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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, I'm just trying to seek out some insight from anyone who may have some. Also I
apologize for the wall of text. It turned into many more words than I was intending, but details might make it easier to provide insight.

Background: My wife and I have been together for 11 years, married for the last 4 of those. We have two young children together, aged 1 and 3. She is the only woman I've ever had sex with, and we've been together the majority of our adult lives.

For the last several years, we've both been progressively less and less happy with our relationship. Aside from the period where we were trying to conceive our kids, we've barely had sex in several years - and in the last year, only twice (and both times she wasn't into it, which ruined the experience for both of us). She has felt like I was emotionally absent, and has been progressively denying me any and all forms of physical affection (not just sex, all of it). I, being hurt and rejected by this, have been less and less inclined to spend the time and energy being present for her emotionally - which sort of created a vicious cycle where we had less contact, so I wanted less quality time, so she wanted less intimacy, so I had less of a desire to spend time with her.. and so on. A few weeks ago, she came to me and said she wanted to be separated because she felt that she had been putting so much energy in and that I was simply not able to be the man she needed to be happy. She said that she felt we both needed to be separate to work on our own individual issues, and that maybe in the future if we could each fix ourselves we might be able to get back together as two new people. Then she told me that she needed the option to, if she met someone in the future, not feel bad about pursuing a relationship with them - and she told me that she could have sex with another man and not feel bad about it, as long as there was just sex and no love - but if she felt like she was falling in love with him that she'd know we needed to divorce for good. She also, in a bout of anger during one of the fights that this precipitated, told me that she wouldn't even care if I had sex with another woman - but it would hurt her deeply if I were to be romantic/buy flowers/be emotionally involved with another woman. Due to the kids and mortgage/$$, we have to stay in the same house for at least the next few years regardless of what happens, so I've moved into a new bedroom in the basement.

Before that day, I would have never worried she would cheat - even when we had gone a year without any sex at all. But since she told me that, it was all I could think of. I know she has a few male friends and she insists they are nothing more, but it's hard for me to even imagine her talking to them now without feeling like they are cheating or planning to cheat. In my shock and panic after she decided we needed to separate, I peeked at her facebook messages a few times and saw that she was talking to some dude who I had never met, sending him little heart emotes and being generally very loving and they were deleting their conversations regularly. I confronted her about it, and she got really mad that I was snooping (to be honest I felt bad about it too, it's fair to be mad about that), and she insisted that there was nothing going on but that he had been trying to get with her and she shut him down - and even though I believed her (she's a very honest person by nature), I still have a hard time getting over what I had seen. He lives in a different city and there's no way they could have gotten together to actually do anything, so I know there's no chance they actually had sex or anything.. but the idea that she was meeting her emotional needs from another man really ate at me. Fast forward a few more weeks, as I started to adjust to the separation and come out of my crazed mental crisis that it brought on. The more I considered the situation, the more I began to accept that our marriage had been unhappy for a long time for both of us. The fact that she had been so adamant about being able to potentially see other people in the future weighed on me constantly, even though I'm mostly certain she hasn't actually been looking for someone it really chewed me up.
One night, after she and I had had yet another fight about it all, I decided in my anger to put myself on a dating site to see if there was anyone out there who might actually like me how I am. After so long of my wife insisting that she had done everything right and that I was 100% the root cause of all of our marital problems, and after so long being denied affection I had felt like I was a completely unlovable, unattractive person and my very masculinity had been stripped away. I just wanted to feel like a man again, and I never ever would have considered it if my wife hadn't insisted that she wanted to have the option to do so. She insisted though, that she wasn't looking for it but rather she wanted to be able to say yes if someone asked her out in the future and made her feel good about herself again.

So after a while, I met someone on there. We've never gotten together in person, just talked online, on the phone, and via text, but we have an amazing amount in common in ways my wife and I never did, and it's been a very long time since I felt this excited to get to know someone. I'd be lying if I said I didn't also want to have sex with her, especially considering how long it's been since my wife was willing to be passionate with me, but I'm old fashioned in that I feel like you should know someone well before you jump into bed with them. I very badly want to meet her and see what happens, because I don't remember how long it's been since I felt like this. I figured since my wife had initiated the separation, and since she was the one whose idea it was, and since she insisted that she needed the option to be with other people that it might be OK. So, I made a date with her - but when I told my wife that I was going to be going out (to make sure she could be home to watch the kids), she lost her mind and we had the worst fight we've ever had. Even though I tried to be evasive (I didn't want to lie to her, but I didn't want to just flat-out tell her that I was going to date another woman), she saw right through me and when asked about how we met I told her I had put myself on a dating site. She called me all kinds of terrible things, said she hated me, said I broke her already-broken heart again, called me disgusting and acted like all I wanted was to find some **** to bang. That's not it at all, I mean - I have physical needs for sure, and they haven't been attended by my wife in a long time, but there was a lot more missing from our marriage than just sex. I just feel like honesty is important, and I didn't want to be sneaky. My wife was incredibly hurt that I had been actively seeking out companionship in that way. I cancelled the date, and removed myself from the site to ease my wife's mind - but I'm still secretly in contact with the new woman, and I'd still really like to meet her and see what happens.

