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Emotional affair has me wondering if I should walk

Tagged as: Faded love, Marriage problems<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (28 July 2022) 4 Answers - (Newest, 2 August 2022)
A female age 36-40, anonymous writes:

Hi all, I have posted sometime ago concerning being married and talking to a new guy. I decided that love is a choice and I needed to forgive my husband and work on our marriage.

However, when I look at my husband, I feel like I am falling out of love. At my quiet times I may scroll through TikTok and there I have heard the stories of so many women who have been in similar situations such as mine and they are happy they left. It was women empowering women.

I look at our marriage and how scarred it is. I feel so unhappy to know all I went through. I have screenshots of messages I sent to him pleading to care about me. I spoke to him about the conversations me and the other guy had. Since then, I see he's putting in an effort to do better. He tried to do better before but since I spoke to him about my emotional affair, he is putting in an extra effort. The thing is, it should've come naturally. Idk if my husband is being genuine or just manipulative to keep me.

I explained to him how this guy called me "sweet names" as he used too and stopped for years. I told him how the guy made me feel special and I could care less if he was lying or just wanted to have sex with me, but he made me feel like I am the only woman he wants (ik it sounds stupid since he's targetting a married, but yeah) whilst my husband made me feel like i wasn't enough.

I planned a weekend getaway for our anniversary in November. How can I rekindle that love? I feel so numb. I want to be happy but I don't want to hurt him and our children if I decide to leave.

View related questions: affair, anniversary, want to be happy

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (2 August 2022):

Honeypie agony auntSee OP,

People give advice on the POST they read, we DO NOT know all the ins and outs of your marriage. We can not read your mind and we DO not have a crystal ball.

YOU left out a MAJOR (or actually many MAJOR) parts, such as your husband's serial cheating and general disrespect.

YES, married women quite often put themselves last, but at some point, it becomes "martyrdom" and doesn't help anyone.

If you had led with the husband cheating SEVERAL times I think we all would have felt a LOT more compassion here.

The thing about infidelity is that it is like poison or rot. Your marriage foundation has rotten away over time. You even lost so much trust, respect, and love for your partner that you did EXACTLY what he had done to you. You CHOSE to cheat.

You make up MANY excuses for why you didn't leave. But that doesn't justify cheating, OP.

There is NEVER a "great" time to exit a marriage when you have a family. There will always be some or other event that makes leaving harder.

Your husband trained you to accept his behavior for years. And you are now waking up and seeing that you CAN find love elsewhere. You ARE worthy of effort and affection.

Do you think your husband would ACTUALLY change?

My guess is no. You can not MAKE him be someone else. You can not MAKe him be a decent person to you. You know WHO he is and HOW he is. CAN you live with him or not?

CAN you be independent (financially and socially)?

Do you have a support network? People who can help you out?

What do YOU want to do?

An option is marriage counseling, but that might not work at all, since your husband seems quite good at manipulating those around him. Might still be worth a try.

Another option is a trial separation. Him moving out or you moving out. The only contact is about the kids.

And the last option, is to stay and accept that THIS is as good as it gets.

Perhaps BEFORE you make ANY choices, talk to a counselor or a trusted friend.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (31 July 2022):

Thank you for your response. I have ALWAYS placed everyone else's feelings above mine. It seems about ME? I thought at some point we need to pursue what makes us as individuals happy?! Especially when we are constantly taken for granted.

After I got married, I found out my husband cheated 4 months prior to our wedding and that is the time he admitted to. He asked for forgiveness and I did forgive him, because I was in love and wanted to keep our family. I was at home the first year of our marriage since we had a baby one month prior to getting married.

When I started working, I found text messages indicating my husband still having sex with the other woman. He denied physically having sex and claimed it was just sexting. When I sext my husband, he will turn me down and say pray pray pray. I worked hard, to take care of the rent, utility bills, our children's needs and he did the bare minimum. He not only emotional abused me, but he had been financially abusive.

Fast forward years later, the same woman got pregnant, 6 years into our marriage. At that point I was broken. In my country, when a child reaches the ages between 11-13, an exam is written to decide what secondary or high school they can attend. My child was writting exams around that time and I decided to suppress my pain so my child would not have added stress on his shoulders. My cousin who wrote that exam 2 years before my son did, went to school every day crying, because his parents were in the process of a divorce. He didn't perform well. He was intelligent and got one of the lowest rating schools. I did not want that for my son. That was in the year 2019.

Fast forward to covid, when we had curfew, that was when my husband started making an effort to do better. He has narcissistic traits and doesn't know when to hold himself accountable for his actions. Doesn't know when to say sorry. This past month, he made a degrading statements towards me. After an hour or so, he said to me, he wasn't raised like I was and still is learning, and I taught him how to apologize, since I always do even when he is wrong (if he acted in a negative way and I responded negatively as well, I would apologize for reacting badly whilst his actions were wrong).

