Question:

This request came in to our portal a few weeks ago and it hits on a subject that so many couples struggle with — emotional affairs.

Hi Carolynn,

Thank you for the videos that you do, they have been super helpful! I have a situation where I feel like it is possible that my husband of 18 years (we are early 40’s, no children) may be having an emotional affair with his female co-worker. I don’t believe it has escalated beyond that, but I am at a loss.

A little background: I am a fairly confident and secure person, however, last summer I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had a lumpectomy and radiation and finished up with that this past January. Obviously, I do feel a little self conscious about my breasts, even though I am large chested to begin with and the tumor was small and there isn’t much of a size variation. But still, this disease feels like an assault on your womanhood.

In January, just as I felt like my life was returning to a somewhat normal state, my husband got a new female coworker on his team and he talked about her a lot. She pretty much ignored all the other men on their team except for my husband, which I thought was strange, but okay.

He would say things like she is trouble, there’s a lot of red flags with her, etc. He ended up having an overseas work trip with his whole team. But he and a male coworker (this guy I later found out was having an affair in the office with another woman), and this woman, who I will call Janice, had made plans to fly out earlier than everyone else on the team to go sight seeing. Last minute my husband changed his flight because I told him I felt really uncomfortable with this and kind of disappointed that he was choosing to be away longer for sight seeing with someone who he said had the potential to light his career on fire (the red flags he had mentioned).

For two months he continued to talk about Janice, saying he is psychologically fascinated by her because she goes back and forth in extremes, and he made a comment about how she probably does sexually, too. Finally I asked him if he was interested in her and he said no. I asked him to stop telling me about her because it was giving me an impression that he was interested in her more than just a colleague. He stopped talking about her completely at that point.

Two strange things have happened since then. Right after he stopped talking about her, he presented me with an ultimatum that I needed to be open to having a threesome, because that is something he has always wanted or he will divorce me. There’s been lots of crazymaking and gaslighting about that convo, with him saying he never gave me an ultimatum, but he did. When he said it to me, I said that I choose divorce because I don’t care for ultimatums, especially feeling sexually pressured to do anything – it isn’t okay. It wasn’t even about whether or not I would be open to it. We ended worked through it and that brings us to a few weeks ago…

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I went on a road trip that we both kind of planned, but he did most of the planning. He was super adamant about not sharing our plans with Janice or anyone else on his team. I was just like okay, maybe he doesn’t want to share too much about what he does outside of the office.

When we came home from our trip he was acting strange and something in my gut said something wasn’t right with him. So I did something I never thought I would do, and I found this woman’s Instagram page. I don’t know what I really expected to find, to be honest, but I discovered that she took the same exact route on this road trip with her boyfriend as we did. Looking at her posts, it was like were missing them (I think we missed them – unless he saw her when I was sleeping, but I don’t think so) by at most one day in all the different locations. Looking at her posts, it felt like we were following them, which sounds crazy, I know. From what he has said, she is not one for domestic travel, she prefers international. So it seems unusual to me.

I haven’t said anything to him about her Instagram page. I feel like he would get really upset and accuse me of not trusting him, etc. I did ask him if his colleagues asked him about his trip casually when he returned to work and he just said no.

I don’t know what to do, because I do feel like thinking that he would orchestrate a route on a road trip with this woman sounds insane. But I can’t get past this gut feeling I have.

Can you please make a video about how I can approach him with my concerns? I do love him and want our marriage to thrive.

*******************************

This video isn’t a substitute for professional therapy and is for educational purposes only.

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