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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, first time posting.. I have been married for almost a year. I am in my early 30s, husband is 40. We are are already expecting our first baby this winter. I love my husband and I know he loves me but I feel his ex (and first girlfriend who he was almost engaged to and only other serious relationship he's had besides me) was the love of his life. They were both 33 when they started dating and it lasted 2.5 years. I trust him and they haven't talked since before we got together so I am not worried about her being in his life. But I feel deep down that he will always love her more, that what they had was more passionate that what we have.

During our recent move, I found a letter he had written to her. They had talked about getting married but he had a lot of hesitation because she was not Christian, his family and friends were against it, and they would often have very heated arguments. They broke up because they got the ring but he couldn't get himself to propose. Well, in the letter, he said here is a gift (custom engagement ring) no strings attached but that he knows now he wants to spend the rest of his life with her, that he will never love anyone more etc. That she can keep the ring (which was cost double what mine is btw) and he doesn't expect to hear from her - that he will take that as a sign she's found happiness which is good enough. I've also found poems he wrote to her, picture folders of her and a file folder dedicated to her on his old computer but he has never done that or had those things for me. He gifted her so many nice things but he never spent that much on me. Granted she picked those items out and I am not into brand name items.. I also found a video on his old laptop just kissing her for an extended time. I can't even remember the last time we just sat there and kissed.

All of those things with his ex happened before my husband and I met. I just feel so lost, heartbroken, insecure, guilty for digging through his stuff, and completely selfish for being sad when I should be elated for my baby that is on the way. I don't know how to resolve the issue.. I've talked to him but haven't gone into detail yet about the things I've found on his computer. He says he loves me more than anything that he has never been happier. Any advice will be appreciated.
 

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You better figure out what you want. Okay. Let's say he did have a girlfriend who was the great love that didn't work out. He bought her stuff. It was nice stuff, because she chose nice stuff. (They're not even things you want.) He didn't marry her. He moved her out of his life. And you wouldn't even know about her if you hadn't snooped. So he kept some things that were part of that sweet and terrible time? So what? Plus, you don't know who he was back then. And you certainly didn't know her.

Now, you've decided that because he had a "great love" in his life before you came along that you're somehow getting shorted. WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT? You want him to erase part of his life? You want to change places with her? But he didn't marry her.

Know what? You've taken the product of your snooping and build their old relationship up into some kind of grand love, when the truth is that their relationship simply would not work. Quite possibly, it could never work and shouldn't have been tried, but he (and possibly she) were infatuated. Lot's of fire, but nothing you could cook over. Is that what you want? An infatuation. They fade, you know. They're terrible foundations for marriages because infatuation trumps all the stuff you should be paying attention to. It fades, and the realities storm forth and destroy the marriage. Want that?

You're jealous of something that was never worthy of being envied. It didn't work. And quite likely, he learned something from it, that fire isn't enough. He might even have recognized his close shave and resolved not to let himself be that blinded again. Because what they had eventually burns out. And I think maybe he realized that and then figured out what would make a marriage work forever. And he found it with you. Not her. You're jealous of a failed fantasy. And you're punishing him for committing to you for the right reasons and not for the wrong ones that nearly messed up her and his ex'es lives in the past. You're punishing him, because he knows something's wrong. I guarantee you he knows, even if he doesn't know what it it.

And so far as those preserved memories of their time, you might be glad it's memorable, because it's the lessons learned then that made today possible for you. He gets to remember. You don't get to say he can't.

You almost seem self-destructive, but I don't think you are; you're just being dumb. Wild infatuation that can't work? Or genuine, worthy, steady love that does? Which would you want? If you're at all sane, you know which you want. Well, congratulations. You have it. Now don't screw it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Kind of harsh lol the thing is he was trying to win her back and marry her.. but she didn't want to get back together at that point. Anyway thanks for the reality check :)
 

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I️ really feel for you - if I️ came across stuff like that I️ doubt I’d be able to keep myself from looking!! Have you talked to him about it? Your feelings are completely valid. You don’t have to defend them. Emotions are a biological / neurological response to your environment; there’s nothing to be ashamed of and trying to force them to change doesn’t work.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thank you for empathizing! I know it's bad to snoop... couldn't help it :( Yes, talked to him about it but I don't feel that much better knowing all that stuff. He just says he loves me and will try to be better at showing that and how he's never been happier in life. Sigh*
 

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Congrats on soon being a mommy! And honestly I don't blame you at all, I would have totally looked myself. It's difficult because everyone goes through different stages in life and certain people are part of those stages. This is something you can't change. I'm certain he is in a different stage with you now, and "he's never been happier in life" as he said.

Try not to compare and just focus on all the positive things you have going on in your life right now.

