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David Akiva
David Akiva, BA, MA,
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 167
Experience:  Counselor; Behavioral Consultant
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im separated from my husband and in a discussion re getting

Customer Question

im separated from my husband and in a discussion re getting back togethor, he tells me he has told his parents and sister, details of an issue we had regarding a male friendship i made on line.I believe he has made it sound to them, like we split up because i had an affair, which I do not believe is completely true.Is chatting on line to another male considered having an affair, if weve not had any sexual meetings? and is there any chance of us reconciling now that his family will forever look upon me as trash?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  David Akiva replied 2 years ago.

DuddyH :

Welcome, I'm a professional counselor and behavioral-consultant. I'd like to chat with you for a few moments to better understand your question.

DuddyH :

Do you have a few minutes right now?

Customer:

yes

DuddyH :

Great thank you...

DuddyH :

Would you mind telling more about the relationship you developed online and how your husband first responded or reacted to it?

Customer:

well it began when we tried to have an open relationship early last year, and my ex knew about me putting a profile on a dating site from the start and was even there when i first linked with this guy, at first he was fine with it, but when i began to chat to him at times when my ex didnt think was apropriate or that it seemed i chose to speak to this guy in preferance to him (his perception) and now i realise was prob quite true

Customer:

he got more defensive about it and tried to stop me and was argumentative about it, but to me i just saw this guy like my girlfriends,someone to offload about and the more he got whiney about it the more i wanted to bag him about it to this friend

Customer:

so it was a big fault on my behalf to keep talking to him, but it was only like a girlfriend online except he was a male

DuddyH :

Thank you for clarifying. I see you're typing. I'll wait to read.

Customer:

the other thing is, at the start because he was friendly about it, the guy gave some personal info that linked to where he lived so my ex would threaten to tell his wife that we were chatting instead of giving the guy a chance to explain to his wife himself

Customer:

threaten me not him

Customer:

this caused huge fights that got quite often violent in front of our children

Customer:

because i felt he wasnt trying to do the wife a favour he was just using her as a pawn to weild power over me as a threat, and i didnt think it was right.

Customer:

so he has told his family all of this like i had an affair

DuddyH :

Well I have to start by saying that I am terribly sorry that you are going through this right now. It must have been incredibly distressing to your whole family. And to answer your presenting question:..

DuddyH :

Yes, there is an abundance of literature and books right now on what are called "emotional affairs"....

DuddyH :

It turns out that the best available relationship science and marital therapy research has pretty much established that human beings are designed to be in emotionally close and healthy 2 person monogamous relationships.....

DuddyH :

When 2 people really love each other, there are danger signals that flare when emotional cheating often seen in informal opposite sex relationships are spotted. These signals are emotional in the form of fear, anxiety and sadness. These underlying emotions then often flare into self protective anger and deep rooted emotional frustration...

DuddyH :

To be honest, we are not permitted as experts to provide any kind of formal assessment or counseling on justanswer. And to answer the second part of your question with any certainty would require a serious assessment and detailed clinical interviewing to really answer....

DuddyH :

I can tell you about what the relationship and marital therapy says in general though...

DuddyH :

First, yes, the vast majority of couples can recover from the emotional injuries that often result from this kind of challenge to it's emotional stability. Even highly distressed couples where there has been sexual cheating and emotional infidelity can be built up stronger than ever before...

DuddyH :

You also mentioned fighting in anger. If there has been partner violence than specialized counseling is usually indicated. Evidence based marital therapy that works best in such cases is called behavioral marital or couples therapy.

DuddyH :

Where there is no partner violence the best available therapy is called EFT for couples. EFT focuses on precision repairing exactly those emotional injuries that happen when there is any kind of perceived cheating or when partners begin to emotionally detach because of the the other most common sources of marital distress, like parenting disagreements, sex issues and yes, in-law conflict. What are your thoughts?

Customer:

I have been going to counselling my self and he is going to get counselling for himself but my therapist is a familly therapist who is waiting for him to agree to join us in the next meeting or so.

Customer:

i am glad you cleared up the affair issue and it embarrasses me as i never saw myself to ever be the sort of person who had an affair so i thought i was in the clear since we never met sexually but i do see from his perspective how it would be now.I have completely dropped contact with this guy and since apologized to my ex about the whole thing but now his family will always look at me as trash and i dont know how to deal with that going forward and my ex if he can forgive me or not

Customer:

I know we can work out his forgiveness through the counselling but its the family situation im a bit stuck on

DuddyH :

Again, in most cases the most important issue is to re-connect emotionally with the offended spouse, which takes precision emotional repair work over about 7-10 sessions. Most families are just deeply concerned when they see a member distressed. In most cases, once they see that the issues are resolved and the relationship they are concerned about is healthy and vibrant, they sense it and start to provide emotional support again.

Customer:

that sounds promising

DuddyH :

I would focus on the really fixing and strengthening your marriage. Then you'll be in a much better and healthier place to look at rebuilding the relationship with your husband's family.

