emotional affairs

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by antsmom, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    my boyfriend has known a woman, M, for 5 yrs... about a yr longer than he knew me. she and he were in a group together back before I met him...a support grp for divorced people.

    they never really stopped emailing each other casual infrequent emails. she is very lonely and needs support. he is very supportive to everyone he comes across. he felt she needed to talk. he always says they are just friends and she is not interested in him at all. she is 10 yrs younger, still sad about her divorce and sees two psychiatric grps for counseling. her ex is already remarried. the email thing was always casual and more of him responding to her when she emailed with supportive words. after about two yrs of me going with him, I told him I was uncomfortable with this and he said he would stop contact completely and let her know he was seeing me. (he didnt)

    in december, I was with him when he opened up his email box one day. there was an email in there from her entitled "getting together".

    I was shocked that the emails had not only not stopped, but also stunned that she would suggest an inperson mtg. he deleted it and said he would cut off all communication with her.
    He said he blocked her emails. he said he had felt bad because she has lots of problems and no one else to talk with. about a month later, I asked him if she ever contacted him again and he said no.

    On feb 17, since we share his computer...I was on outlook express and there was an email he had composed but did not send to her. he told her he was thinking about her and telling her what bad weather we were having, and if it wasnt so bad out...he would have her over for a glass of wine to keep warm. his last sentence was "if you want to, give me a call tonight." he thought it went but it was not sent.

    I was shocked. he had told me they never communicated any more. I asked him to fess up. he told me that in early february, she called him on his cell phone because he had not answered her email and he had blocked them from coming in. she had the cellphone number since the support grp 5 yrs ago. he told me about her call and the mtg. he said she gave him no indication she was interested in him at the mtg, but he thought about her afterward, he said he felt sorry for her.

    he later told me that her voice on the phone was sad and lonely. he had not seen her in three yrs. he never told me she called, but he chose to meet her for coffee to let her speak to him about her problems. he met her early in the evening at a coffee shop... while I was at work. he never mentioned it.

    I wasnt there when he composed that email to her. it was a week after their coffee shop meeting. I was home here because of the snowstorm that night. my son was with boyfriend at his house so a mtg would have never taken place with this woman that very night, also she lives pretty far from here. nonetheless, my boyfriend was thinking of this woman. he was flirting with her.

    this was last weekend I found the email.

    I was going to leave boyfriend. he asked me to give him a chance and he said he would call M and tell her she could not communicate any more, any way. since I was not privy to that phone call, I have to trust that boyfriend did indeed break her off. I would have rather been sitting there when he called her to be sure.

    I hope it is nipped in the bud, but my trust is shattered and he knows it. I read a lot about emotional affairs on the internet here and learned his pattern is classic. someone wants to cry on your shoulder, or you theirs. you start to share info and care.
    you have no intentions of leaving your present spouse but start to get more secretive about the depth of contact you have with this other person.

    it can only end or escalate.
    when boyfriend tried to end the emails, she escalated it with a suggestion for inperson mtg. when he did not respond, she called. he felt sorry for her and met her in person. then he attempted to escalate it with his email (not sent) to her.

    Our relationship is in jeopardy because my trust is broken. time will tell if he has truly cut off all contact with her. they never were more than friends. so far. I know I will not tolerate any further disloyalty from him. he seems very sincere and determined that we remain a couple. truth is, I wonder if he will once again start up the emails and phone calls if she tries to contact him. I am still debating leaving him as that would prevent him from ever hurting me if he is weak one day again.
  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    In a situation of an emotional or physical affair when the offending partner agrees to cut off all ties, it is most appropriate for the injured party to be present during that phone call, written letter delivery, etc.

    By the two people working together to break contact with the third person, it is reaffirming thier committment to one another, the relationship, and standing united in the face of the third person. It is important for the third person to know that thier intrusion is not wanted and that it is not okay to 'just be friends'. Likewise, it is also important because it forces the offending partner to truly break free from this affair. He (in this case your boyfriend) should want to include you in this for several reason: to show you that he's making a genuine effort and is not simply appeasing you; to truly make an effort to strengthen the intimacy within your relationship; and to recommit to the relationship with you.

