She’s having an “emotional affair” …..

by Rod Smith

“My wife is having an ‘emotional affair’ with a best friend who spends more time with her than I do. He hears more about her life than I do, and is closer to her than I am. I watch this happening and over time it gets more and more intense and I am supposed to be calm because it is a close friendship. We have children, a house, and careers: a lot to give up for this ‘friendship’ that carries none of the responsibilities of the marriage. Am I supposed to stand by patiently or blow it all out of the water? Please help.” (Condensed, with permission, from a conversation)

AIr your views, please...

AIr your views, please...

Join your wife when she spends time with her friend. While it might be a tall order, I’d suggest you get to know him, offer also to be a friend to this apparently lonely man. Push the friendship to the limit. It will expose motives, and either re-unite you with your wife, or have you picking up after a divorce. To push, to question, and to join them (especially unexpectedly) when they are together (since she is your wife and they are “just friends” you do not need an invitation to or permission to join them), is your only way to escape the anguished limbo you are currently feeling – and it will offer you the potential to regain emotional intimacy with your wife.

12 Comments to “She’s having an “emotional affair” …..”

  1. Sounds like a good way to force her hand.

  2. I agree – these “emotional affairs” can drive a wedge into a marriage, even if there is no intention from one partner to leave the other. Sharing more with your wife (including sharing this friend) may actually give her what she is looking for from you.

  3. Perfect answer! The truth will be revealed, one way or the other.

  4. I am a victim of emotional affairs. My spouse brought him home from work to become friends of the family. He started coming for lunch when I was at work. I came home and found my wife on the phone with him. All this became constant. I checked phone bills and the calls were approx 10 per day. Meeting after work became out of control. Emails were found describing how close they were and they were thriving in it and trading “I love you’s”. Secrecy and lying became the norm. I tried to let this go. I gave my wife a year to end it. All communication supposedly stopped because of my threats to put an end to it. She still misses him.

    It is a hurdle that keeps us from moving forward.

  5. I was going through something similar with my wife. I decided that I would spend more time hanging around when they were together. This worked wonderfully, and her best friend has become my best friend. One thing that I noticed was that the man that she was with was quite similar to me and we could share conversation well. It is also good to spend some time with this individual when you wife is not around to see what kind of person he is like.

  6. … you have done exactly what I was suggesting. If there is nothing to hide your presence will be welcomed. If there’s stuff to hide you will soon know and the journey will be somewhat forced to move in an alternative direction.

    Thanks for reading and responding to my work. Your involvement is always appreciated.

    Rod Smith

  7. My wife (of 15 years), and my best friend (friend for over 45 years), had an affair. One that grew into a sexual one for over 5 years. I finally woke up and realized what had happened, albeit 2-3 years after the fact. Now, I find myself in a situation that involves: 1. Do I confront both my wife and my friend…2. Tell all about their affair, to my friends wife, to suggest to her we do the same in retaliation. I know that it never is smart to retaliate in this manner, as it really only creates a much larger problem. However, living with the knowledge all by myself is becoming increasingly difficult. I have been betrayed by not only my best friend, but also by my wife, who I love very deeply. At this juncture, she seems to be unaware that I know what occurred…and does not seem to be remorseful enough to ask for forgiveness. Of course, why would she? It makes more sense to deny at all costs.

  8. My wife is having a purely platonic secret emotional affair with an old boy friend. I am not supposed to know about their frequent e-mails and phone calls, but I have found out. Now she has lied to me and told me that she “just” reconnected with him when she met him in town, and they had not seen or spoken to each other for many years. He lives out of town. I know that they share an emotional bond and level of communication that appears to be missing from our marriage.

    Should I confront her? Should I forgive her? I am at a loss.

  9. Hey, I am a 24 year old woman, who’s mother just went throught the same thing your going through. however her battle with her husband (MY FATHER) is now ending with devorce after 32 years. This “friendship ” was created over a few years. And eventually became more then a friendship. Its not fair because my mother would have done anything for that man.. its just wrong. I hope you get everything figgured out. My thought are with you.

  10. that’s the first time I’ve herd of am emotional affair intresting topics on this site..

  11. I am on the other side of the fence… I’m the one having an emotional affair… I have met a man some 5 years ago and spent one afternoon with him, having drinks at a hotel bar… we’ve kept in touch ever since, building an incredibly deep relationship that completely avoids any and all discussions about our significant others; he is my best friend and he lives 8 hours away from me. Not too far to meet here and there, but it never was about us hooking up although we are both incredibly attracted to each others’ personalities. We don’t exchange any pictures, we don’t talk about what-ifs…………………….. My marriage has fallen apart for reasons other than my extreme friendship (i want to have a family, my still-husband doesn’t again, he has two kids from previous marriage) and for the first time some four months ago, I told my friend that I’ve been married for the last three years. He, for the first time told me that he was engaged when him and I met, that he went thru with the wedding and that his marriage ended with a divorce last fall because his ex wanted a child and he did not – with her. He put the cards on the table and said he’s always had me in mind……… I realized that I’ve loved my best friend all along……………………………………………….. feel free to judge me – but here’s the lesson: I wouldn’t in a million years give up my friend for my husband, so if you find your wife being hesitant, she’s in my boat. And probably, happier with him than you. It happens.

    • Its people like you that drive me mad. my husband had an emotional affair with a girl from work a few years back. I was suffering post natal depression at the time and it started when he leant on her for support… when in fact I was the one who could have done with the support from him. Nothing physical happened but it caused a great wedge between us and almost caused our marital breakdown. Every time he switched his phone on he had messages from her and she would ring him on his way home from work even though they had been on lunch together and seen each other at work all day. She had a boyfriend of her own and my child was 10 months old when this started to happen. I eventually found him at her house – when he was supposed to be out on business and told him it had to stop. He said they had become really “close”. It nearly destroyed me. My husband and I had always been extremely close as a couple and this girl knew exactly what she was doing….. I met her whilst pregnant and it was obvious she was after my husband….

      In the end I told him he had to choose, me or her. He chose me and we are still together as a family and he still works with her but it still haunts me now, it caused me an unbearable amount of pain, especially given we had such a young child.

      It’s not difficult to stay faithful to someone whether emotionally or physically and if you want out from your partner that much, then go and let them get on with their lives and give them a chance to find happiness instead of just thinking of yourself!

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