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Discussion Starter #1
I will try to keep this short and sweet, but am interested in seeing what others think is going on here, I am confused and at this point am stepping back to give us both some space, so do not want to talk anymore with the husband until my thoughts are more clear.

Together 20 years, married 11 - one child 10 years old. We have always had a kind of rocky relationship - he has always been a bit selfish/controlling so sometimes its been challenging to be with him, but all his other qualities outweigh that - and generally speaking we have always gotten along pretty well, so I thought.

He had an affair (not sure if emotional or sexual or both)... about 9 years ago (yes right after our child was born) .... but he never wanted to talk about it. We tried to move on from that, but honestly I know in the back of my head since he has not discussed it with me it has always been an issue.

My faults include lack of sex, guess I am scared to go there to avoid getting hurt --- pushing him away when he was TRYING to be nice in his own way...this I was not aware of until recently when he made comments that implied that I 'did not need him".....

We have been having "talks" for a few years, usually started by me asking for more romance, affection etc...we lost something along the way - but his reponse was always" I will try harder" - but nothing would change. We have had about 5 or 10 date nights since the arrival of our child...never a vacation together or even a night alone, I tried to explain that NO MARRIAGE can survive that - he does not see that as a major issue.

About 1-2 months ago for the first time ever he came out and said he wants a divorce...that we should have never got married and we are not compatible.

Fast forward to today and he is still here, and when I ask when he is leaving he kind of evades the question. He is actually being nicer now than he has been in ages....and we get along fine as "friends". I have been leaving it alone for now --- since we are getting along, the peacefulness is nice. But if he wants a divorce (and I do not!) - then we need to do this so I can move on with my life and find someone who DOES love me.

We just had a 2 week power outage due to a storm and we got through it great....I guess my question is why if he wants a divorce would he be so nice....we laugh, we giggle....even the other day he was washing the car and we were throwing water at each other.....it was so nice --- but I do not want to read to much into it.

I know I need to have a real conversation about this, but not sure how to start it without it turning into a fight.....

I have not told anyone about any of this - so it is nice to have a place to share and try and make sense of what to do or where to go....thanks so much for any insight!
 

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He had an affair (not sure if emotional or sexual or both)... about 9 years ago (yes right after our child was born) .... but he never wanted to talk about it. We tried to move on from that, but honestly I know in the back of my head since he has not discussed it with me it has always been an issue.
I am no expert but I would say this is still a huge issue and possibly the root cause. You were the victim he does not have the opportunity to just say "I don't want to talk about it". You are his wife and you deserve to know everything. Your lack of sex is probably because of this as well. Not sure how anyone could have sex with some after they cheated on them. Sorry but personally that is enough there to leave him...

Fast forward to today and he is still here, and when I ask when he is leaving he kind of evades the question. He is actually being nicer now than he has been in ages....and we get along fine as "friends". I have been leaving it alone for now --- since we are getting along, the peacefulness is nice. But if he wants a divorce (and I do not!) - then we need to do this so I can move on with my life and find someone who DOES love me.

We just had a 2 week power outage due to a storm and we got through it great....I guess my question is why if he wants a divorce would he be so nice....we laugh, we giggle....even the other day he was washing the car and we were throwing water at each other.....it was so nice --- but I do not want to read to much into it.
Honestly, He probably met with an attorney or looked up the laws and information and found out that with his affair that you are aware of, he realizes that he will lose everything, most likely custody of the child. He will also lose all his money and probably have to pay alimony...so just suck it up and stick with it (possibly cheat or continue to since he got away with it once already and your still around) or lose everything he ever had and end up living in some ditch.

He knows you have the upper hand...honestly and this is just my opinion, once the affair happened this relationship should have been over. Especially after he just wanted to push it under the rug. Not cool...

Good luck with everything, in my eyes I feel hes stuck, and at this point hes just going to try and make himself love you. I wouldn't be surprised if you told him you wanted to go through with the divorce and he begged for you to stay...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks HockeyGuy -

I know he has no right to ignore my requests for information - and it hurts that he will not tell me the extent of the affair. The ONLY reason I stayed with him, because at the time of the affair his father - who was living with us, was dying. So I was taking care of him and our newborn while he was seeing this person - I wrote it off because I knew he was going through hell and I could not be there for him because I had more than I could handle at the time....(I did not know he was cheating when I was being this nice!).....I found out after his dad passed.....he was very close to his dad and it was essentially the only family member he had left....I felt bad....