So I'm torn. Part of me doesn't want to throw away the last 11 years and sacrifice the wholeness of our family, because I know that if I do go date this woman that there will never be a chance of reconciliation with my wife. If that happens, we'll divorce for sure and she'll take our kids, and I'll only get to see them every other weekend or some such. It will devastate us both financially for years. It'll be as though the last 11 years have been a complete waste. Part of me, though, realizes that we've been unhappy for years, and sometimes I feel that maybe the reason it wasn't working with my wife is because we really weren't right for each other - but we had so much time and energy invested that we didn't want to quit despite it. Maybe if it was 'right', it wouldn't have been so hard to build each other up.

I never would have thought that before she decided to separate, but maybe I want to divorce; maybe we're just not right and no amount of 'working on ourselves' is going to get us to a place where we can be good together. I don't know if I can really forgive her wanting to separate or her desire to see other men, nor do I know if she can ever forgive me for wanting and actively seeking to see what it's like with someone else. I suspect that if it weren't for the kids we'd already have gone our separate ways, but for their sake I feel like I'm obligated to stay. But how far does that obligation go? How long should we both endure a relationship that drains us rather than building us up? How good is it for the kids to stay together for their sake, but be miserable and without love? What if I really am the problem though? What if it's not that we don't love each other, but that I'm as broken as she says and I'm incapable of real love?

In this situation, with all of this information, is it really cheating if I pursue a relationship with the new woman? I'm not expecting to find the love of my life or anything. I tried that, and she changed her mind. I just want to feel alive and like a man again - and maybe it's just the infatuation of meeting someone who 'gets my engine going', but I don't remember the last time I felt like I do when I'm talking to this new woman. I don't want to sneak around, I couldn't do it 'behind my wife's back' so to speak, but I know that if I do it openly then I lose my children and any chance of reconciliation - I'm just not really sure if reconciliation is even what I want.

I know there's a lot of questions here, and a lot of rambling and ranting.. I'm really just hoping that I can get some insights from anyone who my story speaks to.

Thank you for your time.
 

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Yes you are cheating and so is your wife. What do you want to do now?

Do you want to reconcile or do you want to pursue your new love interest?

To reconcile, there has to be two people willing. Your wife has to agree to reconciliation.

You guys need to talk, but probably with the help of a therapist would be better since you guys just fight and hurt each other instead of positive, constructive communication.

Bibi
 

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reborn,

To be honest she sounds like a cake eater....she does not want you to see anyone but she is okay with having a relationship with this guy...like they say "homy don't play like that"....you both have to be inside a marriage or outside the marriage but not at the same time, having one foot in and one foot out won't work...and it's not fair to the new people. your wife probably did not count on the fact that your dateable and now that you are going on your first date she is freaking out. you both need to sit down as adults and talk this out, put all your needs on the table...and your ugliness and see if there is a marriage to savage or walk away...and BTW neither of you should involve anyone else for now.
 

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I think bibi1030 in the main is right. Stop contact with the other women immediately.

Unless this separation thing was a test, I do not understand your wife's reaction. It seems like she is cake eating and s upset plan B is walking out the door. What exactly is her reasoning? Does she understand what her words and actions have done to you? Do you understand that for a women to thrive in a marriage she needs an emotional connection and that for a man to thrive in a marriage he needs intimacy?

It is past time for you both to seek help. See threads on this site about counseling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
As far as counselling, we have made an appointment with a counsellor together as well as separately. I'm just not sure what we might get from it. The more I think about it the more I wonder if it's even something I want to save. I don't want to just quit, but if the love really isn't there then might it not be better to split before the kids are old enough to understand? I'm not just saying that because I want to date the other woman either, I just.. I don't want to work at it for months or years to recover the trust and such only to realize that it's still not working and split anyhow - and by then the kids would be old enough to get hurt by it as well. We've both been so angry, so bitter, and so emotionally and physically deprived for so long that I don't know if we could ever find a way back from the resentment.
 

