Remnants From Emotional Affair

I just returned from the second visit with my therapist. ****. I feel like ****. He is paid to be patient. He listens to me cry and I get angry with myself for being so sad and pitiful.

In truth, I know the following:

1. I still love her, miss her, want her and would run to her if she called and asked me to.

2. She won't call me. She never will call me.

3. She does love me and she misses me terribly. But, she is committed to try and find fulfillment and happiness in her marriage because she does not want to hurt her small kids.

4. Her husband is a total ****. I think she knows it is true.

5. I believe one day she will regret her decision to not choose me. That is also one of her biggest fears. But she will have to play out the hand as she has decided to play it. In the meantime, I am in hell.

6. She absolutely knows that we would be happy together. She knows that I would love her perfectly -- but she still did not choose me. She already told me that I loved her perfectly...

7. My marriage is likely over. I don't think I want to stay. And, I feel badly about hurting my wife of 18 years -- but if I stay, it means more emotional detachment and living the life of numbness

Am I better off having fallen into this emotional affair, given the heartbreak? I honestly don't know. I wish I had answers to all my questions. Hell, I just wish I was not so very sad.

a330ford a330ford
46-50, M
9 Responses Jan 17, 2013

I've been having some version of an EA with a coworker for a while now. It must be almost 3 years since we started intentionally meeting in the coffee room and having lunch. We don't openly talk about love, or feelings and such. We've never kissed or held hands. I'm married and she is single but we 'click'. On my side there was infatuation and such and I have to guess some of what she feels and now we act like friends and yet we definitely are more than friends. We talk, share and care - we have a rapport that I have to watch at work so that the few others that work in the building don't feel excluded from our world. She and I interact like an old married couple. My wife and I don't talk and don't relate yada yada yada like every one else here. That's background on me.

The thing is... I have to separate my EA 'crush' from my marriage and figure out each one separately. It has been hard for me to evaluate my marriage without thinking about how wonderful it would be to have a relationship with my EA/crush (which may not work out anyway for many reasons because we haven't taken a leap).

It was very useful to me to consider whether I wanted to be married to her if there were no EA/crush in my life or if my EA/crush met a great guy and married him. My answer was that I definitely want to leave my wife regardless of what happens with my EA/crush or whether I am single the rest of my life. Her treadmill of life, her family and her unawareness of me will definitely cease to be part of mine one day.

(My conundrum is that I don't want to leave my kids and I don't want to see them only every second weekend. So for now I stay.)

Regarding you. In everything I read, I see you wanting (perhaps wishing is more apt) the marriage to work but you don't want your wife. I think you should consider whether you want to be with your wife or not. If you do then move on from your EA. If you don't you may, like me, choose to keep the marriage going for a while but at least you won't pine over a relationship that has no hope. You can then focus on making it the best 'roommate marriage' until you are ready to divorce her.

It seems to me that your marriage feels like a cage because you pine over your EA. People tend to say about these things that you need to settle your marriage before beginning another relationship/affair. So if your EA was killed in a car accident tomorrow, would your marriage become viable? Could you work at it and succeed?

Buddy, if it is dead then that is your answer. The only questions that remain are how you will manage your life within that framework. Divorce? Tolerant cohabitation?

Divorce may open a door with your EA but you have to close the marriage door first or you will tear yourself apart.

I'm not talking about right/wrong or obligations. I'm saying you need to figure things out in the right order so that you can move forward with confidence.

I highly recommend the book, "Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay" my Mira Kirshenbaum. It will help you figure out if you want out or not.

Take care.

I'm not a better to loved and lost person. I've been in a similar situation and I would have rather just not known what I was missing... I was happier when I was blind.

You poor man. I am in e same position only he decided to move on. Hurt and pain are immense. I'm on a journey to heal old hurts to try and move forward. I hope u can find the love u need within, in time. Xx

At the time my kids were 10 and 14. I'm from a single parent home and it is something I will not allow for my kids.
For me it was best not to check in. Just completely "cut the cord " so to speak.
I also transferred all my focus on my kids which really helped. I don't know if you have kids, but it was very helpful to have a something that required all my attention.
The one the I keep with me is the knowledge that my relationship was real, the love we shared was real and that I am blessed to have had him in my life. I know what love feel like...

:) it does get better. The sadness fades...i can remember him with smiles now
Hope that helps

Thank you for your response and your story. How old we're your children?

My love lives in my same city. I see her from time to time. It is always difficult to act normally when my heart is so broken. We still check in on each other from time to time just to make sure the other is ok.

Like you, she is my first thought and last each day. I awaken early each day and think about her; about what I would say to her if I could. It happens everyday. When I know I will see her, I carefully think about the details beforehand so that I can maintain my composure. I strive for no surprises. Most of the time it works.

