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Jealousy, fear & anxiety in a marriage


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My wife and I have been together for 19 years, married for 13. Our relationship has always been one of strong friendship, love and occasional intimacy; neither of us have ever had a big sex drive, outside of the first year or so of our relationship.

We've had several in depth chats about our relationship since the start of the year and basically she's admitted to me that she's no longer in love with or physically attracted to me, but loves me dearly, see's me as her best friend,  still wants to stay together and occasionally share intimate moments. Upon reflection this discussion is something we've actually been skirting around for years. We both agree that we want to stay together and make the marriage work in our own unique way, remaining best friends with occasional benefits. Whilst I stand by our decision, I'm still 'in love' with my wife and I'm very much sexually attracted to her. I fear losing her and these thoughts are starting to consume me.  

Throughout COVID, my wife has formed new friendships via a fan blog and in all honesty at times speaking in the chat has consumed her life, there were even times when she was staying up nearly all night just so she didn't miss out on anything. I suppose on some level I feel jealous that she is  focusing her time in this chat, but what I have noticed is that she has had a sort of sexual awakening; they discuss everything, nothing is off limits, even talking about their sex lives, the fact some of them cheat and are looking for something new etc. There is a lot more to this actually and I could type for hours, but I do feel that my wife is starting to think a little differently about things; she's already admitted to me that she regrets not having a more promiscuous youth and has started discussions and told me things over the past couple of weeks that have made me ponder things. I also have a habit of not having a filter and responding with the first thing that comes into my head, which causes issues and results in something that should have been a brief flippant chat to a 3 day overthought marriage counselling session. 

I want to add that we both trust each other implicitly, we both have traditional values and categorically would never do anything with anyone else behind each others back, that would never be a consideration. We've always said that if our marriage ever reached that point, then we'd have a conversation, reevaluate and take things from there. So I KNOW she would never do anything, but I suppose I have serious fear that is something which is on the horizon.

We have talked loads over the past couple of weeks, but I have a habit of going over and over the same information until it falls into place (I have mild autism), whereas my wife has processed this already and is starting to get frustrated and uninterested in my constant asking of questions etc. She sufferes from anxiety and depression herself, so this isn't really helping her personal situation.

I suppose I'm just hoping to get things off my chest and seek some guidance, I don't have many 'close' friends and I certainly wouldn't discuss this with them; I am very traditional and don't want people knowing my personal business. 

I have made arrangements to see a counselor, but I can't see her until 19th July and I need to have some release before then, otherwise I go mad. 

 

Edited by Owen415
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1 hour ago, Owen415 said:

I have made arrangements to see a counselor, but I can't see her until 19th July 

Excellent. It would be best to see a physician if you have incontrollable anxiety and before the therapist.

At that time, discuss this roommates situation you and your wife have agreed on. 

 

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1 hour ago, Owen415 said:

We've had several in depth chats about our relationship since the start of the year and basically she's admitted to me that she's no longer in love with or physically attracted to me, but loves me dearly, see's me as her best friend,  still wants to stay together and occasionally share intimate moments. Upon reflection this discussion is something we've actually been skirting around for years. We both agree that we want to stay together and make the marriage work in our own unique way, remaining best friends with occasional benefits. Whilst I stand by our decision, I'm still 'in love' with my wife and I'm very much sexually attracted to her. I fear losing her and these thoughts are starting to consume me.  

You can share your thoughts on the forum or open up a diary/journal in another section as well if you don't particularly want any advice. Message a moderator to ask for more details or you should be able to find that option using the panel on the right. Most individuals don't have the strength early on to split up immediately or separate once feelings change. People stay together out of comfort and familiarity or because it's not financially doable either to physically separate. 

She sees you as a friend and is getting her emotional needs meet elsewhere, as well as possibly her physical needs also. This is a break up but it's hidden behind a lot of rhetoric. Breaking up with you and telling you she sees you as a friend gives her the freedom to flirt, have sex or share intimately with others and at the same time she also has the extra comfort of having you around for "occasional benefits".

Ask yourself whether you fear losing yourself or whether you fear losing your wife more. Don't keep making excuses to stay in the marriage if it's no longer meeting your needs or if you're anxious and unsettled. 

 

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2 hours ago, Owen415 said:

We've had several in depth chats about our relationship since the start of the year and basically she's admitted to me that she's no longer in love with or physically attracted to me, but loves me dearly, see's me as her best friend,  still wants to stay together and occasionally share intimate moments. Upon reflection this discussion is something we've actually been skirting around for years. We both agree that we want to stay together and make the marriage work in our own unique way, remaining best friends with occasional benefits

With knowing this, and her admitting she does still love you and see's you as her best friend, still sounds like she will not leave you.

Although, it does sound like you two are 'out of the loop' a bit.  Since you are still extremely into her?

Even though she does freely chat about everything amongst other people ( like an emotional upgrade), she's got some support that way. - IMO, still does not mean she would cheat on you.  She still has you. ( other than her chatting with others, she still feels enough for you & your relationship- correct?).

Do you know if anyone she chats with is local , or all online?

