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Healing your relationship after an affair
If you’ve had an affair, there may be a question mark hanging over your entire relationship. If you and your partner have decided to work things out, the following tips can help you both to overcome the effects of the affair and start moving on together. When you first admit to your partner that you’ve had an affair, it’s natural for them to feel lost and confused. Their safe connection with you has been threatened, and it can lead to a ‘fight or flight’ reaction. They may feel angry and behave aggressively or they may shut down and be unable to communicate with you at all [1]. Affairs leave people feeling emotionally vulnerable, so your partner may become insecure and clingy to protect the relationship [2]. They may repeatedly ask for reassurance that you love them and are still committed to the relationship. Try not to get frustrated - give your partner time to react to the news without criticising them. After the initial shock and rollercoaster of emotions have died down, you and your partner can both begin thinking about how and why things went wrong in the relationship and how you might move beyond the problem [3]. Revealing an affair can cause your partner to become extremely aware of your behaviour in the relationship and they may start to analyse and judge your actions [1]. They may become more suspicious of you, even when you are behaving normally. For example, if you are trying to be considerate and leave the room to answer your phone, your partner may worry that you are trying to talk to someone in secret [4]. How can I help us move on? One of the best things you can do is try to understand your partner’s point of view. Encourage them to talk about their feelings, even if it hurts to hear. It is also important for you to communicate your own feelings. You will both need to find ways to overcome the mistrust. For example, you may consider sharing the password to your Facebook account or giving your partner access to your phone. These things will only work if the decisions are made together, so make sure you discuss these ideas thoroughly and come up with a plan that works for both of you [4]. As well as talking things through together, several studies suggest that couple therapy can be an effective way of coming to terms with an affair and moving on together [5] [6]. In a recent study, couples who had successfully dealt with an affair recommended seeking support from people outside of the relationship, as well as talking and listening to each other. References [1] Oka, M., Sandberg, J. G., Bradford, A. B., & Brown, A. (2014). Insecure attachment behavior and partner violence: Incorporating couple perceptions of insecure attachment and relational aggression. Journal of marital and family therapy, 40(4), 412-429. [2] Johnson, S., Makinen, J. A., & Milliken, J. (2001). Attachment injuries in couples relationships: A new perspective on impasses in couples therapy. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 27(2), 145–155. [3] Olson, M. M., Russell, C. S., Higgins‐Kessler, M., & Miller, R. B. (2002). Emotional processes following disclosure of an extramarital affair. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 28(4), 423-434 [4] Brimhall, A. S., Miller, B. J., Maxwell, K. A., & Alotaiby, A. M. (2016). Does it help or hinder? Technology and its role in healing post affair. Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy, 1-19. [5] Dunn, R. L., & Schwebel, A. I. (1995). Meta-analytic review of marital therapy outcome research. Journal of Family Psychology, 9(1), 58-68. [6] Baucom, D. H., Shoham, V., Mueser, K. T., Daiuto, A. D., & Stickle, T. R. (1998). Empirically supported couple and family interventions for marital distress and adult mental health problems. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66, 53– 88.
