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I want to leave my wife and kids for the OW but don't know how


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I am happy to have found this forum. I have a serious dilemma that nobody seems to understand. Any outside help would be greatly appreciated.


I am married with 3 kids under the age of 11. My marriage is okay...not great but okay. I've been married for 13 years. My wife and I get along and we are good friends and good parents but were definitely not soul mates. The love is no longer there and hasn't been for many years. I am not fulfilled in my marriage. We don't have many common interests aside from the kids. I love her but am not in love with her.


3 years ago I started to have an affair with a woman who I was friends with. We started out as friends and the friendship slowly turned into a relationship. She was going through a divorce while we were still friends. I quickly fell in love with her. We had an intense relationship for 2 1/2 years before I made the decision to leave my wife and kids. I moved into a place of my own. Unfortunately things didn't work out for us and our relationship became quite strained. We argued a lot and things didn't go the way we had hoped. After being on my own for three months, I ended the affair and moved back home. I did a lot of counseling and decided to be a more present father and a better husband. At first I was relieved at being back home. No more arguing and fighting with the OW. My wife made a really noticeable attempt to make me more of a priority in her life and swept the affair under the rug. Everything was going really well. The OW and I maintained no contact for nearly 3 months. About 2 months into no contact, I began missing her more than words can describe. I missed everything about her. The honeymoon phase back at home was beginning to wear off. I couldn't get the OW off my mind and began regretting not working harder at our relationship when I was on my own.


About a month ago, OW sent me a text asking for her personal belongings back. She wanted a friend to come and pick them up for her. I wanted us to be adults and I thought I would be able to handle seeing her and give her stuff back in person. When I returned them, we appeared to be acting like friends who had both moved on. I guess we were wrong. We caught up on life for a while and then it was time for me to leave. I gave her a hug but couldn't let go. I proceeded to kiss her and she didn't stop me. I couldn't stop kissing her and didn't want to let her go. I left and had a huge hole in my heart.


We've been communicating on a very regular basis since that night and we can't seem to get enough of each other. When we broke up, we both became people we didn't recognize. We were not the same people each other fell in love with. The affair had taken a serious toll on both of us. I found out that she had been to counseling in the months we were broken up. I could tell. She is now the person I fell in love with 3 years ago. I love this woman more than any of you will ever understand. I missed her so bad in the 3 months we were apart. I hurt every day and thought about her every morning when I woke up.


My problem is that I don't know how to leave my kids again. I'm not thrilled about putting my wife through the same b.s. again but I feel like I can handle that aspect. I love my kids so much and don't want to hurt them again. I want to be a part of their lives every day. But, I also want to be with OW. I would give anything to rewind time and be on my own again. I'd do anything to make the relationship with OW work. What should I do? I feel like no matter what choice I make it will be the wrong one.


PLEASE, any feedback or ideas would be greatly appreciated. Please, no negative or harsh words towards me. I already know that this is a really f'd up situation I've gotten myself into. I truly don't know what to do. My life is hollow without OW in it. I love her so much more than she'll ever know. I don't know what kind of impact leaving would have on my kids a second time. What could I do to soften the blow for them. How can I make them understand?

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You cannot soften this blow. You are leaving your family home, again, and you are going to put them through a world of pain and confusion.


If you are made up about leaving then hurry up and do it - there's no point carrying on a charade if your heart isn't in it. But this time, if things don't work out between you and your other woman, don't go running back to your family straight away. It seems clear that you went back to them because you were upset and alone, and now that in your own words the honeymoon period has worn off, you've decided you'd rather be single after all. Your family don't deserve to be your fall back position - if you're going to leave again, have it clear in your mind that they are not there for you to go back to if everything else falls through - if you mess up your other relationships then thats your problem and you'll have to deal with it alone.


You say you don't know how to leave your kids, but you already did it once. Like I said - if you're going then go. I don't think dragging it out is a good idea. Make it clear you love them and this is about your relationship with their mother, not about how you feel about them. But there's really not much you can do besides be there for them to talk to and be reassuring - they are going to draw their own conclusions about your actions, especially as they get older. At the very least, just try not to put them through this a third time.

