Expert posts
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”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Alright so 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 so stuff that made me less available to spend quality time and very stressed out 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 was I accepted what she said without question and just asked her to remove the picture. Then a couple of weeks later following that incident 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 I was receptive to what she said without question. Cheating was something that i didnt think she would ever do because I knew that she loved me dearly. I began to feel my self becoming more and more unhappy primarily 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 toget 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 waitwait 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 after 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 7 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
Ask the community | cheating, trust
“Married, having an affair with younger man“
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   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
Ask the community | ongoing affairs
Community posts
“My boyfriend lied about his special friend”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Sorry, it’s long! I am 37, separated with no kids and my boyfriend is 31, separated, with two kids from his ex-wife and his first born from a relation he had prior to meeting his ex-wife. We started dating nine months ago… First two weeks were like a fairy tale then he had to leave for work (he works offshore on four weeks rotation). We kept in contact when he was away, and video called each other every day. He came back and we went for a short holiday together, it was when he said I love you first (after just seven weeks). We seemed to be so intertwined with each other. We gave a lot of attention to each other, missed each other etc… It was such a lovely period where we were both falling in love with each other like crazy. He seemed very happy and according to him, the happiest he’s been as he finally found an understanding, beautiful woman who he can be open with. Before we met, after he separated from his wife (he separated seven months before he actually met me, and it was from her side, she stopped loving him, and he was totally devastated) he started going out with his sister (40) and her best friend (48) who is also a family friend. This woman and my bf had built a certain bond between them and they became ‘special friends’. I knew about her and the first time I actually met her during a family wedding, two months into dating, I immediately felt/realised she liked him from the way she greeted me, which was a ‘hi’ and she turned away. When I asked him about it he said that she does have a soft spot for him, but they are just friends. I accepted it and It stopped there. I never told him not to message her or anything… she was just a female friend and he seemed to be head over heals in love with me. Roll on five months from the beginning of our relationship and he went for a guys’ night out with his boy-friends. At a point, in the beginning of the night, he sent me a selfie of him with his two boy-friends, on a table at this particular lounge/restaurant drinking Rose wine. The following day I asked him how the night has been and he briefly explained the night; at a point just mentioned they bumped into his sister and her friend. Five days later I see a picture on FB of his sister with her friend, dining at the same place as him, having rose wine as well, possibly on the same table. I asked him about it and there is where all the lies came coming out. At first he told me they bumped into them and decided to dine with them and later he said that he found out last minute his sister was going out to the same place so decided to join them. (1. please note that this is a busy restaurant and it’s not easy to go and get a table for 5 without reservation, 2. If he had planned to have a guys’ night out, I don’t think it’s on for him to do last minute changes and meet his girl-friends together with his mates) Then, even the details of the night were getting different from what he had briefly explained. I couldn’t believe him and was thinking that he deliberately hid from me since there was this ‘special’ friend of his. He kept on insisting that they are just friends and nothing ever happened between them. Two weeks later he ‘confessed’ after I told him to tell me the truth, that they had agreed upon this night only a day before and he did not tell me because 1. I had other plans anyway, 2. They were planning to go clubbing (just the boys) after they’re done from this lounge. I decided to believe him but my instinct knew there was something I don’t know. When I asked why he didn’t tell me immediately that they met them and dined on the same table and he even sent a picture misleading me, he told me that his ex-wife was very jealous and not understanding and he would hide to her in order not to create any arguments. So, his first reaction was that of hiding, even though there was nothing. After that night, I met this woman twice. First time during a family picnic where she tried to make a fool out of me, being rude to me and ignoring me etc etc.. I spoke to him about it and he got the excuse that she’s like that with everyone especially until she gets to know a person. Then I met her again on his mum’s birthday dinner, we were only five of us on a table and again she totally shut me out. Especially since these incidents happened, I wasn’t happy, I was getting more and more anxious, feeling that there is/was something I really need to know. I asked him to tell me what there is/was between them several times and he always insisted there’s nothing but they’re just good friends. At one point he told me she finds him very hot, another time he told me that they had mutually agreed that they cannot possibly be with each other, at