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How long does the anger last

  • 16-09-2021 1:26pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,939 ✭✭✭ maxwell smart

    Hi There

    Myself and my partner of 24 years have struggled through Covid. I discovered she started an emotional affair on via whatsapp with a friend she used to run with. Nothing physical happened, I'm sure of that. She said she was bored and liked the attention and it all got out of hand.

    Now that the lockdown is ending she has started running again and in the group she runs with is this guy. I've asked her if it is possible not to run with him but she has said her mental health needs this exercise and the gang she runs with are like family.

    We have had war the past few weeks but managed to resolve it (more or less). However she was to do a race this weekend and he was running with her. She persuaded me that this was OK and I said I was fine with it.

    There was a plan to meet at the running club and go through the route (it's cross country). Anyway off she goes.

    For some reason I didn't think things sounded right and went to the club after her. The only cars there were his and hers. They were in the carpark stretching and doing some sprints for the 15 mins I watched. Then, for some unknown reason, I decided to confront her about lying to me that it would be a big group.

    Obviously that wasn't well received and we are now, in her words, over forever. I feel she has picked him over me in some strange way, even though, as I stood there watching, I realised there was nothing between them.

    She says her hopes and dreams have been shattered as I had told her I was OK with this but had lied to her. She says she will never trust me again.

    Now neither of us can concentrate on work, the kids (4 of them) or anything.

    I desperately want to make this work but her anger is high. I can almost see it coming our of her when she speaks to me.

    Any advice appreciated!!



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,939 ✭✭✭ maxwell smart

    I hadn't thought of it like that...

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 19,219 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Bannasidhe

    I completely disagree.

    She said running was important for her mental health having been asked to stop. She probably knew the OP would kick off about the race if he knew it was her and this guy - with whom nothing untoward has happened. Yet he decided to spy on his partner of 24 years - and even when he realised their was 'nothing between them' decided to confront her about her 'lies'. What about his stalking? His lack of trust? His spying?

    I'd be bloody furious too.

    Truth is the OP doesn't trust his partner, spied on her and even after admitting he knows there is nothing between her and thos guy decided to have a go. He could have gone home. He could have admitted he was wrong, But no -he called her a liar.

    Someone is gaslighting and it's ain't the OP's partner.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,939 ✭✭✭ maxwell smart

    I'm on here to see where do I go now. I'm not blameless at all, gaslighting I don't think I'm guilty of that though.

    I've apologised and admitted I was wrong and shouldn't have done what I did. I've admitted that there was a definite lack of full trust on my behalf. I'm not here trying to say I was right or wrong.

    What are the steps I need to take now.

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  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 35,118 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Seth Brundle

    Out of curiosity, how did you discover that she was emotionally chatting with a man on WhatsApp? Did she tell you or were you already suspicious and checked her phone?

    Regardless, she did lie to you about who she was heading out with. That and her emotional affair are sufficient reasons for your trust in her to be dented.

    Her swift claim that after 24 years, tour relationship is over sounds like this was possibly something already on her mind and you gave her the excuse.

    Does she want to continue the relationship? Is she even willing to discuss everything that has happened openly?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,939 ✭✭✭ maxwell smart

    She left her WhatsApp client open on her laptop and I was using it to book something.

    I want to make it work. I feel she does too, but I need to get her to trust me again. And for me to trust her too.

    I feel that a certain consistency in my actions and words might be the way to go? I'm not expecting this to be sorted out in a week to be clear.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,401 ✭✭✭✭ Tell me how

    Is the term 'emotional affair' not somewhat subjective? Is one person emotional affair not another persons close friendship? The 1-1 running doesn't look great but again doesn't imply cheating in and of itself in my view.

    Think I agree with the person above who said you guys need help. If she is willing to throw away 24 years and a family environment including 4 kids over this without trying to work through then it is likely there is more going on and she is using you confronting her as the excuse by which to do it.

    You asked for help, I would suggest you ask her to attend marriage counselling within which ye explore all of the above. If she doesn;t want to engage, it isn't just because of you being suspicious and following her.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,273 ✭✭✭ km991148

    I think the only way out of this is professional counselling, assuming both parties want to repair this relationship.

