After 32 Years, I’m Ready to Leave My Wife and Take a Chance
Dear Ready to Go,
Thank you for reaching out and asking these important questions. I appreciate how hard it is to ask for help and I’m really glad you did. I am going to share my thoughts on your situation as candidly as possible.
You say, “I’ve never cheated on my wife,” and I would venture that you are talking about never having had sexual contact outside of your marriage. However, there is another side to infidelity that many people are unaware of or fail to acknowledge—the emotional affair. An emotional affair is when a married or committed partner turns to an individual outside of the partnership to fulfill emotional needs. The situation you are describing with your coworker sounds like an emotional affair, especially because it appears that your wife is not aware of the type and amount of contact you have had with this woman.
While affairs may progress in any number of ways, they don’t generally “just happen.” Affairs happen by a series of small compromises: sharing secrets with someone other than your partner; doing things with someone that more often than not should be reserved for your partner, such as going to the movies or having nice meals out; and hiding behavior. Eventually, many people find themselves in an all-out affair. While I’m not suggesting that you are having an affair, you are certainly on a slippery slope, and it is apparent that this “friendship” is taking a toll on your marriage. Even if nothing has happened yet, there is a very real possibility that could change very quickly.
There are a few significant things that make a relationship with someone outside of a partner so enticing. For one, it’s new. As anyone who has ever purchased a new car can attest, the newness of the car is exciting. You can’t wait to show it off, tell everyone about it, and you burst with excitement every time you drive it. After a while, however, the newness wears off and you get accustomed to it. Then, you become more aware of its quirks and maintenance costs. At this point, some people will trade in for a newer car to try to recapture that feeling.
In marriage, the concept is the same—when you met your wife, it was new and exciting. Now, after 32 years, two children, two grandchildren, and a life together, the newness is gone. The excitement has worn off, and you know this woman like you know yourself. I suspect that is part of what makes the relationship with this other woman so exciting—it’s new. There are new things to learn, explore, and share, while with your wife you may be feeling like you’ve been there, done that.
Starting a new relationship after a long marriage can be exciting, but I must caution you that the friendship you describe is steeped in fantasy; almost every new relationship is. At this point, your life with your wife is full of responsibility and with the daily tasks of living—the bills, kids, grandkids, work, college tuition, and household chores. The relationship with the other woman doesn’t have any of those components now, but should you choose to end your marriage and start a life with her, those elements will be present along with the added challenge of blending families. Before you make any big decision, it’s important to step back and look at this from a realistic perspective, beyond the fantasy and romantic idealization.
Finally, you state that you want to be happy and that you’re concerned that you will lose the opportunity to live your days in happiness. From my perspective, happiness is an internal condition. Viktor Frankl reminds us that the “last of the human freedoms [is] to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” You are making your happiness contingent on what happens in your life and your relationships, when your focus really ought to be on how to find fulfillment, happiness, and joy in your life on your own. If there is one thing that is constant in this life, it is that nothing stays the same. Therefore, the highest task of living, in my opinion, is learning how to surf the waters of life and maintaining an inner sense of peace, joy, and happiness … no matter what is happening.
You do not have an easy choice to make in this situation, and I would encourage you to seek out someone to talk with you about this. A good therapist can help you navigate the waters and help you become aware of things you may not presently see.
Best wishes in the journey,
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pamJanuary 16th, 2015 at 8:08 AM
That sure is a big step after being married this long.
MarieJuly 14th, 2016 at 7:18 PM
Sad, my husband of 32 years just left me kids and eight grandkids for a 26 years old (I am 62 ) ouch I can’t stop crying
Duty BelleSeptember 17th, 2016 at 7:36 PM
He is the one that should be crying. She is much younger and exploring. When she leaves him ,don’t be there to pick him up. Let his selfish ness hurt him not you
MarcMarch 23rd, 2017 at 7:19 AM
after 32 years and now being unhappy is there another choice than to leave? Happiness is key in life and if I am not Happy my wife is not she is better of without me , sick of making her sad and I am sick to my stomach of not living , I am 52 and I see a lot of people getting sick and passing and that have never lived.. am I a coward if I leave?
JenApril 9th, 2017 at 10:19 PM
I’m so sorry to hear this. My husband did the same…21 years and he leaves for a younger woman after knowing her roughly 2 days. Left behind a teenager and we just bought a new home. I am at a loss. But thinking of u. Ironically, my husband said the exact same thing as this guy…he wanted to be truly happy. Funny, he never mentioned it to me and I would have worked on it with him
DazmanJune 6th, 2017 at 7:18 AM
(to Marc) Well it’s a little different with your situation where you wanna leave your wife because she’s upset with you vs the 32 year married chap.
MarianaJune 8th, 2017 at 8:06 PM
Any new relationship is exciting. After 24 years, I found out my husband was having an affair with a twenty-something. I kept it together to minimize the damage to my kids. But he lost so much more than a wife. He has one daughter that wants nothing to do with him, another daughter that puts up with him because she feels sorry for him, two parents-in-law that loved him that don’t speak to him and many friends that have changed their opinions of him. He never realized how far-reaching this one decision would be. I read texts that they wrote to each other while we were still married saying “I’ll always love you.” “I’ll never regret this.” “It feels like soul-mates.” Well we are officially divorced and they are no longer together. Now he keeps coming around and wanting the whole family to go out to dinner. I am ok around him for the children but I won’t play family to make him feel better. He is often a lost soul and sees a therapist. Think about when the novelty of this older man wears off for this girl. Of course, I’m probably jaded but there are so many things in life to make you happy and fulfilled besides a short lived love affair.
Jackie G.July 7th, 2017 at 10:47 PM
Mine left our marriage of 40 years just two months ago for another woman. He cheated years ago when kids were little. I should have left him long ago, but I stayed and hoped it wouldn’t happen again. So stupid. Iv’e known him since I was 15 and married at 18. Now 58 and trying to imagine life without him; he was me and I was him so who am I now. I totally understand your feelings and I’m so sorry. I’m also sick and tired of all the things people say like; this is a new chapter in your life, now you can find out who you are etc… I knew who I was I knew the story and I don’t want another one. So very hard not to be bitter and angry. I would be but sadness is my soulmate now. Trying to find reasons to keep going these days. Kids help and keeping busy.
MarianaJuly 9th, 2017 at 6:34 PM
Jackie G., I’m sad for you. It’s so recent. It’s been 4 years for me. My X just started seeing someone. (this time age appropriate). It stings at first but it’s new and I’m sure he’s happy but I know the reality of him in a relationship. He is possessive and controlling and manipulative. I would never be back with him. I worried about his well-being before. He was a mess after we split. Now he can build a relationship with her. He’s a good dad, he regrets a lot but the man I married would have never done such a selfish thing and hurt so many people. I don’t really recognize him anymore. It takes a lot of time. New relationships don’t take away the pain. But I don’t regret anything I went through because I have the 3 most awesome kids. I don’t even thing I said anything of substance for you. I didn’t feel so much sadness as anger. I was seething for an entire year. I don’t have that anymore. I had to keep telling myself “holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” So I did myself a favor and forgave. But it took a couple years. Let yourself be sad, you should be. I don’t know if you’re a religious person but,…pray. And find something you enjoy doing. I’ll say extra prayers for you, Jackie.
bruceAugust 1st, 2017 at 1:10 PM
consider yourself lucky that he is gone. You have the whole world out there. Why would you want to be with someone who doesn’twant to be with anyway? z
RosalynDecember 16th, 2018 at 8:37 PM
Sorry to hear your story. I suspected my husband was having an affair with a work college and after 32 years of marriage I knew him better than he knew himself. He told me they were just good friends. I know now thats a bad sign. Always believe you gut, its never wrong. So time marched on and She left her partner and ran away with another married man. I thought great, that problem just became someone else’s. But little did I know that the wheels fell of that wagon and she snuck back into town licking her wounds. Who was the first person she called. My husband. But it was all undercover and didn’t know she was back. He started acting distant, forgetful, moody ect. After a few weeks of the silent treatment I couldn’t take it any more. I asked him what I had done. I said we need to talk because I can’t take this any more. He couldn’t look me in the eye. Kept telling me Nothing is wrong. Its work, I am stressed. BS BS BS. Then finally he blurted out, She’s back, I am in love with her, I don’t love you anymore. Were Sole Mates, I am thinking about leaving. So I said. Ok off you go. Well she is 15years younger than me. Blond, thin, attractive. And she must be a great conversationalist. Talk for hours and hours on the phone to my husband while her own husband was at work. So anyway I said If you think she is going to make you happy then I want you to go. I want you to be happy. You go be with her. But don’t think that if it doesn’t work out your going to come back here like nothing has happened . You make the choice and then live with it. He thought about that overnight and then in the morning he told me. I do love you. I want to stay with you. I felt sorry for her because she is so mixed up. It has rocked my world to say the least. My self confidence went from low to an all time low. He has hurt me deeply and he knows that. He told her it was over and that he couldn’t see her or talk to her anymore. Off course she thought that was just going to be temporary and she tried to make contact on several occasions. He was having a hard time saying no to her so I Blocked her in his phone. I told him, There is no “having your cake and eating it too. Its either Me or her! So were 14 months out since D Day. Things aren’t perfect but are getting better. Wish you all the best.
Joanmarie O.February 27th, 2019 at 11:54 AM
Let him leave; I let my husband leave with a woman 20 years young than he after a 25 year marriage. After a year with her, he begged her husband to take his wife back.. The husband said “She’s your problem now”. He said this because my husband was her third affair. I was broken hearted and cried for two years; thankfully during those two years I read self help books, went to AA meetings, had the support of my three grown children, spoke often with my priest and saw a therapist. I did not resort to medication or drugs and I continued to work my job every day. During those same two years, my husband found out not only was his new girlfriend a doper, she did not want to work or take care of her children. He got up every day to get the kids off to school, while she slept in and then she spent most of the day stoned. During the last 18 years, she has had multiple affairs but he is not allowed to socialize with his own kids. She held a gun to him when an old school chum called about a class reunion. Believe me, your husband will come to regret this decision one day. We are not punished for our sins – but by them. You take care of yourself, get help, lean on friends, read self help books, don’t depend on drugs or alcohol to get thru it and figure out what you’re going to say when he comes crawling back. It’s all new now….but the fantasy ends and reality eventually surfaces. He’ll get his comeuppance; they usually do. I remember saying to my ex when he was whining about his situation with the cheating wife: ” It’s too bad you’re not really overjoyed with your marriage, because your children and I paid a terrible and painful price for your happiness.”
AnnJanuary 16th, 2015 at 9:44 AM
Find a therapist and do some deep soul searching. Figure out what is missing in you own inner self. Until you do this, all you are doing is asking for a whole lot of pain and confusion for a lot of people, including yourself. Will a couple of years of excitement be worth all the headaches that will come in the future? Your wife has lived with you through the good and the bad, how will this new relationship pan out? What do you have to offer this new woman? You are 20 years older and are flattered by her attention. One day she could be changing your diapers. Did you know the divorce rate is higher in second marriages than in first? If I could speak to your wife, I would say, “Kick him out” and move on. A man takes care of his family and finds joy in surmounting the challenges of mid-life. Being bored is not a reason to break up your marriage. And no I am not a bitter divorcee, I have been married to a wonderful man for 31 years and we are not bored.
ChipApril 23rd, 2017 at 9:45 AM
ind a therapist and do some deep soul searching. Figure out what is missing in you own inner self. Until you do this, all you are doing is asking for a whole lot of pain and confusion for a lot of people, including yourself. Will a couple of years of excitement be worth all the headaches that will come in the future? Your wife has lived with you through the good and the bad, how will this new relationship pan out? What do you have to offer this new woman? You are 20 years older and are flattered by her attention. One day she could be changing your diapers. Did you know the divorce rate is higher in second marriages than in first? If I could speak to your wife, I would say, “Kick him out” and move on. A man takes care of his family and finds joy in surmounting the challenges of mid-life. Being bored is not a reason to break up your marriage. And no I am not a bitter divorcee, I have been married to a wonderful man for 31 years and we are not bored.
Ann, the only good advise you’ve given here is to do some soul searching. You follow with so many typical assumptions. What makes you think something is “missing in his inner self”? What if for the first time he understands himself like never before? How do you know it will only be a “couple of years of excitement”? What if the man is excited and happy with this new love until the day he dies, doesn’t he deserve that? Yes, his wife has lived through the good and bad of their 32 year old marriage, and so has he! You ask what he has to offer? As though he’s run out. He sounds like a passionate soulful person in his post, perhaps he has friendship, and love and care to offer, greater than ever before. You say is just “flattered” by the attention. Wow. How do you know that this woman isn’t sincere? And won’t change diapers if it comes to that and nursing care isn’t available. Yeah, a lot of people repeat mistakes over and over, therefore, get divorced again, so we assume he’ll be on the bad side of that statistic. Actually, it’s misleading because fewer people are getting married, and those that do are getting married much older now, with the average age now being 29 for men. Second marriages do have a higher failure rate than first, but the majority of those are people under the age of 30. Second marriages in 40’s and 50’s and older have a great chance of thriving. “A man takes care of his family”, ok, and a man can and most DO take care of their families even if divorced. And frankly, couples should take care of each other. Being bored is absolutely a reason to move on, if it’s making him miserable and dissatisfied and doesn’t see hope in finding happiness in his marriage. Congrats on having a successful and exciting marriage for 31 years, you’ve clearly found the right love. Perhaps everyone should have a shot at that kind of happiness, and unfortunately there isn’t one magic path to getting it.
fionaJune 1st, 2017 at 8:43 PM
I have being married for 22 years now , I am 42 years old but look younger than my age , I have four children and a granddaughter from my oldest daughter.. My marriage we don’t have much communication goin on. Its like my husband and I are two different people together. On the other hand i want to pull out from this marriage, I need somebody who can treat me like a normal wife.. so lonely..
SeanJuly 10th, 2017 at 7:34 AM
Sorry, Chip, I have to disagree. I don’t know how old you are, but “boredom is a reason to move on” is both… and sad to hear. Boredom will always come. ALWAYS. I have NO effort on the OPs part to try to “reignite” at least SOME of what he had in the past with his wife. The idea that this “new” adventure won’t settle into a routine in time is silly. It will. Nothing stays “new and exciting” forever. People should run to something “new” each time?? As time goes on that 20 year difference is going to play a bigger and bigger role, don’t kid yourself. Anyway, this is what really needs to be heard: about 50% of marriages fail…. almost 70% of second marriages fail. I think people should keep that in mind.
chipJuly 16th, 2017 at 12:49 AM
Sean, I’m not talking a short “bout” of boredom, of course that’s normal in any relationship and shouldn’t send any reasonable person in a loving relationship running for the hills. I’m talking about years and decades of boredom and misery with an uninterested spouse. I hate the argument that the “new adventure” will just settle into the same routine anyway, so why bother? THAT is silly! I took a “chance” and have been in my second marriage happily for 16 years now – after living with an unhappy person for 15 years. Sure all couples fall into “routine” but there is a normal range and then there is drudgery, big difference. When we find we need to liven things up we are both committed to that and work together keep life exciting and fun. I think it’s interesting when people throw out divorce statistics and talk about “failed marriages” with a tone of shame like it’s a societal failure. Many marriages like mine were generally successful, we raised 3 great kids, had a lot of happy years, but we grew in different directions as we got older – we recognized we each needed something different and we moved on. It was messy for a while figuring that out, change isn’t easy, ever, but sometimes absolutely necessary to grow. We are two thoughtful people, we had a good long partnership, but it ran its course. I consider it a “successful” marriage with a successful ending. There isn’t a statistic that I know of that accounts for married couples who are miserable and “sticking it out” because they don’t have the courage to face the “shame” of divorce. I bet it’s a pretty high number! OF COURSE its fantastic that some couples have enough good stuff in their marriage to last a lifetime, great for them. But it is also perfectly OK to move on if they are unhappy and find themselves on a anonymous therapy site secretly asking for advise on whether to follow your heart or not. Probably a sign that Ready To Leave already knows what he needs to do, seems like he’s just looking for the courage to face his FEARS – fear of what everyone will think, if it will work or not, fear of regret and so on. The new relationship might not work, the age difference might be too big a barrier, doesn’t matter, these are two separate events. Ending one thing. Starting another. And trusting the journey. My two cents.
KatieSeptember 6th, 2017 at 1:52 PM
Chip, the reason Ann makes the “assumptions” she does is because the letter reeks of selfishness and childishness phrased in a pleasant enough tone to exact some sympathy. But really, he’s just a weak person who wants to leave his family. OK, I don’t know the details. Maybe the wife is a shrew. Maybe she abuses him and he’s not saying that. But if it’s just a case of the fact that her interest in taking care of boring family matters isn’t stimulating to him and he likes the attention of this other woman who doesn’t bother him with mortgages and tuition and cleaning up after dinner and grandkid concerns and whatever else, he needs to get over himself. As do all men who think this is ok. Grow up XY’s.
ScottSeptember 30th, 2019 at 9:58 AM
I am a 61-year-old man who has been married for 32 years. I have been with her for 39 years. I do not have a girlfriend and have never cheated on her, even in an emotional needing to get away. I have been suffocating for the past five years. I got cancer, Testicular, when I was 55-years-old. Can you believe that? Dr. says to me, Scott, this a young man’s disease. I say: “No shit”. That has nothing to do with where I am now. Her Grandmother lost her husband at a fairly young age. He was 53 or 54, and she always blamed herself for it. I have no idea why, but her daughters have made sure that would never happen to them and the loves of their life. Aunt Rose’s husband lost his job and career because he was a whistle blower, seeing a teacher having an affair with one of his students. Back then, around 1972 or so, he got fired because he spoke up. At that point in his life, he was blackballed and couldn’t get another job. He fell into a deep depression, and his wife, Aunt Rose, did anything and everything to take care of him. He was never pressured to get another job, because Aunt Rose made sure he was at home, safe, and well taken care of him. She always made sure he had cigarettes, coffee and oreos. His depression had always been in full force, and since he gave up, he didn’t have to worry. Rose had his back.
