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My wife and I have been together 10 years (married 9). Long story short. We met online while she was studying abroad. For 16 months, we talked online and video chatted but didn’t see each other in person. She finished her program, moved home and we met for the first time 16 months into “knowing” each other. We met in June, moved in together in July, married in August and she was pregnant a week later, miscarried in October, and was pregnant again in January.

It was fast. At the time, it felt right. We were 20 and 25, I should have known better. We fought non-stop for 3 years and absolutely hated each other – while she was pregnant, and our son’s first and second year – but stayed together because we had a child together. I had an emotional affair during that time.

Things improved and the last 6 years have been good and we have been happy. We added two more children to our family and my wife is currently pregnant, making us a family of 6.

There are things that on “day 1” I didn’t hesitate about and thought I could handle, but after living with them for the last 9 years I hate. Our 10th marriage anniversary is next year, and we’ve been planning a two-month trip to Europe. During all this, I feel like I’ve been smacked in the face with a brick and keep thinking “it’s been 10 years of this”.

My wife has a long list of problems that affect her and our marriage. Her mom was abandoned at birth; her dad was sexually and physical abused. Her mom and dad had mental illness, her dad was sexually, mentally, physically abusive to her and her mom. When she was 3 her dad shot and killed her mom, he spent 10 years in prison and now walks free. Her maternal and paternal grandparents fought for custody for 5 years, she was tossed back and forth between both homes, both sets of grandparents were unloving, showed no affection, were abusive, and overall bad places to be. She was sexually abused by her paternal grandfather. Starting when she was somewhere around age 7 she was repeatedly molested by her friend’s older brother and he attempted to rape her a few times, and she never said anything. She got into her first relationship at age 12 and stayed with the guy until she was 18. He raped her daily from the beginning to the end and let 2 or 3 of his friends rape her and touch her. She didn’t leave until she went abroad for university. When she told her grandparents about it they didn’t believe her and shamed her for lying.

We have intimacy problems, no shock there. We don’t have sex often, maybe a couple times a month. In 9 years, I have been able to get her to orgasm twice, because she cannot relax. She gets frustrated that she can’t orgasm because she knows that I want her to, and gets upset that (in her words) I’ve had better sexual experiences with others. She gets upset that she’s not “my best”. I’ve had around 30 partners, some good, some bad. My wife isn’t the worst, but she isn’t the best either (I’ve NEVER said that to her, though). She isn’t willing to try new things, getting her to talk about sex is very difficult, our sex is very boring and bland because there are a lot of things that we can’t do. I have to be careful of the way I touch her. She doesn’t like being kissed anywhere. She always wants to be near me and wants me to touch her in some way (hold hands, cuddle, etc.). Emotionally she doesn’t have much to give. My dad died recently, and she tried her best to be there for me, but had no idea what to do. She was more lost than I was. Our kids were better equipped to handle it than she was. If something is wrong with her, she won’t talk to me about it. The one relative of hers that was good to her and loved her died last year, my wife was totally shut down and has never spoken a word about it. She doesn’t want me to see her cry. She just hasn’t let me in, I don’t know if she’s ever let anyone in. So, our sexual and emotional intimacy sucks.

Removing those, she is a good wife and a good mother. I work a lot. Due to the nature of my job I need be available from about 6AM-12AM 7 days a week and holidays. If I get a call at midnight, on a date or during a conversation, etc., I HAVE to take it. I often end up going into work on holidays. My wife stays home with our kids, one school-aged and two not. In terms of the house, cleaning, cooking, kids, activities, shopping, planning events, etc., my wife handles everything. She is great with our kids. She is very affectionate with them. She dedicates all her time to them and they are happy and healthy. She is always on top of everything. She puts our children first when necessary. She knows when to put her or us first, though that has taken years to figure out. She makes time for us even if she tired. She participates in my hobbies with me, even though she doesn’t like them. She doesn’t get frustrated when she’s bad, just laughs it off and has a good time. She will do anything for anyone. If we fight she is always first to apologize, even if I’m the one who should. She takes responsibility for anything that goes wrong and tries to fix it. She always tries to have the house clean and dinner ready when I come home, and I know that’s hard with 3 kids and being pregnant. It took years, but she has embraced my family as her own and now talks to them more than I do. Most importantly, she is teaching our kids differently than she was taught. She always encourages them to talk about what’s wrong, and that we will not dismiss anything ever. She talks to them about mental health and their body being their own. She doesn’t want our kids to ever feel the way she did. She has anxiety and depression, and is on meds for that.

