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Hey all. After a lot of web browsing i came along this site. My spouse and i have been together 20 years and i feel we are headed towards a divorce. We have been fighting about the same things the entire time. My extracirricular activities and my lack of focus on her along with the lack of a quality (in my eyes) sexual relationship. We are both working professionals with a young family. As my handle states-i am selfish, always have been and always will be. This is not something that has "changed". I like to have some "me" time away from the wife and kids. With various activities, i will find myself away from home for approx. 30 afternoons/evenings a year. Mostly it will be a chunk of time during a given day but on occasion it is a weekend trip. During this time my wife is stuck with the kids. I do not feel this is a "fair" arrangement, however, i'm not willing to give this up just for her benefit. I have repeatedly stated over the years i am more than willing to return the favor. She is free to go whenever she wants to have some time as well and i'll look after things. For whatever reason, she doesn't and just grows more and more resentful. This leads to me not "getting any". I find this unacceptable and unfair because it really is the only thing i feel i require. I know it sounds stupid but i feel this gives me all the emotional connection i crave. Regardless of the type of act itself, for me it is an emotional connection and one that provides a closeness. I do not want nor seek sexual gratification from others because it simply wouldn't be the same. However, it has happened twice. I regret it but to be honest, at the time, it was an enjoyable experience. I needed a release and i wasn't getting it at home. That doesn't make it right or acceptable, but that's what happened. I love my wife and want this with her. We've been running in this circle forever now. I have certainly slowed down things (the "30" number was much higher before we had children) and it has made no difference. I have found that unless my focus is entirely on her and the kids, i'm being a bad husband/father. I feel like she has put me in a position of responsibility for her happiness. I don't require others to do that, apparantly, she does. Frankly, i'm sick of it. She's sick of feeling the way she does and we have both recently stated "I'm done!" However, i can't imagine a life without her. I still love her as much as i ever did, maybe more. I'd also like to slap her silly! (Metaphorically, don't get any ideas!) At this point i sometimes feel we could maybe salvage this but at other times i just don't see how. Feel free to offer advice or criticism but don't bother telling me to come clean-it will never happen. It would be a deal breaker regardless of the reasoning. I would never tell even if we divorce. I feel the same way, i simply wouldn't want to know, unless of course, it was an ongoing affair. Other than that, ignorance is bliss.
 

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Dude...

Think you got what you deserve... hmm away from home and cheating. Now you are crying.

You better figure out what you want and talk it out with your wife if you want to stay married.

Sound like you are going to have to give up some of that freedom if you want your wife more into you.

See what she says and listen.
 

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Awfully entitled and shallow aren't you. I'd say it sounds like you'll get your due.
 

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Dude...

Think you got what you deserve... hmm away from home and cheating. Now you are crying.

You better figure out what you want and talk it out with your wife if you want to stay married.

Sound like you are going to have to give up some of that freedom if you want your wife more into you.

See what she says and listen.
I'm not crying. I want what i've always wanted-a partner in every sense of the word. Someone responsible for their own happiness and their share of our hapiness together. I have given up freedom-plenty of it and i may be willing to give up a little more. The problem is it in never enough.

Awfully entitled and shallow aren't you. I'd say it sounds like you'll get your due.
Shallow?-perhaps. I'm not sure what my due is though. Yes i cheated, after 13 faithful and somewhat sexually frustrated years together and it happened again 3 years later. I really don't believe i'm away from home more than most guys. Really, how many poker nights, golf games, social guy outings, business meetings, fishing trips, hunting trips,, etc does the average person go to? I can say in all honesty, my time away from home is not abnormal in our social circle. In fact, i am far less than others who do a lot of hunting and fishing(i don't). If my due is divorce and then finding pure freedom and maintaining personal happiness but losing my best friend, i'll live. However, i won't ever be happy being the personal holding up the happiness in a relationship
 

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You are not only selfish, but completely disrespectful. You dont want to tell her because YOU would suffer the consequences. Dont kid yourself that she is better off not knowing. You are not entitiled to take that decision from her. She needs to know exactly who she is married to and then make an informed decision. She may surprise you. Please allow her to get tested for STDs...at least give her that if you do truly love her.
She may be resentful of you, or she may just be feeling completely taken for granted and unloved. Just speaking from experience here. Date her, woo her, love on her....just try it. If that is not for you then let her go and dont kid yourself that you love her.
 

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You are not only selfish, but completely disrespectful. You dont want to tell her because YOU would suffer the consequences. Dont kid yourself that she is better off not knowing. You are not entitiled to take that decision from her. She needs to know exactly who she is married to and then make an informed decision. She may surprise you. Please allow her to get tested for STDs...at least give her that if you do truly love her.
She may be resentful of you, or she may just be feeling completely taken for granted and unloved. Just speaking from experience here. Date her, woo her, love on her....just try it. If that is not for you then let her go and dont kid yourself that you love her.
Thanks for the reply. I don't really agree. The consequences would be borne by all of us, our children included. I am entitled to make that decision as i am the only one who knows. She knows exactly who she is married to. However badly you view me and my actions, you should realize that my life is otherwise, an open book to her and our family. I do not hide things, keep secrets or live a secret life. My time away is for hobby pursuit. She has been tested due to other women problems and there is no issue (and i already knew that). I do love her but will not argue that mine and your view of love may differ. I would let her go immediately if i believed she could be happy on her own or with someone else. Nothing in her history before me or during would indicate this is possible. I have woo'd her, showered affection, and so on and, yes, it is helpful. The problem is it doesn't come back to me and the minute it slows down, we're back to square 1. Again, i cannot be responsible for her happiness. If she can't find a way (and never has) of making herself happy, what chance does anyone have of succeding?
 

