An Emotional Affair?


#1

Hi,
I’m new to this forum and I really need some thoughts from other Catholics. I recently discovered from our phone bill that my husband was having converstations with another women he met through a contact at work. The calls were several times a day and late at night and some would go on for 45 minutes. This was going on for about 6 weeks. I called him on it and he admitted right away that he was talking to this women and had started to “like” her. He then says he realized this was wrong and they agreed to “cool it”. He swears that nothing physical happened and that they never met for coffee etc or anything. I still am so devestated by this and find this to be an emotional affair. This was kept a secret from me and it could of developed into more if I had not found out about this. We have been married for 10 years and have a daughter. My husband is very sorry and said he knows how devestating it was. But still I can’t get past it, that it happened right under my nose. Is this considered an adultery even though nothing happened phsyically? I gave him h** for this and even called this women but she will not talk to me. I am still very upset and not sure what to do. Please offer some advice. Thanks and God Bless.


#2

Hi Julie,

I can see why you would be hurt and feel betrayed. You should feel that way. What you need to do right now, more than getting angry with your husband and telling him that he has had an affair or committed adultery is to work on and focus on your relationship with your husband and on protecting your marriage.

You do need to set up clear boundaries with your husband, that communicating with this woman, either by phone or email, from work or from home, is totally unacceptable.

Then I would kind of try to forget how hurt and how upset you are for a bit and really talk to him and try to find out where he is at…where he was at that he started talking to her. Was there some other reason he had to begin communicating with her that he let get out of hand…or did he approach her with a relationship in mind? It would be good to try to really hear his side in this, to get him to open up where he is speaking to you from his heart and not feeling so threatened that all he can do is give you lies and excuses.

Even though there is nothing that makes such a relationship okay, there probably are some deficits, either in your relationship with him or in his own personal makeup that led to him doing this. In a way, it might be nice to find out if there are areas that you can work on, because at least that gives you something that you can do, since it is up to him to address his own issues. Not everyone is willing to do that unfortunately.

I would really recommend that aside from pointing out that this is an emtional affair and that he was being unfaithful to his vows, that you not dwell on that too. Constantly telling him that he cheated on you is not going to move you forward, and in fact will probably lead you to this place where you want to be the victom. That’s not going to be a good place for you to be.

Really, if you can get in touch with a good Catholic counselor, that is what I would recommend. I hope that both you and your husband will be committed to working this out. Praying for you.


#3

The thing that tipped me off was he kept it a secret from you.

If he is really eager to turn this situation around, see how much he wants to open up and be honest from here on out. Is he willing to be 100% transparent in things such as cellphone use and contact with other women? Or does he balk and stall?

A lot of people fall into an emotional affair without fully being aware of it. Their spouses might even noticed it. He seemed pretty aware as he kept things private and hid it from you.


#4

Dulcissima,
Thank you so much for your kind words. I really appriciate it. I know that we have a lot to work on and to figure out what happened. He said he was lonely and we work alternating shifts so I know that has a lot to do with it. I am trying to move past it and I know it will take time. We are going to sit down with either the Priest or Deacon from our church. The problem is also that my husband does not attend church with me. That really bothers me too but he wants nothing to do with it anymore. He was an altar boy as a child but just wants nothing to do with the Church right now. Believe me, I pray every day for that to change. Thanks again for you kind words.


#5

Hasikelee,
Thanks for resonding. I am so thankful for such kinds words also from you. He does know I have access to all phone records and will pick up his cell phone right in front of him to check. I honestly do think he is very sorry and has learned his lessons. I’m pretty sure I believe he will never have contact with this women either ever again. I reacted pretty bad and lost my temper with him several times. I guess that is the Italian in me! But I did also call her and leave a message telling her we needed to have a converstation. I was not rude or threatening but made it clear from the tone of my voice that I was pretty upset with her for violating my marriage. I guess now she is afraid and I’m glad for that. Again, thanks so much for your sweet words.


#6

www.marriagebuilders.com this site might have some resources for you. I especially liked his book, “His Needs, Her Needs.” It might be of interest to you because the theme of his work is to prevent affairs and to get marriages back into the stage of love.

Is the woman from his work?


#7

Thanks, I will check that book out. NO, she is not from his work. Believe me if she was, he wouldn’t be working there anymore! She actually works for Monster.com and he met her through his boss who uses that company I guess.


