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Confused Relationship


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I dated my ex for a few months back when I was 15 years old. Due to a traumatic experience, I had to leave town without saying goodbye and our relationship ended without any closure. Years later, we started talking again as friends on and off. I eventually moved abroad for my higher education and we lost contact again. Upon returning, I met a man and we got married. We've been married for 14 years and have two children together but our relationship is far from perfect.

For the past ten years, we haven't been intimate on a regular basis - he's rejected me 9/10 times when I'd approach him for sex or just to make out, but otherwise we get along well - you could call us roommates who have children together. 

 

Now, for the past 3 years, that same ex has been a part of my life. We'd talk and then go our separate ways and reconnect again. We'd laugh and reminisce of the times we spent together. Recently he told me that he blamed himself for me leaving town even though that's far from the truth. We started talking again regularly and he said he has a crush on me. Our conversations have been flirtatious, until the past few days when he said he loves me and at times desperately needs me BUT he can't be selfish and can't hurt my family because he has principles BUT I'm his dream. I told him I wasn't asking him for anything, but I had love in my heart for him too as a person. 

Now all of a sudden, he's talking to me about his sex life and how he's calling chicks over to have sex with them. He knows it hurts me because I do have feelings for him. 

 

I just don't understand what's going on! And I don't understand how to gauge what he truly feels or why he's trying to hurt me by telling me that hot girls are coming to his place. 

 

Is this his way of shooing me away? Or does he want to see my reaction? Or is this is his way of protecting himself from pain?

 

I don't know what to do - I do want to explore things with him to see where we go, but I don't know how to get him back to how things were.

 

As for my relationship with my husband, I've told him multiple times that we'll stay together till our children are old enough to understand why their parents are separating. 

 

Thanks a bunch! 

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6 minutes ago, Confused and Distraught said:

Recently he told me that he blamed himself for me leaving town even though that's far from the truth. We started talking again regularly and he said he has a crush on me. Our conversations have been flirtatious, until the past few days when he said he loves me and at times desperately needs me BUT he can't be selfish and can't hurt my family because he has principles BUT I'm his dream.

- Loves you?

- Desperately needs you?

- you are his dream?

Okay, well this is way out in south field, ya think?

He has NO clue on any of this... you are BOTH grasping at strings here.

Whatever happened sooo many years ago, compared to now, is so long ago and you have BOTH changed dramatically, due to your life experiences!  believe me.. I have been there.. I met up with a cpl ex's and they're both messed. ( yes I met them after 15 yrs apart).

So, do not listen to this 'talk' some long ago ex wants to feed you!

 

6 minutes ago, Confused and Distraught said:

I just don't understand what's going on! And I don't understand how to gauge what he truly feels or why he's trying to hurt me by telling me that hot girls are coming to his place.

I don't think he is trying to hurt you.. BUT, you are already involved (married etc). He see's you as a friend.. and this is how friends 'talk'.. about everything. ( except the flirtations.. honestly, this should not be occurring either. You are married- this is not approporiate).

IF you can't handle it... end this with him.. Let it go and focus on your own life more?  ( if you are not happy with your marriage, then end that... heal, etc before considering getting involved again.. And even that's a long time away.

But, don't make YOUR life more complicated 😕 .

 

 

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Have you also told your husband you plan to have an affair? If so, has he agreed and approved?

You are not available to this other man. Maybe he wants better for himself than being the illicit lover of a married woman.

He's single so he can have all the "hot girls" over that he wants. If it "hurts" you, maybe stop communicating with him.

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20 minutes ago, Confused and Distraught said:

Our conversations have been flirtatious, until the past few days when he said he loves me and at times desperately needs me BUT he can't be selfish and can't hurt my family because he has principles

What is so confusing about that? He does like you, however he wont get into affair with a married woman because neither side will get what it wants. Well except you, you will get sex, aka something you dont in marriage. He wont get anything out of it except lose time with you. It cant go anywhere as he cant marry you, cant have kids with you, or even get in official relationship with you. And in the process will hurt your family. Because I really dont believe your husband would be OK with you sleeping around. For sex, lover has other options as you see. So, as he cant pursue you, what do you expect him to do but stay friends? If you want to pursue something like that, get divorce. Then you will be free to do lover or anybody else to your liking.