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Here is the thing, it is a gamble no matter what you do decide. It is where you want to place your risk into.

As for the whole children thing, you are the role models, and so is the people you surround your children with. My uncle was my father figure and I only saw him on the weekends and when he looked after us when our parents were away. I had far more quality time with my uncle than my father even though I nearly saw my father on a daily basis.

The whole idea of love of your life should be removed from your lexicon. People change and want different things. She may have been the love of your life at one point, but it is not a guarantee to stay that way.

For example brain damage can radically alter the personality of a person and if it were to occur to either of you, you both can change into someone who the other cannot be in love with.

It is a gamble as stated. But from the sounds of it, you both cannot work on the relationship until you both start working on each of your flaws that are strong enough to stop a loving relationship from occurring.

The new person is easy, there is no history. Could there be a chance that you and the new person are better match, yes. The opposite is the same as well.

Whatever you do decide, you only have time, energy, and brain processing power to manage one relationship full time at the moment. Because it could take months to years, and if you do fall in love and want to start a new relationship with someone else, if you have flaws you are not aware of, it can potentially damage future relationships.

There is no correct answer when it comes to working it out with your wife or find someone new, but you can sure start by just focusing on yourself at the moment.

Personally, I would not even at the moment consider going back to the wife. She is allowed to fall in love and move on while you are not. That would not work for me at all. She has a higher probability of finding a better match eventually if she keeps going. She wants you to wait if nothing better comes along.

If she wants the marriage to work, you both go to counseling and you both see your own individual counselor, and stop dating others, it only complicates matters. Should she choose not to go down that route, you have your answer. She just may want herself to be secure and move on before you have the chance to because she does not want to end up alone.
 

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You two need to either drop others and work on the relationship, or divorce and get it over with.

As the man, I'd recommend you move first either way. If you want to R, offer and insist on full transparency, NC with opposite sex friends, and start working to meet her emotional needs even if she's not meeting yours. Or, go ahead and D. A separation with no concrete goals or plan ends in affairs and/or D anyway.

I recommend the first, if she hasn't slept with anyone else. I'd offer 2 options, work on the M together, or you date your "friend" and tell your W you are divorcing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
She is basically going to couple's counseling against her will (her words) because she feels that it's pointless to try to fix a relationship made from two broken people. I suspect that her stubborn preconceived notions will prevent it from being helpful for us, but I'm still willing to give it a shot.

I recognize that it's a gamble either way, and on some level I think I also realize that going with the new woman is the 'easy way out', so to speak, but it's hard to just give it up when it's the best feelings I've had in .. I don't even know how long, but it's been years. Trying to work it out with my wife is guaranteed to be more pain and suffering for both of us, and that is going to last a while no matter what - and it still might not end in us getting back together.

I don't want to waste the last 11 years, but I don't want to squander any more time either. I don't know if I could be better off with the new woman, there's no way to know. It might not be anything, we might meet and have no chemistry, or we might just not work out at all - and that's ok, there's nothing really invested anyhow.. but as time passes I keep thinking that there MUST be someone better for me than my wife. If her and I were really in love the way we should have been, it should have been easy to keep it from getting to this point.

On reflection, my wife and I originally got together because we were both so broken and so in need of love that we were willing to overlook all the red flags just to have someone be willing to love us. We had nothing in common, really, besides a desperate desire to be loved and accepted. Then after a few years, we moved in together, because "we might as well"; then after a few years, I proposed to her - but I realize looking back that I didn't do it from some "I need to be with her forever" place, but rather because she wanted it and "that's what people do" when they have been together as long as we had. Even.. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids more than I thought was even possible.. but I only agreed to have them because that's what SHE wanted, and because I knew it would break our sexual drought for a while.

I can't help but feel like I got in it for the wrong reasons, then just stuck with it because I was scared to be alone and afraid that nobody could ever love me besides her. Maybe that's why the idea of this new woman is so incredibly addictive to me - it's proof that maybe I was wrong, and maybe I am a more attractive and loveable man than I had convinced myself I was. Maybe it's actually possible for someone besides my wife to desire me.

*shrug* I know I'm ranting, I guess I'm just using this as a pseudo-soapbox to try to sort my own feelings out.
 

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Wait, what?

Am I reading this right?