Article | cheating, counselling
If trust was broken by a previous partner
What am I up against? If someone put your heart in a blender during your last relationship by either cheating on you or breaking your trust, it can be hard to trust someone else with your (now-liquefied) heart. If that’s you, you’re not alone – betrayal tends to have this effect. A betrayal teaches you to be cautious and reminds you that your trust is breakable. When dating or starting a new relationship, try to bear in mind that any potential partner deserves a clean slate and a fresh chance to earn your trust. How can I deal with it? Try not to test them A very important element of any relationship is the demonstration of commitment [1]. But seeing as you’re just dating (which is considered by most as a BETA test for a relationship), you can’t expect them to provide those signs of commitment yet. If they haven’t made any promises to you or committed themselves to you, then you’re not yet in a position to expect loyalty or faithfulness. Be aware of your own vulnerability and emotions When people feel betrayed, they’re often left with a sense of vulnerability and weakness – sometimes long after the thing happens. But, by coming to terms with how that betrayal has affected you, you’ll be in a much better place to start dating. You’re that much more aware of things like your own self-esteem, your sensitivities, the affirmation you need, the need for exclusivity, etc. For example, you may recognise that moving slowly is good for you, or you may decide that you’re not ready to date at this time. Consider letting your date know If you decide to tell your date that you’ve been hurt in a previous relationship, try not to place any expectation on them to heal you. Rather, tell them that you’re working on it. If they choose to be supportive, then great. This becomes you two against the trust issue, rather than one person on their own dealing with an issue that affects both parties. Couples who refer to themselves as “we” more than “I” or “you” are better equipped to deal with conflict resolution and positive problem solving solutions [2].  Give yourself some time It’s natural to want to push forward into the new and leave the old behind. Past might be past, but (to quote The Lion King) the past can hurt. So allow some healing space, and take it slow with anyone new. If they don’t take the time to understand and be supportive of your choice of pace in the early days, this could be a warning sign about the future prospects of the relationship. References [1] Gabb, Klett-Davies, Fink, & Thomae, 2013; Reynolds, Houlston, & Coleman, 2014 [2] Simmons, Gordon, & Chambless, 2005
Article | breakups, trust, YPc
Dealing with jealousy when it first starts
What am I up against? Jealousy is renowned for its negative power. Everyone has felt it swell up inside them at some point or another, and although short bursts of it can remind you how much you care for someone, prolonged jealousy can be harmful to a relationship. How it manifests and how it’s triggered will vary from person to person. But one research study has found that, generally speaking, the triggers between men and women are profoundly different. “Young men on average fear their partner having sex with someone else, whereas young women on average fear their partner falling in love with someone else". (Groothof, Dijkstra, & Barelds, 2009) How do I deal with it? Trust is slowly earned and quickly broken If you’re feeling a lack of trust between you and your partner at the start of the relationship, it may just be that trust still needs time to be established. If one or both of you have been hurt in previous relationships, it may take longer still. Being in a relationship is risky for anyone– everyone is quite aware they can get hurt even if they’ve not been hurt before. If you’re dealing with past betrayals, it’s easy to get stuck with memories of what went wrong. A partner can assist with this healing process, but it shouldn’t become their responsibility to ‘fix’ the other person. When jealousy triggers control, take caution When you enter into new relationships with past betrayals inflicted by ex-partners, there are a few ways you can play it. You may choose to tell your partner about your previous betrayal, and allow them to earn your trust while working it through with honesty and sensitivity. Of course, it’s possible to have a balanced relationship without mentioning the past betrayal, as long as you treat your partner with respect. Where the jealousy gremlin does the most damage is when you seek to control the other person, to appease your uneasy feelings. Be very wary of exhibiting controlling behaviour. Be mindful of online social networks Social networks like Facebook can crack open a window into what you’re doing, who you’re flirting with, and even where you are.  One study (Muise et al, 2009) argues that the wealth of information about our partners can contribute to an increase of jealousy. Research also shows that women are more likely than men to monitor their partners’ profiles.  If you think you're detecting flirtation on your partner's activity, stop and give yourself a minute. Come off the social network, clear your head (maybe make a cup of tea or something), and return to it. If you still think there's a lot of flirtation going on, ask a friend who is neutral and doesn't revel in drama to give you an outsider’s perspective. You might find that you’re overreacting to something quite harmless. Text is easy to misread. Equally, if you think your own social network activity might trigger jealousy in your new partner, just be mindful of how your interactions and statuses may appear. You may well be perfectly innocent but there’s no harm in being considerate and thinking about how your words and pictures may come across to others. Keep an open and honest dialogue Talking to each other about what bothers you and giving each other a chance to respond can be hugely helpful for both sides. It’s useful to talk about things you have noticed and don’t like, rather than allowing a catalogue of complaints to build up in the back of your minds. Also, remember to talk about what boundaries you would like to have in place. Being clear about what you do and don’t find acceptable lets your partner make an informed choice about how they behave and how it might affect you. Accept what you cannot control Although it's not easy, it’s possible to ease jealousy by simply accepting that it’s not your job to control someone else’s behaviour. Your partner will make friends both online and offline, they will likely have drinks with colleagues and share jokes with attractive people from time to time. This is where trust comes in. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt, in the same way you hope they will do for you.     Remember that jealousy isn’t pretty Another problem with jealousy is that it’s rarely attractive. You wouldn’t write a dating profile that says: “I go to the gym three times a week and I’m the jealous type”. Jealousy tends to come hand-in-hand with neediness, insecurity, and emotional baggage.  While some reports say jealousy can make for more intimate and passionate sexual encounters, there’s little evidence to suggest that it’s helpful for maintaining a healthy long-term relationship. If your partner is struggling with jealousy, turn your attention to supporting them and building up that trust.
