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My Husband had and emotional affair

Theupsidedown
Community Member

Hi,

I am new to this...

I found out a few months back that my husband was having an emotional affair via the internet and Skype with a women on the other side of the world.

I’m we have been together for 16 years and married for just shy of 8 years with 2 children. We have been together since I was 14 and he was 15 so we we have never been with anyone else and have been in a relationship for more than half of our lives. I found out that the affair had been going on for 9 years.

We have been seeing a counselor pretty much since I found out the truth. At first I felt like I was dealing with it pretty well. I did have empathy for him as I knew we weren’t communicating or connecting like we should.

Now 4 and half months later the hurt is really getting to me and not too sure how to deal with it.

I love him with all my heart and can’t imagine my future without him, despite what has happened we really do have an amazing relationship.

Anyone else out there been in a similar situation?

8 Replies 8

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Theupsidedown~

Welcome here to the Forum. I'm sorry you have this great upset in your life, I'm not sure other people's experiences are always a good match and their solutions right for us, I guess you compare and decide.

Both your husband and you have invested a great portion of your lives to build a relationship together, and had children. If there is still love between you - not just you for him - I would think it was something worth fighting for.

I also think he has to be the one to make the sustained effort to try to rebuild your feelings of trust and security. This is not something you can do - even if you want to badly. How he does this I'm not sure. Obviously the internet relationship has to cease, he will have to look to you for whatever he found in it. Apart from that he has to demonstrate reliability and obvious love over a long period I guess.

Finding one's partner is having an affair is not only removes all trust, but is a pretty savage blow to self-worth too. I suspect rightly or wrongly one can't help feeling in some way responsible by not being attractive enough, sexy enough, interesting enough - the list goes on and on. It is in part these feelings he has raised in you he will have to address so you no longer feel that way.

I'm also not sure to what extent an Internet/Skype relationship is the same as an actual face-to-face one. I guess someone else might have to give their views on that.

I'm probably letting the things I cherish influence my advice here, I have had two really great marriages and value them immensely. I'd do a lot to maintain one.

So I'll give you my hopes it works out

Croix

geoff
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello Theupsidedown, Croix has said most of what I was going to say, however having a r/ship using Skype only means he's talking with someone he really knows little about, except for what she says to him, but if for example they were to be together, and I'm NOT suggesting that this happen, it's just an example, then what they haven't told each other or trying to hide will eventually come out, and then their personalities may collide.
I know it shouldn't be happening but he's living a dream to be with someone who he believes is perfect, and it should be stopped, otherwise he's jeopardising your long term commitment to each other, and that would be heartbreaking for you, but I really hope it happens. Geoff.

Empathic
Community Member

Hi theupsidedown

I'm sorry you are going through this. From my point of view an emotional affair is no different to any other. Your husband took intimacy away from you and gave it to someone else for 9 years. Thats a very long time! I have been in a similar situation when I discovered my husband's porn addiction and having my first marriage end by my husbands affair I can tell you now your feelings and emotional pain are no different. My husband and I are still in the early days and are having counselling which is certainly helping him. I on the other hand am still very angry and emotional (nearly 4 months down the track)

You have every right to be hurting. 9 years of having your husband giving away intimate parts of himself will have a profound effect on you. Croix is absolutely correct in saying your husband is the one that needs to put in 110%. You did not cause this - if communication was a problem then he should have sorted it with YOU not slinked off online and connected with someone else.

I do hope you can find peace soon. It'll be a long, hard road and yes you do also need to make an effort but its your husband's responsibility to rebuild trust and to help you regain your self worth. Good luck.

This is a complex area, and I feel for both Theupsidedown and her husband.

I must first issue this disclaimer: I have also done what Theupsidedown's husband has done.

Firstly, Croix's comments are absolutely spot on.

Unlike Empathic's comment, I never withdrew my intimacy from my wife. I can empathise with Empathic's ongoing anger.

The key in my own situation was talking. Both my wife and I had to address very profound issues within each of ourselves before we could address the single issue that stood between us. Of the two of us, she had the harder task, but we pulled through. Despite my wife's own fears, and despite my fears of my wife , we together found a solution.

I have not mentioned the nature of the single issue that stood between us because I wish to avoid causing distress to readers, but I will share it if asked. (No, there was no violence or anything like that!)

My suggestion, for what it is worth, is talk to each other, listen to each other, and be prepared to individually challenge everything within each of your own selves.

I hope this helps, and I *really* hope that both of you can find a positive outcome.