Your wife wanted to separate and feel free to see other people. She started seeing someone else, and so did you.

Now she's mad about that?

Your only response should be "don't wait up."
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
She hasn't actually started seeing anyone, or so she says - and I believe her, but it still eats at me how much time she spends talking to her male friends. She said that she isn't in a position to be in a relationship with -anyone- right now, myself included. She said that she wanted the option, in the future, if she met someone who made her feel good, that she could go out with them and not feel like she's doing something wrong because she's obligated to me. She says she's mad at me because while she was saying 'maybe one day I'd like to' and I said 'I'd like to try now'.
 

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So she's hearting another guy via texting, wants to separate, CLEARLY PUTS IT OUT THERE THAT SHE CAN HAVE SEX WITH OTHER MEN AS LONG AS IT DOESN'T MEAN ANYTHING...

And then she gets mad at you for being on a dating site and going on a date?

What the hell does separating mean to her? That she gets to flirt with another guy via texting or **** him and you get to sit and wait?

After living in a sexless marriage?

Sally forth my good man. Go out and date. Then give your head a shake why you stayed with this woman for so long.

In the meantime, think long and hard why this woman, who won't have sex with you, wants to be clear about not feeling bad about having sex with other men.

It's because she doesn't want to have sex with you, but wants to have sex with other men.

And likely already is.

She just doesn't want to lose her meal ticket and built in babysitter who's willing to sit there feeling bad about himself while she does that. Because the first thing you're going to clue in on the moment your penis enters another vagina is... 'why the hell didn't I do this sooner and dump that woman!'

And the first thing that will happen when another woman gets serious with you, is to get you to clue in on that you need to divorce this woman.
 

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I wouldn't state that the last 11 years were a waste. If it were an not a fulfilling relationship since the beginning, then probably yes. That is 11 years of misery.

There is no point in going to counseling if she holds that attitude, it would be a waste of money. People have to be open for change and have the capacity to listen. There needs to be a strong incentive for her to place her focus into repairing the marriage. Other than that, it might be wise to use counseling for the two of you to transition into single people.

But look at it from this way, gaining the tools to make a relationship work will be useful if you are with or not with your wife.

Plus, no one is really taught relationship skills to make them last a lifetime, nor does everyone have the capacity to make it last a lifetime.

The beginning is always easy, there is the whole honeymoon phase that drugs us into being our best, motivating us to look after one another. It is keeping that type of love alive is the hard work.

From what you posted, it sounds like it is more highly likely to fail. Sounds like she is more likely to sabotage the whole thing with just her attitude.

Even if you want to work things out, it is probably better to go down the more realistic route and see the type of person she is towards you.

I think the goal should not to be together, but what is the best for you both as individuals. What is the point of working things out short term if you both have different wants and needs out of a relationship. Granted that no one is likely to get out they want out of a relationship, is there enough there for the both of you.

Plus her anger and resentment and yours will block the chances of a bond reforming. Without enough positive emotions, the negative will stop anything from being fix. Negative emotions have more weight than positive ones.

Here is an example. Someone buys you two gifts but then punches you in the face for every two gifts. For most, the two gifts will not outweigh the one punch.
 

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What did she say when you pointed out it was her idea? She want an open separation or not. Be firm ob this point. He she commits to MC or not.

Why did you move yo the basement? It was not smart. She does not want to be in the same room - se moves.

Why will you only see t kids on week ends? Why cant you stay in the house and keep primary custody? There is no reason.
Check out divorce dads, lot of anger there and self justifications, but some good insights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
What did she say when you pointed out it was her idea? She want an open separation or not. Be firm ob this point. He she commits to MC or not.

Why did you move yo the basement? It was not smart. She does not want to be in the same room - se moves.
When I pointed out that it was her idea, and that I would have never looked elsewhere had she not suggested it, she got very defensive and said that she was very clear that she wasn't -looking- for a new man, but that she wanted to know that if some time in the future she met one, and wanted to pursue a relationship, that she would be able to because she wouldn't be bound to me. She was upset that I was actively looking to replace her, while she was just hoping that some day her prince charming would show up and save her from her miserable life (that prince charming bit is my own words, not hers, but that's the impression she gave me).

As far as the basement move, it's just better this way (she's still breast feeding our son whose room is upstairs) .. and truthfully, I kinda like my new room in the basement :)
 

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Her logic is skewed. So if she meant a guy in the super market that was cool? Is this a pregnancy related issue?