I do not think he has seen an attorney or anything, we agreed when we divorced that we would use a mediator. I am able to support myself so I do not want anything from him and he knows that (only for him to take care of his child)...and he wants me to stay in our home and pay for it to keep things as close to normal for our child as possible.....he is a good guy deep down.....just not always to me....I truly want nothing from him - so divorcing me will be easy. He is a phenomenal father and I would NEVER keep our child from him....it will be 50/50 custody...I am NOT a bitter woman....I am angry but not vengeful at all.....I just want to move on and be happy - whether with him or without....

This is why I am confused....it is easy for him to leave....and he is not.....and he is being so great lately.....I know no one is a mind reader......but the couple of times i have tried to talk about things i can see him tense up - and just do not want to go there....so getting this kind of feedback is VERY helpful!
 

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Marriage counseling offers the chance to have a safe neutral place to bring difficult things up. Perhaps it would help you get some answers.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Thor - he had actually asked me to go a few years back, after the affair. I said no, I felt at the time like he was the one who needed it not me....I was still angry. Now that I have asked he says no....sure just to "get back at me" so to speak.
 

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He's paralyzed by fear.

He's thought the situation through and he knows that he feels that while he cares for you he isn't excited to be with you. (You can bet that the affair was exciting.)

But, what he doesn't know is whether there is something better out there. So he sits in your house and thinks "I'm not really happy about this situation. I like seeing my kid every day, and my wife is a fundamentally good person and we are compatible in many ways. But I am not excited when I am with her, and I can't help thinking that there is someone out there that I would feel excitement with. If someone could promise me that I would be able to date other women and eventually find someone new to start over with, I'd leave in a second. But what if there isn't someone out there that is better. Maybe I'd better stick around until my kid is just a bit older. By then maybe I'll start to feel romantic about my wife again and everything will be great. And, if I don't then I'll be walking away from less because our child won't need me as much and we'll be in a better place financially. I guess I'll sit on the fence for another few months."

So here's what I suggest:
1) Read Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay (or just google for the set of 36 questions and decide how you feel about your relationship).
2) After thinking it through, decide if you are willing to gamble on your marriage. If yes, tell him "Honey, I love you and I want our marriage to work. But I don't want to live in limbo. Here's a book for you to read -- hand him the TGTL, TBTS book -- I think it may help you decide what to do. I need you to take 2 months to decide to either leave or decide to recommit to our relationship by going to counseling. Like I said, I love you. (I worked through the book and I decided that I want to stay in the relationship.) But if you reach a different decision, I won't stop you from leaving."
On the other hand, if you are not willing to gamble (at least at this point) then just do the 180 and do not bring up divorce.
 

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An EA/PA can certainly destroy a marriage. It is exactly what really pushed me away from wife. When the trust is broken, no ductape can stop the runnage. You get past it but it "does something to you" and you turn cold and don't even realize it. The grass is always greener on the other side. An old man told me once, when my high school sweetheart dumped me...if you gave in kindness they will always return and then the decision will be yours. Both g/fs I dated for over 2 yrs left and came back. I wish you luck on the talk. Just keep in mind it is common to want a divorce and after the shouting and dust has settled, they decide otherwise. After NC many get back together. It's like the old hair metal band Cinderella sang, "Don't know whatcha got, till it's Gone"
 

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It's like the old hair metal band Cinderella sang, "Don't know whatcha got, till it's Gone"

Hair band, wtf is a hair band? ;)

Eighteen years before Cinderella, some chick named Joni sang those words about not knowing what you've got. (now some even older geek is going to come along and tell us about an even older song with that line...)
 

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LOL i know Joni's version too! just related more to the hair band though (41 here)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Couleur - funny thing is I have been trying to do the 180 thing, and have not even tried to talk about things the last few weeks.

Then last night he threw in my face about how nice I have been being the last few weeks (since he said he wanted a divorce) - and even our joking about sex was thrown in my face....like I am trying to save our relationship with sex...which is NOT the case, we have not had it and I have no intention of it..also, keep in mind we spent 2 weeks with no power - we were forced to be in close quarters with no electric at all and we got along well. He said it was because he was trying hard because he knew he had too.....

...so my trying to be nice just looks like I am trying too hard in his opinion to save things.........I did ask last night if he has given thought to where we are going with this.....he said not really.

I told him we need to talk on Sunday and put a plan in place. I made it clear I do not want the divorce, but will respect his decision if that is what he wants, but that he cannot stay here. We will re-group Sunday and see what happens.....

