Chad Allen

Emotional Affair with a Bishop

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I just discovered that my wife was having an emotional affair with our Bishop and close friend.  We have been family friends for years before he became Bishop.  Do to my wife's calling she spent a lot of time with the Bishop and communicating more than regularly through text, messaging, phone calls, and ministering interviews.  After connecting the dots I confronted my wife and she admitted to having a emotional bond with him. I have also talked to the bishop and found that he was an enabler to her.  Where to go from here?

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1 hour ago, Chad Allen said:

I just discovered that my wife was having an emotional affair with our Bishop and close friend.  We have been family friends for years before he became Bishop.  Do to my wife's calling she spent a lot of time with the Bishop and communicating more than regularly through text, messaging, phone calls, and ministering interviews.  After connecting the dots I confronted my wife and she admitted to having a emotional bond with him. I have also talked to the bishop and found that he was an enabler to her.  Where to go from here?

First off, I'm praying for you right now. This is an awful situation and you are not to blame. It's not your fault my brother. 

If you have evidence (text messages, emails) show them to the stake president. He has a right to know and in my view, he needs to know. 

Only you can decide the next steps you want to take with your marriage. It's easy for me to say this, but ending it should not be an option unless your wife is totally unrepentant and has no desire to work on issues. Go into counseling with someone other than your bishop. Maybe the bishop of another ward or perhaps a mental health therapist. 

Prayers my brother. So sorry it happened. 
 

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1 hour ago, Chad Allen said:

having an emotional affair

my wife and she admitted to having a emotional bond with him.

Emotional "bond" or "affair". A bond is not the same as an affair.
You were close friends before. She is around him a lot for her calling you said. So, she admitted to a bond or affair?

We are a pretty open group here and cut to the chase often. Did she admit to desiring him over you? Did she say she wanted a divorce? Did she say she is cheating on you with him?
Emotional bonds are often forged with missionaries and investigators, but they are not emotional affairs.
Thoughts?

Edited by NeedleinA

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1 minute ago, NeedleinA said:

 

Emotional "bond" or "affair". A bond is not the same as an affair.
You were close friends before. She is around him a lot for her calling you said. So, she admitted to a bond or affair?

We are a pretty open group here and cut to the chase often. Did she admit to desiring him over you? Did she say she wanted a divorce? Did she say she is cheating on you with him?
Emotional bonds are often forged with missionaries and investigators, but they are not emotional affairs.
Thoughts?

Great questions. 

Edited by MormonGator

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34 minutes ago, NeedleinA said:

 

Emotional "bond" or "affair". A bond is not the same as an affair.
You were close friends before. She is around him a lot for her calling you said. So, she admitted to a bond or affair?

We are a pretty open group here and cut to the chase often. Did she admit to desiring him over you? Did she say she wanted a divorce? Did she say she is cheating on you with him?
Emotional bonds are often forged with missionaries and investigators, but they are not emotional affairs.
Thoughts?

An emotional affair does not necessarily mean that she desires him (at least consciously).  What it does mean is that she was investing emotional effort into a man that was not her husband.  And yes, we all put some emotional effort into those of the opposite sex that are not our spouses, but when it becomes a repeat thing, then that is where the issue lies.

My wife was being nicer to her messaging BF than she was to me.  Sent him cutesy messages and what not, where she never did that for me, nor does that for me.  She had fun with him.  Whereas she wasn't having fun with me.  In her mind she had no intentions of having a physical relationship with the guy other than an occasional hug at work.   Reading what she wrote, even though there was nothing sexual about it, hurt to the core.  Knowing she had feelings for another man.

You don't want to experience this ever.  I was near non-functional for at least 2 months.

 

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1 hour ago, MormonGator said:

First off, I'm praying for you right now. This is an awful situation and you are not to blame. It's not your fault my brother. 

If you have evidence (text messages, emails) show them to the stake president. He has a right to know and in my view, he needs to know. 