Article | jealousy, YPc
Cyber snooping and stalking
What am I up against? Most of us walk around with little computers in our pockets, broadcasting our lives and even our whereabouts. And while this is indeed a marvel, it’s also how cyber snooping and cyber stalking are afforded to us. A study carried out in Amsterdam [1] suggests that the wealth of information available to us about our partners creates a strong temptation to snoop, which in turn can exacerbate jealousy issues. Cyber snooping can include monitoring a partner’s Facebook, keeping tabs on their movements via Foursquare, or even tracking them via GPS. Whatever form it takes, it’s usually unhelpful for a relationship.  How do I deal with it? 1. Assess why this might be happening If you or your partner are struggling with cyber snooping, it might be tempting to call it insecurity, but the cause may be more complicated than that. If one of you has had experience of trust being broken, or an ex-partner who was secretive or manipulative, this can increase the need to try and control a partner. Experiences from childhood, such as a parental separation following an affair, can also have huge effects on people’s behaviours, attitudes, and ideas about what constitutes ‘normal’. We often refer to these buried causes as hidden issues, and such issues need to be uncovered by the person who has them. 2. If you’re the one snooping Although it's not easy, you can ease the need to monitor your partner's activity by accepting that you cannot observe all of their behaviour. Your partner will make friends both online and offline, they will likely have drinks with people after work and share jokes with attractive people from time to time. You can’t control what happens offline, so don’t bother trying to control it online. It’ll only feed your need for more control which you ultimately don’t have (and can lead to controlling behaviours). This is where trust comes in. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt, in the same way you hope they will do for you. If you think you're detecting flirtation on your partner's activity, stop and give yourself a minute. Come off the social network, clear your head (maybe make a cup of tea or something), and return to it. If you still think there's a lot of flirtation going on, ask a friend who is neutral and doesn't revel in drama to give you an outsider’s perspective. You might find that you’re overreacting to something quite harmless. Text is easy to misread. 3. If they‘re doing the snooping If your partner’s cyber spying is affecting you, it might be worth having a conversation about how it makes you feel. For best results, try not to be accusatory. Take an interest in what they’re saying, even if they become defensive.  You might learn an entirely new reason for their snooping. Perhaps they’re uncomfortable with you being friends with your ex on social media, or maybe they find your photos a little inappropriate. It may be that you can make a compromise here. Equally, if you think your own social network activity might trigger jealousy in your new partner, just be mindful of how your interactions and statuses may appear. You may well be perfectly innocent but there’s no harm in being considerate and thinking about how your words and pictures may come across to others. 4. Remove temptation If you or your partner are struggling to stop checking Facebook, refreshing the GPS signal, or chasing each other’s social trails, then consider deleting the apps and restricting the time spent online. It might seem a bit drastic, but it could turn out to be quite freeing; by removing yourself from a situation that isn’t doing you any good, you’re giving your relationship a chance to grow.
Article | jealousy, social media, YPc
How can I deal with jealousy?