Next comes my mother-in-law. Her husband, Dick W. got lung cancer. It was incurable, and he basically lost everything. His job, another story, but not for seeing anyone else. My mother-in-law kicked into high gear and made absolutely sure he was completely taken care of. Exactly what she should have done. But he lost his self-esteem, and just basically gave up. Who wouldn’t? I had been in a situation that wasn’t good because of an employer that was unbelievably terrible. This has nothing to do with my being out of work. It was at this time, when my father-in-law, and a friend before I even met my wife/his daughter, that he couldn’t take care of himself. I became his sole caregiver, not because his wife and daughters didn’t try, but because he became so slight, I was the only who could physically handle him. His wife/my mother-in-law killed he1rself to make sure everything was taken care of. Understandably. but is there a pattern here? Then, how many years later I get sick. My wife will do anything and everything to make sure I am absolutely taken care of. I’m talking to the point where she always know where I am and what I am doing. It isn’t much, because I basically never get out of the house. I have lost most of my self-esteem. I am not living, I’m existing. My family adores her. Who wouldn’t? She is taking care of our Scotty, and will make sure nothing/anything bad will ever happen to him again. So here I am. I have been looking for a person/woman who I can just talk to without feeling like I’m cheating. But I know, once I’m free and breathing again, who knows what can happen. I’m lonely, depressed and want to get away. Nothing will change until I do. For those who remember, we are DINKs. No one, except Rose, will get hurt. I know it’s not the same for all of you, but I can easily see myself in a new relationship and being much happier. I feel your pain brothers. Scott
DonnaAugust 2nd, 2018 at 8:47 AM
Ann, that is what my husband did to our relationship and marriage of 28 years. He said he was no longer happy and didnt love me anymore. Wow what a sting…felt like he put a dagger into my chest and twisted it! He lost his twin brother 15 months ago and never went to therapy. Now he has another woman that is 13 years younger. He gave up so much. Will he ever see the light? We had issues in our marriage but I have always believed that you work those out…you dont talk them out with someone else that is not your spouse and build an emotional bond with them…I just want the pain from this to stop. He left 5 months ago.
NisaSeptember 4th, 2018 at 7:30 AM
Welltge same happened to me whemcmy husband of 26 years left in August 2018..I am raw with the hurt and pain for this selfish act of his especially at his age of being 60! He had left several times in the past but would be back after afew days and this time he took majority of his clothes and is now renting a place which he doesn’t want to disclose to our 3 wonderful kids just incase it slips out their mouth…I miss him very dearly as I also saw him as a soulmate and discusses any issues actually all my issues where he instead did hold his cards very close to his chest. Last year I came to learn that he was emotionally involved with a previous work colleague he had with 20 years ago..that is what he said
As any wife would understand the anger and hurt that tends to follow yet I forgave him! Under the understanding it was all over and done with..which he said was but apparently was not and is still going on! This time as I stated he has left and said it was over for good and eventually divorce …Shock as even tho I had forgiven him several times, he still was not happy.. To top it all was he could not fault me and he just was not happy with me and was looking for happiness /contentment. He said to the kids that I did everything possible to save the marriage but it just was not enough for him and he wanted to end it!!! He had created a tension in the house which the kids had noticed e.g.not being bothered to do or go anywhere with me or as a family to a point that f.book was the only social life he had…how sad were my thoughts. Regardless I tried to carry on as if nothing had happened but had to admit to myself that the trust was gone….So my point is that despite all this going on I still love him…stupid I say but its true…is it a midlife crises or am I just fooling myself. The kids as they are now in their 20’s accept his decision where as I cannot…everywhere that i i i look in the house reminds me of him….I am always crying and the kids in a way are really fed up…I have become a zombie and all my confidence is lost as its been a struggle to face anybody …I force myself to too for a food shop and justcwait to get back home where I would burst out in tears…I also have been signed off work…ci am worried about finance as he was the main bread winner as mine is only a part time job. The mortgage has been paid but other bills have to be paid to…We also have a joint account… Which I had saved for our retirement… Well that is out the window now not forgetting he has left me to do all the stuff that needs doing in the house that needs addressing …really do not know how I am going to cope without him!!! Any advise?
KekeJanuary 16th, 2015 at 10:10 AM
I know that there are times when it seems like the grass is greener on the other side but this is a marriage that you have invested a whole lot of time and energy to over the years. Do you think that there is anything that the two of you could do together to rekindle some of that magic that the two of you once shared or are you ate the point where you are through and really don’t want to even try anymore? I think that that’s fine if that’s where you are and I am not judging you but I do think that you have some huge decisions to make right now before you decide that you are ready to be totally done with this relationship.
JulieJanuary 16th, 2015 at 11:57 AM
This is so sad to me. I have known several people that this has happened to and what people don’t understand is the devastating impact it has on the children no matter the age. I know of a girl right now who is still going through counseling after the affair of a parent. It has been 3 years since the affair and her parents worked it out but this now college student is still a mess and has terrible trust issues. An emotional affair is still an affair. When you have children it’s their happiness that matters not your own. We are suppose to be role models after all. It’s just selfish. Also if this woman knows your married what does that say about her. This new relationship will start off with trust issues. Not worth it. I will pray that you make the right choice.
TinaApril 18th, 2017 at 4:15 AM
Affairs are an extremely common thing. Humans are NOT monogamous. We just like to pretend we are for some silly reason.
If, as adults, we could learn to understand and accept our nonmonogamous inclinations I think we’d all be a lot happier.
LindaJuly 9th, 2018 at 12:03 PM
Given that humans are non monogamous, he should have discussed this possibility with his wife just as soon as the boredom and dissatisfaction started bubbling up, before he entered into a long term emotional and financial arrangement with her…now she has NO time to prepare for the worst that IS coming to her. That’s just cruel and unfair this late in the game.
Miss TJanuary 22nd, 2019 at 3:43 PM
Not saying it is right, but why does society judge people who want to leave their spouse? isn’t it selfish to hold onto a person that wants to move on just so u can be happy? what about their happiness? so they should stay & be miserable? U can’t help whom u love or do not love…! isn’t that holding a person captive! what if I once did love u but after a while the feeling faded & I can’t rekindle it? What if u met a person at a young age, married (which is why I don’t think people should marry under 25) & never got to experience life and now desire to do so? I think it’s selfish to tell people to stay with someone they don’t want. That’s just going to lead to sneaking & creeping. Then what? U are still going to be hurt! I personally wouldn’t want someone who doesn’t want me! It will hurt but so did childbirth I got a miracle from it though! Ok fair enough, u should give it your all but if that doesn’t work it is time to move on before resentment settles in and that’s how folks end up on ID channel. If you see someone doesn’t love u anymore why hold them hostage. I broke up with ex after I discovered he was cheating, I can’t live with knowing U shared yourself with another woman. I can’t accept u made love to another, pillow talked, met her family, acted as a couple, bought her things, spent $ and time on her, etc. I probably could’ve handled a one night, wham bam, better. And therapist will tell u, men don’t leave their wife, so is that supposed to feel better? I wish he would’ve left instead of cheating to that extent. He wanted to work it out but I know, even if cheating, u don’t move on from person u invested that much time into. She would’ve been apart of our relationship whether I knew it or not. And God forbid if she would’ve gotten pregnant then. They had a full blown relationship behind my back and still do now. I guess they beat the odds so far. I’ve moved onto bigger and better things! I have a good, loyal, handsome, good sex & “rich” man that loves and loves to provide for me. Had I not went through that and found the strength to leave I would be checking my exes phone log now! So love who loves u!
JamieJanuary 24th, 2019 at 9:07 AM
I like your positive attitude. How horrible that your husband did that to u. A full flown relationship behind your back and he still wanted to work it out with u even after the truth came out. I wonder if he’s doing the same thing to her BC this makes me think he might not want to be monogamous. Maybe he wants to practice polyamory? This must have hurt horribly when u found this out. It’s good u were able to move on though. Once the trust is gone and with such a colossal betrayal (when u tacitly agreed to romantic/physical monogamy) letting go is best.
KimJanuary 24th, 2019 at 8:09 PM
My husband of 31 years, the most stable & level headed guy I know fell in love with someone else. I watched it happen. We were all friends, but the energy between my husband & this particular woman was undeniable.They captivated each other & everyone around them including me. I was jealous. Not of her looks or charm, but the way she unknowingly tapped into a part of my husband that made him come alive in a way that I could not. They were good together. It killed me at the time. I felt powerless & prayed that they would stay within the boundaries of friendship. But who was I kidding? I knew he loved her before he did. It was only a matter of time before they found the courage to jump. I still wonder why I was so surprised when after 4 years of restraint they finally did. I kicked & screamed & cried. I tried everything to convince him to stay with me. I used guilt in the name of God & shamed his character for breaking a promise (knowing full well God would be merciful). I could barely look myself in the mirror. What was I doing? He was a good person. Did I really want to hold him hostage? Did I want to lay next to him at night wondering if he was dreaming of her? Missing her body? How long would it take, I wondered, for him to forget her? Five years, ten, twenty, never? I couldn’t live that way. I needed to let him move on to the next chapter of his life . . . in order to save my own! I’m not here to say it was easy, I was out of my mind for quite a while. Plus we have a grown son who was struggling with it. But letting go sure beat living a lie. We divorced peacefully 3 years ago when I was 52. Some here might want me to report that he is miserable & regretful, but he is very happy. And I’m determined to be happy for him. I have an exciting new direction of my own to focus on. Marriage and the choices we make are so very personal, best to you all.
Ariel M.January 16th, 2015 at 4:06 PM
I see this fellow’s shared story as a clear example of one of the most common methods of avoiding our personal Self Work. Aging changes everything – our relationships, interests, goals, daily demands and responsibilities, and most of all, it requires us to increase our self-awareness – the intimacy we depend upon in order to create what is commonly called “happiness.” Many people fail to increase their self-knowledge, ignore the voice within which is constantly trying to inform us, push feelings aside and/or completely negate them, and by the time we are 60 we will also be confronted with the absolute requirement to face our memories. During the early 60’s, a structural change happens in the human brain whereby we are no longer to suppress memory. This is both a blessing and a curse. Some people find this period of self-resonance and self-evaluation difficult because a surprising number of Boomers have somewhere along the way, sustained some degree of trauma which produces an irresistable PTSD during this decade of our maturation process (60-70). Self-avoidance drives many to jump from one person to another (late 50’s to mid-60’s is also the highest incidence of long-time marrieds to separate). What typically happens (and this is not my opinion – do your own research), is that the fellow who leaves this marriage will try several in a row and each will not work because he is failing to recognize the requirement for happiness: Face One’s Self…Marry Yourself….Learn to Feel….Process your Unfinished Past Growth Challenges….Grieve the Ungrieved.
TatumJanuary 17th, 2015 at 1:18 PM
This might be the right move and then again it might not be, but how are you ever going to know unless you take a leap of faith?
Ariel M.January 17th, 2015 at 5:31 PM
Yes, it is always best to do something based on the Einstein principle, Quote: “The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over expecting different results.” However, when one “chooses” a move in any direction, that is not a passive solution and is in fact choosing what you believe. A leap of faith is simply that – choosing one’s prevailing belief. One of the most ignored teachers with a lot of us a lot of the time in life, is our own Self. Listening to ourselves more is the skill which can expedite periods of “not knowing” and can help us “shit or get off the pot.” The reason I mention this is because it is important for our growth as adults to own our choices. Often we claim we don’t know because we don’t want to face the outcome and our fear of a mistake immobilizes us. People can go a lifetime in this state, never making intentional decisions. We can also use the urge to abandon our current problems as an excuse for acting now. When we run away from current issues, and replace them with another set of demands, it is equivalent to abandoning our Self.
JenJanuary 18th, 2015 at 5:21 AM
you are cheating on your wife, you are havingn an emotional affair with another woman and you are covering it up with this self help article. Take responsibility and leave your wife already instead of dragging her though your crisis of conscious.
lenoxJanuary 19th, 2015 at 11:04 AM
Amen Jen!! Could not have worded that any better myself!
JessieJanuary 26th, 2015 at 10:55 AM
Why do you think that your wife is “smothering” you? because she knows that you aren’t happy and she is trying whatever she can to do all the right things to help make you happy. That sounds like someone who cares a whole lot for you. I don’t think that you should feel like you have to stay married just because the two of you have been together for a long time but I at least think that you should give her a chance to see if the two of you can make the relationship work again. I think that you at least owe her that.
Dr. Ken NewbergerFebruary 8th, 2015 at 8:58 PM
Lisa wrote a very good article. Building on what she wrote, I would like to take an even more pointed approach. One thing is for certain: As long as you maintain a relationship with this other woman, it will be near impossible for you to reconnect with your wife.
Consider: what if you take the plunge with this younger woman and in a few years, she feels the same way about you as you now do your wife? What if she doesn’t want to spend years having to take care of you when you get really old? …if she dumps you as you are now thinking about dumping your wife? Then you will be old and alone. And who knows how your kids will react. They may do some dumping of their own. They say there is no fool like an old fool. I hope you don’t prove this to be true in your case.
You and your wife made vows to each other 32 years ago. They were not words that were supposed to bind you in misery. They were words that in essence said you will work out your issues, forsaking all others, as if you were the only two people in the world.
Why not earnestly try to make things work with your wife and keep your immediate and extended family free from divisiveness and rupture? As Lisa suggested, you will likely need the help of a third party professional. It is a road worth taking!
Dr. Ken Newberger
ChipApril 23rd, 2017 at 9:02 AM
Ken, with Dr. in front of your name, this man has said he doesn’t love his wife anymore, that he sees hope for a better life for himself in his later years. His heart seems to be speaking to him, yet your advice is to end what’s making him happy and “work” on his marriage. It’s always the same pressure, often with a religious motive, to stay married – and here it is again from you and what do any of really know about this man’s marriage, really. I took a chance and got out of a bad marriage (we are still friends!) of 18 years. I wanted to leave after 10 but I kept “trying” to make everybody happy and spare the heartache of family and friends and all those entanglements and I wasted valuable time. It wasn’t easy, but I made the jump and moved on to the love of my life – who by the way, was my exit affair and I was his. I had concerns about that, we both did, but we’ve been so happy for the last 11 years and solid. We talk about affairs openly. We pay closer attention that we did in our marriages, we learned, we don’t take each other for granted and we are best friends. It is possible that the second time around can be beautiful. And there are great stories of couples who survive affairs and learn too. The saddest to me, are the ones that cave to the pressure, and are not truly happy and never will be. And they will die wishing and wondering “what if” and “if only”. That is a tragedy.
SarahOkaOctober 6th, 2018 at 6:11 AM
Interesting, very defensive and eager to validate this option arent you. Lets hope should your current husband decide further along in your marriage hes no longer happy, you maintain this attitude. You sound smug and over confident about your own marriage. In fact I would say there is a higher risk of this occurring in your marriage at some point in the future when you least expected it because of the history of how you came together. Until you know how it feels to have given 32 years to a man or woman who then plans to leave you and destroy another persons life in doing so stop trying to justify and promote leaving its selfish.
chipOctober 6th, 2018 at 10:04 PM
I’m sorry if you are hurting and have lost someone you love after over 30 years. Or if I sounded smug in my own happiness after making a major change. I just know things are never black and white. There are a lot of reasons two people don’t work out, even after 32 years. There can be abuse, narcissism, complacency, lack of passion, aging – whatever it is, as painful as it is, I still believe both partners must respect the other person’s right to leave the relationship. We only have one life. One. We each get to choose how we want to spend our days and years. I’m not saying anyone should just up and leave a marriage. If you’re happy why would you want to. If it’s just a bump in the road, couples with that much history are likely to try to rekindle the relationship and save the marriage. That’s wonderful. But if one person still wants out – then I believe you have to let them go. What’s the alternative? Be bitter and use Fear, Obligation and Guilt (FOG) to hold them hostage? That sounds miserable. You never knowing if they stayed because they love you, or if they just settled. If you love them so much you want them to them to stay, then you must also love them so much that you respect their wish to go. I don’t believe marriage needs to be a life sentence if it’s not working. My earlier comments were purely to give hope to anyone that finds themselves struggling. Love is out there.
Miss T JacksonJanuary 22nd, 2019 at 3:55 PM
U are spot on…not all marriages are meant to be and I wish people quit forcing that onto people! Sometimes your 1st marriage is inexperience & practice. Especially when u marry young. My relationship which was both our second & exit has been beautiful. I trust him more than I did the first one. We were what each of us wanted… Glad we didn’t listen to people. And our exes seem happier now to. Granted there wasn’t small kids involved but my one. Don’t let ppl talk u into being miserable. If you have thought & planned this out and using logic go for it!!!!! Can’t be worse than it already is.
AveshaJuly 1st, 2019 at 5:24 PM
I see Chip’s point, completely, however I see all sides. I am someone who experienced the loss of a marriage due to an affair and although the pain was unbearable and there were times I thought I wouldn’t make it, I can see now, after much time and a lot of therapy why it happened. We were in a very toxic and unhealthy relationship and both very unhappy. A happy person does not look outside the marriage. I am happy I let him go, it made me a stronger and better person and it allowed me to heal and become a better version of myself. I took a long hiatus from men, chose to get to know me and fell in love with me. I no longer hate him, I no longer hate her. Do I wish things could have gone down differently. Absolutely. Affairs are DEVASTATING. There IS a better way to end a marriage. Affairs destroy you, your self esteem, all trust, everything you know and loved is now shattered. Its absolutely the worst thing you can do to another person. However, it happens every day, every minute! People cheat. Enough said.
As Chip stated, we have this one life. If you are unhappy, if you want something else, if you desire something else, then go. Do NOT stay in something that doesn’t make you happy out of fear or guilt. That is not being fair to your spouse. They may THINK they want you there, no matter if you want to be there or not, but that is just as selfish…holding someone hostage for their own happiness and comfort. Its also just a bandaid.
I could have kept my husband, sure, but he wanted her and you could see that desire and he just didn’t have that for me anymore. Why would I want to be with someone who doesn’t want me? Vows or no vows?
So the key is to gain some self worth, pick up the pieces, start a self love program and let him GO!! Wish him happiness and move on.
CougarFebruary 9th, 2015 at 3:53 PM
You are infatuated with this woman. NOT in love. This phase will past as soon as you have this desired relationship and got what you had wanted. Then you will be left with a giant empty hole in yourself that you would never be able to fill. It’s sounds like your wife cares and loves you a lot, must be hard to be her. You are just chasing something NEW and trying to find that short term gratification.
CharlesSeptember 11th, 2016 at 12:26 PM
With all due respect, how the hell do YOU know he is not in love. I AM in love with another woman and have been married 35 years. We are not infatuated. We are deeply in love in a way my wife and I have never been. That just adds to the emotional hell. I cannot abandong this other woman, NOT for me, but for HER. She can’t bear to grow old alone. Yet, I cannot bear to bring pain upon my wife in her later years of life, nor to hurt my kids. It is enough to make a guy just want to check out. I am NOT selfish. I just love people, and two women in particular. My love is my achilles heel.
Jung_AdmirerSeptember 19th, 2016 at 6:03 AM
Respectfully … You should never have allowed the love for another to develop. Boundaries are your reposonsibility…
JonMarch 14th, 2017 at 7:24 PM
I hear you. There is a lot of judging going on in this thread. i too have fallen in love with another women while being in a 18 year relationship with a woman I thought I loved dearly. It came out of nowhere and hit me and the woman like it ton of bricks – it’s real it’s messy and and it’s confusing. each situation has it’s story.