If the sexual and emotional intimacy were removed, there wouldn’t be much to complain about. But I sit here, 10 years and soon to be 4 kids in, regretting it. Regretting the bad sex and intimacy for the last decade. Regretting marrying someone who I will never truly feel close to. Regretting that we didn’t have a wedding even, because she didn’t want to due to having no family or (at the time) friends to be there. She is always upset after sex. If I can get her to talk to me about what’s wrong (rare), she says something along the lines of: she sucks at sex, I’ve had better with others, I deserve better, she doesn’t want me to leave. None of which is on my mind, even though she thinks it is. I should admit, there has been many times that she has initiated sex and I have turned it down because my interest in having (bad) sex with her is dwindling. She gets upset when I turn it down, and when she turns me down.

Do I even have the right to complain? I knew what I was marrying, she never hid her problems from me. I have stayed for 10 years and we have 4 children together. We are generally happy. Most of the time we are happy. Recently I haven’t been able to get this off my mind. When I think about it, I’m not thinking about leaving it’s just regret. I don’t know what I even want. Or what I want from posting this to a variety of strangers. I want to stop having regrets, stop wondering about the “what ifs” and stop having a wandering eye/mind. I am becoming increasingly distant towards my wife, and she has noticed. Recently I have been occasionally talking with the woman I had an emotional affair with. She’s married now and I wouldn’t go there again, but if I have to hide it from my wife then I shouldn’t be doing it.
 

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My wife has a long list of problems that affect her and our marriage. Her mom was abandoned at birth; her dad was sexually and physical abused. Her mom and dad had mental illness, her dad was sexually, mentally, physically abusive to her and her mom. When she was 3 her dad shot and killed her mom, he spent 10 years in prison and now walks free. Her maternal and paternal grandparents fought for custody for 5 years, she was tossed back and forth between both homes, both sets of grandparents were unloving, showed no affection, were abusive, and overall bad places to be. She was sexually abused by her paternal grandfather. Starting when she was somewhere around age 7 she was repeatedly molested by her friend’s older brother and he attempted to rape her a few times, and she never said anything. She got into her first relationship at age 12 and stayed with the guy until she was 18. He raped her daily from the beginning to the end and let 2 or 3 of his friends rape her and touch her. She didn’t leave until she went abroad for university. When she told her grandparents about it they didn’t believe her and shamed her for lying.
F me dead!!! Hell if she was my wife I would be on a bloody rampage at this point.

Do I even have the right to complain? I knew what I was marrying, she never hid her problems from me. I have stayed for 10 years and we have 4 children together. We are generally happy. Most of the time we are happy. Recently I haven’t been able to get this off my mind. When I think about it, I’m not thinking about leaving it’s just regret. I don’t know what I even want. Or what I want from posting this to a variety of strangers. I want to stop having regrets, stop wondering about the “what ifs” and stop having a wandering eye/mind. I am becoming increasingly distant towards my wife, and she has noticed. Recently I have been occasionally talking with the woman I had an emotional affair with. She’s married now and I wouldn’t go there again, but if I have to hide it from my wife then I shouldn’t be doing it.
Your wife needs to let you in, but it's a challenge for her as you can very well imagine. Has she been faithful to you? If you continue your affair you'll shatter her like no tomorrow, you think you can live with that?

She's made ALOT of progress it seems, 10 years isn't that long and you said it's been improving. As Elegirl asked are you guys in counselling?
 

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What you regret is your own poor choices that led you to where you are today. This disaster is not the product of only the marriage vow. It is the product of a long list of poor decisions..... a decades worth.
 

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whatever you do, for the love of all that is Holy, please please please get your plumbing disconnected so you stop popping out kids!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will never for the life of me ever understand why all these people with sucky marriages keep pumping out more mouths to feed and more child support payments :-O
 

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If the sexual and emotional intimacy were removed, there wouldn’t be much to complain about.
The statement is made on another site, about sex:

....It's 10% of your marriage when you have it, and 90% when you don't....

My advice to you is this: don't minimize it, and don't try to convince yourself that you have "a good wife". Yes, she may be a good mom, but the wife department is pretty lacking....I mean, I "get it", how her past has grievously affected her ability to be a good wife. But, at the end of the day? This doesn't help you.

