New here, hubby- emotional affair?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-06-2009
New here, hubby- emotional affair?
Mon, 07-06-2009 - 2:53am


Thank you for reading this note. (I'm sorry its long) I'm really not sure who to talk to about this. I don't even know if this counts as emotional cheating. My husband and me have been together for about 7 years, married for 2. About 3-4 years ago, we were dating and living together and he met my friend. He 'fell for' her almost instantly without me knowing it ofcourse. We used to meet our friends often and she was there too and I had no clue. We were engaged but had not really told our friends about it yet, until we could save up enough for a wedding, but they knew we were together.

One day a few months later, he gave me the 'I'm really unhappy, this isn't working' speech out of the blue. No other reason and I truly thought I wasn't giving him what he needed perhaps..and started looking for a place to move out to. That week he told me well since we're going to stay friends etc, he had asked my friend out a month ago (while we were still together and engaged) and he was so heartbroken that she said no. I tried to do the 'friend' thing and say well, she doesn't know a good guy when she sees one etc... and after a few days I just had to say..well, it really hurts talking about this, considering we just broke up. He felt hurt that I was assertive about it and that I was trying to make him feel bad about it. (But he DID ask her when we were still engaged and living together, what if she had said yes?!).

Well, so I moved out, bought a house, which unfortunately was still close to where he was (price factor). We remained friends and he would talk about her and that she was very traditional, (asian) and dating for her was only something she would do if her parents approved etc etc. Well, in a few months, we found out suddenly that she was getting married in about 2 weeks and was headed out of the country for it and would be returning in a few mnths. He was heartbroken. Long story short, in a few months, after us continuing to remain friends and hanging out, he told me what a huge mistake he had made. He had just been infatuated with her and it was something he needed to get out of his system since he had not dated many people. But now he doesnt like her at all, doesnt know what he saw in her, she's snooty and very cold and then a lot of good things about me, how I've always stuck by him etc etc and then he cried. Said he couldn't bear to lose me too etc etc and would I take him back? I was like..well, we'll see. He proposed to me again that week and had contacted my dad 'asking for my hand' and told me so. Well i said I would think about it and said yes that week.

We got married, quick simple wedding. A few months later we started trying to start a family etc. I would ask him sometimes if he still talked to her or thought of her etc (they see each other since they work at the same company) and he kept saying no and that she is just a really cold person, prolly a party girl and he doesnt know what he ever saw in her. I believed him.

Until today. I happened to be checking something and he had left his email open. Yeah, I know this is wrong, but I saw something there that made me open it. It was an email to another female friend of ours, talking about his attraction for the original person he had liked. He wrote this just a few months ago, about a year after we had started trying for baby. He said, everytime he sees her, he thinks she is the most beautiful woman in the world, even though she isnt physically beautiful. She makes him feel like being a better person just by looking at her (?!), and that his feelings that he thought would go away after she got married and after he got married to me, are just as strong as ever and the more he has pushed them away the stronger they come back. He said he is perfectly happy with me and loves me but at the same time the intensity of his feelings for her do not seem to go away.

I was shocked. I have asked him point blank, over several occasions the past few yrs if he still has feelings for her/talks to her etc, and he has vehemently lied to be directly about it, but saying things about her e.g. her being snooty and cold. His email portrays the exact opposite image of her that he has.

Now, I know this is probably silly, he isn't physically cheating and I don't really know if/how much they talk. He actually had the nerve to ask me for lunch one day and asked her too, mentioning that I had not met her in awhile etc etc... about 1.5 yrs ago. I believed him when he said it was innocent, he didn't like her at all etc etc..we were married by then.

So why do I feel so hurt that he still apparently has such deep feelings for her? Why has he been lying to me? Why the hell did he marry and is still with me ... and how can he keep trying to start a family (although reluctantly sometimes and enthusiastically at other times)... if I'm not the only one he has feelings for. And he is very unhappy in his job, but he has found innumerable excuses not to find another one, including the recent one because hte economy now is so bad its wiser to not leave the one he has, which is true. But with the long hours, long drive, wayyyy under market pay... there is no reason for him to stay, other than the fact that she works there too and he sees her everyday and he probably would not, if he left that job. I didn't think it was a big issue since he said he didn't care for her, but after reading his email today, I'm not sure anymore.

I don't know what to do. And I know he will get mad and super defensive no matter what I say. But I feel sick to my stomach that he actually lives in the same home as me, is married to me, may have a baby with me and is still in love with another married woman.

:( Any thoughts/advise is very much appreciated !!! And I apologize again for the length of this post.

