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I’m 48 and my late wife and I met when we were 22 and go married when we were 27. We had an ok marriage and she was a good wife and mother but there wasn’t much love between us. Intimacy died pretty quickly as did affection. I loved her as a person but wasn’t in love with her for a long time. We had kids and she was the best mother to them. Honestly, if I could have picked my mom, I would have picked someone like her. She was a nice person, a good wife, but there were never an sparks or chemistry between us. She was a great friend. I stuck by her and never ever let her know how I felt about our marriage or that I wasn’t in love with her. I stood by her side three years ago when she got sick and died two years ago. Took months off work to help take care of her. She eventually l passed away and mourned the loss of a friend but especially the mother of my children. Even though I hadn’t been in love with her I never stopped doing things to make her feel like I was. I think she died thinking I was still in love with her - and that’s ok. She never knew I wasn’t and I don’t feel bad because she never knew any different.

About ten years ago I got a job in a new ER (I’m a nurse). One of my coworkers and I became very close friends (this isn’t a story of adultery, calm down). She had a boyfriend and we talked about our relationships, problems, and how to fix them. Shes a great girl - beautiful, kind, funny, smart, and very sweet. We considered each other close friends, but she always send signals she was interested in me - spending down time with me, asking me to come chat with her whenever I’d walk by, finding little excuses to touch me, give me deep looks, her eyes would light up when I’d walk into work, etc... I ignored them but slowly began to fall for her - this was long after my romantic feelings for my wife had faded.

I kept these feelings bottled up, never told anyone. Never changed how I treated or took care of my wife. Took care of my family. My friend married her boyfriend, but we still remained close. We never did anything romantic, just talked, the four of us hung out as a couple once in a while. Her and I never hung out alone outside of work. Sometimes we’d have our lunch breaks together but they were spent in the break room. Even when she was married she never changed how she interacted with me. I was sad for myself but very happy for her. She’s Indian and married her boyfriend because she has been with him for a few years and “had to.” She always complained about him - stupid little things that I didn’t feel were worth complaining about and I’d call her out on it and try to help her. When my wife died, she comforted me more than anyone else other than my kids did. Like I said, she was always a very good friend.

About a year and a half ago she called me upset because she had caught her husband with someone else. Apparently he had only married her because he was expected to - like I said they’re both Indian and didn’t want to disappoint their respective families. She filed for divorce and I was there for her like she had been for me.

My kids are older (teenagers) so childcare was different than when they were younger. I have some time to be able to reconnect with friends, etc... About a year ago, my coworker and I began to hang out more often. We’d go hiking, to movies, to the beach, etc... More often than not, we’d just hang out at my house talking or watching a movie - nothing ever happened. A few months ago we were talking and I got incredibly quiet and sad. She asked me what was wrong. I showed her a poem by Rumi (I Choose to Love You In Silence). She looked confused and asked if that was how I felt about her. I couldn’t speak and just nodded my head “yes.”

She sat silently for a few minutes then began to cry. She started telling me she’d been in love with me for years, since a few months after we met but that she had kept it in because I was married and she had a boyfriend. She had no idea I’d felt the same way - I told her even if she had nothing would have happened and likely our friendship would have ended because I didn’t want an affair. We ended up talking for a few hours that night and eventually just decided that it had been too long and too painful and we should just give a relationship a shot.

We’ve been together a few months now. My kids and her get along quite well. They’ve asked me if we’re going to get married and I told them we had talked about it and that in all likelihood we would be. They were happy about that. In April her and I are going away for a few nights to Hawaii. It’s our first trip together. She’s never been and I’ve been there a few times. I’ve booked us a private catamaran dinner cruise and plan to propose to her on the cruise. She knows I plan on proposing but doesn’t know when and thinks it’s still a year away.

In terms of my kids, they both know about my plan to propose. They are both supportive and like her very much.
The kids are 16 and 17. The days of my actively raising them are coming to an end. They've been raised to be independent and take care of themselves. They work, get good grades and will be going away to college - one plans on following in my footsteps to become a nurse, the other is joining the Navy to become a medic with the eventual goal of becoming a doctor.

I’m so happy. I don’t consider myself overly emotional but I’ve caught myself tearing up a few times about how happy I am. I’ve found someone who I feel is my other half. Someone who instinctually knows me and how I feel without me saying anything. I’m the same way in terms of her I can instantly tell if something is bothering her.