    If boyfriend does not want you involved at all, I would also be suspect. It's normal to be and I don't blame you at all for doubting his ability to break free from that woman. It's nice that he is a softy and feels bad for her. But there are a lot of men who love to feel bad for depressed lonely sad women and it's not boyfriend's job to make her life better. She's arealdy in counseling and it's not working - it may be time for her to find another group. It's been 5 years already, right? It's time for boyfriend to stop allowing her to cling on and stop being an enabler for her. And it's time for him to stop stealing intimacy that belongs to the two of you.

    I hope it works out. I hope that you and boyfriend are able to build back your trust. hugs~
  3. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    JoG that is my thought exactly. I should have overheard the phone call. he says she never responded to his phone call to cut off. he said she wasnt even home and he left the message on her answering machine. I had asked him to make that phone call in front of me, but he didnt. then again, even if he had...they could still start up again anyway. truthfully once a lie happens and trust is broken...I am wondering if it can ever be a truthworthy place for us again.
    he did cry, hold me and told me he could not believe he wrote that email. he told me he felt like a frog and not a prince to me. he said he felt so stupid because she really did not give him any indication she was romantically interested. it was a fluke that the email was not sent.

    I think the other woman so to speak is truly needy and not romantically interested in boyfriend. it is he who saw a tiny cute blonde younger woman and he was drawn into her rescue.

    this weekend with him lacked the fun we usually have because I am still angry/hurt/betrayed. I do not feel as playful and happy with him. he says he knows it will take time and he will do all he can to make me trust him again. now I wonder if I even need the aggravation of this all. I will not police anyone. so that means I have to somehow trust someone who has proven he is able to lie.

    then again...I did confide this to one very trusted long time galpal of mine and she said to let it go. she said boyfriend is so good for me and ant. she said she has never seen me so peaceful. she said he had a weakness and to give him a chance. she also said now that we know about his weakness in wanting to help people and then getting emotionally drawn in...we can be more aware of it. he couldnt be more contrite. it is me who is thinking I do not want to have this hanging over my head and wondering. he did ask for a chance. I said I would give that. but no more. I am getting older and will not play any games.
  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I think you will be able to enjoy the level of trust you once had if you both can work towards that end. At some point, you will simply have to trust, to believe, that he's behaving in an honorable fashion. You're right, there are no garauntees, he could very have contact with her, whether it be on a personal level or a professional level, but it will be up to him to make that crossover. There will be nothing you can do to change that decision. Just be real with yourself and with him. Set up appropriate bounaries for what you will or will not tolerate. Say out loud to him what your hopes, dreams and expectations are of your relationship and then work on it.

    I don't like those hurt partners who browbeat thier boyfriend/girlfriend's into 'proving' they can be trusted. It's so false to me.

    He got into that whole rescue mode and you called him on it, talked about, it promised to make it right again and you're moving past it. Now if he does it again, that's a different scenario and that's when you will have to really decide what you want in your life and if he's worth it. Know what I mean??

    Good for you for knowing where you stand. Keep your eyes and ear open, but slowly learn to trust again - a relationship just isn't the same without it.
  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Janet, it is all always a risk at emotional pain. Do you think if you were in another relationship with a new person you would not be at risk? Love is a risk. It is a chance at sharing your life with a partner. It does not mean either person is ever going to be perfect. Just as a new/different person would not be perfect either.
  6. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    I offered boyfriend to go explore this relationship with the other person and we could part ways. I shook his hand and thanked him for being so good for me for three years and told him I am grateful for all he has done for me and my sons and Kaleb. I told him I wished him well. part of the problem is when he lied the first two times about the contact with her ending...I had told him I would trust and believe him. I truly thought he was above lying.

    he said please give me a chance.