Only you can decide the next steps you want to take with your marriage. It's easy for me to say this, but ending it should not be an option unless your wife is totally unrepentant and has no desire to work on issues. Go into counseling with someone other than your bishop. Maybe the bishop of another ward or perhaps a mental health therapist. 

Prayers my brother. So sorry it happened. 
 

My wife to this day has never apologized for the emotional affair she had.  I doubt that she ever will.  She would have been fine divorcing at the time.  She knew me and figured I wouldn't change.  And if I didn't change, why should she...

The only way forward is to base your actions not on what she did or does, but on what you need to do to accomplish your goals.  If your goal is to forgive her and mend the relationship, you can't just wait for her to do something.  Your love for her needs to be unconditional and that means the forgiveness must also be unconditional.  

In our world of where we want everything to be fair....  love is not fair.  Fair implies something is balanced...  but how can you balance unconditional love?  You can't.

Moving forward is still emotionally painful, but you have to consider the end goal....  is it worth it?  When you are in love, would your run through a raging fire to save your spouse?  Of course you would.  Well this is a raging fire, except you don't see the flames, but they are just as painful.  Do you have the love to go through the pain?  In my mind, that was the only option for me.  Sometimes life sucks...  take a step or two back and figure out from an objective standpoint what to do.  Let the man upstairs guide you.

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23 minutes ago, Lost Boy said:

An emotional affair does not necessarily mean that she desires him (at least consciously).  What it does mean is that she was investing emotional effort into a man that was not her husband.  And yes, we all put some emotional effort into those of the opposite sex that are not our spouses, but when it becomes a repeat thing, then that is where the issue lies.

^^^ That is often the very relationship that a RS President and Bishop might have.
1.  investing emotional effort into a man that was not her husband.  (check)
2.  when it becomes a repeat thing (check)

If these are the two ways to identify if one is having and emotional affair, then many RS Presidents and Bishops can be accused of this.
You later shared a stark difference, one that easily separates individuals... investing "more" effort and attention than the husband receives.
In my opinion - the OP does not share enough information, without some follow up questions, to determine what is really going on here - yet.
 

 

Edited by NeedleinA

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While there is a distinction between "bond" and "affair," it's probable that the OP believes the emotional intimacy was inappropriate at best. Ultimately, wise, in-person counsel should be sought--first from Father, then from trusted brothers/sisters (a bishop, stake president, or therapist could be options). Forgiveness is always best. However, forgiveness is not trust, and it does not guarantee that things will ever return to what they were. "Unconditional love," does NOT mean that we put up with infidelity, abuse, etc. If I love someone I will not enable them in their sin, degradation or ungodliness.

Edited by prisonchaplain

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2 minutes ago, NeedleinA said:

^^^ That is often the very relationship that a RS President and Bishop might have.
1.  investing emotional effort into a man that was not her husband.  (check)
2.  when it becomes a repeat thing (check)

If these are the two ways to identify if one is having and emotional affair, then many RS Presidents and Bishops can be accused of this.
You later shared a stark difference, one that easily separates individuals... investing "more" effort and attention than the husband receives.
In my opinion - the OP does not share enough information, without some follow up questions, to determine what is really going on here - yet.
 

 

The OP did share more information with me in a private post which he adds more detail.  Not enough detail to know the extent of it, but enough to know that it would suck to read the conversations she had with the Bishop.  If he wants to go into detail, that is up to him, but I won't repeat.

But I will disagree on the relief society president thing.  and maybe my choice of words was not adequate.   I am talking about messages such as "When will I get to see you again?"  or sending hug emojis or other things showing affection.  I have never seen that type of relationship between a bishop and a RS president.

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30 minutes ago, Lost Boy said:

My wife to this day has never apologized for the emotional affair she had.  I doubt that she ever will.  She would have been fine divorcing at the time.  She knew me and figured I wouldn't change.  And if I didn't change, why should she...

