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Discussion Starter #1
So, very briefly, I'm a married man (no kids just a dog), very dissatisfied and just been putting up with a lack of sex/affection/humor for years. Recently became attracted to M, a gal I have to work very closely with, but haven't disclosed any of this to her as I don't want an emotional affair (or any kind of affair). The whole thread is here if you're interested in the details:
http://talkaboutmarriage.com/consid...40-i-wish-she-had-done-something-deserve.html

Well yesterday I started an honest talk with my wife about how unhappy i've been. I've been bottling my feelings but i finally told her i've been feeling sad and that a peice of me has been missing. I also chalenged her on her own negativity as she seems to have her heart set on suffering and i've let myself get dragged down into it. She listend and gave her honest opinions on all this.

What i'm still feeling though is that we just don't belong together. I was too scared to say this, despite beginning to open up a little. But at least now she knows I'm unhappy so theres a dialog open to explore it.

I got really upset seeing a buddy of mine and his gf in this uncomfortable codependent relationship and realized i was in the same situation, only worse. I had to do something about... well, I tried anyway. I should just tell her I don't feel like i can love her forever. Ths marriage is not a healthy enviroment for me any more. I've changed too much since i allowed myself to depend on her all those years ago and I can see myself forever living in limbo, wishing I'd had the courage to set us both free.

I feel like a bad person for wanting to go, but i feel like an even worse person staying. thanks for listening
 

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Laser, I know a lot of what you're going through. If you look at my threads, you can see that I went through something similar. I know the fear and shame of expressing how you truly feel because it would cause conflict or potentially hurt another. Guilt is something that I've been at war with for quite a while. I feel terrible for wanting to leave and hurting her deeply, but that doesn't mean I should stay.

If we stay in any relationship where you bury how you truly feel, you will stay miserable and the resentment will build until something bad happens, or behavior turns chaotic.

If leaving is your decision, start the process by planning what it would really be like, what you need to do logistically. Divorce will hurt no matter what, so just be honest with her and have a plan. Every day remind yourself that you both deserve to be happy and that doesn't necessarily mean together. We only have one at-bat in this life. We gotta make it count.
 

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Damn man, you're so right. Thank you. I think I need to talk to my folks and my sister about all this too and work out what would really happen in the practical sense if it all ended.

another update - i just found out M left her partner. Nothing to do with me of course, but it makes me kind of envious almost, to know she's broken free of something that wasn't working and now she's in this new place getting to know herself again. i kinda love her a little bit but I need to stop thinking about her. as someone in another thread pointed out, shes clouding my judgment of this whole thing.
 

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another update - i just found out M left her partner. Nothing to do with me of course, but it makes me kind of envious almost, to know she's broken free of something that wasn't working and now she's in this new place getting to know herself again. i kinda love her a little bit but I need to stop thinking about her. as someone in another thread pointed out, shes clouding my judgment of this whole thing.
M is absolutely clouding your judgement, man. It's exactly how it happened to me on several occasions. Resentment of my W, my situation and our future mixes into a great Love Potion #9 for a more beautiful, mysterious, sexy woman to enter the picture at any level. You're seeing M and think about the potential possibilities, the "what if". Truly ask yourself if you "love" her, or are seeing it through rose-tinted glasses. It's quite intoxicating to have someone else be really into you...

Just remember that most professionals recommend about six months to a year after divorce before serious dating, for good reasons. You need time to sort out the end of your marriage, coping with the huge range of emotions (from guilt about leaving, missing your W; to rock on!). Only when you're done emotionally with your marriage can you truly invest in another relationship, and avoid the pitfalls from the failed one. That being said, just take your time and be cautious about being vulnerable to rebounds!