Jealousy can be a strange and powerful feeling. It’s closely linked to self-esteem [1] and may reflect how confident you feel in your relationship [2]. The more confident you are that your partner is committed to you, the less you’ll worry about them leaving you. If you’re not secure in the relationship, then it may not take much to set off your jealous feelings.  Jealousy itself won’t necessarily do your relationship any harm [2], but acting on jealous feelings can be very destructive [3]. Left unchecked, jealously can lead to behaviour that you might not be proud of – seeking constant reassurance, making accusations, becoming possessive, and even threatening to break up [4]. The following tips can help you boost your self-esteem, increase your confidence, and start to deal with your jealousy. Accept the jealousy The next time you feel jealous, remember that it’s just a feeling and you don’t have to act on it. This might not be easy – if your usual responses have become ingrained over the years, it might take you a few goes to change things. Breathe slowly, and notice the thoughts and feelings you are experiencing. You may feel angry or anxious – that’s OK. Just accept that it’s happening and give yourself a chance to reflect before you act. Talk to your partner When difficult feelings come up, it’s usually easier to deal with them straight away [5]. Talk to your partner and try to focus on describing your own feelings, rather than their behaviour. Let go of blame, and explain to your partner that you sometimes get upset or worried about losing them. Be clear that you’re not asking them to change anything, but that you’re trying to deal with some unpleasant feelings. Listen Give your partner a chance to respond. You may find it helpful to ask what would be the best way for you to talk about similar feelings in the future, so you can build up your own way of communicating about your feelings as a couple. Tackle negative thinking Like other forms of worry, jealousy can lead you to focus on the negative, and misinterpret your partner’s behaviour. Remember that your jealous thoughts don’t necessarily reflect reality – you may think your partner is interested in someone else, but that doesn’t make it true. Take some time to reflect on the deeper feelings behind your jealousy. If you are truly afraid of losing your partner, ask yourself why your confidence has been rocked, and what you can do about it. Tackle your assumptions Sometimes when we have low self-esteem, we can read meaning into things that have nothing to do with us. If we’re feeling down, we might see someone yawn and assume it’s because they find us boring when, really, they might just be tired. The same can happen in your relationship. When something happens that makes you feel jealous, ask yourself what else might be going on. Sometimes people dress up to feel more confident amongst their peers, and not to attract a new partner! Develop your communication skills You can improve your confidence in the relationship by working on your communication skills with your partner. Make a habit of praising each other, planning fun experiences together, and being on the lookout for positive behaviour from each other. Over time, this can help boost your self-esteem and strengthen your relationship. Accept uncertainty You can never know for sure that your partner won’t leave you. It’s instinctive to want to protect yourself from the fear of rejection, but uncertainty is a part of life and a part of every relationship. When you accept this, it can give you a new sense of freedom to stop worrying about what your relationship might become, and get back to enjoying what it is. References [1] DeSteno, D., Valdesolo, P., Bartlett, M. Y. (2006). Jealousy and the Threatened Self: Getting to the Heart of the Green-Eyed Monster. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91 (4), pp.626-641. [2] Sheets, L.V., Fredendall, L.L., & Claypool, H. M. (1997). Jealousy Evocation, Partner Reassurance, and Relationship Stability: An Exploration of the Potential Benefits of Jealousy. Evolution and Human Behavior, 18 (6), 387-402. [3] White, G.L., & Mullen, P.E. (1989). Jealousy: Theory, Research, and Clinical Strategies. Guildford, New York. [4] Carson, C. L., & Cupach, W. R. (2000). Fueling the flames of the green eyed monster: The role of ruminative thought in reaction to romantic jealousy. Western Journal of Communication, 64, 308–329.  [5] Theiss, J. A. and Solomon, D. H. (2006). Coupling Longitudinal Data and Multilevel Modeling to Examine the Antecedents and Consequences of Jealousy Experiences in Romantic Relationships: A Test of the Relational Turbulence Model. Human Communication Research, 32: 469–503.
Article | jealousy, trust
0 4 min read
Jealousy and affairs
Most of us experience feelings of jealousy in our relationship from time to time. Sometimes, it’s just a fleeting feeling that’s easy enough to let go of; other times, jealousy can take hold, settle in, and turn to anxiety. Mild feelings of jealousy can be useful. A little bit of jealousy might remind you not to take your partner for granted – but when jealousy won’t let go, it can become extreme or obsessive. Jealousy, left unchecked, can ruin a relationship. Where does jealousy come from? Often, it's linked to something in your past which has left you with a sense of insecurity. If you're insecure in your relationship and very dependent on your partner, then you may have more triggers and be more likely to become jealous. You may find it helpful to explore where your feelings of insecurity come from. If it’s something you’re able to identify, try to accept and own it. Have an honest conversation with your partner about your insecurities, and explain that you’re trying to work through them. Affairs People have affairs for a variety of reasons. It isn’t always about sex, but an affair is usually a sign that something in the relationship is not right. An affair is a breach of trust between partners. Trust is essential in any relationship, and it's often taken for granted. Finding out that your partner has had an affair can be a huge shock. If your partner has had an affair, you may feel insecure and jealous for a long time. You may choose to end the relationship but if you and your partner both want to try and repair the damage, it’s likely to take some time before you feel confident in your partner again. There’s no set time on how long it will take to rebuild your relationship, but it is possible to recover if you’re both willing to move on from the affair and work on the underlying issues. Many relationships do survive affairs and can sometimes end up being stronger over time. As time passes, trust can be restored and you may find yourself feeling more secure in your relationship. An affair will nearly always bring about a change in a relationship, but it doesn't always spell the end.
