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Man uncovers wife's emotional affair, files for immediate divorce against advice of friends & family. AITA? UPDATED.

Man uncovers wife's emotional affair, files for immediate divorce against advice of friends & family. AITA? UPDATED.


When this man ends his marriage immediately after being "emotionally cheated on," he asks Reddit:

"AITAH for calling divorce immediately after finding out my wife emotionally cheated on me?"

I found out my wife was cheating on me emotionally last week. I found it through a notification when she was in the shower. We are both 33 and married for 6 years. In my eyes, everything was good.

Funny how one can hide their betrayal without other party noticing. I confronted her right away and told her to open the phone to show me the messages. She refused first but gave up after I told we are getting a divorce.

The texts were not that old and there were not many. It was obvious most of the texts were deleted. I asked her questions about the affair why, who, where, how?

I will not go into details as I want to stay anonymous but I was trickle truthed in the end. She got caught and trickle truthed me. I do not believe her and what she said about the extent they went.

At the beginning of our relationship I made it very clear that cheating in any form is a relationship ender. I told her to get a lawyer because we are getting divorced.

She asked for marriage counseling, promised to change and even make her life completely depended on me, leave the job, not leave the house, and give me all of her digital devices.

I told her where marriage counseling would help was before she decided to have an affair. We could go to marriage counseling and solve the problem there by talking whichever problem she had.

Instead, she went on to have an emotional affair and made sure to actively hide things from me by deleting texts and trickle truthing. I reminded her my boundaries and what I told her about them in the beginning of the relationship.

I will hand the divorce papers to her this month and she is telling me to reconsider. Am I the AH in this situation?

I do not have to wait an extra month and live in the same house with her. On one side, my logic wants to get validated while my heart wants to hold onto a hope. Last week has not been easy for me. Love is there but trust is not. Plus, getting to write it here is relaxing.

I'll probably hear about these in the individual therapy.

She told me she felt lost in that part of her life(midlife crisis?) and wanted attention from others. She told me she felt lost in her life and wanted attention from others. Anyway some of my friends are saying i'm taking this too far.

I do not think that's anything to do with unhappiness in the marriage unless she lied. I guess you can never know the problem unless the other party communicates. Surprising. AITA?

Before we give you OP's update, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

ecko2310 writes:

NTA. You told her at the start of the relationship. Any kind of cheating is a game breaker, but nope, she didn't listen and now wants to fix things.

I've been through the exact same scenario. I told my ex when we first got together that if anyone ever cheated on me, they would from then on be dead in my eyes.

What happened? Later down the road, she got distant, which pushed me away, and after I finally said enoughs enough I can't do this anymore, I found out through FB photos and texts she was cheating on me.

I deleted and blocked her from everything. I find out she's STILL extremely hurt I did that to her and doesn't understand how I can just delete someone I supposedly loved. Again, NTA.

alarmingreply78 writes:

Your marriage has failed. You’re both responsible for your own participation in your marriage. If you’re not interested in trying to repair your marriage then get divorced. Your wife doesn’t have to agree with you. You certainly don’t need approval from anyone else.

You’re both adults. You’re free to make your own choices & own consequences of those choices. Asking other people if you should get divorced is maybe not the best way to plan for your own future.

If you’re ready to get divorced, go ahead. If you want to work on your marriage, go ahead. No one can judge you either way. NTA — it’s a tough situation. Only you can decide what’s best for you & your future.

bonusmonkey writes:

57(M) here, OP. Absolutely NTA. My first wife did this exact same thing to me. She was a bartender and started an emotional relationship with one of her regulars.

From the very beginning, I had stated that I had zero tolerance for cheating, and that any form of cheating was an absolute deal breaker. She would even have convos with this dude at home where she giggled like a school girl.

When I confronted her, she told me that he was just a friend, that there was nothing to worry about, and that they just had a lot in common. Stupid me, I believed her, because I loved her with all my heart and found it hard to believe that someone I loved so much would so cheat on me so openly.

A few months later, I had concrete proof that their relationship had progressed to a physical one, and a month after that she left me. It shattered me, and shattered our son.

She went on to take a leave of absence from being a parent for almost a year, and I was left picking up the pieces of not only my life, but that of my son's. What's worse, I kept hoping she'd come back, while at the same time knowing deep inside that it would never work again, that I'd never trust her again.

Come to find out, she had been cheating on me for years with several different men. A friend of hers told me that my wife had confided in her, saying that she couldn't live with just being with one man, that she wanted many men. It would have been nice if she had been honest from the start.

My point here is that cheating, even emotionally, is a harbinger of nothing but bad times ahead. If your wife is willing to do it once, she'll be willing to do it again. And do you know for sure that this was just emotional?

There are other women out there that are a lot more honest than this, and are a lot more open and honest about what they're feeling/thinking. Cheating is so hurtful, so spiteful. No one deserves the pain of that, at least no one who's worthy of marriage.