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40 minutes ago, Confused and Distraught said:

As for my relationship with my husband, I've told him multiple times that we'll stay together till our children are old enough to understand why their parents are separating. 

That's an excuse.

Trust me, it's always better to separate asap for the children. As they grow older, you can explain to them. But at least they wouldn't have grown in a family where the couple has a loveless marriage. That does not make for healthy kids with healthy self esteem.

It's time to stop communicating with this dude and look at yourself in the mirror. If the marriage is not salvageable, it's time to free yourselves and seek actual happiness- a good thing to teach your kids; if you are unhappy in a situation, either work on it or leave it. Nobody is a victim.

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11 minutes ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

As they grow older, you can explain to them. But at least they wouldn't have grown in a family where the couple has a loveless marriage. That does not make for healthy kids with healthy self esteem.

I second this... Never stick around 'for the kids'.  They are not stupid, they can pick up on the hostillity. And why 'fake it'?.

You are not happy, then split up.  Get your life going for yourself.  Many couple's have sooo many times.  is nothing new and kids can still flourish.

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If we think about it, you're asking us why you can't cheat. Literally.

And, again, drop the selfish excuse about why you can't divorce.

Take a deep look at your life.

That dude's appearing showed you that you aren't happy. You aren't satisfied. But, luckily, he won't pursue. It's a good sign for you so that you can make good change in your life.

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1 hour ago, Confused and Distraught said:

Now all of a sudden, he's talking to me about his sex life and how he's calling chicks over to have sex with them. He knows it hurts me because I do have feelings for him

I'm totally not shocked that someone who has the poor ethics to communicate flirtatiously with a taken woman would also do things to "hurt" you.

You will never attract anyone decent to start a romance with as long as you're legally married.

And to call someone you dated for 60 days, and being fresh out of junior high, an ex is really strange. You're trying to create some sort of great reality out of something that is clearly a fantasy, and then you're shocked you're not getting the outcome of a happily ever after you expected.

Assume that when your kids are adults, they will find out how you conducted yourself while in the marriage. Secrets have a way of coming out. If you divorce, you are ethically okay to date without judgement. At the moment, you're not being a good role model on how spouses are supposed to behave--in a loving manner. They will think spouses are meant to treat each other like roommates and nothing more. Good luck.

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All I can say is that all the above posts are 100% on the money.

Confused relationship?  This shouldn't even BE a relationship in the first place.  You are married, with children.  This dude has no place in your life right now and if your marriage is as bad as you say it is, then either try marriage counseling to fix it, or serve your husband with divorce papers so that you can be free to date.  Right now, you are not free and therefore should stop messing with this guy.  You're playing with fire so get ready to get burned.

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5 hours ago, Confused and Distraught said:

As for my relationship with my husband, I've told him multiple times that we'll stay together till our children are old enough to understand why their parents are separating. 

It's not a kid's job to understand the reasons for their parents separation, so I wouldn't put this on them. Rarely are adult children even privy to such details, so I'd skip hiding behind a parenthood banner to avoid resolving my own relationship with my husband.

I'd have learned from husband long ago what his expectations are of ME to remain in a sexless marriage. If I couldn't negotiate marriage therapy and some reasonable return to a fulfilling love and sex life, then either I or my lawyer would have negotiated any other terms--but I'd have full clarity about those.

What I would NOT do is play 'around' the edges of my marriage as though there's some invisible line there that I 'CAN'T' cross. I'd either be in or out, and I'd skip involving myself in anything that's 'pseudo' rather than real.

So why not pursue real information from the people in your life, and negotiate with each of them what you want?

Edited by catfeeder
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I would say his ego is a bit bruised that you are married and in a seemingly secure household with your spouse and children. You have a home and household to look after and a life outside of the affair. He may also be comparing himself to you if you’re around the same age since you grew up together or feeling vulnerable and falling short based on his own measures or expectations of self.

