Can a marriage survive this?


One person gets involved in an emotional affair. Both the husband and wife sitll love each other and want to work it out.


The person who had the affair still wants to be friends with the “other person”. Is this a possiblity? How can the one who was cheated on ever accept any sort of friendship between them?


I suppose it is a possibility, but I think it is probaby HEALTHIER for the friendship to reach the level of acquaintances.


Is that even possible for them to do after everything that transpired?


I think it would only be a possibility if the other spouse didn’t know about the friendship. At which point the marraige wouldn’t be sharing everything openly and problems would arise from that.

The marraige could survive. But I agree with the previous poster - it wouldn’t be the healthiest marraige.

I would suggest counseling so that both people in the marraige can get everything out on the table, and discuss it openly - in an atmosphere that is not hostile - with no defensive retaliation. Once they can truly see where the other is coming from, they should make a decision together. Surely in the end, an individual would chose their spouse over their friend. If not, then it’s time to question the marraige. But that shouldn’t be done until the end of marraige counseling after everyone truly understands one another.


I don’t know if it could work out or not…

I know that if I were the person who was the cheated upon party in the marriage, I would make it a stipulation that all contact with the “other” person be stopped. Immediately.

The cheating party sinned against his/her spouse. He or she lost the right to set boundries on his/her relationships. Obviously he/she can’t be trusted to do it. Not yet anyway.

Trust cannot be restored between husband and wife as long as one party is always wondering if that “friendship” is going back to “more than a friendship”.


I don’t think it would be wise to keep a “friendship” with someone who one had an affair with. It would be inviting temptation on a constant basis, not to mention it would no doubt be hurtful for the spouse who did not cheat.

The dedication to one’s spouse must come before any other friendships, and in this case, the “friendship” in question isn’t really a friendship at all, but a representation of a lack of fidelity. Not a good idea to keep such a relationship going if you ask me. :nope:


I believe that for trust to be rebuilt, all ties with this other person need to be cut. The temptation for repeat offense is just statistically too high, no matter how strong or committed someone is to their spouse and marraige.

Staying “friends” with that person they are setting themselves up for failure IMHO.



There are plenty of marraiges that ARE healthy that have survived emotional affairs and even physical ones. It takes a lot to overcome but there are people who do it and do it well.


I have to say that I think a strictly physical affair would be easier to overcome than one where there was a deep emotional bond.

That’s why I asked.


It depends on if this is a person that the couple will run into or not. If they attend the same church, for instance, there’s nothing wrong with saying “hi” but that is it. However anything above that should be avoided to spare your spouse any pain…and to avoid occasions of sin.


How about the unfaithful ones working together?


I wouldn’t demand that my spouse stop working there immediately, but I would ask that they start looking for a job somewhere else.


I think that the person who was involved in the emotional affair needs to have some individual counseling. That person was probably using that relationship to address some problems that would probably really be better dealt with in counseling. I think once that party gets to where they need to be emotionally there won’t be the need or the temptation to be involved in any sort of a way with this other person.


As many companies have rules against relationships between employees, this would put the job AND the marriage in jeopardy.

Because I am never quite sure what any one means by “emotional affair”, I’m going to stick with the old NT rule of thumb - if you have lusted you have already committed the sin.

Two people had an affair. Can they remain friends once the affair is found out? While every single person is different, in general, I’d say no. They should avoid any near occasion or situation that could cause scandal (being alone with one another, private conversations in person, email, or phone). They could be friendly in open, public situations.


I suppose giving an ultimatum is not the best way to handle this.

As most of you are probably guessing, I’m in this situation myself. I don’t know how to handle this.

