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Torn on which path to choose.


flim
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I'll try and keep it short but it's a long story. I've been married 15 years and have two kids, 7 and 9. I don't love my wife, at least not as a lover. I don't hate her either. I've also been a bad husband.

 

When I met her, I was going through a rough patch. She was actually a rebound girlfriend after a very rough breakup. A good friend, only 24 years old died a few months later and when she started putting pressure on me to buy a ring, I decided I'd do it because who knows - maybe she is the one! Just go for it and don't let life pass me by. I knew she was boring in the bedroom but I said - that's not what's important right? She didn't share my passions but she told me she loved me. I was scared I'd never love again so I told her back...but I'm not sure I really felt it. Probably I should have gotten out right then and there.

 

Within days of getting married, she started changing "the rules" like, things that were allowed before are no longer tolerated. The big one I remember was strip bars. I'm actually not that into strip bars but there was a group of guys that would get together and go out, maybe two three times a year and I'd go with them when they'd come to town. I'd always tell her and she said no problem. The same happened after we married and she got super pissed and told me that she always hated me going to strip bars but kept it to herself. Now that we're married, it's not allowed. So, I agreed and stopped going to strip bars. There were other similar type things where it was like she hid aspects of herself until we were married because she was afraid that I wouldn't marry her if I knew how she felt.

 

Anyhow, I was still o.k. with it and our marriage progressed for about 7 years and I was relatively happy and we had our first kid. The thing is that I was always looking but I was faithful and I made a commitment I intended to keep. There were a lot of disappointments I had too though. Over the years as I tried to get her involved in things I like to do, snowboarding, cycling, snorkeling music etc...and every time I tried, she basically chickened out and couldn't do it. Something I didn't realize when we were courting. She really had no hobbies other than enjoying traveling (which I also enjoy) and that was one of the few things we did together. Her dream was to stay home and raise children so when we had our first boy, she quit her job. I was still pretty happy though and just decided I'd have to do certain things without her, even though I really wanted someone who likes the same sorts of things I do.

 

I then decided I needed a career change, the career change had me traveling out of town sometimes 5 nights a week. We also had our second boy and we had a big pay cut with this new job too. She went bonkers and made my life hell. She took the plan of "if I'll be miserable, you'll be miserable too". The big problem was that I was indeed miserable at work and needed support at home. She would yell at me. Withhold sex for months. She wouldn't clean the house or do anything claiming she was too busy raising the boys. She brought me to tears once just before I had to leave on a business trip. I was so hurt that I couldn't talk. At the business trip I got drunk and started hitting on female colleagues. I was truly miserable. One day while out of town I saw a strip bar and decided to go after not being in one in 8 years, in a passive aggressive get even sort of way. This misery went on for about a year, maybe a year and a half. There was one day that sticks out when she yelled at me about what a bad person I was that I thought, this is it. We're through, we're getting a divorce, I can't take it anymore but then I remembered my children and decided I had to stick it out.

 

I finally confronted her and said that we can't go on this way and we have to figure stuff out and she actually did change. Things got better. She kind of realized that she needed to change her ways. I got a new job that paid much better and not much travel. But the wound festered. I continued to go to strip bars on the sly. Now she started giving me a hard time about doing the things I liked without her. I tried to re-introduce things to her but she still wasn't interested. In one thing she did join me and I was overjoyed when she did. I guess in a way, things balanced out enough that I was o.k. mentally and there's still the children to think about. But I still didn't feel love and the sex was just getting worse and worse....frequent enough but just so vanilla. I love sex and when I'd do things like oral sex to her I wouldn't hold back but when she reciprocated, it was terrible, like she lost a bet or something. I sometimes had trouble maintaining erections because I just wasn't turned on at all.

 

And then I got fired from my job of 5 years. We had a ton of cash in the bank so I took the summer off. I felt us growing together somewhat and I played that game with myself that the flaws I saw in here were not important. I tried to convince myself that things were good....then one night a few months ago, I was out of town...got drunk and made out with a girl I had met that night. We were drawn to each other and saw each other a few more times. I felt guilty for cheating on my wife, but also a little angry because this girl treated me like a king. At the same time, I kind of did an experiment at home (this is terrible of me but it's what I did and I'm coming out so...) I decided to stop initiating requests for sex, cuddling or any sort of affection and guess what happened....we had no sex, cuddling, kissing or any sort of affection. It made me realize that 90% of the time, I was the one who initiated any sort of intimacy over the last 15 years. It took her a month of abstinence before she asked for sex. She hasn't noticed the lack of affection AT ALL. We kiss goodnight maybe half the nights of the week at best.