He has other issues, I am sure of it. He has NEVER been truly happy in his life, even his dad used to make comments about how miserable he always looked. He has never really treated any girlfriends well and even his parents he was not nice too....which of course he does regret.

The last few years he has turned into a much better person....and I am proud of what he has accomplished...and I TELL him that....but no matter what I say he spins into something negative.....I can just never say anything right....

I have told myself he is doing that to find fault with me in everything I say and do so he can justify leaving me. I actually said this to him last week - that he purposely sees only the bad in me....later in the day he actually apologized for making me feel that way.....he said that is not the case, but can see how it seems that way....

I am so frustrated......and wished I did not love him, things would be so much easier.......

Thanks for all the advice.....I just wish I can read him better......
 

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Limbo is awful, and a lot of people on the board recommend pulling off the band aid quickly -- i.e., saying "I love you and want this to work. But, unless you are willing to work on this marriage together with me, I can't live with you. I need space to distance myself emotionally from you, and because of my strong feelings for you I won't be able to let you go while you are living in this house. That means you need to move out and we need to start separating our lives."

The alternative is to sit back, be very patient and let things play out. I'm not saying that you should turn into a doormat -- you shouldn't. You should do everything you can to move your life forward -- get IC, work out, pursue your own hobbies, etc. And, you should decide what your boundaries are while you are in limbo (for ex, not committed to working on our marriage? then no sex, no doing chores like cooking or laundry; if H makes a move to see other people (posts on match.com, says he wants to date other people), then you immediately file for divorce; stuff like that).

If you don't want a divorce, read the Divorce Remedy by Michele Weiner Davis. But, even if you follow the advice in the book, you cannot make someone recommit to a relationship if he doesn't want to. The opposite of love isn't hate, it's apathy. If you H is apathetic, then he just won't care no matter what you do.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Apathetic is the PERFECT word. I do not think he hates me or even dislikes me --- apathetic would be the word - that is how he seems about everything though, so I have learned not to take it personally. The only person in the world who can "make him feel" is our child...

I have already started "living" - and everything you have said above is exactly what I have been doing. Part of me wants to let it "go" and see what happens - but the pain is too much....

I am actually thinking of putting everything into an email and foregoing the "talk" on Sunday. This way we can avoid any "words" which usually happen when we talk and I have a written trail of my thoughts.....then I can just leave it and see where he goes with it....

I am already telling myself its over.....I would rather try to start moving on and if he should somehow come around it will be a great surprise.....but I am not sitting around and waiting.....

Thanks Couleur - your apathy remark really hit home......
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So here I am a month later! And today is a REALLY bad day. He was away for 2 weeks for work. Before he left he said we would talk when he got back....he got back last Friday - and acted like nothing wrong. We spoke a little while he was away, but just everyday stuff nothing about "us".

Saturday we had a nice day together.....and he actually came upstairs (I tend to stay in the bedroom when I am home) --- and he started to massage me. No expectations for anything in return...just started being nice....so I massaged him back because it felt good. The rest of the day was great.....Sunday I stayed to myself for most of the day....

Then yesterday I tried to talk to him and it turned into world war three.....with him turning everything I have ever done into a major issue....

He continues to say we should have never married, but then says he was in love with me at one point. When I was 6 months pregnant he told me he loved me and how beautiful I was - a year later he was cheating....he thinks that is less catastrophic than me telling him about a debt collector calling me for a business debt (he says I am a liar and he cannot trust me)....

What hurts the most is him saying "I was with you because I was insecure and we should have never been together"....

I am struggling to get past that......and had a total breakdown today......

Our last words were that we would stay put until after the holidays.....for the sake of our daughter. But he has been saying for almost 2 months that he would be leaving and has not...

I guess my confusion is why would someone who claims they do not want to be with me, then want to joke, kid and have fun with me when they did not have to?

He is horrible at confrontation - and I know if I do not "talk" about things he is fine....he does not want to deal with the problems and wants everything to be shuffled away.....but I just do not think that is a valid way to have a relationship....

I am heartbroken that I spent 20 years with someone who potentially never gave a ****. How do you deal with that and stop the pain?

I do not know if I want a divorce or not at this point since I am not sure how honest he is being with me about what he wants.......I am so confused.....

Any insightful advice....I want to tell myself that it is over and I deserve so much more and that someone will love me the "right" way.......but it is so hard when I really do love so many of the moments he and I have together.....

