DOES MY HUSBAND HAVE AN EMOTIONAL AFFAIR?

When does a married man choose his lover and leave his wife and family?
When men leave their wife and family because of an affair and when it is hopeless?

In this article we would like to deal with the topic “The affair from the husband's perspective”: When does a married man separate from his wife and family because of an emotional affair and decides for his lover?

We have been particularly confronted with cases that consisted of a woman having an emotional affair with a man who has been in marriage for many years.
By this we mean a long-term marriage to a woman, in which the spouses have settled down for a long time in that on the one hand they no longer live together with sexuality and passion and that they no longer spend their free time actively together, but on the other hand both have settled in this platonic state in a rather friendly way.

Since these long-standing, completely sexless but rather friendship-led marriages are the very typical background of the married man, which is addressed to us in connection with emotional affairs, we would like to limit ourselves essentially to this constellation.
Statistically speaking, a man rarely separates from his wife after so many years because of an emotional affair.

It is almost always women who, as a result of years of clarification, silent suffering and unhappy feelings, someday address and promote a separation, so that the divorce that comes from them is then only rational point.

But the long-term marriage of the man in question, which is so typical in emotional affairs of many women, is almost never divorced and thus hardly falls into the divorce statistics:
To persuade a man after a marriage that has already existed for 12 or even 20 years to actively make an enormous effort to separate and then divorce from his wife, who in turn is in a more friendly and platonic relationship with him, is already pure statistically as good as impossible.

We can observe the mass phenomenon that is spreading rapidly today, in particular that more and more long-married men are leading a kind of double life and have an accompanying emotional affair with another woman in the long term or are looking for it.
Before we go deep into the psyche of the married man in the marriage situation described above, we therefore want to understand the OTHER side:

What is the attraction of being a lover in these millions of (almost emotional)affairs with married men?

For most women, a married man usually has a number of attractive attributes that the same man as a single would not have from the start:
As a man, he is socially pre-confirmed in various ways by his wife and family:
- He MUST be exceptionally mature, responsible, empathetic and caring to have given his wife and children an apparently reasonably good feeling as a daily ally for so many years
- As a married man, he MUST be above average masculine and confident in dealing with women, otherwise he would have no woman at his side who sees so much potential in him.
Conversely, this means psychologically: He must be picky, know his male value and is therefore relaxed.
He knows about his options with other women: In their perception, he may not belong to the large group of men who are desperate and run after every woman
- Since she, too, can involve in an affair without complications and without the fear of being restricted by him, just being married is worthy of starting an affair with him
- A married man appears to be financially responsible and to care for his loved ones.
He must therefore be above average successful or at least very assertive and problem-solving to achieve his goals
- From this perceived strength and high male value, a married man in a woman triggers the strong attraction to win his love:
She must be something very special for him, since he has been a loyal man to his wife for so long and apparently no other woman has been able to trigger deeper feelings in him all the time. This triggers the romantic dream in her that this 'strong, responsible man' has obviously found something in her that he has always been looking for and that his wife could never give him.
- With this distorted interpretation, this man, in her eyes, seems paradoxically still to be principled in his own unfaithfulness, since he is obviously willing to break even social conventions just to stay true to his heart .

Seen in this way, a married man MUST be non-binding and do not want anything serious from her because he is 'married' and he does not do this because she, for example, would not be valuable or attractive enough for him as a woman. So her self-image is hardly threatened.

We experience the growing desire for emotional affairs with married men as a growing longing of many women: Feeling like a desirable woman and lover in a gentle and clearly defined, uncomplicated framework and being able to try it out and even being able to fall in love halfway without danger.

Last but not least, it is also very striking that there are even more and more women who want to get to know a married man very specifically (via online dating sites) because they have had the experience that getting to know and dating single men tends to be disappointing, unworthy, too hurtful, distracting or not inspiring enough.

Why do married men have a long-term and emotional affair with another woman?

Generally we observe 2 different groups of married men who get involved in an emotional affair:
On the one hand there is the group of unhappily married men.
On the other hand, there is the much larger group of men who are married without problems but unfulfilled.