My question is, since we've only been together a few months, is it too soon to propose? Knowing her, she wouldn't think it was too soon. I'm not having any doubts about the relationship, just about the timing of the proposal.
 

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As long as both of you are on the same emotional level and have sufficiently grieved your prior relationships, then I would see no real reason for not popping the question in the near future.

And to supplant that, I'd also strongly recommend that after you do propose, that you have a long, solid engagement of at least a year!
 

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I'd suggest some reflection on how intimacy died in your first marriage, so you can make sure it doesn't happen again. You don't really mention sparks or chemistry with this new woman. You really want to get beyond the limerence phase of a new relationship and be sure that love and attraction will last this time before jumping to marriage. She seems to have been forbidden fruit for a long time for you, so you need to be sure your attraction is built on more than just a fantasy.
 

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I agree with the others about a long engagement of at least 1 year.

The reason is that the relationship that you are entering into with her is completely different than the one you two have had for years. It takes 12 to 18 months for that infatuation feeling to fade away and for reality to set in. Once that happens, people start acting differently and treating each other differently then they did when they were all "in love" when the relationship started. That heady in-love feeling is a natural reaction that humans have, it's nature's trick to get a couple to come to form a relationship and have a child. The way it works is that the brain makes and uptakes feel-good hormones like oxytocin, dopamine, etc. Basically you both are high on hormones right now.

So give it time. Get to know each other very well before you marry.

Also, you say that you fell out of love with your wife. This is an indication that you do not know how to maintain the love and passion in a long term marriage. There are a couple of books that can help you learn that: "Love Busters" and "His Needs, Her Needs". Read them in that order. You probably should ask your friend to read them as well.
 

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I think you should put the brakes on, you are on a high in love right now due to dopamine. It does not last.
YOu need to ensure this relationship can last for the long haul and is not based on hormones, memories from yore or wishful thinking. Slow down and enjoy the moments and memory building.
 

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I’m 48 and my late wife and I met when we were 22 and go married when we were 27. We had an ok marriage and she was a good wife and mother but there wasn’t much love between us. Intimacy died pretty quickly as did affection. I loved her as a person but wasn’t in love with her for a long time. We had kids and she was the best mother to them. Honestly, if I could have picked my mom, I would have picked someone like her. She was a nice person, a good wife, but there were never an sparks or chemistry between us. She was a great friend. I stuck by her and never ever let her know how I felt about our marriage or that I wasn’t in love with her. I stood by her side three years ago when she got sick and died two years ago. Took months off work to help take care of her. She eventually l passed away and mourned the loss of a friend but especially the mother of my children. Even though I hadn’t been in love with her I never stopped doing things to make her feel like I was. I think she died thinking I was still in love with her - and that’s ok. She never knew I wasn’t and I don’t feel bad because she never knew any different.

About ten years ago I got a job in a new ER (I’m a nurse). One of my coworkers and I became very close friends (this isn’t a story of adultery, calm down). She had a boyfriend and we talked about our relationships, problems, and how to fix them. Shes a great girl - beautiful, kind, funny, smart, and very sweet. We considered each other close friends, but she always send signals she was interested in me - spending down time with me, asking me to come chat with her whenever I’d walk by, finding little excuses to touch me, give me deep looks, her eyes would light up when I’d walk into work, etc... I ignored them but slowly began to fall for her - this was long after my romantic feelings for my wife had faded.

I kept these feelings bottled up, never told anyone. Never changed how I treated or took care of my wife. Took care of my family. My friend married her boyfriend, but we still remained close. We never did anything romantic, just talked, the four of us hung out as a couple once in a while. Her and I never hung out alone outside of work. Sometimes we’d have our lunch breaks together but they were spent in the break room. Even when she was married she never changed how she interacted with me. I was sad for myself but very happy for her. She’s Indian and married her boyfriend because she has been with him for a few years and “had to.” She always complained about him - stupid little things that I didn’t feel were worth complaining about and I’d call her out on it and try to help her. When my wife died, she comforted me more than anyone else other than my kids did. Like I said, she was always a very good friend.

About a year and a half ago she called me upset because she had caught her husband with someone else. Apparently he had only married her because he was expected to - like I said they’re both Indian and didn’t want to disappoint their respective families. She filed for divorce and I was there for her like she had been for me.

