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Discussion Starter #1
I really need to stop beating myself up. I am hurting myself emotionally which will eventually show up physically, I am drinking too much to numb out my pain from hurting hubby, and I am wasting my life because every minute I feel like Sh*t that I hurt my husband and wish that I had felt differently.

The details:

-We met and became fast friends- there was such familiarity.
-We began dating several months later which surprised us both because we were not eachother's types.
-We had (still do) a big love for eachother, a huge love between us.
-Sex was never really our thing, he agrees. It didn't matter to me for the first 5 years of our marriage because I was so happy and felt so much love.
-Because we were so different (he is very conservative and I am not) I willingly changed to fit his lifestyle. I remember thinking that I had 'grown up' and I told my counselor about it and she said to be careful of that. I didn't ask her why b/c I didn't want to know.
- about 8 years into our marriage (ten years together), the 'old me' began to awaken. I never thought I'd leave but I began to look at my conservative and sexless life and wondered what it would be like to be more like my 'old self'. I felt a little bored but not b/c of him- he is not boring. I wanted to do things that I know would not fit with my life, things I would have wanted to do before.
- 10 years into our marriage I suddenly realized that I did in fact need to go. I wanted my life to be completely different and I knew that I could not be that person while in my marriage.
-I told him and left 6 months after this realization. He was hurt, I was hurting b/c I loved him and missed him. I have since created a life that I love and that suits me. I feel inspired and in touch with my true self.
-I still miss him but he even agrees that we cannot be together the way that I am now. He is healing. I am not b/c I am so judgmental towards myself for leaving and I feel so bad that I broke my marriage vows. I am mortified!
- I need to forgive myself b/c I am slowly killing myself with alcohol at night to calm my inner demons. I can't believe I am drinking like this, I am a health nut and vain, lol, & it is ruining both my health and looks. But my pain is so bad that it outweighs those 2 things (which are very important to me).
I have spent thousands on counseling, it never helps. I think b/c the bottom line is that I need to forgive myself and accept that I left for a reason.
- I do wish I could have remained happy in the marriage, I had a good life. interestingly, it is not the type of conservative life that I would ever choose again.
Thanks for listening. I am at a breaking point with the alcohol and I need to forgive myself so I can stop hurting myself in the name of numbing out.

btw, left 3 years ago.
 

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I'm not sure what you mean by a conservative life. Please explain what about that life you did not like.

What is it that you are doing now that you could not have done while with your husband?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Maybe traditional is a better word, though he is pretty conservative (although very creative).
Thank you for asking that b/c I part of my problem is I miss how happy I was up until the last couple of years.

I had a lot of friends and a big social life before I was with him. My social outings always revolved around bars: pool, darts, bands. I wasn't a big drinker but he was a non drinker and didn't want me hanging out in bars so I stopped and lost touch with most of my friends (I take responsibility for this- he was not controlling).
He never really caredmuch for my friends, he thiought they were weird, they were all a bit alternative. It's like tattoos and body piercings vs business suits.
He was always very supportive of my careers and that was my big focus while we were together.
An example was I wanted to go to Burning Man several years ago but I knew he would think that was a crazy thing to do- something he wouldn't want to do in a million years.
I later began reconnecting with these former friends and I just felt so isolated from that life and I missed it.
So, now I have a big social life with lots of old friends and new. I play pool and darts, I frequent cool private/underground clubs, I associate with highly creative and artsy alternative type people. If I went back to him, I would have to give up that part of my life. It doesn't fit with his life at all and he told me so. he is a good man and has a right to his opinions and I respect that. It is hard for me to articulate this. I suppose that he is too traditional for me and I wish that wasn't the case. I am too free-spirited for him, I know this.
 

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Several questions that have to be brought up.