DebbieApril 1st, 2018 at 7:31 PM
JamieSeptember 27th, 2018 at 4:26 PM
People fall in love when boundaries aren’t maintained. There are multiple people that we can fit with and have chemistry with. The beauty of monogamy is that you dedicate your romantic energy-both emotionally and physically-to just one person. Too many people buy into the myth that once you love one person deeply and have chosen them exclusively then you won’t have chemistry or attraction for anyone else. But of course you will, and you have to be honest with yourself when you feel an attraction to someone else and pull back from it so it doesn’t develop into something more. Also, be aware that there are certain types of risky behaviors that cultivate attraction. When we engage in certain behaviors that attraction we could be caught by surprise with a rouge desire. It’s all about boundaries and growing in our capacity to love the person we’re with.
JohnFebruary 21st, 2015 at 5:10 PM
Wow, I can relate to this because I am going through this on the flip side… I too, have been married 32 years. My wife, who I am still madly in love with, has befriended a man at a camp that she works in the summer who is ten years younger. This man is an alcoholic, and has been living in squalor, so I wife has felt it her obligation to help him out of his mess. Sometimes, I would help her there when asked. And we had him over for Thanksgiving. In the process of cleaning up his act and his house she has spent enormous amounts of time with him and they have gotten extremely close. She has spent many nights at his house, always finding reasons to stay there, because he is having tough emotional times. I was very uncomfortable with that but I trusted my wife so I did’nt make too big a deal about it. But I started noticing the constant texting and the hiding of texting going on when she was with me. My suspicions grew when I happened to see the ” I miss you ” and ” I love you” texts going to her phone and I finally lost it. She denies any wrongdoing, they are only friends and justifies it by saying that he has had a lot of loss in his life and tells everyone that. We have had some real heavy duty fights about all of this, and now we are at the point where I am going to counciling and she wants to sell our house and divorce me. Our marriage was far from perfect and it needed some help which I have on numerous occasions have tried to coax her to come with me and she refuses. She feels that she has done nothing wrong. This guy is just now her “best Friend” . I have made mountains out of molehills and have made legal threats for it has been all out of reacting to the things she has been doing. Now we are at a point where she feels so pushed away from me that she does not want to come back. All of this started in the end of the summer . I am in complete awe of all of this. At the beginning of summer we were holding hands and I was comfortable and felt we were in love. Eight months later my wife wants to divorce me and cannot stand me. I am completely devastated by this. Sorry, I was not trying to steal anyones story, but this man has to try to make his marriage work. We form a covanent with each other and God at the alter. That no man or women should do us under. You owe it to each other to try to work things out. Than when all else fails then move on. Be thankful that you have a woman who loves you. I can tell you that it hurts so much when you loose that . Especially after 32 years.
Island LadyAugust 16th, 2019 at 11:00 PM
This is an interesting thread. I am amazed how judgmental and black and white people are. I am deeply in love with another man. I don’t believe he will ever leave his wife – because he wants a relationship with his children. I get that. It is not about keeping boundaries. I kept my boundaries for well over 20 years in spite of my husband being cold, distant and emotionally abusive – not to mention having his own “emotional” affairs – which he is still currently engaged in. And while I know that I will probably never be with the man that I fell deeply in love with – in spite of keeping boundaries – I am grateful to have had that awakening. It has given me the courage to know that I must leave a marriage that I knew I should have left 6 months into it – but stayed and kept trying. I wasted 25 years of my life trying. Each story is different. Please don’t pretend to know mine or judge my actions. I am doing what I must do to survive.
bluerthanblueMarch 23rd, 2015 at 1:34 AM
I too feel like this after 18 years of marriage but there there is no one else. I long to be alone but fear I will never be able to get over the hurt I will cause my husband and children – aged 14 and 19 stops me. I still care for him but I am not in love with him anymore.
Holly T.March 22nd, 2019 at 7:13 AM
You and I share a story.
Bruce WayneJuly 16th, 2015 at 4:09 AM
Look. First..let me tell you from personal experience from what my dad did and from what I almost did but didnt. THE GRASS IS GREENER WHERE YOU WATER IT! You really think this woman will make you happy, sure maybe for a couple of years, maybe not even that. Is all this new excitement that will dwindle, its called human nature…worth you breaking up your whole family and your 32 years of marriage..To be fair to you 32 years is a very long time, but usually the reason why marriages die is couples stop trying. Remember when you were dating, how hard do us guys try, how hard do women try to look good etc…that goes away because we all get comfortable, we all start to take each other for granted. I understand to some degree as humans these are inevitable, but its catching yourself and fighting back. As a child of a father that did what you did, I still up to this day hold a grudge against him, my dad has gone from woman to woman trying to find happiness and he cant, he has admitted that he regrets everything he has every done to destroy his family for a cheap, dying, exciting feeling he had with a co-worker. Now from me a married man that almost did what you did. Key word…ALMOST! Lets just say I have a wake up, light bulb moment and realized that this woman, I met at work, flirting with me etc…giving me the feelings, was not even close to the type of woman my wife is. I mean really a woman flirting with a married man and she knows that!!!! I never did anything with that woman but it took me 3 months to snap out of it!!! Instead I focused my energy on my marriage…is it hard at times….do I want to run away from her at times…YES!!! But at the end of the day..I CHOSE to LOVE HER!!! and I DO from the bottom of my heart. Theres a reason why I said forever to her. From a man to another man..I wish I was around to smack you and wake you the hell up!!!! This might be harsher than what you might be getting here.
TeenaAugust 22nd, 2016 at 2:48 PM
Your answer is so appreciated. I wish I had someone like you to talk to or have my husband talk too. Heartbreak inflicted by a cheater is so excruciatingly painful
Hurting TooJuly 16th, 2015 at 6:17 AM
I too am in a similar situation. I however had decided I wanted a divorce before I ventured into a relationship. It’s easy to say keep trying, but when do you finally run out of gas trying…5 years, 10 years, 20 years. When the feeling is gone, it’s just gone. I still care for and have love for my wife, but the feelings for intimacy and romance have long gone. We became roommates, raising a child. Not much else in common, including how to raise that child. Most people simply deny that the marriage is over, even though they know it’s been over for years. They, like I did, go through the motions not trying hurt the feelings of the spouse, kids, family friends, etc. The thing is they are destroying themselves in the process. The idea that people should stay together just because of vows is crazy. Saying that, I used to believe it myself. That was until I saw my mother dying. My parents were married over 50 years, but they really had very little in common but family and kids. My father was a simple man. Nothing wrong with that. My mom was into technology, politics, traveling, church, community service, etc. So they basically lived 2 different lives. Problem was because they were married, my mom gave up many opportunities to do some great things because my father had zero interest in the things she was interested in doing. You can’t travel all around the world and constantly leave your spouse. You can’t run for public office without your spouses support. She backed away from many things she knew my father would not support or even approve. When she was dying she talked about all she still wanted to accomplish, what her dreams were, how she missed out on many chances in life. She wasn’t blaming my father, but I think she was blaming herself. My mom sacrificed a lot to make sure everyone else was happy, even though she was slowly dying inside. I used to think my mom was selfish, but in reality she was selfless. She martyred her own happiness for everyone else. I felt myself following the same path. Investing in everyone else’s happiness, and bankrupting my own. I began to resent my wife, almost to (and possibly sometimes) hate. Wishing she was somewhere else, if not worse. I couldn’t and didn’t want to live like that anymore. My advice is DO NOT LEAVE FOR THE OTHER WOMAN. LEAVE FOR YOURSELF. If that other relationship doesn’t work out, so what. You will be looked at as the bad guy regardless, because you wanted the divorce and she doesn’t. At least you know that you divorced for yourself and not someone else. The vows say till death do us part, but many people in marriage become living dead. I was, I’m just trying to live again. Wish you the best in your decision.
Amen BrotherJanuary 11th, 2017 at 12:18 AM
I have to say this is the most sound advice I’ve read on this matter. Others have made comments that they wished simply to be alone and free. I would agree that leaving is the right move if you are doing to save your own life and are not falling into the trap of a re-bound relationship to carry you through the first tough years following a divorce. I agree with many that this gentleman should avoid the rebound trap and should have his own place to live and enjoy being a bachelor for at least two more years. If the other woman really loves him, she’ll understand and wait for him, she will be there. If he remains in love with her after this period, it’s a good sign that it is not merely the “new car smell”. Many men commit suicide over bad relationships with women. The military has statistics that corroborate this. Routinely, 60% of suicides are the result of intimate relationships that went bad. It is ridiculous to stay in a bad marriage because you took some vows. I do not agree that people should stay in bad marriages for the sake of the institution, vows, kids, etc. Many children have been damaged for life by growing up with parents who are continually at odds. At the end of the day, it comes down to two people making a personal commitment with each other to keep the love alive; to listen, and to also be heard. I am also perplexed with the widely accepted double standard about leaving a relationship. If a man leaves, he’s an asshole, a loser, and all other terms associated with “the bad guy”. If, however, a woman leaves, she is a champion, empowered, and has found new freedom. I seldom, if ever, see a comment by a woman chastising another woman for leaving. Men should, despite all the negative press, take charge of their lives and their happiness. It’s OK for men to operate, as they have for centuries, on a reward system. Men should continue to court their wives as the decades tick by but this should not be turned into servitude by the wives. As women need to be paid attention to, men should be paid attention to also. Wives need to pay attention to the things their men find satisfying and enable them to feel loved. Men have a right to be happy – and to be loved – genuinely, and not only when it appears they may exit.
SteveJanuary 14th, 2017 at 12:30 AM
A right to be happy with a younger wife rather than a wife there own age. Oh the freedom of being free and having a younger wife, how quaint while the older women(same age as the dirt old men who dump them for younger wives) get left rejected and single. How is that fair or equal. Oh how wonderful younger women are popular to dirty old men. Pretty shallow response you made about being happy, if your a real man you will date only in yor own age range and leave the young ones(young adult women) alone.
ScottSeptember 30th, 2019 at 12:04 PM
I hear you so loud and clear. I have told my wife several times that I’m just not happy. I’ve stayed married for 32 years. I love her deeply, but I feel like I’m dying. I have often heard that separation should be the way to go. I’m kidding myself and lie just to stay married for so long, just out of duty and the promise I made so long ago. I can’t live like this . I feel like a prisoner in my own home. I have no idea where this change might go, but I have to.
CleopatraAugust 1st, 2015 at 4:26 PM
I’m the Other Woman, the Mistress. I’ve had affairs with five married men. It’s the same story with all of them: Married 30 or so years, no connection with wife for a long, lonely time, some have had affairs previously, children grown, about 60 and facing retirement so they’re asking “What is life really about and what am I going to do with the time I have left?” They’re looking for a friend, a positive companion, someone who is fun, not stressy, laid back, shares their interests, enjoys sex, takes them back to their youth, regains their lost years, someone they’re proud to be with, makes life worth living etc. I’m mid forties, attractive, young at heart, look 35 (naturally), good company, intelligent, financially independent and hold down a respectable, secure job. They all fell madly in love with me and wanted to leave their wives to be with me. I was their escape. But, I’m not a rescuer. I agree with Hurting Too – leave for your own sake and not to go directly to the other woman. I wasn’t willing to take them directly, even though I loved them dearly, because I knew it was the wrong reason. I also didn’t want to be the cause of the marriage ending. A symptom but not THE cause. I actually felt compassion for the wives (I had met some of them and they were perfectly nice women) and I put myself in their shoes. I’m a woman. How would I feel if my husband left me for a younger woman? Totally devastated etc but, I would take a long hard look at myself because I know it takes two to destroy a marriage….. Something I find a lot of women won’t do. Every situation is different. The marriage of one of these men I knew for three years had died 30 years ago, it was extremely toxic, no sex for 10 years, very minimal sex beforehand, they had no hope of reconciliation, there was complete unwillingness to reconnect from both and they were only staying together for financial reasons. They were definitely ships in the night. Completely seperate lives. Both desperately unhappy, depressed, compensating for the vacuum through unproductive and unhealthy behaviours. They definitely needed to divorce for the sake of both but neither was brave enough to leave the security of what they know even if it was killing both of them. I had told him so many times that he needed to leave, regardless of me, and he wouldn’t. He just wanted me to rescue him, the easy option. I wasn’t prepared to take him on under those circumstances. My current married lover is being productive. He’s going through intense marriage counselling and trying to resolve issues within HIMSELF before moving on to another relationship. Both of us are prepared to accept that he may decide to stay married and if so, then I disappear. If he leaves, he will do so on his own and with dignity, calmness and care for his wife. I will lay low until all proceedings are resolved because I know his friends/family will judge me harshly as I would be the reason for the marriage ending and he is just a silly old fool taken away by a young seductress etc. I suppose my best advice for you “Ready to Go” is to slow down. Take your time. Get counselling and lots of it from different counsellors (some are biased even though they claim not to be). Think a lot. Work out who you are and where you want to be. What/WHO is most important to you? Be prepared for hardship, often things you didn’t anticipate, for a few years if you do leave. It’s a big deal if you leave. Will it all be worth the drama, angst? Maybe reduce the intensity with your friend (you talk every day for hours – that’s very intense). If you have a bit of breathing space, you can think more rationally. You ARE having an affair with your friend. The emotional connection is far more powerful than any sexual connection. I’d say you’re inches away from a sexual connection. Don’t kid yourself that you haven’t thought/fantasied about it – a lot. A sexual connection will just be the icing on the cake. You’re already involved. The age thing? I think if you are both truly in love and remain so (that’s the trick), it doesn’t matter. She will stay faithful to you when you’re old. It’s hard. There are no answers and everyone is different. No one can make a judgement, no one can tell you what to do. Ultimately, it’s your life and up to you.
JulieAugust 1st, 2015 at 7:36 PM
I sure wouldn’t want to be known as the other woman. If you know someone is married you stay away from them. You are helping them commit a sin against their family and more importantly against God. I pray cleopatra that you would have enough respect for yourself not to do that. You are worth more than that and God loves you. Find a good single respectable man.
CSOctober 14th, 2015 at 7:40 PM
Please do not leave comments spouting your opinion based on religion or throwing religious texts around. You are not God, and you have no right in judging others’ actions. This is about seeking actual help, not finding judgment.
SteveMarch 10th, 2017 at 11:31 PM
Cleopatra, if you genuinely caed about these husband’s wives you would never of engaged in a sexual relationship with there husbands. You clearly don’t care about the wives feelings, you just care about yourself and the husbands you sleep with. If these wives were truly important to you, you would never of engaged in sexual relations with there hubbies, no matter how so-called unhappy they claim to be in there marriage. Get over it and walk away and never get sexy with them ever, and stop being selfish
JiMay 3rd, 2017 at 8:54 PM
Wow, sad. You hear what these guys tell you. They all will say they are not happy and have a miserable home life to get a 40 something year old that says she looks 30, really. You are a little full of yourself taking advantage of someone’s marriage. You should be ashamed. Find a single man if you are so good looking!
Split heartAugust 28th, 2015 at 5:45 AM
I just want to say wow. Its good to hear both sides of the story and its good to hear from the ‘Other woman’ thank you Cleopatra. I am younger, I am only 35, and my wife is also 35, married for a mere 10 years, 2 children both still young. I am the bad man in all this, I am the one having a full blown affair. Emotional, sexual. I too have thought of walking away and starting a new life with this woman but reading a lot of these comments has sort of helped my head a lot. It raises points that get overlooked (especially in the early days of whirlwind lust with someone new). And that’s the point I am dancing around here. Its that, its new its exciting and its lust driven. Those moments of actually being desired, feeling wanted for what the other woman sees and feels. We share interests, ideas thoughts and feelings. We have the same views in life and love, so its easy to mistake the early days for something a lot stronger than it truly is. BUT, its early days, its the same thing that was between me and my wife 16 years ago (we dated for years before marrying). The intimacy between my wife and I is sporadic at best, sex is not as important to my wife as it is to me. A lot of people pass it off as its ‘only sex’, ‘you are past all that’, ‘grow up’, but that physical bond for me is important. As a man I need to feel wanted by the other party and at the moment my wife doesn’t give me that feeling so its easy for me to suddenly feel I want to move away to this woman that gives me those feelings. But will it always be that way, I doubt it. She is very fiery, as am I so it will be a far more tumultuous relationship than my wife and I ever have had. To the outside my wife and I look the perfect couple, moved in together at 18 bought our first house at 19, will be mortgage free by 50. 2 kids who are loved and respected, with good school reports, win awards. We own 3 cars a nice house in a good area. The minute that I upsticks and leave all of that is gone, totally. I will be left with pretty much nothing except a lot of pain and possible hate from those around me (except the close friends that like me for me), a destroyed family on all sides, and almost destitute probably once the courts, solicitors, etc have finished. All for the hope that I can be slightly happier in love and life.
Im not saying to those that are deeply miserable it must continue, but what I am saying is the same as others, look at the WHOLE picture, and what you stand to lose by making the jump, if you must make the jump don’t do it for another woman, don’t do it for any reason than yourself. I have rambled a lot here and I mean a lot and its disjointed as my own feelings and emotions are a bit raw here but I want to say a massive thank you, so refreshing to see peoples views without judging. All of you have made some exceedingly valid points that are helping me with my own confusion. Good luck to anyone going through this
JulieAugust 29th, 2015 at 4:47 AM
Go to lifechurch.tv and watch the series A Way Out. Graig Grochel is preaching this series about addiction it’s so enlightening. He is not judgmental at all just practical in this life that we live. There are three up on the website the fourth and last will be up tomorrow. Lust as you spoke of can be just as addicting as over eating or drugs. Not being judgmental here at all just trying to help you for yourself and your family. I think you’ll get a lot out of this message. We have to help ourself and fix us before can expect any other relationships to work. Week three of this series is great. You have to go to your wife and confess what you’ve been doing ( wouldn’t you want to know if she was cheating on you). Things kept secret can never be healed. It won’t be easy and may take years to repair but if your heart and her heart is in this for the long haul it will be so worth it. Wish you the very best.
Gary KApril 19th, 2017 at 7:43 AM
I couldn’t disagree more about confessing an affair. What’s the point? When people do that it’s trying to take themselves off the hook for the affair. All you will do is emotionally harm your partner. It’s true about sleeping dogs. Live with any guilt. If you want to save your marriage, end the affair then do it. However, don’t confess. If he/she is in the dark, leave him/her there. I would rather not know.
