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Lots of stresses, lack of interest and an emotional affair.


skybluepink02
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I guess I'll just start at the beginning. My husband and I have and a really hard couple of years. Somehow during all of these problems we've lost each other and I don't know how to make it better.

 

In December 2007, we had a very surprising pregnancy, conceived on birth control. Just as we were getting used to the idea and getting excited, we lost the baby. It was very hard for me, and for my husband, though not as much for him, I don't think

 

In March 2008, we conceived again, having decided that we liked the idea of having a baby. This baby was planned. Unfortunately we lost this one as well.

 

In May 2008 my husband started to have heart pain. After several emergency room visits, where they brushed him off and told him it was heartburn, we found out his mitral valve was blown and he needed open heart surgery.

 

In June 2008 my husband had to have emergency open heart surgery at age 27.

 

In June 2008 I found out I was pregnant, not exactly planned because of all the stuff going on, but not avoided since I wasn't on birth control. I was about 8 weeks, so I concieved right before the heart stuff started.

 

In July 2008 we found out it was twins.

 

In July 2008 my husband dropped into a deep depression, related to his heart surgery.

 

In December 2009 my twins were born at 32 weeks, spending 6 weeks in NICU before coming home.

 

After they were born I was caught up in the work of caring for newborn twins, pumping breastmilk, attempting to nurse, ect. I'm just now feeling like I'm somewhat in control an on top of things at almost 9 months old. I left my job to care for the babies because the cost of daycare and all that goes with it would mean I would be working for free.

 

In the last two years, we've probably had sex 10 times. Between his restrictions from heart surgery and mine with twin pregnancy, as well as having NO desire because of breastfeeding, it just hasn't happened.

 

Two weeks ago he comes to me and tells me he's having problems. He's not feeling like we're married anymore, more like we're roommates. He spends hours every night talking to his old friend, who he's admitted he has feelings for. He doesn't know if she has feelings for him. He's told me that he's not willing to stop talking to her, because they're just friends and she's the only one he can talk to about certain things.

 

Man, that's made re realize how crappy the last few years have been. I've been crying for a week, realizing that my marriage is falling apart and I don't know what to do to fix it. He says he loves me and wants to fix things, but doesn't seem to want to actually do anything about it. I'm looking at marriage counselers, but I don't know what they can do to help.

 

Man this sucks.

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Both of you seem to be two solitudes within the same marriage.

 

Perhaps this started with the first miscarriage - where you supportive of each other at that time? Beware saying it affected you more because there is no way you can tell that. My wife and I lost our first baby to a miscarriage and it affected me deeply - but no one seemed to appreciate that, other than my wife. All the sympathy from friends and relatives was directed at my wife and people seemed to think my only role was to comfort her. Fortunately, we were able to comfort and support each other and got through it.

 

He had his heart issues and ensuing depression (did he see someone about that?) - how supportive of him were you through that? And when you had twins, how supportive was he for you through the pregnancy and looking after the twins?

 

Marriage is about bearing 100% of the responsibility for issues that affect both of you. Not 50% each. Have you two done either? Or do you tend to soldier on alone dealing with them by yourselves without turning to the other for support or offering it?

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Is he willing to work on the marriage and get counselling?

 

He can't have his emotional affair ANd work on the marriage at the same time. he needs to choose what he wants. To cut ties with her and work on your marriage or to get a seperation/divorce.

 

You have both been through so much. I can see why sex dwindled. Its none of your faults. But I can understand he feels lack of emotional/physical connection because of it

 

What do you wanT?

 

Edit: I agree with DN that he is reaching out to someone who is there, and he feels at the moment that can't be you.

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I am not sure this is an emotional affair in the usual sense of the words. It seems more that he needs someone to talk to about his issues and that needs to be you.

 

You need alone time without the kids as a distraction to get this marriage back on track.

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OK - problems for OCD people need solutions otherwise they become even more obsessed. So when you talk about issues try and steer the conversation towards "Here is the problem - what can we do together to fix it?"

 

What do you do when he says "This is how I feel. I can't change how I feel. I don't know what to do." I'm really pushing marriage counseling, because he just doesn't seem to want to think of solutions. He just wants everything to magically get better. And I'm not good at pushing him. I get upset because it seems like he doesn't really want to work at it, which gets him upset.

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A lot of men are suspicious of marriage counselling because they see it as biased in favour of females and if they have ever watched Dr Phil that feeling is vindicated.

 

What is your typical approach when you think an issue needs addressing?

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I am not sure this is an emotional affair in the usual sense of the words. It seems more that he needs someone to talk to about his issues and that needs to be you.

 

You need alone time without the kids as a distraction to get this marriage back on track.

 

Maybe it's not an emotional affair. But it's very hard knowing he's spending all that time talking to her when he's admitted he has a crush on her. Maybe that's my issue I need to get over though.

 

I know we need time without the kids. It's always about the money though. Babysitters cost money and we've got $40,000 of NICU bills and no family close by. We'll just have to suck it up though.

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A lot of men are suspicious of marriage counselling because they see it as biased in favour of females and if they have ever watched Dr Phil that feeling is vindicated.

 

What is your typical approach when you think an issue needs addressing?

 

Usually I'll ask him if we can talk. This is probably a bad starting point because he knows it's going to be something upsetting me. I'm not sure how else to start it out though. I'm open to suggestions.

 

I'll tell him how I'm feeling. I try to frame it in a way that's not confrontational. When I talked to him about the woman he's talking to, I framed it like this.

 

"Please, just put yourself in my shoes. How would you feel if I had this guy friend. You know that I have feelings for him. You know that we're having problems in our relationship. I spend 2-3 hours every night talking to him. I leave him cute messages on Facebook. He leaves me deep meaningful quotes and poems. I tell you that we're just friends. Would you be comfortable with this relationship?"

 

He told me that he'd be upset, that he wouldn't like it. He also told me that he's not willing to end it. He admitted with I asked that he though his talking to her was probably hurting our relationship.

 

We don't yell, almost ever. Sometimes it would be easier if we did yell, because then I could at least feel like he has strong emotions, but I don't either, so I know it's kind of hypocritical.

 

I guess I just try to tell him in a way that it's not me harping on him. I want him to really think about how I feel and why I feel that way.

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