How to Heal from Infidelity: What If It Was Just an Emotional Affair?

Samuel discusses emotional vs physical affairs and the impact emotional affairs have on betrayed spouses.

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Emotional Affair

What if the unfaithful doesn't want to name it an 'emotional affair' because he didn't do some of the things on the list that describes emotional affairs? I believe he is still trying to minimize what he's done with numerous females to different degrees and if he doesn't admit his infidelity there will be more ahead. This occurs mostly at work and I also believe he's trying avoid having to make some hard choices about his job scenario.

what did he do then?

we define infidelity as the keeping of secrets from our mate/spouse.  what did he in fact do?  let's start there.  are you all getting any help at all?  

Emotional Affair

I do like that definition, however, there are lists that say 'if you do these, you've had an emotional affair' to which he excused his 'friendships' since he wasn't guilty of 1 or 2 items on the list. When we decided something had to change in our marriage, there was D-day. Among other things, he finally admitted to several scenarios where he had 'just friends' of the opposite gender at work and can at least now see there was inappropriateness involved. He did seem to make a connection when I questioned him about the secrecy and lies he told me about them. Yes, we are thankfully getting help and he has been working on his why which is helpful.

Emotional affair disclosure

I need help.

I'm in a committed relationship, but I'm not married, don't have kids and my boyfriend and I live separately.

I had a long distance emotional affair for 2 weeks, and it ended 1 month ago. My boyfriend doesn’t know.

I'm thinking about coming clean to my partner, but I'm not sure if it would be a good idea to do it now, in the middle of the COVID19 situation (we live in México).

It's already hard to find a time and place where I could do the disclosure properly. My family won't let me go anywhere with him, they only agree to have him come over at my house and spend time inside, and I don't think it would be appropiate to have the conversation at home with my family present.

And even if I managed to find a moment to do the disclosure, what would happen next? What if we're forced to stay at our homes for months without the possibility of seeing each other?

Is it wise to wait after the madness of the pandemic is over? Or should I try to disclose as soon as possible and go through the recovery process, despite the uncertainty of the situation? And how should I do it?

I'm sorry if this question is very long or complicated, I hope I make sense

Good Video

I'm in the group that experiences emotional affairs as more painful and devastating than physical affair. 20ish years ago my husband had a physical affair and I was able to move thru that alot easier than the emotional affair that happened 2 years ago and still causes suffering. Wanting connection with my husband, reaching out to him and getting one word answers instead of conversations...being lonely in my own home filled with people... while he was picking up the phone to call his AP on his lunch breaks, and exchange emails and facetime video conferences. And say disparaging things about me that I eventually saw in the discovery of what was happening. I can't unsee what I've seen. I can forgive, and it still feels like a nightmare. Being lonely for your husband while he gives it all away to someone else. It's the worst.

im so sorry for your pain

i know that has to be awful and I'm so sorry for your pain.  i hope our site can help you and even him if he's open to it. 

Site is Helping

HI -- yes the site is really helpful for me because I can get insight into what he might be thinking or feeling. Sometimes I send a video his way if I think it could help. I see a counselor for the rest of my help. But just a word to the unfaithful that may read this -- emotional affairs can feel like this: my heart is in your hands, whether right or wrong, that's where my heart was. I trusted you with my heart. What you've done has given me the message you aren't safe for me or my heart. So I need to now take my heart back, but it isn't coming back to me in the same shape as I left it with you. It's broken and hurting. So while I work on putting my heart back together -- super hard work -- I don't know how wise it is to let you back in to have access to my heart. I want that, but I need evidence after evidence after evidence to know if you're safe for me.

Side note -- we have four grown daughters. Sometimes when my husband doesn't seem to understand what I'm saying, I ask him what he would tell his daughter to do or feel in this situation. If you're a loving father to a daughter, try to imagine what you'd want her to do to be in a safe space in her marriage after infidelity. Or what you'd want to see in her husband. It might help you see why your spouse is feeling the way she feels, or help you understand why this doesn't all go away in a few months.

great insight.

thanks for sharing that my friend.  i always appreciate feedback and fresh perspective. 

Well said

Thanks for speaking my truth. I'm struggling with you.


This is my life right now, I don't know this person I call my husband. Worst part is the emotional person is my friend of 16 years. We both worked for her for years.

My life also!

I just found out my husband is having an emotional affair also. I totally don't know who my husband is anymore. Maybe we can exchange story and get some support.

How to deal with the person that your spouse had an emotional af

My husband had an emotional affair with a much younger girl at church. About a month ago I discovered that the were having intimate conversations and she even sent him naked pictures of her. I was devastated and very upset with both of them but I decided to forgive them but now I’m dealing with having to see her and even seeing her still having a relationship with my husband. I am a Christian and I know that forgiveness is the right thing to do if I want to be obedient to God. I really want to please God before anything else, but I feel super uncomfortable around her. She is a kid and I know she did wrong but I don’t want to destroy her life over this. I want to show her love and mercy but I am having a hard time when I see her, both of them hurt me very deeply, but reality is that I don’t want to hurt them. I would like to think that all of this was a nightmare and this never happened. I know that you recommended that the unfaithful shouldn’t have a relationship with the affair partner, but what do you recommend in a situation when you have to have a relationship with the spouse’s affair partner. Please advise.

tough indeed

hi there. why do you feel like you 'have to have a relationship with the affair partner?"  to me, it would be well within bounds to have you tell your husband that he has to go no contact with that girl and that she, the other party, should also consider finding a new church.  you can certainly forgive her but that doesn't mean you have to have a relationship with her.  in my opinion your husband should do all he can to make you feel safe and protected including not talking to her whatsoever and asking her to completely stay away from you and him.  does that make sense?  yes, it's pretty severe, but this is the type of approach that must be taken for safety and healing. 

What did you end up doing?

How are you doing now? Just wondering how your recovery is going since I'm in the same boat

Online Emotional Affair

Really appreciate this video. My husband is having an emotional affair with a woman who he met online through playing video games. She is in a committed relationship and lives in a different state. It’s been 3 months since he told me and he does not want to work on fixing our marriage. He doesn’t think that she has anything to do with him feeling this way, but doesn’t want to give her up. We’ve been living in separate rooms since I found out and things have just gotten more serious with them. Though it doesn’t look like she will ever leave her bf for my husband, my husband is willing to pick up and move for her. The way he defends her and acts while texting her breaks me. After I found out about the affair, I was so broken and knew I need to get right with God. I really have been leaning on God since then and even though it seems like there is no hope I trust that he will get me through it. But it does still hurt. I have come to the conclusion that even though I’ve been making changes that in the end, I can’t change my husband. I’m focusing on my individual healing and it’s scary but these videos have been really helping me to understand things more.


Can an emotional affair be one sided? Like if a spouse has a friend of the opposite sex and he says they are friends but he keeps it a complete secret from you. The other person in the relationship does NOT see your spouse like that at all. They honestly see it as a friendship only. What is this called??

What type of affair was it?

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-D, Texas