She wrote :I found a text while using my husband’s phone to locate mine. The text was from my best friend of five years – it said “try not to miss me too much while you’re with your wife.” Not much room for misinterpretation.
I immediately confronted him about it (my mistake) and he denied anything ever happening with her. He said, rather, that it was a harmless private joke. I didn’t buy that… so I called her. She told me “What I do with your husband is none of your business.”
He still denied it. He denied it for weeks. I was shocked, hurt, confused and I felt crazy – because he told me I was. Finally, he admitted to an “emotional affair” – insisting it never crossed into the physical realm.
I was devastated. I felt betrayed by not one but two people that I loved. He promised me that he would never contact her again, that he would end it. I believed him and told him that I would try to work through it with him for the sake of our marriage, our children and shared life together. He confirmed that she knew it was over and he would never speak to her again.
The next day, on a whim, I checked his phone records. He talked to her a total of three times that day for a total of five hours – while he was at work. He was still lying to me.
I confronted him again and he told me that she couldn’t accept it and kept calling him but that it really was over.
I then emailed her and told her I knew about the emotional affair and that she really just needed to accept that it was over. What I received back a few days later was an extremely malicious, detailed account of their three-year-long, very much physical affair with an offer to furnish photographic and videographic proof. She even detailed when it would happen, how they got around me and her goal was in telling me (to hurt him as much as he hurt her because she “knew” that I was going to leave him over it).
I felt… sick. I was nauseous, paralyzed. I threw up until I could do nothing but dry heave. I cried every day for a week. I felt completely alone. I felt ugly, undesirable, stupid. I fell into a horrible depression despite having no history of depression at all – it was the worst few months of my life. I had continuous nightmares about my husband and my best friend laughing at me, about everybody laughing at me, not being able to move while I sunk deeper and deeper into some dark abyss. I was paranoid and obsessed with knowing every excruciating detail about the affair. It felt like someone blew up the foundation of what I believed to not only be a loving, faithful marriage but caused me to question the good nature of everyone else in my life.
It was completely devastating.
I sought therapy because I was not functioning in the capacity I needed to in order to maintain a stable environment for my children. I went to therapy once, twice even three times a week until I came to terms with what happened and what it did, and did not, mean. My husband, once caught for good, did everything he could do to take care of me and help me out more around the house. My teenager stepped up to help as well.
I had questions and my husband answered every one, patiently, multiple times if necessary. He insisted that he loved me and that he was deeply regretful of the hurt that he caused me… and not only that but he showed it at every opportunity. There were no more phone calls between him and her and after a while I felt okay not checking.
This was six months ago. I’m not really over it but it no longer consumes my life. I’m still with my husband and though I don’t really trust him 100%, it’s gotten better over time. I focus on school and on my children and I continue to go to therapy because, frankly, I lost my two best confidants in one swoop and I value having my therapist to talk to about not only the affair but all sorts of things that were shaken loose from the experience. I value the extra support, even if I would not describe myself as depressed at the moment. Because I kept up my therapy, I have learned not to hinge my self-esteem on the actions of others. If I found out that my husband was up to his old tricks I would be disappointed but I am confident I would have the strength to divorce him and move on. At this point I would say that my faith in others has been damaged but that I am going to be okay.
Going through something like that is an emotional trauma and you don’t just “get over it”. Like any other kind of trauma there are lasting effects, like emotional triggers, that generally improve over time.