CleopatraAugust 28th, 2015 at 2:24 PM
Thanks Split Heart. Glad you feel that the comments are helping – because that’s all 99.9% of us on this site is trying to do – just be a decent human and help someone in need: Just be honest, relay our own experiences in a real world with no judgements!
Your situation is tricky because you have young children. I divorced my husband when my children were nine and eleven. It was HARD on the kids. They too were doing well in school etc. They continued to do so but that’s partly due to the fact that my ex husband and I got real soon after splitting (yes it was really agro at first) realised that we needed to work as a productive team for their sake so got over our power play and have had an excellent business arrangement since! We talk to one another on a friendly basis, respect each other as the parent, not interested in the other’s personal life and paid the dollars when they were due! If I had my time again…… Think VERY hard about leaving while the kids are at home. They do suffer.
Good that you are also thinking twice about your future with your new love. Keep giving it TIME. Just don’t let your wife find out in the meantime as that will force the issue before anyone’s ready which then makes it hugely over dramatic. It may just fizzle out with your lover and if your wife never knew, then no harm. Don’t think it’s “right” to let her know about it. It only causes hurt and hopefully, you will have learnt something from it and be a better person. If not, then it’s something you must carry on your own and not give to others who don’t need it! Stick to the old, well worn and tried motto – as long as nobody says anything, then everything is alright.
An update on my situation – current lover has left his wife for his own reasons. Living separately from me which is GOOD. Gives him space to work through everything and to calmly make the right decisions – all in good time. We’re still very much together but he is making an effort to reconnect with his mates, his interests and to regather his own life and identity. I respect that, a lot!
JMay 3rd, 2017 at 9:03 PM
Makes me wonder what kind of person you are when going after someone’s husband when you can’t even spell
JorgeOctober 20th, 2015 at 4:58 PM
Let me just get this out of the way… YOU ARE AN AS%. Ok. With that said, let me just say that I hate your kind of thinking. You are the kind of people that just think of yourself and no one else. If you are happy, or if you get what you want, then you are the type that says, screw everyone else’s feelings, they aren’t yours, right? I mean, if you feel good that it’s all it matters; am I right?
I say that the type of person you are, is the type that most times end up getting what they deserve. It may take years or even months, but it always comes back to you and for good reason. My advice to you is; stop what you are doing to your wife, the one that has been there for all those years, in good and bad. Stop and ask God, your wife, your children, your grandchildren and whoever has gotten hurt by your stupidity, including your friend. Hopefully it’s not too late for you to turn it around. I will pray you get your head straight. This world is so sick that I would like to be dead when I hear this type of crap. It’s the worst any being can go through. I really hate this world and its people, I really do.
catsloveJanuary 18th, 2016 at 5:41 PM
“Ready to Go” is right. He should “take a chance” on himself and stop living in boredom like he has for so many years. But he’s taking the wrong “chance” by going with this new woman. Neither his old wife, nor his new love is the answer. I think the “chance” he really needs to take on himself is more profound than cheating with another woman. He needs to learn to live: He needs to skydive, to look his kids straight in the eyes and say “I love you”, to take his wife alone on a trip out to Hawaii, buy her a frozen daquiri, and then dive into the ocean with all his clothes on. He needs to take a class in how to make the best pasta, or how to make or play a guitar. He needs to befriend a group of bad-ass motorcyclists and ride out to California into the sunset with them. He needs to dress up as a prince and play act with his wife. He needs to smell the fresh cut grass and the frosty snowflakes, make time for a dip in a hot tub or so every night. He needs to get courageous and live in small and big ways! Expecting your wife or even this new woman to help you live your life to the fullest is a cop-out. YOU have to make it happen.
TeenaAugust 22nd, 2016 at 3:00 PM
I love your answer. I wish my husband would have done stuff with me. I was always asking him to do things but I guess he had already left, emotionally.
StopbreakingstartfixingMay 17th, 2017 at 6:33 AM
Catslove you gave the best answer I have read in a long time. This strategy can save many long term relationships and marriages.
MonalisaJune 2nd, 2017 at 5:41 AM
You cannot create chemistry where there is none. My husband left me in early 2016 after 36 years of marriage. It was a brutal blow. But now with some perspective i see…we never had that initial chemistry. .He married me out of some sort of duty to his parents and stayed out of social pressure. We both were responsible for ignoring the truth for all of these years. I have beaten myself up for not being stronger and more independent. He recently married the ‘other woman’ and seems to be genuinely happy. How can I hate that if I say I loved him? I can’t. I am finding my way. I am determined to be okay and not bitter.
fw14bJanuary 29th, 2016 at 7:52 PM
A few initial thank yous. First to goodtherapy,org for making this exchange possible, to Ready to go for allowing some of us to learn something from his dilemma and to Cleopatra for giving us a balanced and reasonable insight into the flip side of all this. I understand and respect some peoples judgements but some I frankly do not share. Judgement is not the purpose of this website in my view and public stoning has been outlawed for a great many years in civilized societies.
I am in a similar position to R2G. 30 years married, teenage kids in my case . I love my wife but I am not in love with her. I think the feeling is mutual although she would not admit to it on her side. We had a discrete physical relationship until we had kids about 22 years ago and since then the physical side has been minimal at best. I have tried to call it a day twice before but the kids made a second and third try the only sensible outcome. There has never been a potential other partner until now. I tried to leave for a third time this christmas but I backed off because the pain I was causing and suffering during the attempted break which was quite honestly unbearable. I do not have a physical relationship with this other person but there is a lot of mutual interest. I have no idea what to do or in which direction to go but sharing with you and hearing most of your views has been very helpful. Thank you.
JulieFebruary 27th, 2016 at 8:16 AM
husband still having an affair
Angeline EMarch 8th, 2016 at 7:16 PM
My 65 year old best friend is leaving his wife of 35 years. I am 12 years his junior. We’ve known each other for 5 years and over the last 6 months our relationship has unexpectedly blown into the most rewarding relationship either of us has ever had. He has made and continues to make hard choices -brave choices-to get to where he needs to be. And is finally is being true to himself after 35 years of living behind a mask – under a rock – his head buried in the sand. By being true to himself, he is allowing his wife to face her own truth, which she, too has been avoiding for years. He is moving on for himself. Not for me. But I do love him. And I am proud of him.
It is not easy or painless for any of us. But such is life. “To thine own self be true.”
tai r.June 26th, 2016 at 7:11 AM
You might say to thine own self be true but what people fail to keep in mind is that you reap what you sow. (Directly or indirectly) sooner or later, believe that! If the shoe were on your foot, I don’t think you’d be so easy to blow this off. A lot of men talk about how unhappy and bored they are but what about the wife??!! You don’t think she gets bored or has ever wanted a man who makes more money or has a nicer car and far more good looking with muscles?? These are very childish and superficial reasons to want a man which is the point I’m making. It doesn’t make sense to go chasing this type of foolishness when you can try to fix what you already have. Women lose their figures, get stretch marks and go through all types of changes to have children for their husbands (Uummm stretch marks she didn’t have before she met him, mind you) so, grow up and think of how you’d feel if you today find out you’ve been replaced for a younger, more beautiful and better educated woman by your so called best friend. If he did it to his wife, you’re next up. You both are going to reap a whirlwind. Mark my words!
Angeline E.June 30th, 2016 at 1:08 PM
Tai R – It sounds like I hit a nerve. I am sorry, that was not my intent. I was just sharing my story. A story that involved no ‘chasing,’ mind you. Like so many marriages that end in divorce after decades of a rocky marriage, their problems surfaced, festered and were basically ignored by BOTH of them (with times of counseling) for years and years. Sometimes you just marry the wrong person and stay for the wrong reasons, no? Yes? By the way, the former wife has moved on with her own on-going romance that apparently was in the works long ago as well. Not knowing all of the details of our circumstances, I find it interesting that a judgement of dark karmic proportions was reached. Blessings, Tai.
JaniceSeptember 28th, 2019 at 12:52 PM
You were hitting more than a nerve!
PinkpantherApril 16th, 2016 at 5:21 PM
So much easier to stay and pretend everything is perfect in a marriage. I know because I have done this for 23yrs. I told my husband on numerous occasions I wasn’t happy. Even then He never made an effort in our marriage. Last year I sat him down and spoke from my heart, how I was feeling, unloved, not respected, not cherished etc but just felt I wa just there to run the house and take and drop our 2 teenagers here there and everywhere. Final straw came 5 mths ago when he erupted (like he normally does, slamming doors, shouting etc) I asked him to move out for a week to give our girls and I space. I was an emotional wreck and asked for longer to get my head right. 5mths later he still is in his mums, House is up for sale. Don’t have a bulls notion on where I’m going to live!!! This was such a hard thing for me to do. I have my emotional, alone days and have realised I don’t know who I am. I was so busy pleasing my husband that I lost my identity, friends and self respect. but 1 things for sure I will find me again. Slowly I’m starting to like myself. I’m a good person and know my self worth which I NEVER got from my husband. I need to show good example to my 2 kids and hopefully by me doing this they in turn will learn to neve allow ANYONE to bully or abuse them either. Believe me it wasn’t from the want of me not trying at our marriage. I through myself at my husband for the last couple of years before I Called it a day and he absolutely confirmed what I knew by NEVER once fighting for me or US. Guess he wanted out too but he hadn’t the balls.
I wish everyone a very happy, long life. Life is precious and it to be lived with regrets. It’s not a sin to fall but a sin to stay down if you do xx
SteveApril 28th, 2016 at 1:24 AM
Selfish decision. 1) You have more in common with you wife you both in same age group 2) Oh you like this woman(20-years younger) coz she hotter/more fun more full of life and all that shallow nonsense. It seems your saying physical attraction is part of dating, no matter how many ways your trying to avoid that point. I doubt you want to leave your wife for a morbidly obese younger unattractive woman with warts and 2rd degree burns on her face and female baldness in her hair, lets get honest here. Of course a younger more attractive woman who sounds charming to is more fun than a middle age woman like your wife(your middle wife). Who wouldn’t think that. But what about words like loyalty to you die, or eternal loyalty for life. Oh and your kids as you basically admit, your not exactly gonna be popular with them. Why have kids if you wanna be selfish, think of there needs and you have done that by not leaving there mother, your wife. It all seems selfish attitude you exhibit by wanting to be with this woman more, and putting time in her is a form of neglect if you don’t think that, then your a mess or just a liar. Your basically saying physically attractive women in there 30’s are desirable to you, more than woman in your age. Are you ashamed to have these feelings, your views are not popular with society if your gonna be honest with yourself. Your neglecting your wife and you know it, stay with her till you die, and abandon this more desirable, more fun and exciting younger woman, and have no more contact with her if you had really high morals, that’s my view. Your not exactly winning family man of the year awards with your thoughts and what ya been doing.
JamesAugust 5th, 2016 at 4:03 PM
For all the people wondering. It’s not that we want the new model. It’s that the old model has become such a b**** after those years they can go complain to their friends and do their own work if it’s that easy. All the naysayers have no idea because they are either happy or are determined to defend marriage. Free will is our gift. Use it.
SteveAugust 9th, 2016 at 9:36 PM
Why don’t you just admit it, some guys just prefer the company of younger women aged 18-40 as opposed to middle aged women, and when there wife hit middle age, they get traded in for a younger sports car so to speak. Oh and “freedom is a gift” you say, so you saying freedom to chase what you truly want, young beautiful women it seems is something some middle-aged men really want. There saying there sex-life is important to them, no matter how many ways they try to put a polite spin on it. As I said before, these middle aged men don’t dump there middle aged has been wives, for morbidly obese young 25-yr old women with 3rd degree burns and warts on here face. Some middle aged should have the guts to admit, physical attraction is impotent to them in dating it makes them feel happy being around a women there physically attracted to as opposed to a women they find ugly or plain. In other words looks are important to many men in dating, there actions prove that, just many men lie or deny or are to wimpy to admit looks are important in dating and there shallow, there to scared to admit that truth. Oh and some say oh there sick of being a prisoner to there middle aged wife and kids. Why bother have them. And many men divorce coz they realise all they want to be is a serial womaniser with younger women, and are not cut out for faithful/commited relationships. Disgrace some of these middle-aged men are, and the selfish behaviour they cause.
Get over itJuly 16th, 2016 at 11:28 PM
All of these adult kids writing in to say how their parents affair devastated them into adulthood … Causing years of psychiatric counseling need to grow up and get over it. Good Lord.
JULESJune 6th, 2017 at 8:21 AM
YES to that! Adult children shouldn’t be involved, or picking sides, or judging. Most of the time the jaded ones, have been steered into ugliness/depression etc by hearing only one side of the story. If dad cheated on mom for example, they think that’s all they need to know. Dad is a screw up, ruined everything, mom is a saint. What they might not consider, and dad probably doesn’t want to tell them, is what mom’s part in the break up was. Maybe she was a cold fish, maybe the relationship lacked energy and passion, and mom was pretty much settled in for the long haul banking on that holy marriage and those “for long as I live” vows, to keep it together. Doesn’t work that way. Adult kids, unless they want to delve into all those deeply personal and icky place in their parents’ relationship and get the full story on mom and dads intimate life, stay out of it, love both your parents (even their flaws because surprise! you have flaws too and relationships aren’t easy) For gods sake toughen up and don’t be a whiny baby about your parent’s divorce. Refuse to let either parent try to convince you the other is “bad”. The deal is, nobody gets through life without some tragedy and there are way worse things than divorce that could happen to you. Mourn the break up and then get over it!
StellaJuly 23rd, 2016 at 9:19 PM
To all of you Men, who have been married for 20, 30 + years and now are in the middle of or considering an affair with a younger woman…. I am that other woman, who is in an affair with a married guy, he is 20 years older than me. Yes, it is possible, I fell in love with him, his personality, his tenderness, need for me, mentorship, guidance – you name it. I am independent, thankfully financially stable, aware of the challenges such relationship could face but willing to do my best to make things work… and so what? This means nothing. He is married, just like the gentleman that opened this forum – torn between two women, very vested into his house, stability of his lifestyle, finds the whole idea of divorce daunting and really is not ready for such major change and possibly will never be ready. This leaves me consistently sad and hurt and waiting for something that probably will never happen. Any reasonable person or therapist would tell me to run away from this immediately and don’t look back. And yet I find it so difficult to walk away. You don’t choose who you fall in love with. So, to all of the pointy, betrayed wives – please, take care of your husbands, talk to them, try to figure out what is wrong, try to fix your relationship before you blame the other woman for being there. And to all of you men that are considering an affair – work on your marriage first please. Talk to your wives, try to figure out what is missing, do more things together, go to the therapist, do whatever it takes to figure out if you can fix your marriage and only once you have proven to yourselves that your marriage is beyond repair – only then look for us, Other women. Because once you tell us – you love us – we believe you…..and then if you start explaining to us that you love two women, and that you don’t know what to do – and you are not ready – you are hurting now two women, instead of one. Do your best and sort those emotions before the affair. Sincerely.
JenSeptember 10th, 2016 at 11:50 AM
The married man i was dating his wife has MS and cant do the things he likes doing so she told him to find someone, when hebdid and she found out she said to end it well we didnt for another month and then wr got caught again, he wad ready to leave her but she had texts messages that wr sent each othet, He broke it off with me and is doing counseling but he says he still cares very much for me and loves me. I believe she is using the text messages against him to keep him there, she called me saying dont worry i will be done with him soon.
I dont know what to do i love this man and feel he wants to be with me.
SteveSeptember 11th, 2016 at 2:01 PM
You Jen and that men are both disloyal and putting your self first, without any shame if your not living up to society’s expectations it puts on you about acceptable behaviour. The man’s wife has MS. And he should be caring for her, not looking out for someone else. If it’s boring bad luck, marriage is boring and conservative that’s how it should be. You stand by your partner in good times and bad, your both a disgrace. You should feel guilty for having an affair. An affair is very unlady like, it’s a every man for himself in this World attitude and selfish. The one being cheated on is the only one who has rights in my view, it’s very disrespectful of you to try and take something away from something else Jen. It’s a competitive attitude every man for himself in the real world, type attitude your displaying. You wouldn’t win a do gooder award anytime soon, and what would the neighbours think? You seem to lack shame and don’t seem to care if your unpopular with society, you have a well they can get stuffed attitude, a very competitive attitude you display to Jen. In my view your a home wrecker, far more people are on the wife with ms side than you or her husband. You know it I know it.
Jung_AdmirerSeptember 19th, 2016 at 6:16 AM
You don’t chose who you fall in love with (?)
Yes you do… You create the opportunity for emotional connection that is based in betrayal.
ChipApril 23rd, 2017 at 6:44 AM
Both the husband and wife are responsible for gaps in a marriage. People in fully satisfying happy marriages don’t look elsewhere. Period. They have no interest or desire. I’ve been involved in both. An unhappy marriage of 18 years that I got out of. And a happy marriage of 11 years now, that is with the love of my life. Sometimes it take a couple of try’s to get it right. Marriage doesn’t have to be a life sentence of misery. Betrayal comes in many forms (losing interest in your partner, too much focus on other things besides the marriage – kids, work, hobbies, religion etc) and If a marriage is struggling, the couple knows something is wrong. They might ignore it and hope it fixes itself. If they don’t want to address tough issues or wait too long, one of them will likely fill the hole with somebody (or something) else. That’s just how we are wired. Betrayals to each other usually happen repeatedly in a whole bunch of ways long before the final betrayal of infidelity happens. I wish more people considered that and took mutual responsibility for creating an opening.
JMay 3rd, 2017 at 9:17 PM
I couldn’t agree more! My ex husband was telling me how much he loved me on a trip to Cancun the hole time he was texting the other,woman how much he loved her. End one relationship before you start another!
Angeline ESeptember 13th, 2016 at 3:46 AM
Wow, Steve. “Marriage is boring and conservative.” Really? REALLY? Oh, and here’s another: “An affair is very unlady like.” Ummmmm, ok. :/
SteveSeptember 13th, 2016 at 8:22 AM
Well Angeline, it’s common that most marriages are built on conservative and traditional values. are you saying you swing or something like that? How wonderful if you do. Often marriage is boring, but good people can deal with being traditional and conservative. Clearly some of the live-rats and middle-aged men and dirty old men it seems who have commented here, find marriage to a middle-aged woman(there own age) boring, so they chas younger women old enough to be there adult daughters, it’s shameful a disgrace. Do you support cheating husbands who chase younger women to be happy, do you support the young nanny home wrecker who has affairs with older men, does the nanny have rights according to you? I only care about the dear dear old wives who have been messed about by there old husbands who want a divorce and chase younger women, or stay in the marriage and cheat(citing rubbish like they are unhappy with there wife which is why they cheat “mysteriously with younger women” not women there own age funny that, or they cheat but stay in the marriage not to upset the wife or there children). Sorry Angeline the only people with rights are the dear dear wife who has been cheated on the children simple. And the cheating husband should forget about being happy sexually(funny how that has to happen with stunning beautiful young women to be satisfied). The husband should never of got marriage or had children if he didn’t respect the sanctity of marriage.
