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emotional affair

Community Member

Back story 19 years together, interstate move, 4 children and 11 years of marriage.

I'm a stay at home mum and my husband is fifo in the mines, he suffers depression so his moods can sometimes be unpredictable and he uses alcohol to soften it. He is away more than he is home so the majority of the time i am here with the kids on my own.

3 days ago i received a message from another woman who i knew of as his high school gf, she then proceeded to tell me that my husband talks to her via private chat app. Many times over the years. This time it had continued for a month while he is away. So on and off for the 19 years. But not all the time, They would just walk in and out of messages every couple of years and just chat.

Somehow these past weeks it became a little more and he shared photos of what he looks like now(clothed not sexual) but her photo in return (bikini) she is a single mother of 2. She asked for his number on this last occasion and he added her on fb. She then seen somethings on fb and she realised he was still very much in love with me. She questioned him and he said i don't want to be with you, this is just a friendship. She then threatened to come clean to me and he hung up. He festered on this for a day, but did nothing. So she filled me in, said she fell for him and she wanted me to know its all cheating when your married.

How do i trust him when its happened on and off for so long? It was just general chatting but it was kept a secret. How do you look into your wifes eyes and never tell. He has fallen apart from this. He's so very sorry and said he will do anything. He's about to start councilling, his work is sending him home cause he cries and falls into a heap. He can't come home with covid restriction and work. He can't say why he even did it? or why he continued it?

But he retains that i am the best thing in his life and he hates himself for hurting me. How do you move past this? Is it worth salvaging? it feels like such a long time of betrayl? He doesn't want to loose what we have and has completley removed her from everything and said never ever will he go there again. She has since blocked us both on fb and insta but for how long? he is now changing his phone number and said he's done.

5 Replies 5

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi lisa83,

Welcome to the forums. I'm so sorry to hear about this terrible position you find yourself in. This is totally unacceptable behaviour in a committed relationship, especially as you point out, because it went on for so long. I think this is a complicated situation, and you would probably be justified no matter what you decide. Here are my two cents:

Assuming that the messaging had been going on for years, but the photos genuinely only escalated to a sexual level in the past few weeks, and that you have reason to believe this to be true, I think this is a salvageable situation. Does your husband have other female friendships in his normal life that you know about? If not, my most charitable reading of the situation is that he enjoyed having an intimate friendship with and old flame that was separate and secret. Married life is long and hard, and it's possible that even the thrill of talking with a high school sweetheart in a fairly innocuous way was enough for him.

This is not to excuse your husband's behaviour but to at least contextualize it a bit (again, with a very charitable reading). If your husband is as guilty as you say he is, you should be able to demand and get the whole truth and better understand the actual extent of what he did. It may be worth considering the fact that it sounds like your husband wasn't the first to make the conversation sexual, even if on some level he knew/wanted it to head in that direction.

If you would like to, please keep me updated on what you choose. As I said, I think you have a number of ways to play this but I don't think it's totally unsalvageable.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Lisa83,

Sorry to hear of your plight and I sense your hurt comes more from being shut out than the actual 'to and fro' of texting which, from your post, contained no explicit material to raise alarm.

Without unpicking every detail, you have two accounts of what went on. Have you considered 'motive' for what she said, or sought evidence beyond what was stated (compromising photos or messages)?

It is possible to have boy friends and girl friends (and some go back many years) without compromising a relationship. Fundamentally, the question that rests with you is 'Can you forgive?'

True remorse and loving forgiveness will only further bond the relationship in trust and understanding.

I hope you can delay any hasty actions before considering your response.



Community Champion
Community Champion


welcome to the virus and thanks for your first post.

this is complicated and does depend on context.

if the relationship was just friends he would tell you. my partner has an old friend from work years ago and he is friends Fb and it is open not secrets. .

sometimes when one is depressed you push away the ones you love and gravitate towards someone they feel they can communicate with.

I can see you are very upset and hurt and that the he is remorseful.

The decision is yours if you can find a way to forgive him.

Gems has given you a caring and helpful response. I too am interested into how you are thinking and if you had any plan


while he was the one that ultimately did the wrong thing. Why do i feel like i am to blame? why do i now sit here and pick myself apart? am i not attractive enough? am i not good enough? why would i not be enough? i can't bring myself to eat because i see fat. maybe its that i put on weight? will i ever be enough?

all these whys are the hardest?

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Hi Lisa83,
The 'friend' on the phone was being provocative and flirtatious possibly after realising you had what she didn't - There is nothing to blame yourself for other than jumping to conclusions. From what you wrote, you are the world to your partner and he loves you dearly.
Talk to your partner and find out the whole story - take it slowly and give him the chance to open up about it. With mutual support, you can work through this together.