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emotional affair, how long to get over the "other man/woman"?


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Old 26th February 2009, 10:19 PM   #1
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emotional affair, how long to get over the "other man/woman"?

I have recently found myself involved in a short lived emotional affair with a friend I've had for almost 5 years. The friendship was always close, and I believe there was always mutual attraction, but it was never spoken of or acted on even though we saw each other at work daily.

All that changed when my friend and I began working side by side in a high stakes job recently. We turned out to work well together as a team, and our conversations became more frequent and we began sharing intimate details of both of our marriages and lives. My spouse found evidence of the affair (that went no further than inappropriate conversations and text messaging with sexual overtones between me and this other married person, no physical contact). The time frame of the inappropriate texting was about one to two weeks, but by the end of that time things were progressing down a reckless road fast.

My spouse confronted me and my friend's wife with the evidence of the 100's of texts between us. My spouse knows dates and times of the text conversations but not the dialouge between the two of us.

Since this discovery, I have moved positions at work so as to cut off the communication and contact with this other man, and to put my spouse's mind at ease about where I stand on wanting to work things out in our marriage.

Here's my problem: [I]I got emotionally involved. And a whole lot deeper than I was willing to admit to myself in the process. When do those feelings go away? I feel more alone than ever now. My spouse can't stand me, and threating divorce, I can't talk to my friend as he doesn't want to lose his spouse either, and I know to rebuild anything with my spouse, contact with my friend had to stop. It all hurts so bad. I know I have no right to complain, but I really thought things would fizzle out on their own and nobody would get hurt. How wrong I was! The whole time I was texting with my friend, I enjoyed the attention. He did things for me, little favors, buy me coffee in the morning on the way to work, ask how I was doing, compliment me, stay late to talk with me about things, etc. I just felt taken care of in a way. And he told me he felt the same from me.

So once the emotional infidelity was discovered, that all went away. Abruptly. No closure. 100 miles and hour to hitting a brick wall Our last discussion he told me how he was so sorry to lose my friendship, that it was the worst part, and I wholehardly agreed. He told me he enjoyed my attentions and that's the way I felt about him too. It was like a kick in the stomach. So now we still work in the same building having as little contact as possible with each other. This will continue for approximately 3 and 1/2 more months as we both are under contractual obligations to our employer. I can't even begin to describe the hurt that I feel to not be able to have his attentions or at the very least (friendly) conversations anymore.

I guess what I really want to know is this: After a healing period, and how long does that take?? Is it possible to be able to even go back to friends who talk about work only, although in a friendly way like we used to before the EA came about? I am avoiding him and he is avoiding me but when I have seen him in passing, he still looks at me the same way as last week when the affair began in earnest. I realize it's been less than a week, but when will my feelings fade for this man? I wish it coulld be like a light switch I could just cut off. I love my husband very much, but my friendand I shared a deep affection for each other and that's hard to turn off, but I truly do want to work things out with with my husband. He and I used to have the kind of marriage everybody was envious of, and I counted myself as one of the luckiest women in the world. I just don't know how it got so off track. Marriage counseling begins for us early next week. I am putting all my faith into being able to get some resolution throught the counseling.

Any words of advice or been-there-done-that this is how it is would surely help. Thanks for reading my long post.

Merlot
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Old 26th February 2009, 10:25 PM   #2
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Start by allowing your husband to feel what he feels. Don't deny him that.. Answer all that he asks of you...Any questions etc.. Give him your email password and access to your cell anytime he pleases, show him that you can and will be trustworthy again.

Right now your husbands faith and trust is gone, his world turned upside down. I understand you're hurting but whatever you do, DO NOT contact the OM, or try to talk to him. The closure is, you're married, he's married and you both allowed inappropriate friendship with feelings to develop. Accept your part in the EA, and that should give you enough closure.