Article | jealousy, trust
0 3 min read
“Girlfriend cheated, I can't get over it”
I met the perfect girl about two years ago who ended up being my first love and first serious relationship. She became my girlfriend, my best friend, my EVERYTHING! Then almost a year into the relationship I was going through some stuff that made me very stressed out and less available to spend quality time, which put a huge strain on our relationship. My girlfriend began to go out with her friends all of the time and I never thought anything of it because I trusted her and was busy myself so I wanted her to have fun. One day later on down the line I see a picture that she was tagged in on Facebook with this guy behind her dancing with her. We had a rule that we wouldn't dance with anyone else and when I questioned her she said they took the picture right when he got behind her to dance with her... Being the (dumb) trusting boyfriend, I accepted what she said without question and just asked her to remove the picture. Then a couple of weeks later, she had a falling out with her roommate who supposedly posted that my girlfriend cheated on me on Facebook and my girlfriend told me about it and how it wasn't true and being once again the (stupid) trusting boyfriend, I was receptive to what she said without question. Cheating was something that i didn't think she would ever do because I knew that she loved me dearly. I began to feel myself becoming more and more unhappy primarily due to the great amount of strain that was put on our relationship because of what I was going through. My girlfriend was somewhat supportive but complained and didn't like it at all one bit. I thought about things for weeks and decided to break up with her because I needed time and didn't wanna do anything bad to her like cheat or anything. She was heartbroken and begged for me back but I refused. Months later I tried getting back with her and she was not making it easy for me at all. There was another guy who she was seeing but she still loved me and it showed and I knew I just needed to be patient so I was. She then decides to get some type of birth control that required her to have an STD test and come to find out she has syphilis and I was likely to have to it as well because we had sex on several occasions. Being focused on wanting to get her back I completely brushed that off when she told me and she felt like she couldn't make me wait for any longer because I was the best thing that's happened to her and she dropped everyone and got back with me. Weeks following I found out that she lied about a guy she said she didn't have sex with and that she cheated on me back when I was going through that stuff and her roommate had posted it on Facebook and told me it wasn't true when it really was. I was completely crushed! I couldn't do anything but want to work things out because I had just gotten her back and wasn't ready for things to end. She made a 360 degree change  for the better and has shown me that she was sorry and loves me and would never do anything like that again. It has been seven months and still to this day, I can't seem to forget about it and I feel like its preventing me from moving on with her. Things will be good for a couple of weeks and then something will happen or I'll see something that reminds me of what she did and it just brings me back to the situation and how much it hurt me. Still to this day there has been a lingering unhappiness that I just can't get over because of what she has done and I do not know what to do with myself! I wish I could just get over it so I can move on with this girl and my life! She has done everything she possibly can to show she is sorry and to make things better. Although I do want to move on with this girl I'm not most concerned with that. What I'm mainly concerned with is what the best thing for me to do for MYSELF is. Advice would be greatly appreciated.. I have been having way too many sleepless nights..Thanks! By the way... my girlfriend and I are both in college. I'm 20, going on 21, and she's 19, going on 20.