Juliet_84
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

I know the tendency in these situations is to lay 100% of the blame on your husband, he has to make it up to you etc, but I don't think that's necessarily fair. He was talking with a woman, I understand, but if it was my partner I would also question why he felt that he couldn't talk to me? What do you mean when you say you weren't communicating or connecting the way you should? I think that a large percentage of people are quite loyal to the people they love, myself included, but human beings crave intimacy from the opposite sex and if your relationship leaves you feeling terrible about yourself, unfulfilled or none of those things then I think a lot of people will feel tempted by someone who meets some of those needs. I in no way wish to apply blame to you since I don't know your situation, I just thinkthat it can be damaging to aportion 100% of the blame to one person as life is rarely so black and white.

Robbie_A
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi there Theupsidedown,

I personally havent been in this situation but someone very cloae to me has been..

This happened roughly 4+ years ago where my friend and her husband were in almoat identical situation as you and your partner,first love,they have 3 gorgeous children and from the outside looking in a pretty stabke and happy relationship.

My friend as her husband have been doing councelling for the past few years to work out there relationship in everyway bcos there is real love and emotion there,they had to search and work through what may have been missing,it couldve been as simple as never being with another person and being together for 15years or more she had the urge to explore alittle.

Ultimatley her husband found out she was having an emotional relationship with a man from the otherside of the world for 2 plus years.. They are still together and have had a journey and a half to get there relationship to a happy place again,they both had to look at what part they both played in this situation and what was missing and what one or another couldve done more..

What she had over seas over skye wasnt real and yes an emotional relationship can hurt just as much as a physical,but in this case they were just words being passed through a laptop with no real meaning and depth.. In a sense saying things just to get the same thibg straight back.. I think at the start my friend enjoyed the excitment of it all,but then to her it just became a regular thing she did daily with no real feelings of love attached.. "Those where her words"..

In the end it is a tough place to be in,and ive seen first hand how many different emotions and stages they both have had to go through to get back to a good hapoy loving place.. So it is definatley possible..

I believe if you inlove and have build a beautiful gift in a family you can work through anything..

I wish you the best of luck..

Robbie

Hi

This is a really difficult situation and hard to give peer advice to. It's great to have so many quality replies though.

An emotional affair is an affair, a breach of trust that, had the other woman been living nearby it would almost certainly led to a physical one hence the seriousness cant be discounted.

Firstly lets be realistic about your fault here. Juliet has a point that life isn't a 100% blame one person for the affair. However how much should you be blamed for. The affair went on for 9 years. I'm safe I think to assume that during that period you had very happy times and intimacy was ok. So what I'm eluding to is that he has continued on for a very long time when he could have terminated it. I think you can question yourself a little and the intimacy and other areas could well do with being placed under the microscope. But draw a line as to how much you blame yourself because he should have discussed this many times as part of his responsibility.

Trust being broken I, if in your position would question what other actions might be there you don't know about?

After all this you will get to a point hopefully that you will want to move forward. If you do, then it needs total commitment from both of you and it can be rectified....if you can grow to trust him again.

As previously said, he should carry out the procedure of regaining trust and that should include lots of regret, guilt and hard work.

It might be best during this early period of reunification of feelings that you just stand back a little and observe his newfound level of dedication.

I hope that helps

Tony WK

I like your nickname Theupsidedown; I just watched `stranger things' and loved it 🙂 I hope you're still around.

I've been through a similar situation and wanted to add a few things I've come feel after going through this.

One, guys who fall for internet fantasy girls are lame and stupid. Its not real life, they are not real friends, the girl gives you a nice shiny perfect picture of themselves to fantasize about and you know nothing about whether they'd really like you, whether they'd be there for you, and invest in you for the long haul. Its empty BS. It doesn't make you, his wife, inadequate. It makes your hubby lame and unrealistic.

No relationships and no life is perfect. Life is full of dirt and grit and mundane stuff, but that's what makes the special stuff special. Its unrealistic for men to expect women to be internet pron who cook and clean, and don't say anything but `you are so great'. Even when you fail at life. Even if your fantasy wouldn't talk to you in real life. People around you reflect your behaviour and how you treat them, as it should be.

So I'm calling BS on your husband blaming his stupid behaviour on `you weren't communicating enough'. Thats not it. He's not owning his shit. He grew addicted to a fantasy, and wrecked his chance of feeling real intimacy and connection with you because he was lying and duplicit. He wrecked his intimacy with you all on his own, because he was being lame. And as his lies made him feel more lonely and disconnected from you, he relied on a BS fantasy woman to give him empty nothing intimacy as a substitute for what he lost when lied to you for years on end.

So yes, he can fix this with a lot of honesty and lot of doing whatever it takes to make you feel secure again. He's obviously craving intimacy, tha'ts something you can offer him now this is all out in the open. Figure out what you need to feel secure again, and ask him to do his part. Do it even though your self worth is shot, which makes you feel like you can't ask for anything you need. Even though his behavior made you hit rock bottom. Be strong, and I do believe together you can rebuild real connection and real intimacy that he wrecked.

Good luck:) He's got a good woman and he knows it, I see a lot of hope for you both.