Talk About Marriage banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few months ago I posted this:
http://talkaboutmarriage.com/genera...n/55278-i-think-im-being-taken-advantage.html

Since then things have changed somewhat. He has stopped playing the WoW game, and has began to contribute a bit more financially (I pay 80% he pays 20%). I do still do 80-90% of the housework. He's started taking me out and has paid on those occasions.

But there's also been some setbacks. After he threatened suicide, I took him to a psychiatrist who diagnosed him as being bipolar. In addition to medication it was also recommended that he see a therapist. (I also began seeing one) He went for a month, then began lying about going as well as taking medication.

So, after the affair and him lying about seeing the doctor, I'm not sure when he can be trusted. I've also seen him do some sneaky maneuvers with his business partners to take money from the business.

Anyway, that's part of the issue. The other part is that I've started talking to another man. Originally, I met him over the summer, had a really strong connection, realized what I was doing was wrong and ended it. But he contacted me last month and we've started talking again. It's difficult because he has so many qualities I admire, and there's a huge difference in regards to his level of maturity versus my husband's. Though I haven't slept with this man, I have kissed him.

The problem is, I'm not sure if I feel guilty. The other problem is I'm longing for intimacy. Though I've initiated, I've been shot down on every attempt with my husband. Even on Christmas! He says he's too tired, but then stays up until 2am watching TV. He's only initiated once in the past couple of months, and it was a night I got home really late and he knew I was dead tired.

I told my therapist and she told me I should pay attention to the qualities that attract me to the other man. She also thought, since my husband has made changes, to evaluate his progress in three months, since for the 15 years I've been with him, his nature has been consistent.

I'm not really sure what my question is here... maybe wondering what others might do in this situation.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
406 Posts
Hmmmm...in your other thread you failed to mention your cheating behavior, but to answer your question:

What others might do.

Sleep with new guy and get up in the fog while deceiving husband.

Leave husband then pursue relationship with new guy after divorce.

Stay with husband and continue to work on marriage.

Sleep with many men and enjoy different inimacy all the time.

Gosh, the list is endless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hmmmm...in your other thread you failed to mention your cheating behavior, but to answer your question:
At the time of my other post, I had not cheated. The friendship felt like it was getting close to that so I stopped talking to the man completely before it turned into anything serious. I also told my husband.

Your husband deserves honesty in marriage, if nothing else. I feel bad for him.
While I'm not heartless, I'd probably feel more guilt if he didn't have a year-long affair first and then threaten suicide when I wanted to separate for a while after finding out.

Show some courage and end the existing relationship before embarking upon a new one.
I'm not sure what the best way is to do this with his suicide attempts and threats. I'm not sure if I could handle leaving him, only to find out a week later he ends his life. I'll admit I feel a bit trapped, on one hand I could leave, and he'd kill himself (I do take the threats seriously). On the other hand, I can stay in a marriage I'm not entirely happy in, to prevent him from committing suicide....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,940 Posts
I told my therapist and she told me I should pay attention to the qualities that attract me to the other man. She also thought, since my husband has made changes, to evaluate his progress in three months, since for the 15 years I've been with him, his nature has been consistent.
As usual IC won't make judgement calls. But she's not only suggesting but encouraging you to enjoy cake while you evaluate WH.
Is this who you are? A cheater, cake eater?
You are having a EA-PA. Kisses is PA. Don't minimize it.
And you don't feel guilty about it.
In your case I'd be very very concerned with myself. Was somthing like this possible in the past. If not, what am I using to break and justify myself this breach in my personal beliefs? Do you believe you sh1t weight less somehow because you can put your WH's in a steelyard and find relief in the fact his stuff weight more? Personal responsability, self respect is to be ignored due your WH's behavior?

I think people can fail themselves but the justifications after the fact are way more dangerous than the failure itself. It's just the start, letting you off the hook using others.

I'm sorry you joined the dark side of the force.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
Dear sarahjames,

I don't understand what you think the good folks at TAM can do for you. Nobody has a magic wand to wave and solve your problems. No one knows some secret spell that you can chant to make them go away.

As one of the other posters mentioned, you have a number of options, including leaving your H and starting over with someone new (although I would drop the OM, since someone who is willing to cheat with a married woman is unlikely to be a suitable life partner) and staying in your marriage and trying to fix it.

You seem like a very intelligent person who should have already realized what your options are. What is hanging you up are his suicide threats. The fact that you care enough about him not to want to do anything that could result in him harming himself is commendable. There are several ways you can deal with this.