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You just leave. Your wife deserves so much more. Yes it will be horrible and hurtful for her to go through it again. But it is better than her living a lie while you sneak about with the other woman.


Your wife deserves someone who will love her, make her happy and not cheat on her. By leaving her you are doing the best thing for her.


Yes it will be hard for your kids but i'd rather be brought up by divorced happy parents than parents that are miserable together.


You just have to be honest, tell them the truth.

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My life is hollow without OW in it. I love her so much


That's what you thought the last time as well....you left your wife and children in order to have a full-fledged, out in the open relationship with this other woman...but the minute the fantasy became reality, you started living the same life with her as you had been living with your wife...the day to day, boring, mundane chores of life. Your relationship with the OW did not survive the shift from the fantasy world into the real world. What makes you think it would survive this time around when you are once again living in the fantasy. Remember, once you left her you went back to your wife and things were good while it was in the fantasy-rebuilding mode...now that it is back to the boring, mundane married life, you are craving excitement again so you fancy yourself once again in love with the other woman. I can bet if you leave your marriage again to go after the other woman, the cycle will simply repeat itself...because the real problem is the issues you have within..the sense of boredom and the sense that your life is not very fulfilling. You are chasing after something which can feel like it is keeping you alive, because you don't feel alive inside. My suggestion to you is get personal counselling...forget about this other woman and sort out your own personal demons. You need to work out how to find your own meaning in life that is not tied into the excitement of new or rebuilding relationships.

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JLE - why don't you just admit that you're thinking with your smaller head, and that you don't really love the OW per se, only the lust and the excitement that your adulterous, dishonest and low character of an adventure brings you?


Now, yes, I know you think you're really in love with the OW, but honey, let me show you the light: it's not love, it's called lust.


I suggest you get counseling - you're clearly more interested in pursuing your own interests rather than those of your family. People like you are responsible for the social decay in our society - needless to say, but i'll say it anyway.


have a nice day.

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I don't believe in judging people. I think we should talk here about practical and emotional consequences of doing something. I suddenly started to like a married man with kids so I know life can be suprising.

My 3 cents:

1. Life is not black and white. We don't live in the middle ages. People get together, people get divorced. It's not the biggest sin in the world. It's not that all the children of the divorced parents are unhappy and all the children who lived in a 'full family' are happy. It all depends on how you can get it together after it happens. So I think Your answer depends on how your wife will react if You tell her You want to leave, but not to leave You kids. If she is an open person, she should understand, because the world is not going round her and it's not that once You are married You belong to each other like things - this is just an old and stupid stereotype. People can get divorced, it's not the end of the world. It depends on how You put the things together.

2. On the other hand - You loved your wife once, didn't you? Like you love the OW now? and what is left of this now? nothing special. And I think this is how life is - love is something that doesn't ever last a long time. At first it's ok, then it's boring, then it isn't 'love' anymore. I'm a bit cynical so i would lightly advice You to keep it a secret affair and let the 'wow' fase pass. Then You can see if the OW is really that better.

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What were you arguing about with the other woman? Remember, she can be very sweet and exciting to entice you away from your wife and family, but once she's got you again, it could go right back to the way it was before, with the fighting etc.


I think what you need to do here is go in for some personal counseling of your own, to talk with a counselor about whether it is a good idea to leave again. Perhaps you have some unresolved issues of your own where you feel trapped or bored in a marriage, and find a 'safety valve' with another woman, and will never be happy with just one woman.


You need to make a decision that can be sustained for the long term, not just a vague 'need' to be with another woman. You want the next decision you make to be the one you can stick with, whether that is deciding to be with your wife, or recognizing your marriage is dead and you need to end it.

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Tell your wife how you feel about the OW. She will then get the ball rolling and kick you to the curb


As for the kids? These are the consequences of your actions......reap what you sow.


Oh, and I guarantee once you disrupt your family again, the OW's feelings will change and you will be left with that "hollow" feeling again.


Sorry to sound so harsh but it irks me to no end that people throw more of an effort into an affair then they do to work on their marriage and family. At this point, let your wife go. She deserves better........

