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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Looking for long term relationship advice.

Married 25 years, together 28 total -- since high school.
We had a marvelous run for about 20 years, then the big 4-0 hit him like a truck.

He really had a "inapropriate relationship" with a gal from work at this time, - not a physical affair, but certainly an emotional one.
He then decided that "I was going to change if I liked it or not." At the time, I saw no reason to change (I am a very strong woman)
and I did not know about other woman. I was giving 110% for my family and life, he worked 12 hours a day... and I WAS labeled the problem?

It has been 7 years of hell. I feel the "drama" is over and I do love him, but do not feel marriage was worth what I had to endure to stay here.

He has pulled stunt after stunt on me, from the EA, to hanging out in bars with very drunk women, to hysterical anger at me and the teenagers....

Sooooo...
He has gotten counseling, says he is willing to work on marriage.
Things have gotten better, but I feel very much cheated.

We have done MC, (a few years) not alot improved, but I guess it did keep up married. HE does act better to me now, but the "war" has lessoned my respect and love for this man.

Does the love come back over time? He says all married couples have crap years, but I don't know. The MC says my feelings of pain will reside with time... I am only 46! Not 100.

I have a lot to offer someone, and I am quite tired of being "the villian" to his "victim"..........

I think the marriage can be OK, but I do not feel like it will ever be "great" again. He thinks it can be GREAT!, ( I find that a real gas, considering he is the one who CREATED the war)
Now I live with depression and anxiety. I really don't trust my husband. I was raised that marriage is forever.. I really would hate to be single....but
I know deep inside that if I have to find out/live with one more big lie or stunt I will crack.

On the outside, we look like a great couple. In truth, we used to be. Now I just feel sad (PTSD?) about this entire mess. I guess many women would be glad the marraige survivied. I feel depressed.

Some days (in fact, most days) are OK. I do have feelings for him, but I really have regrets about staying here.

Is he right? Can a bad marriage (if I had to rate it, I would give it a 5 out of 10) ever get back to good?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
About half the time, I feel OK about the marriage. The other half of the time, I feel sad/anxiety/anger.

Is this normal? Part of me thinks "Of course, DocH, you have been drug through hell... and you never knew why"..

but another part of me wants to share my life with someone who deserves what I have to offer.....I am NOT saying I am innocent in all this, but I certainly did nothing to warrent what I was handed.
 

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Hi there ~ I haven't been married as long as you, but my husband and I have been through a rough season in our marriage, as well. We did make it through, and I am thankful to say that we are stronger now than we were before. You said that the difficulties in your marriage lasted for seven years... how long have things been better, or is this still an ongoing problem? When was the last time you both spoke with a MC? Does your husband know your feelings?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
It is better now, I don't seem to be able to forgive, well I can forgive, but not forget.
He has no problem saying "I'm over it! Through church, he has confessed and apparently is ready to start over.

I remember all the ****ty details, I remember how it feels to be lied to, over again, he told his family he was divorcing me... on Thanksgiving, no less... wonders why I won't go there anymore. Especially near the holidays.

I know I have to forgive, but I can't forget.

I do not love him the same way, though I love him.
Knowing your husband trolled the Internet dating sites behind your back just kills. He does not think that was that bad an offense. Because "he never did anything".

He also had an emotional affair with a divorced girl from work... Even though she did not like him "that way", who wants to be married to someone who would do this?
I never looked outside this marriage.

I am not perfect, by a long shot... But he took off his wedding ring, for weeks at a time, I'm not stupid, I know what that means.

Quit the last counselor a few months ago, to much relief on my part. It was not helping.

He knows how I feel, he does not care. Well, he cares, he thinks it is my problem to deal with.

Tells me to get over it. I have lost respect for him. He thinks it should be freely given. There are so many stunts and pains over the last few years,
 

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Discussion Starter #5
There are times, weeks, months even, when things go ok.