I found one of those good women, BTW, in my early 40s. We've been together now for almost 14 years, married over ten. She's seen me through the darkest period of my life following a devastating head injury that disabled me and for two years or so utterly changed me.

I also had to have several very painful surgeries during that time that only made how bad I was worse. She never once thought of leaving me, never once thought of having an affair, stood by me and told me it was all okay, and never let me lose hope in myself.

She joined support groups for families of bad brain injuries, studied the subject thoroughly, went to my counseling appointments with me, and was an active psrticipant in all phases of my healing. I owe that woman everything, and will spend the rest of my life doing everything in my power to make her as happy as I possibly can.

I'll never be exactly the same as I was, but in many ways I'm better now. My point here is don't settle for excuses and promises that can only bite you in the ass later.

As much as it may hurt now, you're doing the best thing that you can for yourself. Unless you've willfully omitted something that would be detrimental to how we'd see you, you're definitely NTA. Best of luck to you.

adventurewa writes:

NTA. You are within your rights and cheating is bad, but you shouldn’t ask Redditors-most of whom are bitter and would rather bring people down-whether or not you should divorce.

Marriages absolutely can not only survive infidelity, they often thrive and become stronger than ever before if both sides are committed to working together to be better spouses. Counseling gives people the knowledge and tools they didn’t have prior.

Physical cheating is obvious, but emotional cheating is far more nuanced. Having a crush on someone who’s not your spouse could be considered emotional cheating, and literally everyone who has ever been married has entertained those thoughts and most have made motions in that direction by talking to their crush, going someplace with the intention of seeing their crush.

Is any of that a good thing? No, but when you have been married-and especially when you have children-the calculus changes.

If you had a really good marriage and you love her, and if she is contrite and serious about earning your trust back, you have the choice. If she’s not contrite, then that choice is suddenly easier.

My suggestion is counseling first. Both of you would benefit regardless of whether you choose to stay. Marriage is awesome, but it takes work and it’s never perfect.

entiread2551 writes:

Yeah. No marriage survives without a some ups and downs and rocky moments. Everyone makes poor decisions, and people cannot necessarily control their emotions and hormones. What they can control is how they act on these.

If you are willing to end the marriage over an emotional "affair" then your commitment to the relationship is pretty weak. Sure, it's fair to feel hurt and betrayed. But put yourself in her shoes.

Hasn't there ever been or couldn't you ever imagine a point where you started to become attracted to someone else and nursed that feeling - even if you didn't have sex with the person?

As someone who has been with one person for decades, I can point to the positives and negatives of being in a long-term relationship. The positives for us have outweighed the negatives, and these include financial security (yes, it's important as you age);

having a partner with whom you can share daily and petty concerns and issues; having someone who shares your vision of what would make a fulfilling middle age, etc.; raising children who can become successful and happy adults; having someone to talk to, travel with, cry with, lean on, etc.

If we could not have gotten over the MANY times we each hurt one another with words and actions, then we wouldn't have any of these benefits because there is absolutely no partner on the planet who would be perfect.

jazzylife writes:

I feel like this may be a Y. T. A situation, only because I honestly don't know what the situation was, but it seems like somebody text something that you didn't like and you are upset that your wife was confiding in somebody else.

Now I understand how that can hurt, but if she was just talking to somebody, that's not the same as going out and having sex with somebody and spending time with them and all of that.

I mean because you're threatening to divorce her over talking to somebody else, that seems to me like she might have felt she had the reason to delete the text. I've been with men that expected me to not speak to anybody outside of them and that's just not healthy.

Yes you did lay out your boundaries, but are those boundaries healthy? I mean honestly speaking how far did this emotional affair go?

Was she just speaking to somebody outside of you and you're upset that she didn't want you to see these messages. From my perspective this seems like something that maybe you should go to couples counseling for. But, I honestly don't know how far it went.

dependentsand6 writes:

Definitely NTA cheating is cheating no matter what form and once trust is broken no matter how hard you try it will not be the same it has been damaged.

And giving all access to her digital device doesn't sound healthy as well you do not want to be his jailer, plus you don't want to always think who is she talking to or chatting with or is she cheating again it would drain both your energy and mental health and she might recent you and/or you recent her.

But if both of your are willing to take a risk, start to do councilling and put 100% effort to work thing out that should be made by both party but if it is not 100% on both sides I say don't bother you will be waiting both of your time and effort might as well use the time and effort to improve on yourself and move on.

And now, OP's Update:

It's 100% divorce now. I think I was looking to relax and validate my logic with that post. Love is there but trust is broken. My heart told me to have an hope but my logic told me to divorce.

Logic won in the end. It has been over a week now and I still do not get the full information about the affair. Yesterday night and this morning(after the post) I came to learn new information about the affair. I am still not sure if it's the full extent.

To clarify the emotional affair part, they sexted, sent nudes to each other and there were I love yous involved. If it's not cheating, I do not know what it is.

Whatever, I still do not know the full truth and she refuses disclosing who exactly this AP is. My trust level for her is so low that she could say sky is blue and I would doubt it.