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I guess I should ask what's more important to you in the long run....your kids happiness or your happiness? There's no easy or nice to way to leave your wife and kids and run off with this woman. It's going to hurt...for your wife and for your kids. I think if you are really going to leave, ask yourself what is it that this women has to offer you that you're wife doesn't? Do you want to be with this woman because the relationship is just exciting and new and it's a different change of scenery from being with the same woman for 11 years. Have you ever talked to your wife about maybe doing something different to help spice up your marriage? Or even go to counseling?

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My brother's wife recently left my brother and their three children after over 15 years of marriage for another man she built a relationship with over a period of years.


They'll never be the same, and they will never trust their mother again. Both sides of the family have disowned her over this. My brother is a wreck over the betrayal.


All actions have consequences. Choose wisely. The grass is only greener through rose-colored glasses.

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PLEASE, any feedback or ideas would be greatly appreciated. Please, no negative or harsh words towards me. I already know that this is a really f'd up situation I've gotten myself into. I truly don't know what to do.


I think you'll invariably get some negative comments on this thread because your situation doesn't seem to warrant much sympathy. Personally, I'm not so much concerned that you have feelings for another person. People fall in and out of love all the time. What I have a more difficult time understanding is how you've handled this situation.


I get the strong vibe from reading your post that you're egotistical. You lied to your wife for years and then have the nerve to say your wife "made a really noticeable attempt to make me more of a priority in her life". I find this comment kind of unfathomable given the circumstances you outlined. You do realize, right, that she didn't owe you an iota of opportunity given that happened?


In any case, I would recommend just ending the relationship with your wife and leaving the situation. I don't think there's any point in trying to soften any sort of blow. It would just be under false pretences. If you genuinely wanted to make the blow less difficult, you would have been honest about the situation years ago. It's too late now. The best thing you can do is just leave and let your family get on with their lives.

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I knew I was going to get some negative feedback despite what I said at the end of my thread, but wow. I'm not here to get chastised...I already know that this is a situation most of you won't understand or approve of. I know this isn't right but it's a choice I made. I have been going to counseling on and off since I left home the first time. My wife doesn't think she needs counseling and has completely glazed over the fact that I had a 3 year long affair. She acts like it never happened. I'm not in love with my wife and I'm not sure if I ever was. Not after being with OW. OW is so many things my wife is not. My wife is a good person and I don't have anything major to rip on her for, I just don't want to be married to her anymore. We have very little in common and make it work for the kids. We are partners that act like friends and get along cordially for the sake of our kids. Our lives revolve around our kids. My kid's happiness is very important to me. If it wasn't, my choice would be very easy and I wouldn't be here right now. OW is everything I want in a partner. We went through a lot of hard times together in our 3 year affair. Everyone seems to think that an affair is always a fairy tale with no hardships along the way. It didn't work for us the first time because we both had issues of our own we needed to work out. We didn't realize this until we were standing in the middle of the fire. Since this time, we've both been to counseling. I don't want to be told what a "scum bag" I am. I am not here to be talked out of this and to be told what a crappy dad I am. I'm here to seek advice about how to protect my kids. I care about them and love them. I don't feel that it's right to stay married for the kids if there isn't a solid and meaningful relationship between the parents. I don't love my wife and I'm not fulfilled in my marriage. Please don't respond to this thread if you're going to tell me how worthless you think I am. Don't waste my time or yours.

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I wasn't trying to be mean in my post to you. If that's what you feel is best then do that. I'm not sure how to protect kids in this situation. I mean you can be honest with them and let them know you will continue to be in their lives and support them but it will still hurt them no matter what. I was 18 when my parents got divorced and no matter how gently it was broken down, it still hurt like hell. My only suggestion is that if your kids react negatively, then you could take them for counseling.

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I don't love my wife and I'm not fulfilled in my marriage. Please don't respond to this thread if you're going to tell me how worthless you think I am. Don't waste my time or yours.


Right, but I don't believe anyone has been saying that you should stay with your wife or you've a bad person for not loving her. People fall out of love all the time. People also marry people they don't actually love and then regret it later. Although it's unfortunate when it does happen, it's the way the cookie sometimes crumbles.