1. Did you guys ever went to sex therapy?
2. Did you give him a fair warning about how you were feeling, and HOW FAR you were willing to go if you didn't have this need fulfilled? Maybe he didn't realized how empty you were feeling and might have tried to meet you halfway if given an ultimatum.
3. It seems you might have assumed he was more conservative than you played it out in your mind:
"An example was I wanted to go to Burning Man several years ago but I knew he would think that was a crazy thing to do- something he wouldn't want to do in a million years"
Did you ask him? And if you did, did you insist? If you keep desires bottled up hoping your partner guesses them, it's kind of unfair. If you openly kept requesting to do "untraditional" things, and he constantly refused, then yes. He had it coming. But if you for the most part assumed he was going to say no, and stopped asking, then it is difficult for anyone to be understanding of one another when there's a lack of open communication.
4. I don't see why you have to give up on ANYTHING going back to him, unless you're involved with someone else. If he doesn't approve of your friends, then that's his problem, and you have a RIGHT to hang out with anyone you want as long as you do so honoring your marriage. If he looked down on your friends, or on you for even thinking about hanging around them, then he's the one who needs to change. Did you ever try to compromise about this? Or did he always get his way when it came to how to live your lives as a couple?
5. "I still miss him but he even agrees that we cannot be together the way that I am now. He is healing.", Is it possible he thinks you left under the influence of another man? Could it be that he is hurting because he thinks you cheated on him and this was your way of nicely telling him I'm leaving for another? . Or did he have all the facts straight?.
6. I guess the most important question here would be:
What is it you are getting out of your new lifestyle you value so much? I will disregard the "Pool and Darts". I would think your husband wouldn't think twice about buying you a pool table and a dart board if he knew that would make you happy. Associating with creative and artsy people... what do they contribute to your life? What do you get out of them that would make you do something you are still beating yourself up for (leaving your husband)?

This will help you with your guilt:

Tell him you want to keep doing the things that right now are making you happy, and that you wouldn't mind returning to the marriage (ONLY IF you get to not give up "that" part of your life). And if he says no, because of whatever reason, then this is not solely on you. You are basically giving him a chance to meet you halfway.

The real problem here I think is the sexless marriage as you described it. Which is why I brought it up first, and I'm ending this post with it. As much as you love him, and don't want to hurt him, if you are sexually unfulfilled then what you are going through is even understandable. Sex is NOT the most important thing in a marriage but it is as important as any other aspect. Enough to make or break a marriage in some cases. If he isn't satisfying you, then seek help together. Both of you owe each other that much.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Greg1515,

Thank you for your questions. You ask me some important things and it helps and I appreciate it. I began an answer but I need to get up so early for work that I must wait. It brought up some answers in my head that make me cry as I remember how much he and I love eachother and gave me insight as to where it went 'wrong' years ago, both of our faults (if anyone's fault). I will take a good look by early next week when I have time to really respond as it will help me to clarify. Again, thank you for the good questions!
 

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LOL, am interested to hear precisely what the hamster's definition of "conservative" is, because I have a suspicion it is a manner of life that many people might term "family orientated and normal".
 

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It sounds as though you enjoy being with your 'own kind' which is great, but who are you when you are not with your new friends and not with your husband? What is it that you do, feel compelled to do, when you are on your own? What do you contribute to the new social environment that you have? Is there some kind of underlying purpose to your participation?

A lot of people hang out with a group because it's something they identify with, but there is no inner core of energy in the individual.

Finding your inner energy and nurturing it is very important, and it seems as though you sensed that. However, now it seems like you are putting the cart before the horse, you have placed yourself in an environment hoping to pull out your inner energy. But you still don't know what it is.

A lot of people go through this. Some lucky people have parents who provide an environment where the core energy/purpose is nurtured from the start, or an environment school or community or mentors in their youth that serve this purpose. They never have to think twice about what to do, they just always know it. The young artist or musician or figure skater or writer, mathematicians and even preachers, architects, etc. Then there are others - the rest of us - who know what their inner energy is but have been told it's unrealistic or silly, and we keep saying no to it. Instead we hang around other people who have said yes (or who are like us, hanging with a group...hoping to find the clue) thinking that this is the pre-packaged life that will make us happy. It's not so easy as that, lifestyle in a box, just add water. The problem is, we cling to it so close as the solution, that it suffocates any originality that might come out of us.

