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Heidi LPC
Heidi LPC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 278
Experience:  Licensed Professional Counselor
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Divorce/emotional affair

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So, after being separated/divorced from my husband of 17 years for almost 1 yr., I asked him to move back in because I couldn't pay the bills and my 15 yr old son was abusing me, and my ex-husband wouldn't let our son live with him. We have four children together. He has been abusive, addicted to porn, removed from our church membership after 6-8 years of counseling to no avail. I have completely given up on our marriage and am just surviving. That's where the problem comes in. After being with him for nearly 20 years, I have never cheated on him. However, I believe I am probably in an emotional affair with another guy in our church. Being a Christian and a Baptist, this poses a problem for me. While I know I have the right to divorce my husband, I am not physically capable of working full time and paying the bills (chronic fatigue syndrome). I am rationalizing the fact that this guy (John) is sensitive, empathetic, listens, gives great hugs, etc. He is also vulnerable in that his wife just left him, though I worry that he was possibly pursuing me before she left. We are not in a physical affair, but it clouds the picture for me even more with my own marriage. My pastor is pretty much sick of the drama even though, previously, he gave us 6 years of marriage counseling. I can't blame him. I feel intense guilt, but John is basically my only friend right now. I am trying to separate the two issues, but am having a hard time doing so. My own husband won't even come up with the money to let me fly to NC to see my family. I haven't seen them in two years.

Heidi LPC :

Hi there! I am sorry you are in such a complicated situation, and I hope to be of some assistance to you here. I have read your question and it sounds as if you are wondering why you are having trouble separating the two relationships and making the most positive choice for yourself? On one hand, you crave security, but a part of you knows that your need for love, hugs, sensitivity and empathy is also just as important. You seem to have chosen security by allowing your husband to move back in, but are questioning whether you will continue this relationship with the man who meets your emotional needs.

Heidi LPC :

In times of confusion, we often tell ourselves that we must make a decision, the right decision, and we add stress to an already stressful situation by those kind of expectations. What can help is to realize that sometimes, we might be better off to just look at the situation as it is and remind ourselves that nothing is permanent... and can change in a heartbeat once we let go and watch it unfold. What I am trying to say is that you chose security for right now, at this point. You can always make another choice later.

Heidi LPC :

I would also suggest that you think a bit about you... what do YOU need most? What is it that you can live with or without in a relationship? Repetitive drama can sometimes be a signal of issues with self-esteem, and if you feel unworthy somehow or don't love yourself enough, you may just settle for less than you truly want in life. It is your life to live, and you only get one chance to live it. You are the only person you have any power over, so use your own power to give yourself what you truly need and want the most. If it is security, so be it. If it is something else, work to identify what that is and make that your goal. And most important of all, if you aren't sure just yet, then let the situation slowly play out and see what happens. Trust the journey, and trust that things always work out in the long run... sometimes patience is the best answer until a better one reveals itself!

Heidi LPC :

I hope that this answer gives you some food for thought! I will check back later to see if you have any further questions. Thank you for using the site, and I wish you all the very best!

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