Do the marriage counselling and also see the MC on your own as well.
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Old 26th February 2009, 10:26 PM   #3
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Sorry, there is no time limit. It all depends on so many things. But most likely it won't even begin until after the 3 1/2 months and you're out of the same building/job site. Stay busy is the only advise I can give. It helps a little.
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Old 26th February 2009, 10:55 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick responses /advice. I'm still caught up in the emotional bit of it all. I'm trying to give myself time to get over this OM, and he seems to be doing the same in my regard as far as I can tell. We haven't spoken since Monday (The day after the discovery of the EA.) except to ask each other :1)are you okay, to which we both give each other a sad smile and say "no, not really" 2)how are things at home? 3)and wish each other luck.. It's been the hardest three days of my life between work and home. It kills me to know I've devastated my husband and I feel even worse than that my feelings of affection for the OM haven't gone away quicker than I expected them too. I now realize my heart was in deeper than I ever thoght or admitted to myself. My husband travels a lot for work so it's pretty lonely around here a lot of the time. It was nice to have someone to talk to. I've never done anything close to an A of any kind before so this whole process of trying to heal my marriage and me is all so new. I'm trying to lean on friends, and I'm happy my husband is willing to give the MC a go.
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Old 26th February 2009, 11:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlot View Post
Thanks for the quick responses /advice. I'm still caught up in the emotional bit of it all. I'm trying to give myself time to get over this OM, and he seems to be doing the same in my regard as far as I can tell. We haven't spoken since Monday (The day after the discovery of the EA.) except to ask each other :1)are you okay, to which we both give each other a sad smile and say "no, not really" 2)how are things at home? 3)and wish each other luck.. It's been the hardest three days of my life between work and home. It kills me to know I've devastated my husband and I feel even worse than that my feelings of affection for the OM haven't gone away quicker than I expected them too. I now realize my heart was in deeper than I ever thoght or admitted to myself. My husband travels a lot for work so it's pretty lonely around here a lot of the time. It was nice to have someone to talk to. I've never done anything close to an A of any kind before so this whole process of trying to heal my marriage and me is all so new. I'm trying to lean on friends, and I'm happy my husband is willing to give the MC a go.

You are suprised you are not "over" an emotional relationship in four days? ((shakes head)). If you expected something different you are deluded.
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Old 27th February 2009, 12:16 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by merlot View Post
Thanks for the quick responses /advice. I'm still caught up in the emotional bit of it all. I'm trying to give myself time to get over this OM, and he seems to be doing the same in my regard as far as I can tell. We haven't spoken since Monday (The day after the discovery of the EA.) except to ask each other :1)are you okay, to which we both give each other a sad smile and say "no, not really" 2)how are things at home? 3)and wish each other luck.. It's been the hardest three days of my life between work and home. It kills me to know I've devastated my husband and I feel even worse than that my feelings of affection for the OM haven't gone away quicker than I expected them too. I now realize my heart was in deeper than I ever thoght or admitted to myself. My husband travels a lot for work so it's pretty lonely around here a lot of the time. It was nice to have someone to talk to. I've never done anything close to an A of any kind before so this whole process of trying to heal my marriage and me is all so new. I'm trying to lean on friends, and I'm happy my husband is willing to give the MC a go.
What are you willing to do to take away those feelings you have for OM? Are you willing to put it to end now?

Your husband need to expose you to your boss and your OM's boss about the emotional affair and he need to expose it to your parents, your siblings, and your family as well as your husband's family. You need to be ashamed and embarrased to get back to reality. That will end all the fantasy you have with the OM and your feelings for him or long for him will be gone soon.

Are you willing willing to do the exposure yourself? I thought so. You're just another cheater who doesn't want to end it NOW.
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Old 27th February 2009, 2:22 AM   #7
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You're just another cheater who doesn't want to end it NOW.
Wow SI2008 - I haven't been to LS in a while and it's nice to see that you're STILL on the angry train. You obviously can't relate to the anyone so remind me why you're here again? (according to you you're "not" a BS and you think WS/OW/OM don't deserve the air they breathe)

Merlot is already feeling bad - okay? She wants to make her marriage work but she's hurting - because something that was special to her had to end. And she had to do it. Do you know how difficult that is? I bet you have NO IDEA.

So no need to make her feel worse.

Merlot sweetie, it's just going to take time (and sometimes it takes a LONG time - just know that). I'm sorry but that's how it goes. Even when it was "just" an EA, even if you thought it was going to fizzle out, even if all the sudden you realize you were in deeper than you thought (which is the worst part of it all)......

I'm happy for you and your H that the two of you are going to MC. Wishing you the best of luck! It's the first step.
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Old 27th February 2009, 8:46 AM   #8
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I guess any emotional investment will take a long time to get over. But I wonder if its harder to get over if it never became physical. It can remain a dream of perfection in soft focus, with no reality to put it in perspective. He may have terrible fungal nail infections or permanent dingle berries I'm not suggesting that you go ahead and make it physical, btw! Nonononono! But maybe imagining him as less than perfect may go someway to easing the feeling of loss.

Anyway that aside, as your H is away a lot, it would be great if you could make a larger circle of friends (female!) that you could share with and get that emotional support from. Maybe take up a new hobby or do an evening class. It would give you something to feel good about and it would also go some way to reassure your husband about what you're doing when he's not there.
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Old 27th February 2009, 9:12 AM   #9
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You're feeling something strongly akin to grief. You and your MM were primed to consummate your relationship, but discovery has thwarted your goals.

The good part is that you were not knee deep in the affair. It was short lived and did not become physical.

The bad part is that both of you still have strong feelings for one another--a need for each other that resembles the strongest addictions. An Affair is the crack cocaine of romance--even yours.

