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Conflicted trust issues, should I still stay


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I've been married for morethan 20 years, me and my husband were college sweethearts and have 4 lovely kids together. 2 year ago he decided to start venture abroad after closure of his business during the COVID. I supported his decision to go partly because I knew that his feeling really stressed about not having his own business to run and not able to contribute as much as he wants to, it's been weighing him down. My aim to support him was purely for him to have a good mental wellbeing.

I guess we've had a lot of issues prior to this but like every other marriages that goes through stuff to deal with, one of this issues is that I suggested to get divorce as the stressed was getting to much for me. But we eventually worked things out and decided to give our relationship a chance because I still love him and for the children. 

However, last year he has started to asked me random questions like if I ever like someone, that I can't help myself that I started falling for that person. I obviously just answered him without reservation and said, "well I never really felt that way because I'm not looking" I also said of course it's normal to have crush or something, I have lots of celebrity crush but not to the point I'm involve with someone. It was just a conversation we had and though nothing much about it until he confess that he found himself falling for someone and asked me if he can married another wife. After hearing that, I was just feeling so conflicted, I feel hopeless that this man is falling for someone else other than me. I knew that in our religion his allowed to do so, as long as there's a mutual agreement but morally to me it's wrong. I simply expressed how I feel and told him "listen, I'm feeling *** and felt betrayed that you are inlove with someone else, I really don't want to be part of your option and I don't want to share you, so if you decide to take another wife, you cannot expect me to stay". I guessed he thought this over for few days but it was same to me too, I could not let go to the fact that he got another option all in a sudden, therefore I suggested we get divorce. I though to myself, I love this man but I don't want to hold on into him, I don't want to stop him from having that love and want him to be free but also I don't wanna be hurt further by being part of an option to him so I rather let it go. But he pleaded that the most important and his priority is me that's why he told me first before he goes any further and because I am against it that he would learn to avoid and have a better control of his feelings. He said that we cannot just throw our marriage of morethan 20 years and that we have to make it work no matter what. I felt crappy after and felt that maybe I'm the issue because I can just easily forget about this marriage and move on so I wanted to give it another chance, I said to myself I never once experience a problem with him involving other parties so perhaps this is a fleeting feeling his feeling because of loneliness.

So we eventually moved on and decided to stay, we addressed some of the issue and find ways to get more closer. He comes back home at least once every 2 or 3 months max and we spoke all the time perhaps mostly just about issues with kids or home related problem but we also talked about we misses each other and so on. We never lack the chemistry in bed when he comes back home as well as our night sex conversations that we are open about to each other.

However, it all changed again when he came back recently. I saw some text messages on his phone that was red flags to me. His been flirting with other womens, although I knew that he has a flirty character in general but one particular woman his flirting with showing me all red flags. I confronted him and asked why would he have that kind of messages with other women.

'your cute, cute, cute'

' your thinking about me '

' you miss me '

' i will come over now '

He often goes at her place at night to talked to her about his issues and he felt really comfortable to confide with.

 It was just unacceptable to me and felt really hurt. Just all my emotions rushing down all at once and felt everything I done was for nothing. He explained how he worked with this woman and this is just how he talked to all of the women. He later confess that he found it comfortable talking to this woman about anything, even things he can't talk to me about. However he also said a lot of upsetting things.

To cut it short I wanted divorce but this time I wanted to hear his opinion before making a final decision if we can still work it out. I think the biggest factor why I felt I had the need to stay at one point is because I betrayed him 16 years ago, although he forgive me but he has not completely forgotten, he claimed he forgive but I believe he has not completely moved on from it because everytime we have an argument or issues, he always need to remind me of a sinful woman I am. I felt like I'm being emotionally manipulated because of my mistake 16 years ago and he used it constantly as a hostage to justify all his actions while keeping me at the same time. This is also part of the reason why I wanted to leave, partly because I love him that I don't want to carry on with the cycle of blame and hurt. 

He said that we have to fully addressed the root of the problem in our marriage and I completely agree with that. He also expressed how he felt that his not loved enough because I have always expressed my desire to leave him. However, to me I felt that we are not in the same wavelength and morethan loving someone, we need to love ourself more rather than having self inflicted pain because of issues in our marriage. 

I love him and my children but I am learning to love myself more so I can provide even greater love to everyone.

He travel a lot and I am also have a very busy schedule with work, srudies, kids but we decided to meet up after we have done reflecting. I wanted to know other people thought on my circumstances, your advice will be greatly appreciated.

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It might be helpful to project your vision into the future and picture details of the life you truly desire for yourself.

Is he in that picture?

Sometimes working backward from your own wants and needs can churn the stagnation of viewing a problem through an old and practiced lens.

Another question to ask is, "If I had a million dollars, would I stay or would I go?"

Write more if it helps, and I'm sorry you're going through this.

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1 hour ago, Zivma said:

  I wanted divorce but this time I wanted to hear his opinion before making a final decision 

Is polygamy legal in the country that you reside in? When you say "take another wife", do you mean a provisional mistress?