 

So, my mistress and I decided to call it off after about 7 rendezvous because she was single and needed to move on with her life. I reluctantly agreed (just being selfish) and we've been apart now for about a month. But now I've got to decide, do I stay with my wife or move on, possibly even with this former mistress?

 

I absolutely adore my children. My wife is not a terrible person, she's just not the right one for me. Everybody else thinks she's wonderful but no one but me has to deal with her shortcomings. She's supportive of some of the things I do and was very supportive of me when I got fired but I just don't feel the love from her. It's like she just wanted to be married and is satisfied with a so-so marriage.

 

My mistress told me I have to try and fix my marriage...learn to love her, talk to her, delight her, awaken emotions in her buried deep inside but I feel like I've already tried that many times over the last 15 years. I feel I owe it to my children to do it but I just don't feel anything for her. When I broke up with my mistress I was crushed to think of her moving on without me...the passion she and I have is just on a completely different level.

 

I just want to be happy and I just don't know if I can be with my wife. I'm just so terribly confused and don't know which direction I should take. Do I leave her, destroying our marriage and putting my kids through a childhood of divorce or do I stay with her, sacrificing my happiness for theirs? I actually had a panic attack yesterday because I just don't know what to do.

 

comments welcome.

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One other thing before she gets home....I think the reason I don't feel any drive to fix things is just that I'm so skeptical that she'd change enough for me to truly love her again...if I ever really did. If she hasn't learned how to have good sex in 15 years, how will she now? If she's not passionate about the same things I am, why would she start now. Looking back, I can't even understand why she wanted to marry me. Does she just not know how to love someone? She seems happy for the most part these days. Satisfied with so little out of life. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't have married her (although I do love our children so much)...I mean, I think my dream situation would be for us to just go our separate ways in an amicable fashion but having seen the beast inside her during our really rough patch, I don't think that's how it would play out.

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Flim, welcome to ENA. What strikes me about your post is how much you talk about your wife's "shortcomings", when it actually just seems like you are two different people who want different things, enjoy different things in life, etc. I wonder what would happen if you rewrote the entire account of your relationship from her point of view. Could you try that?

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So you were cheating on your "good friend" with your current wife?

Have you told your wife about the current affair? If not, why not?

Have you had sex with the current friend?

 

If she was hurt skiing would you be able to take care of the kids?

What would you say to her if she decided to start going to a casino every weekend?

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Spotti...I think you're completely correct. Shortcomings was not the right word to use because they're only shortcomings in my eyes. I'm sure that she's the perfect woman for someone, just not me. I'm also sure that I wouldn't have wandered if I was with the right woman. I just need to fix it somehow, whether I stay or go.

 

I'll think about your idea of a re-write but I don't have time today. Honestly, I don't understand her motivations and ambitions because any time I've asked, her main goal in life was to be a stay at home mom and I gave her that. She now went back to work (teacher- subbing) out of necessity but both kids are in school full time...and both have been for 2 years. Other than teaching and child rearing, I don't think she really has any other ambitions.

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OK, i think if you are going to stay, you have to get marriage counseling. And it might be a good idea to try that first for a few months to see how it goes. There are ways to recapture intimacy and re-ignite passion in a marriage, but you both have to want it and agree to work on it.

 

Next, if you do leave, if she has been a stay home mother for 15 years and hasn't worked much, you can be expected to not only pay child support but also alimony, anywhere from a few years to longer based on what she can convince the judge to go for.

 

So before you consider divorce, talk to an attorney to determine how much you might potentially be on the hook for financially and ofr how long.

 

Part of your problem is if her main goal is to be a stay at home Mom, and she has no ambitions other than that, she has no incentive to do anything other than she pleases. She may have done the same thing you did, i.e., married someone who was the first person she could latch onto who would put her in a situation where she could get what she wanted, which was to be a stay at home mom.

 

So you two made a Devil's bargain of sorts, where you both 'settled' without really realizing that the strength of a marriage is based on the compatability and shared goals of the two people involved, not just based on sliding into a couple of 'roles' that you think will keep you happy even if you don't relate to your spouse very well.