I found out about it last June 8. She wanted to remain at her job, and still be friendLY with him, “keeping it professional”. Many, many times, I still found emails from them to each other talking about how much they missed each other, and were in emotional pain. Then, July 8, I found an email from her to him where all she said was “I love you more” (Evidently, at work the day before, he had said “I still love you” and then he got embarrased and apologized in an email). That day was nearly the end of everything. She told me, and showed me the email that he sent saying they’d have no more contact. Stupid me, I believed them. As far as I know, HE has never contacted my wife again. In September, after I’d had a wonderful July & August, thinking everything was over, she attempted to meet him “for a milkshake” after work one night. I just happened to decide to check up on her that day, and found it, and called her on her way to work and let her know my displeasure. She was really upset with me for spying, so I removed the spy program I had on her computer. I then found another way to find out if she was emailing him without the use of the spy program. She emailed him, and I caught her every week for 6 weeks straight. She finally stopped when I sent an email to her and him that simply said “You just can’t stop, can you?”. Then, I found her cell phone bill in January, and she had called him at home twice. She promised again, no more outside of work contact, and no more secrets. Then, a week later, I found out that he had given her a birthday present, and that they had exchanged Christmas presents. Then, on this past Sunday, we had a big argument when I asked her when her weekend job would be done so that we could have family time on the weekends again. She went off on me like nobody’s business. “That job puts the gas in our vehicles”, “You want me to never leave the house, and not have any friends outside the house.” And, so on… So, of course, now I feel all guilty, even though I don’t think those statements are true. Any time she asks me if she can go anywhere, I say “go”. And, as far as friends, I’ve only ever told her to stay away from ONE person, and that was with good reason.

I’m at a breaking point. I don’t know what to do. She doesn’t want to talk to anyone, she wants to work this out between us. I want to say a million things, but I’m afraid to lose her.

I sit and dwell on the things that happened, words that were said, and I’m so mad at myself for not seeing it sooner. For ENCOURAGING her to go out with him, thinking they were only friends. I’m so mad at myself for the way I handled it when I found out, I wish I could go back in time, wait for the next email when they agree to meet, and show up and just punch him square in his face. (My blood is boiling now, just thinking about it.)

I’m so lost. I’ve lost who I was. I need a confessional so badly. I haven’t been to communioin since before Halloween.


You haven’t gone to communion since before Halloween? Yes, you definitely do need confession. I would schedule an appointment to really have a chance to talk to your priest, because you really do need some outside perspective here.


I hope to this week.

I wish she would go to confession too. It’s been nearly a year since she went to communion.


Well, go and set a good example for her.


Please go to confession and communion. You NEED Jesus. :heart:

It seems to me that if she is truly willing to work it out with you, you need to go to therapy together – I haven’t used it myself but I’ve heard great things about Retrouvaille ( If she really wants to save the marriage, then she absolutely needs to stop having any kind of contact with this man.

You said you’ve lost who you were…as much as we identify who we are by the roles we fulfill (husband, wife, father, mother, etc.) please remember that you are still you – the beautiful person that God created and knew and loved before you were even born. Don’t let her transgressions taint your self-worth.

I’m sorry you’re going through this. I’ll pray for you and your marriage. :crossrc: :hug1:


And just wanted to say this…emotional affairs are pure foolishness. What is it that she wants? Does she want an end to her marriage? Is that what she thinks will bring her true happiness? Probably not. I don’t know what the issues are, but you seem like a genuinely good guy who has given her plenty of space. I doubt that what she wants is to lose what she has with you. In reality, she probably does want you, but with whatever excitement and romance she has found by having someone to have this ill-fated affair of the heart with. It probably has made her feel desirable. Honestly, if she could address whatever it is inside of her that is lacking, that this relationship seems to add, she (and you) would be so much better off.

It would just be really nice if she could see the foolishness of it, that all these “I love yous” with this other guy are just an illusion and that at the end of the day the only thing that is real and the only thing that deserves her attention is her marriage. This other thing she has going on is not taking her any closer to that goal.

I am wondering though with you saying that you have lost who you are what your actual marriage is like. That is the kind of a thing that you would hear someone who has been in an abusive relationship say. I am just wondering if your relationship with your wife has been a happy one. Has she been kind or has she been someone who called you names or who has put the blame for everything on you? It really wouldn’t hurt for you to get some counseling, either from a therapist or from your priest, to get a little more perspective on your marital relationship.

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