One is to understand that you have little ability to control how he lives his life and to accept the fact that there is the possibility that he may do something foolish but, if he does, it won't be your fault because you don't and can't control his actions. Based on this understanding, you can feel free to act in your own self interest, which would seem to be to leave him, end your marriage and get on with your life.

If you can't do this, then another choice would be to live a double life, pretending to be a loving, caring wife while carrying on with other men. This will eventually turn you into the kind of heartless woman who will care so little about your H that you will be able to leave him without worrying about the consequences. Needless to say, I don't recommend this option but, sadly, it seems to be the one you are gravitating to.

A third option might be to give your H stronger encouragement to get help by beginning to separate from him is a controlled way while letting him know that, if he does start to fix himself, you are willing to give your marriage another chance. You could, for example, sit him down and tell him that:

- you love him very much,

- it's killing you to see him like this,

- for his sake, you are going to move out for a while so that he understands that, if he doesn't get help, he will eventually lose you,

- if he does get help and start to get his life back on track (i.e., stop with the games, start to earn a living, start acting like a responsible adult, etc.), you will consider renewing your marriage but,

- if he continues in his current state, despite how much you care for him, you will eventually have no choice but to leave him for good.

Doing something like this might give him the "kick in the pants" that he needs to fix himself. However, if he renews his suicide threats, you can always back down and continue as you are.

There may also be other ways that you can encourage him to become a better person with minimal danger that he will harm himself, if you think my suggestion is too risky. For example, in some places, there are legal means for protecting someone who is a threat to himself, such as getting a temporary, involuntary commitment to a mental health unit (sometimes it can be done with as little as a recommendation from a qualified examining psychiatrist).

Here are my reactions to a few of your comments:

At the time of my other post, I had not cheated. The friendship felt like it was getting close to that so I stopped talking to the man completely before it turned into anything serious. I also told my husband.

[The fact that he didn't go off the deep end over this suggests to me that his suicide threats are just his way of trying to control you.]

While I'm not heartless, I'd probably feel more guilt if he didn't have a year-long affair first and then threaten suicide when I wanted to separate for a while after finding out.

[As I am sure you realize, two wrongs don't make a right. Don't become the kind of woman who can do things that hurt other people without feeling guilt. If that happens, you will have lost a great part of your humanity.]

I'm not sure what the best way is to do this with his suicide attempts and threats. I'm not sure if I could handle leaving him, only to find out a week later he ends his life. I'll admit I feel a bit trapped, on one hand I could leave, and he'd kill himself (I do take the threats seriously). On the other hand, I can stay in a marriage I'm not entirely happy in, to prevent him from committing suicide....
The most important question for you to ask yourself is: Do I want to spend the rest of my life with my H as he is right now and, if not, when will I have had enough so that I am prepared to leave him and suffer the consequences? This is a question that only you can answer.

Hoping for the best for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't understand what you think the good folks at TAM can do for you. Nobody has a magic wand to wave and solve your problems. No one knows some secret spell that you can chant to make them go away.
I know this, and I wasn't really sure what to expect. But I am really confused and am just trying to figure this all out.

it won't be your fault because you don't and can't control his actions
Everyone's told me this, including my therapist, and if someone were in my shoes, I'd probably give the same advice. But I've been with this man half on my life, and I'm not sure if I'd ever be able to forgive myself if I left him and then he committed suicide.

If you can't do this, then another choice would be to live a double life, pretending to be a loving, caring wife while carrying on with other men. This will eventually turn you into the kind of heartless woman who will care so little about your H that you will be able to leave him without worrying about the consequences.
I agree with you that this isn't the ideal solution, and not really the solution I want either. I don't think it will necessarily turn me into a heartless woman.

When the OW dumped my husband, (for heavily flirting with other woman online) he attempted suicide by overdosing. He was even hospitalized in a psych ward for a while. He said repeatedly he would never forgive me, even though it wasn't my choice to admit him. The doctor said either he sign himself in or the police would do it.

After he was released I watched him for weeks mourn the loss of his OW, cry how he just wanted to die, and there was nothing worth living for... apparently even me.

Being betrayed is difficult... it makes you feel worthless in many ways. But to have your spouse think so little of you that they'd attempt suicide over their mistress is a whole other thing. But despite this, everyday I remained at his side, trying to lift him out of his depression, despite my own hurt. I think that shows that I do love him, putting aside my own hurt to help him mend his own. However the feelings of romantic love are gone, I think.

So would I become heartless? Perhaps, but I don't think it's likely. And I know I'm going to get hate for saying this, but I do think its possible to love two people at once. That's what my husband said anyway... and he said he wanted to keep us both for as long as he could.