My kids are older (teenagers) so childcare was different than when they were younger. I have some time to be able to reconnect with friends, etc... About a year ago, my coworker and I began to hang out more often. We’d go hiking, to movies, to the beach, etc... More often than not, we’d just hang out at my house talking or watching a movie - nothing ever happened. A few months ago we were talking and I got incredibly quiet and sad. She asked me what was wrong. I showed her a poem by Rumi (I Choose to Love You In Silence). She looked confused and asked if that was how I felt about her. I couldn’t speak and just nodded my head “yes.”

She sat silently for a few minutes then began to cry. She started telling me she’d been in love with me for years, since a few months after we met but that she had kept it in because I was married and she had a boyfriend. She had no idea I’d felt the same way - I told her even if she had nothing would have happened and likely our friendship would have ended because I didn’t want an affair. We ended up talking for a few hours that night and eventually just decided that it had been too long and too painful and we should just give a relationship a shot.

We’ve been together a few months now. My kids and her get along quite well. They’ve asked me if we’re going to get married and I told them we had talked about it and that in all likelihood we would be. They were happy about that. In April her and I are going away for a few nights to Hawaii. It’s our first trip together. She’s never been and I’ve been there a few times. I’ve booked us a private catamaran dinner cruise and plan to propose to her on the cruise. She knows I plan on proposing but doesn’t know when and thinks it’s still a year away.

In terms of my kids, they both know about my plan to propose. They are both supportive and like her very much.
The kids are 16 and 17. The days of my actively raising them are coming to an end. They've been raised to be independent and take care of themselves. They work, get good grades and will be going away to college - one plans on following in my footsteps to become a nurse, the other is joining the Navy to become a medic with the eventual goal of becoming a doctor.

I’m so happy. I don’t consider myself overly emotional but I’ve caught myself tearing up a few times about how happy I am. I’ve found someone who I feel is my other half. Someone who instinctually knows me and how I feel without me saying anything. I’m the same way in terms of her I can instantly tell if something is bothering her.

My question is, since we've only been together a few months, is it too soon to propose? Knowing her, she wouldn't think it was too soon. I'm not having any doubts about the relationship, just about the timing of the proposal.
The bolded parts of your post are what you need to worry about.

You paint of a picture of an unrequited emotional affair with you being upstanding and loyal to your wife and the poor damsel in distress being forced into a marriage against her wishes.

What you have is two people who were engaging inappropriately on the job and jeopardizing their marriages. What will happen when you two marry and it isn't all sunshine and roses when cultures and expectations clash? Will she seek out another man to complain to about you?

So, you and your emotional affair partner hung out with your respective spouses and you think your wife never suspected you weren't in love with her?

I'm sorry; but, I don't see this as a sweet, uplifting story of love finally coming to fruition. I see it as a tawdry example of not setting boundaries with other people when in a relationship.
 

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I'd suggest some reflection on how intimacy died in your first marriage, so you can make sure it doesn't happen again.
Intimacy died because she slowly shut it down and as unwilling to change. If we hadn't had kids so soon after marriage I likely would have divorced. It wasn't a terrible marriage, we didn't fight much and we did get along well as friends and parented our children well. They are now well adjusted, smart, and great young adults.

You don't really mention sparks or chemistry with this new woman. You really want to get beyond the limerence phase of a new relationship and be sure that love and attraction will last this time before jumping to marriage. She seems to have been forbidden fruit for a long time for you, so you need to be sure your attraction is built on more than just a fantasy.
Therein lies the problem with posting things online, there is only a finite amount of information that can be provided. So, to answer your post - yes we have a lot of sparks and chemistry together. Always have. Its really very hard for me to put into words. I'm usually a pretty high-strung, Type-A personality and around her I feel an inner calm. I still get butterflies whenever we kiss and her eyes still light up whenever I come into work.

I've reflected a lot about whther this is just infatuation or whether I she was the "forbidden fruit" as you said. It is neither of those. This is built on a very close friendship and we've both talked about how close we've been for a long time.
 

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.

My question is, since we've only been together a few months, is it too soon to propose? Knowing her, she wouldn't think it was too soon. I'm not having any doubts about the relationship, just about the timing of the proposal.
No, but why do you need the security of other opinions? You of the type to stick through thick and thin, but for the insecurity of not taking a stand in your life is unnerving of sorts. Quit following the plan, jump off the wagon do your own walking don't just sit in the wagon motionless get out and see where your legs take you.
 