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You are correct, we are each responsible for ourselves. You're not happy with your relationship. Why haven't you applied that to yourself? Stop using your family and making excuses for your bad behavior. That's just cowardly.
 

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What would your reply be if she said (re: the lack of sex) that she knows it's not a fair arrangement, but she is not willing to change it for your benefit?

And what do you do to meet her need for 'emotional connection'?
 

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Thanks for the reply. I don't really agree. The consequences would be borne by all of us, our children included. I am entitled to make that decision as i am the only one who knows. She knows exactly who she is married to. However badly you view me and my actions, you should realize that my life is otherwise, an open book to her and our family. I do not hide things, keep secrets or live a secret life. My time away is for hobby pursuit. She has been tested due to other women problems and there is no issue (and i already knew that). I do love her but will not argue that mine and your view of love may differ. I would let her go immediately if i believed she could be happy on her own or with someone else. Nothing in her history before me or during would indicate this is possible. I have woo'd her, showered affection, and so on and, yes, it is helpful. The problem is it doesn't come back to me and the minute it slows down, we're back to square 1. Again, i cannot be responsible for her happiness. If she can't find a way (and never has) of making herself happy, what chance does anyone have of succeding?
I wish you could read my story, but as it is in a section unavailable to you that is not possible. I applaud you for coming here. I do not wish to bash you. I can only speak as a wife who has been betrayed on such a horrific level you would think I was making it up. I am with my H now trying desperately to R and am 14 months into this nightmare. If you truly think she will never know..think again. If you truly think that without help on some level that you will not cheat in the future...think again. I do not wish this hurt on anyone and if you want to save your marriage, as I believe you do toherwise you would not be here, then you need to take steps to do that.
Have you ever suggested MC? Or maybe you could get some IC for yourself to discover why you have this need for outside validation of your sexuality, self esteem and possible need to be wanted? I pushed my H away due to resentment and feeling unloved and unappreciated. But, which came first? The disconnect in a marriage is what will kill it. Find a way to find her again or help her find herself. You fell in love with someone enough to marry them and have children with them. I cannot tell you the damage that is bought upon children when someone steps outside the marriage.
 

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You are correct, we are each responsible for ourselves. You're not happy with your relationship. Why haven't you applied that to yourself? Stop using your family and making excuses for your bad behavior. That's just cowardly.
I have taken steps in the past to improve our relationship. They have been implemented permantly. I'm am 100% sure i could be a better husband (we all could), however, i'm not sure it is enough. No excuses here, just facts. I never said there was any excuse for my actions, nor a definite "cause". Just a situation and my reaction to it. Yes it was wrong and i bear the responsibility for it 100%. I highly disagree with the cowardly comment, please explain how you feel i'm a coward.

What would your reply be if she said (re: the lack of sex) that she knows it's not a fair arrangement, but she is not willing to change it for your benefit?

She has. She has stated that it is of couse tied to how she feels about me and our relationship. My retort has been, when you've been happy, and admittedly content, the issue of sex or lack there of, has never gone away regardless of my actions.

And what do you do to meet her need for 'emotional connection'?
That's a tough one to answer. In short, i'd have to admit-not enough. I try to arrange date nights (although i am the ONLY one to ever do this), we talk every night about our days, i try to give her some massage a few times a week, i'm a flowers about every 2-3 months guy. Never miss an anniversary, V-day, B-day. But, i'm no saint. When i'm stressed at work, i'm not as communacitive. I find myself short with her if i'm being criticized a lot (even though that is probably the time i should be listening the most). I am not good at the touchy, feely stuff. I never have been. I can honestly say i have tried many times over the years though. Surprise getaways, trips, romantic nights at home, i've done all of that. Never consistently though. From that perspective, i've always felt that the spark in our relationship always has to be provided by me and the minute i'm not trying, it goes to crap.

I wish you could read my story, but as it is in a section unavailable to you that is not possible. I applaud you for coming here. I do not wish to bash you. I can only speak as a wife who has been betrayed on such a horrific level you would think I was making it up. I am with my H now trying desperately to R and am 14 months into this nightmare. If you truly think she will never know..think again. If you truly think that without help on some level that you will not cheat in the future...think again. I do not wish this hurt on anyone and if you want to save your marriage, as I believe you do toherwise you would not be here, then you need to take steps to do that.
Have you ever suggested MC? Or maybe you could get some IC for yourself to discover why you have this need for outside validation of your sexuality, self esteem and possible need to be wanted? I pushed my H away due to resentment and feeling unloved and unappreciated. But, which came first? The disconnect in a marriage is what will kill it. Find a way to find her again or help her find herself. You fell in love with someone enough to marry them and have children with them. I cannot tell you the damage that is bought upon children when someone steps outside the marriage.

