Jump to content

Multi-Layered complexity. 3rd Party POV please.


Recommended Posts

I will try to hit the main points first. Then the questions.

Layer One:

*together/married 19 years; 2 older children

*have been wanting to leave for 10 years; I stayed because of the children and because I have never lived alone and am afraid- financially I don't know if I can manage it

*no sex life for 10 years due to his insecurities; not even a kiss or an "i love you"- all HUGE issues with me

*he is passive-aggressive and a financial control freak

*his insecurities stem from me being a wild card and him being ultra-conservative, I don't think he's ever trusted me- although I never did anything wrong.

*he and I are opposites

Should I stay because its safe and secure or take the leap because I'm unhappy?

How do you tell someone you want to leave?

Is having doubts and insecurities enough- or should I be 100% certain I want to leave?


Layer Two:

*reconnected with a college BF 3 years ago- he is now my best friend. (it was a mutual break-up 22 years ago), he never married

*there is no cheating going on; however I lie regularly to get out of the house to hang out with him/ we write each other regularly

*I lie because I don't want my husband to leave me because of him- because our marital problems aren't a result of the XBF

*I have fallen in love with my XBF; he knows how I feel but says he doesn't reciprocate those sentiments. Instead of running from me as I expected he would, we are closer than ever.

*we weren't right for each other 22 years ago but I couldn't have crafted a more perfect match today

*I feel like I'm leading a double life sometimes and have to switch gears often

*he and I are the same

Can men actually be best friends with a former GF and feel nothing?

Isn't it strange that despite him knowing how I feel he still wants me around?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always think it's interesting that people find the strength to leave when there is a potential person waiting in the wings. Although, in your case, it doesn't sound like your ex is interested in a romantic relationship with you.


Leave because you don't want to be in your marriage anymore (and because essentially you are having an emotional affair, which isn't really fair to your husband). Don't leave because you think you are going to be with someone else.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I actually think the best thing you could do is go book an appointment with a therapist ASAP, and then go. Make it a priority to sort out what you want for yourself. And tackle the issue of not being able to stand on your own two feet out of fear.


I don't think it is appropriate for you to be putting energy into another man like you are while married. that should go without saying though. Call it not cheating or cheating; it's not helping your marriage. It is hurting it further.


If you aren't happy, you have the choice to leave. If that is the choice you want to make for you, then talking to a professional might help you find the best way to do that. Ten years and staying only out of fear during that time; fear of being alone, that is heavy stuff.


I personally don't think you are in any position to be in any relationship with a man right now. I'm not a therapist. Just a woman who types on the internet.


But I think you know that too. It's fear that drives what you do...and probably fear that has you thinking you are in love with this man from your past. If I were you, I'd be questioning the authenticity of that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SP, I think you should really weigh the benefits of getting out and staying in. There's a book called Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay (or is it Too Bad to Stay, Too Good to Leave?) that can help you weigh everything.


Don't even consider you old BF as a potential love interest. After being married for 19 years and having two kids, you have to establish yourself as an independent before you consider another relationship.


How do you tell someone you want to leave? It's easy..."Husband, this isn't working for me."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If your husband was doing what you are doing, what would you want us to say to him?


Lying is cheating. It's cheating your husband out of the truth. Dont' get that twisted.


You're cheating by having an emotional affair. You are cheating your husband out of his rightful place as the only person who should have access to your intimacy.


For someone who is so afraid to live squarely in her truth and take her butt whippin' for it, you sure are going about making sure you end up on your own. It's just a matter of time before your husband finds out... and he will. The truth always outs when it's least convenient for the liar.


Your ex isn't showing you anything to encourage you to leave. I think that's all wishful thinking on your part. In fact, I would venture to say that if you did leave your husband for this man, he would turn tail and run. He didn't want to be with you then and he doesn't want to be with you now---if he did, you'd be under no illusions about his feelings.


You weren't right for each other then and you, as a married woman, certainly are not right for each other now. Not until you divorce and resolve your issues so you're not bringing baggage to new relationships.


A lot of what you wrote in your layer two is wishful thinking on your part. It's time to stop that and to take some concrete steps to resovling your marriage issues one way or the other.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You said, "*no sex life for 10 years due to his insecurities; not even a kiss or an "i love you"- all HUGE issues with me"

- SP These would be issues with anyone alive!


Assuming your timeline is accurate I would have to guess a three to five year decline in your emotional/respectful relationship before actual physical relations ended.


If this is the case, you knew three years into your marriage that it was a mistake?



Have you checked for cheating? We're the telltale signs of cheating there?

Were you compatible before marriage?

Did you have a respectful/intelligent dating period?

Was it a trapped marriage?

Was it the more common out-of-balance marriage, but your fears paralyzed you from taking action?



You said about the boyfriend, "he knows how I feel but says he doesn't reciprocate those sentiments."

- Please… this common cheater method/approach is straight out of the "cheaters handbook!

The reasons can be many but the following is a fairly typical grouping:

1. His internal corruption tells him if he pushes too hard you'll bolt.

2. He's still hasn't decided to risk losing his current, hidden victim over you.

3. He's afraid of your husband or you may not have enough money to make it worth his time.




PS, You said, " I have fallen in love with my XBF;"

Please(2)… you must know by now; that's not love!