He is not a bad person, but i think he has been a bad husband to me.
He thinks he is "just a good guy". He believes he has been a good husband, and a good father. He really does.

I can only talk about how I see him. As a husband to me.

Some days I think it's fine, fine at best, not good.
My hope is that my love can be restored... He quit doing the bad things...... And he treats me ok, now.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
PS. I was always told that if you make it through you will be stronger, well, we made it through ( or we are still going through) but I feel the relationship is half of what it was....

I would like it to get better, but I have not a lot of hope... Yes, I know im depressed about this.
 

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After being married for 25 years I've found that for me love is a choice. It's not a feeling. My wife and I have both been through periods of time where we're not "in love" with each other. But we take our vows seriously and we stick with it.

By the way, forgiveness doesn't mean a penalty isn't paid. You say you go to church so you know that already. You can forgive him but still not trust him. That's the penalty he pays.
 

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What you have is a husband who wants a “free pass” (i.e. no consequences) after 7 years of affairs and/or trolling for affairs. That is unacceptable and not possible. It is HIM that needs to do the hard work of regaining YOUR trust.

I would suggest that you have this post moved to the Coping With Infidelity section (PM a moderator); there are members there that can advise you on how to proceed and will validate your experience.
 

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Doc,
His delivery style is very jerky.

You write: I am a very strong woman

A third party reader hears: I didn't care that he was clearly very unhappy and didn't have any interest in changing.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
He then decided that "I was going to change if I liked it or not." At the time, I saw no reason to change (I am a very strong woman)
and I did not know about other woman. I was giving 110% for my family and life, he worked 12 hours a day... and I WAS labeled the problem?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>



It is better now, I don't seem to be able to forgive, well I can forgive, but not forget.
He has no problem saying "I'm over it! Through church, he has confessed and apparently is ready to start over.

I remember all the ****ty details, I remember how it feels to be lied to, over again, he told his family he was divorcing me... on Thanksgiving, no less... wonders why I won't go there anymore. Especially near the holidays.

I know I have to forgive, but I can't forget.

I do not love him the same way, though I love him.
Knowing your husband trolled the Internet dating sites behind your back just kills. He does not think that was that bad.

He also had an emotional affair with a divorced girl from work... Even though she did not like him "that way", who wants to be married to someone who would do this?
I never looked outside this marriage.

I am not perfect, by a long shot... But he took off his wedding ring, for weeks at a time, I'm not stupid, I know what that means.

Quit the last counselor a few months ago, to much relief. It was not helping. He knows how I feel, he does not care.

Tells me to get over it. I have lost respect for him. He thinks it should be freely given. There are so many stunts and pains over the last few years,
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Oh, MEM, I know I was alpha in the house. I KNOW I did not want to change things, ( like most dominant people, i saw no reason to change )

Lord! I KNOW now he was unhappy and I did not " get it ".. Never said I was innocent.

I thought things were, well, good. Ups and downs, but assuredly a good life lead by two decent people.

The punishment for being super mom should not be to be villainized, that's how I feel. Way back then, he wanted change, without working on himself he forced the issue, .....on, apparently, me.

I was not ready to accept that I was "the problem.", like he wanted to say. (at this time I did not know about his female co worker friend) Hell, I gave 110% for my family.... Apparently it was not enough.

I try not to think about it, but it makes me sad.

Yeah, he was in an inappropriate friendship at work... He got "go home and be a real man" advice...
I feel I paid dearly... For doing what I THOUGHT I was supposed to

Yeah, I know that sounds sorry for myself. He seemed to me, and. Those who knew him, like a switch was flipped...
today, he would tell you he is a better man.

It has been a long time since he has done anything Decietful/cruel / mean, but I still can't shake the horrible feelings sometimes. I don't know if my " full love" will come back.

As you can see, I still have a hard time accepting my responsibility for what happened.... I honestly do not feel I was this much at fault.