Where people are criticizing relates back to how you've handled the situation to date. It doesn't really leave any room for redemption or blow-softening. If you fell inlove with another person you should have been honest about it up-front. You weren't. That's a choice you made and it's not something you can get out of at this point. I can assure you, the tone of this thread would be completely different if your post was along the lines of "Hey--I've recently completely fallen out of love with my life and want to end the marriage--do you have any advice?" Instead, you outline details where you lied for years, left your family, came back, and started lying again. And now want advice on how to soften the blow. It's a difficult pill to swallow.

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I'm just wondering what happens if let's say after a period of time, you find that life with the OW isn't as exciting as it is now, do you try to go home yet again for a 3rd time?


Your children are going to have a hard time understanding their father and his constant in and out routine.

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I'm here to seek advice about how to protect my kids.


Well, you can't.


That's really all there is to it. Can you honestly come up with any scenario that might make this easier on them, apart from the one where you didn't cheat on their mother and leave and then return in the first place? There isn't one. The only thing you can try to do is not make it worse by bad-mouthing their mother, not seeing them often enough, or refusing to talk if they want to talk about it. You'll just have to do your best and follow their lead, and hope that by being honest and open with them, they won't grow up resenting you.


You say a lot about people here not understanding you and your situation, but you're not the first person to ever cheat on someone and feel they have justification for it, and a lot of people here have been on your side or your wife's side, or even your other woman's side. You have your reasons, and it's on your conscience, not ours. But I would say that you're not going to get much sympathy, so it's better to accept that and just take away the helpful advice from this, rather than trying to tell people they're wrong to judge you. You did something wrong, in anyone's book. You just have to live with that now - you're not going to change anyone's view on it.

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I think the big issue here is that things didn't work out with the OW and rather than choosing to take a time out, live on your own and completely end your marriage, you CHOSE to go back to your wife whom you didn't love. You mention your wife trying to sweep this under the rug...it is as if you have no respect for her for doing that....but she is a woman who is hoping her marriage could be saved, that things can go back to where they were....that is the impression she had when you CHOSE to go back to her....she ASSUMED that meant that you really did care about her and that you realized you had made a mistake. That is why she is willing to FORGIVE you and take you back. Yet you seem to look down on her for doing just that and for trying to put the past behind her and move forward in this marriage. There are some marriages that survive infidelity and the marriage is stronger than ever. Clearly that is not the case here but your wife had hoped that this would indeed be the case. Try to understand her point of view rather than being contemptuous of the fact that she is trying to sweep it under the rug. You should be grateful she took you back and gave you another chance.


As for your children, you can't protect them....your actions hurt them in so many ways that aren't even apparent now. Your children will take the lessons they learned from you about relationships and may end up repeating those same patterns in their own relationships. Leaving them again for the same woman is indeed going to hurt. They might not welcome that woman with open arms..there will probably be a lot of resentment. I agree that you should not stay married if you are unhappy...but I would suggest you file for divorce as soon as you possible can the minute you exit the marital home so that your wife and children won't have any more false hope that you will come back. The sooner everyone accepts the relationship is over, the sooner everyone can move forward with their lives.

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I'm here to seek advice about how to protect my kids. I care about them and love them. I don't feel that it's right to stay married for the kids if there isn't a solid and meaningful relationship between the parents.


Whether you think it's right or not, the only way to prevent your children from further hurt is to not leave them again.


You made the choice to come back to your family. You should respect that commitment unlike you did the first time around.


You proclaim selflessness in one sentence then selfishness is made apparent in the next. You're fooling yourself if you think some counseling sessions have somehow made it possible for you to build a life with the other woman again, and doubly so if you think your children won't be permanently damaged by their father leaving them a second time. I imagine at least one of them may not want to speak to you again after you do this. Can you handle that?