Recently I have been occasionally talking with the woman I had an emotional affair with. She’s married now and I wouldn’t go there again, but if I have to hide it from my wife then I shouldn’t be doing it.
There's another big problem with this. You CAN'T hide it from yourself.... this will serve to radically increase your discontentment..... and it will serve to convince you to leave one of these days....

do yourself a big favor, and leave the "what ifs" (and the EA partner) behind....
 

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In the op’s long list of complaints about his wife one thing is glaringly obvious.His wife doesn’t trust him.
Nowhere does he say that he has ever tried to help his wife either emotionally or by physically confronting her abusers,and by this I mean in a legal sense.There is no statute of limitations on child sexual abuse.
Maybe if he lost the “poor me” attitude and did something of a practical nature,his wife would learn to trust him.
 

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In the op’s long list of complaints about his wife one thing is glaringly obvious.His wife doesn’t trust him.
Nowhere does he say that he has ever tried to help his wife either emotionally or by physically confronting her abusers,and by this I mean in a legal sense.There is no statute of limitations on child sexual abuse.
Maybe if he lost the “poor me” attitude and did something of a practical nature,his wife would learn to trust him.
Amen
 

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In the op’s long list of complaints about his wife one thing is glaringly obvious.His wife doesn’t trust him.
Nowhere does he say that he has ever tried to help his wife either emotionally or by physically confronting her abusers,and by this I mean in a legal sense.There is no statute of limitations on child sexual abuse.
Maybe if he lost the “poor me” attitude and did something of a practical nature,his wife would learn to trust him.
so in other words be a White Knight to save this poor damsel in distress?
 

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There is a difference between being a white night and supporting the mother of your children.
You are correct, there is.

But what I think differentiates the two is how much toxicity the supporter/white knight is absorbing vs how much improvement and agency the damsel is developing.

If some guy is just draining his own blood, sweat and tears and is suffering while the damsel is still just derailing boxcar after boxcar, then it is a white knight who is just chasing windmills.
 

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In tacit agreement with Ele about the need for ongoing marital counseling!

But given that, along with her tragic life history, I'm of the strong opinion that she's probably to the point that she cannot fully trust anyone!

Best of luck to you both!
 

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My wife and I have been together 10 years (married 9). Long story short. We met online while she was studying abroad. For 16 months, we talked online and video chatted but didn’t see each other in person. She finished her program, moved home and we met for the first time 16 months into “knowing” each other. We met in June, moved in together in July, married in August and she was pregnant a week later, miscarried in October, and was pregnant again in January.



It was fast. At the time, it felt right. We were 20 and 25, I should have known better. We fought non-stop for 3 years and absolutely hated each other – while she was pregnant, and our son’s first and second year – but stayed together because we had a child together. I had an emotional affair during that time.



Things improved and the last 6 years have been good and we have been happy. We added two more children to our family and my wife is currently pregnant, making us a family of 6.



There are things that on “day 1” I didn’t hesitate about and thought I could handle, but after living with them for the last 9 years I hate. Our 10th marriage anniversary is next year, and we’ve been planning a two-month trip to Europe. During all this, I feel like I’ve been smacked in the face with a brick and keep thinking “it’s been 10 years of this”.



My wife has a long list of problems that affect her and our marriage. Her mom was abandoned at birth; her dad was sexually and physical abused. Her mom and dad had mental illness, her dad was sexually, mentally, physically abusive to her and her mom. When she was 3 her dad shot and killed her mom, he spent 10 years in prison and now walks free. Her maternal and paternal grandparents fought for custody for 5 years, she was tossed back and forth between both homes, both sets of grandparents were unloving, showed no affection, were abusive, and overall bad places to be. She was sexually abused by her paternal grandfather. Starting when she was somewhere around age 7 she was repeatedly molested by her friend’s older brother and he attempted to rape her a few times, and she never said anything. She got into her first relationship at age 12 and stayed with the guy until she was 18. He raped her daily from the beginning to the end and let 2 or 3 of his friends rape her and touch her. She didn’t leave until she went abroad for university. When she told her grandparents about it they didn’t believe her and shamed her for lying.