This is probably why I am still angry,
The anger fades, over time, but I'd like to have a trusting, loving relationship.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I should add, on his behalf, that he didn't believe in EA at the time, and does not feel like he did anything wrong with her.

He looked at dating sites ( to see what was out there ) but never registered or contacted anyone. He claims this was cureosity, boredom and done a few times a year.
Again, he claimed he felt he was doing "nothing wrong"

He says now it was wrong, because it hurt my feelings, but I really don't feel he thinks that basically, did anything wrong.. Because I did not understand his thinking... Screwy, I know
 

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Doc,
It really is ok - you didn't understand this dynamic and he wasn't willing to step up and go head to head with you.

I agree that what he did was cowardly. I do.

We are all grown ups here, you don't have to talk in code. It is genetically normal to do certain things that are - not talked about much in polite society.

Alpha wife overpowers beta husband and slowly loses desire. Throws herself totally into Mom/house mode and convinces herself she is "too tired" for her husband most of the time.

This is normal stuff. He is every bit as responsible for that outcome as you are.

And it feels awful to both of you:
He feels that you violated your vow to "love" him like a wife loves a husband.

And you feel he violated his vow to forsake all others.

You are both right. And I sincerely hope you can find a way to forgive each other.




Oh, MEM, I know I was alpha in the house. I KNOW I did not want to change things, ( like most dominant people, i saw no reason to change )

Lord! I KNOW now he was unhappy and I did not " get it ".. Never said I was innocent.

I thought things were, well, good. Ups and downs, but assuredly a good life lead by two decent people.

The punishment for being super mom should not be to be villainized, that's how I feel. Way back then, he wanted change, without working on himself he forced the issue, .....on me.

I was not ready to accept that I was the problem. Hell, I gave 110% for my family.... Apparently it was not enough..

Yeah, he was in an inappropriate friendship at work... He got "go home and be a real man" advice...
I feel I paid dearly... For doing what I THOUGHT I was supposed to

Yeah, I know that sounds sorry for myself. He seemed to me, and. Those who knew him, like a switch was flipped...
today, he would tell you he is a better man.

It has been a long time since he has done anything cruel / mean, but I still can't shake the horrible feelings sometimes. I don't know if my " full love" will come back.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I should add this was years ago. He has learned, through his IC better ways of dealing with himself.
I guess I could agree with that...

But I was so gullible, I never saw it coming. So I'd probably never see it coming, again.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Well, at the time his job was terrible, (famous bankruptcy.. Look where I live for a clue...). There was nothing he could control there.
You are right, he was happy to and very much liked me to run the house, maybe too happy, because that was a lot of responsibility and too much work for me. I did most housework, all cooking, raised the kids, worked full time and earned both my Masters and Specialists degree.

He "helped" with the kids and worked like a dog. Just like today, there is no room for negotiation. He has to work like that...they all do, or get fired. Period. I felt running the house was the least I could do. I was good at it.



I never neglected him, (well to my mind) I thought I was living what a normal life was. Got my azz kicked for a reward, tho.. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hey, this writing is rather, carthartic < sp.? I see why people ramble on...
He was so passive aggressively hostile. His fury used to seep out, at me and the kids .. But put on a mask of "I'm such a good/nice guy."
I was angry, rude too, but not in this way. I have developed much sarcasm as a result...

I know, terrible habit.
I know now I was just being reactive to what I considered an attack. That is how I felt my life ran, out of control for a few years.... I would discover some bat shyte crazy thing he did... I had to deal with consequences....


I will have to say he is better now with the anger... But he still yells a lot when I bring up past.....
 

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I should add, on his behalf, that he didn't believe in EA at the time, and does not feel like he did anything wrong with her.
Does he still feel this way?

It sounds to me like he had an emotional affair and has never truly expressed remorse for that betrayal of the marriage. Instead, he's 'rugswept' it; although he's gone to counseling, he's basically saying that's in the past, get over it, we're going on to GREAT things.