    There are many wrongs here, snooping on WA, the seeking closeness outside of the relationship etc and these are no doubt just symptoms of something deeper.

    If both parties do not want to continue then I hope you can resolve things as amicably as possible for the sake of the kids. If therapy is an option for yourself then it might be worth a shout.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,455 ✭✭✭✭ recode the site

    I’m sure if she, a heterosexual woman, wanted a close friendship without the sexual-emotional factor, she would have connected in friendship with one of the ladies who were running. To me it looks like that guy and herself found some mutual attraction beyond “girl-girl”companionship, and she’s trying to deny it, maybe even to herself.

    Doesn’t at all mean that your very long relationship cannot be repaired, but like you said, OP, it won’t happen overnight. She allowed herself, likely unwittingly, to be attracted to this guy. It’s never really intentional to begin with, is it, but the denial and cover up can become so. She has little rational justification to be angry with you for acting on very well-based suspicions, but to me it looks like she’s not surprisingly annoyed at being caught out at this point.

    Never mind you spoke your mind, she should also respect that you care about your enduring relationship. She could have been “keeping her options open”’, eg seeing how feel she really feels about this guy, who has brought a bit of (maybe temporary) novelty, compared with the lasting relationship she has had with you and maybe she’s even preparing to not pursue it, but has been “found out” and pride has been hurt.

    Don’t make the mistake of pushing her towards him, in case that is what she might not have been planning to do. It’s extremely normal for you to be angry, hard not to be unless you were a robot, but if you could find a way of letting both herself and yourself cool down, she may sort her own mind out about how she feels about this and be better prepared to talk and discuss it in several weeks time. It’s a matter of letting the dust settle and allowing some calm into the household as best you can.

    Post edited by recode the site on

    De tick definitely does do plotten only to thick in de stew

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,939 ✭✭✭ maxwell smart

    Nobody knows what goes on behind another families door and nothing is perfect.

    I want our marriage to work and I believe she does too, once the anger fades. Anger at me or anger at getting caught, whichever it is.

    My question is, and let's assume she wants it to work.

    What is my strategy here.

    Back off, let everything cool down? Couple of weeks? I'm impulse so that will be difficult but not impossible.

  • Registered Users Posts: 598 ✭✭✭ Housefree

    Dude have some self-respect, she has 100% slept with this guy multiple times. Using manipulating techniques to make you question yourself. She has obviously gaslighted you. She has no respect for you, and how pathetic you will seem trying to make it work. You are walked on like a doormat. She is a liar & a cheater. If you don't respect yourself, don't expect her to!

    The anger never goes, it's always gonna be in the background (thats your anger) shes not angry with you because she has no respect for you, shes gaslighting!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 208 ✭✭ ElizaBennett

    From my reading, the OP watched from afar but only for 15 minutes while they stretched and did sprints. Presumably he left then and who knows what might have happened later in the encounter between the two?

    Anyway, it really doesn't matter that you didn't catch them red handed as such, it proves nothing. Speaking as a person who has had an emotional affair in the past, that also involved running and exercise classes etc, I can tell you that even though nothing physical ever happened it doesn't mean I wasn't obsessively thinking about it and wishing it would. That went on at least two years. So just because you didn't see them going at it doesn't mean it's over or that they weren't both fantasising about it.. or planning it. Sorry...

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Some people don't do fading anger. Or it can fade and respark in a second. Whole cultures, wars, dynasties have been based around unrelenting anger. You know her best. After 24 years do you not know how long her anger lasts? Maybe you should ask why you have to endure her anger, especially as it has no real justification? I mean ffs she is the one meeting up with the chap with whom she was exchanging sexy messages.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    If this was a film I'd say go take some time apart and come back to it when everything has cooled down. However this is real life and you have 4 kids and presumably a job so its probably not so easy to make that happen. I wish you luck with what ever route you take

  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 35,118 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Seth Brundle

    What is my strategy here.