The relationship is outside the norm and in secrecy, meaning that unless he gets off on that specific type of rl(and there are people who certainly do), he is likely disturbed on some level also.

You have more to lose so one might ask is the risk worth it to you to be having an affair? What does life look like without the affair? How much do you need him?

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Confused relationship? Oh, I thought that the thread was about this very confused marriage...because it is beyond my understanding how spouses can live under the same roof, but avoid intimacy for 10 years...and avoid addressing the issue. What is the reason for avoiding to acknowledge the elephant in the room? Is there anything more confusing than a marriage for appearances?

It is my understanding that every human being needs physical intimacy. I do not believe that the husband simply does not need physical contact from OP, most probably he gets it from someone else, perhaps he may be gay. And OP seems to be willing to sweep the issue under the rug. Rather than escapism in a fantasy affair, I'd advise that OP demands straight answers from her husband as for why their marriage is deprived from intimacy. 

 

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You are both living in Fantasy Land, OP. 

You havevn't seen each other in years. You have never really even had a proper relationship, considering you were kids when you dated for a few months. That barely counts, in the grand scheme of things. As such, him telling you he needs you and you are perfect is fantasy talk. Neither of you has any clue if you would even get along in person, much less have what it takes to date each other. You're lapping it up because you are unhappy in your marriage but absolutely must take these sweet nothings with a giant boulder of salt. 

8 hours ago, Confused and Distraught said:

I do want to explore things with him to see where we go

You can't. You are married. There is no "exploring" and this is not going anywhere as long as you are not divorced. 

8 hours ago, Confused and Distraught said:

As for my relationship with my husband, I've told him multiple times that we'll stay together till our children are old enough to understand why their parents are separating. 

Have you also told him that you are currently shopping for his replacement? Planning to divorce is not license to cheat, OP. Stop feeding yourself these excuses to justify what you are doing here. 

8 hours ago, Confused and Distraught said:

he's talking to me about his sex life and how he's calling chicks over to have sex with them. He knows it hurts me because I do have feelings for him. 

He's immature and attemping to hit you where it hurts. But, on the other hand, he's also being realistic. He can't put himself on hold for you, so it is good for him to date and have sex with other women. You aren't available so it's healthy for him to explore his options with other women and see if he can find a match. And when he does, you will be left in the dust. 

It's time to get real with yourself about your life. This little digitial fling is a distraction from your problems, but it's not the solution. 

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10 hours ago, Confused and Distraught said:

 you could call us roommates who have children together. 

He's talking to me about his sex life 

Well yes. He's single and free to do whatever he wants. 

Skip the "we're like roommates" routine. It's a typical cheater's line.

The fact is you are unhappily married and unwilling to leave.

 

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So, about this elephant in the marriage, why is your husband rejecting you so often? As another poster says, is this something with your husband stepping out on you behind your back, or gay, or is he just no longer attracted for you for some reason? Packed on too much weight from the kids, and become a sour complaining, chain smoking whiner? (2 of my friends exes are exactly that picture)

Has there been councilling? Efforts to work out why he doesn't have this interest? Or has it been easier to sweep it under the rug and reach outside of the marriage for other sources of attention?

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2 hours ago, East4 said:

Confused relationship? Oh, I thought that the thread was about this very confused marriage...because it is beyond my understanding how spouses can live under the same roof, but avoid intimacy for 10 years...and avoid addressing the issue. What is the reason for avoiding to acknowledge the elephant in the room? Is there anything more confusing than a marriage for appearances?

It is my understanding that every human being needs physical intimacy. I do not believe that the husband simply does not need physical contact from OP, most probably he gets it from someone else, perhaps he may be gay. And OP seems to be willing to sweep the issue under the rug. Rather than escapism in a fantasy affair, I'd advise that OP demands straight answers from her husband as for why their marriage is deprived from intimacy. 