 

Marriages like this frequently implode when one or both people meet someone else they like better, or the kids grow up and there is no real reason to stay together. And if her whole life's goal is to be a stay at home mom, she is going to be very lost when those kids grow older. So i think you have to be very careful about birth control because she may just want to keep popping out kids every few years for as along as possible to keep herself in that role. And if you're not sure you want to stay with her, you don't want more kids (and higher child support)!!

 

Part of your problem is you have captured a new spark with a new woman and it has ignited in you a real discontent with your wife because of the comparison of the spark you felt for her and boredom/dissatisfaction you feel with your wife. Lots of marriages can just cruise along until a crisis is triggered by something like that.

 

So i suggest 3 things:

 

A short consultation with a lawyer to ask what you will probably be on the hook to pay for if you divorce and how much per month it will cost you. Some people do wait until the kids are 18 for that reason and no other!

 

A trip to a counselor for yourself to talk thru these feelings to see what it is you really want for yourself. Were you truly that unhappy with your wife, or were you just smitten with someone new and it has derailed you but might be a passing fancy and not worth wrecking your marriage over.

 

And finally marriage counseling. You need to express to your wife how unhappy you are, and need to work with her to see whether she is willing to try to improve the marriage or not. if she just isn't, then that makes the decision easier that you might want to leave.

 

You can always try to ask for an open marriage to see what she says. Most women would freak out over that, but if she already isn't interested in intimacy that much, and just wants you to pick up the tab to be a stay at home mother and doesn't care as long as you come home most nights and drop a paycheck, she might agree to that.

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So you were cheating on your "good friend" with your current wife?

 

Lester, at first I didn't think you were responding to my post but I just re-read my post and see you were. The good friend was a man and no, I wasn't cheating on him. What happened is I broke up with a long time girlfriend and a few weeks later my good friend dropped dead at work from an aneurism at the age of 24. Those things combined to make me re-asses life and how to live it. Basically, I was thinking along the lines of if I dropped dead next year, would I be satisfied with what I see flashing before my eyes in those final moments and my answer was no. I wanted to be with someone, I just made the mistake of picking the first person that came a long.

 

Have you told your wife about the current affair? If not, why not?

Have you had sex with the current friend?

 

I have not told my wife about the current affair and have no intention of doing so. I don't because I've resolved that I will not cheat again. I'm either going to fix this marriage or move on.

 

If she was hurt skiing would you be able to take care of the kids?

What would you say to her if she decided to start going to a casino every weekend?

 

Yes, I could take care of the kids no-problem.

 

Casino - I know what you're getting at but I'm not going to go there. I've already resolved that I'm never going to cheat again.

 

I know I was bad lester. I'm not proud of it.

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Thanks for the insight Lavender, you sound like you know exactly what you're talking about and I will take your advice. I'm still pretty confused with what I want to do but you brought up some very practical aspects I need to think about and that may force my hand.

 

In retrospect, it seems like it should have been obvious that we wouldn't work out in the end. I have some friends that married women they met in the "circle of friends" that seem so happy...they do so much stuff together and help each other with what they're doing. I so want a partner in my life, not a passenger.

 

Open marriage is almost certainly not going to fly. I was at a bachelor party a few years ago with a stripper and she freaked out ahead of time just to remind me how much she doesn't like me seeing naked ladies. I was "allowed" to go to the party but she gave me a hard time about it. Even then, I'm not interested in an open marriage. I want a true partner, not a one night stand.

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I wonder what would happen if you rewrote the entire account of your relationship from her point of view. Could you try that?

 

I'll try...as best I can...

 

So, I met this guy 17 years ago and I fell in love. I like him so much that I've decided to give him my virginity. Seems like he has a bright future and he seems totally interested in me. He has some bad habits and stuff but he seems like something I can work with.

 

Once we got married, I put my foot down on how things are going to be and he protested on a few points but for the most part he capitulated - at least the important ones.

 

The first 7 years of our marriage were very good. he's got this wild bug up his butt and is always trying to get me to do things I have no interest in doing. I try them out for him but in some ways, I think they're just too dangerous and I'm totally not into danger. He likes snowboarding but I'd rather just be sitting in the lodge reading a book. Heck! I had a panic attack when we tried to go snorkeling.

