I think my wife is having an emotional affair

I think my wife of 22yrs is involved in an emotional affair... or maybe I’m just being paranoid.

She has kept up a long time friendship with a high school friend. They were never romantically connected, but close confidants. He has been divorced for a long time and is living far from us. They have kept in contact for most of 30yrs, generally a few times a year (10 –15) over the phone and E-mail. In Oct of this year he was in our area on business, and they met for dinner (which she told me about).

My concern starts after that meeting because their contact (phone & email) has increased to weekly or more. But what has me most concerned is my wife is trying very hard to keep this from me now… changing passwords, deleting caller-id, etc.

A couple of weeks ago I began to record phone conversations, when I realized she was working so hard to keep the contact from me. I feel awful for doing this but I needed to know what was going on.

In the few conversations, mostly small talk, but he is definitely trying to move the conversation to a more intimate level (suggesting massages, dinners, etc). My wife does not seem to encourage this stream of conversation but she doesn’t end it either. There is a certain air of possibility to it.

So to get to my question, my wife and I are getting along great right now, but this is really bothering me, with no sign of slowing down.

Should I confront her and how should I do it? And are my concerns legit?


It can be troubling when a spouse starts to hide his or her contact with someone else. But, that does not necessary mean that your wife is having an emotional affair. She could simply be hiding her contact with him because she wants to avoid your questions and disapproval (see when spouses lie).

And from what you’ve overheard, it doesn’t sound like they have expressed feelings for each other, which would be much more problematic (see online affairs)

With that said, however, it is important to deal with your concerns whether they are completely founded or not. If not addressed, suspicion tends to come out in other (mostly negative) ways (see living with suspicion).

So, our advice is to bring the issue up now, rather than wait until it becomes a larger problem. And we suggest raising the issue by focusing on how you’ve been feeling, not her behavior. Try not to think of it has a confrontation, but rather as an attempt to get her to empathize with your point of view (see talk about problems).

Moreover, if you focus on your feelings, not her actions, you may not have to reveal that you’ve been monitoring what she does, which can lead to whole new set of problems (see ethical to spy on a spouse).

If you talk to her, she may not necessarily tell you what’s been going on, but hopefully she will hear what you have to say and it will influence how she interacts with him in the future.

 confront other person | emotional affair | lying wife | monitoring phone | snooping | suspect cheating

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