I don't think you're a scumbag, I just think you're confused by hormones and a glorified perspective of this other woman, and if you follow through it will come back to bite you harder than you realize right now. I think if you're unhappy with a woman who sacrificed her pride to take you back for the good of the children then I think you'll be unhappy with a woman who allowed you to hurt your children this way not once but twice. I think the only way to protect your children in this scenario is to cut contact forever with the OW, raise your children happy or not, and accept that you made a choice to commit to a woman you didn't love but who turned out to be a good mother for your children, whom you profess to love.




Now that is what I think you should do, but it sounds like you made up your mind. There is no way to protect your children from this, so tomorrow go get the divorce papers, sit the family down, and tell them exactly what you're doing. Tell them you won't be back this time and do not under any circumstances attempt to come back to them down the road. Be there for your children if they want to talk to you but understand they may not care to after you do this. That is the fairest thing you can do for your family if you go forward with your decision to be with the other woman.

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If you want to know how the best way to handle this, it would be probably to move out on your own and live with neither woman. If you really don't love your wife and don't want to be there and are cheating with another woman, then the marriage is a sham, and it should be ended.


But recognize that the kids can and will blame you and especially your OW for the breakup, and it will not be smooth going. They will deeply resent her and most relationships that start as affairs eventually end becuase of the stresses of divorce and trying to blend kids who are hostile to the OW into a family with her.


You can ease that transition by living on your own and spending a LOT of time with your kids the first year you separate, and don't start involving them with the OW until the divorce is done and they are showing that they have adjusted to it. Then you can start introducing the OW into their lives SLOWLY, so they don't feel like it was a case that you dumped both your wife AND them to be with the other woman. They need to understand they are a very high priority in your life, in fact MORE important to you than the OW, or this will end very badly.


Kids have a strange kind of logic where they blame themselves frequently, and if they see you leave mommy and them, they think you obviously don't love them that much. But the reality is that you do love the OW enough to tear up your family and break their hearts, so to some extent it is true. So the best you can do is to try to mitigate the damage and show them that though you left their mother, you didn't leave them entirely, only the mother and the home. Make your new home as much theirs too as you can, and have them help decorate, have their own rooms they decorate there etc. Meanwhile, your OW stays AWAY from them until they are fully adjusted to the split and realize that divorce doesn't mean you don't love them anymore.


So move out on your own, live that way for at least a year or two until everyone is adjusted to your living separately, then if you are still with the OW, you can introduce them slowly to her.

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Ok, so lets break this down: You lied and cheated on your children's mother and now you want to protect them? Well protect them from what? You deceitful character? Cause you know that's the only thing your kids need to be protected from: To know that their dad is a cheater who cheated on their mother and who no longer loves her. Another thing - I dont believe that you didn't love your wife when you married her - why else did you marry her?? Even people who come from arranged marriages have longer lasting marriages for crying out loud.


As for falling out of love with your wife, that's just too bad. Couples are not in lust all the time -duh. You should work things out with her and that's that - no exceptions. Is she physically abusive? Is she a drunk? Is she a bad mother to your children?? Then wha'ts wrong with her - nothign that's what. What's wrong is the lust that you're missing that the OW is giving you. It'd be interesting to see what your wife's side of the story is. The poor woman is probably in agony .


Let me tell you - in the same way that I'd love to eat McDonalds whoppers every single day and have sex with men simply for pleasure, oh and kill my ex husband for leaving me for the office * * * * * , I realize I cannot do these things cause you know - there are such things as consequence and responsibility. Live up to your responsibility!


So yeah, tell your kids that their father is a cheat and that he would prefer to hurt everyone simply to wander off and pursue his own pleasure. If they feel bad, tell them that this is simply too bad- to take it for what it is.


*nods head* Sheesh - whatever happened to social responsibility?? No wonder the world is in a severe state of decay! Everyone is too busy pursuing their own interests - no matter who they step over - even if it's their kids! And then they want to know how they can soften the blow LOL!!!

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Oh and by the way - I hope you have enough money to pay for your divorce. My lawyer charged me 350 an hour, and my divorce lasted for 4 years. Do your kids have an education fund? I hope so. Think about your child support payments after the divorce... weeelllll... that ought to give you a cold shower LOL



Hope the other p.ussycat (pun intended) is worth all that money and pain!

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