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Relationship Health Message Board


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My ex-H had an emotional affair while we were married - it ultimately led to the divorce, tho there were other issues, like in your case. About the time I discovered the emotional affair (with a woman we both knew but I didn't get along with), I had discovered his interest in online dating sites. He claimed he just liked to look at and read the profiles, that he's a "people person" and always interested in what people say. I didn't push it, as we were having so many other problems, but I certainly started watching his online activity more. Which finally led me to discover the "affair".

Like you, I lost all trust at that point. And all respect. We fought over it, he swore he would not have anything more to do with her, and we got back together. I still didn't trust him, and of course when we'd argue it was always my fault, my issues, my problem - never his - which is another good indication that something else is going on as they want to lay the blame on you, not them. My ex even used to pull the "I'll just cancel the Internet then" crap. Of course he didn't mean it; it was his way to try to make me feel guilty. Didn't work - I told him to go ahead! (Needless to say he didn't.)

Of course, I found that they didn't stop their online communications (or maybe for a brief period) but he became more secretive. Didn't work - I discovered it and finally had enough and ended it.

If he has gotten to the point of joining dating sites and communicating with women, he will not stop. Oh, he may stop for a brief period, but you cannot believe how addicting it is. He may tell himself that he'll never meet the women, that he just enjoys the "pen pal" aspect of it. Yeah, right. The next time he is mad at you, or depressed or upset or feeling neglected, where do you think he'll go? This will become a seesaw of behavior, and your emotions will be up and down as long as you live in the house.

I agree with others that you should consider going to see an attorney and making him move out of the house. He is responsible for child support (I assume he's the father of the kids?) and to help with living expenses while you get on your feet. If you choose to continue the living arrangements the way they are, so be it. Just remember that he has learned before that he can hoodwink you; he will only find ways to become more sneaky at it. And of course he will try to win you back; I'm sure in his way he doesn't want to lose you.

Good luck and guard your heart. Emotional affairs can often be worse than physical ones - much harder to fight and they take a huge toll on us, wondering what we were doing wrong to make him feel he needs to go to another woman, etc. Just remember you did nothing wrong. If he felt depressed or lonely or whatever, he should have come to you and discussed it, not turn to another woman.





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