    I told him then that I know myself and I would not tolerate disloyalty. my past of hurts and lies had made me know I will not lower my boundaries, I know to be more self-protective.

    my ex was a known liar. I also refuse to be a warden with him ant or anyone else. I would simply choose to end my assocation with a toxic person. I do not want to be anyone's mother. lol

    this is so true: "He got into that whole rescue mode and you called him on it, talked about, it promised to make it right again and you're moving past it. Now if he does it again, that's a different scenario and that's when you will have to really decide what you want in your life and if he's worth it. "

    that is the crux of it. my two top criteria for a mate are
    1. they be a christian
    2. they be open and honest

    the rest is not as important to me. everyone has faults including me, but we all know which we can turn a blind eye to and which would be fatal to the relationship. for me trust is crucial.

    thanks. I am sure once the betrayal feeling passes and the feelings of wondering who he is on the phone with, who he talks to when not with me, and who he emails...once that passes...I will be more at peace.
  7. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    busywend...I am more concerned that some people have a pattern of things that they repeat in the next relationship. once a cheat always a cheat, a liar lies, etc. does boyfriend have a history of this sort of thing? if so can he stop?

    if I started up with another person I would also have to use this concept:

    A person's behavior history is the best indicator of their future behavior...UNLESS the pain of their behavior makes them change their pattern.

    for me I have a history of being loyal to the wrong people, being way too trusting, way too Pollyanna, naive, being oblivious to things that will cause me pain down the road.

    the pain of my marriage got so bad that I finally was moved after 32 yrs to get out. that was after many many times my ex hurt lied and then apologized with the "I will never do that again".

    it taught me to be more cautious.
  8. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    ant'smom, your sentiments were just what I was thinking. Your history with ex....you deserve someone you don't have to even think about trust....

    Your boyfriend sounds like he is a "rescuer". He feels when he is coming to someone's aide. He feels important when performing in this role. Could have been innocent, but bet it won't be the last time he would have done this. He probably felt flattered too by the attention that a younger woman gave him, even if it was only as a counselor. When you share your personal feelings with someone it does create a bond.

    I thought there was another incident with his daughter....not trying to bring up old wounds, but when things happen where you (or your feelings) were not his first concern, red flags should be waving.....

    I think you handled it well and you have decided what you will not put up with. It would have been the "old" ant'smon to just roll over and let him decide how he wanted to treat you. I do believe there are good men out there, I was lucky enough to find one that I have been with for over 30 years. Your strength and straightforwardness will draw others to you....

    Thinking of you as a very strong woman, you make us proud.... :flower:
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    You are the master of your fate. Personally I tend to agree with
    galpal. Your expectations are unrealistically high and you are allowing your Ex to control your future by your determination to
    be in control of any SO. If you were to find a man who was willing to only do, think and say what you told them to....you would have no reason to respect them as mature independent men.
    Ant needs to know that partnerships have to be worked on in a regular way and that neither adult has to be perfect in all ways.
    A large percentage of alcoholics and drug addicts are driven to that life style because they "are not good enough". I fear that
    the ripple effect of your insecurities could demonstrate that it
    is not enough to work hard daily, to contribute to the household
    maintenance, to love-play-care for and with your child, to avoid
    addictives, to display kindness. You may find a man who will never think or speak or dream about another woman. I doubt very
    seriously that a man exists that can be all that your SO is and
    can be. Your my cyber sister so I'll support you. on the other hand...sister
    to sister...you're blowing it! DDD
  10. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    Janet, remember that women think very differently than men and you are getting advice from women.

    I was with someone for 3 yrs before my marriage.
    His romantic connection was with his ex-wife!
    He painted a picture of him just being a good dad and taking care of his son.
    It started with little things, and over the yrs ended with her calling me to tell me he was on his way to see her and their son was not even there.
    He had an answer for anything I asked. When I got fed up and broke it off, he cried and pleaded.
    I gave in (you know he must love only me to go to all this trouble to get me back????)
    I found stuff that she left in his car for me to find, he had a reason.
    He always managed to come up with an explanation that could very well have been the truth.
    This man was toxic to me ~ I was alive with him, I simply adored him!!
    I left the state and moved back here to be able to rid myself of him.