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Long post. I'm not sure how old she is.
Do you guys plan to have kids?

Are you two equal in terms of income?

Whether you decide to marry today or next year, I suggest a prenup. One, to protect your kids. Two, because you both know 'things' can go South.

Finally, find out what she thinks about a prenup prior to asking her to marry you. That way it's not so anti romantic to draw up a prenup prior to the wedding.
 

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The bolded parts of your post are what you need to worry about.

You paint of a picture of an unrequited emotional affair with you being upstanding and loyal to your wife and the poor damsel in distress being forced into a marriage against her wishes.

What you have is two people who were engaging inappropriately on the job and jeopardizing their marriages. What will happen when you two marry and it isn't all sunshine and roses when cultures and expectations clash? Will she seek out another man to complain to about you?

So, you and your emotional affair partner hung out with your respective spouses and you think your wife never suspected you weren't in love with her?

I'm sorry; but, I don't see this as a sweet, uplifting story of love finally coming to fruition. I see it as a tawdry example of not setting boundaries with other people when in a relationship.
I agree...
Lipstick on a pig.....
 

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Long post. I'm not sure how old she is.
Do you guys plan to have kids?
She's 35. When she was younger she wanted kids, now she is unsure if she does due to her age. If she did, I would be totally onboard with it.

Are you two equal in terms of income?
Yes. We live in California and nurses are unionized here. We've both been nurses for about the same amount of time (it's a second career for me) and are on the same "step" at our employer. I make a little bit more than she does as I work night shift and have a night shift differential and she works evenings so has a smaller evening differential but the difference is not significant.

Whether you decide to marry today or next year, I suggest a prenup. One, to protect your kids. Two, because you both know 'things' can go South.

Finally, find out what she thinks about a prenup prior to asking her to marry you. That way it's not so anti romantic to draw up a prenup prior to the wedding.

This is one aspect I hadn't thought about, but will definitely bring up. I don't think she'd be opposed to it as she has her own assets that she'd likely want to protect as well.
 

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The bolded parts of your post are what you need to worry about.

You paint of a picture of an unrequited emotional affair with you being upstanding and loyal to your wife and the poor damsel in distress being forced into a marriage against her wishes.

What you have is two people who were engaging inappropriately on the job and jeopardizing their marriages. What will happen when you two marry and it isn't all sunshine and roses when cultures and expectations clash? Will she seek out another man to complain to about you?

So, you and your emotional affair partner hung out with your respective spouses and you think your wife never suspected you weren't in love with her?

I'm sorry; but, I don't see this as a sweet, uplifting story of love finally coming to fruition. I see it as a tawdry example of not setting boundaries with other people when in a relationship.
I am in agreement with this post. This has been an emotional affair all these years, whether you want to call it that or not. It is what it is. I would suggest you learn from this that a relationship such as this is completely inappropriate when you are married.
 

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Because of your ages and position in life, I say go for it. Jump into the adventure. But realize that it is a crazy step and there are inherent risks because it's been a short time, so structure things so that it won't be super messy if it doesn't work out. Ideally, you guys would walk away friends if it didn't work out rather than getting into a contentious divorce battle. Talk to lawyers and such so that each of your assets stay pretty much separate and there's nothing really to split. But hopefully it works out.
 

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I'm going to address a couple of common remarks/questions in this thread that should be clarified.

1. In terms of culture, my late wife was also Indian. So, for me it's nothing new. It's a little bit easier with my girlfriend as she is Catholic like myself, whereas my late wife was Sikh. Her family has met me and her parents like me a lot, as do her brother and sister. They've been in the US for a long time (40 years) and are pretty "Americanized." She has also indicated that she wouldn't want a huge typically Indian wedding since this will be both of our second marriages. Which is fine by me.

2. In terms of protecting my assets, she knows that everything I have will go to the kids and she's fine with it. She knows the kids are my priority. We are pretty much equal when it comes to income and assets - we each own our respective houses, have pretty similar savings and retirements, etc... I'm going to broach the topic of a prenup and see what she thinks/says about it.
 