 

I have tried talking to him multiple times over the years - using all my emotions - I've been calm, angry, frustrated, horny, loving, sad - but he just won't give me a proper answer. At one point he said it was all in my head, till I pointed out that we had sex 6 months ago. The second time around he said that I had gained weight and I become heavy for him to hold on to. Third time around he said he's just busy or since we have kids in the house, he doesn't want to. The excuses are endless. 

 

I don't believe he's cheating on me - and no I'm not in denial and he's definitely not gay. I've faced rejection from him so many times that I've lost count.

 

Having said that, if we look at us together - we're like the best of friends, we have the same hobbies, we love traveling with each other. We don't have arguments in our marriage at all. It's a platonic relationship

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I want to thank each and every one of you for taking out the time to read and respond back to me. 

 

You're all right. There's no denying that, and although I talk a big game of wanting to explore, the reality is, I wouldn't do anything more than talk because it's not who I am. I've been deprived of attention for most of my life and that's probably why I'm confused with the attention I'm getting. 

 

It's true, and I accept that I'm scared of leaving my husband. I don't have intimacy but I have a partner who is my friend. Him and I have had many conversations about sex - but as I mentioned above, he says the following statements each time:

 

1. It's all in your head

2. You're too heavy/You've gained weight

3. I'm just stressed

4. Oh - we can't the kids are around.

5. Is this all you have to talk about?

I've tried different positions, tried to spice things up - this one time I wore something that he spoke about and when I came out - he looked at me disgustingly and said - oh please I'm not in the mood. 

 

But see this is one side of the relationship - the side the kids see is where we laugh about things, we watch shows together, we share the same hobbies, we travel together. We don't fight cause it's come to a point where I've given up and he's complacent. 

I spoke to my children about leaving a couple of times and they were devastated at the thought of it. They don't see a toxic household. They see a happy one. 

I suffer from rejection and neglect wounding since my childhood - so lack of intimacy and being rejected hits me very hard. I've been in counseling for years and each time I suggest couples counseling to him, he laughs at me. He finds it ridiculous and calls me crazy for giving money to someone to hear me out. 

My husband knows I speak to my ex regularly - heck he speaks to him too but yes he doesn't know the parts where my ex told me that he needs me or dreams about me. 

I do have codependency issues and that's also linked to my wounding - so it isn't easy for me to just leave and walk out. Trust me when I say this, I'm fully aware of my internal problems and what's going on here, but sometimes I have a lapse of judgement and I crave attention. I act upon it to the point of words but never more. 

The society I live in, isn't very open.

BUT I feel so blessed that I found a community online where I can be truly honest and recieve unconditional honest feedback from all of you. Thank you for that ❤️❤️❤️

 

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27 minutes ago, Confused and Distraught said:

I don't have intimacy but I have a partner who is my friend.

You shouldn't be married to a "friend" or "best friend". You should be to your lover and from what you've written he gaslights you and completely ignores/dismisses your needs. That is not right and should not be put on the sideline.

And, your kids: they see it. They see the lack of intimacy. You've suffered from rejection and lack of intimacy, but you're okay showing your kids that it's acceptable? Normalizing it? So that they, too, carry it on in their life with their future partners?

Why not break that cycle? And heal your wound? And show yourself and the kids that you are worthy of intimacy and that needs should be mutually met in a relationship.

You have normalised this and justified this way too much. The fact that your husband is your best friend goes to show that the relationship is NOT okay.

Also: stop talking about leaving the marriage and then not following through. It damages the kids more- I know from experience.

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33 minutes ago, Confused and Distraught said:

 1. It's all in your head

2. You're too heavy/You've gained weight

3. I'm just stressed

4. Oh - we can't the kids are around.

5. Is this all you have to talk about?

I spoke to my children about leaving a couple of times and they were devastated at the thought of it. 

The best place to start is to get an evaluation of your physical and mental health by a physician to assess depression, metabolic issues etc.

Get a referral to a therapist on your own, do not tell him or involve him.

Do not subject your kids to your martial problems or poor sex life or threatening them with you're leaving etc.