    Be careful ~ it brought back old memories when you said he called her but you didn't witness the call.
    If he was being honest and truly breaking the ties with her he would want you to be in the room.

    When I demanded that my exbf call his ex about what was going on, it never happened in front of me.

    My husband would solve any problem in front of me, he knows my trust has been shattered by my past and understands that sometimes I can't just take his word and I need to witness it.

    If he really is being honest with you, he would do the same thing.
  11. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Janet, is Ant still working for boyfriend? If you did decide to break it off with him, would it affect Ant's job situation? Not that that would be a reason to stay with boyfriend if you're unhappy and can't trust him, but I was just wondering.
  12. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    DDD I did not break up with boyfriend, I had offered to if that is what he wanted. he does not want to break up.
    he asked for time. He said he does not want to lose me.

    he does not pitch in to my household in any way. he does employ ant but we do not play with ant.

    ant and he get along. boyfriend will still employ ant if we break up and we already had discussed that. boyfriend and I do not let ant in on our relationship. if ant knew of this incident of boyfriend's he would not respect boyfriend. he would probably scream profanities at boyfriend and quit the job.

    for now we are giving it a try. I do not act mad at him and we no longer discuss what happened. I am loving with him, but I feel that I should reserve total trust for now.

    boyfriend has rescued other women. while he was married-I know he and his wife argued about that at least one time. he needs to stop before it goes overboard. I am not sure what all went on in his marriage I did not know him then. I do know his wife left.

    sometimes I think he just doesnt think things thru. as for his daughter, when she came at Christmas he did not let her rule the roost. finally.
  13. amy4129

    amy4129 New Member

    Hugs and all the support you need.
  14. saving grace

    saving grace New Member

    Janet, I am very sad after reading your post. The feeling of loss of trust is devastating. Its alsways going to be there but you can get past it if the relationship is strong enough to begin with. Only time will tell but in that time it will be hard. If you believe that he is sincere and that the relationship is worth giving him another chance then thats what you do, only you know what you can do.

    I have always admired your strength when it comes to tolerance, so I trust that you know your limits. I am so sorry that your relationship is in this place right now.

  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Good Grief, Janet. You would have a very sad sitation if boyfriend played with Ant!!!!!!!! I thought boyfriend had been mentioned as cooking dinner, doing yardwork and/or detailing the cars. My
    picture of him is as a participatory family member. I'm sure my
    memory is right that he is outstanding with Kaleb and has served
    as a role model for Ant.

    I would never presume to tell you or anyone to break up or to stay with someone. Believe me the "world" was shocked when I
    divorced my first husband and I didn't share issues about him
    until years after we split. There are times when I would be really delighted to have my wonderful husband hit the road...lol...
    and I suppose the same is true in reverse.

    What I was trying to say is that your expectations exceed those
    of most mature women. Infidelity is a major issue. Having friends of another sex with-o including your spouse is a non-issue
    in my mind. In a zillion years I would never have eavesdropped
    on my #1 or dear husband. Being SO's or spouses, in my humble opinion, does not mean
    that you have to share every thought, conversation, activity or
    friend. It means that, at the end of the day, you are going
    "home". He became who he is by living decades without you or your family. The man opted to share life with you...and eh Gods
    your life, like many of ours, is no Leave It To Beaver existence!
    The Dude has my admiration based on your posts over the past couple of years. I would hate to think that you would end up alone because he can't meet your expectations. Hugs. DDD
  16. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'm not going to say b/f is guilt free. But you really shouldn't necessarily believe this woman has no romantic interest in b/f. Women can be manipulating as all get out. And this one may have learned, even before she "met" your b/f that playing the role of damsel in distress is a sure fire way to hook a man.