#8

Hi Julie, and welcome to CAF. I don’t have a whole lot to add to what the others have said, but I want to second what dulcissima said about not dwelling on this. My brother is going through a divorce from his wife of 18 years. Their marriage was troubled to begin with, but then he got involved in an emotional phone/email relationship with a coworker whom I’ll call Suzy. Suzy came on to him and he didn’t discourage this, although he said that he never felt more than friendship for her and nothing physical ever happened. Suzy sent some rather suggestive emails, and Wife got into his email account and found them. Wife went ballistic, beyond the “normal” level of anger and betrayal to the point of doing some pretty psycho things like printing off the emails and showing them to everyone who would read them (thereby publicly humiliating my brother, but then expecting him to go to family functions with her!), trying to befriend another of his coworkers for the purpose of getting that person to spy on him and Suzy at work, and showing up at his job and creating a scene. Wife wouldn’t let go of her rage and just kept beating and beating the whole thing to death for weeks on end, which just pushed him further away, which in turn made Wife even *more *angry, and it spiraled downhill until the whole thing came apart, despite months of counseling for both of them. My brother said to me, “Wife has done more to push me into Suzy’s arms than anything Suzy could ever have done.” Moral of the story: Don’t be like my almost ex-SIL and let this episode poison your entire relationship. Move on with caution, but do move on.

Praying for you.


#9

Thank you Carrie,
That was very helpful actually. Because I know I do need to move on and forgive him and her as much as I don’t want to. I know I will go to confession and talk with my priest about it. And it will take time but I do want to let go of the anger because that is not good for anyone involved. Thank you and God Bless you.


#10

I’m sorry this happened to you Julie–I’ll keep you and your husband in my prayers. He realizes his mistake, and hopefully, will never do something like this again. I wouldn’t confront the woman though–you’re better than that. She herself is not the issue–this is between you and your husband. She was just the catalyst at that moment–and perhaps, there are things that your husband is going through and went down this path to deal with it, or perhaps something could improve within your marriage. Either way, the other person is not the issue, really…I just wanted to add that, because I remember having a friend who confronted the other woman, and it left her feeling worse.:frowning: Good luck to you and your husband to get past this. ((hugs))


#11

Julie, one thing (actually two) that struck me were that your husband KNOWS that you check the phone bill and his phone. It seems that he wanted you to find out (because he didn’t try to get a new cell phone, and he knew that you check the phone and the phone bill) probably to address the other issue of the two of you working opposite schedules and him feeling lonely. That may be the underlying issue and he may not have known a better way to address it with you. I would suggest, however, that both of you reevaluate your jobs and see if one of you can find another that is roughly the same times as the other’s so as not to have opposite schedules. What will happen the next time he feels lonely because he only gets to spend time near you when you’re sleeping and on weekends? If you work opposite schedules so that one of you can be home with your daughter, it may be time to realize that having your daughter go to school/daycare may be a better option than her having two parents who have a struggling marriage. Your marriage needs healing so that you can be better parents.


#12

Julie, one thing (actually two) that struck me were that your husband KNOWS that you check the phone bill and his phone. It seems that he wanted you to find out (because he didn’t try to get a new cell phone, and he knew that you check the phone and the phone bill) probably to address the other issue of the two of you working opposite schedules and him feeling lonely.

Oh, I wouldn’t be so sure. If your husband is a nice guy, then he probably just isn’t sly enough to be a “good cheat” and you should be thankful of that. I don’t think it’s necessarily a “cry for help” or attention.

I think the advice to not let your rage overtake you is very, very good.

Another way to “frame this”, if it helps you, is your husband probably developed a “crush” on this Suzy. Perfectly normal married men can get crushes on other women, even if they are happy at home.

I hear it even happens with women.

Of course, he took it a step further by “nuturing the crush”, which was wrong. And it was great you caught it.

And you showing your jealousy may actually be flattering and comforting to him and men crave a little “policing” from their wives. It makes them feel loved.

Even Dr. Phil has his wife hawking over him at every function.

I’m going to be optimistic, but I think you’ll both emerge stronger from this although you are hurting now and I am sorry for that.

(Disclaimer: not trying to excuse any sin/transgression he committed by posting this as I am a pig-male :slight_smile: )


#13

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