JenNovember 6th, 2016 at 4:53 AM
Steve i am not a younger women i am older than he is and she has given him permission to see me. she now wants to talk to me because she wants to know the women who is making her husband happy. I do not consider myself a home wrecker when she agreed to him having a companion
SteveNovember 6th, 2016 at 10:46 PM
Despite all that you should walk away and only strictly be with single-men, do not participate in open-relationships, I’m sure it still hurts her even though she now has given him permission. Maybe she’s onyl staying in the marriage due to financial vulnerability. It’s not fair what your doing, if you had any decency you’d go off and find hapiness with a “pure single man”, instead of a guy leaving his wife for you or participating in open-relationship. Stuff your right to hapiness in this situation, it’s only the wife of the man who your now haveing sexual relations/or romantic relations with that I care about. You and her man(not yours) have no rights here. The fact she can’t please him anymore, and he’s not pretending about that and going off and looking for sexual adventures and your a willing participant doesn’t hold you in high moral regard or purity. Oh but it’s not an ideal world and get over it right? If you had any high moral ground, you would chase a totally single-man and stop being the 3rd wheel, that’s how you should live your life.
RISSeptember 29th, 2016 at 4:57 PM
Dear Man that’s ready to leave wife, I really believe you are doing the biggest mistake in your life if you leave your wife for a younger woman or any other age. After all the years that she dedicated to you, you’re leaving her. Nobody deserves to be betrayed or cheated. Go ahead make her a favor so she won’t have to suffer. Betrayal hurts so much like you would not imagine. My husband is having an affair right now he wants to leave me. I told well leave , do it if you want to but there’s no coming back. Only 1% of people that leave thier marriages make . Either partner cheats again and they are left alone. I could guarantee you that she will leave you as soon as the fire dies. You will be looking for another one. Imagine how many partners are you going to have. My husband has had a lot partners. The Worst thing is that I don’t want to be with him anymore. He can leave the sooner the better. I gave him my 34 years of my life his leaving me for a younger slutty girl. I really don’t care I want for him to leave and learn his lesson the hard way. All my marriage he treated me so bad and abused me in all ways. I think that by him leaving me it will be a big relief for me. When we have been through so much we don’t care anymore. I bet your wife also wants the same thing. Your sons and friends will hate you . Everything is going to change you will never be accepted in her family house and that’s how it goes. I highly recommend for you to leave your wife so she can be happy and she can see you miserable cause that’s what you deserve for not being man enough in keeping your family together. Go on run be happy with that slurry employee.
SteveSeptember 30th, 2016 at 2:28 AM
Sorry to hear about your bad husband. You wish men like this had a crystal ball when they married you and admitted they were womanisers, who liked younger women, so when you got married he would be upfront that at 40, you would break up so at least you knew who he was or what you were getting into, and then you wouldn’t have to of wasted your life married to this love rat piece of garbage, who has no interest in “monogamy” and prefers women under-40, he’s been nothing but an abusive time-waster to you it seems. I hope you can leave him soon, and he can go off and be a love-rat, but not on your watch or under your roof. It’s humiliating and I’m sorry you have had to put up with this shallow no-good husband of your who has a thing for young beautiful women, he’s a love rat and a cheater. This man seems almost as bad I only have sympathy for his poor wife who has had to suffer with all this behind his back.
ChipApril 23rd, 2017 at 6:26 AM
Steve I get the feeling you may be somebody who has been deserted by your husband to a younger more beautiful woman? You carry an unusual amount of bitterness about the topic, and bias toward poor middle aged women who get left behind. I don’t see your own story anywhere in this feed. Whoever you are, you know that attraction matters right? It’s usually the first thing that draws two people together. Thats not shallow it’s human nature. Unfortunately some people, both men and women, get into married life and let themselves go. They overeat, stop exercising, get fat, or lazy, they stop caring about how they look, stop enjoying things, they don’t feel sexy so they don’t want sex, or they still want sex but they are unpleasant to be with or they turn into a church lady, a super mom, a super dad or workaholic and neglect their married life. I think part of being a good partner is to have enough self respect and love for your partner to do what it takes to remain healthy and attractive as you can (while aging gracefully) along the way and connected to your love/husband/wife.That doesn’t mean you have to look amazing everyday, but once in a while try to remind your partner of that person they first fell in love with. Get out of kid mode and responsible mode and be playful, stay youthful at heart no matter your age. Have fun. Care. Stay feeling sexy and in love. Steve, this is really what most people want, they want to be loved and understood deeply and intimately and that includes sex. These are the attitudes that generally keep couples close to each other. When that is no longer happening in the marriage, the fun is gone, the attraction is gone, it’s human nature to seek it out somewhere else (perhaps sub-consciously). This idea you keep spouting about rat men chasing women, just wanting younger more beautiful women, these selfish shallow no-good cheaters – aren’t all that common. Most people want strong loving relationships. Sorry yours probably was one of the bad ones. You likely played a role in it too and need to take responsibility for that. i’m sorry you are hurting, but don’t assume everybody’s situation on here is like yours. There are some really great people that find themselves in unhappy lifeless marriages and need real stories about how to cope with that. What’s yours?
CharlesbSeptember 30th, 2016 at 9:31 AM
I want to reply to Jung’s reply to me, regarding my comment that I am in love with my wife and in love (much more so) with another woman. I noted the love is not just a whim, or sex, or what have you. We are deeply in love for real, so much so that we cannot imagine life without one another. However, here is my current comment: Jung, you are ABSOLUTELY correct when you say I should never have stepped over the boundary to begin with. Guilty as charged. I am NOT a horrible human being. I am a good human being who did a very irresponsible and selfish thing, for the first time in my marriage (and the last). It has been mental and emotional hell. I have endured it for love, but am now ending it. Sorry if you don’t agree, but ending it is very painful to me. Very. Nonetheless, it is the right thing to do. I can no longer bear the horrible dark cloud, the weight of my sin against my wife. It is too much. I cannot look myself in the mirror and I am deeply sorry. Deeply. My advice to men AND women (primarily men). It is NOT worth it. If you are a good person with a conscience, take it from me: Yes, it will be enjoyable for a time. Even if it is not sex, but true, honest to God, sincere love (as in my case, the “I don’t want to live without you” love) you MUST do the right thing for your wife, regardless of her faults, which might be very real. Somebody else’s failings have nothing to do with our doing the right, decent, loyal thing. It has been bittersweet – the best and worst time in my entire life. Eventually the “worst” won out. Take it from experience me…don’t do it. The trick – the longer you pursue a relationship the harder and harder it gets to break it off. So, initially, when you like being with somebody and they are attractive to you, and you are enjoying their attention, RUN. Stop it dead cold in it’s tracks. Do not flirt for one more minute. Be nice but, if necessary, be blunt with the person or stop associating with them even. You want to let that feeling sizzle out before it blossoms into love. Then, it is a dark cave that will suck you in and you will feel like you don’t know the way out. In my case, this woman will grow old, alone having fantasized about spending the rest of her life with me, only for me to renege and let her down. That makes me even more of a dirt bag and I have to carry THAT the rest of my life. So, I am hurting two people and, contrary to the comments here, I am not a bad person at heart. I was a victim of my own loving nature, but I am now beyond being a victim. It is MY responsibility to walk out of that cave and hope these people and God show mercy on me for my cruelty. Gents, don’t rationalize like she and I did, but end it now. You will be happier in the long run. Also, this may be controversial, but my wife has never found out for this 1 1/2 years, and I am not going to tell her. I see nothing productive that will come out of that. Ignorant is bliss, especially since I appreciate her 10 times more and have absolutely zero interest in ever pursuing an illicit relationship again. So, why hurt her.
ReneeOctober 23rd, 2016 at 7:38 PM
First to Charles, about 15 years ago I was in a similar situation as you. I was 36 then and in love with a much older man who had been faithfully married for over 30 years. We were dear friends for many years doing volunteer work together before we realized somewhere along the line we’d fallen in love and said it out loud. There was nothing flimsy about either of us or our feelings. It was real and sincere. Sometimes, as hard as it is for some (readers like Steve and betrayed wives) to believe, love can happen by surprise even to good people. I was utterly unprepared for it. I’ve since learned there may be underlying unresolved issues in ours lives and relationships that can make us more vulnerable to love outside in our marriages, but those things aren’t easy to see when your heart is captured. My unresolved issue turned out to be grief. I lost my mother to a brutal battle with cancer at a young age, and made a rushed decision to marry the wrong man when I was hurting and longing for stability after her death. It took finding the right person for me to realize I’d married the wrong one. Some will say there is no way that a man 20+ years older than me, both married, could possibly be the right love. In that moment, it was. If it had been shallow and meaningless, it would have been much less painful. After a roller coaster year of emotional highs and lows and a double life that became unbearable, decisions needed to be made. We didn’t want to hurt anyone and knew we would be judged severely by all who knew and loved us, and misunderstood if we chose to move forward together. There was also a hurt wife and religious guilt adding to the pressure. We both consulted therapists and close friends, they gave us the same predictable arguments I’ve read here (infatuation, not real love, attention seeking, won’t last, age difference, 2nd marriage fail rate, honeymoon phase, not real life, just about sex, on and on). It stressed me out that none of these things were true about us, they didn’t know me or the depth of my love and loyalty to this man. My moment of truth though, came when I realized that the constant judgement and lack of understanding would be our reality no matter how we felt and it might get in the way of accomplishing important things we both wanted to do with our lives, including supporting our families. We ended the relationship, that was by then a decade long friendship. It was deeply painful. It took me a long time to learn from it and heal. I learned that we all have a great capacity to love many people in many different ways and once in a while (if we are lucky) we find a person that understands us in a way that changes everything. I ended up seeking a divorce and while it was a really hard decision that impacted my kids and family, it was a great relief to end a bad marriage and start again.
To Steve, not all men who find themselves loving two women are selfish womanizers and not all women who find themselves in love with a married man are ruthless home wreckers – each situation and person is unique and can’t be put in a box. Curiously, I’m trying to figure out why you would seek out this conversation/subject matter to begin with – only to weigh in from a moral high ground. Strange.
JamieOctober 11th, 2018 at 10:32 AM
I do believe it’s possible to have romantic feelings and emotions for more than one person. When I married my husband I promised all of my romantic energy to him-emotionally as well as physically. In order to keep this promise, I’m consciously aware of how I relate to and interact with other men. Because emotional bonding doesn’t just happen from thin air, it’s cultivated when we drop our boundaries. It sounds to me that your married friend dropped the ball with you as he spent time with you during volunteer work. He didn’t set proper boundaries in how he related to you and interacted with you. And, as a result, he was caught off guard with a rogue desire.
CandiceNovember 25th, 2018 at 6:46 PM
Weighing in as retired therapist of 22 years, I began every affair conversation with what I know for sure: affairs are never simple, no two affairs are alike, and no couple is immune. Married couples almost universally start off in love and with a sincere desire to remain faithful. They obviously understand boundaries, yet a high percentage of them will eventually cross the line. These are good people, our neighbors, friends, leaders, congregants, teachers, family members and perhaps the person that you married. “How could a good person do this?” Infidelity has nothing to do with being a good person or bad person. The difference I’ve observed is, good people can and do cross the line, happy people (in their relationships) typically do not. I’ve counseled couples affected by infidelity in every walk of life and the biggest contributing factor I’ve seen is that people change. We humans are constantly evolving, in our home life, careers, interests, hobbies, opinions and beliefs in countless ways all throughout our married life. Some couples grow toward each other, others grow apart. Change is natural and by no means automatically leads to an affair, however marriages are at greater risk when a couple loses sight of each other. Or if bad habits like alcoholism, abuse, or fanatical behavior throw imbalance into the relationship. The common question “Why didn’t you tell me you were unhappy?” The reality is, change happened so gradually, in some cases over decades, it went unnoticed. Rarely does someone deliberately seek an affair. It sneaks up on them, they unexpectedly meet someone with common interests, an attraction forms and suddenly they feel alive, understood and in love. People say “It’s a midlife crisis, it’s not real love and it’s not sustainable in real life”. The truth is, we have no idea. We do know that long term affairs lasting a year or more, where deep emotional & physical bonds are formed is very real and makes marriage recovery much more difficult and painful. When discovery day happens (and it always does) it’s a bad day for everyone. Details are revealed, there is anger, guilt, humiliation, shock, grief, uncertainty about the future and a whole host of emotions happening all at once. The most difficult and critical action, even in the midst of all the heartbreak and confusion, is for the married couple to a full disclosure conversation about the affair relationship immediately. This is vital to begin the healing process whether they end up staying together or not. I recommend a counselor to facilitate. If the marriage has a religious component, a good counselor will resist allowing religious guilt, shame, or fear to be used as a weapon in either direction. Real healing cannot happen if either partner is held emotionally hostage or feels doomed to a lifetime of shame. Just as a couple can survive an affair with the right amount of work, they can also survive a divorce. Both partners need to be assured that personal redemption and healing are possible no matter what decisions are made. I began my comments saying no two affairs are alike, and the same is true of affair endings. I’ve seen marriages survive infidelity and become better than ever, I’ve seen marriages end in necessary divorces, and I’ve seen affair partners marry and live happily ever after. Remarkably, people heal.
TroyMarch 10th, 2019 at 12:46 PM
That’s nice and tidy. Pretty much what all of us who have lost our partner want to believe, isn’t it? They just had a momentary lapse, temporarily lost sight of promises, a rogue desire made them forget all about their commitment to us. Probably not. The truth nobody wants to talk about is we get outgrown sometimes. My wife found somebody more suited for her than me, it’s a fact, she is still with him 8 1/2 years later. It took me 6 years of therapy to recognize (and believe) that my wife had a right to move on and be happy. Nobody who is struggling with this very real trauma needs to hear over simplified naive advice that suggests we have control over another persons love. We do not. Or that love can’t chsnge. It can. I didn’t do anything wrong and neither did she. I learned I was not as evolved as she was in some areas that were important to her, and I wasn’t going to be able to fill that void.. She needed something different and accidentally found it (if thats ever an accident). Do I like seeing my ex wife loving life? I can honestly say that today I do. I felt like a miserable failure at first, it took time to move on but yeah eventually I was able to be grateful for the 16 years we learned from each other that prepared us the next phases in our lives. I remarried 2 years ago and now our girls have 2 sets of loving parents. Failure in my opinion would have been to lie to myself & force it her to stay. But if you know like I did, that your partner wants to go (deep down you can feel it) but are only staying out of pity for you or obligation & you let them do that? Now you gotta look your sorry self in the mirror because that kind of self loathing & denial will eat you alive. Thats is failure. I wasn’t going to be that guy. The golden nugget: I love my ex wife and love is unselfish. GL all. Troy
Love LearnerOctober 24th, 2016 at 1:12 PM
As a woman I want to applaud you for sharing your story from a smart and sensible point of view. Often there is so much hostility and emotion around this subject from outsiders perspective, anger, shaming and name calling and that makes it really hard for people like “ready to go” to just come out and being honest. He gets slammed. You seem to approach this assuming that most people are good. I believe that too. People don’t generally set out to hurt others or their spouses and can definitely get caught off guard by love.You recognized your flaw and learned from it which is all anybody can ask for and you stepped back to spare the marriage of the man you clearly loved. That was an act of love in itself toward him and that says a lot about you and your genuine love for him. I found myself in a situation like yours not that long ago, there wasn’t the age difference but I fell in love with a friend too and we became lovers. You didn’t say so but for me the hardest part when we just couldn’t take the hiding anymore and ended things (I decided to stay with my husband for our kids but I admit there are still many days I question that decision fearing that I let go of my once in a lifetime) I hated that I lost my best friend and lover, a double whammy.That sucked so bad. So so bad. We stay in touch a little bit, but it’s not the same it’s strained because I think we both miss each other and still wish in some way we could run to each other. Thats when I regret falling in love with him and ruining the freindship but i make myself get real and accept that we were probably doomed from the start and headed for love, just by meeting because we we shared the same energy. I hated what it did to his wife, I really did.When she found out about us she tried to be what she thought he wanted to save the marriage. Sad that it goes like that it’s not fair to her. He told me he appreciated the effort but knew it wasn’t authentic. still she was trying and was a good person too in a crappy situation. I know he loved her. It’s just that the love changed when a different love entered his life. It just sucks all the way around, and nobody involved is ever the same again. I read an article recently by a therapist that talked about marriage and it’s failure is partly due to our health and longevity. When the institution of marriage was created and worked we were only vowing ourselves to another for about 20-30 years tops. Now if you live a long healthy life you may have to be with the same person for 60 or more years! That is an unrealistic promise to make in your twenties when you know the least about love. I think about how much I’ve changed even in the last 6 years since my affair. My views on a lot of things has changed, like my social views on things like homosexuality and my religious views have softened. I wish we (society)could be more honest about marriage too and let go of some of the failing traditions we still encourage. What if we don’t grow in the same direction as our spouse and one is happy and one is not or if it’s just time to move on.Not because anybody did anything wrong its just time.Society still gets really hot and bent out of shape as we see on comments here. Some people seem to feel entitled to faithfulness because of a contract that was signed 32 years ago, even if priorities change and people change,without any effort to keep it alive.This particular article talked about revamping our marriage contracts to include check points along the way, connections and honest conversations to keep a marriage thriving and ways to avoid nasty divorces and exit affairs.That was off topic but was interesting to think about especially about my kids eventually tying the knot down the road.Luckily young adults are waiting almost a decade longer now, smart. As far as Ready to go situation, I’m in the minority here but I would encourage him to go for it. I wasn’t ready when I was faced with that decision. I still had little kids though and he is at a stage where maybe its now or never. Good luck. Thank you again Renee for your contribution to this discussion and being positive.
Angeline EAugust 20th, 2017 at 6:42 PM
Beautifully said. Thank you for posting.
JenNovember 7th, 2016 at 10:36 AM
This wife wants to meet me to get to know me better what do you think thats all about. My morals are right were they should be and i never asked him to leave his wife. Her ms is not getting better and maybe she wants to get to know the women her husband will be with.
RandyDecember 26th, 2016 at 9:39 AM
Married man here, 53 years of age, 25 years into this marriage. I will say this, in my point of view there is cheating and there is the sphere of “unfaithful”. In my eyes my wife has been unfaithful to me as her husband for well over 15 years now. I feel this way as she put 110% of her efforts into raising our kids and totally abandoned being a wife to me. This is in every way imaginable, sexual, emotional, and psychological. I like the original author here envision my future happiness as being dependent on my ability to break free of this indentured servitude for which I find myself.