Thank you for letting me vent!!!!!!! Haven't shared with too many people yet so do not have a lot fo "support" at the moment since I do not want to drag our mess in public until I know the outcome.....
 

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God knows this is easy for me to say after my crying jags but tell him "sh1t or get off the pot"
 

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Discussion Starter #15
LOL! My best friend said the exact same thing to me this morning as I was mid-waterfall of a crying episode.....I have been holding it together the last few weeks...which is why it has been peaceful.....but hearing he never should have married after 20 friggin years is devastating.

I cannot forgive him mostly for the last few years where every conversations with him ending "I will try harder" and then never trying. And at 43 - he knew how much I wanted another child...and for the last couple of years he said yeah sure....now to know it was all a lie makes me so angry....now he took years away form me and the ability to have another child is GONE....

.....and these are the things that make me mad and want to kick him to the curb.....

....but then he makes me laugh and all that is forgotten.....

......how do you find the strength to do what your head says and to stop listening to your heart?!?!?!?! The pain is unbearable at times....
 

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Ex just called, didn't answer. it's best that way, email me. it's a rough ride. you are not alone. try chicago "youre not alone".....i would poop green skunks if it sped up the process
 

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Kick the loser out.

Stop being nice. Don't be nasty or anything, just ignore him.

From your post, he seems to be a needy person who gets empowered by your attention. So cut him off. No massages, nothing, just the barest conversations.

Oh, and if he doesn't file for D, you go ahead and file. There can be no limbo. He either commits to the relationship or he leaves.

Actually, scratch that. He leaves, period.
 

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but hearing he never should have married after 20 friggin years is devastating
I take it as he is revealing a large deficiency in himself. Don't take it as an insult that you are somehow beneath his level, rather that he realizes he was woefully deficient.

He may just be waiting until after the holidays to pull the plug. I would prepare based on that possibility.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks guys - he admits he has issues....so I am not taking anything personally. Without sounding arrogant, I am a great person and a good wife and partner. I am not needy, strong confident and give with all of me heart. He stayed with me because I was so good to him......he has treated every girlfriend badly....even his mistress...I mean it was lies from day 1 since he told her I was a psycho and he was leaving me...this was before I even knew we had problems.

We agreed to hang together and do our best to put up a good front for our daughter through the holidays....but we have no game plan for after that.

I REALLY want him to go see someone.....I am not 100% sure I want this to end....although my head says RUN....but he is NOT a bad person....even though he thinks he is not insecure anymore..I am not convinced of that.....I think he is scared and confused and clueless as to what he really wants....truth is he has never really been a TRULY happy person....

I am all cried out for now.....and I am done being overly nice....I just want to be "amicable"

I wish this could all go away....there was a time it was good....wish I could know what the hell happened.....the mixed signals I get make me crazy.....
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I just want to add some thoughts here to give what I think is a fair perspective and maybe why I am not being so quick to want a divorce...

IN some conversations he has given me "very small" clues as to why it has gone this bad....

1) He in no uncertain terms tells me "I am always right" - I am assuming that is sarcasm....and that when we have conversations of depth that I am always telling him what he is feeling....yes, I know that is wrong...but I am guessing and pulling at straws for honest answers so I throw out comments and hope he will say yes or no to them...clearly I am an ass for doing it...

2) Our daughter sleeps in my bed wtih me - I honestly do not remember the last time he and I slept together or how this happened...but he has never really made a big deal out of it, so I never changed things...it came up in a fight that it bothered him....he swears he talked to me about it - but I do not recall it....

3) He made a comment yesterday about me "pushing him away" physically.....I have....I am still resentful of the affair and because he has never talekd to me about it it is always "there"....I guess I do not see having sex as a way to fix things...he says it could have been a start....are men and women really that different?

4) He says we have nothing in common....keep in mind in 10 years we have done NOTHING together...the few times we have been out was with friends....no vacations...no nights alone...no date nights together....I keep sayin gthis is a BIG part of our problem...we never had sitters and have no family to help.....now that she is older and we can do things more easily..there is too much anger...we are different people...

With this said...we are both angry....I have asked about counseling he says no, but I think it was because I said no a few years ago.....

I guess he feels like I always put him down and did not want him....when that was NEVER the case. He seems to twist things that way.....

Does anyone think there is any hope...or is it time to really let it go....

I am not sure how I feel about the 180 thing since I feel like I have to do all the sucking up....and I am not sure I am ther eright now.....I guess I just do not want to hurt anymore than I am now....

As you can see I am really confused here.....
 
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