The only opinion you need is that of an attorney. Discuss your options in the event of divorce and what it entails financially in your jurisdiction.

You're basically a single mother at this point with a husband you share part-time with his mistresses.

Decide if you are happy with this or if you would like a monogamous relationship/marriage. Legal advice could help you decide the best course of action for you and your children.

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Is it a Muslim marriage? I am afraid that he is allowed to have another wife if he wants to. Not even sure about the divorce because you cant even do that without his permission. 

Dont get me wrong, I think you definitely should divorce if the situation is like that. Just that if its a Muslim thing, you wont get out of that without him having a final word.

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29 minutes ago, Kwothe28 said:

 I am afraid that he is allowed to have another wife if he wants to. 

Polygamy is not legal in many countries therefore she needs an attorney. If their legal residence is not in a country where polygamy is legal (he's abroad doing this "second wife" routine) then his religion is irrelevant. It all depends where the legal residence is. Not where he is currently staying or what religion he is. She can divorce him in absentia if he is doing this if the legal residence is not in a polygamist country.

There are countries that are polygamist in general such as Saudi Arabia and there are countries that that will only recognize polygamy in muslim marriages, such as India.

It's all about the jurisdiction where they live and if she wants to divorce.  Divorce can also be initiated by Muslim women, again that all depends on where they reside an what an attorney in her jurisdiction advises.

 

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Yes it's a Muslim that allowed polygamy. He currently reside in Dubai and I am in Ireland. However, there's so many factors to looked at before a person can take other wife. In his case, he found it hard as he is away and that his needs are not getting fulfilled and he also felt sorry for this woman that he wants to take her as second wife and create a home and family for her. Although his allowed, he needs to consult me if I allowed it. Additionally in our religious belief, I have the right to ask for divorce as well as I can enforce it if needed by law. 

Now he understands why I don't want him to have another wife, it's not that I lacked to fulfilled his needs, rather is the situation he choose to be in that created a problem to himself. I told him that I can't turn 180 degree to leave me and children life here to be with him. Rather he needs to make the adjustments needed to fulfilled his responsibilities as husband and father. 

Based on him that he didn't want our marriage to end and that his fighting his own desire towards having feelings for other women. I appreciate that his choosing me over any other women. However, I didn't want to be an option to begin with and I just don't know if I should give him another chance and help him fight his desire or if I would rather just let go and moved on. I felt that perhaps rather than love we developed an attachment issues, that perhaps we are dependent on each other presence.

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14 minutes ago, Zivma said:

. He currently reside in Dubai and I am in Ireland. 

Are you a citizen of ireland? Are you muslim? If he wants to live in Dubai with another woman "wife", you can easily file for divorce as polygamy is not legal in Ireland. In the country you're in he's simply having an affair. Talk to your attorney about how to proceed. Having sex with other women is not a "need", it's a desire. He wants your permission to cheat, that's all. He's using religious technicalities to do so and you know it. Meaning temporary "wife" so having sex with her is not considered fornication, which is taboo where he's located.

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3 hours ago, Kwothe28 said:

Is it a Muslim marriage? I am afraid that he is allowed to have another wife if he wants to. Not even sure about the divorce because you cant even do that without his permission. 

Dont get me wrong, I think you definitely should divorce if the situation is like that. Just that if its a Muslim thing, you wont get out of that without him having a final word.

Definitely not the case, as much as he has the right, I also have the right to asked for divorce. Usually it's a mutual agreement between two people. It's also the same rules with taking another wife.

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6 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

Are you a citizen of ireland? Are you muslim? If he wants to live in Dubai with another woman "wife", you can easily file for divorce as polygamy is not legal in Ireland. In the country you're in he's simply having an affair. Talk to your attorney about how to proceed. Having sex with other women is not a "need", it's a desire. He wants your permission to cheat, that's all. He's using religious technicalities to do so and you know it.

All valid points definitely, I'm also aware of all the legality it involves as we both share a lot of assets. Yes, both of us are European citizens and both are Muslim in faith. Morethan that I'm just really conflicted because of the children and because of the years we spent together building our family together.

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3 minutes ago, Zivma said:

 because of the children and because of the years we spent together building our family together.

You can easily discuss with an attorney what your options would be in divorce both financially and as far as the children. Right now he's squandering your assets on his sexual desires "Dubai wife" and therefore jeopardizing your and your children's future. As a de facto single parent who he's abandoned for someone else, it's your job to protect yourself and your children, not indulge his cheating.

 

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4 hours ago, catfeeder said:

It might be helpful to project your vision into the future and picture details of the life you truly desire for yourself.

Is he in that picture?

Sometimes working backward from your own wants and needs can churn the stagnation of viewing a problem through an old and practiced lens.

Another question to ask is, "If I had a million dollars, would I stay or would I go?"

Write more if it helps, and I'm sorry you're going through this.