So yes, this man’s friendship might be having an effect on his marriage, but for my money has their marriage stayed healthy there would be no room for such a friendship.
Unfaithful is also described as disloyal, treacherous, or insincere. There exist many ways for men and women to be unfaithful without touching another human being. Pain is pain, despair is despair……lost is lost for whatever reasons. Make yourself happy if you can because you get no “do overs”.
WilliamJanuary 1st, 2017 at 12:30 PM
I came across this discussion board after reaching out for some clarity. I am riddled with guilt over the idea of leaving my wife. I am a 50 year old man who has been married 25 years. I feel it is time to leave, but I riddled with guilt. We have two teenage sons. One is in University and the other is 16. There is no ‘other woman’ in my life. Many years ago I had a very brief relationship with a woman and we both decided to end it quickly because we recognised that while we were both unhappy in our marriages, the results of our affair would be hurtful to our spouses and was not appropriate.
Looking back at my marriage I totally realize that I have made a mistake. I married my wife even though I had reservations. She was a strong willed woman who had a fun side, but who also could be quite critical. She often speaks down to people and puts me in my place if I have done something wrong. I can’t count the number of times I wanted to apologize to stores or service people for the way she treated them. I hoped things would change, but they have not. Everything is ‘worst case’ scenario for her, and while our home has happy moments when the kids are all home, it is often filled with negativity. Friends talk about how she is intense at times, and that I am laid back and positive.
I always thought it was just me. That I was making too much of it, and that others would say I was over reacting. When my children started speaking out, saying that they didn’t like how she spoke to me, I realized that I was not the only one who noticed it.
I have debated leaving several times. Each time I stopped myself. I felt that my happiness should not come at the expense of someone else’s….and that I chose to enter this marriage knowing the type of person she is. I know she will be devastated if I leave. She often talks about how I do so much for everyone and that I am the only one who knows how everything works around the house. She will tell friends that I am great, and that I do so much for the family, but then she will talk down to me at home and make me feel 2 inches tall. I don’t feel as if I can relax in my own home. I am always thinking “What should I be doing to help out so she won’t be frustrated?”.
I want to be clear. I do not hate my wife. We have shared 25 years together….and have many great memories…. But I do not love her. I have no romantic feelings towards her what so ever. She stays up quite late in the living room watching TV while I go to bed alone. We are rarely awake in bed at the same time. We have had sex twice this year. It is certainly not ‘making love’. I feel along in my home.
I have asked her to walk with me at night….and she will not. I have purchased dancing lessons…but she would not go.
I had a gut-wrench moment a few months ago when a coworker opened up about his divorce and said he asked himself one key question. “Do I want my kids growing up thinking that THIS is a healthy relationship?”. I remember feeling as if I had been punched in the stomach. I started thinking about the message I am giving my kids by staying. But then I am also riddled with guilt about causing upheaval.
Am I wrong to carry so much guilt?
Angeline EJanuary 2nd, 2017 at 1:31 PM
Carrying guilt is a choice. Happiness is a choice.
SufferringptsdMarch 3rd, 2017 at 1:13 AM
William just described my life exactly. I am at the point where I just want to get away from my wifes anger, belittling behavior, and lack of desire to be with me any longer. Frankly most women posters here have no idea what it like when your wife goes through menopause. The behavioral changes destroy relationships, between spouses, and with the children. After 5 years of this I know I am exhibiting ptsd. I know I probably have another 15-20 good years left and I want to spend it in peace with a good women who is like minded and loves me.
ShippyMarch 23rd, 2017 at 2:37 PM
I am in the same position as William, torn in mind, struggling with guilt and possible disapproval of my grown daughters though the daughters have said they support me. I am a soft and loving person with a big heart and my wife plays me like a fiddle. When I tell her I am very unhappy and really wish to leave, she plays her trump card and threatens never to speak with my daughters, will not leave them a penny (she is loaded but very cheap). I feel horribly threatened, my BP shoots up, (I am a senior citizen) and I know this stress is terrible for me, but I also wonder where I will go. I am talking with a woman on the internet but we have not met and I have no idea how it would go after or if we meet. Reading these blogs I see there are two camps : the first camp advocates we stay with out wives no matter what the abuse as we signed on for life, and the second group is saying that we have a right to our own happiness. I of course lean to the second group. So who is right ? In the end I am back to square one !
Dr. Lisa VallejosMarch 27th, 2017 at 8:43 AM
Hi William: Guilt is a common response when making big life choices. It should not be the only thing keeping you there. Make a list of pro’s to staying married and con’s to staying married–that may help you get some clarity.
Angeline EJanuary 2nd, 2017 at 1:28 PM
MAKING YOURSELF HAPPY IS NOT BEING SELFISH. PERIOD — if you handle the situation with as much grace and love as possible. Stop beating yourselves up. You have only ONE LIFE. You are not a tree. You are not stuck in one place for ever and ever unless you want to be. NO ONE is responsible for someone else’s happiness! And just because two people don’t spend their entire lives together does not mean their relationship was a failure.
My situation is an example of how it CAN work. Happy New Year!
Francisco LJanuary 5th, 2017 at 11:30 AM
I just turned 30 and been married for 4 years ..and im deciding whether to leave we have two children 11 & 6 i dont know what to do there is to much to explain but my happiness is more important..however how about the kids ….im lost
HOLLYJanuary 6th, 2017 at 3:18 PM
I’m moved by your story and your unselfish love. It must have been very hard to walk away from the man you loved so dearly. I had a brief crush and relationship with a co-worker 10 years ago. It was a short thing we both knew would end, but I do believe I loved him too at the time. Strangely, I still think about him all the time actually. I don’t know if it’s love or guilt that I can’t let go of. I can only imagine how hard it must be for you, to have believed you found your true love and to move on. How did you do it? Do you still love him? Did divorce help you? I would like to know there is hope for me too. Please advice. Thank you.
PeterJanuary 14th, 2017 at 8:14 PM
It is the night before I drop a bombshell on my wife of 20 years. Tomorrow I will tell her that I want a divorce because I met a woman on the Internet who I want to marry. The woman is in another country — I would have to apply to bring her to the US. My wife and I have two kids, 15 and 18. My wife knows I am friends with this woman but has no idea I am in love with her.
I feel horrible and racked with guilt. My wife is a kind woman who has always loved me. I married her because she loved me and because my father told me to marry her (because she was so much more together than all my previous girlfriends). I never really loved her, although I liked her just fine. We have had sex 10 times in 15 years and not at all the last two. Six years ago we separated for a year at my insistence (there was no other woman then) but got back together to try again. We live as roommates — no physical intimacy and very little emotional closeness. She is the only sexual partner I have ever had in my life. Every time we have had sex, I have imagined having sex with an imaginary woman, so I could maintain my erection. (Every time.)
I feel very, very close to the woman I met online and am in love with.
I spoke with my brother today about this. He is worried about the effect on the kids, and also worried the other woman will never get admitted to the US and I’ll be left alone.
Also the money will be very tight — I haven’t crunched all the numbers and honestly I don’t know if they add up. I’m not 100% certain how we’ll afford to send my kids to college and run two households.
This thread has both consoled and troubled me. I feel deeply the pain of the rejected women. I hate to reject my kind wife. But should she really be married to a man who is falling in love with other women?
I wish for her that she could be with a man who truly loves her. I really do. But I’m not that man.
NotfoollingmeMarch 6th, 2017 at 1:36 PM
Why do men act like we wives dont like sex? maybe it’s just sex with YOU she doesn t want..make an effort to turn her on for crap sake. AS for your asian bride..good luck with that once she gets to the states and changes, and is around young studmuffins.
CougarsMarch 6th, 2017 at 4:25 PM
I agree with Notfoolingme. Maybe you need to spend your energy on how to make yourself attractive to your wife instead of complaining about her. it sounds like she is a kind woman. i have know a lot of men in my area who had married younger women from Asia specifically China. Most of them ended up getting divorced from these women after they obtained their green card status. I am not saying that all these women are the same but who knows what they would do once they get in the country.
PeterMarch 11th, 2018 at 5:50 AM
Following up on my Jan 2017 post:
Everything is working out as I had imagined with my new wife. She is the salt of the earth and a joy to be with. Sex was a challenge at first because we are both so inexperienced (she was a virgin & I had only had 1 partner, who was very experienced & who I relied on more than I realized), but now we’re having a blast.
Two respondents said (in effect) Hey, you should work on getting your (first) wife excited about sex. Um.. you misunderstand. My first wife was more willing to have sex with me than I was willing to have sex with her. Never in our relationship did I look forward to sex with her — sex was either something I did because I knew it made her happy, or something I did when we were purposefully trying to conceive. I was a virgin when we married, while she had had a number of partners. I just thought, huh, I must just be the kind of person that doesn’t like sex with other people (I had masturbated plenty). What I didn’t realize was: I married a partner I had no sexual interest in, but I could have married a partner I had lots of sexual interest in (as I now have).
If two people are in a long, effectively sexless marriage, which also has little to no emotional intimacy, can we have some sympathy for the partner who stumbles across a much more suitable companion who opens up entirely new dimensions of existence?
My ex is coping. We’ve had several sessions with one of our former marriage counselors, and my ex told me she has released a lot of anger she had toward me, though she still wished I didn’t do what I did. We’re able to work together more or less amicably to take care of our teenagers.
PeterFebruary 28th, 2019 at 2:41 AM
An update to my Jan 14 2017 post: I divorced my wife and married the woman I had fallen in love with.
For me this has turned out very, very well: the woman I married is the salt of the earth. I’m happier than I ever imagined I could be, after years of depression.
My ex-wife took it harder than I expected – my impression in the last decade of my first marriage was that we were both just tolerating each other & had resigned ourselves to accepting life had dealt us a terrible hand & we would just live out a bleak, emotionally desolate existence. Turned it out she cared more for me than she was ever telling or showing me that she did.
Some of of our children took it well and some of our children have struggled more. My first wife and I had separated before, so it wasn’t a total shock.
All in all, I am 100% confident I made the right choice, although I do certainly wish I had gone about things a bit differently (especially, hard as it would have been, I think now that I should have told my ex-wife about my new relationship as soon as it had become serious; I don’t think the outcome would have changed.)
Every life is different, every situation is different. A good choice in my situation may or may not be a good choice in yours. May God bless and lead us all.
HAAugust 12th, 2019 at 8:47 AM
Hello, I’ll like to know more about your case, as I’m in a situation and you are of the few that that’re still active here.
Billy EFebruary 9th, 2017 at 7:02 AM
I can certainly understand a husband being driven to unfaithfulness because he’s been sexually neglected completely and has a wife that will not talk about it at all or seek any type of advise to re-mediate it from anyone.
Lynn GFebruary 14th, 2017 at 11:27 PM
I hope you have not left your wife. I was married 30 years to my husband. Over the years he wanted a divorce off and on. I am a beautiful woman tho the years have left me older. I am 62. Most say I am a 50 yrl old beautiful woman. The point I am trying to make is……make it work with the spouse you are with. The problems you have will follow you whereever you go. I loved my husband tho he was horrible to me sometimes and I granted him a divorce after 30 years. After him marrying a highschool girlfriend and having 10 years of hell, we are remarried as of 2016. I wanted him to be happy told him nobody would love him as much as i did. He and I are together again tho I swore I would never go there again and we are so happy. I wil always love him is spite of what he did and no one will ever love him as much as I.
Chan EFebruary 25th, 2017 at 6:13 PM
I’m 22 years old. Young woman just looking for a new job to start my life and I have this job coach who is 62 years old, has been divorce and lives alone. He picks me up when I need to go to an interview. When we go to lunch he pays for my food and he has been asking a lot of questions about myself and my family. Soon he made me feel uncomfortable when he asked me if I was going to miss him and that he lived 40 minutes from my home. The last time I talked to him he told me, That’s my girl. I was mad that I told my family. I feel like that he’s trying to fall in love again. I want to punch him in the face. This man is strange to me and I just want to hear from some people to know what they think.
CougarMarch 1st, 2017 at 4:18 PM
I would Stay away from this man. does not sound normal to me.
MarcMarch 23rd, 2017 at 7:57 AM
I will quote you an article from Samuel Goodman sorry for the blunt message :You float through life in a way that others can’t even imagine. Everyone is so darn nice to you. We are nice because we want to f*ck you. That is the only reason. But you think that people are genuinely nice, that the world is nice. The guy at the Abercrombie store was so patient and helpful. He wanted to bang you in the dressing room. The 50 year old man at the DMV who failed you on your driver’s test was so sorry about it, apologizing in the kindest manner. He couldn’t pass you, but he so wanted you to suck his civil servant c*ck. This is how it goes. You believe you have earned your received kindness based on hard work and character. That is incorrect. It is only by virtue of the body you inhabit.
See I shared this with you to make you understand that the men you are referring to is only human , you are young and attractive to him how don’t you see that its funny , he is 62 but in his head he does not see it , you shown attention to him and he will take this as an opening to at least take a shot at happiness even if only for a moment. You getting in his car is stupid you should never Ever do this .. Now he pays for your food ? why should he ? be independent and don’t accept anything from him to avoid sending him signs and remember that for him you are like a Piece of Cake for an Obese on a diet!! If you are not into older men well don’t go to lunches with them alone its simple.
MarcMarch 23rd, 2017 at 7:21 AM
after 32 years and now being unhappy is there another choice than to leave? Happiness is key in life and if I am not Happy my wife is not she is better of without me , sick of making her sad and I am sick to my stomach of not living , I am 52 and I see a lot of people getting sick and passing and that have never lived.. am I a coward if I leave?
ChuckMarch 28th, 2017 at 9:24 AM
That’s kind of the way I feel right now.
GraceMay 6th, 2017 at 8:55 PM
You are not a coward if you leave. “Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.” – Ann Landers
ChuckMarch 28th, 2017 at 9:22 AM
I have been married 40 plus years, married at 17 she was 19. I don’t really know why I wanted to get married except she was beautiful and I had never had someone take interest in me like she did but only to find out the reason she wanted to get married was to get out from under her mothers strong hand. I did have an afire after the first 10 years had a once meeting with a girl I was going to school with after the first year of marriage. After 3 kids and several grand kids in my late fifties I had another one that started out as an emotional afire but went on deeper after awhile. I have been in and out of therapy over the years and yes I guess I do feel something within me missing. My wife in what I know has stayed faithful to me and for the life of me I don’t understand why. I do care very much for her but I can’t say I’ve every truly been in love with her. I have come to love her as a family member. I know this may not fit the story you just read but I to fight with staying or going for some reason. The only thing I can really understand is I am missing something inside and no one but me can find that. My happiness, joy or what every you want to place on here has to come from within me. I do know she said it would have been easier on her if I had of died rather than cheating and getting a divorce. All I can say is jumping into marriage and that trying to keep it together with kid or anything else isn’t the answer.
EvevilleApril 21st, 2017 at 10:18 PM
I don’t know what to say to all of you. At my age, i can be your daughter, younger sister or best friend. As the younger generation, is this the future? Reading all the above makes me cringe & afraid to trust men. I’m starting to look at my husband differently and these questions are starting to nag me: i’m not trying to criticize anyone but this is how i may feel someday. Guys, reasons why you should love your wives for better or worst. After hearing all the above….
If my husband tells me so easily after 25 or so years of marriage “i don’t love you anymore”. I can only imagine… Should I thank him for giving me a chance to show him how much i love him or ending my misery? If i’m in the same boat as the other wives & experienced what they go through, i will probably saying this to my husband, because of love!
1. I try my best to make a home for you, cooking, cleaning, etc. so you feel welcomed & loved.
2. I get a job to help your status as a provider to be financially stable so you can enjoy the fruits of labor. we have a great time traveling, dining out at great restaurants, camping, fishing, etc.
3. I endured hours of pain without epidural to deliver healthy babies so you have an heirs to carry on your so called love to me & pass down that kind of love. i guess i got the wrong person to be the idol or role model for them
4. I became not only your lover, friend, bookkeeper & housekeeper over the years but also a mother, teacher to the kids, community worker (volunteering at school when needed, that is aside from my regular work at the office) so you can concentrate being a dad & husband to us.
5. when you are tired or stressed, i become your friend & counselor as well as your masseuse even when i am already tired from all the activity during the day taking care of the household.
6. As your lover, i try to fulfill your fantasies but i’m not a s**t when you met me & because you made me think that you are a good lover and that you could teach me. However, trying to be a good wife & not wanting to hurt your ego or pride… i couldn’t tell you that you are not that great in bed either. I still try to accomodate you even though i’m dead tired or going through hormonal changes, menopause, mid life crises, etc. I put up a happy or an ok face so you don’t worry too much. You know what, i was not satisfied over the years
7. I try to be pretty for you but i can’t spent my time in the mirror for 3 hours because i need to make sure that you’re the one who looks great when you step out of the house so others can admire & envy you how you are being taken care of, i also need to prepare for work, get the kids ready for school, drop/pick up school.
8. When your parents comes over, i show them respect & give them love. I’m even prepared to take care of them if they become senile, disabled for you.
9. I was prepared to care for you for the rest of your life even if no one wants you anymore. Doesn’t matter if you get cancer, bed ridden or have a bulging belly, in my eyes… you are still handsome as ever. I guess, we are not in the same wavelength when it comes to the definition of love.
10. I’m your secretary all year long. Reminding you of everyone’s birthdays, your doctor appts, etc
I think i said enough. I probably need to save this and show it to my husband someday when he comes to a point that i become boring or a burden to him.
CindiApril 22nd, 2017 at 1:40 PM
Very well said.
JULESApril 22nd, 2017 at 9:48 PM
Eveville, At first when I read your post I thought you made such great points. But something about your list (of 10 “sacrifices”) has been bugging me since I read it. You describe yourself as a younger generation, but your list of roles for women/wives is a remarkably old fashioned – you list cooking, cleaning, birthing, bookkeeping, phony lovemaking (pretending he’s good to feed the male ego), looking pretty, care giving, and being secretary. To be fair, I think it would be pretty easy to create a comparable list of sacrifices that men make for marriage and family too. That aside, most disturbing is the way your list portrays this fictional woman to be so saintly. It’s that kind of martyrdom that actually trips up a lot of women (and men) in their marriages. They want to believe their hard work for the family, sacrifices and goodness (and sometimes religious faith) has them locked in and entitled to their spouse’s love and faithfulness forever. This is a mistake! It’s a false sense of security and the one thing that makes a marriage most vulnerable. Good couples know there are no guarantees. They guard against that by sharing responsibility and keeping the playfulness and honestly in their relationship. They know that love and commitment are “from the heart” not an entitlement.