We tried MC once and it did not go as well as we would have hoped. I found myself feeling swindled. The MC offered nothing and never dug into the issues, basically we had the same conversations we had at home and resolved to try and do better and the MC agrred and we should be fine. Total BS. IMO, my wife has always suffered from depression (runs in the family) and that is a major cause of her/our situation. I have tried (delicately) to suggest a little councelling, doctor's help in this regard but i am told the issue lies with me and my actions. I know this is not true. My wife's issues were apparant long before we were together. Yes i love her. Yes, our marriage is over if she ever found out i was unfaithful. No, i have no intention of ever cheating again. The way i see it, if that need arises, i really need to get out of the marriage. At this point, iam pretty firm in that resolve. Like i stated earlier, i am not interested in sex outside my marriage. I am really interested in sex with my wife! I really do not need nor want outside validation. I just want great sex with my wife 2 or maybe sometimes 3 times a week. I KNOW i'm a much happier and easy going person when i am getting it. I KNOW, i'm a more attentive husband when it happens. I KNOW i'm a better, more patient father when i get it. However, i cannot overcome her feelings or issues.
 

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Tell her you love her and that your relationship means too much for you to not fight for it. If she is unwilling to make changes and acknowledge that you are unhappy, then you need to make decisions for yourself. As a woman I would never want a man to stay with me out of pity. You sound like you think she would fall apart and have nothing if you were to leave. Thats alot of pressure for you and very unhealthy for her. I really wish you well. My H has been fighting for our marriage since I discovered his multiple infidelities, but I have made changes too. I make an effort to stay in contact and remember things about his day, I am a nice, smilely person to come home to and we have sex every day. Does it nearly kill me sometimes? Yes, but if I dont meet him half way then i will never know. I only wish that he had expressed his unhappiness and needs to me and given me a chance to fight years ago.
 

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Tell her you love her and that your relationship means too much for you to not fight for it. If she is unwilling to make changes and acknowledge that you are unhappy, then you need to make decisions for yourself. As a woman I would never want a man to stay with me out of pity. You sound like you think she would fall apart and have nothing if you were to leave. Thats alot of pressure for you and very unhealthy for her. I really wish you well. My H has been fighting for our marriage since I discovered his multiple infidelities, but I have made changes too. I make an effort to stay in contact and remember things about his day, I am a nice, smilely person to come home to and we have sex every day. Does it nearly kill me sometimes? Yes, but if I dont meet him half way then i will never know. I only wish that he had expressed his unhappiness and needs to me and given me a chance to fight years ago.
Actually, i have done that, multiple times. I am certainly not staying out of pity. She would not fall apart without me. Although she has certain insecurities and (IMO) depression issues, i believe, more i know, her level head, education, and love for our children would easily see her through a divorce and subsequent lifestyle change. I don't believe this is a her issue or me issue, rather a we issue. It just feels like i'm always the one giving and she takes. I can guarantee you she feels EXACTLY the same way. Even though we talk, she never agrees that she needs to change anything, only i should. I've never seen this as fair. I am extremely stubborn and selfish, yet i will compromise and make changes for the betterment of our relationship. She never seems to try. I am not asking for a whole lot either, just a healthy fun sexual relationship. That's all i really want to change. Not once every 10 days and 1/2 of that is boring i'll get mine-you get yours sex. I am so more willing to give in, pitch in, and be more involved with her when that happens. I have said this to her over and over to no real avail. It bothers the helk out of me. Her issues are mostly from a emotional/support/respect perspective. If i'm not there holding her up through everything i'm seen as non supportive. I feel there's only so much i can do and that she has to be responsible for some things herself. We both take on many responsibilities in our life together, however, when she feels a little overwhelmed- i'm not helping enough with things. Believe me, what i have had to look after over the last few years would kill her and i don't whine and complain about her lack of help. I persevere and get it done all the while being stretched by all the committments we all have (family/work/social). Her main issue is i'm not willing to just cast all things aside (work/social) every time she feels like it. Years ago she asked "If i gave you the ultimatum-Me or your friends-what would you choose?" I said "If it was that exactly-i would choose my friends" I know exactly how bad this sounds. This was before we had children and before we were married. It is a harsh statement but at the time, one i thought i had to make. I cannot imagine asking another human being to give up anything for me. I would never ask someone i love to do that. I chose my wife and to be with her for the many qualities i love about her. I also accepted her faults and realized early that i would have to live with them. I've never asked her to "change" things. The only thing i ever asked was for her to modify a certain behaviour she had early on-she did, thankfully, and we were both better for it. I had to do the same. However, even though the sex issue was always there, i could get by, but now it has just gotten much worse even though i have tried MANY things to correct or help it. I'm really hoping we can fix things and move on and be better but it will take an epiphany on her part for that to be possible
 
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