurt for her later, of that I am sure.

I know she is just confused. I have known her for 17 years, we shared every thought with each other for most of those years. To our friends, we were role models. Family members have chosen us to take their kids if something were to happen to them. This is not her. I know I have some blame in this, too.

I Love Her still and would forgive, forget and move on immediately if given the chance. But like Amp said, this is going to be a long process and my need for immediate resolution is not going to benefit either of us.

I really would like to know what a counselor will do with this, how they will approach it. I have been pushing for a Christian based counselor but she is the one that is going to pick. Having never been in this situation, I don't know if they will tell her to pursue her fantasy or if they will be family-based and try to steer her back to me. Any insight into this would sure be helpful.
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Old 09-16-2009, 12:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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She needs a dose of reality because the fantasy she is living with is powerful stuff indeed.

Also, he is giving her something you were not, be it attention, romance, excitement, the thrill of doing something forbidden, hope for a different future, something. Escape? A break from boredom and monotony?

A man who truly wants a woman goes after her. He doesn't wait until he's got two failed marriages under his belt to look her up. He doesn't wait until she's married with children to look her up. That's a selfish man who doesn't love anyone but himself. That's not a guy who has been pining away for 25 years.

What a yutz this guy is!

All you want in a counselor at minimum is someone who is pro-marriage and who preferably has been married for a long time.
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Old 09-16-2009, 01:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Emotional Affair - HELP!

Quote:
Originally Posted by desparado View Post
my need for immediate resolution is not going to benefit either of us.
Very wise desparado. Any quick change in direction will probably go against you. She does need to sort her feelings out. While I detest what she has done she too is in turmoil and pain here. Again, it is positive that she recognizes her feelings for him. It took my wife 7 months to recognize what the relationship really was. I too believed (or wanted to believe) it was just a healthy friendship. She tried to end it on a couple of occasions but stubbed her toe there. It wasn’t until a very carefully worded, concerned but firm ultimatum was delivered that it finally ended. She made the right decision and began to concentrate on us. She grieved and even resented me for a time in demanding it end but we’ve made great progress since. Good luck, it can recover but it will likely take all you’ve got. Read the signature lines, I lived by those four words to get me through.
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Old 09-16-2009, 01:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I hope I haven't gone to far already. She's still here, thats my plus. Those are good words to live by. I will do whatever it takes because she is worth it. As hard as it is and as hard as it will be.

Did the counselor help your wife sort out her feelings? My girl is putting a lot of stock in this and so am I. She needs an educated third party to help her see whats really going on. She knows that, I just hope the influence of said 3rd party will be enough to get her looking back my way.

I would like to schedule a date for the two of us this Saturday. Do you think that is too much too quick? I had also purchased "The Love Dare", but felt things are too sticky to start that right now, but maybe they aren't. I don't want to miss a step but I don't want to over do either. Thanks for the great advice so far. I have a lot of support, but no one that has been through this personally. It is helping a lot.
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Old 09-16-2009, 01:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Emotional Affair - HELP!

Trying to throw too much romance and “fixing” will likely overwhelm her but play it by ear. If she receptive to a date or more time together then great. If not be sure to spend lots of time with your kids as a couple and family. If she is missing something from you or you have behaviors that need to improve a sustained effort towards those will mean more to her than dates and flowers. In our case the counselor never really dwelled on the EA although she was aware of it. She spent more time on the things we appreciated about each other and our current feelings toward each other. Since my wife didn’t realize her deeper feelings for TOM during or time with the counselor it probably wouldn’t have made much impact because TOM wasn’t the problem in her mind, I was.

I have heard the love dare is good but haven’t read it. The Five Languages of Love was of great help to me as I finally realized what I wasn’t doing that told my wife I loved her.
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:03 PM   #13 (permalink)
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IMO, you should let her go into therapy by herself. That way she realizes the decisions she has arrived at are her own and that you didn't shame her into something.

Join her after a few sessions.
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:15 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I agree with that and it is my plan.

You guys have been a great help to me today. This morning I was distraught and thought all hope was lost. I have hope and with God's help, patience will see us through.

Any other thoughts from anyone that has gone through or is currently going through this would really help too.
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:28 PM   #15 (permalink)
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BTW, be prepared for a therapist to appear to be understanding of your wife's feelings. It may appear that they are really supporting her poor decision-making but they are really just trying to develop a relationship and to make her feel at ease discussing her current state. With time they will discuss all sorts of things that lead her to this place and will attempt to get at why she is where she is and help her figure out where she wants to be. It isn't an instant process, in other words. So show a lot of patience. And, don't bug her to know what they discussed. She'll share when she's ready.
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