We have intimacy problems, no shock there. We don’t have sex often, maybe a couple times a month. In 9 years, I have been able to get her to orgasm twice, because she cannot relax. She gets frustrated that she can’t orgasm because she knows that I want her to, and gets upset that (in her words) I’ve had better sexual experiences with others. She gets upset that she’s not “my best”. I’ve had around 30 partners, some good, some bad. My wife isn’t the worst, but she isn’t the best either (I’ve NEVER said that to her, though). She isn’t willing to try new things, getting her to talk about sex is very difficult, our sex is very boring and bland because there are a lot of things that we can’t do. I have to be careful of the way I touch her. She doesn’t like being kissed anywhere. She always wants to be near me and wants me to touch her in some way (hold hands, cuddle, etc.). Emotionally she doesn’t have much to give. My dad died recently, and she tried her best to be there for me, but had no idea what to do. She was more lost than I was. Our kids were better equipped to handle it than she was. If something is wrong with her, she won’t talk to me about it. The one relative of hers that was good to her and loved her died last year, my wife was totally shut down and has never spoken a word about it. She doesn’t want me to see her cry. She just hasn’t let me in, I don’t know if she’s ever let anyone in. So, our sexual and emotional intimacy sucks.



Removing those, she is a good wife and a good mother. I work a lot. Due to the nature of my job I need be available from about 6AM-12AM 7 days a week and holidays. If I get a call at midnight, on a date or during a conversation, etc., I HAVE to take it. I often end up going into work on holidays. My wife stays home with our kids, one school-aged and two not. In terms of the house, cleaning, cooking, kids, activities, shopping, planning events, etc., my wife handles everything. She is great with our kids. She is very affectionate with them. She dedicates all her time to them and they are happy and healthy. She is always on top of everything. She puts our children first when necessary. She knows when to put her or us first, though that has taken years to figure out. She makes time for us even if she tired. She participates in my hobbies with me, even though she doesn’t like them. She doesn’t get frustrated when she’s bad, just laughs it off and has a good time. She will do anything for anyone. If we fight she is always first to apologize, even if I’m the one who should. She takes responsibility for anything that goes wrong and tries to fix it. She always tries to have the house clean and dinner ready when I come home, and I know that’s hard with 3 kids and being pregnant. It took years, but she has embraced my family as her own and now talks to them more than I do. Most importantly, she is teaching our kids differently than she was taught. She always encourages them to talk about what’s wrong, and that we will not dismiss anything ever. She talks to them about mental health and their body being their own. She doesn’t want our kids to ever feel the way she did. She has anxiety and depression, and is on meds for that.



If the sexual and emotional intimacy were removed, there wouldn’t be much to complain about. But I sit here, 10 years and soon to be 4 kids in, regretting it. Regretting the bad sex and intimacy for the last decade. Regretting marrying someone who I will never truly feel close to. Regretting that we didn’t have a wedding even, because she didn’t want to due to having no family or (at the time) friends to be there. She is always upset after sex. If I can get her to talk to me about what’s wrong (rare), she says something along the lines of: she sucks at sex, I’ve had better with others, I deserve better, she doesn’t want me to leave. None of which is on my mind, even though she thinks it is. I should admit, there has been many times that she has initiated sex and I have turned it down because my interest in having (bad) sex with her is dwindling. She gets upset when I turn it down, and when she turns me down.



Do I even have the right to complain? I knew what I was marrying, she never hid her problems from me. I have stayed for 10 years and we have 4 children together. We are generally happy. Most of the time we are happy. Recently I haven’t been able to get this off my mind. When I think about it, I’m not thinking about leaving it’s just regret. I don’t know what I even want. Or what I want from posting this to a variety of strangers. I want to stop having regrets, stop wondering about the “what ifs” and stop having a wandering eye/mind. I am becoming increasingly distant towards my wife, and she has noticed. Recently I have been occasionally talking with the woman I had an emotional affair with. She’s married now and I wouldn’t go there again, but if I have to hide it from my wife then I shouldn’t be doing it.


It’s funny, i was waiting for this penultimate sentence because your post screams you are in love with somebody else and everything else is you trying to justify it to yourself.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that: people do tend to fall in and out of love. But you have to be clear what is happening and whether it is worth it to break up your family.

I personally don’t believe in the whole ‘there’s this one special person for everyone’. If you used to love your wife, you can find it in yourself to love her again. If you never did (and you may believe this now, while in a fog, but you need to do some serious self reflection to really make an unbiased decision), then it might be more difficult.
Btw don’t take too long to decide because your wife may leave you first (especially if you are emotionally unavailable).



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