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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over a year ago, my wife discovered my affair. I ended the affair, and I went for counseling before we both went to marriage counseling. During our marriage counseling sessions, I would tell my wife the truth about how I have lost my passion for her, but I do not hate her in any way. I needed to get this out so that she and the counselor knew where I was mentally. As you can imagine, my wife's self-esteem was destroyed by this information. No matter what I said, the pain was still there.

Unfortunately, the counselor was more interested in me and my history of depression, and not the marriage (from my perspective). Then, one the very weekend I was to move out as we were going to separate and see what happens, I got very ill and ended up in the hospital for mote than a week with something the doctors could not diagnose at the time. I got better, but not cured, and was released. My wife cared for me the entire time, as I would have for her in such a situation. When we returned to the counselor, his interest was in my physical health issues and not my marriage. Jointly, we decided to leave this guy.

I was hoping to find someone else to see, but the only counselors who work on weekends anywhere near us are of poor quality. Being that my wife is required to work M-F, 8-5, this eliminates us seeing someone during the day. Although, I have continued the personal counseling, we have not continued the marriage counseling.

As the time passed, I started to find new interests (not people) and wanted to experience them on my own. I was happy to finally focus upon me. This is something that I could normally never do because of my self-esteem issues.

I still don't have any passion for my wife, and I'm afraid to bring up the subject again after seeing what I said last time did to her. Yet, I don't live a lie so that she thinks everything is back to normal. I enjoy exploring new things to do on my own, but I have involved her in some of them. When she's with me, I can't relax because I feel the obligation to make sure everything is going well with her at all times. When I ask to go alone, she starts to cry and says that I don't want to be with her, and worries that I'm seeing someone again (which is not the case).

We've been married almost 30 years, have grown children, and we are financially secure. My siblings have all been divorced, and I'm the only one who hasn't. Moreover, I used to never think it was an option, and even communicated that to our kids over the years.

Now here I am confiding in my counselor that I don't have the courage to tell her how I feel. I try to act normal, but it's been wearing off pretty bad. It's a cycle of maybe wanting to divorce, getting excited about possibly being on my own, realizing the pain and hurt it will cause many, beating myself up mentally for what I'm thinking about doing (which again kills my self-esteem and brings on severe depression), and going back to pretending everything is normal.

This has to end out of respect for her and myself. I'd like to try marriage counseling again, but I can't even bring that up without starting the hurt all over again.

At what point does being compassionate switch over to doing what needs to be done.

Any guidance would be appreciated.
 

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Has you IC worked with you on you selfishness and tried to teach you how to include your wife in your life? It seems like she is doing all the hard work in trying to repair the marriage while you find her mere presence to be a burden because you have a responsibility to be focused on her needs and not just your own.

Is your IC the enabler type who encourages you to be happy and do whatever you need to do to be happy, regardless of the cost to others?

If so dump him, and get someone who helps you develop empathy and compassion and helps you learn skills centered around building a heathy loving relationship with your wife. Right now it sounds like you are just pushing her away and feeling resentful of her wanting to be with you.
 

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I'm curious as to why your wife is trying to save a marriage that sounds like you don't want to be in it. Set her free to find happiness with someone that wants to be with her and do things with her. Some marriages can't and shouldn't be saved. Your wife deserves more. Sounds like she needs major help with her lw self esteem, how long have you been married and was this your first affair?
 

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How was your marriage before the affair?

I see you say you "lost your passion". And that you enjoy doing things on your own "for you", and that when you do these things and don't include her, she gets upset.

Has it always been this way? Do you feel resentful perhaps that you always did things for her and the family, and had nothing for yourself?

I see you feel the "pressure" of having to keep her happy, and include her.

I have a couple thoughts if the above is the case. First and foremost, she's insecure because of your infidelity. You're going to have to suck it up and find ways to reassure her.