I am wondering though as to what caused them to split? And why wouldn't she want to marry him if he was trying to win her back. Or maybe you guys haven't talked about this?
 

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I am of the belief the love of your life is the one you give your life to. Which he did to you. Maybe he did love this woman, but every love is different. You are going to give him children. Talk to him about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I will try thank you <3 yes, he's told me.. I guess she was sick of waiting for him to propose and thought he shouldn't be listening to his fam/friends who were against their relationship/possible marriage. He said he has a lot of hesitation because they would fight a lot, she was controlling, she was not Christian (which is important to him). But he did try to get her back and marry her so... it doesn't make me feel better :T
 

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Actions always speak louder than words. You are what you do and not what you say.

I always tell people to go by what other people's actions and behaviors are and not what comes out of their mouth so lets look at his actions here.

With the previous GF - they had a lot of bad fights.

Do you and he fight?

With previous GF - he never proposed.

Did he propose to you?

With previous GF - He did not marry her or make a home with her.

Did he marry you and make a home with you?

With previous GF - He did not father any children and make a family with her.

Didn't you mention something about a baby?

With previous GF - they broke up?

Has he broken up with you?


When you judge this on the merits of his actions and not on the words he wrote to her in a letter BUT NEVER GAVE HER before he even met you - it's pretty obvious that you are Numero Uno.

Now to be fair, he may have had strong feelings at the time and the break up may have had some sting to it. But people are what they do and their actions are always the key, and his actions clearly show you in the #1 seat.

You always hit the "Reset" button when you enter into a new relationship and when you came along he hit the 'Reset' button and his actions with you clearly demonstrate a much higher level of investment.

It's always painful coming across love letters to someone else so I get your anguish here but your concerns of her being the love of his life are completely unjustified.

Let this one go and concentrate on your own future together as a family and let his previous relationship die in peace. Stop trying to resurrect that ghost.
 

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My advice is stay if you are OK in being his second choice and fells religiously obligated to stay married to you due to divorce not being recognized by his church. If being runner up in his life and love is not something you want, then do whatever you can to find a man who puts you first.

I am an Atheist and often find that I have better morals than most religious people because I do the right thing because it is the right thing and not out of fear of damnation or reward of heaven from a deity. I would never marry a woman who was my second choice. Sure you can love someone who does not love you back but normal people forget that person and find another to love even more fiercely. It sounds like he regrets not marrying his ex every day of his life and symbolically, with the ring, is engaged to her.

My wife is my second fiancé. My first love was extinguished after meeting my wife of 45 years. Many years later my ex called me up and told me what a big mistake it was to cheat on me and how bad her life had been. She told me that she still had every picture and item I ever gave her and wanted to meet for lunch and catch up. I told her no thanks, she had her chance and while I could forgive, I could not forget and that was the end of that.

I could not live with being second best in anything I do, especially when it comes to love. You need to decide if you can or not. We cannot make that choice for you.
 

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Let this one go and concentrate on your own future together as a family and let his previous relationship die in peace. Stop trying to resurrect that ghost.
I'm going to address this some more.

I am going to give you a little leeway since you are pregnant and probably feeling a little insecure anyway and pregnant moms to be always need some extra support and assurances.

But I am also going to give a pretty stern and serious warning.

Find a way to let this go and move on. Even if it means getting some professional counseling or something.

Do not let this fester and do not let this taint your marriage and relationship or you will turn it into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

do not bug him about this and do not let this turn into an obsession and do not let it make you bitter and resentful towards him. You will simply poison a perfectly good marriage and relationship if you do.

Find a healthy and productive way to put this in the past and let it remain in the past. It's done and over. Leave it that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
He did give her that letter. She just chose not to get back with him.
We don't fight a lot. When we do, it's not heated (like his other relationship) and it's productive.
He actually did propose to her in the end (in that letter) after they had been split for a while.
We did have a break before we got engaged. He felt our relationship wasn't progressing towards marriage.

Thank you for your advices. I do need to let things go.. it's very hard because I'm very emotional right now being pregnant. God bless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Thanks, I guess I am just not sure I'm the second choice. He doesn't feel that way but right now I do. I would leave if I knew for sure I was the second choice. He is great to me and I know he loves me. I just don't know if the level of love he had with his ex is stronger than he has for me.. if that makes sense.

That's great you found the one and were so decisive :)
 

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Your experiencing what is discussed on TAM quite a bit, retroactive Jealousy. Usually gets brought up when spouse finds out that their SO willing did certain sex acts, enjoyed them, with someone else. Yet then when SO is now married to current spouse, they don't do them.

It makes spouse feel second best, like the SO does not value them as much.

In your case, it's not the physical, it's the emotional aspect that you value. Both of you may benefit from The 5 love languages book. Let your husband know that periods of kissing, etc are desired by you. That you need that emotional attention. Even more when your pregnant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you. We've both read the book. I think mine are all 5 languages right now (maybe all the time?) lol Have to find a way to let it go.
 