    Back off, let everything cool down? Couple of weeks? I'm impulse so that will be difficult but not impossible.

    My own belief is that you two need to discuss what has happened.

    You can't force her into wanting to talk and she may not know what she wants herself.

    However, you have kids and you are living together and after 24 years together, surely it is all worth fighting for (fighting isn't the correct word but you know what I mean!)

    I think the two of you talking over the kitchen table won't work. You need someone to referee the conversation and to make sure that neither her anger nor your impulsiveness makes the situation worse.

    However, whilst she's needs to hear how recent events has made you feel, be prepared to hear why she has allowed this situation to develop. Have you neglected her, etc? Are there other issues between you both? As you said, you struggled through the lockdowns. You describe the last few weeks following finding out about the affair as "war". In what way was it war because a normal couple doesn't (or shouldn't!) war.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,378 ✭✭✭ Flinty997

    I think the main issue here is her not willing to give up all contact with this person. I would have some empathy with wanting to run with the same group. But thats been exposed as a smokescreen. For her to show good faith. Cutting contact would be a minimum for me. It would be a line in the sand. Running with the same group is incompatible with cutting contact.

    Ok I get in anger people react irrationally. Her gaslighting the OP could be part of that. You could address that in counselling. But that combined with not willing to give up contact, changes the context for me. To make things work there would have to be compromise. I'm not seeing any sign of compromise. For me thats another showstopper.

    I would be interested how a counsellor would approach this. Has counselling been suggested by either of you?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,392 ✭✭✭ Jequ0n

    I use gaslighting myself and can see why your wife would have resorted to this too in this situation, OP.

    I don’t think you are overly familiar with the concept and would recommend reading up on it. The main idea is not make you question your perception, which then leads to you re-assessing the situation from the other perspective as the seed of doubt has started to attack your conscience.

    Your wife already has you convinced that you are, at least partially, to blame for this recent event. Like most other posters I can’t see how you did anything wrong. If you took the time to sit down and think about it properly you’d reach the same conclusion as well.

    Right now you are not allowing yourself to process anything as you are panicking about how to quickly fix this again. There is no need for quick actions. Let it sink in and take your time. Do NOT apologise again, and leave her uncertain while you are processing things for yourself.

    Your reaction to try and fix this quickly, and to smooth things over is most likely part of your “role” in the relationship. It might be worth asking yourself if there are other situations in which you have quickly reacted to your detriment in order to restore order and peace.

    If you realise that there is a patten here, and that you are the one who quickly placates, then expect her to crank things up a notch to get her way. I agree that talking to a friend or councillor could help you to establish boundaries that she is clearly trying to break down.

    Keep in mind that this is often more clearly to see for “outsiders” than it you are directly involved, as your head is all over the place.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,142 ✭✭✭ amacca

    Excuse me I feel like the guy that doesn't know what a tracker mortgage is but wtf is an "emotional affair" ? Is there a definition out there?

    And surely the main thing that would count would be an affair affair so to speak

    Fwiw I think the OP is probably more sinned against than sinning here but sweet Jesus if emotional affairs are what I think they are I'm literally up to my neck in adulterers ...sorry emotional adulterers.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,939 ✭✭✭ maxwell smart

    An emotional affair is one where 2 people share intimate thoughts and words without it getting physical. It doesn't always get physical but can.

    In some ways it's a bigger betrayal than a physical affair because it's not about the sex. It's something deeper

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 19,219 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Bannasidhe

    Talk to your partner.

    Trust has broken down between the two of you.

    Ask her why she felt she needed to look elsewhere for emotional support.

    Ask her how she felt when you confronted her.

    Ask yourself why you didn't go home when it was obvious nothing was going on.

    Stop looking for validation here among strangers with their own agendas. And I include myself. I'm clear if she was me I would have gone ballistic at your spying.

    Only you and your partner can decide if you have something worth saving. If you do, you both need to rebuild trust and that start with honest dialogue.

    If you don't at least be civil about it. Your children don't deserve to be dragged into any drama.

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