However, personally, I won't wait to casually date once I'm divorced. That's purely conjecture of how I see myself emotionally in the future, of course. Sample the buffet table and get to know what you're really looking for in a mate, and have fun. :smthumbup:
 

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That's very sound advice. Thing is though, she's not into me or if she is, I don't know anything about it. We've become close as friends and theres maybe a hint of flirtation but i don't know if she's just like that with everyone, you know? What I like most about her is her sense of humor and the way she plays along with me. I see the ridiculous in everything and she totally gets it - unlike my wife who just rolls her eyes at me. So I do love her in the sense that I'm happy to see her and to know she exists in this world but I know enough to know I couldn't possibly be in love with her. I'm just excited about her becuase she's fun. She's not even what I would call "my type", whatever that means. I didn't find her attractive at all until we started laughing together - but you're right she is clouding my judgment. I mean, just listen to me talking about her, right?

and yeah, if things dont work out in my marriage, I would definiteyl need some time alone to remember who I am. So the possibility of a genuine relationship with M is not very likely unless it's really, truly meant to be and if that's the case, why rush? First thing's first though, I need to resolve the current situation - one way or the other, tihs needs dealing with.
 

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It sounds like you two are becoming good friends, and there's nothing wrong with that. And even in the best of marriages, spouses are ultimately still individuals, with different views, likes, dislikes, etc. We won't agree on everything, or think similarly. The main thing is you come to a decision about your marriage. Some questions to ask yourself:

Do you still love your wife? If so, in what sense?
Do you want your marriage to work, or end it and start over?
What thoughts and/or emotions do you have when you think about ending the marriage?
 

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I read your other thread.

I think you should file for divorce soon. You sound so sad & miserable with your wife. I don't even think you like her anymore.

Set yourself free. She will survive & may even thrive.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So the other day I was offered (in no uncertain terms) sex, by a friend of a friend of a friend. I declined the offer but realised it was the first time I'd felt wanted in many years. The idea that I could have had an affair right there and then was exciting and appealing - I made the right decision to walk away but my internal reaction was eye opening.

I think that's it. My wife needs me more than she wants me and I think it should be the other way around.
 

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My wife needs me more than she wants me and I think it should be the other way around.
This is an honest realization. The key now is to be honest with yourself. Do you still want to be married, and work on the marriage? Do you believe it can be repaired, or do you wish to start over and rediscover more about yourself and what you want in a mate?
 

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You're in an EA. you need to realise this as its clouding your judgement about your wife and your marriage.
Until you can admit to this and deal with it your wife doesn't stand a chance.

My H was in an EA with a co worker. I find it uncanny to hear you try to explain your friendship with this OW. You are saying exactly the same things as he did.
Your wife is miserable because you are emotionally invested in another woman. She knows something isn't right!
I know you're not going to agree with me. It took my H weeks to admit that he had more than 'friend' feelings for the OW. He couldn't see it either.

Get hold of the EA bible 'not just friends' by Shirley Glas.
Your in an EA my friend! Everything in your post just yells it out!
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Is your decision to stay and work on things made with your heart or your head. Set your fears for the future aside and put your best foot forward knowing that you can trust yourself to find the happiness you want and deserve.
Any delay with going with your heart only makes things worse in the long run.
 

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LM,
I read your list - from your other post. You sound very sane and self aware.

Lets start with you - forget about her entirely for the moment - lets start solely and completely with you.

You need to define boundaries that make sense for you. Some samples are:
- I will not tolerate a pattern of explosive anger. If you don't like what I am doing, you may talk to me like an adult. You may express anger. If however you begin to yell, or say hateful things I will give you one warning. If you proceed, I will begin the process of separation and after that divorce.
- I am going to have a sex life. Starting now it will be with my hand. I will tolerate absolutely no hostile comments about this.
- AFTER you demonstrate the ability to NOT be hateful and aggressive for a month or two, we can start thinking about whether I will include YOU in my sexual activities.
- In the meantime, I am going to hug/touch YOU the way I wish you to hug/touch me. If you cannot/will not learn basic affection with me, the marriage won't last. I WILL NOT consider having sex with you under any circumstances, if you cannot master the art of simple affection with me.
- I have ZERO interest in sex if you cannot agree in advance that my not lasting long enough, not staying hard, failing however will NOT provoke a hateful reaction. If you can't commit to not being hateful - that is ok - we just won't ever have sex.
- I have ZERO interest in sex followed by complaints about unproductive time. If being close is not fun for you - that is ok - lets not be close.