I have been through it all. Emotional abuse, Psychological abuse, mental abuse and financial abuse. So Wise Owl, forgive me for making this about MYSELF and wanting out of a toxic relationship after years of abuse.

As for the emotional affair, the guy told me he wanted me, i kept pushing him away stating, I am married and any woman will be blessed to have the guy. The emotional affair lasted about 2 weeks. I just pushed him away, he constantly asked to meet up, we live in the same country, islands basically. He traveled 3 times to meet up with me but I blanked him.

Lol. I can't believe I am told that I am making this about me. When I don't want to hurt the man who hurt me over and over again. My husband doesn't even feel hurt or never showed he felt hurt by me talking to this guy. He just acknowledged where he lacked. Sometimes women tend to tell men how they feel and the men continue to ignore the hurt and pain. When the men finally decides to step up, the women already mentally checked out. Should I not want to be happy? I guess I me wanting happiness, is making this all about ME?!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (31 July 2022):

It all seems all about "you." Me, myself, and I! Your husband is making an effort to fix the marriage; but you're not giving him any benefit of the doubt.

You're the one currently cheating; and yet he hasn't left you for it. You're passive-aggressively punishing him. If it took effort to get him where he is now, when does it matter that he's trying?

You are going back and forth on things. You claim he doesn't try, and when he tries; you complain that he should have done it all along. So what exactly is the point?

If you're looking for sympathy votes, or someone to write how justified you are to have an affair; it wouldn't be ethical, and very unfair to do that. You've admitted your husband is making an effort. Things don't change over-night. If he didn't care, he wouldn't bother; and he'd just ask for a divorce, and call it a day!

You're being Lucy with the football, and he's Charlie Brown.

You want all the sympathy, and you want everyone reading your post to turn on him. We're getting only one side of the story; and he doesn't get to tell his. I think you want a divorce, but you're afraid of the child-custody battle that may ensue; or he might quickly find somebody else to take YOUR place! You like rubbing his nose in your flirtation with your co-worker. You're tilting the balance in his favor, on who's trying and who's not!

It comes down to making a decision; and to stop playing head-games and manipulating your husband through cuckoldry and making mean-spirited comparisons. You're becoming toxic, but playing the victim.

File for a divorce, and get it over with. Make it amiable for the children's sake. Be civil to each-other, and co-parent your children.

Stop raising the bar higher; if you're not jumping as high yourself. His feelings matter as much as yours; and if he can never make it up to you, then let him go. Stop making excuses to cheat on your husband.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (30 July 2022):

Honeypie agony aunt"The thing is, it should've come naturally. Idk if my husband is being genuine or just manipulative to keep me."

No, it really doesn't just come "natural" to everyone.

Some people feel that the COMMITMENT shows that your husband wants to be with you.

You two might have VERY different ways to show love.

You want someone else. And you want your husband to BE someone else. That is not realistic. At all.

You are trying to MAKE your husband BE someone he isn't.

Have you considered that YOU might be the reason you had the emotional affair? It might have been that your husband to too "comfortable" in the marriage and didn't pay enough attention but YOU CHOOSING to have an affair is YOUR choice, YOUR action. You can make ALL the excuses you want but in the end, YOU chose to do just that. And then you blame your husband?! For your actions?

You two might consider seeing a marriage counselor. Have someone neutral help the two of you come back together.

A weekend getaway sounds lovely, but it's just 3 days. It's a bandaid on a torn artery.

Now I GET wanting to feel wanted and loved by your spouse. I get feeling taken for granted. But it goes both ways, doesn't it? Did YOU make the effort to make your husband FEEL loved, desired, wanted? No, you let some sleazy dude sweet talk you.

The other dude would also at some point get comfortable in the relationship and stop with the nicknames and the "worshipping" you. That can happen over time in a long-term marriage or relationship. It is up to BOTH parties to light the fire for EACH OTHER or keep the "candle" burning.

TikTok is also full of shit.

Sure there are people who feel better after they left. But going to Tiktok for relationship advice? I don't know, OP seems kind of.... silly.

"It was women empowering women."

No, not really, it was women who decided that LEAVING was what THEY needed. And that is good too. This is not the 1800s when women can't decide that they want to leave. Yes, sometimes leaving is the right thing. For sure. For some.

At the end of the day, the question is this, DO you want to FIX the marriage and rebuild your husband's TRUST in you? Or not?

If you do, STOP telling him what the other DUDE did for you!

Tell your husband what you need from him without rubbing it in that you cheated! And go see a couples counselor/marriage counselor.

As for your husband, you write "Since then, I see he's putting in an effort to do better." He seems to be TRYING. What are YOU doing?

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