The environment you're in might be a part of what can nurture your talent, your originality. There is something special in each of us that needs to be contributed.

I think with your husband, and now with your new group of friends/social life, you are so attached to it that your original expression, whatever it is, cannot find a way out to become a reality.

It's likely you can't forgive your self because you don't have a firmly identified self to apologize to. You want to be nice to it, and you should, definitely, but I think you've only replaced your husband with another environment. It might be more suitable, and palatable to your belief system, but until you break free of dependencies on existing environment/structure, that feeling you have is still going to follow you around.

Probably when you were a kid, nobody encouraged your ideas or interests. You should pick at least one that you never got to pursue and pursue it. That's the best way to forgive yourself, find yourself, or even a small part of your true self, and give it a gift. Then repeat as needed. It's a process.

Never mind about the past.
 

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What you have said simply does not add up: I have since created a life that I love and that suits me. I feel inspired and in touch with my true self.

If that was the case you would not be killing yourself with alcohol. One who is in touch with herself would have inner peace and not need to drink to dull the pain. You don't sound like you love your new life, you sound miserable!:( I've been married 15 years and I still miss my old life. That's normal, I think most married couples do at some point but that's why we make the committment "for better or worse" and "in good times and bad." I don't mean to judge but apparently you did not take your vows seriously. Life is a series of choices and compromises and marriage is a choice to leave oneness behind and build a new life together... as one unit. That doesn't mean you can't have your own interests and pursuits, however, they might need to be scaled back a bit. No mention of kids. Kids would not solve your problem but was that a goal the two of you shared? What about other common goals? My wife and I have 4 growing kids, I hardly know the woman anymore so right now I am pressing her to talk about what the next phase of our life will be (i.e. together). We all want that connection but unfortunatley it doesn't just happen, first you have to want it and then you have to do the work.
 

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What you have said simply does not add up: I have since created a life that I love and that suits me. I feel inspired and in touch with my true self.

If that was the case you would not be killing yourself with alcohol. One who is in touch with herself would have inner peace and not need to drink to dull the pain.
Not necessarily true (though it could be). Guilt is sometimes an issue. You think about the pain you caused. For anyone with any measure of empathy, it's not easy for either party.
 

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Hi everyone, thank you so much for your replies. I am reading and considering each and every one. 3 days ago I found a good book called I Love You but I am Not In Love With You and it has helped me sort things out so much. I am so grateful that I was off work for 2 days to work through things with this book. I can see where my marriage fell into the brother sister phase that I felt for years before I left. I am going to work on myself for approx 30 days and then either move on to heal or move on to rebuild.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Not necessarily true (though it could be). Guilt is sometimes an issue. You think about the pain you caused. For anyone with any measure of empathy, it's not easy for either party.
Very true. I am miserable regarding the pain I caused, but I am also exhilarated that I am rediscovering myself. It is 50/50.

The alcohol is because I have unresolved stuff with hubby that I am now commited to working out- mostly within myself but also to offer him more detailed explanation of my actions.

All in one year I lost my mom, lost my life savings due to a biz lost in the economy downfall, therefore had a mlc, left a wonderful man because our relationship had become more like friends rather that lovers 5 years prior and I didn't think that it could return to lovers so I left... then the drinking began. I will stop drinking, I have already cut back now that I am focused on the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
It sounds as though you enjoy being with your 'own kind' which is great, but who are you when you are not with your new friends and not with your husband? What is it that you do, feel compelled to do, when you are on your own? What do you contribute to the new social environment that you have? Is there some kind of underlying purpose to your participation?

A lot of people hang out with a group because it's something they identify with, but there is no inner core of energy in the individual.

Finding your inner energy and nurturing it is very important, and it seems as though you sensed that. However, now it seems like you are putting the cart before the horse, you have placed yourself in an environment hoping to pull out your inner energy. But you still don't know what it is.