This is just you not tolerating abuse. Pretty simple boundary.




So, very briefly, I'm a married man (no kids just a dog), very dissatisfied and just been putting up with a lack of sex/affection/humor for years. Recently became attracted to M, a gal I have to work very closely with, but haven't disclosed any of this to her as I don't want an emotional affair (or any kind of affair). The whole thread is here if you're interested in the details:
http://talkaboutmarriage.com/consid...40-i-wish-she-had-done-something-deserve.html

Well yesterday I started an honest talk with my wife about how unhappy i've been. I've been bottling my feelings but i finally told her i've been feeling sad and that a peice of me has been missing. I also chalenged her on her own negativity as she seems to have her heart set on suffering and i've let myself get dragged down into it. She listend and gave her honest opinions on all this.

What i'm still feeling though is that we just don't belong together. I was too scared to say this, despite beginning to open up a little. But at least now she knows I'm unhappy so theres a dialog open to explore it.

I got really upset seeing a buddy of mine and his gf in this uncomfortable codependent relationship and realized i was in the same situation, only worse. I had to do something about... well, I tried anyway. I should just tell her I don't feel like i can love her forever. Ths marriage is not a healthy enviroment for me any more. I've changed too much since i allowed myself to depend on her all those years ago and I can see myself forever living in limbo, wishing I'd had the courage to set us both free.

I feel like a bad person for wanting to go, but i feel like an even worse person staying. thanks for listening
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Daisy - you're right, I am in an EA. The thing me and M were working on has now finished and at the afterparty, I couldn't keep away from her. I didn't believe I was in an EA because the feelings weren't reciprocated but then at one point she said "I need to find someone like you who'll say things like that to me" and I realized there's a hint of a mutual spark there. And as we were leaving, she started to say something but changed her mind.

So yeah, I'm totally in an EA. Congrats to everyone who saw this coming. I am now gigantically miserable. I need to get some distance from M (v hard in the age of facebook, text messaging and email on my smartphone) to try and clarify whether I really want to stay in the life I'm in.

I'm tired and the winter is kicking in and I miss M and the thing we were working on and all the other people involved. I'm stuck in the house all evening with my wife and I feel like I could die of loneliness.

MEM - I can't thank you enough for this list. It's a really strong starting point for taking some action. Really, really strong. Oh boy.
 

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LM,
Part of this might be that she does not "hear" herself accurately. And she hits so many emotional triggers for you, that you may not hear yourself accurately after she erupts.

Bring home a voice activated recorder. Use it to record a full week of interaction. It is possible that you are contributing to the situation in ways you don't realize.

Once you have a week of recording, THEN have the conversation with her about boundaries. After the conversation, leave a copy of the tape with her for her to listen to. And tell her you are going to a friends/family members/hotel for the night. Tell her when you return you want to hear what she is going to do to change her part of this pattern. And whether or not she even wants to stay married.

Just prepare for a response to that question which is a cold/hostile: NO

And then just nod in agreement. Don't argue or respond. Just accept it. Have a place to go.


Daisy - you're right, I am in an EA. The thing me and M were working on has now finished and at the afterparty, I couldn't keep away from her. I didn't believe I was in an EA because the feelings weren't reciprocated but then at one point she said "I need to find someone like you who'll say things like that to me" and I realized there's a hint of a mutual spark there. And as we were leaving, she started to say something but changed her mind.

So yeah, I'm totally in an EA. Congrats to everyone who saw this coming. I am now gigantically miserable. I need to get some distance from M (v hard in the age of facebook, text messaging and email on my smartphone) to try and clarify whether I really want to stay in the life I'm in.

I'm tired and the winter is kicking in and I miss M and the thing we were working on and all the other people involved. I'm stuck in the house all evening with my wife and I feel like I could die of loneliness.