User article | cheating, trust
“Married, having an affair with younger man“
I am a married woman with children and I'm having an affair with a younger man (10 years younger) who's also in a relationship, and has a baby!! I know what we're doing is wrong but neither of us intended for it to get this far or for anyone to get hurt. My marriage is at an all time low at the moment and has been for a long long time, we just don't get on at all, constantly argue and there is no intimacy between us at all!! but I just plod on for the sake of my children - H (the other man) is more or less in the same position but he's not married just lives with his girlfriend and baby. We first started out just messaging each other general conversation but things progressed further with each of us confessing how we'd love to meet up - eventually we did at his house while his partner was out and one thing led to another!! We've recently met up in a hotel room and had the best time ever. I can't leave my marriage as it would destroy my husband and kids and he won't leave his girlfriend because of his baby, he says he can't leave her til his baby is old enough to leave home (which is a long way off!) We don't see each other as much as we'd like to as it's difficult for us to both getaway but message most days. I am at an all time low at the moment as I can't stop thinking about H and the times we do spend together :-( would love to hear from anyone who's been in the same position......and what I should do x
User article | ongoing affairs
Community posts
“My boyfriend is cheating on me”
Me and my bf are going to complete one year of our relationship this June. The thing from the starting of our relationship he had told me that he is friendly with girls and there is nothing to worry about. The only thing which bugged me in starting was him being connected to his exes. Two or three months back we had a fight and I told him that being connected to your ex means there is still a chance for her or you may have feelings for her but he called me "dumb" and said that "as you have studied in all girls school and university you don't know how things work, a boy can be connected to his ex, wish her happy b'day, or things like that, it does not mean he is interested in her." He was very defensive about this so I did not drag that matter. After some months he accused me of cheating on him because I was online at 3am but I was chatting with my female friend as my boyfriend had stopped giving me his time. In lockdown, he calls once a week and we chat on whatsapp for about one hour in a whole day. He was starting to behave too weird for me as he would say he is going to sleep but his internet would be on or he would be chatting with other people except me. One day I opened his Facebook and Instagram (he has not given me his ID, I just saw him type his password so I remembered it) and I found that he was cheating on me with that girl in Facebook and Instagram. I found out that he has messaged his ex that he loves her a lot and would like to meet her. The thing is somehow I cannot just cannot believe this. It's been two months since I know this and daily I feel pathetic. I don't even have the guts to confront this. This is my first relationship. I tried everything. I even said sorry for each and everything I didn't even do. I begged him thousands of times whenever he used to get angry, but now I feel like I have nothing left. I am 23 and my bf is if the same age.
User article | cheating, affair
“Gym friend hit on my wife”
I'll try and not be too long winded, but want to give an honest overall picture and ideally receive candid feedback. My wife works out at a gym without me (we do different styles of fitness). Over the course of time in that gym she has developed a gym family (it's a Crossfit gym) and group of friends that for the most part doesn't extend outside of the gym. At this gym there is one male who is known to be funny and very inappropriate with comments... most of us have known that guy at one time or another. That said he is liked and tolerated at the gym there. I've been fine with it as my wife and I both know our boundaries. At one point he made a reference calling her sweet cheeks when she walked by and she in her manner admonished him without being harsh (I know that was meant for so and so not me)... She told me and I was ok with it and how it was handled. The issue came one night when me and my wife were at a bar and ran into one of her girlfriends from the gym. Her friend snapped a selfie of her and my wife and sent it in their gym group text. The guy then replied with multiple texts as follows: Wow sexy pic!.. Very sexy!! Where are y'all? She replied with location. He then stated, On my way!! The girl I'm confident realized this isn't going to go well and snapped a pic with me in it and sent it on the feed... He then replied, Oh Damn, and went silent thereafter. To include not responding to messages from the girl asking if he was on the way etc. I obviously had issue with this as it wasn't even inappropriate humor but rather an attempt to engage with my wife and direct (humorless) comments made about her. She addressed it with him the next time at the gym and he was apologetic. The issue. I told her that I do not want her to continue any level of friendship with him. Saying hello in passing etc at the gym is OK, but beyond that I do not believe is acceptable. He made an attempt to come on to her and lost that privilege. Today he text her asking how I was with a sickness I just had and I told her I would prefer she doesn't respond. He doesn't need to text her under any condition even if to check on me etc... This invoked a conversation with her and basically she believes she should be able to not make it awkward in her gym and I'd he text an innocent text reply... or have innocent conversation. ' Who is wrong here? I also should note that I feel somewhat hurt that she isn't more angry at him with the situation and feels a need to assuage an awkwardness with him rather than consider the disrespect he leveled at her and me.
User article | trust, friends
“Married and fell for another woman”
My wife and I have been together for 10 years, married for the last five. We have a five-year-old and a three-year-old. I love my wife but the last 18- 24 months I have been feeling disconnected. I am beginning to realize that we never had much in common and that if it wasn't for the kids we wouldn't even be together right now. About six months ago I started a new job, made new friends, one of whom is woman that I have become very close with. She is a divorced mother with three boys. We take our lunch breaks together most days and talk about our kids, life at home, music and movies. The last two months or so we have moved on to deeper conversations about our on childhoods, plans, hopes and dreams what we want out of life. I have started to have feelings for her as more than a friend but pushed them aside because I know nothing can come of it. A few weeks ago as we were leaving work I walked with her to her car and as she went to get in she gave me a hug before getting in her car and leaving. She texted me later and said she was sorry and that she shouldn't have done it but she has a bit of a crush on me and just needed a hug today. The hugging started to become a daily thing, innocent enough, and it seemed to quench our desires for more. But we have also been texting each other late in to the night saying that we wished we were together on the couch just holding each other while we watch Tiger King (sorry, need to laugh for a second). The other day, she said we can't act like that anymore and that she doesn't want to be the reason our family fell apart like hers. I agreed that we should stop and that we should just be friends which does hurt but I felt like I could move past it as it was such a short amount of time and just a crush. But we don't have lunch together anymore even with our other friends as a group and not talking to each other at all anymore. I also feel more unhappy than ever at home with my wife. I know I have gone on for a while now and I am sorry but I am lost and can't find the direction I want to go or how to get there. Any advice on how to get over her and find happiness at home again. Or should I just let my wife know I have been thinking about separation?