Stop begging for sex. Get separate bedrooms. Start becoming more independent. Get more involved in your own interests,work,etc.

Get fit. Take better care of yourself. Not for your husband or to revitalize a dead bed, but to improve your well-being and self-esteem.

Nagging him is not working. Begging him is not working. Inflicting marital problems on your kids is damaging and unfair. Don't expect them to be your messengers to your husband.

 

 

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14 hours ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

If you don't mind me asking, what keeps you attached to that man? Money? Status? Fear of being by yourself? Fear of ____?

Maybe you can look into that.

I think it's multiple fears - co-dependency, money (yes, because I had to let go of my career to raise our children), moving back with my parents, fear of never being accepted again, fear of further rejection. And mainly, habit - I'm used to having him around and the way things are in general. 

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14 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

The best place to start is to get an evaluation of your physical and mental health by a physician to assess depression, metabolic issues etc.

Get a referral to a therapist on your own, do not tell him or involve him.

Do not subject your kids to your martial problems or poor sex life or threatening them with you're leaving etc.

Stop begging for sex. Get separate bedrooms. Start becoming more independent. Get more involved in your own interests,work,etc.

Get fit. Take better care of yourself. Not for your husband or to revitalize a dead bed, but to improve your well-being and self-esteem.

Nagging him is not working. Begging him is not working. Inflicting marital problems on your kids is damaging and unfair. Don't expect them to be your messengers to your husband.

 

 

That's exactly what I have started to work on. I had to let go of my career to raise my children - I have no regrets. I started studying again and I'm on my way to becoming a mental health counselor. I recently started working out as well.

 

I am trying to focus on myself for ME - not to become hotter for him. I want to be feel good and I want to heighten my low self image - but sometimes it gets hard and I fall off the wagon. 

 

And you're right - I shouldn't involve the kids - but they just come running to me if they see me cry or upset. I'll work harder on that. 

 

Thank you 😊

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Keep in mind too OP that affairs rarely transition into successful, long-term relationships. 

There are exceptions, obviously, but most don't survive. The novelty wears off quickly when it's no longer a thrilling secret, when you're in each other's presence all the time, when you're dealing with significant trust issues because one person knows that the other is absolutely capable of cheating, and so on. 

So the likelihood that your affair would go anywhere even if you did leave your husband is very low. There's no guarantee that this guy would stick around, and in fact, he sounds like the type who would not. I say that because he has already showed you that he gets carried away and lives on fantasy - these people are usually the ones who bolt as soon as reality hits and they realize the fantasy ideal they've built up in their mind is just that...a fantasy. 

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@Confused and Distraught then you're on the right track with self help. I am positive you can make it back to work. @Batya33 had gone back to work after staying with her children for 7 years.

Cheating is tempting, but alas you won't be able to truly be with someone else until you divorce. And it'll ruin your family.

What is your opinion on breaking the lack of intimacy's cycle? (mentioned before my last post above).

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So how old are your children? I think the first thing that probably needs to be addressed is that your marriage is basically dead. You said yourself that you and your husband agreed you'll only stay together until the children are old enough. What is considered "old enough though"? I actually don't have kids so maybe I don't understand but to me it seems a 10-year-old should be old enough to comprehend it, even if it does hurt them.

You're saying you haven't been intimate that much for ten years. That's a very long time! How much longer are you planning to stay in a loveless, more or less non existent marriage? And what is the point to be in this marriage if you aren't even really together as a couple for a long time now?

Regarding your ex. To be honest I think he's probably just a crush and escapism for you. You dated him when you were only fifteen years old and seems to me like that was about twenty or so years ago? It might even be that you're not even compatible at all as a couple. People change since their teenage years. Also teenagers sometimes date people just for the experience or because they know them at school and have a limited dating pool. That doesn't mean that you and this ex are truly meant for each other or a good match. I think you're just lonely and neglected in your marriage so you're latching on to the only man who gives you attention. You can't really blame him for dating other women or talking about other women though. You're married so what is he actually supposed to do? Sit and wait for you for another ten years?

 

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