    Honestly, it's a very old tactic. I've seen women use it before. And it was the first thing that came to mind as I began reading your post.

    I'm sorry husband has hurt you and lost your trust.

  17. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    Sorry DDD, but I disagree!

    Janet I don't think your expectations are too high for a mature woman.
    in my humble opinion if you are involved with boyfriend and you two are in a committed relationship, in no way is a "friendship" with a divorced, lonely woman okay.

    We all have baggage we bring into relationships.
    That doesn't mean you have to compromise your expectations in your chosen mate.

    The biggest thing to me is trust. I have been in an abusive relationship (biodad to kids) and then in the crazy circus of emotions I shared in the above post.
    I know in those to relationships I compromised my standards, and I felt like I had to play the cards I was given.

    I was wrong.

    My husband had deep faith based raising. He suffered with family deaths in early age. His bro was turned into a quad after a bullfighting accident and he and his sister in law were caretakers until his death. He turned to meth to keep up with the demands of working and caring for his brother.
    I met him @ work. He was in the midst of hitting the bottom.
    I was freshly shattered from the move away from my boyfriend.
    Well, I started my "saving his life" saga.
    One thing led to another and a extended family intervention was done.
    We began dating after that.
    We both did bible study groups, we did before marriage counseling with our pastor and we were married about a yr and half later.
    The first four yrs were spent with me trying to "learn" how to trust him. My exh abused drugs as much as he abused me and I had alot of issues.
    I believe we found our way through church and scripture.
    He is a godly man that came back to his godly ways and he understands my "need" sometimes for reassurance.

    It is rocky at this point, but that is from us not being in church as we should and the wonderful little things that my difficult child springs on us.

    You follow your heart and don't ever compromise with your standards!!!
    You should be treated as a queen, you have suffered enough heartache, never let a man give you more.
  18. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    One last thought~~~

    I too had strayed from church and my relationship with husband brought me back.

    My children were back in church as well.

    I was only beginning to reconnect with my family after yrs of distance between us, not only is my relationship with my family close now, but my children and I were blessed with my husband's family.
    They still have the "leave it to beaver" family. most all of them!

    I never believed I would experience the blessings I have now.

    God put us together ~ there is not a doubt in my mind or his ~

    Just remember ~ God has plans for you as well as Ant!
  19. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Janet, I guess what you learned from this post is that there are a lot of different opinions. You did what you know you need to do and you will stay on guard because it is what you have to do in order to trust again.
    You're doing fine. I think you appreciate boyfriend enough, perhaps he needs a reminder that you are to be appreciated as well.

    My favorite thought is actually one I shared with my boyfriend after we got back together this past summer. I told him I knew I was lucky to have him in my life, but he was lucky to have me, too and if he could not figure that out than :censored2: him.
  20. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    For what it is worth....

    My perspective.

    If there is truly not a threat that he is going to become involved romantically with this woman then, for me, them having contact is a non-issue. Frankly, it muddys up what is the bottom line from where I sit boyfriend lied about staying in contact with her even after promising you to cut all ties. You have made it clear that you are not okay with this relationship, HOWEVER, he has continued inspite of that. To me, his having contact with her is/was more important than you and your feelings. He may say it isn't, but his actions speak otherwise. Actions is what I care about. Talk is cheap.

    I tend to take a no nonsense stance when it comes to a betrayal.

    To me this not about unrealistic expectations. Personally,I find your expectations reasonable. Either he can meet them, or he can't. Can you live with the "can't" as far as this woman is concerned? Can you live with the possibility that regardless of how you feel,he will continue this relationship? If it comes to light that he still communicates with this woman, are you going to end your relationship with him? Is he clear with that? Are you clear about what you want from boyfriend? I would spell it out for him and make abundantly clear what the consequences are if he breeches your trust again.

    I guess the point I'm trying to make is to get clear with yourself about where *you* stand in this and then bottom line it with boyfriend.