Love, Heartbreak

My Emotional Affair Destroyed My Marriage

Photo: courtesy of the author
emotional affair

A few months into our relationship, I excitedly begged my fiancé to move in with me, pressured him constantly for his hand in marriage, and basically knocked him over with my time-ticking ovaries to have children. I was (and still am) so in love with him that I wanted everything with him. He's a simple man with a hard work ethic who never wanted to rock the boat and he ever understood why I made life so overwhelmingly complex.

Our communication issues started off small, like never agreeing about weekend plans or what to watch before we went to bed. Sex was probably our biggest argument; I wanted more and always felt like I had to beg him to desire me.

I tried to talk through our problems but we were guilty of putting short-term Band-Aids on our issues and our wounds were just not healing. I began to seek security in all the wrong place just to fill the broken and lonely void stemming from our relationship

He obviously wasn't ready to move in together and insisted we get a roommate to help out with the bills. I wasn't thrilled but reluctantly agreed. He asked his guy friend, Rob (not his real name), to move in, and I was furious for months. But eventually, I let my guard down and started to become close to our new shared roommate.

Rob gave me attention, told me I was beautiful and that I deserved better than my fiancé. On my lowest days, I believed him. Nothing ever physical happened between us, but I was definitely stepping over the line and flirting with him just to get my emotional needs met. It felt so good in the moment but I felt sick to my stomach afterward.

I used to think he had my best interest at heart when he told me my fiancé and I weren't right for each other but now, I believe he had an ulterior motive: he wanted us to break up.

My fiancé lost all trust in me the moment I confessed to my emotional affair.

Rob eventually moved out on his own, but not without drama. There were a couple of moments the boys were in each other's faces and I didn't know if the cops would be called. But the moment Rob moved out, their friendship was over. They haven't spoken since. 

Rob and I would still occasionally text each other just to catch up but soon, our conversations turned more intimate. Slowly, I started discussing the communication issues I was having with my fiancé. I knew it was wrong but it felt good to vent.

I felt trapped by my lies and it made every day so much harder. Keeping a secret from the man I loved made me disgusted with myself. Talking to Rob made me feel wrong, miserable, and untruthful. I loved the attention but hated myself.

As an intelligent woman, I knew each and every word I spoke to Rob was wrong. He wasn't the one I was going to exchange vows with at the altar; he never had deep conversations with me while I was on the toilet. I was being totally selfish.

In retrospect, I wasn't happy in the relationship with my fiancé, but I really wanted to beI wish I trusted him enough to tell him about my inner demons. Instead, I nagged him and used negative energy in order to get his attention. 

In my heart, I knew the only way to get more emotional support for him was to tell him about my emotional affair with Rob. I needed him to know that I hated that I could count our shared kisses during the week on one hand. I needed him to know I didn't feel loved.

I wanted us to be strong and ready for our upcoming marriage. I wanted him to know that even though I allowed thoughts in my head that would bring pain to him, I made a mistake and never intended to hurt him.

And yet: I knew the moment I told him about my emotional affair, he would be gone. There's only so much a person can take and my baggage was too heavy for him to continue carrying.

I didn't get even get ten words into my confessions before he walked out on me — and those were the last I've been able to say to his face. My heart, our home, and my hope for us to always be together all held a common ground: emptiness.

"You are free to make whatever choice you want, but you are not free from the consequences of that choice."

We both made choices that brought us here today. I'm fully responsible for my actions, however, I truly wish my fiancé understood how badly I struggled with feeling lonely in our relationship.

I'm worse without him. My fiancé had a laugh that carried for miles. I'll never forget the day I met him, the day we moved into our beautiful home, and the day he finally got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

I also suffered the loss of his wonderful family and hope they one day forgive me for this. But if they never do, it's OK. Forgiveness is hard.  Even if the truth of my affair didn't set me free, I don't regret telling him about it. You can't live a lie.

I'm a good person who made a mistake. Learn from me: If you are ever fighting this same loneliness in your relationship, don't keep it inside. Tell your partner. You owe it to yourself and the person you love.

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