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#3016322 01/28/22 08:43 AM
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So I had an emotional affair last year. It's probably a classic situation, our marriage wasn't great, low sex, low emotional connection, low romance, kids, busy work. I was trying to do everything for her, but was worn out. She was tired with the kids.

I met up with an old friend. I'm quite an open person and she likes to ask questions, so I over shared and we started to talk a out some very personal things. Fast forward two or three weeks of messages and I realised I had feelings for my old friend and was saying things that were romantic.

At that point I told my wife everything and showed her all the messages.

Over the next few months, my wife and I had a lot of hard conversations and arguments. All the bitterness, resentments and frustration we both harboured came to the surface. We had several very rocky months, but for the first time in our marriage we were really honest.

Fast forward 6 months and we have connected more honestly an deeply than ever. Our marriage has turned around, we talk all the time, we laugh, joke dance, we're attracted to each other, we're better with the kids, there's more life and hope than there's ever been.

Then we had a problem. My wife asked me, if I could go back would I still have the emotional affair?

I've apologised for the emotional affair and the pain I caused manny times, I wish I'd never caused that pain, but it was the trigger for our marriage to be transformed, so I said yes. Our marriage was collapsing from the inside and probably wouldn't have lasted, so I would never want to go back to how it was before when we didn't even realise and it was awful. For me the pain of facing what was going on underneath the surface and working through it was worth it. She also thinks things are a lot lot better now.

For her, me saying the massive improvements in our relationship are worth the pain of the emotional affair makes her feel like I don't care, don't understand her, dont know how painful it was for her, and I could have an affair again.

I'm probably ten times happier with our marriage than I was a bout 2 years ago. I have no intention of having an affair. I'm 100% for our marriage working and getting even better.

So she's asked me to try and understand how painful it is to experience an affair. If people feel okay to share, it would help me if you can explain to me how it feels when your partner has an affair?

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Welcome to MB. Have you read any of Dr. Harley’s books? I would recommend Surviving an Affair.

Have you answered all your BW’s (betrayed wife) questions?

Was the OW (other woman) married?

Did you expose the affair to anyone?

How long have you been married? Do you have any children? Ages?


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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It might be that nobody provides you with your precise answer, for one reason or another. I know that I wouldn't care to dredge up the feelings I had during the affair. I've got too many things to get through in a day to spend time doing that, especially when there are thousands of stories on this section of the board, and in Surviving an Affair, where people have already written exactly what you're asking about. All you need to do is click and browse.

Welcome to MB.


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Married 1989
His PA 2003-2006
2 kids.
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This video by Dr Harley, the owner of this site, answers your question.



BW
Married 1989
His PA 2003-2006
2 kids.
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Please read and watch the video How to Survive Infidelity


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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Originally Posted by Mr.Mistake
For me the pain of facing what was going on underneath the surface and working through it was worth it. She also thinks things are a lot lot better now.

For her, me saying the massive improvements in our relationship are worth the pain of the emotional affair makes her feel like I don't care, don't understand her, dont know how painful it was for her, and I could have an affair again.
This is a cruel thing to say to the wife that you betrayed, and I hope you never say it again. It's a terrible thing to say that the pain you put your wife through was worth it to you. You clearly lost nothing in having the affair, and now you've gained a much better marriage out of it. Your wife lost your faithfulness, and she knows that you are capable of doing something very cruel to her without thinking or caring about how much you are hurting her. If you think the affair was worth it, it means that you do not see yourself as one flesh with your wife (because you would never hurt yourself), and you do not see that you should never be a source of pain to her. And she's right: it does imply that you would hurt her again if it meant that the result for you was better.

Your marriage is wonderful now, but what you said to your wife will prey on her mind and she will grow to resent the fact that you got your fun from hurting her, and that you now have a much better life, while she is left to suffer inside. She will grow to question whether a man that could look back on betrayal and say he would still have the emotional affair is a man that she wants to be married to. She will question how her being tired with YOUR kids could mean so little to you, and she will wonder what would happen if things got difficult again, or (God forbid) if she became ill or disabled.

There is no point changing your story and now telling her that you would not have the affair if that is not how you feel, but you do need to compensate her for wounding her deeply, and show that you are grateful to have the chance you have now. You need to show that you will never risk it again.

Actually, from now on, you need to (both) never talk about the affair again, but crucially, you need to work on rebuilding your marriage forever, so that it never slips back into the unhappy state it was in (not that the unhappy state caused the affair). You need to continue creating the happiness you have today, but you also need to prove to your wife that understand what you risked and that you will never risk it again.

I feel sorry for your wife; she did not deserve the affair, no matter how unhappy the marriage was, and she did not deserve to have you say that to her after she made the choice to try again with you.


BW
Married 1989
His PA 2003-2006
2 kids.
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Will your BW come and post to us?


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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Oh hey, I can answer this one.

So, how does it feel to "experience an affair". (Lets be honest here... "Be BETRAYED by your spouse"). Please do keep in mind, this is coming from a guy who ~made it work~ for 15yrs post DDay with his FWW, (may she RIP.)

It felt terrible. Dig deep here, think long and hard about the word, "Terrible". Maybe add Horrible, Debilitating, & Suffocating, now put them all together, there you go, you're beginning to see. Think about the days, weeks, months, years, of her dealing with the fact that the person she married ~was~... or better IS capable of doing such a thing. Ponder having to deal with images. Constant images at first, but never go away completely, ever. Why would an EM involved images you ask? Well, you ~claim~ it was an EM... ie: not physical, but maybe it was? See that's another problem, you broke your trustworthiness. It will probably become much better over time, but It will never be what it was because now, it is what it is. Imagine something so impactful that 30 years after the fact, still brings triggers that you have to actively work on to recognize and avoid (if you can) so you don't fall into depression, or anger, or both AGAIN!

There's no real way to accurately describe what if "feels like" as people are different, but maybe this helps. Do NOT dupe yourself into believing it's anything less terrible than she says, and DO believe it's probably worse then she lets on.


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