other times he tells me that he isn’t even attracted to her. I couldn’t believe him, I was hearing too many contradictions and lies. For the past 3 months, whenever her name comes up, I used to ask him about her, hear ‘lies’ and get anxious. He couldn’t keep up with my anxiety because it was because of him. He was telling me that there is nothing else that I don’t know and to please stop talking about her as there really is nothing, that this is getting out of hand and that he had nothing else to say or do about her to reassure me. I tried to shut up as much as I could, even though my anxiety was killing me. I wasn’t trusting him. I didn’t want to push him away, nagging about the same thing, but then I couldn’t hold it any longer. Last week I was really anxious and after a conversation about her, I asked him to show me her chats! At first he did not want to, he told me that if he does so, he’s going to resent me, then he told me that by doing so he would go down the same road he was with his wife, and finally he told me ‘ok, I’ll show them to you, but not now, when you are calm because now you will interpret everything wrong.’ He then tried using his mobile, telling me that he’s just scrolling and didn’t want me near him. I knew he was trying to delete messages… At a point I snatched it from his hand and I found out very playful conversations, not every day, but with sexual innuendos. He sent him her selfies and he sent her his pictures including shirtless pics with his abs showing. He told her stuff like, ‘sexy and a naughty devil’s icon’ after one of the selfies. Or once she said something after he sent her a shirtless pics and then he went ‘and I haven’t even touched you’. Or she sends him ‘missing you’ or ‘thinking of you’ or she sends him loads of hearts and kisses and stuff. These mainly happened during the first 3 months of us together. One day, two months into our dating, she texted him in the morning ‘thanks for the surprise’ to which he answered ‘that was my plan, dear. I just landed in…. ’ He was on his way to work and I had just dropped him off at the airport and he had just left me a loving card on my bedside table before he left – when I asked him about it, he couldn’t even remember what the surprise was. It was also very clear there were some messages deleted but he kept on denying this. They also had a video chat on one particular night, when he was off-shore and he was feeling down. I also found out on the messages that they had agreed on that night out, a good 3 weeks in advance! I was mad and furious… I grabbed my bags and left! To be fair, these messages had stopped 3-4 months ago, when this thing of his night out happened and I was suspecting there’s something. Since then, there were only a couple of normal messages (one liners with no hearts and kisses). He is now trying to explain that there was absolutely nothing between them and that is just the way they talk and joke with each other. He told me that he had stopped everything the minute he thought he was going to lose me and he never told me the whole truth because he didn’t want to hurt me or lose me. He was afraid to tell me to go out with them because he knew how she is and wanted us (me and her) to get to know each other before we all go out together. He’s begging me to stay, telling me that he never cheated on me and that he loves me. That he never meant to hurt me and that he’s utterly sorry for what happened and for how he made me feel. He is not eating and sleeping. I told him I need to move on but deep down I don’t know what I should do. What is worrying me the most, is not the kind of relationship they had, even though those were not appropriate messages at all, but the fact that no matter how many times I asked him, no matter how bad with anxiety he used to see me, he never came clean about her. He lied and lied and was never vulnerable enough to come clean. If he did, I would have probably been mad for a short while, tried to understand and appreciate the fact that he’s owning up to his mistakes and perhaps I could see a real man in front of me. But now all I’m seeing is someone who was hiding from me and lying to me! These last three months, he stayed home because the company stopped all contracts and will resume work again in a month. He spent ALL evenings with me, including weekends – it was his decision not to go out with friends at night. We used to sleep together every night, either at his house or at my house. Sometimes he also drove me to work. We were inseparable. We loved being with each other. We did everything together. When he had his kids, once a week, we used to take all 3 of them out to nice places and spaces suitable for them, I loved them and they loved me. He loved that fact and told me plenty of times that I’m much of a better parent then their own mothers. He mentioned several times that he had never received such love and care from his gf and her family. Even though I was trying to build my trust back in him after that incident, I loved him with all my heart and so did my family. Our sex was great and he seemed very happy with me. He used the flaunt me with everyone and tell them I’m the apple of his eye. He told me that I’m now his life and that he won’t live without me. I am now so confused! What shall I do? Shall I forget and go back with him or shall I just move on? He promised me he wouldn’t talk to her anymore, even if it means he opt out of family do’s, because of her. But I’m scared. I’m scared he’d lie to me again if something else is to happen – not just with this woman. Also, I’m thinking that if there really was nothing, what he was doing was to get attention from another woman, which I don’t like, especially considering it was done during the first months, when we were falling in love with each other and when he was telling me the most beautiful of words. I think this is a huge sign of immaturity or that he’s a perv. I’m so confused… I don't think I should consider going back with him. Will I be able to ever trust him again??