 

That's very sad. I'm sorry for you. 

Unrelated to your post, I'll never forget an encounter I had with someone about two decades ago. A woman divorced her husband because he had an affair. She was about thirty years past that. When asked if she regretted anything she said, "I have long since forgiven my husband. I'll never be able to forgive myself for breaking up my family." It was heartbreaking to hear that then, it's heartbreaking now to think of it. 

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Hard to say what to do as it's hard for you to share all that is going on.

If you spoke with the bishop and your wife and they realized what they were doing and fixed the problem, I would say the issue is solved.  However, if you feel the need to go to the stake president then do so, he will probably talk to the bishop and if he see's an issue may even warn other bishops to be careful - which they should be doing.  It also may be appropriate to counsel with your wife about her being released from the calling.  I can't remember which prophet said it but they said it's better to be trusted than to loved.  There will be no trust while your wife and bishop are working together.  It's going to be hard until one of them are released and the two are not working together.

My wife is the relief society president.  As much as she has to communicate with the bishop I would have a hard time if I couldn't trust her.   That being said when I served in the bishopric and had to work close to the primary president or other sisters, I would gain a friendship with them and we would joke around and text but never "ever" anything their husbands wouldn't be okay with and once the calling ended the communication stopped.

Good luck!  

 

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2 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

That's very sad. I'm sorry for you. 

Unrelated to your post, I'll never forget an encounter I had with someone about two decades ago. A woman divorced her husband because he had an affair. She was about thirty years past that. When asked if she regretted anything she said, "I have long since forgiven my husband. I'll never be able to forgive myself for breaking up my family." It was heartbreaking to hear that then, it's heartbreaking now to think of it. 

Don't feel sorry for me.  I neglected her, she neglected me, the results were an ugly situation.  But a situation that can be turned around.

Honestly I don't really care if she ever apologizes.  I am happy and she is happy.  Life today if far better than it was 2 years ago.  I have completely recommitted to her.  I have learned a lot about relationships that I would have never learned had this not happened.  We all have challenges in life..  many we create ourselves, but it is how we deal with the challenges that make us who we are..  I feel I am a much better person today than I was 2 years ago. 

Is it the kick in the pants that you should feel sorry for, or the fact that you needed to be kicked in the pants??

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38 minutes ago, Lost Boy said:

 I am talking about messages such as "When will I get to see you again?"  or sending hug emojis or other things showing affection.  I have never seen that type of relationship between a bishop and a RS president.

Yes, I agree. This type of interaction is not the healthy spiritual emotional concern  I was referring to.

Edited by NeedleinA

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4 hours ago, Chad Allen said:

I just discovered that my wife was having an emotional affair with our Bishop and close friend.  We have been family friends for years before he became Bishop.  Do to my wife's calling she spent a lot of time with the Bishop and communicating more than regularly through text, messaging, phone calls, and ministering interviews.  After connecting the dots I confronted my wife and she admitted to having a emotional bond with him. I have also talked to the bishop and found that he was an enabler to her.  Where to go from here?

Bro she is just fulfilling her calling and having a friend. So what she has an emotional bond with a man, that doesn't mean she is having an emotional affair. Sorry man I think you should get some counselling for paranoia. Unless there is more to this I advise you to trust your wife. 

Edited by Lee

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6 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

While there is a distinction between "bond" and "affair," it's probable that the OP believes the emotional intimacy was inappropriate at best. Ultimately, wise, in-person counsel should be sought--first from Father, then from trusted brothers/sisters (a bishop, stake president, or therapist could be options). Forgiveness is always best. However, forgiveness is not trust, and it does not guarantee that things will ever return to what they were. "Unconditional love," does NOT mean that we put up with infidelity, abuse, etc. If I love someone I will not enable them in their sin, degradation or ungodliness.

Woooo!   Exactly. I love this post. Slam dunk Chaplain.

