Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Beginning of the End

This blog is out there, and I'm not anonymous. People who know me certainly know who my ex-husband is, but that doesn't seem to be a reason to name him here. So, his name will be X. He'd like that - a nice comic book reference.

Not long after X and I bought our home, he made a career change, which I supported. The new job wasn't ideal (What job is, really?), but it had its good points. One thing about this particular environment was that coworkers tended to chat. A lot. Another thing was the majority of the employees were women. As a result, X was talking to, and making, a lot of female friends.

In and of itself, having friends of the opposite sex outside of your relationship is not a big deal. Let me make that clear. But there is fine line you have to be careful not to cross.

Their friendship started out harmless enough. They chatted at work, I believe they may have been going to lunch and/or break together. After a while, phone numbers were exchanged. Hanging out outside of work started, but it was in a group, and I was included. No big deal.

Eventually, though, the tone changed. It started with a house project that she needed help with. One thing led to another, and she was calling our house at 11 at night, asking for help with her computer.

In fairness to me - I was going through my own stuff at this point. My own job had taken a turn for the worse, I was unhappy and feeling unappreciated. The last thing I needed was to come home and feel like I was second best with the one person who was supposed to put me first.

In fairness to X - I snapped. I was out of line, and was mean. I said some things I shouldn't have, and even though I didn't mean them, there they were. I do have to say - I think I deserved forgiveness; a little slack. And certainly, once I let X know how much the friendship was bothering me, I think he should have backed off. Rational or not - I was his spouse. I feel I had the right to say, "Hey, this bugs me" and have that be enough of a reason for him to do something about it.

But that didn't happen. Instead, he got closer to her, and further apart from me. It was sad really, and the beginning of the end.

I didn't know it at the time, but what was going on was what is known as an emotional affair. It started out with X just having an (I believe) innocent friendship. But the problem was - it didn't stop there, as it should have. They continued to foster their emotional connection. Eventually, he allowed his connection with her to become more important than his connection to me.

It may sound silly, but it's almost worse than if he had cheated physically. At least, with physical cheating, there's usually a reason you can point to, and figure out if it can be addressed. With emotional cheating, what can you do? What wasn't X getting from our marriage that he could get elsewhere? What could I do?

These were all questions that needed answering.


  1. Very good piece. My heart hurts for you and what you felt. I had an "emotional affair" and my spouse said he would have preferred a physical one to what actually happened.

  2. Thank you for the compliment. It was hard to go through, but I'm a better, happier person because of it. I certainly wasn't perfect. I figured that out and I'm going to write about that at some point, too.

  3. sometimes writing is the best therapy.
    i've been in the same situation you were in. and it totally sucks. emotional cheating is worse than physical cheating. no one is perfect, but you were right to feel the way you did.
    if you're happier now, you made the right decision!

  4. Thanks, Mike, I appreciate that. In the end, it was the best decision for everyone. I'm in a much better place, and have not ever been happier.