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Thread: Married and had kids with the wrong person - what should I do?

  1. #31
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Kaizen4
    That is wise advice. Thank you catfeeder. I agree this is something I really need to figure out before starting marriage counseling. I think I'm mostly interested in staying in the relationship for our kids.
    Nobody stays in a troubled marriage for the kids. Everybody SAYS that that's what they're doing, but that's a cover for the real reasons they won't leave, and it's often used to justify being disloyal, unfaithful, or just a plain lousy spouse.

    Living with one foot (or more) out the door is not merely inauthentic, it's disrespectful to a spouse who deserves someone who is All In. Every minute you stay in your marriage while your feelers are out to rekindle an affair or start a new one is time that wife could be spending on her own healing and recovery toward a potential relationship with someone who is wild about her.

    That's why it's important to figure out where you REALLY want to stand, and then take action. If that means separating to learn the things that keep you bound to your wife, then do the work to learn that. If that means embracing the self honestly to recognize that no amount of therapy is going to change your mind about wanting out, then get honest with yourself and take action accordingly.

    None of this makes you a villain, but hiding behind the parenthood banner doesn't make you a great parent or a great husband, either. Decide where you stand, and liberate yourself from living a secret life that doesn't serve anyone and robs wife of her own potential to find true love.

  2. #32
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    That's fine, people get divorced all the time. Hopefully she doesn't beat you to it.
    Originally Posted by Kaizen4
    Once they are grown, I just don't think I would want to remain in the relationship.

  3. #33
    Platinum Member boltnrun's Avatar
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    My parents stayed together "for the kids". They ended up raising three mixed up young people who didn't know how to have a healthy, loving relationship or marriage. All of us are divorced.

    Kids are not stupid or oblivious. I doubt your wife is either.

  4. #34
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Kaizen4
    Yes, correct. I should have been more clear... I was only unemployed for a few months, but that was the trigger for me getting into personal development and getting more clear on my goals and feelings. My wife and I both have good full-time jobs. Thank you for not jumping to the conclusion that I've been unemployed for the last couple of years
    You're welcome. My next question is why have you not confided in your wife about your apathy toward her and your marriage? Not wanting to "hurt her" is a cop out. You're certainly going to hurt the bajeezus out of her when you ask for a divorce (either now or when your children are grown) especially if you haven't given her a chance to remedy.

    Do your self and her a favor and get out of hiding.

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  6. #35
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    I originally told myself I was staying for the children. It was a partly a lie. Part of me thought is was the right thing to do. Breaking up a family is painful. Mostly, I was stayed because I was a coward.

    After much consideration and a health dose of therapy, I decided to leave for the kids. Their parents were bad examples of how two people should treat each other. More over, I didn't want my sons to think that's the way a husband should treat his wife and that a wife would just sit there and tolerate it. I wanted them to witness what a confident woman would do when facing challenges in her marriage.
    I recognized that that both their mother and father emulated their parents and how they interacted and we were reenacting the same dysfunctional ways for our sons.
    I wanted my sons to marry strong women and have a chance at a healthy marriage that seem to escape the generations before them.

  7. #36
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Op: You say for the most part you get along well. Would your children even know there was anything dysfunctional going on within your marriage?
    We're always civil to each other, and do have a lot of fun together as a family

  8. #37
    Platinum Member SherrySher's Avatar
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    it's disrespectful to a spouse who deserves someone who is All In. Every minute you stay in your marriage while your feelers are out to rekindle an affair or start a new one is time that wife could be spending on her own healing and recovery toward a potential relationship with someone who is wild about her.
    Absolutely! Fooling her and staying because you feel you have to, is one or the worst things you can do to a person. Your children are much stronger than you give them credit for.
    Kids know how to cope with a divorce better than they would a fake marriage and a fake family dynamic. Don't put them through that.
    You won't be doing any of them any favours by faking everything. (your wife included).

    Sit down, talk to your wife, tell her how you're honestly feeling. You're meant to be friends first and foremost. Be a friend to her and talk to her instead of hiding your thoughts and feelings.
    Besides cheating, nothing is more painful to a woman than a man who is pretending to love her and be happy with her.

  9. #38
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    I agree that I need to tell her. I know it's not fair to her for me to be hiding my true feelings about all this, and that she needs to know so that we can decide our path forward together. I'm really ashamed that I've let it go this long and that I've been living this lie for so long, but I'm finally working up the courage to face it.

    I don't think our children suspect that there's really any serious problem between us, because we don't usually fight. I'm sure they do pick up on it at some level though. It's definitely not the loving, supportive marriage that I'd like them to learn from.

    Thank you all for your advice and support.

  10. #39
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    'She was my first girlfriend. I was pretty shy, had low self esteem and, although I knew I wasn't really in love with her, I felt like we could have a good life together. I didn't want to crush her and was too weak to end the relationship'

    I disagree with those advocating for any kind of therapy/joyful dates/talks etc etc. OP has clearly stated he never actually loved his wife and married her for the wrong reasons. You can't therapy yourself into loving someone. Having children together is not a good enough reason to spend your life with someone you feel nothing for. Just because people stayed in arranged (or 'self-arranged') marriages years ago doesn't mean that we have to do this in 2020. Additionally, how anyone's expected to stay with their first partner for life is beyond me. In my experience those who do only do so out of fear of the unknown - it is extremely rare for two people to grow into compatible adults having met as kids.
    Last edited by OctoberRust; 03-04-2020 at 10:54 AM.

  11. #40
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Kaizen4

    I don't think our children suspect that there's really any serious problem between us, because we don't usually fight. I'm sure they do pick up on it at some level though.
    How so? You have a respect for one another, you have fun times as a family, you both love your children etc. It's times like this that devastate children... They adjust quickly when they see the dysfunction and carnage that their parents afflict on them and are glad its ended. No so much when there has been a functioning family unit wherein they are basically broadsided by a parent with wanderlust who needs therapy to get his head on straight about his own mid life crisis.

    It's definitely not the loving, supportive marriage that I'd like them to learn from.
    How would you even know what that looks like? You have zero experience in what you THINK that may be. Life gets in the way of ALL relationships and that new relationship energy is never sustained for a life time. Mature love enters the picture and after that it takes work on your part as husband and wife to keep the attachment going. Get your own therapy, then if after you discover you still want out, then do it but put your crisis on the back burner for now until you figure yourself out with the help of a good therapist rather than (as mentioned) those guru books you've put so much stock in. Google "Grass is Greener Syndrome" and read that book if you want to educate yourself.

    Thank you all for your advice and support.
    You're welcome. I hope you get that therapy sooner rather than later which will help you (hopefully) to learn how to communicate before your sh*t gets this deep in the future.

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