I’m in an emotional affair. There was no sex for nine months, until we had sex. Then last year, no sex again. We’re tightly bonded. What am I?
You’re his relief hitter, not the main teammate. You’re his escape, not his partner.
He wants you around, because you accept whatever he’s capable of giving… which changes, as seen with the sex.
It may even be his main partner’s changes in behaviour towards him that determines how he treats you.
However, you’ve revealed so little here that it’s possible that he may not have a partner at all, which would make this “emotional affair” hard to define… e.g. a close friendship that veers between platonic and sexual.
But whether he’s attached to someone else or not, you’re still not his partner.
Your questioning what it’s all about suggests it’s time to move on.
My husband started carpooling several months ago with a married woman (my age, he's a few years older), who’s very attractive.
He claims that there's no attraction (admitted only after the second time I asked), and that it’s not likely to turn into a friendship.
But she started texting him outside of work (e.g. what he was doing on a Saturday night when I was out with friends), discussing personal things in emails (trips we're on, etc.).
At first, he was coming home really excited and almost “glowing” while talking about her.
The first couple of times I brought it up, he was extremely defensive, and we started arguing.
When she began texting him outside work, I asked that they limit it to just work or carpool-related subjects.
He initially got really angry, saying I'm trying to control him and who he knows, like his parents did when he was a kid.
I never intended that, but I found some texts flirty and was bothered by his having long text conversations while I was in the other room.
He did eventually understand and curtailed it, but with some resentment.
I don't know how to deal with my jealousy. As far as I know he's never cheated.
But knowing he enjoys the company of this more successful, beautiful woman, with whom he has plenty in common, I feel anxious much of the time thinking there's something there, or could be.
When I related my situation to friends, they all said they'd be suspicious too. What should I do? I want to be supportive, and I want him to have friends, but I don't know how to handle my insecurity anymore without damaging my marriage.
His initial reaction to this new car-pool friend was worrisome, and you told him so, which was appropriate. He overreacted somewhat, but then curtailed the extra communication.
Now your insecurity is more about you than her. And it’s counter-productive, because it can be what pushes him away… if not now, then over time.
Your feelings of jealousy and insecurity in general seem to have been just waiting for a target.
Talk to a counselor instead of friends (some people love another’s drama and inadvertently contribute to it).
And talk to your husband, not about this woman, but about how you two are living your marriage.
Think about what you can be doing for your own self-esteem. Maybe it’s time to consider a part-time job if you don’t already work, pursue an interest course, or hire some help in the house so you can get out more… whatever’s needed to build your confidence and comfort.
My husband moved out months ago but won’t say what’s happening. I ask what his plans are, but he says he doesn’t know.
He doesn’t call it a “separation,” and says he hasn’t seen a lawyer. He doesn’t seem depressed. I know he goes out with his guy friends whose wives tell me.
I phone him, cry, and say I love him, the kids miss him, and I’m willing to do anything he wants to get our marriage back. What else can I do?
Distraught and Confused
Prepare yourself emotionally for the possibility that he’s “done.”
If he’s regularly going to work, seeing friends, and you don’t believe there are any physical or mental health issues, he may be seeing someone else or wanting major changes on his own.
For the kids’ sake and your own, you need emotional strength. Get to a therapist, get legally and financially informed (not starting an action, just learning your rights).
Tip of the day:
An “affair” that’s hard to define has no future either.