man-fingers-behind-back

Men And Emotional Affairs. Guys, Help Me Out!

 

Sarah,

I’m married to someone who treats me very good except for when it comes to one thing, and that’s monogamy. Whether he’s actually physically cheated or not, I don’t know.  There’s been countless evidence that he’s having inappropriate relationships (they seem mostly emotional) with other females. Text messages, late-night phone calls, emails, etc. I’ve confronted him about this on numerous occasions, yet he continues to do it while denying that anything has ever happened with any of these women. His behavior has been very destructive to my self-esteem and has turned me into someone I am not.

Will I be able to resume a normal life with him if he ever stops, or is it doomed now that I’ve lost so much trust in him?

And when is enough, enough? If he didn’t treat me as good as he did, I feel as though I would have left by now.  But, I know that’s no reason to stay either.  My parents live right down the road and would let me move in in a heartbeat, so it’s not that I’m staying out of convenience.  I really do love him.  It’s just that this is both of our first marriages, and the last thing I’d want to do is go through a divorce. 

He’s just not respecting my wishes to stop this behavior, and that makes me feel as if he doesn’t respect me or our relationship. 

 

 *************************************************************

Hmmm…

You say he treats you “so good”.  What’s your definition of “so good”, exactly?  I don’t care how many foot rubs I’m given, my definition doesn’t include texts, late-night calls and emails to other women.  Not even close.  I believe that cheating is cheating, physically or emotionally, online or in-person.

A bit o’ trivia:  I’ve heard that men would be more upset to hear that their wife is cheating physically, but women would be more upset to hear that their husband is cheating emotionally.  This seems about right, but true or not, it’s all the same when infidelity hurts a person and the relationship as a whole.

I don’t understand why you wonder if you’ll be able to resume a normal life with him and trust him IF he stops.  That could be tomorrow, or that could be never, but you need to deal with this right now!  If you’ve repeatedly confronted him about it, and he hasn’t stopped, he doesn’t respect your wishes, and personally, I think it shows that he doesn’t truly respect you.  Do you think he treats you wonderfully because of what he’s doing on the side?  And is he buttering you up for his own self-justification and a way for him to alleviate his guilty, aching stomach?

Emotional cheating, by a man or woman, is a definite act of betrayal, and people have their specific reasons for doing it.  Essentially, it shows that for some reason one person doesn’t feel emotionally fulfilled by their partner, so they find it in someone else.  Maybe it’s his insecurity, or maybe he has lost the ability to confide in you with some issues.  In that case, you need to prove to him that he can, in fact, talk to you and open his heart to you.  Your open heart and ear* may be all he’s missing.

*Don’t actually give him your ear and Gogh** all Van Gogh on him.

**Ha!  See what I did there?

Another reason he could be sneaking around is that he’s just a perv trying to get his kicks in a non-STD kind of way.  But, let’s just assume that there’s more to it and move on.

Don’t let your husband run all over you, as you shouldn’t run all over him.  You’re in a marriage.  This means two people who love, respect, and are honest with each other.  This doesn’t mean one man, one wife, and other women as he sees fit who will fill a void in his life.

I think he needs a wakeup call.  If you can get him to do it, marriage counseling might be your best option if you just aren’t able to get through to him, but want nothing more than to be with him.

Of all the people in the world, you should be able to trust your life in your husband’s hands.  Over time, trust can be rebuilt, but unless you can get Will Smith to flashy thing you, you’re not going to forget it.  You know yourself better than anyone – will you trust him again if he finally upholds that first husband and wife promise to you to make you his one and only?

 

Note:  This is obviously coming from a woman’s perspective.  (That woman would be me.  Hear me roar.)  If there are any men out there who can offer some clarification as to why a man might emotionally cheat (or maybe you’ve done it yourself), please throw it in the comments section.  I’d love to hear from you. 

Another thing:  I’m very aware that women have emotional and sexual affairs also.

*******************************************

 

Related Post: Are the Good Times Worth the Lack of Commitment?

13 comments

  1. Love at first sight is thought to be, commonly a sin, why is it known this way when it contains the emotional rollercoaster to make the selfsacrifices for someone who brings up so many flags. If love is what you choose to have. Remember the energy you felt at firstsight.
    Balance your passion, lust and independence. It will reward you automatically. I refer to “love at first sight as “crack” because the active ingredients are causing a potent high that can rarely … Be duplicated. Be… Fair to your self indulge in your own pride and believe in what you feel. And stand behind it. Dont miss out on what your looking for because you dont now what it looks like. Energy is transferd everyday never the same Some have no connections and at times the high voltage is causing unknown to our knowledge. Sorry for rambling but I`ve tested some the ways of the world. dont let wrong and right spoil your lifes happiness. Be brave.

  2. As we all know there are many different people in the world, how they think, react, process information and their surroundings…it’s what makes us human and flawed. That is not to say you can’t find that special somebody. Trust and Love come overtime not overnight…I have been married for over 10yrs and have children..when you first meet someone you are not meeting them, you’re meeting their representative (opening doors, standing when a lady leaves/returns, holding their hand) We’ve all been there..and as time goes on you get more comfortable with a person and the “representative” is gone. YOU GOT THE JOB…congratulations, but not that a marriage or any serious relationship is a job…but is is WORK..you MUST respect your partner, you must talk with your partner, you must be on the same page…we are MEN and they are WOMEN (or vice versa) We are not wired the same..what is important to us may not be as important to them, BUT, just because something might not be important to you doesn’t mean you dismiss it…they told you for a reason…..As how this relates to this persons plight, Some men, even though not cheating, like to have beautiful things around them…women, because I agree “Women is a many splendor thing” I love them all…I do not do many of the things this man is doing, for I do not choose to put myself in that situation…If they want to go out, my wife ALWAYS has an offer to go with..It’s once again, out of respect for her, she can choose whether she wants to go or not…late night phone call or texts are unacceptable unless they are work related…Once you reach a certain age…anything after 11:00pm can’t be good…Make your voice known and your intentions clear, if you relay this to him with respect, then he MUST return it in kind, if he continues this course….SWEETIE, ya already have your answer…ya got to do what is best for you.

