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Emotional Infidelity

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From the U.S.: I have been with my husband for 8 years, and married 3 months. Recently I discovered he has been sending emotional emails to another woman — talking about loving her and being with her.

My husband maintains that no physical cheating occurred, but I am still broken hearted over the emotional words that he shared with someone else.

I want to forgive him and work through this, how do I look at him again in the same way with the same twinkle. Part of me wishes I had never seen the emails, but then I know its better to know and face the problem before it escalated to something we could not recover from.

He says that he loves me and will do anything to save our marriage, but I don’t even know where to start and how to begin picking up the pieces.

Emotional Infidelity

Answered by on -

A.

I’m so sorry for your pain. Your husband seriously broke your trust. You didn’t state how long this has been going on. If it is a recent and brief lapse, it’s one thing. He could have been reacting to your more recent marriage and the responsibilities that come with it. But if it’s been going on the entire time you’ve been together, it’s another thing all together. In that case, he has never been fully committed to you.

If it’s a recent lapse, please consider seeing a couples counselor to help you both understand why this happened and what the two of you need to do to put your relationship back on track. He needs to show you a sincere effort to win your trust. On your end: The marriage will only survive if you can return that effort with forgiveness and a willingness to move on.

Most marriages go through rough patches. If this was a panic reaction on his part, it seems to me that 8 years together is worth the effort to get through this. With work and compassion, the two of you can come out of this with a relationship that is even stronger than it was before. But if he’s a chronic cheater, you may need to rethink whether you want a marriage on those terms.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Emotional Infidelity

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Emotional Infidelity. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 15, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/02/20/emotional-infidelity/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.