Ask the community | someone else, emotional affair
“I have fantasies about someone else”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I really don't understand myself. I hate to admit it to say the truth even to myself. I consider myself a loyal person who doesn't wanna mess around. I want a relationship that works. I'm in a relationship with my first love. We're certain about our future. We're gonna build a family together. However, my mind oftentimes slips away and fantasizes other guys. I always convince myself that it is just a short-time madness, and most of the time it is. The feeling did fade away, but I feel so terrible for my boyfriend. He doesn't deserve this. We always have sweet talks like always. I love the way we are. Stupid and shitty as it is, I am fantasizing my professor. I never have until he appeared in my dream once. I've started to notice him like what the f**k. I've started to lock swift eyes on him. Weird thing is I caught him does the same shit. My mind and my head is a complete mess. I am naturally attracted to good looking guys, but as I say I don't fall in love if my mind does not think about it further. It fades, but when my mind keeps thinking and analyzing shit, it will be messed up. Like what the hell. Normally, my boyfriend and I always share every secret with each other, but this. I don't wanna hurt him cuz it'll hurt me too. I don't share my sheepish stories even with my best friend because I believe time will make everything up for me as it always does. And, another thing is we used to break up once due to some other reasons, but we were back together after a short period of time cuz we couldn't live without one another. But, during that time, I was hurt as hell, but I let myself loose to see good in other guys. Three guys were falling for me. My mind was so conflicted. I had some feelings for them too, but I know deep down I love my bf, so I didn't give them any chances. Why am I always like this? It is so unfair for my bf. I don't wanna be like this too, but I can't stop my messy head oftentimes. I just wanna release my thoughts. Keeping it to myself makes it hard on me. I would like to hear other people's stories too.
Ask the community | someone else, emotional affair
“Emotional affair with my ex”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   My husband and I have been married for almost 12 years, together for over 14 and we have 2 young kids. I love my husband very much and we have a good, comfortable relationship but it has always lacked real intimacy and passion. Sex is just okay, and he seems fine with that. Over the years I have suggested doing things to spice it up and he’s always in agreement but has never really made an effort. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how to improve our sex life. Maybe that’s why I contacted my ex who happens to be the only person who’s ever satisfied me sexually. This is someone I haven’t seen in over 15 years and have only exchanged the odd message in all that time. I thought I’d just say hello, enquire after his kids and that would be that, like it has been every other time in the last 15 years. Instead, we got to reminiscing about the past, clearing up misunderstandings and just enjoying talking to each other after so long. It progressed from messages to Skyping and now I want to talk with him every day. Just to give a bit of background on our relationship; we met while he was married. His wife wasn’t interested in sex and he thought having an extramarital affair would save his sanity and eventually his marriage. I was a ‘good girl’ so I don’t quite know how I got messed up with him. All I know is that we had an unbelievable chemistry that I hadn’t experienced before or since. Now he’s divorced and single and I’m the one who’s married but it seems we still have amazing sexual chemistry. Fortunately, geography is not on our side so it’s unlikely that we would ever be together again but from our conversations I have come to understand myself better and more importantly, what I get from him that I don’t get from my husband. So now I’ve come to the crux of the matter, how do I get my husband to understand that sex is important to me and his lack of interest in improving our sex life is putting a wedge between us? How do I get him to care? Maybe someone could point me in the direction of reading materials and other resources that could help.
Ask the community | emotional affair, sexless