Put your foot down, she has to understand how her statement made you feel both in adequate and insecure. Just as some men make women feel they value them only for sex, some women make men feel like an ATM.

Stop the games, you are married, line it or end it.
 
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She is basically going to couple's counseling against her will (her words) because she feels that it's pointless to try to fix a relationship made from two broken people. I suspect that her stubborn preconceived notions will prevent it from being helpful for us, but I'm still willing to give it a shot.
All relationships are between two broken people. Whether she stays or goes, neither of you can change that.

It may be more pain and suffering to work things out, but I really doubt it. Most likely, you will both bring your issues into your next relationship, with someone else's baggage to discover and deal with.

If things aren't too far gone, I think the pain could be worth the gain. What are you willing to do?
 

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When I pointed out that it was her idea, and that I would have never looked elsewhere had she not suggested it, she got very defensive and said that she was very clear that she wasn't -looking- for a new man, but that she wanted to know that if some time in the future she met one, and wanted to pursue a relationship, that she would be able to because she wouldn't be bound to me. She was upset that I was actively looking to replace her, while she was just hoping that some day her prince charming would show up and save her from her miserable life (that prince charming bit is my own words, not hers, but that's the impression she gave me).

As far as the basement move, it's just better this way (she's still breast feeding our son whose room is upstairs) .. and truthfully, I kinda like my new room in the basement :)

From what you are describing, it is better not to even pursue reconciliation. Just keep living your single life and learn to find fulfillment there.

At this point, she does not understand and is too selfish to look at her own actions. She is only looking for the best outcome for herself.

If things work out with prince charming, she will be gone. No point in working and waiting for someone who with that mindset, they are already almost out the door. You are insurance my man.

I would honestly keep dating. You are separated and the marriage is just paper work. I would date for fun, casual dating. Not like you can trust her to stay faithful to you. She already admitted if she falls in love, she is gone.

Detach and keep working towards that emotional independence. When things are likely to end,it will be easier to transition. The more attach you are to her, the more it will hurt. By detaching slowly now, it limits that pain.

If she wants the marriage to work, then let her be the one to ask for reconciliation. Let her close the marriage to work on it, and let her set up the appointments and show that she is serious. Even then, be careful about recommitting to her. People do not change that fast.

Still, work on your relationship skills. Whether with your wife or someone else, you want the knowledge to make a relationship last with someone who is worth working hard for.

Looking for a relationship at this moment will only make your life more complicated. If you are looking for sex and fun, casual dating is the way to go or look for a fvck buddy. I had one after my break-up and it was fun and help scratch that itch.

I have a view when someone ends a relationship, then you are a free agent.
 

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This appears to be a Mexican standoff. There is a problem in the marriage, neither of you are really taking any responsibility and both being immature the best solution you guys can come up with is to have A with other people or contemplate such.

Your wife is blaming you for everything (though it takes two to tango) and is probably waiting for you to do something, she is pushing you by saying you should sort yourselves out etc, I don't feel she wants to leave you but probably wants you to fight for her (which you haven't done) instead you went in the opposite direction and got with someone else, she probably did not expect that.
You both have to stop the games if you want this marriage to survive, take control, sit her down and ask, does she want the marriage or not, no more games. If not, then proceed with divorce.
If yes then
1. stop all the separation talk, marriages cannot be repaired while spouses are separated
2. No more online activity with OM or OW, she cannot have contact (except for work) with OM either
3. Seek a MC and go asap and stick with it for at least 3-6 months
4. Think long and hard about why you got together in the first place, both of you let this marraige die, now both of you have to mend it together
5. Remember running away (into the arms of others) may give temporary relief but you have young kids to think of and you are messing with their futures so have to give this all you got, no more games
6. Be honest and truthful with each other.
7. Set a deadline, say one year to work on things, then decide what should come next
 

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Yep, she's a cake eater and didn't want you until someone else did.

You are a doormat.

There's no marriage here. Give it a shot for the kids if you want but she wanted a separation to date others and it backfired on her. I'd keep my commitment and follow through ont He date and separation.

Give her lots and lots of space she wanted.
 

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Yep, she's a cake eater and didn't want you until someone else did.

You are a doormat.

There's no marriage here. Give it a shot for the kids if you want but she wanted a separation to date others and it backfired on her. I'd keep my commitment and follow through ont He date and separation.

Give her lots and lots of space she wanted.
Here's the interesting thing. If you stand strong on this and start living your life as a vigorous male, her reaction may surprise you.

Don't count on it.

But, be ready if it does.
 
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