This relationship is just over, dead. I will go ahead with the divorce as soon as possible so I can process my feelings alone after she leaves.

Some people told me I would not be able to find anyone at 33 as a male. This is the last thing I worry about after divorce. First thing is to get over the relationship and put myself together better than ever. I am planning starting individual therapy right after I sort things out. I can date after that easily.

Hope seeing you with a happy divorce update and in a better mood.

Readers continued to weigh in on OP's update:

someonefetchapriest writes:

You made the right decision. It wasn’t merely an emotional affair, it was sexual also if not physical per se but I think since it involved their physical bodies (pics) and masturbation that’s enough to call it physical.

Even if you call it merely emotional… I’ve emotionally cheated, def didn’t mean to, and I made sure I learned every damn thing I could from it.

What I can tell you, from my own experience, there is a point where, after the emotional sharing, confiding, expressions of affection, or even just the amount of time devoted gets to be too much… you will at some point think “ooh, maybe I shouldn’t tell my SO how involved I’ve become, they won’t be happy.”

Once you make that choice, to hide stuff, you’re in it. You’re cheating. You can’t claim “oops it just happened.” I’d made a series of choices, little ones that escalate, it was 100% my fault for not setting the boundary.

And to continue with the affair, for weeks months years whatever, means hiding and lying to your SO, to their face, every minute of every day. And if you can live with yourself doing that over and over, you are remorseless. There can be no forgiveness. It’s beyond the point of no return. You are right to divorce. I’m sorry she did this to you.

kuyi writes:

First of all, whoever told you the being 33 part should be banned from giving advise ;). Even if it was true, the alternative is even worse. There are more people out there that had bad luck. Or had a different focus in life and found out late they need something deep and meaningful. Go for it if that is your way.

Reading the first post I still regarded the option of you (understandably) overreacting on pure emotion and I considered asking why you’ld rule out counseling, as “emotional cheating” is such an ill defined grey area.

She might just be exploring boundaries for the thrill after all. But the more details you are giving, the more I feel like you’re not overreacting at all.

That being said, I also always like to add in these cases that, a loving and enduring relationship is worth so much more than just some shallow, thrilling sex. Even if sometimes you feel like you’ll explode out of sexual frustration.

Things like soul enriching trust, someone to grow spiritually and personally with as you both get deeper into each others being, not having a shred of shame for each other anymore, able to be 100% and completely honest and safe with each other even if it’s super bad and so forth are worth way more than sex. Heck you can get sex by paying for it.

You can not get the rest on a whim even if you tried. And to add to that, there are a million more forms of intimacy. It’s more of an alarm when they are not there anymore than if just sex wouldn’t be there anymore. Especially since it’s logical sex subsides somewhat and you have to work on it together to bring it back IF you want that.

I would take the relationship I have with my wife, even if it was almost sexless, over any depthless, untrustworthy, meaningless, bimbo ass relationship just because it is fiery. The fire WILL end and then it WILL fail. How I know this?

Because I too would be able to explore boundaries and my wife and I did have a rough, almost sexless, patch for a few years (not just a month, and it wasn’t fun and games.

We were at each others throat HEAVILY) and instead of stepping over the lines, we found each other on such a deep level again that sex became meaningless in a way. As in it’s insignificant and easy to scale.

When we both were ready to scale it up again we did and it’s maybe even better and more mindful than ever. We could do that because of full honesty, openness, trustworthiness, etcetera.

And if that is broken, it can be fixed, but it is SUPER hard and enormously time consuming. In Dutch we have an old saying, which loosely translated is something like “Trust comes by foot and goes by horse”. No need to explain I think. I can understand anyone who chooses not to try to fix it and calls it a day.

DONT fall in the trap of short term, shallow satisfaction. It seems alluring up until you’re about 35-40. After that life gets pretty lonely then.

2bionic writes:

IF she won't tell you who it is, chances are it's someone close enough that it will hurt you badly which in and of itself is another reason to leave. She could also be protecting him, or a boss or someone from you telling their partner.

I guess from nudes you know it's not a woman, if there are no nudes from the other person it could be a lesbian/bi thing that she's hiding but again largely irrelevant.

I would hire a PI, though a good lawyer will help with that. You have the number they texted with, you can try and find online databases yourself to search the number, or even ask friends and co-workers of her if anyone recognises the number but a PI can look up her phone records and socials, etc, credit cards and likely find the person very quickly.

I would go to s PI today personally, you might have their name by the end of the day. You can also pull the ultimatum bluff, say you're fed up with the lies, you can't trust her because she's still holding back information, who it is.

What else is she holding back, other affairs, that the person is my brother/best friend, neighbour who I speak to every fg day.

If she doesn't give up every single bit of information, anyone else she cheated with then it's over, if she tells you everything right now there is a chance, but you can't possibly move forward while you know she's lying to you. Every bit of info will help for the divorce.

What do YOU make of OP's dilemma? Was divorce too extreme? What would YOU have done?

Sources: Reddit
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