I’ve recently uncovered an emotional affair my wife of 10 years has been having for the past year. We have a two-year-old and are expecting another child this year.
It first came to light about a year ago. Counselling occurred and all seemed fine. We were in a healthy place when we decided to pursue fertility treatments late last year.
However, in the last few weeks I noticed very similar distant attitudes. Sure enough, I came across some very explicit text messages essentially implying this affair has continued for this last year.
Now, she says she still wants to work it out. For me, the trust has been broken. Yet it’s not a deal-breaker for me, as my children are the world to me.
I’m unsure of what to do next.
You’ve presented an account with few facts but with timing that tells its own story.
This second pregnancy was conceived through fertility treatments (it’s unclear if that was so regarding the first).
Meanwhile, your wife had her emotional affair during that time, and when the first baby was only one- year-old.
Though counselling initially helped your relationship, she’s turned to the same outsider for her emotional needs.
Knowing this little detail, I won’t surmise why she wants/needs this connection to someone else.
But it’s not impossible for you to pursue the truth.
The counselling undoubtedly revealed some significant factors in your relationship.
Your deep love for your child also has a place in your union, as does the factor of fertility treatments.
That process has a profound impact on a woman’s hormones, and her emotions. There’s often also a weight issue and added insecurity if she feels that the need for the treatments are her “fault.”
You’ve lived with all this and know how it’s affected her. And you still want to stay together, even without trust.
I believe you two should return to counselling to pursue the “Why?” of her affair.
Your wife certainly has something to explain, and you have a decision to make about what you can live with… but don’t be a martyr for the kids. That’s not healthy for anyone.
Discuss all the complex reasons and possible options with a professional therapist, over a process of sessions exploring how each of you expects to work this out.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding ancestry searches and their results (February 4):
“I’m adopted and my children got me an “AncestryDNA” kit one year for Christmas.
“I’d already completed a search for my birth mother and found her, but she didn’t disclose my birth-father’s name.
“I had three matches to second cousins, and, using the Internet, was able to conclude two were from my birth-mother’s family.
“The third surname name was unique. Knowing where my birth mother was from, I had my answer within four weeks. Further searches using library directories confirmed my suspicions.
“I have my birth-father’s name, picture, and the names and pictures of his four children. His daughter and I look very similar.
“Although I got his picture through Facebook, I got hers through his grandchild’s Instagram.
“I check up on my relatives frequently via Facebook and Instagram, but I’ve never contacted them. They live about an hour from my home.
“My birth-mother and I have no contact but I know where she, her children and grandchildren are. Her late husband didn’t know about me nor do her children. I just follow them anonymously on the Internet.”
Reader #2 – “My mother, eldest of nine children, was neglected by her parents (her father took her out with him one evening, and “forgot” her).
“Her grandfather found her and she was raised by he and his wife.
“Following my mother's death at 76, I did some family research, with the help of a family researcher in England. I obtained a copy of my mother’s birth certificate, and a copy of her parents’ marriage certificate.
“My mother was born two months prior to her parents’ marriage.
“I put together a family history, using other information located by the researcher. It was not well received by my cousins.
“They are unwilling to accept the information that our grandparents had a child born to them before they were married.
“We have never been close, but the relationship is further distanced with this information from the past. How silly!”
Ellie – More than one experienced reader has warned, be careful what you search!
Tip of the day:
Emotional affairs may fill a relationship gap that a couple haven’t acknowledged. But they’re as deceitful/hurtful as a physical affair.