Since the group of only unfulfilled married men in long-term marriages is by far the most common among the emotional affairs, we would like to deal with them.
However, in order to understand the emotional state of the unfulfilled married men, we would like to briefly point out the emotional situation of an unhappily married husband before making a precise distinction:

1) The lover from the husband's perspective:

The emotional state of an unhappily married man and why he cheats.
The unhappily married man (compared to the unfulfilled married man) often has a woman by his side, with whom he has no friendly relations, so that the atmosphere tends to be stressful or even subtly conflict-loaden.
Often after just a few years in marriage, this husband has the strong inner certainty that he wants to divorce and may have even tried to separate a few times.
It is typical in this constellation that the married woman seeks to find solutions for a rescue:

- Attempts by her to create conscious proximity and moments to save the relationship (e.g. through certain forms of communication, through couple days, couple therapy, etc.)
- Planned vacations, which are not enjoyed as consensual leisure, but which, especially from the part of the woman, have the hope that they might be able to bring a new romantic development with her husband
- Again and again, many clarifying, intensive conversations that are not motivated by him, but exclusively by her
- A tense, more irritable and sometimes hostile atmosphere
- She comes into a life crisis (illness, death in the family, unemployment, etc.) and suddenly the dormant imbalance that has existed for a long time breaks with full force, as the woman suddenly experiences how little loved and carried she feels even in times of a crisis

The following applies to a marriage, which feels unhappy to both sides:
It means a strongly felt threat to the happiness in life and thus a permanent subtle energy tug, depressed mood and above all anger and irritation in the presence of the other.

Unhappily married men are almost always in marriages that have been on a divorce course for quite some time, regardless of an existing affair. These types of marriages make up the vast majority of the high number of divorced marriages per year.

As far as the basic male motivation to have an affair is concerned, there is a crucial difference here from the group of unfulfilled married men:

The drive of the unhappily married men to look for an emotional affair is much less the search for new sexual experiences or for male confirmation.

His desire is actually much more existential:
Often he tries to break out of the very depressing prison of his unhappy marriage, which he has long known secretly that he never wants to continue in the future.
But because of his own strong emotional dependency and his often low male self-esteem, he knows that he would never have the strength to do so without falling in love with a new woman. This is probably why we have rarely seen men who fall in love so quickly and fight madly for a woman like an unhappily married man:

Because when he gets to know a woman who is reasonably attractive to him and he gets along with her reasonably well and receives sympathy from her, the dams often break immediately for him:

He then has to fall in love for survival in order not to become increasingly depressed in his life or possibly even mentally ill. He is like a drowning man who can hardly breathe in the confinement of his very unfortunate marriage situation WITHOUT the rescue of another woman.

In fact, he very often needs an emotional stepping stone to survive in order to finally have the strength to get out of his prison.

2) How do unfulfilled married men feel?

Why are they cheating and looking for an affair?
The predominant situation of husbands who are actively looking for an affair and who have it in parallel with their existing marriage is the following.
Because of the generally loyal and friendly platonic coexistence, these married men feel in most cases almost no pressure to endanger their existing marriage:
Because a mutual separation is very common here, both spouses are no longer in a need for clarification.
A friendly and relaxed relationship with each other has long been established and both spouses are happy to be able to concentrate fully on their own professional and private life in a kind of a parallel world.

On the contrary:
Both plunge extensively into their own worlds without a feeling guilt and can even develop professionally and privately because of the feeling of a Platonic togetherness. It would be much more difficult for them to do without this strong accepting support in the background.
It is very typical here that especially the husband makes good progress in his life professionally in this type of a marriage.

And so this man has deeply internalized and learned the following message:

"The purpose of my marriage, which has lasted for many years, is not to be in love for a long time and to be sexually fulfilled, but to have the strength and support to concentrate fully on my goals and to have a woman by my side who also lives her own live extensively and who passively accompanies and supports me in a positive manner, ”

In addition, we often hear from this constellation that the romantic and sexual level of love has long set on her part as well:

For a long time she has hardly felt any attraction and sexual desire towards her husband and she is almost glad that he has been accepting this condition in a relaxed manner for several years. She therefore accepts that he could cheat and even suspects this in many cases. She just does she want to know this under no circumstances.

For this reason, this husband also has little limitations to fulfill his sexual and emotional needs in a parallel world outside of the friendly attachment to his wife.

