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Hi there,
I'm new here and wanted to introduce myself. I'm recently separated from my husband of 14 years. We live together with our 9 year old son for now until we work out our finances and where to move to after this. I have been freaking out a LOT as my hubby and I have been very close friends for years but felt more like flatmates with only occasional sex in the past two years.

He is unaffectionate - I have begged him for years for affection (I am a youthful 40 something yo woman and am attractive, I have been asked out a lot even whilst married so I don't think it's that) but all he can muster is a peck in the mornings and a hug now and then. If I ask him about affection, he would say "but I kiss you every morning". And I would reply, "only because I begged you to". He never touches me apart from when he wants sex, it's on for about literally two minutes before it's over although he will make sure I am satisfied afterwards if I ask. It has always been this way. I've seen him flirting with other women over the years etc so I know it's in him, I just think we settled as we were good friends who had been hurt and knew we could trust each other. On our wedding day, he flirted outrageously with the MALE waiter and when I became upset, he just shrugged and laughed. He is super affectionate with our son so I know it's just he's not into me. It got to the point where now I resent him so much, I don't want him near me.

I resorted to paying for back massages at the local mall a few years ago on a monthly basis just to feel some human touch.I felt for so long like a plant dying without water.

A year ago I met someone online, we hit it off straight away, fell in love and (I have never done this before) had an affair. He has a partner and a son also and is younger than me and he broke it off. We are still good friends but the chemistry is still there and we can't drink around each other at all. I had always been a bit quick to judge people having affairs but now I know the pain that can drive someone to it.

My husband doesn't know. I don't want to hurt him by telling him if we are over anyway, why would I do that to him? He wants to be with me still but I can't face him touching me anymore and am so angry at some of the truly mean things he has said and done over the years (and guilty about how supportive he also can be on the other side) that I don't know what the hell to do. We have tried counselling. I can't face sex therapy. I'm so scared I will never meet anyone as supportive as he is again - we really are good friends but I can't face another 20 years of this feeling. What should I do? I have been in love when I was younger but always ended up abused which is why I thought I was safe with my husband. So upset and afraid. Sorry this is so long but any advice welcome please...
 

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So I am going to judge you, and everyone else will to. Sorry that's life, choices have consequences. This is kind of your problem, you don't want to face consequences. Besides that whatever he did to you, you are now more than even. You have no moral high ground to stand on anymore, just because he doesn't know. At this point I agree you should just end it. What you have done is destroy any chance anyway. He doesn't have to know as long as you move on.

However getting back to the judging thing, what you did was wrong, what about the other partner? You see you helped contribute to the pain that his partner will feel if she finds out and she probably will one day. That is wrong. It's never right to contribute to others pain because you feel pain. You know this, it's why you ask us not to judge you. But in avoiding judgment you are avoiding dealing with character flaws that contribute to you not succeeding. Instead you need to really work on this stuff.

Why didn't you have the courage to leave? Why did you instead do the wrong thing and contribute to others pain? You need to deal with this or these patterns will continue in decisions you make later in life. You will not be successful.

You should divorce and get some counseling. What you did is wrong and you hurt yourself too you just don't want to face it.
 

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Do you think your husband is a closet homosexual or do you think he's bisexual?

Do you suspect that he has molested your son?

There are some really complex issues here that need sorting out. You need professional help with this. Have you seen a therapist?
 

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Sokillme, you're quite right of course. I'm an ******* and I feel guilty alright. Despite my husband not being faithful in the past, being abusive and isolating me from family and friends for the past 14 years, putting holes in the walls throughout our house, scaring our son etc, yes I should have worked on it more than when I so cruelly dragged him to counselling before finally giving up. Thanks for the kind and insightful help.
Sounds like you're perfect and if everyone else is the same as you as you say here, I will leave and struggle on alone. I didn't leave because I foolishly thought things would get better. They didn't. They got worse. I ****ed up. I didn't do it to get even. I never wanted to mess up my life. I did it because I hadn't been touched in years and am sick of taking antidepressants and anti anxiety meds to numb the pain and couldn't believe there was someone out there who actually thought I was loveable again. You're obviously in a far better position than me and this is not the place I will get any help.
 