That’s why I’m convinced we are vulnerable in stale safe responsible marriages. New love can come along and fill a gap, unexpectedly, and it can be very real. And when it does, it will throw everyone involved off kilter and into shock and confusion about how to proceed. I know, because it happened to me.
Like you, I read these posts and feel the anguish. Mine is from having lived it. I believe most people that find themselves in the situation I’m describing are fine people – faced with one of the most difficult decisions of their life while under incredible stress and guilt and a high level of protest. Like some here, I tried to turn to friends, counselors, and ministers (and forums) for answers, but it was just more noise. I wanted someone to tell me to be brave and take a chance, but instead they rattled statistics and religion and obligation in a way that was hard to argue. To leave, was to head into an isolation I’ve never known but also to the finest love of my life – at the same time. To stay, was like salve on a wound, it made everybody almost instantly happy and relieved, except for brokenhearted me who would always wonder.
EvevilleApril 24th, 2017 at 8:28 PM
Thx Jules for your input. This is just my opinion. Since I dated & had a few long term relationships before i got married, I can confidently say that these are not sacrifices, this is my way of accepting my spouse for who he is including his past, unconditional. This is one of the things how most women show their love for their man. I know that’s what I am. I don’t believe that every man & woman found true love immediately. There is no equality in marriage, if you notice only one loves the other more. I love my husband deeply, I want to protect him, take care of him & will try my best to make things easier for him. If that requires that i need to make some sacrifices so be it. If he loves me, for better or worst…i expect that he will also protect me from harm from anyone, take care of us, nurture the feelings we have for each other so it grows to true love as we aged over the years. I want to be able to sit in a bench with him all wrinkly, gray haired (maybe even wheel-chaired) & still laugh about old times. If it does happen to me, i would rather not have my husband tell me that he doesn’t love me anymore because it is disrespectful. I prefer that he talks to me immediately if he begins to change or finding some things we are having trouble before it’s too late so we can find ways to improve it. If he asks me to be open more to him and he promised that his ego will not react, then i will be honest to him about how he can make me happy as well. If we go through the trouble together & exhaust every possible way and still no success then the acceptance of relationship not working out is less painful. There is this saying that we won’t know what we got until it’s gone. As i always tell my husband, it’s not the beginning that is important but our ending. Make the best of the love we have & what we got so we have great stories to tell our grandkids or great grandkids so they also learn from this love & pass it down to next generations with love & laughter in their hearts as well. Wishing you the best.
Ann AMay 9th, 2017 at 11:28 AM
Lol (not laughing at you and why I think guys marry for a”mommy wife” and save the fantasy for football and sex) I’m old enough to have seen both sides of the sexual revolution. I’m pretty sure that there are couples who came for the sex and then lost the sex when the realities of monogamy/parenting showed up. Studies still keep showing that women still do more resposible parenting/house work/socialstuff AND work outside the home. That said, I promise you, there are couples who are still together as life partners. They sweat the hard stuff and celebrate the good. Sex or no sex? There was still that spark. My grand parents loved each other. It was a traditional marriage that lasted over 60 years. Same for my own parents who both wored even though all the other moms were housewives. If you ask how that happened? In there words? Respect. My grand mother might have mopped the floors but my grand father never thoughtlessly walked on those floors with muddy feet. They cared for each other. I think what kept it alive was gratitude. They were grateful to had found another person who they truly liked and who truly liked them back.
Keep the faith. Just let each other know that you’ve “got their back”.
Ann AMay 9th, 2017 at 11:31 AM
Sorry for spelling/typos. In car park at break. In hurry.
JC PApril 25th, 2017 at 8:28 AM
I have been reading these comments very closely. I was married for many years and knew my ex for over 31, great friendship and close ties for all that time. 18 months ago he abandoned myself and my daughter for a younger model in what seemed to be lightning fashion. He turned 50, bought an expensive sportscar, changed clothes and hairstyle at the same time changed to a new gym. 5 weeks after he changed gyms he left for someone he met there. This is now 18 months later. I never chased him and left him to it. I was devastated, my daughter was even more devastated than I was and had to go to counselling for abandonment issues and I followed suit as I was spinning out of control trying to deal with my deep grief and my daughters too. I have been privy to see the other side of what happens when they leave. My ex has deeply regretted what he has done. The emails started coming in after a year after he left. They were open and honest and gives an insight to his life where he thought “the grass was greener”. It turns out that the infatuation which he thought was the most amazing love of his life soon wore off. However, within a month of leaving me he had introduced all his friends to her, he was then intwined to her family and friends and built a relationship with the new womans very young son. When the fantasy wore off, he felt deeply trapped into some sort of life he didn’t feel right in, he felt so very bad at how my daughter had reacted he has been in therapy to overcome his guilt and reasoning behind leaving. He is still with the lady but the last email was so very, very sad. He spoke of his utter misery with himself and living an unauthentic life with the new woman and spends a lot of his energy trying to put on a happy front to everyone as he feels he has to stay with her as he gave up so much and hurt so many people when he left. Last week he asked to come back and wanted us to go to couples counselling to help us return to what we have. I am unable to do that and told him so and have tried to assist him in ways to make a go of it with his new woman. I am still deeply hurt by what he did but I know that I have changed, my daughter will not have him around anymore and my 18 months alone, although deeply painful I am starting to walk out of the fire happy and stable. I asked him why he left and he said reaching 50 sent him into a tailspin of thinking he could never be attractive to a younger woman anymore. I, myself had just started going through the menopause too so can understand the problems we were facing. I am now fully functional on all aspects again which makes things so sad. I actually feel for my ex, he made a snap decision that has made him even more unhappy in his 50s than if he had stayed with me and we could have worked things through. We have been friends for many years before marriage and maybe we can build a friendship further on down the years. I mentioned that one day his new love will go through the menopause too and asked him not to run after another young lady and bring heartache to his new woman and her son as he did myself and my daughter. Please gentleman….think…..carefully…..the problems you harbour are within yourself mainly…they will eventually appear again in the new relationship and then what?
cbMay 1st, 2017 at 9:15 PM
well hell, there we go again, blame it on the male, it is his fault because he had “thoughts” of what it would be like to be with a women that wants to have fun during sex,,,,,,,,you are a typical women with a women answer, you are not help, go and find another job lady
JULESMay 2nd, 2017 at 7:19 PM
cb, I agree. I don’t understand women who think that because they are good homemakers and mothers, their marriage is safe. How can they be so baffled when their husband loses interest, when they totally cast him aside – too busy and swept up in the seriousness of motherhood and homemaking they hardly notice his needs. They fail to recognize that he misses his best friend and playmate. He would gladly hire a babysitter to have time with them, he would settle for a less than perfect home to have quality time together. He knows they could find a way, if there was the desire. He knows he isn’t the priority. It’s amazing to me, I watch women push their men aside, and then blamed for leaving!
Women, (I am one!), stay close to your husband, don’t put him on the back burner, have fun, be physical and loving, take nothing for granted. Remain so important to his heart, body and soul that he can’t live without you. That goes for the guys too. Sure, our kids are important, and we are protective and want all those normal great things for them, but our mates are important too. If your husband (or wife) does want to leave? Take some responsibility for your part in it! I promise you, you absolutely played a role no matter how perfect and devoted you believe you were. Don’t come on here and whine about how perfect you were and what a bum he was. Get real.
Ann AnMay 6th, 2017 at 9:03 PM
“… he would gladly hire a baby sitter…”
In other words if she’d just be prettier more attentive?
Lol if she’d just be like June Cleaver, he’d be like Ward Cleaver. Lol Leave It To “Beaver” eh?
I get that you can get so caught up in the responsibility that you forget the fun but realistically? There are guys who just want a “mommy” wife. They want her to clean the house, raise the kids, an well you don’t have sex with the “mommy” wife. Sex? It’s what you have with your “girl friend”.
Add to it declining sex drives, sagging boobs, and exhaustion? Oh yeah you go vacume the carpet in pearls and heels after a long day at work. Lololololo.
Yup, if she would just grow 20 years younger and strap on that Victoria’s Secret thong for the perimenopausal woman. Lol.
(I can say that as someone who’s in the age bracket.
JULESMay 8th, 2017 at 8:28 AM
Ann An, I was suggesting just the opposite of old fashioned Cleavers – I’m saying DO NOT fall into those roles. Hire a babysitter, spend couple time together, pay attention to each other, have hobbies together. Of course boobs are going to sag and so are some things on him, bellies are going to grow, there are days both are tired, but none of that matters if you are growing together as a couple. it matters a lot if after years and years of neglect in the partnership (for kids, work, friends, other) and you wake up one day feeling like all of it is one big unhappy mess that seems (and might be) too far gone to fix. When if the couple had remained close, it might not have gone so sideways. All of this excludes couples that weren’t right from the beginning – some idiot guy that wants a “mommy” wife as you call it. If that’s the case, she should get out immediately. The things I’m talking about is for couples that start off optimistic and excited but fall into complacency without even realizing it’s happening. I say Pay attention! Keep your eyes on each other. Stay interesting. Stay interested! Leave no room for anyone else to slip in. That’s all I’m saying.
Ann AnMay 6th, 2017 at 8:42 PM
Tell the “other woman” that you are going to sort things out with your wife. Tell her that you aren’t going to have any contact with her until you have done so. Then concentrate on what to do next with your relationship with your wife and family. Give it your full attention. Get professional help. After 32 years of marriage, regardless of how it feels now, you owe that to your family and to hers. Work out the financial stuff as well as the emotional. Wills, trusts, who owns the house. At your wifes age, will she be able to find a job or afford a roof over her head. How did you two plan retirement? What about assets? When my bro inlaw died, his first wife got a lawyer, claiming that any monies from life insurance went to her sons not to the second wife. It got interesting. Work all the legal and emotional stuff out. Until then, you aren’t free to enter into any relationship with another woman.
If this new relationship is worth it, this new woman wIll wait until you are truly free.
One other wrinkle, how do you know if this second woman isn’t just looking for financial help to pay for her own kids. It happens.
BARBMay 12th, 2017 at 11:38 AM
A lot of people say they want to be by them selves, nothing wrong with that but you are trying to start another relationship which is going to create to many problems. why looking for love in the wrong places, try to love your self and don’t look for love in someelse. If you going to move on try being by yourself for a change, One thing about it and I don’t know why so many people are so afraid of being along, there one thing in life guarantee you came in this world by yourself and you will leave by yourself.
msMay 29th, 2017 at 3:07 PM
my husband left me 8 months ago. I went away with my girlfriends for the weekend and he left our home and never came back. We have been married for 28 years. He said he doesn’t want to be married anymore but I have found lies in many things he has said. I truly loved him and am so devastated by his actions. He refuses to even talk to me anymore, has blocked me from all contact. Has acted like someone I never knew before. Can anyone explain this to me. He never said he was unhappy and he never talked about leaving – just left. No note, no goodbye, nothing. How does someone just do this. We have 3 children – never said goodbye to them either
LaylaJanuary 30th, 2018 at 12:54 PM
HI, I don’t know if anyone answered you or if your situation has gotten better, I hope, if I had to guess since this happened to me, your husband is having an affair and she wants him to have no contact with you or the children.
I’m sorry you’re going through this, I hope he is financially supporting you all.
MarianaJanuary 1st, 2019 at 4:52 PM
ms, I just read this. I can’t believe he would cut off communication. I have said to my Ex, “you do realize that I used to be part of your FAMILY”, family! That is ridiculous! Coward!
DjMay 31st, 2017 at 10:32 PM
Here is my 2 cents… living a happy life is all about letting go! Not having so many attatchments. As we get older we are forced to learn this. People start dying, grandparents, mom, dad then its our friends and before we know it us… love and falling in love, having a wife or husband or gf, bf. These are all attatchments. People who are truly happy learn to let go of their attachments. To not hold tightly onto anything… a marriage is indeed a great commitment and a necessary one if we are to raise children successfully. However that does not necessarily mean it has to be forever. It is very unfortunate that for women, they seem to believe they have a sell by date. Their looks will fade and after a few children they fear that they will never catch a suitable guy again. Guys on the other hand have less of a problems but let’s face it, women no matter if they say they don’t care if a guy has a beer belly or not, they do care. But, having somebody to support them or a successful guy that already has a house, and some stability under his belt is still a great catch. Women should not be afraid also when the man reaches midlife crisis and starts wanting to feel young again. You may never remarry but that does not mean guys will not be attracted to you. Its scary letting go… but most the time it is the woman who fears the most that the guy would leave them to find a younger model. Then the guy becomes demonized for being selfish. Life is not about being miserable (loyal) and holding on with fear of loss (attatchment). Learn to let go and you will learn to live. Learn to take risks, and you will feel alive. Learn to let go and you will find happiness. Don’t compare your new friends or girlfriends or relationships with your previous ones. Sure they may not last, but who cares.
Bill C.July 22nd, 2017 at 1:47 PM
I don’t know if anybody read this or not it has been extremely difficult for me I have been married to the woman that I love 30 years we haven’t had a sexual relationship in the last two when I bring it up she goes ballistic she is five year older than me I don’t know if it’s her hotmonal issues because of her age she will not talk about.
What do I do?-We have no children-I feel so alone-sometimes I think it’s better just to
start all over again I know this seems sad what can you do?
If anybody else out there has been in the same situation Please respond and tell me
What you did?
BillMarch 21st, 2019 at 4:57 PM
I’m with you
MarianaJuly 23rd, 2017 at 8:26 AM
Does she want things to improve? Is she depressed? I think you need couples therapy and lay your cards out on the table. If she is having issues but wants to stay married but just needs time, she needs to say that. If she doesn’t care and doesn’t see a need for improvement, it’s a problem. Maybe she wants change but not with you, with her life. Finding a new job, moving somewhere that you both like to be, starting a new hobby or business could all be what she needs to be more fulfilled. The truth is there, it just needs to be out. And if she doesn’t want things to improve with your relationship, that’s your answer. You can’t live like this, it’s torture and moving on might initially be difficult but will definitely improve your quality of life.
EveeAugust 20th, 2017 at 11:26 PM
Regardless of the issue, we need to be honest with our spouses or partner before we indulge in other activities (i.e. before you fall too deeply in love or starting an affair with another person, sexually attraction, new hobbies, etc). At least for me, i feel that i owe that to the person i wed (same goes with cohabitation, etc). If both of you decide to split up as there are no other choice, don’t come back on a rebound or using your ex-wife’s or ex-partner’s love as claiming that you may have made a mistake or that you still care about him or her when you find that your new relationship is not what you expected. Good luck to you.
DBSeptember 16th, 2017 at 6:57 PM
I left my wife Jessica we were married 16 years we have two daughters 12 ad 13. She settled for the first man who would marry her, have a family with her and pay the bills while she played house with kids aka stay at home mom that was all she ever wanted. Well things blew up since we had sex like 4 times a year on a good year after about the 6th year into the marriage post second child being born. I worked and provided the entire time. Since moving out , i still give half my income for the kids until they turn 18 I am counting the days!! omg its painful to live on 11.80 an hour and still beging able to save 500 a month. I cant stand to even see my Ex anymore so i am never going back. Next time i see the EX will be in 2024 with divorce papers and I will look much different than i do today. Since moving out I am finally happy, dont stay in a sexless marriage its pointless don’t cheat leave if your going to do that.
ElleOctober 11th, 2017 at 8:25 PM
I waited 54 years before I married my true SOULmate. I shuddered at the term ‘soulmate’ before our paths crossed. But our connection was different from the start. He was married for 35 years and I for 17 to other people. We ended our marriages to be together – which was heart-wrenching from every angle – but we “knew.” We just knew. And it has been the absolute best few years of our lives. We will always carry some guilt with us to our graves, but our love and what we’ve created for ourselves trumps it all. What I have learned is that a marriage with THE RIGHT PERSON isn’t that hard. It’s not suppose to be hard, folks. I know that we are the exception and not the rule, but life is beautiful. You can’t bottle this stuff.
MarianaOctober 12th, 2017 at 8:41 PM
So Elle, you didn’t say if you cheated on your spouses when you found your soulmate. Relationships later in life are much easier. Nothing compares to raising children and struggling when your incomes are starting out. If you are living the dream, great. I’m sure you were considerate of all the people that you affected to find your happiness. Good luck to you both. I don’t know if you agree with the “Once a cheater,…” phrase or not.
ElleOctober 22nd, 2017 at 6:33 AM
Ahhh, Mariana. You see, seldom do I take things personally, therefore seldom am I offended. Your passive-aggressive comments are certainly a reflection of who you are, not who I am. May you find peace. Elle
HOLLYOctober 15th, 2017 at 5:22 PM
You sound skeptical about Ell’s successful love second time around. Why? Perhaps you’ve been deeply hurt or betrayed. If so, I’m so sorry to hear that. That still doesn’t excuse your passive aggressive comments to Elle – “I’m sure you were considerate of all the people that you affected to find your happiness”, “good luck to you both”, “you didn’t say if you cheated on your spouse” and “once a cheater”. Pretty sure this is an attempt to shame and challenge Elle’s integrity, a stranger to you, who simply shared her positive personal experience with love. With all due respect, you DO know how judgmental, presumptuous, and ridiculous it is to ask if she cheated or not right? Mostly, because it doesn’t matter! Of course marriage ebbs and flows over the years, anybody that has ever been married knows that. The reality is some couples don’t survive it. Either they were never right for each other to begin with, perhaps stayed together for the kids, or they outgrew each other over the years. Marriage is risky. And sadly, a split isn’t always mutual and people can get hurt (even in the “easier” years) and it can be ugly. Even if it is, the bottom line is we each have just one life, and we are responsible for our own happiness. Elle found something wonderful with her soul mate and however she got there, that’s a beautiful thing!
Thanks Elle for sharing and giving hope to anyone suffering in their marriage and wondering if they should take a chance.
MarianaOctober 15th, 2017 at 9:33 PM
An earlier post explains my situation. I know that I am obviously jaded because of it. But you don’t think that it matters if they cheated. Of course I’m challenging Elle’s integrity! Where is this integrity that people used to have? There is something to be said about sticking with your choices and making things work. We are in a generation of people taking the easy way out. I did the work and I mean for years. My best friend did the work for years and years trying to fix her alcoholic husband. And you get people with a second wind at life because their previous choices aren’t fun anymore and then they dump all of their previous choices and promises which includes people. Now not only do I have an Xhusband who is miserable because the love of his life turned out to be 25 years younger than him and he is dealing with making it work but I have 3 children with a man they don’t recognize anymore. And one of my daughters has cut her father right out of the picture. It makes me sad that she doesn’t have a relationship with him anymore especially recalling them together while she was growing up. I am much more content with my life by myself. I’ve had 2 “boyfriends” since my divorce but they both wanted to get married and i don’t think it will ever be in the cards for me. But all this pain was unnecessary. I apologize for the “passive-aggressive” comments. To be clear, I wanted to say that they have probably hurt a lot of people along the way in order to find this gift of each other and I hope it was worth it. By the sounds of it, it was worth it. Amen!