User article | affair, emotional affair
“She's single but I'm not”
I met this wonderful woman in a seminar a few months ago. We hung out and I knew already that I liked her. First time I was with her was during a business meeting and I could really feel that she liked me because she told stories that were way too personal during our first encounter. She doesn't know me that well, to at least share details of her current relationship whom I found out that she is not sure of. Aside from that, she is also sharing some privately kept photos that are on her phone (which I believe she doesn't show to people). I can say this because she is maintaining a very private social media account. Alas, our time together ended and that was the last time I saw her. However, we maintain a professional connection because we work in the same company. She also doesn't communicate that much because she is in a relationship with someone else and busy at work. Fast forward several months. I am in a relationship with someone for four months and we are already having some small bumps on our way to our fifth month. I seem to have a disconnect with my current partner because I feel she is too young for me (I'm 33 and she's 24). I feel that we are not on the same page/wavelength/frequency as each other. I'm trying to patch the holes and hopefully connect once again. At the course of my journey trying to patch things up, I found myself communicating with this girl I met several months back. This time, she is single. We found ourselves texting and chatting which I find kinda new because previously we did not have this kind of conversation lasting for hours. We talked about my current relationship and what's going on with her and vice versa. I realized that maybe the reason why we get to connect on different levels is because we are of the same wavelength. She is also 33. It's funny because I can still feel that she still likes me. Maybe I'm right, maybe I'm wrong. I don't know. I am now caught in a dilemma of wanting to stay in my current relationship or get to know this woman who I believe will really complete me as a person. I'm not saying my girlfriend doesn't complete me, maybe not yet because she is immature and will have to develop in order for me to feel that she completes me. I'm trying to re-evaluate what had transpired that led me to be in this relationship. Was I being too fast? Was I pressured because I'm not getting any younger? Was I in a hurry to be in love again? (I was single for three years). I REALLY DON'T KNOW. Now the question is... Is it okay to admit your feelings to a person who knows that you are committed? How? What do you think should be my approach? What do you think will she feel? (Taking into consideration my whole story). Thanks.
User article | emotional affair
“I didn’t tell my boyfriend”
My female coworker invited me to a weekly game and movie night. There are a bunch of strangers, girls and guys. They’re all friends and their group is always growing. My boyfriend didn’t like me going. He said it made him uncomfortable and jealous, and why would I put myself in a situation to potentially mingle with single guys? That’s not why I went but I stopped going for his sake. I’ve kept in touch with some of the girls from group because there really nice. The whole point of me going was to make some new friends in a Christian environment. Anyway, they invited me to a birthday party for one of the guys. It would be in public, not at someone’s house. So I figured it should be fine. I talked to my boyfriend that day and didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to end up asking his permission if he didn’t like me going. I get to the party and I realise I miss him. I talk to our host and she says he can come, so I call him up to invite him. He's hurt that I didn’t tell him about me going out because he feels I hid it from him. So the next night, after this all blows up, he goes to the strip club, making sure I know where he’s going. He thinks I went out behind his back out of spite, because I’m “mad” when he goes out with people and doesn’t tell me, which I'm not. It is fine because I trust him. It was completely innocent, and he went out specifically as payback. He TOLD me it was payback. This isn’t even the same thing. If he had gone at random, it would’ve hurt my feelings. But the fact that he did this, to specially hurt me, I feel so hurt. And I can’t even tell him how much it hurts me right now because he’s still hurt because he thinks I’m lying and stuff. I’ve apologised so many times because I realise his hurt feelings. He has major trust issues. But I never hurt someone deliberately out of spite and vengeance. And it hurts that he did that to me.
User article | control