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Married with Children... and Confused!


mommyof3angels
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Hi all! This is my first post here. It is going to be long but I want you to kind of get the whole jist of the situation. Thank you all for any advice you can give.

 

I have 3 children ages 6,4 and 2. I have been married for almost 5 years to a wonderful man. When I say wonderful, I mean he is everything that a woman could want.... but I am not happy. We just bought a house 2 years ago and a new car a month ago. I was thinking the car would make me happy! LOL

 

Back to the beginning... I was 16 when I starting dating my first love. He is the father of my oldest child. We dated off and on for 5 years, and we had a lot of ups and downs as neither one of us truly knew what we wanted. I met my husband and we began talking. Well Lee (my daughter's father) got married and after a while I got pregnant with my son (by my husband whom we'll call Ray). I decided to get married (1st) of of spite that Lee had gotten married and he still had feelings for me and (2nd) because I was pregnant and I did not want to be a single mom with 2 children. I know, I know.... all the wrong reasons.

 

So I was never really in-love with Ray but I knew he was a good man and would do me right. Meanwhile, Lee decides to get a divorce and try to make our relationship work but I am determined to make my marriage work. I thought I would grow to be in-love with Ray and that has never come. I do love him as he is the father of 2 of my children and treats my little girl like his own. However, we barely have a relationship at all. If we get someone to watch the kids, we most likely will sit at home and not speak.

 

I have been so depressed with all this the past couple of weeks, I will bust out crying for no reason. I am not happy and it is starting to effect the way I treat my children. During the past couple of weeks, I have been thinking of Lee almost constantly, to the point were I can barely carry a conversation with my husband at all. So today, I run into Lee's brother and we get to talking. I told him how I am feeling (but left out the part about Lee) and he was like, "Oh gosh, i have to call Lee and tell him you might be singe. He will be on his way in a matter of minutes I bet." Lee lives hundreds of miles from me. I am in NC and he is in NJ. So I guess my problem is really a lot of problems in one.

 

I feel that Lee is the one, always has been and always will be. While I am still thinking of separate from my husband, I know I can not currently make it on my own. I am a stay-at-home mom. I asked Ray last night if we were to get separated, how we would split things up. He said there would be no splitting anything as he would just leave if I did not want him there. I am worried my children would never understand this and I really don't want to lose my house. If Lee was to call me right now, I would pack up all my and the kids belongings and be gone. I am just so confused!!! So what would you do?

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OK first thing I would say to you is that right now, Lee is a fantasy. Both you and Lee are thinking of each other and seeing the person you each were 5 years ago. You are not that person and neither is he so who knows if that will work out or not.

 

Second, whilst I am not an advocate of staying in a failed marriage, I am an advocate of trying to do everything you can to make it work. From what you have posted you sound like you have done very little except crack the sads and want to get out.

 

So you need to first tell your husband how you are feeling (does he have any idea?), get his input, work out what is happening between you, if need be get some counselling.

 

Your husband sounds like a good man. Not too many guys woould take on anothers child and treat them as his own. He deserves your efforts. He does not deserve the double pain of you heading off with the father of the daughter he calls his own.

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Thank you for your reply. I have told my husband how I feel over and over again. He told me to go and take some time to myself, so I went to Florida back in March. The only thing I missed were my children. There is no excitement, no fireworks, no anything with him, and honestly there never have been. But everytime I talk to him about things, he will switch things up for a while like trying to show me more attention. After a couple of weeks, everything is right back to were we began. It is to the point were I don't want to even leave the kids alone with him, not because he is a bad man but he doesn't take any time with them. Everytime I come home, they are in their rooms because he told them to go. Just little things like that which never change and then the no sparks part.... it is just tugging at my heart.

 

Oh yeah, and I have always been a pretty much independent person and enjoy time alone. He will NEVER leave me alone unless I go to the groc store or some other errand. I have also talked about this, but nothing changes for long.

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Have you thought about counselling? To be honest this is probably not the sort of thing to get defeatist about right now. I think you have to find some will to give this your absolute best shot. If that does not work then maybe think about the next step.

 

It just seems to easy to say "I made a mistake, I was never in love with the guy, he doesn't listen to me, I'm outta here."

 

Because the other thing is, if you give it everything you have got and it doesn't work, that at least provides you with some comfort.

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I wish I could add to this, but I think Melrich has hit all the important points. So forgive me as I babble on in saying that ... I completely agree that Lee is a fantasy. You don't have the means to make a living for yourself and yet much of your emotional energy is getting robbed by this fantasy to be with a guy you don't even know any more?

 

Our minds play tricks on us. The power of a first-love is surreal, but we have to remember that it didn't work and there are many reasons for this. If he was the one, you would have known it then, when there was so much on the line (especially with a beautiful little girl in the picture). You wouldn't have married someone to spite him because you would have had faith that he would come back to you. The love you describe is at best adolescent and hardly mature enough to sustain any healthy interaction between you and his daughter.

 

It hurts me to hear how you might just pick up and leave if Lee gave you any indication that he would be interested in a reunion. It hurts me because that may be all he wants, to win you back and then, break your heart again or vice versa. You guys were playing games with each other and Lee is leaving all the hard adult work to Ray, a loving, responsible, respectable man.

