Secret Heart

Filed under: Direct Answers |

I would love to get your opinion on emotional affairs. My husband is a senior executive. He has a very high-powered job, works long, long hours and used to go out of town a lot. He tells me he’s never been unfaithful and I believe him.

Several years ago I discovered he reconnected with someone he went to school with, and they had a secret phone, email and text relationship for two years. I was hurt. He claims he never saw her, though he had the opportunity, and I’ve never been sure of that part.

Now he’s got a young woman who started as his assistant four years ago. He quickly promoted her to a very high level, against a lot of backlash from the company, I might add. Their friendship is very close. I don’t want to be jealous, but I did start to feel boundaries were being crossed.

For example, one time when I thought he was going to be working late, he left work early and took this young girl to the movies. I said afterwards, “What’s wrong with this picture?” But it didn’t stop him. On vacation we were constantly interrupted by her texting and phoning.

Another time we were out and I took a funny cell phone picture of him, which he immediately sent to her with the caption, “Would you marry this guy?” Why was he thinking of her when he was out with me?

This happens over and over. I tried to befriend her, but when I’ve been around the two of them, I find their body language very, well, intimate. She gets close, casually puts her hand on his chair or shoulder, and mentions how she only likes older men.

When I tried to talk to my husband about it, he became furious. Finally he agreed to keep the phone calls and texting strictly to business, not while we’re out, not on weekends.

But a short time later it all started up again. I checked his cell phone and saw he texted her his picture on a Sunday, with the caption “This is what I’m doing, what are you up to?”

Talking only exasperates the situation. A part of me feels I’ve wreaked havoc on our relationship through jealousy. At the same time I feel their relationship crosses the line, and the disrespect for my feelings is betrayal.

I stood on my head to get him to stop, which he has now done, but with bad grace. There’s anger and bitterness between us. He says he doesn’t want us to part, and I don’t want to leave after so many years, but I feel like something got shattered and will never be the same.


Tori, most people can’t keep a secret when it’s good. They want to confess, “I’ve been secretly putting money aside for our vacation” or “I found a special Christmas present and I’m dying to give it to you early.”

Your husband kept a secret from you for two years. That’s how bad his secret was. You have to wonder, while he was out of town, if his calls to you were ones he had to make, and his calls to her ones he wanted to make. Or maybe he delivered his message in person.

Now, even his colleagues agree with you. They think something unseemly is going on. Your husband’s actions don’t look like an emotional affair. They look like a pattern.

You can’t know for sure what he is doing, but you do know he is angry that you are meddling in his relationships with other women. You can make all the changes you want, but you can’t change who he wants to be with.

He acts from bad grace. That’s why you must watch out for yourself. Be prepared to defend your legal interests in the marriage.

Wayne & Tamara

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Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at

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