My Affair, And Now I Hurt, And Am Confused.....

So, I’m new here, and have really loved reading other peoples experiences and stories, and wanted to share my recent crazy experience. I just read a post on emotional affairs, and it helped me figure a few things out as well. So here it goes. I’m 28, married, had my 1st child just over a year ago, and have 2 successful careers. I met my wife in high school over 11 years ago, and got married 4 years ago after we were done with school and established in our careers. I’m saying all this in hopes to form a good foundation to see where I’m coming from. I started a wedding photography business a few years ago and it has been a great 2nd career for me, and keeps me rather busy. Every year during my busy wedding season, I usually need the help of a 2nd photographer to help me during the wedding. Both of my regular helped moved away during the winter and found myself in need of someone new to help. Out of the blue, I received an email from a girl who lived in the area and wanted to get some experience with weddings. We emailed back and forth, and set up a time to meet. We met for lunch, talked, and everything went well. Really nothing more than just a regular old lunch meeting. Sure I thought she was cute, really cute actually, but I’m a guy and that’s just how life is at times I suppose. We said we would stay in touch and discuss details as we got closer to the wedding season. We didn’t really talk for about a month or two with the exception of an occasional facebook comment here and there.

After an email or two about upcoming work in the next couple months, she invited me to accompany her on a photo shoot that she had one morning. I said sure, and we had a good time. Mostly work, but it was a good social experience as well, and had fun. We later exchanged some photos online and critiqued each others work, and even took a few photos of each other working and sent them to each other, including one she took of me and included only the word “cute”. Sure, that was nice to hear, but didn’t think to much of it. That was our first real social experience together, and I think we both realized we got along great and had fun around each other. That morning we met for coffee before the shoot, and I had asked her about her husband, as I realized I knew nothing at all about her personal life. She said “well, yes, I’m married, but its sort of complicated, we have both seen other people”. He lives in another state, and they are sort of in a holding pattern. Is it just me, or is that sort of weird to tell someone after not knowing them very well. Anyhow, that was sort of surprising. But I think a part of me was sort of happy to hear that.

So now, moving forward about a month, and our relationship consisting of nothing more than some facbook chatting, mostly about life and just general stuff, it was quite nice, but mostly just friendly. I invited her on an engagement shoot that I had as she had mentioned she wanted some experience with that, so I picked her up and we drove together downtown, but 1st had to stop at a local park where we had a wedding later that year and do some scouting at the request of the client. We walked around together and really did nothing more than take photos of each other, which now I look back on, was nothing more than some serious flirting. Later that evening, after the shoot, we grabbed some dinner, had a beer, and decided afterwards, that we should stop and have another beer at a local bar and hang out some more. In the car ride to the bar, I had to call home and check in, which is where I guess it became obvious that this “emotional affair” had begun. I called home and basically said my shoot ended late and I was going to grab some dinner, which I of course already had done, but now wanted more time for another drink, as that would not have gone over as well. She was sitting next to me in the car when I made this call, and she had said “this is where it all starts”. I sort of laughed it off, but yeah, that is where it all started.

In between that crazy night, and our 1st actual wedding together, I had asked her to take family photos for me of my family. My wife had been sort or oddly quiet most if that evening. The next day, she told me that she did not like Sarah. I sort of flipped out and got really defensive. I told her that she was a really good friend of mine, and there was nothing to worry about. My wife had told me she felt like the 3rd wheel all night, and didn’t trust Sarah. It was quite the argument, and ended with me saying that I would lighten the social aspect of my relationship with Sarah, yet I knew that I would not be doing so, it meant too much to me.