I highly recommend that you take a look at the book Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass. She was a nationally-recognized infidelity researcher. Her book summarizes much of known research, including her own original research. It's a rather one-of-a-kind book, definitive on the subject of emotional affairs in particular.

In my signature is a link to the google excerpts. You can't read the whole book that way, but you can see the table of contents, you will immediately see how it applies to you.

I would read that book ASAP. I would ask your husband to read it, too. Then I'd find a marriage counselor who is familiar with the book, because they will "get it" as most people don't when it comes to emotional affairs. (My H had a long term EA with a co-worker, and we found a great MC this way.)

I also second the motion that you ask that your post be moved to Coping with Infidelity, because that is precisely why you are struggling--you are not coping well with his infidelity. The fact that it might not be happening right now (how do you know this, BTW? Just curious) doesn't mean that you aren't suffering mightily from the aftereffects, yes, with PTSD, depression, anxiety, and a whole host of other results of the emotional abuse an EA can cause.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Well, iheart,
I have heard of that book before, I will download it onto my kindle, but I am afraid that it will send me in a tailspin.

He says he now knows that the relationship was inapropriate. Any relationship where you go to another sex friend and tell your marriage issues to is wrong.

Before, he refused to even call it an affair, he would say "inappropriate",(but in his mind no sex= no affair or cheating) but I found a few years ago, notes where he listed the works he had an affair on his "bad list". He says he was referring to that emotional affair at that time/that person - and the EA.

He has never confessed anything sexual by nature, (no sexting or sexual conversations and such with that woman) but I have a strong feeling that it could have gone there, had I not caught it and exploded. I beleive it was in part she was going to be married soon, and she was a very flirty person by nature, who happened to work 10 hours a day with my H.
This I put all on him, I took no vows with her- she made no promise to me.

His IC has told him to apologise for hurting me and stop talking about it. She believes there is nothing more to gain by going over the problem. There has to be some truth to that, it was 7 years ago (almost)

I will pop over to the infidelity section, but I do read MB, and it really triggers me, sometimes to a point that is too much (my H did not do what some of the other posters did, but my empathy sets me off)
 

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Well, iheart,
I have heard of that book before, I will download it onto my kindle, but I am afraid that it will send me in a tailspin.

He says he now knows that the relationship was inapropriate. Any relationship where you go to another sex friend and tell your marriage issues to is wrong.

Before, he refused to even call it an affair, he would say "inappropriate",(but in his mind no sex= no affair or cheating) but I found a few years ago, notes where he listed the works he had an affair on his "bad list". He says he was referring to that emotional affair at that time/that person - and the EA.

He has never confessed anything sexual by nature, (no sexting or sexual conversations and such with that woman) but I have a strong feeling that it could have gone there, had I not caught it and exploded. I beleive it was in part she was going to be married soon, and she was a very flirty person by nature, who happened to work 10 hours a day with my H.
This I put all on him, I took no vows with her- she made no promise to me.

His IC has told him to apologise for hurting me and stop talking about it. She believes there is nothing more to gain by going over the problem. There has to be some truth to that, it was 7 years ago (almost)

I will pop over to the infidelity section, but I do read MB, and it really triggers me, sometimes to a point that is too much (my H did not do what some of the other posters did, but my empathy sets me off)
While the book is extremely painful to read in some ways--I ain't gonna lie to ya--it's very comprehensive on how to move PAST the affair.

I hope your counselor is helping you with ruminating, however. You sound like you are living in the past. The other thing that made a huge difference for me was learning to live in the moment.
A book like this one can help enormously with that:

Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World: Mark Williams, Danny Penman, Jon Kabat-Zinn: 9781609618957: Amazon.com: Books
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ya, I have the CD and the Mindfulness way through depression, by one of the aforementioned gents....

....I am too impatient to do the CD,
I keep it in my car, I should go back to it.
 
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