A few weeks after he was released from the hospital, is when I became friends with the OM. (and for the record, I'm not necessarily leaning in that direction, but it is difficult to ignore the feeling I've developed.) I was vulnerable, and while I was trying to help my husband (with no help from his own family) I found comfort in his company. But I stopped it before it manifested into anything at the time. But even though I ended it, he occupied my thoughts a great deal.

for his sake, you are going to move out for a while so that he understands that, if he doesn't get help, he will eventually lose you,
Financially, this isn't an option. He makes no money and I have none left after I pay all the bills.


The fact that he didn't go off the deep end over this suggests to me that his suicide threats are just his way of trying to control you.
Due to his past attempts and hospitalization, I don't think they are just threats. I also was not threatening to leave. I told him I became friends with someone, but I was developing feelings for that person, but I put a stop to it because I wanted to work on the marriage.

As I am sure you realize, two wrongs don't make a right. Don't become the kind of woman who can do things that hurt other people without feeling guilt. If that happens, you will have lost a great part of your humanity.
I agree. You're right. And i'm not doing this to hurt him or seek revenge. I do think I'm in a tough spot though, with no clear black and white answers. After all wouldn't leaving him with feeling no guilt over his suicide fall into this reasoning? I'm not trying to sound defensive, just throwing out honest questions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
Dear sarahjames,

Just some additional thoughts:


I know this, and I wasn't really sure what to expect. But I am really confused and am just trying to figure this all out.

[The additional information you provided (like your H's previous attempted suicide) does throw a different light on things. I can certainly see why you're confused.]

Everyone's told me this, including my therapist, and if someone were in my shoes, I'd probably give the same advice. But I've been with this man half on my life, and I'm not sure if I'd ever be able to forgive myself if I left him and then he committed suicide.

[I understand. My brother committed suicide after a long serious of calamities in his life. I tried my best to help him but nothing I did seemed to make a difference. We were very close to each other from early childhood. I was the big brother who always looked after him, protecting him from bullies and the like. As adults, we spent a lot of time talking but didn't get to see each other much after he moved to the West Coast. Hardly a day goes by that I don't miss him and wonder what more I could have done. But I try not to blame myself and, the more I learn about his problems (he had Borderline Personality Disorder), the more I understand and can accept that there was only so much I could do. But it still hurts that he is gone, especially around the holidays.]

I agree with you that this isn't the ideal solution, and not really the solution I want either. I don't think it will necessarily turn me into a heartless woman.

[Maybe it won't but, as you say, it's not really a solution.]

When the OW dumped my husband, (for heavily flirting with other woman online) he attempted suicide by overdosing. He was even hospitalized in a psych ward for a while. He said repeatedly he would never forgive me, even though it wasn't my choice to admit him. The doctor said either he sign himself in or the police would do it.

After he was released I watched him for weeks mourn the loss of his OW, cry how he just wanted to die, and there was nothing worth living for... apparently even me.

Being betrayed is difficult... it makes you feel worthless in many ways. But to have your spouse think so little of you that they'd attempt suicide over their mistress is a whole other thing. [I think you need to accept that fact that, in some way, your H is seriously mentally ill. That may not help you much but it would explain why he seemingly cares little about your feelings.] But despite this, everyday I remained at his side, trying to lift him out of his depression, despite my own hurt. I think that shows that I do love him, putting aside my own hurt to help him mend his own. However the feelings of romantic love are gone, I think.

So would I become heartless? Perhaps, but I don't think it's likely. And I know I'm going to get hate for saying this, but I do think its possible to love two people at once. That's what my husband said anyway... and he said he wanted to keep us both for as long as he could. [I am one of those who believe that one cannot love two people, not completely anyway. But even if it's possible, is that the life you want? How can you really give yourself to another and build a life with him if you are forever tending to your H. Somehow, I don't see this working for you.]

A few weeks after he was released from the hospital, is when I became friends with the OM. (and for the record, I'm not necessarily leaning in that direction, but it is difficult to ignore the feeling I've developed.) I was vulnerable, and while I was trying to help my husband (with no help from his own family) I found comfort in his company. But I stopped it before it manifested into anything at the time. But even though I ended it, he occupied my thoughts a great deal.

[From what you say, I just don't see you being happy with a dependent H and a lover "on the side." But it's your life, you can live it any way you want.]

Financially, this isn't an option. He makes no money and I have none left after I pay all the bills.

[Doesn't he have family who could help him?]

