Is is possible to get over an emotional affair
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is is possible to get over an emotional affair

My wife and I have been together for 13 years, married for 10. On d-day two months ago, I found out wife had a short physical affair 7 years ago. The problem is, she's kept it to herself and held onto the emotional part ever since. It seems every time we would have problems, in her own mind she would revert to those stored up feelings and ask herself "what-if".

As of now, she has been building on those feelings for 7 years and is to the point of seriously asking herself which is more important to her (it doesn't help that he lives 4 blocks away and she has to drive by his house every day).

She doesn't want break apart our family, but she has allowed herself to let those feelings for him build and lose feelings for me. She says she has this strong intuition that says they will be together someday and doesn't know what she should do with that. I'm working on the forgiveness for the PA, but it's the EA that's holding us back. We've addressed most, if not all of the reasons for our own problems, but she still has that strong intuition as she calls it asking herself "what-if".

So here's my big question for those that have been in this situation. Is this something that she will be able to get over? Is this something that will haunt her for the rest of her life?
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is is possible to get over an emotional affair

Yes it is possible for her to get over it but she must make the conscious decision to let go of TOM. Until get gets closure there she will be unable to fully reconnect with you as her husband. There cannot be any “what-ifs”, she must choose. It is very likely that the two of you will need assistance in moving forward. Look into counseling to help her with moving past him and for you in trust and forgiveness. Recovering from an EA can take a lot of time, we’ve been trying now for almost 18 months but have gained ground. Good luck.
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Old 10-14-2008, 11:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is is possible to get over an emotional affair

We started the counseling two months ago, but she hasn't wanted to go back since. I have an appt tomorrow that she may take from me, and I am more than willing to allow her to.

She says she wants the closure, and I agree she needs it, but at this point neither of us are sure what that consists of. She called him once behind my back about 5 weeks ago apparently looking for that closure, but says she didn't get it.

I've told her more than once that if we can fix what we need to and make our marriage what we want it to be, there won't be any what-ifs.
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Old 10-14-2008, 01:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is is possible to get over an emotional affair

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Originally Posted by Hurting08 View Post
I've told her more than once that if we can fix what we need to and make our marriage what we want it to be, there won't be any what-ifs.
That is an excellent approach to take. It shows that not only are you willing to work at the marriage but that she has a positive future in it. It is very positive that she is looking for closure but what is it that she needs for that to happen? Belief that your marriage will be happy, that she is through with him forever….? I guess I would try and define what closure is for her then help her find ways to obtain it. Good luck.
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Old 10-14-2008, 01:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is is possible to get over an emotional affair

She doesn't yet know what she needs for closure, and I honestly can't help her with that part. The hard part for her is that she has known him for so long (they dated before we met), and doesn't think she can go the rest of her life without ever talking to him again. Obviously from my perspective, that isn't an option. I also think part of her wants to know if there is a chance at a future with him 'just in case' we don't work. She needs to understand that she can't be putting 100% into us if she is still holding on to a back door.
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Old 10-14-2008, 02:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is is possible to get over an emotional affair

What does she think is missing from your marriage?

What does he give her that you don't?
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Old 10-14-2008, 03:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is is possible to get over an emotional affair

She can't, or won't say what he gives her that I don't or what is missing here. We really don't have it bad - new house in an excellent neighborhood, three great kids, great job (me) that allows her the option to stay home with the kids, etc... I think part of her problem is that's never enough. After 5 years of staying home with the kids she has this idea that she wants freedom - from the day to day responsibilities, to be able to make decisions without having to consider anyone else. She seems to think that running off with him will just make things easier, and that's what her heart is telling her to do (did I mention he is recently divorced). She likes the newness, change, excitement - all things that are really hard to come by in a 10 year old marriage with three young kids. I know of some things that I have let go over the years that I am working on, but as of the time she ran out, she said we were having problems that I wasn't even aware of.

She's also very quick to run away from challenges and take the easy road out. The hardest part of the last two months has been getting her to actually do something and work on us. She has this idea that she can just wait for 6 months and see if things get better at home without actually trying to make a change.
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Old 10-14-2008, 09:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is is possible to get over an emotional affair

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the "what-ifs" of hers are a fantasy and an escape. Its not even him, but when reality is hard, and life can be with 3 kids, bills, and just day to day life, its this "what-if" that offers an escape. I'm willing to bet that in her what if fantasies there are no bills, pressure, stress, etc.

From the perspective of someone who has been recently cheated on (your d-day is somewhere around mine) what we both learned was that his affair was an escape. The girl (and I use that term cause she's all of 18) was convenient. She lived down the street and threw herself at him. He was feeling the affects of age and it was flattery. Also we have kids, bills, a business, a difficult economy and its a lot of stress. He felt something was missing from our relationship and thought an affair or maybe getting out of the marriage was the answer. The affair did not give him what was missing, it made it all worse. He became someone else, angry, depressed, just not a fun person to be around.

It took hitting rock bottom and me finding out and throwing him out to realize he had it all and in his words "F-ed up my entire life". She's on that edge and stepping over that line doesn't make everything great, it will cause great pain and regret.

She sounds bored honestly. A SAHM doesn't get out much. She's probably built this whole thing up and its interesting. You can make life interesting too you know. Be spontaneous, come home in the middle of the day (if kids are school age) to be intimate. Take her out on a date. Tell her for now reason at all she looks beautiful. Get some new interests together.

In our case, I wanted, needed to know the cause of the affair. That took some thinking on his part, I also learned later on it went on for 4 months not 1 month like I was originally told so yeah there was an emotional connection and in some ways that bothered me more.

We are able to talk about these issues now and he said to me that what was missing was there all along he'd just forgotten or ignored it. The spark is back, but too bad it took something so drastic and painful. In order to go on, I needed to know all ties emotional and physical were cut. I can tell that they are as like in fatal attraction she's not taking it so well....

Your wife needs to make a commitment to your marriage. Right now she's playing out a fantasy and you're right can't give you 100%. You also don't deserve to go on that way either. I do believe its possible for both parties to get over an affair, but both of you have to let it go until she does that, neither of you can heal.
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