 

Then that wild bug went nuts and he decided he wanted a career change just after we had our first kid. He was miserable and work and said he was really dissatisfied so I said to go for it in spite of the pay cut - huge mistake. Not only did we get set back in salary, he was galavanting around the country partying it up while I'm trapped at home raising the kids alone. He says he's doing it for the family and that this will lead to better opportunities down the road (which it did) but how'd he like a taste of his own medicine? Make me miserable? Right back at you pal.

 

In a way he was right though and perhaps I was too hard on him. It seems that when I lightened up on him things got better for both of us and he did end up with a much better job that paid much more and he's home more which is exactly where I want him.

 

One of the annoying things though is that he likes to "experiment" in bed and I'm just not into that. I put up with it but why can't he just be satisfied with with good old fashioned sex? He's always got these crazy dreams about what he wants to do and accomplish and I have to keep him in check. He's ambitious and perhaps a bit too ambitious for my taste. In fact, why does he keep wanting to do all these things I don't like to do? Why can't he just settle down and raise a normal family with a normal job? I can tollerate some of these things to a point but when he starts spending too much time away from home I'm always sure to tell him I'm not happy about it.

 

When he got fired it was pretty crushing to the family but, it did give us a chance to spend a lot more time together. He spent a ton of time with the kids which was great. Over all, I have to say that although we're broke now, I'm pretty satisfied with what we have.

 

*****end of fantasy land*******

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So I spent a lot of time thinking about this today and my head is just swimming with emotions. As I looked online about the steps for divorce in my state my heart just sank as the realities of these things sink in. I think I certainly need to bounce this stuff off of a live human being but the finances are not in good shape right now.

 

I've checked and found that my local university has free counseling to help train grad students and I wonder if anyone has any experience with something similar. I suppose I could always try it and see how it goes. I want to just talk this stuff over with someone confidentially before I take any other steps because this is just such a big life changing event.

 

The more I thought about it Lavender is just spot on with his analysis. As time went on we built walls and mechanisms to not deal with issues we had with one another and this affair illustrated to me so much that it doesn't have to be that way. The divorce process looks just terrifyingly miserable and makes me think that I need to try and fix my relationship with my wife....I just wonder if I've gone past the point of no return.

 

I think about the good moments and for a few moments I think that I'm just asking for too much and that I could find love with my wife again...and then I remember the bad times, even resentment I've had at times and the feelings I had when I came to the conclusion that I'd just have to give up on ever feeling certain emotions positive emotions ever again in my life.

 

That feeling of concession is just so disappointing and depressing. The feeling of going through a year or two in the process of divorce is also pretty depressing....

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It’s good you secretly investigated what divorce really is! It should be the motivation needed for you to at least try and fix your marriage.

 

But how do you do that?

Truth, honor and respect.

 

 

Your current band-aid approach is nothing more than a continuation of your crippled reasoning process.

 

You said, “I have not told my wife about the current affair and have no intention of doing so."

That’s just a continuation of your disrespect for your wife. By refusing to mature you continue to void your marriage.

 

 

You said, “... I've resolved that I will not cheat again."

- Yes you will! By refusing accept responsibility and restore your honor; you leave no hope of discovering true love with your wife.

 

 

You have two choices:

 

1. Become a married man.

- Very hard but could lead to lifelong happiness. (Not having to listen to your kids call some guy "Dad" will be your first benefit.)

 

2. Get divorced.

Yes, you're not going to like it... but everything being about you is what got you here in the first place.

 

 

PS, Marriage is the opposite of dishonor.

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Thanks for all the input guys but writing this stuff here is just killing me now. Perhaps I'm just refusing to accept reality but I just have to believe that there's a better way than confessing. Perhaps it is the only way but for now, I can't accept that.

 

I just submitted the form for the free counseling at the local university and I'm hoping they call soon.

 

Bye everyone.

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If your rmarriage is going towards divorce then there is no need to hurt her with the truth.

 

There are 2 camps on this issue here but it all comes down to what is right. If you are trying to rebuild what has been torn down, starting on a foundation of lies is not a good start.

 

Ask yourself this: What if she asks me one day if I ever cheated.......what will be your answer?

 

Don't rush to do anything right now until you get a chance to talk it over with someone.

