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Emotional Cheating? Moving Forward

Community Member
I'm in my 40's & in my 2nd marriage. We still have fights like normal couples, they are small & our relationship has been great. Fast forward to last year. My husband had a physical medical incident. Since then we've had some pretty serious fights. I felt like the way he's treating me has changed. I have anxiety as my last relationship before him, was very emotional abusive. Towards the end of last year I sort help for my anxiety & had good results. I am still down about my weight but I am activity exercising & feeling better (he's noticed too). I had to check my husband text on his phone not long ago because he asked (we've always had each others phone details and no secrets) & out of curiosity I flicked through them. I found a message from an old friend that he got back in touch with last year. The conversation was pretty general until I found a photo that she sent first one day of her with very little clothing on. The photo was taken to make sure you could clearly see everything. A couple of mild flirty texts later its like my husband realised what she was doing and signed off that chat. They had previously arranged to meet at a shop for a coffee which they still did. Following the catch up he text her it was good to catch up with an old friend & he had missed her. He has since instigated every text there after until I found out. Those txts where just general - hows your day kind of stuff. But they reminded me of what someone would do when trying to get to know another person. I confronted him. First he was angry because I went through his phone, told me that he had told me he was catching up with her (later admitted that he knew he hadn't). He always said he would never do this to me as his 1st wife cheated and he knew how it hurt. He's very apologetic now, said he's sorry it will never happen again, doesn't want to lose me, loves me & will do counselling. It really hurts he never did anything like this to his 1st wife & she cheated. I've never gave any doubt about my loyalty & he does this. He even said if I had done what he had done, he would have possibly walked out (because of what he went through with his 1st wife). I use to trust him 100% but now I don't. We are going to attend marriage counselling (he is already in counselling for depression brought on by his medical incident) but I can't shake how I feel. We are trying now to be more attentive to one another like we use to but it just feels fake. Do the hurt feelings ever go away?
4 Replies 4

Community Champion
Community Champion

hi and welcome to beyond blue.

apologies for the way I am starting my reply. Your question for some reasons popped out at me. It is a very difficult question to answer. The feelings you mentioned in your post are normal, a sense of betrayal, anger, sadness. And so in moving forwards as a couple you then have to rely on a person not doing something in order to prove his faithfulness which can be harder than having to do something.

I would however like to acknowledge that you what you have done .. it sounds like you have done quite a bit of reflection on the matter, and it sounds like you made your position clear to him, and looking at counselling together. It sounds like you want to make it work.

When you mentioned the being attentive to each other felt fake, does it also feel forced? Or perhaps overcompensating?

I think the fact is that your husband has let you down and it will take time for him to regain your trust in him. And telling or retelling your story will likely help to to find ways of moving forward and forgiving him? (Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, rather letting go of the hurt and pain and then ....) I digress.

Going back to your question... the hurt can go away. Whether it takes 1 week or month or more. You are doing all the right things. Take one day at a time. As an person or couple that is all we can do.


Community Member
Hi Angel,

Unfortunately I am in a similar situation as you. It started out as him and her being classmates, just texting about school related stuff. Then it proceeded to selfies of each other, of family gatherings, food, drinks.. of asking how was her day..

And radio silence on my end. I don't get any checks on my day while he is at work, we don't connect as much anymore even when he is home because he is either on his phone, or studying.

Sure, I get that there was nothing physical going on, and he has other priorities like work, studies and wants some alone time to destress.

Honestly i struggled with this and tried to console myself that its just the ups and downs of a marriage and it is sadly normal, as long as nothing physical happened.

But the truth is, it still hurts. It hurts that I tried my best to be positive but I still let it get to me. It hurts that he put me basically in last place. It hurts that somehow he is angry with me that I am upset..

I'm not sure how to move forward, I'm hoping to hear some good news from you.

I hope you are healing.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Angel and Qwerty, there's always a feeling of broken trust and insecurity when your spouse is or has been in contact with an ex, and does it matter why they decided to go their own way and now been sending texts to each other for some unknown reason, well it would be something I would abhor, particularly if photos with little clothing were posted, even though a reformed relationship would not probably last, but that's not the point, it's happened.

Irrespective of why this has been done, breaks the trust that was once built up between the two of you and opens the door to a similar communication between with someone else happening, so can betrayal be overcome, maybe, but it takes a great deal of confidence.

If it had been discussed that you were going to contact an ex, there would still be questions asked, whether or not they are justified or not, depends on the belief that you can trust him, but saying no inappropriate photos to be posted.

Unfortunately, that thought would remain until proven otherwise.

Best wishes.


Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Angel4~

It sounds from your account htat the medical incident your husband went though has had a greater effect than one might expect.

You said that a life with only minor disagreements change to having serious fights and he way he has treated you has changed. On top of this he has contracted depression for which he is being treated.

Sometimes the failure of the body and resultant medical repairs can leave a person of either sex feeling very different, conscious of their mortality, worried they are less able than before, and seeing life as being a downward path

Doesn't mean they are right, but those feelings can be very real.

Under those conditions a person may act differently -at least for a while and if presented with a member of the opposite sex paying flattering attention to them might respond -at least in a limited way.

I think the fact he asked you to look on his phone for something is indicative he may not have realized fully what was happening. He did end the flirty part of the conversation.

You have talked together, I get the impression he became truthful and is willing to try to make amends, plus is also trying to make you feel closer to him

Those are good signs.

As for trust, it takes a long time to restore and you may always have a little reserve becuse of his actions, but equally you may find that life improves and he continues to try to make your life as good as possible.

Under those circumstances the hurt may go.

May I suggest that the nature and mental condition and physical effects of that medical incident be explored and any misconceptions about its effects straightened out.

It's up to him in large part, if he loves you he will remedy the errors and you will see that. 2nd marriages are sometimes good precisely because they are 2nd, and one has learned from the mistakes of the first.

Please let us know how you get on