Is It An Affair If My Husband Has Feelings From Someone Else?

By: Katie Lersch: I often hear from wives who are struggling after their husband has admitted feelings or an attraction for someone else. Many worry if this confession means that cheating or an affair is going to happen in the future or already has happened.

I heard from a wife who said: “I noticed a distance from my husband since he started working with a new woman at his job. I suspected something was going on. I asked him what she looked like but he wouldn’t answer me directly. Once, I showed up to his office and I could tell that he didn’t want me there. I kept on asking about this other woman and finally yesterday, he admitted that he has developed feelings for her. However, he swears that nothing physical has happened between them. He says they have gone to lunch in the past for work related things. I suspect this means they are having an affair. My friend says that it’s not an affair if he hasn’t crossed the line or if he isn’t in a physical relationship with her. But I think an affair can also be emotional and I’m so furious right now. Who’s right?”  I definitely have an opinion about this, which I will share with you in the following article.

In My Opinion, It’s Not An Affair Until The Line Is Crossed. But Everyone Defines That Line Differently: This wife’s friend had a valid point. Sometimes, husbands admit to feelings about another woman before anything inappropriate has happened. They do this because they are trying to be honest with their wife before something regrettable happens. In this instance, I don’t believe that these men are cheating or having an affair. Yes, they may have thought about it. Yes, they may be approaching their wife because they want her to keep it from happening. Whatever the reason, they choose to come to their wife with the truth. No one forced them to do so.

With that said, some men will admit to the feelings for the other woman as a sort of preemptive strike against his wife finding out about an actual affair. Often, they hope that disclosing their feelings means that you will think that everything is OK because he told you the truth.  Therefore, the hope is that you won’t continue pursuing this. This is not always the case, of course. But I do bring it up because some wives will feel relief thinking that he’s told them everything when in fact, he’s only telling you the tip of the iceberg to throw you off the trial.

One more possibility is that nothing physical has happened, but there is an emotional connection. It really is up to the wife whether she considers this to be infidelity or not. Some wives actually think that emotional infidelity is worse than physical infidelity.

However, take into account that he didn’t have to come to you with this admission. The fact that he did can be quite telling. Until you learn differently, you might consider assuming that he has not yet been unfaithful and you can use this as a warning to fix things before something does actually happen.

How To Handle It When Your Husband Admits He Has Feeling For Someone Else: Honestly, your reaction is up to you. Most wives  will be hurt. Many will be suspicious. Some will follow up with a lot of accusatory questions that make the husband sorry he ever tried to tell his wife the truth.

At the same time, you don’t always know what has actually happened. So I think there’s a fine line here and you have to be somewhat careful. I think a compromise would be something like “I do appreciate your telling me. I would much rather you tell me before something has happened so that we can address our marriage before either of us does something that we might regret. But I need you to be completely honest with me. Has any line been crossed? Has there been an inappropriate physical relationship? Or, have you received an emotional connection from her that you should have gotten from me? I’m not asking you this so I can punish you. I’m asking because I need to know where our marriage stands. And I need to know what we are up against. Can you be completely honest with me so we can start the healing process and can begin to set some boundaries?”

Boundaries are extremely important here. And any recovery plan will need to include them. Since he’s already admitted feelings for another woman, it’s not realistic to think that things won’t progress if nothing chances. You can’t expect for two people with feelings for one another to work closely together without anything inappropriate happening eventually. In the best case scenario, the husband would arrange it so that he no longer works with this woman. But if that’s not possible, he should make it extremely clear to her that their relationship is close to becoming inappropriate and this will need to change immediately.

So Is It Cheating Or Having An Affair When He Admits Feelings For Someone Else?: If nothing inappropriate has happened and he’s only trying to be honest, then my answer is no. However, if he’s only sharing the tip of the iceberg with you and he’s been receiving either emotional support or intimacy that he should be getting from you, then the answer is maybe, but you will have to dig a little deeper to form an educated opinion.

Either way, it’s so important that you act immediately.  It’s also important that you don’t react in such a negative way that it pushes him closer to her.  Don’t panic.  Many marriages are able to heal even after infidelity has taken place.  If it helps, you can read my story of healing after my husband’s infidelity on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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