nemosum Posted May 31, 2017 Share Posted May 31, 2017 I'm going to try and make this as concise as I can. I normally hate talking to anyone about this stuff, but I feel like I'm going to fall apart if I don't start talking to someone. Trying to find a counselor right now, but in the meantime maybe you good people will have some insight. My disclaimer here is that I know I'm a p.o.s. and I shouldn't feel any of this; but I do, so I'm trying to figure out how to handle it. I married my wife, M, 5 years ago. We have a 2.5 year old and another one on the way. It's been a very long, rough road for us. She and I are very different, in most ways. We do have similar goals in life, but that's about where it stops. Why did we get married? There were probably a few reasons, but I think the biggest for me was that I wanted to be in a committed relationship, and I liked the idea of my wife--I probably wasn't ready for the reality of her. She's a really amazing woman, and I don't have a bad thing to say about her, but the differences in personality, interests, world-views, etc. have just made it really hard. Having said that, about 6 months ago, we had some communications breakthroughs, and things were really looking up. The last 6 months were probably the best of our marriage, and I thought we had finally cleared the worst of it. Then I had a dream. In this dream, I was at a family event with an ex-girlfriend from 10 years ago. Nothing really happened in the dream; I was just there, and she was there, but I had this overwhelming sense of belonging and peace. To give some context, I don't really believe in soulmates, but if there were such a thing, this girl would be mine. I've never felt so in-harmony with anyone like I did with her when we were together. Our breakup was super messy, and I've never truly gotten over it, but I always figured moving forward with other relationships, getting married, etc. would eventually push her out of my heart. It has worked periodically. I would gradually start to forget about her, focus on the present, and I would feel ok. And then a dream or memory would come to me and wreck me for months. I figured that my marriage was really rocky, and it was natural to long for old loves--I figured that my real problem was with my marriage; I just had to get that sorted and then everything would fall into place. I would be happy, forget the girl, ride off into the sunset with my family. And for the last 6 months it was working, and then I had that stupid dream. Only this time there is a difference. My marriage is actually really good these days. We finally understand how to communicate, when to give each other space, when to apologize, when to ask for help, etc. etc. I honestly can't point to a single reason why I should be unhappy in my marriage, but the sense of peace and belonging that I felt just dreaming about my ex made me take a hard look at myself. Why don't I feel peace and belonging in my happy marriage? It's really hard to say for certain, but my current theory is that because my wife and I look at life and the world so differently, I have slowly started to shut down the deepest parts of myself because I know she won't ever "get" them. I've really tried to open up that side of me, but it's really like talking to a wall. My wife isn't dumb or anything; she just can't see things the way I see them sometimes. That wouldn't be a big deal if it were casual or inconsequential stuff, but it's what makes me who I am, the reasons I do what I do--she just doesn't get it. But my ex did. Somehow she always got it. My ex and I have had some contact over the years (even during my marriage)--in some ways there was an emotional affair for a little while, but I really backed off because I knew fixing my marriage was the right course of action, and I just needed to get over this girl. That was 3 years ago. Anyways, every time we talked, it was like I was speaking my native language for the first time in a long time. I bring this up to say that I'm not just daydreaming about a girl from a decade ago who probably doesn't remember me--it's more than a pipe dream. So I guess the conundrum is that I've lost all hope. It was like a punch in the stomach when I realized that even at the peak of my marriage, when I really truly feel like we've made progress and it's going to work out, I realize that I feel like a stranger in my home, like there is a big, deeper part of me that my wife won't ever understand or even know that she doesn't understand. And there's this other woman out there who does understand, and we could be happy together. But of course, doing that would wreck my family, hurt my amazing wife, hurt my children. Probably hurt me in many ways. On the other hand, staying in my marriage, always feeling isolated--it's already changed me in many ways that I don't like, and I'm afraid I will become bitter and mean. That would be equally awful for everyone. Like I said, I know I'm a horrible person, a worthless husband. Feel free to reiterate that. But if you have any other thoughts, those could be helpful too. Thanks either way. Link to comment
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