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Emotional Infidelity - Should I stay or Go?

Community Member


I'm 38 and my husband is 39 and we're college sweethearts. We've always had a strong marriage and we have a huge amount of love for one another although I feel like we're living like room mates as we haven't been intimate in over a year. It was always the elephant in the room but we never addressed it. My husband started to have feelings for a girl he works with and has become obsessed with her over the last 3 months. I knew he wasn't his usual self and I confronted him. He has moved team so he doesn't have any contact with her but after 4 weeks of talking and not getting anywhere we've decided to go to couple counselling as he cannot get past this. He suffers with anxiety and depression and we ended up in the ED two weeks ago as he wanted to take his life as the shame and guilt was overwhelming.

He knows his marriage is on the line, so why can't he get over her and move on? I feel worthless, second best and angry with him that he's let this get so out of control.

He's seeing a Psychologist and now a Psychiatrist since our vist to the ED and has stopped drinking to try and help his anxiety and depression.

I'm torn between wanting to support my husband through his mental illness but I don't want to be a fool and stay if he can't get over her. I asked him to move out but he's a mess. I thought we were going to start a family but everything is on hold and I don't want to resent him for taking this away from me.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? Any advice would be much appreciated.

3 Replies 3

Community Member

Not as similar but i was in a relationship but - encountered a guy i was obsessed about years ago - i gave up on him the guy i obsessed over. I knew he was going to find someone better than me. I am still with my partner now.

I'm not sure how to advise you. Deep down the choice is yours do you still love him like you did when you were sweethearts? Does he even treat you like the sweetheart you used to be?

He is doing the best he can by visiting the psychologist and psychiatrist. I think he is equally upset as you are. I think you need to think hard about what you want in this relationship if you are to continue, and think of yourself too because what you think and feel matter as well. Think of whats best for the both of whether to take a break, or do something together that bonds you.

I'm sorry if my advice is ill-advised I have been on the opposite side to your question.

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

Insertaname has given some advice based on experience. Well done.

I think such a long term relationship will come across humps that need patience before considering leaving.

I'd allow him to settle, monitor his actions and emotions but I would be mindful of his fragility at this time.

Counseling will help enormously.

We can be in the strongest relationship but that doesnt mean we dont find attraction in others. It's all in the actions.

But it's also an individual judgement.

Confusing but I hope I've helped.


Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Eye of the Storm~

I'm sorry you are in this position and being torn between such alternatives is terrible.

I can tell you I've been on the other side, like your husband in many ways. Had someone and we loved dearly. I developed depression, and anxiety conditions. Libido went out the window, I suspect my partner blamed herself.

While I did not obsess about another woman I did obsess about my work and knew it was harming my partner.

I too ended up suicidal and hospitalized

He knows his marriage is on the line, so why can't he get over her and
move on? I feel worthless, second best and angry with him that he's let
this get so out of control.

I can well understand your feelings

The unfortunate thing is I was not in control, and I suspect neither is your husband. It is not a question of 'letting' something happen or not realizing the stakes. Depression and anxiety take over and will-power alone will not stop them.

From what you said he tried to get away from the female at work, he is seeing a psychiatrist, stopped drinking and is doing what he can. He realises the situation and that has led to despair & ED.

I was fortunate that in time I improved and was able to return to a loving relationship.

That being said it was very hard on my partner, who had to work, look after the family and household, and me. This is not something everyone will be able to do, and there is no shame in being realistic and thinking that an uncertain life wiht no guarantee things will be restored to how they were is something you can face.

I think Tony is right in suggesting just about everything he says. My own thought is that you might be able to give it some time and decide later. A long term loving relationship is worth fighting for .

Do you have anyone to support you? A family member or freind to talk frankly with who cares? Sharing a burden can help -a lot.