Edited by Overwatch

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4 hours ago, Chad Allen said:

After connecting the dots I confronted my wife and she admitted to having a emotional bond with him. I have also talked to the bishop and found that he was an enabler to her.  Where to go from here?

Good Work Brother. Go to the Stake President like Gator said. Especially since both admitted to being emotionally cloven. Just be careful and don't get enraged if they don't remove him from his position. However good on you for holding your wife accountable, especially since a LOT of sister complain and even divorce over porn.

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Just now, Overwatch said:

Good Work Brother. Go to the Stake President like Gator said.

See? Listen to Gator. He's always charming, handsome and right! 

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I see a possible misunderstanding here, just not sure if it's me or you. 

When you are saying emotional bond and emotional affair, come on.  Cut to the chase already- do you mean she's having a sexual affair?

If we're talking sexual, you bet the stake president better be brought into this matter.

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17 hours ago, Chad Allen said:

I just discovered that my wife was having an emotional affair with our Bishop and close friend.  We have been family friends for years before he became Bishop.  Do to my wife's calling she spent a lot of time with the Bishop and communicating more than regularly through text, messaging, phone calls, and ministering interviews.  After connecting the dots I confronted my wife and she admitted to having a emotional bond with him. I have also talked to the bishop and found that he was an enabler to her.  Where to go from here?

Can you describe the emotional affair?

 

Was she lying in his arms, confessing her deep and abiding fears to him? Was she joking and laughing more with him than you?

 

What is it that she did - Specifically(That is very important) - That makes you feel betrayed? Why do you think it came to that?

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6 hours ago, pwrfrk said:

I see a possible misunderstanding here, just not sure if it's me or you. 

When you are saying emotional bond and emotional affair, come on.  Cut to the chase already- do you mean she's having a sexual affair?

If we're talking sexual, you bet the stake president better be brought into this matter.

 

48 minutes ago, FunkyTown said:

Can you describe the emotional affair?

 

Was she lying in his arms, confessing her deep and abiding fears to him? Was she joking and laughing more with him than you?

 

What is it that she did - Specifically(That is very important) - That makes you feel betrayed? Why do you think it came to that?

Pretty much having someone of the opposite sex being your best friend other than your spouse. Assuming you are straight.  Being deeply connected to them, leeching emotional strength off of them. If you are in an emotional affair you know you are doing something wrong, you just don't want to admit it. It seems so innocent and how you could you be doing something wrong. Well... If you start fantasizing, being too personal, getting aroused by being in someone's company YOU ARE committing emotional adultery.

" But Facts Leif, we want facts. SCIENCE!!! Where's your degree?  hm. Well, lemme link some articles for you.

https://www.verywellmind.com/signs-youre-having-an-emotional-affair-2303079

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/life-gets-better/201406/emotional-affairs-why-they-hurt-so-much

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/divorce-and-infidelity/affairs-and-adultery/truth-about-emotional-affairs

http://www.dearpeggy.com/emotional.html

Enjoy!!!!!

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19 minutes ago, Overwatch said:

 

Pretty much having someone of the opposite sex being your best friend other than your spouse.

Bollocks.

I have a best friend.  He's male.  We've been best friends before I met my husband.  I don't dump friends just because I now have a husband.  My husband is not my best friend.  HE'S MY HUSBAND.  That's a MUCH HIGHER CLASS and a totally different league than Best Friend.   Calling my husband my Best Friend is cheapening our relationship.

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Just now, anatess2 said:

Bollocks.

I have a best friend.  He's male.  We've been best friends before I met my husband.  I don't dump friends just because I now have a husband.  My husband is not my best friend.  HE'S MY HUSBAND.  That's a MUCH HIGHER CLASS and a totally different league than Best Friend.   Calling my husband my Best Friend is cheapening our relationship.

I disagree fair lady. My wife IS my best friend and NO ONE can replace her.

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