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Do you think your husband is a closet homosexual or do you think he's bisexual?

Do you suspect that he has molested your son?

There are some really complex issues here that need sorting out. You need professional help with this. Have you seen a therapist?
Thanks Rick for a more insightful reply. Yes there are some very deep issues here. I don't suspect anything with my son. I do think he is bisexual and repressed beyond belief. He has anger problems as well and also social difficulties. I have seen counsellors over the years about it all and dragged him to one last year as well despite him always thinking it is me who is mad and needs all the drugs etc. The more I see it all down here in black adn white, the uglier it looks and the clearer it becomes. Thanks
 

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And yes I feel awful about what I did to the other woman. I do. And no it didn't stop either of us from doing it anyway. I am human and I screwed up and put a stop to it.
 

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Sokillme, you're quite right of course. I'm an ******* and I feel guilty alright. Despite my husband not being faithful in the past, being abusive and isolating me from family and friends for the past 14 years, putting holes in the walls throughout our house, scaring our son etc, yes I should have worked on it more than when I so cruelly dragged him to counselling before finally giving up. Thanks for the kind and insightful help.
Sounds like you're perfect and if everyone else is the same as you as you say here, I will leave and struggle on alone. I didn't leave because I foolishly thought things would get better. They didn't. They got worse. I ****ed up. I didn't do it to get even. I never wanted to mess up my life. I did it because I hadn't been touched in years and am sick of taking antidepressants and anti anxiety meds to numb the pain and couldn't believe there was someone out there who actually thought I was loveable again. You're obviously in a far better position than me and this is not the place I will get any help.
I'm sorry if you don't like my response, but if you truly want help then you have to be willing to hear things that are not easy. I can't in good faith NOT tell you this stuff, as whether you know it or not I am trying to help you. What he did to you is wrong and that is on him, but what you did is wrong too. The thing is people have it just as bad as you and they react in healthy ways. You need to fix this because you see where it's gotten you. None of the things your describe are healthy ways of coping with struggles. Running away from your problems whether it is with some guy or on here hasn't solved them and isn't going to solve them. By the way that doesn't mean staying in the marriage. Probably the best action would have been to give an ultimatum and if he didn't change end it.

I am telling you that you need to attack the problem which assuming that you leave this marriage just leaves dealing with you. Why you put up with abuse, why you choose to address your pain in a destructive way. This is what you need to figure out probably with some counseling and really reading. But you also have to admit what you did and face it.
 

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You mentioned that things deteriorated rapidly about two years ago. What was the relationship like before that? Were there any highs to go with the lows?
 

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I'm sorry if you don't like my response, but if you truly want help then you have to be willing to hear things that are not easy. I can't in good faith NOT tell you this stuff, as whether you know it or not I am trying to help you. What he did to you is wrong and that is on him, but what you did is wrong too. The thing is people have it just as bad as you and they react in healthy ways. You need to fix this because you see where it's gotten you. None of the things your describe are healthy ways of coping with struggles. Running away from your problems whether it is with some guy or on here hasn't solved them and isn't going to solve them.
How could I not know what I did was wrong?!!! I know! Geez. It's not something I EVER thought I was capable of doing to someone. I am trying my hardest to move on in the least harmful way to my son and soon to be ex husband's lives. Without screwing them or anyone else's up more than I have! In the past I have kept all my marital issues to myself apart from trying the therapy route which did little but confirm that my husband was never in love with me and we were more like an old married couple than a youngish one. Even my mother told me I was way too loyal and she's a church going catholic. Slamming me for things I already know I messed up on is unhelpful.

I am trying by reaching out to total strangers to get help. I am by nature very private and mess up when things happen as I have been burned in the past by asking advice from the wrong people and haha I have done it again it seems. Please be careful what you say to future members who come on here truly in pain for what they have done to others and themselves, we are all just trying to get through life without causing anyone pain I believe. Rick has provided me with a good mirror so far, you have judged me. Fair play, I don't pretend to have my life sussed out or I wouldn't be here.
 