I continue going to therapy. But, I don't know that it helps me. Everyday, something trips a memory about her in my head and the tears flow. I alternate between feeling sadness for the loss and discouragement because she is gone from me forever. Forever is such a permanent and long time -- even though I know she misses me too. She loves me too. And, she thinks of me too.

I desperately want to be happy and fulfilled in a relationship. My wife/marriage does not give me either. I'm not even in love with my wife. She knows it. And, she really does not care. Status quo for her is perfectly fine. If I give in to status quo, I will never be in love, fulfilled and happy.

I was there. I ended my EA with the love of my life. I decided my kids were primary to my emotional needs, so I abruptly ended my EA in a way that made him understand the split was final.
That was one of the most difficult and painful acts I've ever committed. I cried every day for the first 6 months. There were days when I felt like I could not breath. After a year I was able to pull myself together, but there is not a single day that passes when he is not my first an last thought. I know I will never love or be loved like that again...he was my one....
With all that said and 2 yrs since my EA ended, I'm figuring me and my life out. I'm content.
It just takes time ...
You will get there

As I prepared to leave for work today my wife asked me: do you love me? I said yes. She then asked, are you in love with me yet? I said, no (which is true). Then she asked, are you still sad? My response was yes, sometimes. She then said, "It's ok. You don't have to be in love with me."

That made me sad. I cried all the way to work. How will I ever find happiness again?

Does she know about your affair? Maybe when you step back from the other woman you will come out of the fog of the affair. I know the other woman probably made you feel alive, you felt like she connected with you in a way your wife does not. You are soulmates. You fantasize about being together and how wonderful it would be. I felt all of those things. I have read a lot of comments from others who have had EA's and physical affairs. Almost everyone says the same things. It is the addiction, the fantasy, the risk that gets the adrenaline going. Give yourself some time and focus on working on your marriage. I know that is easy for me to say. My marriage has always been good, but somewhere there is a small crack that allowed me to wander looking for something that I was missing. We all need time to see clearly and to heal. Unfortunately, we have to hurt and the healing doesn't happen quick enough.

Best wishes.

No. My wife does not know about the affair. Telling her now would only hurt her more. Our marriage has been broken for more than a decade. I just did not know how broken it was until I met her. We did connect and it was real. It was reciprocal and sincere. My therapist says that I am emotionally detached. It was the way I coped with the lack of love, emotional connection and the emotional distress that is so well practiced by my wife. I don't think my marriage can become whole. If I am to find fulfillment, it will have to be with someone else. That makes me sad, but it is a sadness that pales in comparison to the sadness I feel from the loss of my love.

I feel your pain too. No, you are not better off having fallen into the emotional affair. They suck! They leave you feeling awful and the pain is hard to shake just like a physical affair. You go through the withdrawal and pain of the addiction. You must be strong. It does become more bearable as time goes by. I haven't emailed my EA since Jan. 9. I heard from him on the 17th and have received a few forwarded messages. My heart jumps every time I see a message in my mailbox, but the one on the 17th was only an answer to a question that it took him 8 days to answer. I feel better when I get nothing and I am was getting tired of him not responding for days. When he did he felt obligated to tell me about watching "our" movie with his new girlfriend. I won't get into it, you can read my story, it's posted here. I have found ivillage EAS(ending affair support) very helpful. It is a little more active then this board. They will give you advice on how to move forward. The biggest recommendation is NO CONTACT. You are seeing a therapist, that is good. Keeping busy it is a distraction. Maybe things will get better with you wife once you begin to heal. You have a long time invested in her. Did you have marital problems before you started your affair?

You may not want to hear it, but from what you wrote, it is over. You need to accept it and move on with your life, she has. She has made her decision to protect her family.

Best wishes.

Thank you for your response. Yes. My marriage was not working before I got hit by the truck that was Danielle. My therapist says I am damaged and have been for a long time. I keep being told that I am grieving and I have to give it time. But, I don't think of it as grief. I think of it as loss and rejection. Maybe it's just symantecs, I don't know.

She does love me. I know it. I also know she misses me. She is hurting too. I have heard from her recently. She wanted me to know she was thinking of me. My answer was upbeat in a way that did not show my severe discouragement. Letting her go hurts, but knowing she will not chase after me hurts more. I miss her terribly...everyday. Not having her in my life forever is so discouraging.

Thank you for your recommendation and sharing my pain. You are kind.

A330, I can totally relate to your story. I feel for your sadness as I feel that too. Ithink it is good you are reaching out and seeing a therapist (if he helpsme you, there are good ones and not as good ones). Just wanted to say you are not alone. Keep taking care of yourself.