Second (and again, if the above is the case), spending all of your time with your partner can be draining when you feel like you have nothing for yourself outside of the marriage. Some kind of hobby or interest. It builds resentment and "pressure" as you said.

Having someone NOT around, and NOT feeling like you are under constant pressure to make them happy as the "center of their universe" can go a long way I believe toward building some of that passion back up.

Try doing your own thing for a while, and STRONGLY encourage her to do her own thing as well. Just a night or two a week or a day a weekend. Find SOMETHING that interests each of you individually outside of the marriage so you have your "me time" and have something interesting to talk about. YOU, however, must realize that she is very insecure right now, and your infidelity is the cause of it. If you do have outside interests, they should be completely on the "up and up", verifiable, and you should be going out of your way while you're out to reassure her you are where you say you are, you are who you say you're with, and doing what you said you were doing.

Now, on the other hand, if this "loss of passion" has nothing to do with constantly being around each other and you feeling like you've given up anything for yourself, then I don't know what to tell you other than this.....be careful what you wish for. You may find your passion for your wife increases impossibly after the marriage is destroyed and she's gone her own way and is no longer in your life at all.

Balance your life at home and things you do with and for your wife with a little bit of "me time" (hobbies, sports, whatever). She should do the same.
 

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Jesus you're selfish.

If her mere presence is all it takes to unease you, divorce her. Its completely unfair that shes married to a man who can't bear being in the same room with her, but doesn't have it in him to just break it off.
 

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Reading this makes me sad. It also makes me wonder if this is the way my husband feels about being with me. I cant imagine feeling that way about my spouse after so many years.

Do you just hit an age where you start to only care about yourself?

Im typing out loud trying to understand how you get to this place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Lots of questions to try and answer, so here it goes.

First, selfish is a term I'm learning all too much about. Throughout my entire life, I've given to others at the expense of me. I always came last, it I did anything at all for myself. At what point do I get to give to me without feeling guilty? How do phrases such as "Without you, I'll die an sad, old, poor woman" not make me feel guilty or mad at myself for wanting to be me. I just read "Dying to Be Me" about a woman who had a near death experience as cancer ravaged her body. During her experience, she learned all about unconditional love which must start with one's self first. So I refuse to accept a "traditional" of selfish, and only accept one based on unconditional love.

Before the affair, the one and only, our marriage was "normal". Not highly passionate, not fighting every day, just living life day to day. We were existing. The affair was with a past acquaintance.

My wife did nothing wrong. She's a good wife, and she's been a good to mother. I have no worthy complaints about her at all. She wants to save the marriage based on the thought that she can't survive without me. What if I died today, could she not survive? Yes, she could despite the emotional burden death brings.

I'm going to try and have her join me at my counselor meeting next week. She will have to take the day off. The counselor allows me to talk things through as he listens. He will challenge my thinking and ask why this or that. He knows the answers are in my head somewhere, not in his words, and that I have to find them. My wife fears that he is putting thoughts in my head, and this is not the case.

I think Donny has a good idea, and I've actually suggested this before to my wife. Naturally, she is not secure with me being on my own unless I'm nearby, or with a mutually trusted friend. Moreover, she has little to no interests to pursue. Like me, she has very few friends she can share time with. Although she's far more social than I am. I'm fine with being completely alone, even when I'm at places where there's no one around me for miles (outdoors).

Did I reach an age where I changed, perhaps. It's how I changed that is the challenging part. Have you ever seen the movie "The Way"? There's more to life than the traditions and beliefs we've imposed upon ourselves as a result of our cultures or religions. This doesn't mean it's okay to run off and do as you damn well please at the expense of others. That's not an option.

Do I love my wife? Yes. Am I passionately in love with my wife? No. Can I get it back? I have strong doubts. Do I want her to be happy regardless of the future? Yes. Will I care for her as I would any family member? Yes. Will I find someone else to experience passion with? I have no idea. Would I be fine if I didn't? Yes.

I will continue to work on my life, and the issues at hand. I thank you all for your input.
 
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