 

Lost

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hey I feel for you.....I am in a very similair situation married for 17 years, two kids, great marraige in all ways but......no sex, intimacy and my husband seems to not be interested in me at all sexually. We are business partners (I work in our businesses and he stays home with the kids) but we own the businesses 50/50. I am trying not to cheat right now. I don't want to go down that road, but I have to figure out if what I am missing is worth recking a home for my children. On the inside I am miserable. I love sex, but I have maybe had sex 5 times in 5 years. We have talked about it he does not see and issue and makes up excuses. I feel extreme lost and alone and feel guilty about affecting my children, but I am starting to get desparate. Why cant there be some no strings attached place to just have sex and not have it interfere with life? I am sorry you are going through this as I am sure you feel as lost as I do. I am fortunate I have a good friend of 20 years that I can rant and talk to, but that can get tricky too as he keeps telling me I should make my mind up and leave.....than I should be true to myself and make myself happy otherwise I am just delaying the inevitablet. good luck with your situation, all I can tell you is be true to yourself and make the deceision that you can live with as we can not change where we go. I am desparately trying not to stray but it is extremely hard when my self esteem has been crushed by my husbands lack of interest in me. Makes it harder when others show an interest in me (even if it is just for sex) I sometimes think that would be better

 

goood luck

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Flim....reading your initial post it seems apparent you got married for the wrong reasons, but there are probably millions who have done and will do the same. I commend you however for your honesty...and from how you describe it, it doesn't sound like a very fulfilling or meaningful relationship. The girl you had the affair with actually sounded like a decent lady, but you did the right thing there letting her go, and recognizing that doing otherwise would just be selfish.

 

It also seems apparent now that you have fully accepted your wife isn't the woman for you, which is certainly a shame, and since she gave her virginity to you/you are the only (as far as you know) man she's slept with, it's not surprising really that she's not that adventurous, when she didn't really have to try very hard....you married her anyway with what she was offering. However, it would likely be hard for her to adjust to meeting someone new if it came to that.

 

It seems that eventually divorce will happen....maybe when the circumstances are right for it.

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Hi guys, I needed a few days without reading this board but I've decided to check in.

 

The university is changing semesters so I decided to go to a private counsellor for $$ and talk a bit and it was very helpful and also very strange as the counsellor was siding with me it seems. It was very good to hear that what I'm asking for is really not asking too much and it's o.k. to want what I want. I told her that I truly feel obliged to fix this but I also don't feel it in my heart.

 

Lemon, I hear you about my wife adjusting to being alone and I honestly feel for her there (if that's the direction I choose). As I've said, I don't hate her. There's some irony there too regarding an adjustment for her - She's not big into taking care of her looks and even less into taking care of the aspects of her looks that only I see. Over the years, I've begged her to "clean up" certain parts of her body which only resulted in a half hearted effort from her. The irony is that if we do end up splitting, I imagine that she'll do all of those things I've asked her to do (which is really nothing special - nothing that almost certainly 95% of women are doing anyway) in order to find another man.

 

But you know, it's funny - after a month+ of no sex, she asked for it and I decided to go for it to see what would happen. She did clean up one of the areas which was grating on me. Last time she did that (maybe a year or so ago) I was delighted by it. This time I felt nothing.

 

Anyway, talking to the counsellor did help even though it really didn't help me choose a direction. It did calm me down and give me a few strategies to pursue to try and dig into her inner workings. Spring break is coming up so she'll be home with me for a week (I work at home now) which gives me mixed feelings. I'm going to try to set up a date for us without the kids so I can ask her what she wants out of life. I'm going to try my hardest to steer the discussion away from what I want out of life for now until I'm able to better organize my thoughts and present things in a positive manner.

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There is no rush to end your marriage so keep doing what you are doing. It is very good that you are trying to get a feel for what she wants out of life so you can decide if that is for you. There will come a time when you will need to get her involved in the therapy so can have a chance to express herself in a safe enviorment.

 

It wouldn't be very fair to secretly see a therapist, pick her brain and then out of the blue tell her it is over. If you both went to a counselor, tried working on the marriage (really tried) and it didn't work out then you could at least know you tried and made an effort to repair your marriage before choosing divorce.

 

There have been a lot of men on this forum that had no idea how serious their wives were until the bomb was dropped on them and their wife ended the marriage. The husbands didn't take it seriously until it was to late. I would imagine there are women that do the very same thing and perhaps your wife doesn't reallyunderstand just how serious it has gotten and how misrable you are with the situation.

