1st post, very sad and confused, heart aching so I figured I'd try this. My wife and I have been married for 17 yrs and together for 19, (some would say young), 2 children 15 & 10. I'm 41, she 36. We are different (different upbringing), I'm extroverted, she introverted, I'm domestic and have done majority of cooking, cleaning, laundry, yardwork, fixed cars, and worked (sometimes 2 jobs). She did some but I'm better at it, and it was just the dynamic. She is better with financial issues. She has always worked fulltime and always made more money. I'm more sensitive and talkative, the artsy one. Hugs and kisses daily, i love you's to kids, take them to the park. Not that she didn't at all, but she is not emotional or want to talk about issues, not as tender or romantic. With all that we still had a fairly good, happy marriage, good sexually. Went through ups and down as all do, sometimes worse because of some depression on her side which also affected things, sometimes very badly, with some bad fighting, never physically though, mentally. But we loved each other, trusted, had the marriage that many looking in said was perfect. I thought it was forever even if I sometimes looked at her and thought I didn't love her, maybe I never did, but this was my life, I'm a dad, a husband and it's normal to have rough spots.
In 2009 her mother was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and given 2 months to live. At the same time we were losing our family home. She left for the week out of town to be with her mom, go to Dr.'s appts, etc. She told me she wanted to have lunch with her ex of 16 yrs ago (who is now a "grief counselor", and little did we know a player), as I had never been given a reason to NOT trust, I said it was fine, she was really hurting. Well what was supposed to be lunch turned out to be at a pub. Tequila, beer. He did talk to her and help her with her dealing with her mom. But you can guess what happened. She said she hadn't meant to but it just happened. If it had been just that time it would've been different and easier to handle being a drunken one night mistake, considering what she was going through. I'll try to condense the next few month. She went off the deep end. Lies, continued affair, moved out of state to " be closer to her mom" (and him), leaving me alone with the kids (work, school, homework). I went crazy too, devastated. Packing 16 yrs of memories, trying to be normal for kids. I was very depressed and didn't handle things well. Lost 35#, started smoking, maybe 3 hrs of sleep a night. Was going to file for divorce but with needing to move out of house I just didn't have it in me. She asked me to take her back and if she could come home 10 days before we had to move. Please forgive her, promises of spending forever making it up to me. I did. We moved.
The next couple years were spent trying to forgive, forget, work on marriage. Her mom was still dying, radiation, chemo etc. Lots of stress. Sometimes were good. Sometimes very much not. She still had her ups and downs, we did still love each other but started getting into some bad arguements, bad communication, money issues, she would talk down to me or emasculate me, I would get short with the kids, and as of mid 2011 I was unhappy, not in love with her and wanted a separation. But I was married, my life had been to be a good father and husband, which she never denied I was. I am responsible. The kids could sense it. I had a knot in my stomach when she got home. I was hoping either something would change or the answer (financially or something) would drop in my lap. Toward the end of 2011 she did try doing more housework, saying I love you, but I was tarnished, slept on couch, she had much stress at work and contunued to emasculate me, belittle me, which I told her I didn't like, we would argue.
So, here goes. I started a new job in 2011. The same time I realised I wanted a separation. I had to go to the bank and make deposits daily. I am very friendly and can talk to anyone. I was friendly to all the tellers. One in particular caught my eye, very pretty, mid 30's. She helped me twice and we instantly made a connection with just our eyes, she blushing, but it was all business, except when she asked how long I'd been married, I told her. I started looking foreward to deposits, just so I could look at her. Making eye contact each time, she blushing each time. I didn't see her for a few weeks, I thought she didn't work there anymore so I stopped going inside and just made ATM deposits. Fast foreward to January 2012. Life still unhappy, much tension, but made it look ok for the kids, but they could tell. I went into bank, she was there. She helped me, this time we talked. Told her her eyes were pretty, she blushed, felt a warmth I hadn't felt in a long time. I left and as I was getting in my car I did something I had never done or even thought about in 18 yrs. I wrote my number down and without a plan went back in and gave it to her, text me. She did. Thus started a texting friendship, not sexual, although under the surface we knew it was there. She had been through a bad marriage bad divorce, newly. 2 kids. We had both been through similar things, infidelity etc. We were different, but the same. Instant connection.
A week later my wife jumped down my throat for absolutely nothing, I was done, asked her for a separation, it just came out. Her reply "you think you can make it out in big boy world"? I moved out the beginning of February, moved in with my mom, She stayed in the house with the kids (being split between us). Thus started a relationship with this new woman and we were smitten. Looking into each others eye, across a room, sitting and talking for hours, amazing sex, such a connection and a feeling I would get from neck to knees, a warmth I don't ever remember feeling. I was unlike anyone she'd ever been with, calm, sensitive, she was fiery sometimes short tempered, but she was living in a room in her friends large house, no privacy, dislocated. I was still married, living with my mom, we both had kids coming to stay. We were unexplainable but it felt right. Through the next few months we knew it felt right but with, drama from the wife, jealousy from wife, baggage from her divorce, trust issues on both sides, adjusting to a lot for us both, yet feeling something unlike anything, she just wanted to love me, and I her. She is insecure and needy but amazing.
During this time my wife's mother died, I was there for her, supportive. Would help her out at the new house she moved into with the pool. New woman didn't like it, jealous, wanted me to divorce and not delay the process because it was just prolonging the inevitable, causing pain, not able to start the healing. During this time my wife changed a lot. Perspective on life (we have both been going to a couselor on our own) wanted us to go see a marriage couselor. I was still done. But found that I loved and cared about my wife, and her happiness, she had been seeing just sexually someone too. I missed my family but wasn't attracted to her, loved her, not in love, but she had been my friend, companion, mother of my kids, for almost 20 yrs. Had gone to the movies with her and the kids, had pizza, it was comfortable, but have this incredible love and excitement for another. Started questioning my priorities, something new and exciting, could see myself starting new with her, or at least seeing, but the key word "new". Once that passion, newness is gone, then what? But maybe it would be different. Or see if my marriage is salvagable, marriage counseling. What the best decision, what's best for the kids? What's best for me, my happiness? With heavhy heart I told the new woman I was going to marriage counseling with the wife, to see, to try, to give it until the end of the year. That I could have no contact with her. At this point I haven't. I am beside myself with pain. I can't stop thinking of her, it sounds cliche but it physically hurts, and I am questionig my decision, I want to see her, talk to her, but unless I truly let her go how can I truly try with my wife, my family? But if I don't do this I may have guilt that I didn't give it every chance and that will affect any new relationship. I love my wife but in love with another. I hurt, am sad, am depressed. I can't let this woman go in my head. Sorry so long, all this on my mind, a lot of pain, regret, indecision. Want to make the right decision, or just not the wrong one.
She says that even if she was with another, they wouldn't stand a chance, she wanted me forever. She is very passionate and romantic like me. I keep thinking that if my wife and I don't work out, she will still be there, but maybe not! Am I willing to risk that? Should I? And thinking this way is not fully letting go. It's almost setting myself up to fail. I hurt, am confused. I feel crazy.
Just looking for any words of advice, help, comfort, anyone been through similar situations. Go with my heart, or my sense of obligation. Is it right to stay in a marriege just being comfortable?