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OP,
Do you love your H? If he had married this other woman his life would be far different based on what you describe. Frequent fighting, her trying to control everything, raising a family outside of his chosen religion. Do you wish this life for him? People often think they want a certain thing and then once they have it, they find it to be less than they expected. Would you rather have married him after a divorce from his ex? You look at this as him feeling an opportunity missed but perhaps it is a bullet dodged. And you do realize that you are calling your H a liar and showing serious lack of trust when you do not believe what he says is true so I ask again do you truly love him? He does not seem to be regretful about his choice but you certainly do.
 

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I will try thank you <3 yes, he's told me.. I guess she was sick of waiting for him to propose and thought he shouldn't be listening to his fam/friends who were against their relationship/possible marriage. He said he has a lot of hesitation because they would fight a lot, she was controlling, she was not Christian (which is important to him). But he did try to get her back and marry her so... it doesn't make me feel better :T
So lets think about this logically. The love of his life is a women who he DIDN'T even propose to just gave her a ring he bought because is sound like the relationship was kind of a mess. But you the women he dedicated his life to, whom he is currently working and building a life and family with, the women he knocked up (yes that is a rough way to put it but I like it, you should knock up your wife) the women he knocked up and did all that is NOT the love of his life? Either you are severally over thinking this or you married a complete idiot. (Could be, it's not like we haven't seen it before on here but I doubt it. The fact that he didn't marry her because she wasn't a Christian says he is more strategic and thoughtful then that.)

So what is it? You tell us.

Again in my mind the love of your life is the one you give you life to. In this case you!

Your husband sounds like all the other husbands on here who if were you to cheat on him would be broken and lose his mind. He is your typical good guy religious type who is taking care of his family. Whom working hard for his family to him is the best way to show his you his love. He is not writing you poems, mostly because he is not 25. See this romantic poem kind of thing is kind of the same issue for wife's that husbands have when they marry a women who had adventurous sex in her 20's but now is kind of vanilla. By the way I bet you if you put it to him that way he will understand better. He would probably want adventurous sex though so be prepared. >:)

That's the thing, you think she was the love of his life because it seems like he had passion for her. You want that passion too. Again it's the same problem as the sex problem that I described in the last paragraph. You worry that maybe he is not as responsive to you because he doesn't love you as much. Personally I don't think love and passion are the same thing. In fact I know they are not, but a lot of people think they are. The good news is I think the passion is something you can work on. To me it's probably a lot easier to get then love is. The good news is in my mind you have the love. The passion is kind of on you though too. I am going to give you a variant the same advice that the female posters give the men who come on here with the vanilla sex issue. Which is you need to seduce him. Men court women, women should court men too. I think some women don't realize that though.

Gonna be honest and just say it, one of the best ways to get him to show you passion is to get your husband to lust after you. Only you can figure out how to do it, but do it. It should be fun to do anyway. Can you do that? I know it's hard when you are pregnant. By the way how much of this is that? All the hormones of that going on? Do you think that could be causing some of this?

Anyway maybe right now is not the time for passion but don't abandon it after you have your child. Work on it. Believe me a wife who tries to do this for a husband is like a priceless jewel to a good man. Guys will run through walls for wives like that. There are whole posts about that on here I think. Maybe you think that is crazy but I can assure you it's the way we work. At least most of us.

Anyway that is my advice as someone who also wrote the poems in my 20's. I occasionally still do things like that for my wife. I bet if she saw some of that stuff I wrote for others it would bother her too. Didn't write that stuff on my computer though so there is no record, lucky for both of us. Unless these girls saved it. Most of the time I didn't even know what I was thinking. It wasn't love I can tell you that.

Let me tell you without a doubt my wife is the love of my life. I get up and go to work, I clean the bathrooms in my house, I worry about her well being because of that. I have built my whole world around her. Her moods, her joys, her fears and her laughter. If that isn't love I don't know what is. I bet your husband feels the same way.

Anyway stop worrying about this other women and work on you and him. Bring out the passion in him and your doubts will go away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you. I do love him but I want to feel more loved by him.. I love him and I think that's why I have this need to know I'm the greatest love of his life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well he did propose to her in that letter, when he gave her the ring. He said there's no strings attached to keep the ring but he will be waiting for her to spend the rest of his life with.. if she were to take him back. So he did TRY to give his life to her which is why everything he did for her bothers me more.

The romantic poems were when he was 33-35. Only a couple years before we started dating.

Yes, I'm sure a lot of this is the pregnancy hormones making me crazy or an idiot lol

I appreciate all the advice. You sound like a wonderful husband to your wife :)
 
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