Due to his past attempts and hospitalization, I don't think they are just threats. I also was not threatening to leave. I told him I became friends with someone, but I was developing feelings for that person, but I put a stop to it because I wanted to work on the marriage.

[I just don't see how you are going to improve your marriage until he gets help.]

I agree. You're right. And i'm not doing this to hurt him or seek revenge. I do think I'm in a tough spot though, with no clear black and white answers. After all wouldn't leaving him with feeling no guilt over his suicide fall into this reasoning? I'm not trying to sound defensive, just throwing out honest questions. [You don't sound defensive. Actually, you sound like you are thinking this through quite clearly. And, knowing more of the facts, it's clear that there is no easy answer to your situation.]
I wish I had more to offer you right now. Perhaps others do.

Please take good care of yourself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Carmen, first I just want to say I'm so sorry to hear about your brother. You have my deepest condolences.

Secondly, I wanted to thank you (and all those who responded) for taking the time to answer my thread. You've definitely provided some insight... For example, I know that I don't want to live a double life, I know that is not a good path, and certainly not one I could maintain forever.

I also just want to address a comment I made earlier, about feeling no guilt... It is not the "oh I'm going to have my fun and I don't care about anyone else" kind of lack of guilt. It's more the "I've been hurt so much that guilt, along with most other emotions that would impair my day-to-day functioning, have been shut down in order to maintain day-to-day functioning."

I think you need to accept that fact that, in some way, your H is seriously mentally ill. That may not help you much but it would explain why he seemingly cares little about your feelings.
Accepting that he is mentally ill... I think you may have pointed out the first step here.

Doesn't he have family who could help him?
While they've expressed concern, I judge folks by their actions, and thus far I've been the only one actively supporting him. His family rarely gives him a phone call.

Actually, you sound like you are thinking this through quite clearly. And, knowing more of the facts, it's clear that there is no easy answer to your situation.
I'm trying to think it through clearly! :) And thanks for understanding the situation, even though you may not agree with my actions so far. It is a tough case. I am not merely running to another man's arms for a good time (nor have I concluded that will be the route I take). But this person has provided me with the level of support I need in order to keep my spirits lifted to get me through the day. Caring for someone who has a mental illness is emotionally and physically draining.

I think it's easy for some to say end the relationship if you don't want to be married to a man with a mental illness. Don't lie, don't cheat. But in doing so, isn't another vow broken? For better or for worse? A mental illness is an illness... certainly I wouldn't abandon him if he had heart disease, so why is it okay to leave someone with a mental illness? Sure, it's convenient. But is it right? I don't know. :confused:

Thinking about my husband, alone, with no one to take care of him, does pain me. So do I love him? Sure. I must feel something, right? So if I'm to stay with him, I need to figure out how I can fill the emotional needs that I have, that he can't fulfill. Sure I could go through life and ignore those needs, but that wouldn't lead to a very positive human experience.

Sorry, I'm rambling a bit... just thinking out loud...
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
933 Posts
Sarahjames, my $.02

First, I understand what it is like to be bipolar as I have a mild form of it. I take medication for it. People have a choice. They can choose to improve themselves or the can choose not to. Your husband seems to be choosing the not.

He is being extremely weak and manipulative of you. He is using your fear to keep you around and has no respect for your feelings. You are basically enabling his bad behavior. You put up with it and allow it to happen. He will never get better if you enable him to continue on his self destructive path.

You are also being weak. Your guilt is confusing you and you are letting it direct you. I suggest you be strong. Tell him you cannot live with him if he is going to be self destructive. You married a cheat and a liar. Maybe he can change his ways but you cannot change him. That has to come from within. You need to be strong since he obviosly is not doing it and force him to either get help or you leave him. It is not your fault if he chooses to harm himself. Stand with him if he chooses to mend his ways, leave him if he doesn't.

He obviously hurt you very bad with his pining for OW. You probably feel a bit abandoned and the love you used to get from him, you are trying to replace that with OM. It is my personal opinion that a man willing to go after a married woman is a piece of shlt. If you have an affair with OM, you will be a cheater. You will have guilt for the rest of your life and it will most likely enter into your affair with OM. Tell OM you are trying to work things out with H. Break off all contact, do your best to reconcile if you can.

If you can't, divorce H. He doesn't seem like a real winner to me and he had an affair on you. Having a revenge affair is not going to help or having feelings with someone who actually paid attention to you... It's an affair. It is wrong. If you can't stay with H. Divorce him then you will be free to see whomever you want and can go on with your life knowing you were doing things the right way. H may blame you for his woes, but you need to go about your part the right way. Two wrongs do not make a right. Good luck with your choices.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top