It doesn't feel like an abuse of confidence towards his wife in this situation.
Why is it hopeless, for the lover, to get this married man to leave his wife and family?

First and foremost: You have to understand that the inner drive of a man who has been married for several years to find a new sexual and emotional confidant through an emotional affair has nothing to do with a romantic search for a new life partner with whom he has a new future full of love and want to experience a spiritual togetherness:

Then both his sexual motivation as well as his emotional familiarity and attachment to the lover is in no way in competition with his social and supportive proven support system, which he has built up over many years in his marriage.

Why is a new lover he falls in love with, not in conflict with his existing marriage?

His wife has become his sibling and asexual blood relative over the years:
Because of the friendly relationship with each other, he had in most cases never intended to separate in all the years. And she knows exactly after all these years: Not restricting him means never to lose him again. Until the end of her life.

He therefore does not need a springboard from his marriage in the form of a new lover to get the strength to separate (as a man often does after a few years of a difficult and stressful marriage).

A man who has been married to a woman for many years and lives with her by mutual agreement like with a sibling in a flat-share and as occasional leisure partners or vacation partners knows exactly that he wants to grow UNLOVED and SEXLESS with this woman.
For him, the emotional driving force for an affair is therefore not to start from scratch and build something new, and certainly not to REPLACE the existing system.

We have had cases in which the husband in a long-term marriage had been very constant and seriously in love with his lover for 2 years and showed her that with much attention.
But we have never seen him move to seriously CONSIDER the tremendous effort, psychological stress, and circumstances involved in separating from his wife, the mutual circle of friends and the domestic and financial situation.

Apart from that, his conscientiousness towards his wife forbids him:
The familiar way of dealing with her is too well-rehearsed as a person who knows and appreciates him very well and as a person to whom he owes a lot of support, help and sympathy in difficult times in his life.

We also know women who have been in a kind of a parallel relationship with a man from this category in the role of a lover for 5 years, 8 years and even 15 years.
But we had never seen him decisively break off all past and start a whole new, exclusive and binding life with his lover.

Finally, a few typical sentences from a married man that he tells a woman he has an affair with or wants to have an affair with (and the real meaning behind it):

He: "I am looking for a woman for deep emotions, for real solidarity and for an honest, inspiring exchange"

Translation: “I would like to see a woman to fall in love with me, who is enthusiastic about me and feel admired by her as an attractive man. I want to have hours of conversation with her and a lot of good sex. I want to know how desirable and valuable I am as a man for a woman, but I definitely don’t want to give up my great friendship with my spouse ”

He: “My wife just doesn't want to sleep with me for a long time. I gave it up at some point ”

Translation: “We are both glad that the other one has no problem with the fact that we don't feel attraction anymore. But it is very good for me, because firstly I have a lot more desire for other women and can now have completely new experiences without a guilty conscience. Secondly, there is a risk that a new sexual approach with my wife after all these years would suddenly bring her out of her relaxed independence and into the relationship mode. I definitely don't want that.
Thirdly, this version sounds like a politically correct justification that makes me appear more comprehensible to the outside world and makes me look morally impeccable ”

His answer to the question of whether he could imagine separating from her at some point
: He: "I've thought about it before, but it's really not easy because there is so much involved"
Translation: "Yes, of course I once thought what it would be like to start from scratch.
But I have long since come to the conclusion that it is simply an intact system that has worked for many years and gives me a lot of support.
The risk and the effort to start all over again and to know exactly that there will be many new surprises and crises with the NEW woman after a somewhat longer phase at least is no longer bearable for me in this life. "

The affair with a man from this category almost always means only one thing:

A parallel world that is often maintained alongside for many years, but never leads to a partnership with the normal basic standards of a relationship.
So if you are in a situation similar to the one described, I would like to strongly suggest:
From now on, please do not allow this man to keep you from being a single, who you really are, and from looking for something more promising. For something that has to do with your heart's desire for happiness.

Do this especially when you feel that you are secretly driven by the hope that there will be a kind of development between you both towards more commitment.
Pull yourself out of the situation to leave your comfort zone very actively and to get to know various new interesting men in a playful way who are free for you and who have the potential to fulfill your relationship dream.