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But realize that it is a crazy step and there are inherent risks because it's been a short time, so structure things so that it won't be super messy if it doesn't work out.
We wouldn't get married right away. We'd have an engagement period of at least a year to two years prior to the wedding.
 

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I'd suggest some reflection on how intimacy died in your first marriage, so you can make sure it doesn't happen again. You don't really mention sparks or chemistry with this new woman. You really want to get beyond the limerence phase of a new relationship and be sure that love and attraction will last this time before jumping to marriage. She seems to have been forbidden fruit for a long time for you, so you need to be sure your attraction is built on more than just a fantasy.
I agree with this. The forbidden fruit thing is real. I think it is often what leads to affairs. Not saying it was an emotional affair but this intense relationship with a women could have contributed to the emotional distance from his wife. Depending on the timeline. This is why intense relationships with potential mates is not good when you are married even when you have the best of intentions. Something to think about OP as you move forward with this women.

OP you need to make sure you were not chasing the feelings with this women because after the intensity dies down and it will you don't want to allow that to happen with someone else. The forbidden or restrictive nature of the relationship has a tendency to heighten the intensity. This is why dating for a while might be a good thing. You know what it is to be stuck in an emotionally dead marriage, you don't want that again.

When I was a teenager just out of high school I had cause to be around this women in her early 20s almost every day. She was much further along in her life then me. There was a very pretty girl who liked me and this older women basically told me in a kind of (you two young people are so cute). I think I was kind of insulted to be talked down but also I was really attracted to this 20 year old. I let it slip that I didn't care about the girl my age but I wanted her. She quickly dismissed it told me I was cute and she was flattered but there was no way she would date someone so young. After that the intensity of my attraction was more then I had ever felt before and rarely since. So I pursued this girl more intensely then I have ever done in my entire life. Poems, tapes left with songs on them. Sulking and flirting. After about 3 months of this she "gave in". I use that word for a purpose. We had a very intense relationship for about another 3 months then one day I just didn't feel that way anymore. I broke up with her. What I learned was a lot of that attraction for me was the challenge, the forbidden nature of it (it wasn't an affair) but she was much to old for me. She was right I was too immature, and she went against her better sense and got burned for it. To my shame what I wanted was to get her to "give in". Years later when I started reading about affairs I started to remember how I felt back then and even though my situation wasn't an affair I realized that it operated similarly. It's the wanting what you can't have that makes you feel the feelings so intense.

Anyway I say all that to say right now you are enjoying the release of finally being able to have what you wanted. This may be the same stage I had the 3 months we had a relationship. But you would be wise to wait until the intensity of that wears down, as I am sure you know marriage is so much more then just those feelings. Even love as great as that is. Why not enjoy dating and courting this women. If things work out this may be the last time you will court a women who isn't your wife. Don't rush through it. If you are meant to be married it will happen. The proposal doesn't have to be around a new exciting place, it can be just as romantic if you do it around something that is very personal. That doesn't have to be some vacation spot it can be around the corner, which means you don't have to rush.
 

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Honestly, moving in together would be a first step for me before any engagement. Do you even HAVE to get engaged anymore?? An engagement to me just seems like words..... Just start planning on the wedding...
 

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So my take on this is a bit different from others. I'm concerned about how you let the passion die out in your first marriage without making the effort required to get things on track. Even if it wouldn't have worked, still, you didn't make the effort. One could read that as a sign that you left the marriage even sooner than your late wife. Or worse; that your late wife never had the opportunity to fix something she didn't know about.

OK, so now this does in fact run parallel to the "forbidden fruit" model, hadn't thought of that until now. It may not be coincidence that you didn't work on fixing your marriage issues at about the same time the new woman came into your life.

This plays out in two ways. First, as an issue of conscience. Did you do all that you should have done (in your first marriage), and if you later come around to thinking maybe not... how is this going to affect you? Second, is it an indication of how things might fare the next time around?

This assumes that you had a good reason to marry your late wife, a reason other than "having to", and I suspect you did have some spark or chemistry because you made a point that your current partner's marriage was in the "have to" scenario. So... what happened to that spark/chemistry? When and how did it die?

You're here because you're seeking validation for how you feel. Having others soul-search for you isn't nearly as important as doing so yourself. Take some time and really think about what's been brought up. Your new partner may be the best move forward for both of you. But let's take some time and examine what you're bringing to the table.

All the best-
 
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