My Husband Had An Emotional Affair With My Best Friend... And I'm Still Angry.

So this is my first time posting here and I don't know exactly where to start... so I figure I'll share my background before I get to my question.  Sorry for the long-winded essay, but I tried to stick to the shorter version!

My husband and I have been together for 6 years and have a 3 year old daughter together.  He is active duty military, and we've moved a lot these last 4 years.  Through all the difficulties of military life and all the moves, I had one friend - my best and closest friend - there all the while.  Her husband went to boot camp with mine and she and I hit it off right away.  We have been friends through 3 moves (all to the same places around the same time), changes in jobs, changes in school, and the biggest change - having a child.  

My friend lived 3 doors down from us.  She and her husband started experiencing quite a bit of marital problems.  She had moved herself into the guest room and only talked to her husband when we were all together to do something.  I watched her flirt with guys at the gym, out shopping, wherever.  I also heard from my brother that she had been sending him some emails that he was uncomfortable with.  I knew about her problems at home, and I figured she was just in a difficult place and needing some attention from guys.  I never thought she was sneaking around with my husband... that is, until I started noticing things.  You know when you leave or enter a room and you have a feeling the people there were/are talking about you?  I got that a few times, even heard some whispering.  Then, one night when she was at our house she had gone to check on her son (sleeping in the guest room) while my husband went to grab a board game.  When neither of them came back for a bit I went to check on them and found them in the closet with her head on his shoulder and them hugging!  I didn't want to make a scene, so let it go that night and then asked him the next day.  His answer?  She was drunk and he didn't know exactly what she was doing - but it was nothing and it hadn't happened before.  I let it go.  A few weeks later she was at our house again (a VERY regular thing since things had worsened in her marriage and she was avoiding being around her husband at all).  We were playing some card games and I was just too tired.  I went upstairs to go to bed, got ready for bed, and went to check on our daughter one last time.  I noticed that there was silence, which I thought was odd, went in to check on our daughter and when I came out of her room I noticed there was still silence - so I listened harder and I heard whispering.  I decided to confront it this time.  I went downstairs and walked into the kitchen.  There they sat at the table, whispering and completely enthralled in each other - they didn't even notice me standing 10 feet away.  I was flabbergasted.  I stood there a minute, waiting for them to notice me, but they didn't.  So I walked right up to the table and asked, "what are you guys talking about?"  Her answer?  "We weren't doing anything."  I said, "I didn't ask what you were doing, I just asked what you're talking about?"  "We weren't doing anything."  

Well, after quite a bit of conversation with her ( he ran out, ticked at me for making her feel bad!!), I learned that it had been going for months.  That they had been confiding in each other, talking about their problems, trying to help each other understand and solve their problems.  I told her I had no issues with her talking with him to get a guy's point of view, I only asked that they not be secretive about it.  I clarified that I wasn't asking to be involved in their conversations, I just wanted to be aware that they were happening so I wasn't left wondering and trying to figure things out.  She was completely apologetic and expressed how she understood how I must be feeling and how she would react the same way.  She assured me there was nothing else happening between them and that the secrecy would end right away.  I told her I was happy with that, but personally needed a few weeks to myself, to just get a little space for a while.  We let it go there and I started trying to move on and put it behind me.  But she wouldn't leave me alone - she was texting me and sending me emails, giving me a hard time about activities we'd had planned and then digging into our friendship and how shallow and fake she thought it was.  I was so hurt by the things she was saying and I asked my husband if he knew what she was talking about in some of her vague comments.  Among other things, I learned that I was a terrible friend because I didn't share all of my problems with her (thus the fake and shallow friendship) and that she had given him the advice that if he wasn't happy, he should just leave.  That hurt so much - my own best friend not only was giving my husband secret advice, but she was telling him to leave me!  So, I'm feeling hurt that this was going on, I'm feeling hurt about the things she has said to me and about me, and then I get the phone bill the next month - extra charges.  They'd been talking and texting so much after this confrontation that her number dominated the pages of our phone bill.  The secrecy hadn't stopped like she'd promised.   These 2 just didn't seem to give a crap about me at all!  All they seemed to care about was carrying on with what made them happy and they didn't care who they hurt in the process.  I was finally fed up, I asked her to never to contact either of us again and told her our friendship was over.  She had a few choice responses, but she eventually gave it up.