-Jolie S.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 07-06-2009 - 7:54am
Welcome to the board.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-01-2008
Mon, 07-06-2009 - 2:12pm

I agree with Lilly, you need to get him to admit he has a problem and he needs to address it with you as well as a marriage counselor. You have every right to be hurt, angry, sad all these emotions are normal. He has betrayed your trust and has lied to you about his feelings toward this woman.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008
Mon, 07-06-2009 - 3:42pm

The instant he asked her out, he cheated.


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2005
Mon, 07-06-2009 - 8:14pm

Hi, this post wasn't long...I've written longer and so has a few others...*wink*

Now, I do think he is in some sort of EA.


Greatly Missed, Never Ever Forgotten

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-06-2009
Tue, 07-07-2009 - 12:49am


Thank you so very much for your replies lovemydog2500, cl-galinterupted, myradorn & makinitthruand and for taking the time to respond with your advise and suggestions. You have no idea how much I appreciate it !! *Hugsss* & I am so sorry that you had to go through something similar in your lives too :/

- I have spoken to him about counselling in the past. He has always vehemently refused to go and says he doesn't believe in paying someone else to listen to things that are none of their business and a couple should be able to talk and work things out on their own. Yes, he doesn't see the irony and is pretty darn good at arguing a point rationally or otherwise stubbornly until I just give up arguing/discussing. He will just not go.

- I talked to him about this issue today. I didn't mention that I read the email, just said that I had a very strong gut feeling he still had feelings for her and it would not be morally correct for a married man to have that kind of feelings for another women and it is still considered cheating. He looked me in the eyes and said, 'O here we go again, I absolutely do NOT have any feelings for her and haven't for a very long time.. I told you that when we got married, she means nothing to me, I don't even like her etc etc (the overcompensation part that makinitthru referred to in her post). I just looked back at him and said, are you seriously going to look at me and say that, are you lying to my face? And he said ofcourse not, I can't believe you're hung up over something that I thought we had already dealt with. I don't even like her. And I said, well, why do I get the feeling you have talked to someone about it (referenced a horoscope-comment thing to justify why I was pursuing it so strongly but if he had asked I would have said yes, re: reading his email). He said he has never even thought about it since we got married, never spoken to anyone at all about her etc etc.

No, he refuses to admit that what he said in the email even exists. Short of printing the email and showing it to him, thus acknowledging I did check his email and sparking another angry debate I'm sure... he just completely refuses to acknowledge this.

And he does keep telling me how much he loves me, how I'm his soulmate and he can't believe I still don't trust him. I .. honestly...just didn't know what to say. I almost blurted out that I read his email, but then I figured, what's the point, he's just gonna go and change his password.

Unfortunately I really do want this to work, I love his family they are wonderful, he has always been someone I thought was my best friend.. but.. I don't know what to do next. He hasn't been feeling well today so I didn't really pursue the argument. But.. I still cannot believe he would lie to me.. to my face.. so vehemently... I would have completely believed him had I not read the email already. I just cannot wrap my head around how someone can do that. And yeah tonite, he had the nerve to say, so when are we trying for the baby. Unfortunately you guys are right, unless I'm already pregnant this month, there is no way that is going to happen anytime soon.

I just do not get it. I may sound stupid and naive but .. I just do not get how of all people, HE can lie to me. And this is when it isn't even physical with her and this may just be 'feelings' but why lie. And there is nothing I can do to prove him wrong other than confront him with his email and lose the probability of ever finding out of this will continue in the future with this lady or whether he truly has gotten over it finally (the email was from a few mnths ago). Plus I know exactly what he will say if I did confront him, something along the lines of how he has been trying very hard to get over the feelings for my sake and I don't even realize that and its not like he's asking for these feelings to happen and is doing his best because he knows its wrong and he only denied it to protect me from getting hurt etc etc.

Arrgghhh I hate men ! :)

The scary part is I am about to lose my job (layoffs), so anything akin to a breakup at this point is pretty scary financially (I don't have family around).

*Gets off my soapbox*

Thank you once again for listening. *Big Warm Hugs*.. It is just so good to finally talk to someone about this. I wish I could figure out what to do next.


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008
Tue, 07-07-2009 - 3:29am

In other words, he is still lying.


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-09-2008
Tue, 07-07-2009 - 7:50am


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2007
Tue, 07-07-2009 - 11:28am


Look up limerence on wikipedia. Your husband sounds like he could be limerent. Take a look and see what you think.

