General Question

AnnieOakley's avatar

Do you tell your partner if you discovered you had an inadvertant "emotional affair"?

Asked by AnnieOakley (237points) June 6th, 2009

Okay do I come clean about it now that I have realized it? Or would that just be hurtful and make me feel less guilty? I didn’t mean to. Should I explain and apologize? Would it be more helpful or more hurtful?

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42 Answers

Jude's avatar

You already know how I feel. Be honest with him. And, you know, it’s not just the “emotional affair” part. You obviously don’t want to be with your husband anymore (from what I’ve read). If it’s not this “guy friend”, it will be another. You’re not happy in your relationship. Either work on it, or get out. But, from what you told us, you were never really “in it” in the first place.

Blondesjon's avatar

Sounds to me like you two have a lot more to talk about than just this. Lay it all out but don’t try to sugar coat it with the “inadvertent” bullshit.

You knew what you were doing.

If you do that you are just starting out with lies all over again.

Facade's avatar

It’s best to be completely honest. No sugar-coating. Be strait-forward.

gailcalled's avatar

Be straight-forward also. And what on earth is an inadvertent emotional affair?

DarkScribe's avatar

I love it. “An inadvertent affair”.

Did you trip and fall into somone’s bed?

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

If you plan to leave off of the “emotional affair” then keep it to yourself. If you aren’t content where you are and believe you will be prone to future “emotional affairs” then be out with it, free your partner from their unrealized expectations of you and go your own ways.

chelseababyy's avatar

Either way it’s going to hurt. It will hurt more if you don’t tell him. Tell him, either way, you should feel guilty because what you’ve been hiding is just wrong.

SuperMouse's avatar

I think you need to examine the reasons you would tell him. Are you telling him to make yourself feel better? Do you want to be with him? Are you willing to discuss the reasons this may have happened? These things do not happen in a vacuum, if you want to fix the problems with this relationship and are willing to do the work, come clean – completely clean with him, then be prepared to work you bottom off to regain his trust.

P.S. I agree with those who say there is no such thing as an “inadvertent affair.”

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Perhaps consider why you felt the need to look for emotional support elsewhere and then discuss that element with your partner rather than the emotional affair itself.
Going right to the core of the issue is likely solve more problems. Emotional affairs as well as physical ones are usually symptoms of a larger problem.
Good luck.

Jude's avatar

If you continue on with this “emotional affair” (or whatever it is), you’re being unfair to him and also, you’ll continue to feel guilty about all of this. Why would you want to live your life like that? Work on your relationship (if your partner’s still willing after you’ve been honest with him, and, if you want to), or let him go and move on. You both deserve to be happy and the way you’re going about things is dishonest and you’re certainly not being genuine with your feelings. I definitely would try to resolve this now (however it may end up). It’ll be the best thing for the both of you in the long run.

Mr_Callahan's avatar

Zip it before he inadvertantly divorces your *ss.

swtsally's avatar

yes you should. any affair whether emotional or physical is STILL AN AFFAIR. if you dont tell him then you’ll feel guilty and it’s not fair to him. also. if you dont tell him, then it might hurt your relationship with him. if you decide to tell him you both can decide what you want to do with the relationship and see if it’s worth looking past. he will be hurt and might not trust you but if you both want it to work then you will eventually work it out and move past it. but be fair to him and tell him the truth. even truth that bears bad news is better than a lie.

AnnieOakley's avatar

“Inadvertant” as in accidentally, not on purpose, unintentional. I did not even know an “emotional affair” existed until yesterday. I figured if you didn’t cheat physically – all was good.

jmah – it’s not that I don’t care about my husband, I just indicated I married him very young and it was never a real passionate thing – like I thought it should have been.

Thanks for all the input so far. It’s a tough thing to figure out. I want to be honest, but being honest to make myself feel better that makes him feel crappy is not okay. Perhaps it would be beneficial for him to realize something is missing in our relationship for me to end up in this place and we should be working on that.

When I told the friend that I realized we are having an “emotional affair” and I needed to end it before it destroyed my relationship with my husband, I also indicated I was thinking about explaining it all to my husband. “Friend” does not think this is a good idea and it would “ruin his friendship” with my husband. It seems to me secrets are not a good thing and creates an “intimacy” that kind of continues things in a way.

cwilbur's avatar

How do you have an inadvertent affair, emotional or no?

If you think it will strengthen your relationship with your husband in the long run, tell. Otherwise, no.

AnnieOakley's avatar

Darkscribe and cwilbur – it was nothing physical. A friendship that turned into feelings. No actions taken – but apparently an “emotional affair” none the less. Read all about these things yesterday. Can be quite damaging, especially if they get out of control.

DarkScribe's avatar

@AnnieOakley “Inadvertant” as in accidentally, not on purpose, unintentional.

No affairs start out with a deliberate intent, they are all “inadvertent” in that sense. The word affair is short for “Love Affair”, and who sets out to deliberately become involved in a relationship? If you haven’t taken it to a physical level then it would seem to be a flirtation or crush, not really an affair at all – rather it is something that has the potential to become an affair.

I doubt that whatever resolution you arrive at, having the guy around as your partner’s friend would not be a good idea.