 

Keep posting and good luck

Lost

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Thanks Lost,

 

Yes, I definitely will get her involved at some point - I think she has no idea I feel this way and no idea that I've felt this way for so long. I don't want to destroy her and have her go down in flames.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all, Nothings really changed since last time I posted but I thought I'd check in to keep the thread alive in case I need to post something in the future. Last week was the kid's spring break and everyone was home so I didn't go to see the counsellor. I have an appointment for tomorrow.

 

As I've been pondering this the last couple of weeks I've noticed a couple of things in my thought patterns.

 

First, I feel paralyzed by the circular thoughts I have in my head. I spend some time with my kids and think to myself that I simply can't end this marriage. In my mind I'm envisioning a divorce that would be just terrible on everyone involved and leave such deep scars. I suppose it's possible that it wouldn't be so bad but one has to think about worst case scenarios too right? So I have these thoughts and then just think that I have unreasonable expectations, that I just need to suck it up and fix things on my end - yes, do the counseling thing to improve things....but then my thoughts drift to the dissatisfaction I have. All the little things and big things that get under my skin about her. The thoughts that I'd have to give up certain emotional feelings and honestly, I just can't envision loving her as a lover again at this point and I think that I have to take the steps to leave her. I've confided parts of the story to some very close and trustworthy friends and they both mentioned that they've noticed these feelings in me years and years ago....and then I think of the boys....

 

Second, I'm thinking that I must have developed some passive aggressive behaviors over the last several years or something like that. Now that I'm thinking about it more, some of that is almost certainly her fault too. In the past when I've brought up concerns or criticisms or whatever her response was to throw harsher criticisms back at me and make it clear through other actions and inactions (e.g. cold shoulder, witholding intimacy etc.) that she was not happy with what I said or did or whatever. I guess it taught me to keep my mouth shut and play along.

 

But I digress and I guess I'll just blurt it out - I think I'm taking action through inaction because I just don't have the balls to confront this thing head on. I'm paralyzed by the unknown nature of where this path may lead. I'm naturally somewhat of a risk taker - career changes, hobbies etc. but don't seem to have that same mindset when it comes to my interpersonal interactions.

 

Anyhow, I know I've really not said anything but just wanted to organize some thoughts by posting. Perhaps I'll work through some of this with the therapist tomorrow.

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This is a huge thing in all your lives so it should weigh heavily on you. The circular way your thoughts are going is completely natural and is to be expected.

 

Is divorce hard on everyone? Yes. Does it leave scars? Yes. If it is done in a open and honest way the scars will fade over time but it will never be forgotten.

 

You were once in love with your wife so there is no reason you can't fall in love with her again. You must move forward or you are gong backwards in your relationship. Talking to the therapist will help you decide the path you want to take. You may decide to try one last time so you can move forward with no regrets. If you choose to try and get her involved with a good therapist and she continues her life as usual attitude then she has really made the choice for you hasn't she?

 

You may be able to stick it out as you say but at what cost? Your marriage is worth trying to save but if it cannot your very soul, the person you are is at stake. Are you willing to bury that for the rest of your life?

 

A third party (therapist/counselor) is a great mediator to cut through all the crap. It will be intersting how open and honest she is during a session. Who knows she may be thinking of divorce as well...

 

Keep posting and best wishes

 

Lost

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So, an amazing thing happened yesterday. We had a stupid little fight over dinner and I segued it into a conversation about our marriage. We put it off until after the boys went to sleep and when they did, we talked for almost 3 hours. As it turns out, she's been equally discontent with our marriage for as long as I've been and surprisingly, it was a massive relief to hear her say that.

 

I think she really didn't want to go to this level of discussion but I finally grew some balls and pushed the issue to make sure we talked about it. I recalled to her that we've had a pattern where we would bottle things up until we had a blow up come to Jesus talk after which things would get better but always slide back down again over time. I suggested that this hasn't worked for us in the past and that we have to try something different this time.

 

I tried to get her to suggest that we go to a marriage counsellor but when she didn't, I suggested that we call in the pros and she agreed that it's what me must do.

 

I also told her that I'd been to see a counsellor twice and that I'm going again on wed. and she was perfectly o.k. with that. Come monday we're going to start calling around for a couple's counsellor.

 

At this moment, I'm skeptical that we can save our marriage and she noticed that but, I'm also committed to exploring that option with an open mind.

 

So begins the rest of my life!

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Well Done!

