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Does An Emotional Affair Lead To Separation?

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HISPANIC MAN, ANGLO WOMAN IN CAFE
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Emotional Affair:

Amanda discovered her husband was having an emotional affair. They are seeing a marriage counselor and he is in individual therapy. Amanda is wondering if she should separate from her husband until the problems in the marriage are resolved.

Question:

I recently learned that my husband is having an emotional affair with a woman from work. He says he enjoys the attention that he gets from her and that she listens to his problems and makes him feel he “matters.” I’m very hurt that he is sharing things with this woman and has become so attached to her. I’m trying to decide whether or not I want to stay in the marriage.

We are seeing a marriage counselor and he is in seeing a counselor on his own. He seems to be trying to save the marriage but I can’t seem to get back the trust that I have lost. I’m fighting the urge to leave and wondering if we shouldn’t separate until we can work out our problems. I love my husband, don’t want a divorce, and don’t want to do anything that will put my marriage in more jeopardy. What do you think, should I stay or should I go?

-Amanda

Answer:

Amanda, the first step to divorce is separation. If you want your marriage to work and the issues to be resolved then, in my opinion you need to stay in a position to get that done. The last thing you need right now is distance from your husband and your marriage. Leaving would be running away from the problem and steps you need to take to solve the problem. Marriages aren’t saved by running away from problems. They are saved by sticking with it and doing the hard work.

I’m sorry for what you are going through and I know the devastating consequences of infidelity are hard to overcome. Trust can be hard to rebuild so I understand your inability to trust him right now. Your husband made a choice and took steps that he knew would be emotionally hurtful for you and destructive for the marriage. Right now he does not deserve your trust. That will have to be earned back by him. If he is sincerely remorseful and willing to work at it, he can help you rebuild the lost trust. It won’t happen over-night but it is possible.

The fact that he is willing to go to marriage counseling and individual counseling is a good sign. It is a strong indication that your husband also wants to save the marriage. I think you should find comfort in the fact that he is willing to work at saving the marriage. That alone is a huge indication that he recognizes the mistake he made and is taking steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

One of two things will happen in your situation. You will grow closer as a couple by working through this problem or you will grow apart and eventually divorce. Your chances of growing and rebuilding your marriage and your trust will increase if you stay together and work on the marriage. It is hard to work on a marriage when you are living separately. My best advice is to stay put and, since you are in counseling allow your counselor to also have input on whether or not he/she feels it is best to leave or stay.

Good Luck!

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