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'I told my wife that I had an emotional affair with a coworker and she laughed in my face.' UPDATED

'I told my wife that I had an emotional affair with a coworker and she laughed in my face.' UPDATED


"I (38M) broke down and admitted to my wife (36F) that I was having an emotional affair with a coworker (32F). I don't think she believed me."

I don't know what's going on right now, so I need some advice. Names have been changed. I've been with my wife Deja for over 18 years now. I love her with all my heart and I never thought I would be in this situation.

I work in a law firm office and have been there for almost a decade. It started when I met Sue. She was hired as a new secretary and we hit it off from there. My wife knows about Sue and has met her a couple of times. It started off small enough, but then we started texting all the time.

She would text me when she got home late or when she was going out somewhere with someone new, we would hang out regularly, things like that. But what really scared me into confessing was that I started to think about Sue even when she wasn't there. I would think about her just as much as I thought about my wife.

I talked to my sister and she told me that I was in an emotional affair. She said it will only get worse and deepen and that it was only right that I tell my wife. A week ago I sat Deja down and admitted to her that I had cheated on her with Sue. She was confused and asked if I was joking. I told her that I was serious and I showed her all the texts that I had from Sue.

She looked at me and asked if have I've slept with Sue, I said no. She asked me had I even been physical with her, and again I said no. She asked how did I cheat on her then and I told her that I emotionally cheated on her and that I was sorry.

To my surprise, she just laughed really hard? She wanted me to clarify what emotional cheating was, so I showed her all the info that I had, but she said that it just sounded like I was a really good friend. She asked if I had a crush on Sue, to which I agreed I was beginning to have a small attraction towards her. I was waiting on her to be angry or sad, but that only seemed to make her laugh more?

I asked her what was so funny and she said that I was being too hard on myself and that as long as I don't cross the line into physical territory, that I'm good. She said she'll forgive me "if it makes me feel better" and went back to doing what she was doing. She been giggling about "emotional cheating" days later.

I'm extremely confused on what to do now. On one hand, I'm glad my wife took it so well and that it didn't affected our relationship, but I still feel bad about this whole crush nonsense. I don't know what to do. Please help?

TL;DR: Had an emotional affair and confessed to my wife. She laughed it off and forgave me, but now I don't know how to move forward.

What do you think? Was he right to tell his wife the truth? Is she wrong for laughing?

Here's what top commenters had to say:


Your wife is choosing to trust you, don't screw it up.


Just put some boundaries up with are on a slippery slope. You know pull back a little. It's great that you acknowledge this. You are self aware and you respect your wife. She also trusts you - so don't abuse that.

[deleted] said:

If your wife forgives you, try to forgive yourself. Take it as a learning experience not to get so over invested in another person outside your marriage in the future . Crushes happen, you were definitely heading into dangerous territory with this woman but you owned it and stopped it which shows maturity.

I'm glad it didn't hurt your wife . I'm also glad you were honest. Now move on from this and the Secretary needs to be told to but out of the lives of married men .


So it’s clear you and your wife have different boundaries. It sounds like she trusts you a lot—or is at least okay with you being emotionally very close with other women as long as it’s not physical. Getting physical would seem to be her boundary there. For you it appears the boundary is emotional intimacy. Both of these are fine, reasonable boundaries to have.

I’d say two things need to happen here. The first is that you need to communicate to your wife that you are not okay with her having a similar relationship—assuming, of course, that you wouldn’t be. The second is that you need to ask yourself why you felt like you should have such a relationship.

Obviously you feel you’ve crossed a line with Sue. Why did you do that? What is Sue giving you that Deja isn’t? And can Deja give it to you? My advice, in the end is this: stop investing energy in Sue and see if there’s a way to invest it in Deja. If you want to text more tell her that. If you want more communication, if you want to feel closer, if you want to feel more desired.

Whatever it is you want (and you’ll need to figure that out) try to convey to Deja that you want it from her. And if she can’t provide it or isn’t willing to then you can have the hard conversation.

And said:

even if it’s harmless, it isn’t really if it’s making you feel this way. watch the time you spend alone with her and as long as it feels appropriate to you and your wife, go easy on yourself. be careful not to think about emotional cheating too much or you might end up in a self fulfilling prophecy.

OP later shared this update on the situation:

So a lot of people have been asking for an update to this, so I thought I'd give them one. First off with Sue, my attraction to her has dwindled to the point of a friendly coworker relationship again. She didn't do anything for that to happen, I think it was because she and my wife are so similar that I realized that I wasn't crushing on Sue because she was Sue, I was crushing on her because I missed my wife so much.

I did put up boundaries like no more late night text or putting that much energy into Sue. Although, I don't think she really noticed because she started going out with one of the new interns so she doesn't message me that much anymore, so that's nice.

Speaking of my wife, I did talk to her more about my crush with Sue. She said that she understands me having a crush because we were our first everything. Deja was my first date, my first kiss, and I was hers.

We both never dated anyone in high-school, so when we met in college we were like two peas in a pod. She stayed with me all throughout my bar exam and I stay with her getting her library science degree.

We talked more in-depth about her boundaries and mine. She said that she doesn't find me thinking about or having crushes on other women as emotional cheating in her eyes because it's all internal and that she trust me enough to make the right decision on that front.

Basically we agreed, wandering eyes is fine. Wandering hands is not. I asked her if she was ever worried my crush would've turned into something more. She said that me being brave and comfortable enough to confess my feelings to her was all the proof she needed that I was still trustworthy to her.

We decided to make more time with each other everyday, even if that means going for a walk and enjoying the weather together. So far, it seems like things are going back to normal. Thank you!!

TL;DR: My feelings for my crush is gone, my wife and I talked, and we're still head over heels in love with one another.

Sources: Reddit
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