I feel, that if you truly do trust her, to just leave her to that- which makes her feel okay about herself.

How about YOU?  Do you hang with friends..get out & do stuff?  How about you & her?

 

Edited by SooSad33
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OK just keep talking here. I don't really have a solution for you...counseling is what is needed and you have that covered. Can you not do it online? Facetiming with a psychologist is the way to go,...more availability.

Edited by smackie9
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5 hours ago, Owen415 said:

she's admitted to me that she's no longer in love with or physically attracted to me, but loves me dearly, see's me as her best friend,

A best friend is not marriage OP.  You could live with anyone as a "best friend".   I love my brothers dearly, but no, not married to any of them!

5 hours ago, Owen415 said:

my wife has formed new friendships via a fan blog and in all honesty at times speaking in the chat has consumed her life,

That is very concerning. 

5 hours ago, Owen415 said:

She suffers from anxiety and depression herself

Another cause for concern.

5 hours ago, Owen415 said:

I'm still 'in love' with my wife and I'm very much sexually attracted to her. I fear losing her

IMO, OP, and re-reading your first post, I think she has already "gone".  

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Hey, OP. Sorry you are going through this.

Being understanding and accommodating is not what is needed here. You need to be upfront and honest about what you want and need. You can say you would be open to spicing things up or working on what she feels is lacking from the marriage. But if she's not in it, then you need to start moving on. You should not stay married to someone who has relegated you to friend status while she goes on to have fun with others (and no, you don't KNOW she won't). That is so unfair to you. Maybe you leaving her to allow her to have her fun - without the security of always being around that you are currently affording her - would allow her to realize what she is losing. 

Hope this helps.

Edited by Pleasedonot5
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Two things that stand out to me:

1) Someone who is enamored with a cheating crowd doesn't share your values the way you think or wish.

2) There is more to that chat than meets the eye. She has her eye on someone there and thus the sudden, "I love you but I'm not in love with you, let's just be pals" bs line. It is absolutely being said to clear her conscience. She told you, she warned you so that if/when something more develops and you find out, you can't say much because....she did tell you.

Anyway, I agree with above poster that this is not a time for you to play a compliant doormat. Either she needs to quit the chat and whoever and focus 100% on repairing her marriage with you, or she carries on as is and you are divorcing her.

I know you love her, but love yourself enough that you don't suffer her putting you and your marriage on the back burner. That's no longer a marriage and nobody deserves to go through the pain and humiliation of that. Deep down you already know this and that's why you feel so much anxiety. Your body is screaming at you that she is full of it and this is not right and not how you should be treated. Stand up for yourself, your values, and your marriage and if she isn't on board, let her go.

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I couldn't have said it any better, Dancing.

Also OP, please realize that your wife checked out a long time ago. You need to see it for what it is and stop denying yourself from seeing the writings on the walls.

If your wife really cared about your feelings, she wouldn't be on a chatroom having a blast with cheaters.

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I know that of course it's not just a piece of cake to leave your wife after nineteen years together. It's easier for us to say because we're just strangers on the internet but this is your real life. Your wife is the only person you've been with for nearly twenty years. She's the only person you can imagine life with, right? It's definitely not easy. 

The problem is for a relationship to work is that both people need to want it to work. I'm sorry but I'm not sure what can be improved after your wife told you she's not in love with you or sexually attracted to you anymore. You can do counselling alone to work through it for yourself but doing marriage counselling won't make your wife feel differently. The only reason to do marriage counselling would be if your wife was still in love with you and she wanted the marriage to work out.

The fact that she spends all her free time with other people on those forums unfortunately means she's losing interest in you and your marriage. She's more interested in who she can find on those forums and she's getting her flirtation fix there. I also agree that she's probably building up to leaving you but she's trying to get up the courage to do it.

I think unfortunately your only choice really now is to let her go. I know it hurts but what else could you do? If she wants to leave and move out then let her. Time away from her will help. It'll be painful but the more time goes by, the stronger and better you'll feel. I don't know how old you are but these days people can easily live to about 90. In future you may even find love again. 

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I'm going through a similar thing.  My wife had also been chatting on social media channels, but thought nothing of it as she used to share stuff.  As time went on she shared less.  I'm not sure if this is where it all started, or maybe it started months or years prior.  But after 19 years my wife decided to leave.  No reason (apart from she wanted space).  Took nothing with her apart from her laptop, important documents, hairdryer and straighteners - that was it.  She said it would be a couple of dys then she'd be back home, but I received a text message saying she has feelings for somebody else and won't be coming back.  It's been 5 weeks now, almost, and it is extremely difficult.  Other posters here have been very helpful and due to illness I have also been dependent on my wife financially - which hasn't helped with finding money to pay lawyers, etc.

Working through the stress, anxiety and pain is difficult and I am now at the point where I am accepting letting her go.  She has admitted an affair and adultery.  All I'm saying is that it's hard, horrible and heart-breaking all at the same time.  I can only offer my experience, but focus on you and focus on building your self-esteem and confidence back up, you will find they will, or have, taken a beating.

Stay strong.

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