Customer:

oh thats great advice thankyou

DuddyH :

You're very welcome. I'd also like to suggest that you and your husband read the book "Hold me Tight" by Sue Johnson. She's the key researcher in EFT for couples. It is considered the best marital therapy in the world. You can often find the book in your local library or get it inexpensively online through amazon.com

DuddyH :

Here's the book I mean: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrKME6y2ZOM

Customer:

oh great, last of all is there anything i can retaliate with when people are being judgemental of me because of this situation

DuddyH :

I'm not sure what you mean. Would you mind providing a specific play by play example of what your describing and asking about?

Customer:

well a friend of mind says people who have affairs are scum, now if i have to admit to having one, im worried i will lose friends now because of this

Customer:

do i just say i didnt realise it was having an affair

DuddyH :

Well I'm still not sure that you did have an emotional affair or if your husband has experienced it as such. For example, many people work closely with opposite sex co-workers and make sure to maintain clear emotional boundaries. An emotional affair is defined by having informal emotional intimacy with the opposite sex person outside of the marriage or primary relationship (you and your husband)....

DuddyH :

Also, most people mean sexual affairs when they use the words affair or cheating. Most simply don't realize how harmful emotional affairs can be. That's part of why they are so common.

DuddyH :

I'm not sure you have to admit to something you didn't do.

DuddyH :

Also, somethings are private and only for discussion between a married couple.

Customer:

my ex stated to me at one time he felt i became emotionally involved but i never felt like i wanted to go off and be with this guy like steal him from his wife, it felt like friendship to me, however when we split i met this guy to put a person behind the one i was talking to and he kissed me , so i guess it was more sexual to him

DuddyH :

One of the first things a well trained marital therapist will teach a couple is to keep their issues between themselves and in therapy, because when others get involved it can really cause problems. When others are already involved, then it's usually best to create boundaries in order to do the emotional repair work with out the added stress.

Customer:

oh thats what my therapist says too.

DuddyH :

That's why affair proofing a marriage is so important.

Customer:

yeah, i guess i always feel i want to tell my friends like getting in first before my ex so that my version is heard first, not that he is really the type to go around telling people but i always was worried what if he told such and such this , so i always thought better to come from me first so i would go round telling people things that i prob dont need to

DuddyH :

Once a couple rebuilds their emotional bond and intimacy and trust then the defensive arguing, taking sides and negatively involving others literally looses it's steam. I'd focus on getting the repair work done and really re-connecting. Affair-proofing is also critical in most cases. Here is the world's leading expert in emotional and sexual infidelity. You may want to get her book and at the very least read her faqs and take the quizzes: http://www.shirleyglass.com/qa.htm

Customer:

oh thats really great, im really glad i had this chat im feeling a bit more positive now from my side of the relationship anyhow.lol

Customer:

was mainly worried about the family situation, but like you say have to at least have the relationship working firsr

Customer:

first

DuddyH :

That's wonderful. I'm glad you're feeling a bit better. And yes building a strong and healthy marriage is the best thing you can do for your selves and your kids.

DuddyH :

Have I answered your question ok today?

Customer:

if i want to save this for future reference do i have to cut and paste it to somewhere or will it just save in my email

Customer:

have answered it wonderfully

DuddyH :

Once you press the green "ACCEPT" button you can actually e-mail yourself a copy of our chat with the live links. I believe you can also save it directly to your computer.

Customer:

perfect thank you so much,

DuddyH :

I'll release the question so you can ACCEPT it.

David Akiva, BA, MA,
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 167
Experience: Counselor; Behavioral Consultant
David Akiva and 4 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hi duddy,i felt very positive about things after i spoke to you last time.However after all the reading i do, and soulsearching, and councelling i seek, the positivity only seems to last so long until i shoot right back to negative again.My ex has now given me the impression that when he also feels cold on reconciling that maybe the separation is the chance for him 'to find someone who really loves him how he needs'. I feel very offended by this statement, as it shows that the whole time he has behaved poorly to me, because i havnt lived up to his expectations.Ive had this hunch the whole relationship, and now he has admitted it.(He believes i treated him poorly because he wasnt good looking enough)
I feel sick inside all the time and depressed, with my whole life sitation.I wont commit suicide because i know it would devestate my two children, but i hate my life.I live feeling stuck on this earth having to continue living it around my ex husband because we have children togethor.When do you know enough is enough, and for us to end it amicably?
He is yet to start councelling, something he said a month ago he would do.But with his statement above, I feel whats the point in all the discussing, struggling and trying?
I dont feel happy anywhere.With or without being togethor.I just dont know how to act anymore.I dont even know what my question really is, how do get myself out of this situation and how do i be happy?

 

Optional Information:
Person's Gender: Female
Person's Age: 42

Already Tried:
individual therapy, gp visit - have diazepam if need, but i hardly use it as i prefer not to use drugs.talking to friends

 

Detail Required: LOW; Urgency: LO
Expert:  David Akiva replied 2 years ago.
I'm very sorry to hear you're not doing well right now. Yet I must mention that we have completed our question answer exchange on this file.

If you'd like to ask an additional question, please set up and submit a new just-answer.com question. Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
i did submit a new question, theyve taken 18 dollars and locked the question, so ive been robbed by this system.

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David Akiva
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Counselor; Behavioral Consultant