  3. This person’s situation with her husband can mean a multitude of things. For one, what is emotional cheating??? When I get a text or email from my male business partner late at night does that mean that I’ve turned gay and that I’m emotionally cheating with him? Although men have been stereotyped as not being capable of really being friends with a woman and that our true motivation is that we just want to get into their pants; to the contrary, I have friendships with attractive women who I have no intention of sleeping with. The friendships are more important than sex…and I do really enjoy sex!!!

  4. Speaking as a man and former husband of 20+years who had been cheated on in my past, I can also speak such matters. Complacency in our marriage OR our lives creates a faulty relationship. One of the main issues I see for any couple is complacency in relationship. We discontinue expressing what we expect in our lives as a couple. Once we put that ring on our fingers we believe we never have to restate what it is we want in our marriage, in our relationship, in our lives.
    This step in our process as a couple generates doubt, and reduces trust in what we began when we started this venture together. Our relationship does not end at the altar, it begins there.

  5. What I tell my son is to marry someone you like.. a friend.. Love and infatuation only lasts a short while.. friendship can last forever… You wouldn’t hurt a friend.. you wouldn’t carry on a fantasy relationship because you MAY hurt your friend/lover… Marry someone you like being with, have common interests, ’cause that kind of relationship can last a lifetime… just a thought…

  6. Thank you, everyone, for your opinions about this issue, and Dennis, for your story. There is a lot of great information here from many different perspectives. Thanks again…I enjoyed reading them. If there are others who want to throw a little somethin’ somethin’ in the mix, comments are always welcome! 🙂

  7. Well I will offer a man’s perspective as my wife of 25 years started an emotional affair with someone from her past. I can speak to the hurt and doubt that it put in our marriage from my view. I hate that I feel this way and I try every day to push the cloud away but even after a year it still hangs over me.

    I did briefly consider leaving the marriage over this. My wife was never physical with this person but rebuilding the trust that I had with her has turned out to be a slow process for me. I think that part of my problem is that she doesn’t seem to be able to see the problems this caused from my eyes and the fact that she continues to be friends with this person.

  8. Like the speed of light, emotional distance is the same no matter where you measure it.

    An emotional affair doesn’t equal the same distance as doing someone. An emotional affair is the same distance as hanging out with guys every night or staying at work all the time. Men or women, it’s the same.

    Emotional distance matters, not its starting point. It can start with a parent’s terminal illness. Doesn’t HAVE to be intentional. Talking with opposite sex too much can happen without intent.

    Some couples who swing stay emotionally close. The activity isn’t the issue.

    Getting closer’s first step is reducing the distance you created. It’s the only part you control. The rest is persuasion. A loaded Remington is persuasion to some guys. Others, subtle is better.

    A guy who ignores your fears (like ignoring his emotional affairs) is closer to needing the woodshed. Time out. Move out for some days to see if he really chooses you. If not, you have your answer.

  9. Emotional cheating…this is heading into the world of high school, where kids get upset because they weren’t friended on facebook or someone didn’t text them when they thought they should. Are the men supposed to get bothered if a spouse reads a Harlequin romance? If my lips, hands and body stay on my spouses side of the fence, as far as I’m concerned I’m faithful, even if I were to txt something odd to some girl. As meaningless as going to meet your favourite actor…fantasy…not real.

    That being said, to the woman who asked the question, the trust has left. It does not just come back. Without trust, this relationship has failed and has little to have it continue. It doesn’t matter that the man may never even have touched another woman, the trust has left. She believes he has strayed, therefore he has, irrespective of actual evidence.

    She has already evaluated the consequences, and decided the damage to her parents would be worse than the damage to herself. She has already made the decision and is just awaiting confirmation from any source…Sarah Sideways filling in for confirmation in this case.

  10. DB and Rose – it looks like you both feel the same way about this situation…losing the romance and not showing true interest. Thanks for commenting! And, of course your opinion matters, Rose. You experienced it!

  11. Ok I don’t know if my answer matters because I’m a woman. But I got cheated on by my husband who had an emotional affair. And from what I observed, whether men ever want to accept this or not, they have emotional needs too. You can have the best sex with a husband but if you are treating him like crap or not there for him when he wants to discuss his problems, when you don’t rejoice in his happiness, don’t compliment him at all, don’t take interest in his hobbies etc etc, he does start looking for it else where. Their emotional needs are less than ours, and their sexual needs are higher than ours but nevertheless both sexes have 2 kinds of needs, physical and emotional. A good relationship fulfills both type of needs on a regular basis. If a man or woman is deprived of any needs, especially on a constant basis, they start looking else where to meet those needs. Just my opinion.

  12. Our wives no longer appreciate us, act nice, laugh with us, talk with us (outside of complaining or nagging) and there is none or almost no romance or passion. You see we tend to like these things. Now, when our wives stop doing them and another woman takes interest in us and treats us how we should be treated we become emotionally attached to that person.

Comments are closed.