Sorry for all the unnecessary details, but wanted to give you an inside honest look at how it all started. We talked just about everyday day after that, mostly online at night, which is where I often found myself looking for her specifically, and I suppose she was doing the same. We finally had our 1st wedding together which was out of town and required to be there overnight. We agreed that we would split the room, but yet I of course did not tell my wife about this, as that would not fly. We had an awesome drive there, and had great time at the wedding. We had a few beers during the wedding, and found ourselves at the bonfire at the wedding later that night hanging out with the bride and groom and their guests. Little by little, we got closer, eventually with our arms around each other, and then resting our heads on the other’s shoulder. After a fun drive back to town, we grabbed another drink at the hotel, and headed for the room. We were on our separate beds, and she asked if it would be okay to ask for someone to cuddle with. I don’t think I even said anything, I just went over and laid down with her. We got all comfy, and were soon all over each other and making out. Nothing further than 2nd base, but held each other all night. The next morning was confusing, as I didn’t know what to expect, but we were just like a new couple holding hands and all. It actually felt REALLY nice.

For the next 4 weeks, we hung out every weekend. Went to dinner, a concert, dog walks, all sorts of routine fun stuff. And of course, we were all over each other, to the point where people were always staring. It eventually led to us sleeping with each other on one of the weekends. 2 days in a row. It was AMAZING. The following weekend, I had to go out of town with family, and it just happened that her husband was coming into town too, That was sort of weird, but I knew this going into it. We met during the week before I left for a drink, and it took us about 30 mins to say goodbye in the parking lot. We were all over each other. After hints of it, I had told her that I was falling for her. Which was honestly how I felt. She sort of hinted that she did too, but did not quite say it yet. I left town, and she did her thing. We chatted via text every day, and a couple times online. While I was gone, her dad had emergency surgery, and things got sort of crazy in her life because of that. I tried to be as supportive as I could, and give her space where I could.

When I got back into town, I thought we would be right back to where we were. After some weird schedule issues, we finally got together, and went out. It was a little different, but overall fun. The next day sucked. I picked her up head to a wedding, and things were soooo tense. The night prior, when we said goodbye, it seemed as if she could not get out of the car soon enough. Usually there would have been an invitation to come inside, but instead it was really weird and awkward, mostly on her part. I was all ready to go inside. So the next day something wasn’t right, and I was really confused. Later that night, after a beer, she told me that she wasn’t sure that she could keep doing what we were doing, and blamed it mostly on the fact that I have a family at home. I was all confused, I kept saying that she knew this all along, even when we were just flirting friends, and didn’t understand why she let things get so serious, and to the point where I was falling in love with her, to now start breaking it off. But, as the night went on, we were finding little places to hide and make out here and there, and it was nice, but mentally I knew I was confused. I think I just thought that she was going to change her mind and I had nothing to worry about. We had a wedding the next day, things were a little werid, but okay overall. She said she needed a few days to think about things, and I was fine with that. The days that followed sucked. I didn’t know that it meant she was going to totally ignore me and go into hiding. She was having issues with her own marriage, and said on top of it all, she couldn’t handle what she was doing to my family, and needs to figure things out.

To try to make this as brief as I know I am going on and on, things are over. But I cried for days. She broke my heart. Not only was she a “girlfriend” I guess, but she had become my best friend. I started to totally block out my home life. She basically was all my life was about anymore. Now I look back and notice that I let myself get way to attached. I guess I thought inside that she was so amazing, and I was going to leave my family to be with her. The things she sad to me made me think that we were both on the same page and wanted the same thing. Our “fling” only lasted for about 4 weeks, and I totally became dependant on her. My marriage sucked while this went on. I was always trying to keep track of my stories so that everything would work out. I spent a lot of time away from my family and it really hurt my wife. She doesn’t know what happen, but I know she probably has thought about it, especially since she didn’t like her from the beginning.

What kills me now, is we have worked together a few times since, and it is extremely awkward and I am not sure how I should act. We get sort of buddy buddy as the night goes on, and the beer starts flowing, but that’s about it. It seems as if the alcohol is what makes everything okay, and I know that is not right. I have seen from some photography forums that she is now starting to try to become friends with other photographers, specifically one, who is also young, married, good looking, and now they comment back and forth about shooting together soon and how it was nice to meet up last night, and how cool he is. That stuff is hard for me to read, and makes me want to email her and be like “are you for real?” I also forgot to mention, she had a very similar relationship with another photographer in a different genre before me . I only know this because he contacted me one day and started asking questions. He was also married, and not sure if it is actually really over, or of they are just friends with benefits or what. Regardless, it makes me feel like just another notch in the belt, when I gave it all I had and thought it was so real.