 

A car won't make you happy, but filling your life with goals other than winning some leaver back will. Romantic emotions can charge us with new energy and make us feel alive and really the feeling is nothing more than a drug addiction. I think you're suffering from the drug right now that is the chemical rush you get from the idea of falling in love. With all the responsibilities of being a mom, you probably just want an escape from it all, a trip back to your late adolescence when things were so much simpler.

 

Click your heels three times, my love, it won't work. It's too late. Please snap out of it before you jeopardize this relationship that you have, because it's more than just one, it's five. What you had with Lee may have been special, but attempting to turn the hands of time backwards will do nothing but leave them wrapped around your neck with you strangled in it's timeless grip.

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I believe you are right, I have not given this my all. It is just so frustrating to be in a house with someone and be so mad and full of anger for no reason at all. After he leaves, I am more relaxed for some reason. He would never agree to go to counseling. He believes we have no problems even though I tell him all the time that I am not happy. I have never talked about leaving him until last night though. Also, I have never told him how I truly feel, like no feelings for him and such. Do you think I should? I just didn't want to do that until I decided what I was going to do for sure.

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I think it is good you are telling him how serious things are. Sometimes the only thing left is an ultimatum and it sounds like you are almost at that point. So a starting point may be "Lee, this is not working. I want to give it a chance to work but we both need to commit to that and work toward that. If we can't get this right, if things don't change, I'm leaving the marriage." or words to that effect.

 

I think then you have been fair to him. You have given him fair warning, you have given yourselves a chance and you are asking for some commitment from him to try and work through things.

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I just want to say one other thing... I was in a relationship with my first love and I woke up Saturdays wishing I'd have time to myself and looking at him with disgust as he proposed another damn afternoon spent rollerblading. It was too predictable, too easy, too cozy and you know what? I killed that relationship and now look back at it with such fondness because it really did have what it took to go the distance. Now, I'm just saying that your current relationship reminds me a whole lot of my first relationship. They get boring after the first two years of "romantic love" and they become "real". I describe this to many of my girlfriends and they all shake their head like, yeah, that's show I'm feeling now about my relationship and many go to counselling because that buzz of excitement is gone. Let me just say that it's as much your responsibility as it is his to make yourselves happy. Just try. I once knew this woman who married her first love and many thought, wow, he's so boring how does she stay with him?! They ahve it all and they are so happy! She thinks her life is wonderful and when people stand back, they see she has made it that way and that he actually is a really cool guy with so much to offer.

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Thank you both for your help. I believe I will follow your advice MelRich and set an ultimatim. Lee is probably just a fantasy but if so I wish he would get out of my head!!!!!

 

So what do you do when the sparks are just not there and possibly never will be? It is awful going through life just playing this role and not truly being in it.

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Gosh, I think I heard you say you married him just to spite Lee. You might not even know why youre with him or what you love about him. I would suggest that you consider what you have with him (the good) and what you have with him (the neutral) and what you don't have (the bad). Because honestly, it doesn't sound like anything is missing but sparks. Maybe it's got the raw material to burn incessantly and keep your hearts warm for life, but the fact that you just kind of describe it as though you have never really been into Ray, well, you've been distracted. I think first you have to get Lee out of your head. I don't know if that means you tell Lee to get out of your head, it can never work OR if that means just nixing it from your imagination. Whatever you do, you have to give Ray and your family a fair shot. When yiou have someone else in your heart, you won't feel anything for the supposed intruder that is your husband.

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I think you need to talk to your husband and tell him how you feel. Maybe leave out the part about you have this fantasy in hour head about lee (thats all that is by the way, fantasy)

 

Then you need to stop talking to Lee until you decide where your marriage is going. You are never going to love your husband to the fullest, or be happy with your marriage when you and this other guy are filling your head with a million what ifs.

 

And do realize that 5 years has gone by, you two may not even be comptible nowadays, or you may be perfect... who knows. But you need to make a descision on your marriage before you do anything else. And dont forget that you have children, think of them before you do anything. It may be best for you to split from your husband, but if you do make that descision rationally not based on some fantasy, lustful emotional turmoil high.

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I kind of understand where you're coming from; you married your husband when you were still emotionally attached to this other relationship, and consequently, you're sort of "frozen."

 

Well, it would be nice if we all had our emotional baggage neatly stacked in our overhead compartments when we walked down the aisle, but that's not always the case. Fortunately, marriage is not a mental straightjacket. As long as you don't actually sleep with anyone else, you can have whatever thoughts and feelings you need to have to be honest with yourself. It won't do any good to wish you didn't have the feelings you have, because you do.

 

I think you should try to go through the emotions you had for Lee, exactly as if you were breaking up with him. I think that getting married has created a sort of state of denial in you that has probably persisted for years. You need to let yourself really understand that your relationship with Lee ended suddenly, and violently, but that it ended. You need to remember everything about him and the relationship, and why it ended. You need to grieve that loss, let him go. Cry, get angry that he would do such a stupid thing. Accept that there were two of you in the relationship, and you both let the relationship go. I would stay away from Lee; he treated you badly before, and people's essential characters really don't change.

 

You need to break up with the memory of Lee in your head, and then once you've done that, you will be free to love your husband, free to put your emotions and your trust into that relationship.

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