This was all a year ago.  And I'm still mad.  Now I know the focus in my storytelling has been on her, and its not to say that I think she is more to blame because that isn't the case.  I think that my husband and my best friend both owed me at least some sort of consideration, some sort of courtesy.  But he, more than she, did.  He and I have hashed it out, hashed it to death.  I've had time to work through all the anger with my husband.  The issues are mostly resolved.  The trust is slowly repairing.  But he understands what happened for me in all this and I believe he feels genuine regret about what happened.  We are trying to work out our relationship and I've been feeling, especially these last 6 months or so, that things are much better for us.  But for my best friend, I never got to resolve things with her.  I was so angry for so long and I don't know how to let it go.  It was even harder that she lived so close and that I would bump into her or her family from time to time.  In addition, we're part of a close network of friends.  I'm not one to talk badly about others and some of our common friends have asked what happened and I just tell them it was a lot leading up to it, but that we just couldn't be friends anymore.  I have heard from a couple of people about some of the things she's said about me and I have been shocked to learn that she feels like she was a victim in all this. I'm thinking - a victim, are you kidding me?  You both knew that there was something wrong with what you were doing because you both went to such great lengths to conceal it.  This went on for several months, it was a BIG secret.  If what you were doing was ok, then why was it a secret?  I just don't understand how she thinks she's the victim in this.  Because I confronted it?  Because I told her it was wrong?  Because I made her feel bad?  What she did was wrong and she knew that, she just didn't want to accept that she brought all the conflict on herself.  She doesn't accept any responsibility for what she did and she talks poorly about me to people who, quite frankly, its none of their business.  

We haven't had a whole lot of dialogue since I initially found out about everything.  I was upset that night, I was crying, I even raised my voice.  Sometimes I wish I would have taken the time to cool off before confronting them because my reaction was so intense.  Our conversations after that point were relatively reserved and minimal.  Pretty much, I'm hurt and I need time.  I think what you did was wrong.  I'll get back to you in a few weeks after I've had time to cool off.  We never had a final sit-down and formal closing of things, and that's been rough for me to not have that resolution.  

I decided a few months ago that I was probably never going to have resolution with her and I need to figure out a way to forgive her and let it all go.  But I don't know how?  Where do I start?  I really want to sit her down and lay out all the shady things she did and basically reem her... but that's not going to happen and I honestly don't know that I'd gain anything from it.  I might feel better for "putting her in her place," but I'd have a new set of guilt for having done so.  I never really truly confronted her about everything that added up to the end of our friendship, mostly in my own avoidance of having an even greater conflict with her.  I thought that I could find a way to forgive it and try and get things back to close to normal for us, that I could still have my best friend.  If I dug into it all too much then eventually I would reach a point that couldn't be come back from.  I guess, I'm so mad not only because of what happened, but because I was staying so open to forgiving such a terrible thing and she never tried to make it right - she just found a way to continue what she was doing wrong in the first place and then blaming me for what went wrong.    

So my question is... does anyone know where I go from here?  How do I get past (her side of) this once and for all?  
brianneh brianneh
3 Responses Dec 29, 2010

Hi I know this is 5 years on and not sure if you are still receiving posts, but your situation is so similar to mine its uncanny!! except my husband kissed her....she was a friend but if I'm truly honest i never trusted her or her intentions. I always thought she was after my husband and when our marriage became difficult (as they can do) she was there listening to him, walking the dogs and our kids played etc. You know my husband slept with my sisters friend on a skiing bothers me more that he kissed Lisa and had an emotional affair. I thought I had forgiven her but actually I hate her soon much for what she did as she knew what she was doing!
Im leaving my husband now ( for other reasons aswell) I still hold anger for her and see her everyday on the school run.How do I let hurts so much. Can deal with betrayal

That is really the problem with emotional affairs. My wife did something very similar and it always came back to 'I am not really doing anything'. There is nothing physical etc...but the betrayal is still there. It reminds me of my kids...where they aren't hitting each other, but they hold their finger in front of their siblings face...and when they complain to me...they say 'I didn't touch him'. It's the same thing. These people will always fall back on 'I wasn't really doing anything' because they a) feel they can get away with it and b) so that they do not have to take on any guilt from their behavior. In my situation, my wife still does this sometimes...and sometimes I wish the shoe was on the other foot...even for a that she could know the extent of the pain that an emotional affair causes.

I am currently going through a very similar situation. Yet this all just happened to me. I found out after over two years and the birth of my son that my best friend of 13 years was having an emotional affair with my husband. I won't go into the whole story but I cannot get over the pain I feel. There's good days and bad. <br />
My ex best friend lies through her teeth about it all and swears she barely spoke to him yet she knows I have records of emails and phone calls from/to her. My husband has come clean about it all despite how much it hurts me. I initially confronted my ex bestfriend and i completely lost my temper at her. But she refused to acknowledge any wrong on her behalf. Do about 2 weeks later i called her and spoke very calmly but very clearly stated what she did and why it was wrong. The best I got out of her was "Im sorry if I hurt you but I didn't do anything wrong". Im Sorry but thats not good enough. All I want is for her to come to a realization of what she has done and to apologize. Just so I can move on. Unfortunately I don't think it'll happen. My advice is to maybe write her a letter, that way she can't cut u off or dispute what you're saying, you can be clear about your feelings without getting over emotional yet state exactly what she done wrong and how that made you feel. I think I myself will have to do this too. <br />
If that doesn't work then at least you have made your peace. Hope this helps. And for what it's worth I'm so sorry for the pain you're in. I can't stand it and it's only been a month for me. I don't know what another year would do to me :(