Dear Annie: My wife of 25 years feels that emailing and texting male friends is nothing to be concerned about. By accident, I discovered she had visited one of these men when she was supposed to be at her girlfriend's for the weekend. She swears nothing happened. But I checked her laptop and found photographs of the two of them.
When I asked about the pictures, she claimed she was planning to send them to me but never got around to it. We went for counseling after the weekend trip, and things calmed down for a while. She ceased communication with that guy, as far as I can tell. But I recently found email evidence that she is still communicating with the other guy she knew from high school. They close their emails with "love you bunches'' or "xxxoooxxx,'' and I found one that said, "Good night, Sexy.''
My wife has no idea how much this drives me crazy. She sees nothing wrong with this communication. Could you expound on this type of affair and the potential harm it can cause? What should we do?
- Emotionally Drained Dear Drained: An emotional affair is one of emotional, rather than physical, intimacy. There is no sex. However, there is deception, betrayal, intimate communication (texts, emails, phone calls) and an emotional connection to the other person at the expense of the marriage. Often, the person involved denies that it is any kind of affair, claiming it's "only friendship.'' But healthy friendships do not involve secrecy and lies and do not threaten the marriage. Please go back to counseling. Your wife needs to understand how her actions undermine your trust, and you both must work on ways to put your marriage back together.
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