Thank you, I really appreciated your advice. I definitely think it's beneficial to reflect, working it from the start just to see where it went wrong. To be honest we are not always like this, this really just started after he lost his business and gone into financial difficulties. However we overcome it and become stable once again, we also manage to retain a lot of our assets but his an ambitious man and always want to strive further, it's not a bad thing but it caused our relationship a riff and distance when decided to start a new venture abroad. 

It's extremely difficult to balance all our wants especially because we both pursuing our own dream and purpose and non is willing to sacrifice for one another but of course non of us should sacrifice but finding that balance and understanding each other is more important. I think we lost our deep connection and this doesn't help.

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42 minutes ago, Zivma said:

It's extremely difficult to balance all our wants especially because we both pursuing our own dream and purpose and non is willing to sacrifice for one another but of course non of us should sacrifice but finding that balance and understanding each other is more important. I think we lost our deep connection and this doesn't help.

That's a lot of psychobabble.  Use those abstract concepts as a starting point but the goal is with common sense to get to the nitty gritty basics of how this affects daily life.

What are your top three wants (not needs -wants). 

What would a sacrifice look like in terms of details and specifics and what would a partial sactrifice look like.

What does "not willing" mean - a hard no, a no to certain sacrifices, what?

What does balance mean specifically

What does understanding mean - again on a daily basis -specifics.

Why the "lost our deep connection" - is it lost or have you two made choices not to talk to each other in a respectful way with good eye contact, uninterrupted and have you two made a choice to stop laughing at inside jokes, at daily life where you share stories from your day? Avoid indulging in the cliche of "deep connection" when you don't have the privilege of brushing stuff aside with abstractions.  Each day notice and do the specific work that you believe underlies these broad generalities.

Edited to add -no way would I want to be with someone who had to "fight" his desire to be with someone else- if the desire was that strong that he had to fight and convince himself to be with me..... no thanks, see ya.

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2 hours ago, Zivma said:

Definitely not the case, as much as he has the right, I also have the right to asked for divorce. Usually it's a mutual agreement between two people. It's also the same rules with taking another wife.

Ah, I see. OK then, you can freely ask for the divorce and get that in order by court.

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Absolutely kick him to the curb. He's not faithful and he does not respect YOU nor your kids and nor your marriage.

He's f*ing around in Dubai like a single man while his wife does all the heavy lifting.

The real reason he won't leave you is because of the wife benefits. You take care of the house, kids, listen to him, pay some bills, and give him sex when he's there. If he doesn't convince you to stay, he'll have to deal with custody, showing up as a father, and taking care of his place. That's too much hard work for him, so it's best for HIM that you stay. He'll tell you a few words like "I love you", make you feel like a bad guy or manipulate you so you to stay. He's taking you for a fool who's willing to do anything for him.

Let that sink in.

Now please, next time he's back serve him the divorce paper and let him know there's no discussion about this anymore. Be a good example to your kids.

You are worthy of a loyal faithful and caring man. Someone who is available and steps up for you and the kids. Nothing less!

Take care. I'm sorry you're going through this, but you know the way out.

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7 hours ago, Zivma said:

I definitely think it's beneficial to reflect, working it from the start just to see where it went wrong. To be honest we are not always like this,

I understand. This is also where you're stuck. You remember the good times and you're fixed on the hope of returning to them rather than grappling with 'what IS'.

You can do that if you want, it's not against the law. It's just not going to move you beyond the stagnation of wishing for the past.

Meanwhile, husband is using your family assets to live a separate life and entertain other lovers. You can be passive about how this positions you as half responsible for any current and future debts husband inflicts on your household, or you can be proactive about protecting your children and yourself by learning your actual legal options.

For instance, in some locations, filing for a legal separation protects the filer from any further debts incurred by the partner. This doesn't preclude you and husband from reconciling if you choose to do so in the future. In fact, gaining legal advice about ALL of your options along with the wisest steps to take for each option is NOT the same thing as filing for divorce, it's about learning.

The goal is to operate in your own and your children's best interests based on REAL information rather than by emotions alone.

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Does he really want to choose you? Why is he still another country away? If he was serious about rebuilding the relationship with you he would come back to Ireland yesterday. (And maybe if he say as much to him and he comes back to Ireland today, you might oblige him a little more time to show that he can and will show up again as your partner. In the absence of that, set yourself free. This person has abdicated his responsibilities as your life partner. )

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Thank you for everyone's input, I think this really just confirm what I really feel about our situation and also confirm that I'm not a bad person asking to end our long relationship. It's always good to have different perspectives than my own enable to see the issues much clearer. 

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8 hours ago, Zivma said:

Thank you for everyone's input, I think this really just confirm what I really feel about our situation and also confirm that I'm not a bad person asking to end our long relationship. 

Absolutely. You have the advantage because you are in Ireland at this time. You can consult an attorney about filing for divorce in absentia since he abandoned you to start another family elsewhere.

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