What we have is Affairus Interruptus, and it's ripping you in two. On one hand, your responsible self is happy that your EA was caught early. On the other hand, the woman in you has regrets, pain and longing.

Your feelings for this MM will be very intense for the next 6-12 months. Over time, with absolutely no contact, those feelings, the longing, the pain, will subside. A year or two from now you'll be happy knowing that you and your lover were stopped and caught standing at the edge of the cliff. For once you jump off, it's very, very difficult to climb back up.

Good luck.

Last edited by grogster; 27th February 2009 at 9:46 AM..
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Old 27th February 2009, 9:59 AM   #10
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I understand that you miss him. But read over what you wrote about what it is you miss. You miss the conversation, the little favors, the attention. Consciously or not , you didnt mention missing anything specific about him.

No doubt, it is wonderful to have a friend, a confidant. Everyone likes attention and to be cared for in little ways. The things you describe that you miss - are the qualities of a friendship. And who doesnt want friends, especially a special friend. I'd love one and sadly dont really have any good good friends in my circle right now. Its something I need to address.

But when we have a chance to have this special friend, and its guy...there is almost always that chance that it could lead to something more - which is why most married couples dont have "special" friends of the opposite sex. Especially when the friendship does not involve both spouses.

I think you will be fine , I think what you miss is a confidant, a friend, someone who cares and does those little thoughtful things.

Having had one and now not having one is what you miss.
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Old 27th February 2009, 10:28 AM   #11
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Merlot. Going through this now myself. You will go through the stages of seperation like you would when a normal relationship ends. Research them...disbelief, grief, anger and acceptance. Plus you are dealing with your H. I totally understand this. I'm there right now.

You just have to go through it and I'm finding that NC is amazingly helpful because it removes the contact. I've come to learn that any contact; AT ALL continues the relationship.

Just do your best and get distracted. Post out here and yell at yahoo's that tell you to expose your "shame" to the world and that's the only way to repentence. The facts are that the price we are paying is significant and sufficient.

Hope this helps.
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Old 27th February 2009, 10:36 AM   #12
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Merlot,

I cannot see your M getting ANY better until you have NC with the OM. Now, NC means NO and not limited contact. That means NONE. Zero. Zip. Zilch.

Until you can achieve that you are wasting your time, you H's time and your MC's time. Every contact with your OM rekindles and continues the affair.

And NOTHING gets better until the A ends. Which, in your case, means NEVER SEEING, TALKING or COMMUNICATING with the OM EVER. Which is impossible given the situation. So....

Quit your job. Its really that simple. Being a contract (ie a 1099) employee does NOT mean you CANNOT simply quit. They CAN'T FORCE you to work. Thats called slavery (or indentured servitude) and it hasn't been around since the South lost in 1865.

So quit, cancel your cell phone and give your email passwords to your H. Go to MC and be prepared for a brutal 2-3 years provided your M lasts that long.
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Old 27th February 2009, 10:55 AM   #13
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[quote=merlot;2063731]
Quote:
I guess what I really want to know is this: After a healing period, and how long does that take?? Is it possible to be able to even go back to friends who talk about work only, although in a friendly way like we used to before the EA came about?


Well, we all heal at our own rates. But, one important part of the healing process here in an ea.. is to break the emotional connection that you have with this man. Now, if you work with him that may be tough because, NC is the key IMO. So, for you just dealing with him when and if you have to and keeping it stictly business is probably your best bet. Can you go back to beign friends? The answer is NO. I have been there.. and going back to friends does not work after having romantic feelings.


Quote:
He and I used to have the kind of marriage everybody was envious of, and I counted myself as one of the luckiest women in the world. I just don't know how it got so off track. Marriage counseling begins for us early next week. I am putting all my faith into being able to get some resolution throught the counseling.
I think counseling will help you to figure out just where your marriage got off track. Good luck.

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Old 27th February 2009, 11:16 AM   #14
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Merlot, the advice you're receiving, for the most part, is spot on. Those of us who have been where you are now, agree on one key point: with the exception of work obligations, you must have absolutely no contact with this man, none.

That man must disappear, forever. Otherwise, your marriage is a dead man walking.

There is no middle ground that will save your marriage, your sanity and your self-respect.
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Old 27th February 2009, 11:37 AM   #15
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My husband travels a lot for work so it's pretty lonely around here a lot of the time. It was nice to have someone to talk to.
Ironic thing is, NOW you're leaning on friends for support...Why didn't you rely on them and spend time with them when you were lonely while your husband was out of Town working?

You can NEVER be friends with him again. That's not fair to your husband or his wife. It's not healthy for your marriage and it definately won't help when it comes to trust issues..I mean, imagine if your husband was the one who cheated with a co worker..Could you and would you trust him and be OK with him being friends with the OW? My guess is no.
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