SuperMouse's avatar

@AnnieOakley the man you had this emotional affair with doesn’t want you to tell your husband for fear it will ruin their friendship (as in the Emotional Affair Guy’s friendship with your husband)? Am I understanding that correctly? If that is a correct understanding I’m not convinced Emotional Affair Guy has your best interest at heart.

If you want to continue in the relationship with your husband you have to drop Emotional Affair Guy like a bad habit and focus on repairing your marriage.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

The guy needs to exit your life – yours and your husband’s—entirely. He is not your husband’s friend; he’s been fooling around with you, his friend’s wife, even if nothing physical happened. That makes him a manipulator. If his personal life is in the toilet, then perhaps he put it there himself. Duping your husband will not help things for anyone except “friend.” I suggest distancing yourself, and working really hard on your marriage. Then tell your husband when your relationship with him is on a little more solid footing. If you need to tell him something to make yourself feel better, apologize for being detached. Tell him you’re unhappy, feeling like you’ve turned into your mother, overworked, disengaged, whatever, and that you want to work on it. Do that first.

AnnieOakley's avatar

Supermouse – that is correct….sm I stupid or what? Pandora – you are so right.

Supacase's avatar

I’m torn on this. What is your purpose in telling your husband? Is it to make you feel better by getting it off your conscience? Will it benefit either your husband or your marriage?

Does your husband suspect this emotional affair? If he does, I would tell him. If he doesn’t, I’m just not sure. It’s your transgression and quite possibly your guilt to bear forever in silence.

Jeruba's avatar

If I had a box of Fluther’s Favorite cookies to dispense, I’d pass out a lot of them on this page. But the lion’s share would go to PandoraBoxx.

cyn's avatar

Just tell your partner!

Jude's avatar

off topic. You’re, oh, so, close to the 10 K club, Madame..

Jeruba's avatar

Thanks, @jmah, I am. Even though I don’t do it for the lurve, I can’t help thinking that’s pretty exciting! Will there be balloons, do you think?

gailcalled's avatar

@Jeruba: Milo has donned his toque and is frantically measuring ingredients for your cake.

Jeruba's avatar

What a thrilling notion, Gail! Tell him to let his imagination go wild. A kitty whisker or two in the works never hurt anything.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I would, absolutely
Good luck

hearkat's avatar

Based on my opinions which I expressed in your other question, I say: not yet.

I don’t think that what you feel for this guy is actual love. I think there is a longing within you that he seemed suited to fill. But I believe that now you are starting to recognize that your feelings are not what they seem, and I hope that you will end any ‘friendship’ you have with him, and focus your energy on yourself.

Once you have the benefit of some time (hopefully ‘couch-time’), a lot of reflection and personal insight into what has actually happened here, you can then determined if there was any illicit behavior on your part, and only then could you really tell the truth and fully explain it to your Husband. And only then will you be able to discuss if your marriage is truly a good situation for each of you.

cookieman's avatar

“Hey Sid; Whatchu got there?”

“Says here it’s an ‘Inadvertant Emotional Affair’.”

“Okay, file that right next to ‘Wardrobe Malfunction’.”

AnnieOakley's avatar

Okay – LOL – I have taken enough flack of the “inadvertant” – I just needed to be clear that I never set out intentionally to create this situation. I didn’t wake up one morning and say “Gee, how can I fuck up my life today?” I understand, no one ever does….wardrobe malfunction – LOL Reminds me of – “You want sympathy? It’s found in the dictionary between shit and syphilis.”

At least I am not “daydreaming” anymore and can laugh about being a dumbass.

Mr_Callahan's avatar

Don’t be so hard on yourself AnnieOakley, thats our job. (:

MacBean's avatar

I’m kind of surprised at all the backlash about “inadvertent.” Seriously, none of you have ever been with someone and developed feelings for someone else? You can’t help what you feel. All you can do is control what you do. And if you don’t hop into bed with the person, what you’ve got is an emotional affair…

Mr_Callahan's avatar

I had a similar experince with Playboy, inadvertently though.

Jude's avatar

@jeruba, yes, balloons. And, Rip Taylor will be flouncing about tossing glitter confetti to you and the rest of the jellies ;-)

gailcalled's avatar

@AnnieOakley: Perhaps you mean “unplanned”?

Clair's avatar

@Mr_Callahan You JUST cursed! that asterisk shit made it no less a curse! BUSTED!
lurve for playboy btw.

tell him if you feel like it will help you, him, or your marriage, but if you can get over it and leave it in the past, then get the hell over it.

Mr_Callahan's avatar

There goes alter boy school.

gailcalled's avatar

And here comes remedial summer school English.

wundayatta's avatar

Feelings? So far, it’s all in your head. Everyone has fantasies. You haven’t acted on them yet, have you? The sign of an adult is that they find they don’t have to act on their fantasies. Should you have to confess every time you have lusted in your heart? Good God, people! It would be high drama at the Ok Corral 24/7!

Now, the fact that you take this fantasy somewhat seriously says that you are feeling separated from your husband. That’s what you need to worry about. Figuring out how to narrow that gap, and then get rid of it completely. Therapy can help. If your couple’s therapist (when you them singly) can offer an opinion on the subject of revealing fantasies.

Again, this is all assuming you haven’t done anything in the real world. Like kissing, cuddling, inappropriate touching. That sort of thing.

Mr_Callahan's avatar

GC: Altar not alter, you’re on the ball today.

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