Editing to say thank you again for your post, HMU. You really got to the point of my issue. Thank you, again.
A lot of people go through this. Some lucky people have parents who provide an environment where the core energy/purpose is nurtured from the start, or an environment school or community or mentors in their youth that serve this purpose. They never have to think twice about what to do, they just always know it. The young artist or musician or figure skater or writer, mathematicians and even preachers, architects, etc. Then there are others - the rest of us - who know what their inner energy is but have been told it's unrealistic or silly, and we keep saying no to it. Instead we hang around other people who have said yes (or who are like us, hanging with a group...hoping to find the clue) thinking that this is the pre-packaged life that will make us happy. It's not so easy as that, lifestyle in a box, just add water. The problem is, we cling to it so close as the solution, that it suffocates any originality that might come out of us.

The environment you're in might be a part of what can nurture your talent, your originality. There is something special in each of us that needs to be contributed.

I think with your husband, and now with your new group of friends/social life, you are so attached to it that your original expression, whatever it is, cannot find a way out to become a reality.

It's likely you can't forgive your self because you don't have a firmly identified self to apologize to. You want to be nice to it, and you should, definitely, but I think you've only replaced your husband with another environment. It might be more suitable, and palatable to your belief system, but until you break free of dependencies on existing environment/structure, that feeling you have is still going to follow you around.

Probably when you were a kid, nobody encouraged your ideas or interests. You should pick at least one that you never got to pursue and pursue it. That's the best way to forgive yourself, find yourself, or even a small part of your true self, and give it a gift. Then repeat as needed. It's a process.

Never mind about the past.
You are exactly right- I agree. Thank you for your post. My parents were loving but I was never allowed to be me. I would ask them if I could pursue my interests, but I was to be my mom's mini-me and, while I love her so much, I am very different. In my marriage, I lost myself in a similiar role. Hubby wasn't controlling but he was my first 'good guy' relationship and I sort of molded into what I thought was expected.
I take responsibility for that. I just didn't realize it was happening until after I left.
We were not eachother's types when we began dating. Instead of meeting half way, I unconsciously molded to his life.
 

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ps, I actually do have a hobby that I love. This was my hobby while I was married, too. It is my joie de vivre and hubby supported it 100%. It has nothing to do with the group that I speak of. Thank you for reminding me of that.
 

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What you have said simply does not add up: I have since created a life that I love and that suits me. I feel inspired and in touch with my true self.

If that was the case you would not be killing yourself with alcohol. One who is in touch with herself would have inner peace and not need to drink to dull the pain. You don't sound like you love your new life, you sound miserable!:( I've been married 15 years and I still miss my old life. That's normal, I think most married couples do at some point but that's why we make the committment "for better or worse" and "in good times and bad." I don't mean to judge but apparently you did not take your vows seriously. Life is a series of choices and compromises and marriage is a choice to leave oneness behind and build a new life together... as one unit. That doesn't mean you can't have your own interests and pursuits, however, they might need to be scaled back a bit. No mention of kids. Kids would not solve your problem but was that a goal the two of you shared? What about other common goals? My wife and I have 4 growing kids, I hardly know the woman anymore so right now I am pressing her to talk about what the next phase of our life will be (i.e. together). We all want that connection but unfortunatley it doesn't just happen, first you have to want it and then you have to do the work.
Thank you for challenging me with your response. The breaking of my vows is exactly why I feel such shame and guilt.
I never wanted kids, we married when I was in my 30's (he 10 years older) and he has grown kids from a previous marriage so that was not a goal. I was always very independent and didn't plan on getting married until my 50's. But I met him we shared a big giant love that is still alive. The problem was that I lost myself in him, not his doing. I am actually wondering how I could have been attractive to him after that happened- I became a mini-him! lol No wonder we didn't have sex for 5 years. I am actually beginning to see the real issue due to a book I just read.
 

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LOL, am interested to hear precisely what the hamster's definition of "conservative" is, because I have a suspicion it is a manner of life that many people might term "family orientated and normal".
I don't understand the 'hamster's definition' part, lol, but you are exactly correct in defining what I meant: Family oriented and normal.
 
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