MEM - I can't thank you enough for this list. It's a really strong starting point for taking some action. Really, really strong. Oh boy.
 

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So she's in hospital now with her illness. She'll get better but it will take a long time. I need to look after her. I feel so lonely because I don't know how long it will all take. A part of me truly believes I'd be happier with M but I'm trying to put her out of my head and heart. I feel like life is conspiring to keep me trapped here. I can't initiate a relationship discussion while she's in recovery and all our friends and family are rallying round in support. I feel like such a jerk for even considering it.

I'm at home alone feeling sad and lonely. I'm embarrassed to even post this.
 

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Laser, hi, well done for Finally realising that the feelings you had/have for M are more than just friendship.
How's that going? Are you still in contact with her or have you been able to cut yourself off from her yet?

There's a really good book I'd like to recommend to you called 'not just friends' by Shirley Glass. It is an excellent read and will help you understand better just what an EA is and how it affects everyone involved. It's available to download on kindle if you have one.

How long have you been married laser? You say your wife is in hospital? What was the surgery for?
You have been very negative about your wife throughout your thread. Are there any positives you can give?
Do you have any love for your wife?
You aren't alone laser. We are here to listen.
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Laser,
Anyone would struggle with your situation.

Has she ever been hospitalized before?

Are the doctors optimistic?
 

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Originally posted by laser-monkey:
If i had the balls to be totally honest, id say:
I'm uninspired and bored.
I want to be able to relax in my own home. Your temper explodes like a jack in the box and I become your emotional punchbag and I hate it.
I want to suggest fun things to do and hear 'yes' occasionally.
I need proper affection. someone who can't resist kissing me in the kitchen. someone who's proud of me.
I need a bit of chaos in my life. I'm never going to be super organized and i don't know if thats ever going to be ok with you
I want to feel confident in who I am. I have a better time without you because i feel i can be myself
I want to make silly jokes and not be made to feel like an ass about it.
I wanna host bad movie nights and drive out to the lake on a sunday just for the hell of it.
I want to lie in the arms of my lover and not have to have a conversation about why it's ok to be being 'unproductive' for an hour.
I want to feel free to experiment, to make mistakes, to initiate surprises. I can't do that living with a control freak.
I want to stop taking life so seriously and start having more fun. you seem to love struggling and i can't stand by and be a part of that any more
I want to be told i'm loved and to know that I'm appreciated.
I want to be able to comfort my lover when she's upset. You don't let me hug you and I feel useless.
I want to have sex. I know I have problems and I want to be able to work on them without guilt.
I want to be a father but right now i'm struggling to find the space to look after myself.
Romance is not sentimentality. Imagination is not frivolity. Happiness is possible. Why are you trying so hard to be miserable?
I want to move forward in life and right now I feel stuck.
I want to remember who I was before I met you. It's not your fault I changed, but I did.
I don't think I can have these things and still be with you. I'm miserable and so are you and we could be so much happier without each other. I'd miss you every day. I don' t know how to be apart from you. my whole life is built aruond you and our dogs. but I'm only staying out of habit and it's not fair on either of us.
I want to leave you. It's really going to hurt but it's the right thing to do and I think you know it too.
I am so sorry.
I love you.
Just a few things to think about...

1.) You're not LEAVING her because of her disease, so you should not be STAYING because of it either. It's dishonest.

2.) You two have wasted enough of each other's life. You two need to give marriage counseling a SINCERE effort for 4-6 months, or you two should split up and move on.

3.) Leaving her does NOT make you a "bad guy". It makes you a guy who is taking care of his OWN emotional needs (which nobody else CAN do) and looking out for the best life for yourself (selfish in a GOOD way). You also know your wife is unhappy, too. By staying, are you implying that she is SO unloveable that she could NEVER find another man to live with her/marry her/tolerate her/be happy with her? Hardly seems likely!

4.) Give her your list above. HOWEVER, change your last line to read "I love you, and that's NOT enough."
 
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