 

I think you will be surprised what can be accomplished if you are truly willing and not just putting in time to look like you tried. Look at it this way. The worst thing that could happen is that you will have done this together and came to the conclusion together that the marriage can't be saved. This should make healing after a lot easier on you, your wife and the boys.

 

The flip side is that you re-discover each other, are open about what you haven't likes (nothing to loose, everything to gain) and you get to explore your marriage and how you got here. They don't hand out instruction manuals when you get married and so many of us just wing it which often turns out badly.

 

You are lucky that you are getting this chance no matter how it turns out.

 

Keep posting and remember you loved her once with all your heart...

 

Lost

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  • 7 years later...

So much time has passed since I last wrote to this thread and so much has happened!!

 

This morning I started thinking about the past and remembered that I had been posting on this board. I had even forgotten my username etc. but figured it all out. So, what interesting has happened in the last seven years?

 

A Lot.

 

First, I was kind of at my ropes end. The mistress turned out not to be such a nice lady after all. Although I hadn't had any further intimate relationships with her, she started torturing me mentally after she had a string of loser boyfriends. Calling me. Pestering me telling me she's into me. Just all kinds of crazy ex-girlfriend type of torture (she was only 23 when we had the affair so what do you expect).

 

I finally confessed this to an old friend I know that I hadn't spoken to in over a decade and he set me straight. I told the mistress to basically get lost (but nicely - perhaps a mistake but I think it was the right call in retrospect) and I slept on the couch that night to prep my wife for what was coming.

 

The next day I told my wife I needed to sleep separately for a bit for me to get my head in order. I ended up sleeping in the basement for almost a year. (this all happened in the fall of 2013, October I think)

 

In that time I also got a chronic pain issue that would eventually require surgery to fix. I already knew I needed to get divorced but the question was, before or after surgery? I knew judging how my wife treated me while I was sick (like flu and stuff) that she'd be absolutely horrible taking care of me. This was a very significant surgery with a long recovery (took over two years to get back to 'normal"). I decided to get divorced.

 

My wife (at the time) and I had many long and difficult discussions. I was very careful about not blaming her, not accusing her etc. We ended up having a really good divorce and officially were split up in the fall of 2014. Cost me almost half a million dollars but it was worth it!!!!!!

 

Since that time - the mistress still tries to bother me about twice a year. I've completely ghosted her. No contact at all.

 

Half way through the divorce - filed but not finalized - I met someone really interesting but she was very far away (like, wrong continent!!!).

 

Divorce was finalized.

 

Got my surgery

 

Finally met with this "interesting person", we fell in love and after a few years we got married!!!!!

 

I've been happy ever since!!!!!

 

Like a lot of people who do this, I ask myself "why did I wait so long!".

 

It's so strange - when I originally started this thread, I had a friend/confidant that I talked about these things with because she confessed to me one night that she was leaving her husband. When we shared stories it was clear they were similar. From my rock bottom point in 2013, it took me about a year to file in early 2014. She never filed and is still married to this day.

 

But the good news - she finally hit her rock bottom point. She saw a therapist and her doctor prescribed her a very weak anti-depressant. She said it cleared her mind and now she saw that she had to leave her husband. Here was a middle aged woman who was very depressed, drank too much etc. etc.. I saw her over the weekend (social distancing of course - for future readers, we're in the middle of the covid-19 pandemic) and she was just glowing!!!!! My current wife - who knows my whole story and my friend's whole story - was very skeptical of her but even she said that she's completely different.

 

She hasn't filed yet but she has told her husband and they're both taking steps to make it an amicable divorce. They're already splitting assets and she'll probably be buying a house really really soon. As soon as she's got it, she's filing and moving out.

 

To summarize - there was a mixed bag of good and bad advice for me in this thread. I'm really glad I posted my thoughts and got all the responses, even the ones that weren't very constructive as it kind of forced me to analyze and see things from different perspectives. If you find yourself struggling so much and this keeps going on and on and on - you know what you need to do. And those fears about what everyone else is going to think? Well, it turns out for the most part people don't really care. They might spend about 2 seconds thinking about you, judging you, and then move on to something more interesting and important like do we have enough sugar in the house. You'll lose some friends you'll find out you never needed but you'll also gain some friends who are much better people than the ones you lost.

 

Thanks everyone for the advice, good or bad!!!!

 

And mostly - thank you to my beautiful and talented wife who helped "bring me back to normal" after the divorce.

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