Yes, I know what I did was totally wrong. I am very disappointed in myself. I am generally a pretty strong, confident person, and hate being so weak when it comes to this. My relationship with my wife has seemed to become stronger and all that more special to me since I now realize what I had and how good it really is. When some really hot girl walks into your life and if everything you ever wanted, and ends up sleeping with you, I guess I just sort of got brainwashed. I know I need to totally cut off communication with this girl, but I guess a part of me just wants to be friends, and feel if I tell her that I can’t do it anymore, there will be no more friends.

So this is my life lately. It started out what I would consider an emotional affair, and turned into a lot more. Which I honestly can’t see how any emotional affair can not turn into one if given the right amount of time and the right situation. When I have a great time with my family, I forget about all this drama. But when I have a wedding coming up, or I’m busy at work I start thinking about it again. Whenever I see her and this new guy chatting on the forums, it drives me nuts. Should I confront her??? I would love to hear anyone’s feed back if they made it through my story. Has anyone experienced anything like this??? I’m really bad at this because I have been in such a good relationship for so long, and never had to deal with all this drama before. Thoughts??? Suggestions????

NX2888 NX2888
26-30, M
6 Responses Jul 23, 2010

I've just recently ended an emotional affair. Although I know it is hard for you and that you miss her I can honestly say that you are probably going to be better off since you are not having to see her everyday and that you may have a shot of repairing your marriage and making yourself happy. I see my MM everyday and I work with him everyday and the part of me that wants to remains friends wonders now how to do that because the friends that we used to be allowed me to be able to share anything and everything with him and now I feel like I don't know what is appropriate conversation.

You are in the same situation as I am inasmuch she became your best friend, and I think you end up missing the best friend more than the lover when they are gone. It helps reading all the different stories.

I had an emotional affair, and now am VERY, VERY hurt and confused! You should check out my story under emotional affairs.

Oh my god, thanks so much everyone. This has been such a private and lonely experience, and is sooo nice to hear some thoughts and ideas. It really is!!!

Do not tell your wife... she does not deserve to bear any of your pain, or release you from any of your guilt...<br />
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I may not have time to say everything that deserves a response in your message, as I am due to be off work soon. I'm actually getting off work an hour early b/c of a long drive to where we're going to celebrate our 22nd anniversary. <br />
I don't say this to rub it in your face; no, not at all. I'm sort of using a happy occasion to do some good for myself, karmically, and maybe help someone else? You see, in the last year, back in Sept./Oct., I had an emotional affair myself, with someone I met online. We never physically got together as she lived several states away from me. But we were planning the big break, and I actually got to the point where I asked my wife for a separation, which is required in my state b4 divorce. I'm going to shorten a very long story and cut to the fact that I quickly realized how asinine and delusional I was being, and that I almost let that destroy a 21 year marriage--one that was very definitely NOT over and WORTH SAVING.<br />
We got therapy and saved the relationship, and my wonderful long-suffering and patient wife actually has forgiven me, though I doubt she will ever forget.<br />
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First -- let the butterfly keep fluttering around and land where she will. Do not contact her, rather consider yourself damn lucky to have her out of your life. She isn't stable and you can see she's getting ready to pull the same crap on one of the other people on the chatting forums.<br />
Second, I'm not sure if I'm qualified to advise you whether to ever tell your wife or not what happened. Part of me says she deserves to know, the major part of me says, RUN don't WALK away from this crap and don't disturb the hornet's nest further. Concentrate on getting professional help (don't I sound like Ann Landers, or are you too young to remember her, LOL) even if only for yourself, so you can figure out why you really did this, and learn to forgive yourself.<br />
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Forgiveness and self-understanding is key, I think.<br />
Good luck. Hope you can make it at least another 18 years to your 22nd! :-)