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You mentioned that things deteriorated rapidly about two years ago. What was the relationship like before that? Were there any highs to go with the lows?
Honestly? Not really. My husband (I'll still call him that for now) is a good and caring man with my son and me. He has very low energy levels though and doesn't like people much. He has a group of friends (he doesn't like any of my friends however so they stopped visiting years ago) and some things he is passionate about and has time for but apart from that, not so much. We didn't have huge passion in the beginning but got on really well and I had just come out of an abusive relationship. Having our son was the best thing that ever happened to me - and to him I believe but he struggled to cope after he was born and so we didn't have more children (I really wanted more but realised it would not happen).

We have slept in separate rooms for over a year as I annoy him too much if I wanted cuddles and he has insomnia so I thought best to sleep in the spare room so he could cope with work etc. He wants sex when he is drunk but that turns me right off.
When my best friend committed suicide he told me he was happy as he was always jealous of how close we were. Looking back we have had more lows than highs I think :/
 

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The marriage you described - no affection, no sex, anger outbursts on his part, isolating from friends and family - sounds toxic.

It sounds like you don't want the marriage to end. What is keeping you from moving on? I understand that after 14 years there will be a grieving process for the end of the marriage. It might be a good point in time to take stock or the good and the bad and pros and cons of staying vs leaving.

Since you're separated anyway, my advice is to not pursue R but work on yourself. Since you have depression and/or anxiety are you seeing a psychologist?

I understand if you don't just want to throw 14 years away, but if you want this marriage to continue I do think that you should tell your husband about your affair. Your marriage needs to be built on a trust.
 

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How could I not know what I did was wrong?!!! I know! Geez. It's not something I EVER thought I was capable of doing to someone. I am trying my hardest to move on in the least harmful way to my son and soon to be ex husband's lives. Without screwing them or anyone else's up more than I have! In the past I have kept all my marital issues to myself apart from trying the therapy route which did little but confirm that my husband was never in love with me and we were more like an old married couple than a youngish one. Even my mother told me I was way too loyal and she's a church going catholic. Slamming me for things I already know I messed up on is unhelpful.

I am trying by reaching out to total strangers to get help. I am by nature very private and mess up when things happen as I have been burned in the past by asking advice from the wrong people and haha I have done it again it seems. Please be careful what you say to future members who come on here truly in pain for what they have done to others and themselves, we are all just trying to get through life without causing anyone pain I believe. Rick has provided me with a good mirror so far, you have judged me. Fair play, I don't pretend to have my life sussed out or I wouldn't be here.
I am not slamming you I am just being honest. I am sorry that your husband was a jerk. I know how it is my step-father was also an abusive jerk. But still for you, which is the only person I care about in this situation, for you to get better, you must address your poor coping skills, this is the help you need. People who do not say difficult things to you when you do bad things are not helping you. Part of healing is taking responsibility for the choices you made is all I am saying. You aren't doing that when you post stuff like don't judge and blame all you actions on what he did to you. You know this, I'm sure you wouldn't let your kid do this.

I am not sure what you expected when you came here? I was under the impression you wanted advice, if you just want sympathy then I am not sure this is the right place. I will leave your thread but I suspect you are going to get more of the same.

Bottom like you should end the marriage as it seem to be a very bad one, but you also have to deal with your actions. Which means looking at them, staying so long in an abusive relationship and finally reacting to that by making some very poor choices. You can fix this in yourself and then do better if you want, your life is not over. I'm sorry if you think this is too harsh.
 

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The marriage you described - no affection, no sex, anger outbursts on his part, isolating from friends and family - sounds toxic.

It sounds like you don't want the marriage to end. What is keeping you from moving on? I understand that after 14 years there will be a grieving process for the end of the marriage. It might be a good point in time to take stock or the good and the bad and pros and cons of staying vs leaving.

Since you're separated anyway, my advice is to not pursue R but work on yourself. Since you have depression and/or anxiety are you seeing a psychologist?

I understand if you don't just want to throw 14 years away, but if you want this marriage to continue I do think that you should tell your husband about your affair. Your marriage needs to be built on a trust.
Thank you Pragmatic Goddess. When I see what I've written, it DOES look bad on all fronts. Ugh. I feel like I have failed so badly that I SHOULD leave, it seems the only realistic option. I thought we would be in our rocking chairs forever (with no sex or passion but now I realise I need these things too if at all possible in future).

