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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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I just found out that my husband has had what I call an emotional

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I just found out that my husband has had what I call an emotional affair with his secretary for 8 years. He has spoken very often and for many hours with her on the phone for all these years. He has given her a credit card for her use and she has not abused it, but has used it for what she needs or wants. He has loaned her a car for use in a side business she has and pays for many things for her: her phone, medicines, groceries, cigarettes, gasoline.....whatever. He sees her everyday at work and there has been a lot of hugging and some kissing although he assures me it has been just quick pecks on the lips!?? The length and quantity of the phone calls has been unbelievable......record breaking!!......some made from hotels out of town rather than their cellphones. Obviously this has been very intense and long lasting. I have asked him to fire her and he has refused. Our marriage has been very bad for 7 of these years.....I was ignored completely....NOTHING going on at our house!!!! but fighting! It looked as if it might be getting a bit better and then I discovered all of this. I don't think I can ever trust him again and I am not sure I believe that this affair was not physical also. Sadly, I still love him....don't know how???? He says he loves can I ever believe that? This is VERY brief, but perhaps you can get the idea and tell me if you think there is any hope as long as this woman is working for him.
Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear friend,

I believe that I can help.

I understand how devastated you must be because of your discovery, and for the nearly failed relationship that you have endured for these past 7 years.

He has been treating this women as his wife, supporting her at every turn. He is in constant communication with her and is also on the job with her.

It is more reasonable to believe that their relationship physical as well as emotional, as much as this thought must repel you. I am sorry to have to say it, it is hard to imagine that they have not been intimate.

He will not fire her and will not get rid of her.

I am not sure why he has not divorced you. Perhaps it is to save face with family or because there are children involved.

He says he loves you but has been cheating on you for all of this time. He may be a narcissist and he needs to control you for his satisfaction, and he may be incapable of feeling any empathy whatsoever for you. A narcissist is a sociopath, a manipulator, an effective and convincing liar, and seen by others as a wonderful person.

A narcissist WOULD hold you just `for the sake of control.

I know you are looking for hope but I cannot tell you something that I cannot envision. There is no hope as long as this woman is in his life, and I believe that she will be in his life until someone else takes her place, or perhaps always.

I cannot see a way back for you. You must see him for what he is and move forward with your life. He is totally immersed in her life and that is why I cannot see any light ahead for you.

If I can be of further help, please get back to me.

My heart goes out to you, and my prayers are with you.

Warm regards,


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I agree, Elliott. He says he can't fire her because she has no other source of income. Well, she had no income before she met him. (former teacher who had some tragic life events...husbands death, etc...not very stable). She rented a house on some land we bought and she never paid any rent (did do a few odd jobs and then he hired her for his business!). She was working off the rent for the other owner, also. He says that now she is the most reliable one he has on staff (small business of only 6 people). Pretty scary! He is a great liar about all of this and often lies to me when he just doesn't want to discuss something. Everyone thinks he is the greatest of the great. Before this, so did I. He says he had no idea they were talking so much on the phone.....that he didn't time it!!! They would talk for 3 or 4 hours at a time when he was traveling, sometimes in to the early hours of the morning. And this happened many, many times for all these years. Even when in town....his job is 40 minutes away from where we live......he still talked to her daily when she/he wasn't at the office. and of course, they were together part of every day.

He now says that he is no longer talking to her on the phone.....and our phone bill doesn't show that they are talking much anymore, but they could have other phones......and rarely sees her at the office. He says their contact is very limited now. He says when he realized how unhappy all of this made me that he cut it all out. I find it very hard to believe that after the close relationship, the infatuation, that they seemed to have had all these years that it just ended, almost immediately, when I got so upset about it, when I discovered it. I really can't see that happening. Our relationship had improved, but I still can't imagine that he ended it with her. When I asked what she thought about no more mega-long conversations, he said she asked why he wasn't calling anymore. I doubt that would have been the entire conversation considering the relationship they had. So who knows what is happening now......same old thing, I imagine.

He says we would be fine if I could just move on from this......although there has been very little conversation about it. He thinks I am obsessing about it.....I am!!! He assures me there was no affair! Only a close friendship.....HA. And he says he loves me, not her......what else would he say! And he refuses to move out like I asked him to do. So, I am not sure what to do next. I don't know whether to demand that he fire her if he wants to stay married to me......don't know if he would even do that. Don't think I could ever trust him again. HATE it that I still love him. Guess I should just file for divorce.....hate that too!!!


Thank you for getting back to me.

You have convinced me that he has Narcissistic Personality Disorder.when you said, "Everyone thinks he is the greatest of the great." That describes narcissists. They are con artists and liars and manipulators. Let me show you the official diagnostic criteria for NPD from the DSM-IV psychiatric diagnostic manual. You will see what I mean.

Diagnostic criteria for 301.81 Narcissistic Personality Disorder


(cautionary statement)

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

(1) has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

(2) is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

(3) believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

(4) requires excessive admiration

(5) has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

(6) is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

(7) lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

(8) is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her

(9) shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

If he has five or more of these traits he is diagnosable.

This is something that won't change.

Let me recommend two essential books for you..

Product Details

The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family by Eleanor Payson





Product Details

Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder by Bill Eddy LCSW JD and Randi Kreger


Narcissists are sociopaths, meaning they cannot feel empathy. Your husband is not capable of feeling you pain and suffering. It cannot touch him. He cannot imagine it just as a blind man cannot see.


Get the books. Splitting will help you get to and through a divorce.


I am sorry, but this will be a new day and new life for you.


I shall keep you in my prayers. I am here if you need me.

Warm regards,



Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you so much Anna. May God bless you and give you courage and fulfillment.