My husband was limerent for 18 years of our marriage.He came clean to me all at once.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-06-2009
Sat, 07-11-2009 - 1:10am

Thank you everyone once again for your replies ! I'm sorry I couldn't post earlier, just kinda overwhelmed with a lot of things this week.

myradorn: Yes we do sound a lot alike regarding anticipating what our spouses would say in a given situation. I'm usually on target because its just so predictable now. And yes it is very difficult to not believe him when he says nothing is going on. I can't tell if he really put it past him since the email was a few mnths ago or is just hiding it, which is way more likely.

selkiescot: I think you're exactly right. Counselling is not an option for him because he knows he will not be able to 'defend' or own up to what he's doing/thinking/feeling. Hissy fit is a perfect description of his behavior most times :) His very classic way of ending an uncomfortable conversation.

fivediamondwife: Limerance? I had never even heard about it. Upon reading up it sure does sound a lot like him, except ofcourse that its just this one person he is fixated on and has been, since a few years. I don't think he tends to fall in love as easily but it sure seems more on his side and she just likes the attention.

But, I really don't know how much of a 'friend' she is. I know his style of talking is very charming and persuasive and people tend to always reply to him and I'm sure she would too if he wrote to her. They work in the same building, he sees her everytime they happen to be in any of the common spots at the same time.

Currently, the main update is..after our 'talk' and his complete denial..he fell ill, bad enough for me to have to take time off and take care of him this week. Since I had to keep working too and will be all weekend, I didn't get a chance to come on here. Overwhelmed is such an understatement. But, he morphed into the sweetest, most grateful, loving person I have seen him to be and kept saying things along the lines of how lucky he was that I was in his life, I'm his soulmate etc etc. Well, I guess seeing the person I had originally known, I kinda figured maybe things will change .. maybe he is realizing that I do make a difference in his life and maybe he truly forgot about the email or just doesn't want me hurt and obsessing about it. So I just stopped thinking about it. Well, today he is finally better. And the mood swings have come back. And so have my thoughts about whether he just says nice things to get me to back off or in this case, when he is vulnerable. I just don't know. And I'm too tired to care anymore. If he is thinking about her or contacting her inspite of telling me he isn't,it is his cross to bear until I find out definite proof of the same. And if/when I do, I don't think I will ever trust him anymore and will probably have to have a 'counselling or this is it' conversation.

The only person he will listen to is his mom, so I had initially thought perhaps I could talk to her since he is really nice. But we were talking about something yesterday and she got so defensive about him about something silly, that I realized that is not really an option.

I just feel really guilty to take up more space and time here when I see people with so much more problems on here and so wish I could do /say anything to help. Right now, I just give up. I cannot keep fighting his mood swings, his being irritated all the time and then apologizing because of a bad day at work/ just always being irritated. I enjoyed the softer side of him this week while it lasted. I almost wonder whether it is a good thing that he has this thing for a married woman, instead of for someone who may actually do something about it, if I confront him with the email and ask him to stop. Lesser evil?

I think I'll stop posting and only post if I do have any update. Also incidentally he is very antisocial outside of work in terms of having friends etc, which has translated into me not having any friends because he hates inviting anyone over, meeting anyone, talking to neighbors, just..anyone. But he is the exact OPPOSITE at work and is super social/friendly/flirty.. says its just a game.. work persona... the real him just wants to be home and be in a quite atmosphere. I finally had enough a few days ago and made plans with a friend of mine and her husband to meet up for lunch over the weekend. He was soo ticked off that he had to meet someone and kept saying they better not confirm the plans, all I want to do is just stay home becuase work is such a drag during the week, this is the only time I have to relax. Well she cancelled due to another committment so that didn't happen.

I'm beginning to wonder, other than the security of having someone I care about, around me, why did I ever say yes when he proposed that second time.

*off my soapbox again*

Thanks for listening. This is probably the only time I've actually talked so much about this and it has helped so much just to get this off my chest to people who don't think I'm crazy for doubting him.

*BIG WARM HUGS* and Lots of love your way to everyone on here and hope things get better in your lives soon too.


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-06-2009
Sat, 07-11-2009 - 1:20am

.. and incidentally fivediamondwife, thank you for taking the time to write out your post in detail and mention limerance and the effect it has had in your lives. I'm truly sorry for everything you had to go through.

For everyone else who replied with their experience too, I'm sorry you had to go through what you did. Sometimes its just way too much for one person to have to handle and you gals have not only handled it so courageously but are selfless enough to post here and help advise the rest of us. Thank you again everyone, for your posts..