I don't want to tell him if I am leaving anyway because it would only cause more pain and our son is already picking up on our tensions and I don't want things to get any uglier than they already are. My father disappeared to another country when I was 4 so I am very keen to try and not repeat mistakes of the past, despite having already ****ed it up. That my son gets through this as smoothly as possible is my aim.

I have had bouts of depression since late childhood and therapy on and off. I have asked my gp re going back for more sessions alone this time. I think my husband and I have developed an unhealthy yet kind of functional codependency over the years, despite the fact that neither of us have been happy it seems.
 

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You said he was a good man, but you also said he was an abusive cheater. And he was happy your friend died? Wtf.

He doesn't sound like a good man at all. This relationship is toxic. Move on and work on the things that are yours, without him.

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So it sounds like you settled for someone safe when you married your husband, and then you found someone outside of marriage who would provide the passion and intimacy that was lacking because you settled. But he was involved with someone else.

You are the victim of a husband who isn't caring and who seems to have many psychological issues. Your husband is the victim of a wife who has cheated on him and the partner of your former affair partner is also a victim. Your son is pitted in the middle of all of this. I am sorry for all you have been through, but I think it is important that you take this time to fully assess the decisions you have made and commit to not repeating them. On this site you will read about many dysfunctional marriages. In fact, most of us who post here, including yours truly, are the product of a broken marriage. But the truth is there are plenty of people who have great marriages and are happy over the long run. That is not to say those marriages are perfect. None are. But they do exist, and I share that with you because I see your history as one where you have went from on dysfunctional relationship to the next. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Your marriage to your husband is broken. I don't know if it can be fixed, and you don't have the will or desire to repair it. He may not either. But if you were to decide to try one last time, you both would have to make serious changes. I firmly believe that falling out of love is problem to solve, not an excuse to end a marriage. I also believe that before people check out, they should lay all of their cards on the table (communicate honestly and clearly) and then find solutions to those problems. Usually the solutions are in doing things to strengthen the relationship, not dwelling on past hurts and neglect. The concern I have for your marriage is that you seemed to never have been in love with your husband. It seems he was a safe landing for you after an abusive relationship.

Whatever you decide, your husband deserves to know the truth, and so does the partner of your affair partner. I would want to know the truth if I were either of them. Furthermore, if you hide it from him, you will have to live the deception, and I think that will hold you back from fully recovering. These are hard choices, but I think they are the first step to healing and recovery of yourself, if not your marriage.
 

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You can't force someone to feel something that isn't there. You seemed to know or have suspicion it was too calm with him, but your past has, understandably caused you to seek comfort in a relationship.

You know in your heart he isn't right for you. You know he may love you as a friend.

Forget the affair. Concentrate on you and your child. Get into counseling after an amicable and fair divorce. Make sure you have support to help your child. Find a place and get yourself moved in.

Work on your issues with the counselor and do what you can. It isn't unusual for a victim of abuse to keep finding themselves with another abuser. Counselors know how to handle this. They see it all the time. It's not your fault.

That's all I got. Don't know if you should tell him about the affair or when, if you decide to tell. I'm not sure. Sorry.
 

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Thank you Pragmatic Goddess. When I see what I've written, it DOES look bad on all fronts. Ugh. I feel like I have failed so badly that I SHOULD leave, it seems the only realistic option. I thought we would be in our rocking chairs forever (with no sex or passion but now I realise I need these things too if at all possible in future).

I don't want to tell him if I am leaving anyway because it would only cause more pain and our son is already picking up on our tensions and I don't want things to get any uglier than they already are. My father disappeared to another country when I was 4 so I am very keen to try and not repeat mistakes of the past, despite having already ****ed it up. That my son gets through this as smoothly as possible is my aim.

I have had bouts of depression since late childhood and therapy on and off. I have asked my gp re going back for more sessions alone this time. I think my husband and I have developed an unhealthy yet kind of functional codependency over the years, despite the fact that neither of us have been happy it seems.
Have you dealt with the rejection and insecurity that your father's disappearance might have caused?

I would recommend the book "Love is a Choice" and the accompanying workbook. I find they both have been helpful in helping me work through unhealthy relationship patterns and codependency that stem from my parents' relationship and my childhood.
 
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