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I had an emotional affair, now I have to fix it
Ok, here goes, married for 9yrs, together for 12, and basically I had an emotional affair with another woman.
Its also a complicated situation. I work at the school my kids attend, and she is a mum of one of my kids friends.
Ive cut all ties to her, going to marriage counselling, seeing my psych more often, told my boss (he's been supportive in helping me), but I lied about it to my wife. I've since come clean but now she won't believe a word I say, I offer my phone for her to check, I try and talk to her, but I find myself getting frustrated when I know I need to support her.
i feel stuck, and that my good intentions are constantly backfiring.
Hi and welcome,
well done for finding your way here and posting, that first post can be a little daunting but everyone is here to help each other and no one is going to judge you.
I'm sorry to hear you are going through a difficult time. You've done all the right things, cutting ties, counselling, talking to your boss. With regards to your wife, I think it's normal for her to be feeling the way she does and it will take a bit of work to get back on track. I'm assuming nothing physical happened? Have you considered going to counselling together so you can both talk about how you're feeling? Do you think she would take part in this?
with regards to the emotional affair, was their something that lead you towards this? Have there been problems in the marriage? Were you feeling unsupported in some way? Did it last long? There is no pressure to answer but a bit more background to how you got to that point can help.
regaining trust takes time. I hope to hear back from you, there is lots of support here so post as often as you need to.
Welcome to the BB forums, the safest place to find help for whatever troubles your mind.
Not that it matters, but for sake of clarity, when you say "emotional" affair does that mean you fell in love with someone else, but at the same time you did not engage in the extra-marital (i.e. intimate) affair?
I think there are two key issues at play here, and whilst one exists you cannot address the other. The two issues I see for her are "trust" and the "affair". The problem is, until some level of trust is re-established you cannot have a meaningful conversation about the affair; and (for you) until she gets past the affair you are unable to rebuild her trust.
Though I am by no means a relationship expert (mine fell apart), may I suggest that you start with trying to rebuild her trust, at little at a time. Certainly be available to discuss the affair, but let her come to you in her own time. Don't pressure her into discussing it (asking her to check your phone is you pressuring her to deal with the issue); she'll broach the topic when she's ready.
In the meantime it would be wise to be consistent an wholly transparent in all of your actions, plans and undertakings. Trust is built in painstakingly small and little steps; and rebuilding trust can take a long long time. If one truly wants to do the best by their partner, they'll need to be very patient. And one lie, even a tiny little white lie, can destroy any and all trust that has been rebuilt. Honesty is the only policy one can follow now.
Whether you just had an emotional affair or whether you were intimate doesn't really matter because it's something your wife didn't want to happen, because she has always believed in trust and hoped that nothing like this would ever happen.
She is no more upset than if she had an affair, it would still be the same as you would be hurt if she had done this.
Her fear would be 'are you going to do it again', because there are plenty of opportunities that may arise in the future, it's the same situation when you tell your kids 'not to steal', they say they never will again, but they do, so this is how you have to approach the topic with her.
For her it doesn't matter whether you are going to counselling or seeing your psych, because this means nothing to her, because she may think that you are just doing this to please her, but by doing this won't rebuild the trust that was there but has now gone.
You could go everyday and tell her, but is she going to believe you that it won't happen again, so you have to make sure and prove to her in different ways that it was 'a once only', and to offer her to check your phone doesn't mean much because you be ringing this lady from a public phone or a friends house, so she has to believe you.
It is going to take a lot of work to rebuild her trust but your heart is well and truly in it.
Please let us know. Geoff.