PS2, Don't make a fool out of yourself. Dump the parasite, answer the above questions, try to save your marriage or divorce. It's the only way to preserve your honor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This doesn't seem all that complicated to me. Most people who end up going outside their marriage do so in an attempt to find what's missing. That's what you did. Love and affection was missing in your marriage, so you (think you) found that with your xBF. One thing I've observed . . . if a man says he doesn't reciprocate your feelings, then he doesn't reciprocate your feelings. Do not use sex or any other means to try to get him to fall in love with you. I 100% guarantee you it will not work.


Given that the xBF is a dead end, I think your best bet is distance yourself from that whole unhealthy situation and focus on your marriage in a "sink or swim" way. To me, it always came down to "am I better off with him or without him?" Then act accordingly. But quit messing around with other men. They are a distraction and will keep you from seeing this situation clearly.


As far as how you tell someone you want to leave . . . I always wondered that too. I'm still not sure. I just know in my case the opportunity presented itself and I grabbed it. My opinion is you should be 100% certain you want to leave. I don't think you're there yet. Personally, I would try counseling if this is an option available to you--both alone and with Husband if possible. If not, then just yourself. Figure out what's important to you, and go after it. It's worth it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks all. This is very helpful.

Yes, I knew about 3-5 years into the marriage it was a mistake. I convinced myself it was because there was something wrong with me and not him. So I stayed. I can see as I have gotten older that I should have trusted myself more. He's not a bad husband, just not the husband I want or the emotional connection I need. A sexless marriage is "roommates". A kept wife has never been my ideal. I have made endless pro's and con's lists. The pro's are superficial and monetary.

Fear is a huge issue- and one I could use therapy.

If my husband were having an emotional affair, I would be relieved. He deserves to have someone love him in a way I can't.

I have been TRYING to leave my husband for 7 years, but have only reconnected with the XBF in the last 3. If I left my husband its because I need to leave him. I would never put the emotional responsibility on my XBF for that decision. That would be unfair to him and my husband.


My XBF is my best friend. Despite how he my or may not feel about me, I do love him. We do not have a physical relationship and I suspect its because I am married- I will not breach that subject. We were not the people we are now 22 years ago. Its logical that it didn't work out then. Emotional and creative people are tumultuous. We have matured and mellowed. If my husband made me choose the marriage or my best friend- I would choose my best friend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only honorable thing for you to do is hire an attorney today and start the divorce process.

Your husband's "financial grip" means nothing once served.




The process of aging has little to do with the gift of maturity.


If your friend was corrupt when younger he is now most likely just an older, more polished version of that corruption now.


Any man/person who knowingly/secretly courts a married women, (Yes, that's what he is doing. Your hormone imbalance is blinding you to this), is the definition of corruption.



You said, "Fear is a huge issue- and one I could use therapy"

- Fear is the number one reason a wife will not confront her husband early on about the lack of balance in the marriage.


SP, trust me when I say; brushing old mistakes under a rug with a new crutch will not lead you to happiness.


Best to you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Step 1A. Take all the great advice you are getting above.

Step 1B. Stop the emotional affair.

Step 2. Go get legal advice on how to proceed. Don't say you can't afford to leave because you can't afford to stay if there is no love or intimacy!

Step 3. Seek out what ever help you can find/afford to find out who you are and what you want for your life.

Step 4. Take a good long look at what you have to offer your xbf. If you were him would you want to start something with a married woman? A woman that has wanted to leave her husband for 10 years but didn't. A woman that has decided it was okay to fall in love with another man before ending her current relationship.


I think he sees you as a big complicated dramatic mess in his life at the moment. That doesn't mean once you get the divorce finalized, live on your own and make your own life that he wouldn't want to be in a relationship with you though. You have never lived alone and that in itself is something you must do. It will make you learn more about yourself than you could ever imagine.


Do the right thing so your marriage will end with dignity not deceit.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have fallen in love with my XBF; he knows how I feel but says he doesn't reciprocate those sentiments. Instead of running from me as I expected he would, we are closer than ever.


This, right here, says the rest of your list with regards to this guy is pointless. While he may be flattered, he's not interested.


He's not interested in anything more than friendship, no matter your circumstances. So everything else is insubstantial fantasy on your end that you're building around him. Push it and you won't even have his friendship.


Regarding your husband - if you want to leave him, leave him - but have it have NOTHING to do with the exBF. If you want to go to marriage counseling, and see if there's anything worth saving, do it. If you want to go to therapy for yourself and get a handle on what you, personally, want and need, do that. But don't have leaving your husband have anything to do with the exBF, who ISN'T INTERESTED in a relationship with you.


That would be one unhealthy start to your new life.


And honestly, I'd break off the friendship with the exBF. No friendship can run completely true when one party has romantic feelings, and the other doesn't. It gets in the way of the friendship, and becomes painful to the person with the romantic interest. The person without a romantic interest starts walking on eggshells, hiding parts of their life to avoid hurting their friend. And the person with it is constantly in the position of seeing someone they want to be with pursuing other love interests while they're friendzoned.


And yes, it's completely possible for a guy or girl to only have a platonic interest in the opposite sex, ex or not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...