HOLLYOctober 16th, 2017 at 11:54 AM
I empathize with your situation. I really do. Divorce is messy and break ups hurt, especially when you worked at it so hard. My grandmother was the loveliest woman I know, devoted to her family, loyal, humble and kind, she always took a backseat for others, especially my grandfather. She “worked” at her marriage too. Made so many sacrifices. Meanwhile my grandfather was an ass, he didn’t abuse her, but he wasn’t kind to her either. He didn’t cherish her the way she deserved. He was flawed and may not have even loved her anymore. He certainly didn’t act like it. Yet she stuck by him for 56 years until she died, he was the only man she’d ever been with. She was from the generation that stayed no matter what. Divorce was taboo and hard on women. She would have been more ashamed of divorce than living the unhappy life that she did. Is that the sacrifice we are asking people to make in order to be respected? I don’t agree with that. I wish my grandmother had had the courage to find a better partner. She deserved that, in whatever way she could have found it. If she had found another man, a soulmate, and she had left my grandfather for a better life with him that would have been beautiful! Even if it had been an “exit” affair. I would have been happy for her. My grandfather would have been a mess without her, her adult kids probably would have been mad because of the inconvenience it caused them, maybe a few would never speak to her again – but that anger would be on them, and on my grandfather for not being the man he should have been, not her. Everyone has a right to make make a personal choice for their own happiness, even if it is inconvenient for everyone else. And even if it doesn’t work and they blew everything up trying for it. I’m not condoning cheating. There are cases of serial sexual cheaters that hurt everybody repeatedly and need help with addiction. And then there are those individuals that are just unhappy. They might not even know how deeply unhappy they are until an affair sneaks up on them, and next thing they know they are in love. It might be exactly the right person or maybe not, but the unhappiness is likely to get flushed out. Either they will make it work, or they will redevote themselves to their marriage. Either way it’s a win. That’s why I say it doesn’t matter if Elle cheated or not, if she made a deliberate and conscious choice toward happiness and it’s working – isn’t that a great thing? You wonder though about everyone else that may have been hurt in the process. I wonder, how much of their happiness just an illusion. And now, they too need to get to work and find their own personal truth and joy. HOLLY
ElleOctober 22nd, 2017 at 6:52 AM
Interesting comments, Holly. As a final note on my situation, we were married a combined 51 years to other people. We didn’t just throw our hands up and bail early on. We settled, we sacrificed for YEARS. We deserve to be happy. We ALL deserve to be happy. It’s interesting that so many people out there are hurting so badly that they question the authenticity of others’ happiness. Remember, much of the time it takes a LOT more guts to leave than to stay. Hope you all are brave enough to find your bliss.
YvonneJanuary 28th, 2019 at 12:15 PM
It’s a cowards way out. It takes a real man to work on his marriage only inmuture people walk away
CindyApril 17th, 2019 at 9:44 PM
Didn’t the betrayed spouses deserve happiness? Perhaps keeping their marriages, families, and finances intact would have been happiness for them at midlife and beyond. Perhaps the betrayer was, in the betrayed’s eyes, their soulmate. Seems like the unfaithful would have the betrayed spouses believe that they know best – that they’re benevolently and mercifully ending a long-suffering, unhappy marriage with their faithful spouse’s “best interest at heart”. You, the betrayer, may say things like “I love you like a family member”. Or, we’re “just roommates”. You re-write history to justify your betrayal, even if you haven’t physically acted on your lustful urges.
Cheating is the most entitled and selfish things you could do to a faithful partner. It is cruel and it is evil. So awful in fact, that it is 2 of the 10 commandments. Listen, every marriage has issues and no marriage is perfect and happy all of the time. We don’t make vows stating anything about ensuring our partner’s happiness when we wed. If there are problems, we need to act like adults and address those issues honestly with our spouses. Then, if the unhappiness remains and changes aren’t seen and you know that you have put 100% into saving and improving the marriage, you divorce with compassion, honor, and integrity AND without the benefit of a soft landing that your loyal spouse most certainly doesn’t have. You earn your way out of an unhappy marriage – ethically. Its so interesting that in the majority of instances above, only after the cheater connects with their “soulmate” do they seem to be able to voice their displeasure with the faithful spouse and their respective marriages, AND only as they rush out the door into the welcoming arms of their new beloved – a third person that had absolutely no place being in that couple’s marriage. Behind them they leave spouses and families that are deeply wounded and, in a large number of instances, scarred for life. Their ability to trust is gone – possibly forever – a tremendous loss of innocence as a result of having the very healthy quality of trust exploited. You are showing them, and in some cases, your children, that your happiness is worth more than your partner’s pain. Try as you may, but infidelity is never justified.
One final note for the cheating spouse, 80% of those that initiate divorce later regret it and marriages that start as extramarital affairs have a 95% failure rate.
Mariana S.April 19th, 2019 at 8:39 AM
Cindy, very eloquently put! It’s the unabashed truth that the cheaters don’t want to acknowledge. I’m sure self-preservation is part of the reason. Really great perspective , Cindy!
CindyApril 27th, 2019 at 8:16 PM
Thank you Mariana.
It’s time to stop blaming the spouse that wasn’t even involved in the affair. No one controls or is responsible for the behavior of another. Betrayed spouses don’t compel their partners to cheat – people cheat due to weaknesses in their character and a flawed or deficient value system. In this day and age, divorce is a readily available option in most places. And while it’s never easy to divorce, a divorce as the result of infidelity is something so much more painful.
DrewAugust 17th, 2019 at 9:52 AM
I agree with Elle. Everyone deserves happiness. EVERYone is responsible for their OWN happiness. The sooner people empower themselves with owning this, the better off they’ll be. Healing begins when you shed victim mentality.
CatherineJanuary 3rd, 2018 at 1:16 PM
24 years, 2 children, 40 years old and IM DONE! He is COMPLETELY devoted to our children, cooks, cleans, works full time, brilliant father, yet he is nothing to me! What I mean is that ALL of his time and devotion goes on the children, house and job. He has NOTHING left for me. I have told him how I feel so many times, he doesn’t seem to understand that I exist. He thinks that by completely devoting himself to our children, that somehow this means that we also have a fantastic relationship. When in reality I see him as a person I share the house with, I even feel like he “takes over” my role of being a mother. He wants to do EVERYTHING for the children, he closes me out. I have told him how I feel, I have asked (even begged) for him to spend time with just me. I have explained that I don’t want him to clean the house (I will do it), I would rather him take the time to sit down with me and have a chat/cuddle. He always says he will make time for me but NOTHING changes. I’m worried that time is passing us by, the children are 9 and 12 years old now and without them we have nothing. I look at him and I think “who an earth are you?” He has become a stranger to me! It might seem like a joke but it’s not! He would rather hover the house or play with the kids, than sit next to me. We are on “holiday” as I write this, I’m in the bedroom alone while he plays games with the children. He hired bikes earlier one each for the children and one for him lol! Doesn’t need me see!
After being completely ignored he then doesn’t understand why I don’t want sex! Even though I tell him exactly why. I tell him that I would just like to spend some time with him, that I understand we have children but they will go and make their own lives, so we have to make sure we work at also being a couple not just parents. But it all falls on deaf ears. I have decided having spent almost the whole day alone on holiday while I’m totally ignored that when we get home I’m going to ask him to leave. IM DONE feeling like the odd one out. I’m alone any way, so I rather be officially single rather than live this way.
DjJanuary 4th, 2018 at 8:13 AM
Sounds like my ex wife , her dream was to be a stay at home mom. Since kids came along she was in mommies and would not return to wife mode. My daughters; just like my ex wife are addicted to games, social media and the internet. With earbuds always in and a finger point to them with any hit of conversation. Don’t bother me is what the pointing meant. I decided to file for divorce, and move out. My ex got what she wanted kids and a free check every two weeks from me. Now with kids as older teens she goes to a retail job due to lack of workforce skills and education. I’m having to pay 2240 a month in child support which is more than my ex’s monthly income. I was just her free ride all this time, a lie . Yes there were good times before we had kids, that’s come and gone. I will never get married again. It’s not worth it. I’m dating someone who does what my ex woukdn’t And she’s not a gold digger.
I recommend you save plan to file for divorce be sure you get what your entitled like have him buy you out of the house etc. easier said than done. Better to be alone and happy than with someone and miserable.
LaylaJanuary 30th, 2018 at 12:33 PM
Hi, I would like to weigh in if you don’t mind one more opinion. First, I agree with the writer, it certainly sounds like you are having an emotional affair and those in my opinion are the most dangerous for they can truly mess with your mind and of course your emotions therefore putting your wife of 32 years in a bad light, and putting your future lover in the best light possible. I also agree you should seek some sort of counseling. Are you doing anything in your home life to cause any rifts or distress to your marriage to make it easier on yourself to ease the guilt and to upset your wife so you can say “see, we are unhappy “? I only ask because this is a common theme among unfaithful spouses who have emotionally left the marriage and it’s unfair to the betrayal spouse, so please think about that.
On to more, have you really thought of the consequences? She is 20 years your junior, that’s a huge age difference and you may find once living in couple, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be when a 32 year old wants to go to a club and you want to stay home or she wants to go out with her girls alone in 5 years (if you make it that long) and she doesn’t want to take her 57 year old partner with her dancing with the girls. Also, infidelity, you both started out with infidelity, that is going to play a big part in your relationship. Also, when you’re 72 and she’s your age, is she going to want to take care of you if something happens? One or both of you will rightfully be insecure and jealous. You’ve obviously heard the very real, very true, saying “you lose them how you found them”. If this woman has no issues inserting herself into your marriage of 32 years, what makes you believe she’s going to be faithful to you, or you to her for that matter? You’re emotionally stepping out on your marriage also and don’t even believe it’s wrong.
Now for the readers digest version of my situation, after 27 years together, my husband did exactly what you’re contemplating. She has 2 kids, one is a young girl and another a teenage boy. They knew each other in high school but never dated. She stalked him for 32 years, by this I mean she would show up at his class reunions, his other activitity reunions and such and I didn’t think a thing about it until I found out about their affair and looked her up. She was never in his year in high school, or any of those activities, she would see his posts on Facebook and go. Now I’m not putting the blame entirely on her, however, she knew he was married with children and she circled him like a shark for years until he did the same thing you’re thinking of doing.
Here’s the rub, they’ve been together for 5 months, she moved him in with her kids the night he moved out. I just let him go. I stay out of their so called relationship and don’t bother with them. He has only seen his children two times, once for an hour at Christmas and once when he stormed out of her home and stayed at a hotel and called the kids last minute to come stay with him. I still have access to his phone records and voice mail, I never listen to the VM because I never want to hear her voice. However, because he’s shown up at my home numerous times, including yesterday banging to get in “to talk” and I wouldn’t let him in, I check the phone records to see if they are fighting because I won’t be used. Sure enough she is constantly begging him to come back. It’s been 5 months and they fight constantly. Something he tried to tell me we did, which was not true. Rewriting your marriage is another way to get out of it. So, since I wouldn’t let him in yesterday because he was fighting with her, I’m not going to play those games, I’m not the mistress, where do you think he ended up and who do you think took him back and how long do you think it will be before their next fight? This woman showers him with expensive gifts, bought him a business with her and opened her home and introduced her impressionable children to him and we are not even legally separated. They can’t go two weeks without a blowout and him walking out, her begging him to come back. Now imagine the pain and confusion her children must be going through? This is why I do not engage. She’s also tried to pose as me by calling my tax accountant to get personal information, for what, I don’t know. I can only surmise it’s because he’s lying to her and said we were legally separated due to the business they’re involved in.
So I guess my LONG (so sorry) post is about, really think about what your happiness and marriage is about. Are you creating the unhappiness to be with this younger woman? Was something wrong that wasn’t fixable that you spoke with your wife about before you met your affair partner? Did you give her a fair shot before, not after, but before? These questions matter, not only to your wife and family but to you and your potential future partner because whether you believe it or not, you will have regrets, especially if it doesn’t work out and your wife moved on. Good luck.
DenisFebruary 22nd, 2018 at 7:43 AM
I left my wife, Jessica, we were married 16 years we have two daughters 12 and 13. She settled for the first man who would marry her, have a family with her and pay the bills while she played house with kids aka stay at home mom that was all she ever wanted.
HummingbirdFebruary 22nd, 2018 at 12:44 PM
Weighing in on this conversation…
After 30 years together, my husband comes home and tells me we don’t want the same things anymore. He starts a conversation pointing out the fact that we haven’t created our dreams together etc.etc. He was trying to have an ‘adult’ conversation with me in such a way that I would agree and he could then talk me into us separating peacefully. After a couple of days of this I asked him point blank if he had met someone and he adamantly denied that he had. The tone of this conversation continued – about 5 days later he confessed that he had fallen in love with his co-worker but that it had nothing to do with the reason he wanted to leave. As the days unravelled I was shocked to find that he had been texting her whilst at home with his family and all was revealed on Christmas Day. I then uncovered all of their text messages and wow, my heart shattered. Yes, he emotionally left our marriage and I didn’t see the signs – when I soul searched my responsibility in the matter they stood out like fluorescent markers – I thought we had a good relationship, didn’t argue much as we had worked through our behavioural patterns, insecurities. There was a lot of love present, sex as well but life occurred ho-hum, going through the motions, complacent.
After talking through the situation he gave me two weeks to save our marriage – I felt like no matter what we did I was on trial. He did leave and subsequently I have lost all respect for him as a person who stood for truth and integrity. If leaving our marriage for a woman 25 years his junior wasn’t bad enough the way he disrespected, dishonoured and destroyed all the goodness truth and beauty of our love after he left to this day I find difficult to comprehend.
I understand long term relationships require regenerating and revival to be kept alive, exciting – the deep love that is possible is so different to the giddy love of first infatuation. Your marriage may have run out of juice and my advice to you is don’t make a hasty decision – get some counselling for your self and with your wife and if it is truly over you can walk away with integrity knowing you have ended it with dignity and respect. And be by yourself for awhile, discover who you are without the responsibility of being in a relationship, then move forward because from my observation what you think you are missing in your marriage you won’t find in another person, you need to find it within yourself. Once you have done that then the next relationship you engage in will be your authentic self expression with the maturity and wisdom gained from your life experiences.
And people, a year down the track I have travelled the road of heartbreak, grief, loss, betrayal and abandonment and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. I don’t think there is any easy way to leave a relationship but it can be done with honour and care even if it lands on deaf ears at least you can hold your head up with pride.
I have embraced this ending as an opportunity to grow as a being. I have faced some childhood hurts from my own parents divorce and worked with a therapist to heal those parts of myself – interestingly a mirror of what went on this past year. I am in the discovery of single parenthood, emotionally standing on my own two feet and exploring the question of who am I today. I am looking for the ‘gold’ out of this life change and strengthening my true self.
Mariana SkonieczkaFebruary 22nd, 2018 at 8:13 PM
Amen, Hummingbird :)
DebbieApril 1st, 2018 at 7:37 PM
So whT if it’s lust. Infatuation whatever.. it’s being happy with that person for however long it lasts which is better than the rest of your life with sadness. Go for it good luck,,
PaulSeptember 15th, 2018 at 3:46 AM
I am now nearing the time to tell my wife of 40 years I am off, I have found another woman someone who makes me feel like a million dollars and has given me a reason tho get up in the morning, it’s gonna be tough but life goes on.
chuckSeptember 17th, 2018 at 5:00 AM
I just think even in my time some people rush into something and see no good way out. I married 3 months after my 17th birthday not because I had to and still had almost two years of school left, my wife was 19 and out of school. Seventeen years old who really knows what love is. I sure knew what sex was and have to say she was any boy’s dream if I have to say so myself. Now it’s been 42 years and even after 3 children all grown I can’t say that I have ever been truly in love. I guess I love her like a sister or friend or just care for her like one. I’ve never meet to hurt her but over the years I have due affairs. I’ve left three time here in the last three years for tow to three months at a time but seem to always come back that start feeling I came back for all the wrong reason’s. I feel trapped scared and lost.
Mariana S.September 28th, 2018 at 9:17 PM
Jamie, Thank you for your words of wisdom. Those few words have explained so much to me. Thank you.
teresaNovember 14th, 2018 at 1:46 PM
I Just found out my husband has been seeing a younger woman after 32yrs of marriage i told him everything in the book and practically threw it at him. He did say a thing when i confronted him instead he started to pick up his clothes i cant believe what a coward he is our children are grown and we have grand children i don’t want someone around who is unhappy and has someone else. So i let him leave hopefully he wont regret it because i wont be there to take him back
MarianaNovember 17th, 2018 at 5:50 AM
Take care of yourself, Teresa. He thinks he is blissfully happy. Let him think that and enjoy your grandchildren!
AnnaJanuary 1st, 2019 at 1:41 AM
Mariana, how were you able to forgive your husband and let go of your anger? My husband of 17 years left me five months ago and I am still red hot with anger and bitterness.
MarianaJanuary 1st, 2019 at 4:14 PM
Anna, I would have to say that for an entire year, I was seething! I didn’t hold back on a single text or email if the mood hit me. As revenge, I told anybody and everybody what he did. But not in front of my kids and I didn’t burden them with my issues. But I kept repeating 2 mantras during that time. “Be thankful in all situations, for this is God’s will for you” Thessalonians and “Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” I slowly morphed into someone who became his friend but realized that he took advantage of that so I had to disconnect again. It all has to do with time and finding what makes you happy. Personally, I am enjoying the freedom of not having to answer to anyone. And I made sure I was not going to be part of the statistic of a poverty stricken single mom. I told my lawyer that I wanted alimony until he retired and I wanted my marital part of the pension the following month. There would not be one month that he wasn’t paying me. (He’s a police officer so he retires younger than most.)
Anna, find something you enjoy doing. And find comfort in the fact that he is not blissfully happy. There’s no way that a relationship that starts with 2 cheaters (or even one cheater) is a happy one. Buck up, pray, allow yourself to be angry, call a friend, if possible, go on a trip. One thing I realized is I never felt better after I layed into him. It wasn’t helping so I stopped. I am convinced there is something better out there for you whether it’s a new love or a new adventure. I hope this helps!
AnnaJanuary 1st, 2019 at 8:37 PM
Hi Mariana, that does help and thank you for writing that post to me. It’s (only) been five months so early days and in addition nothing has changed other than that he has pulled the pin and exited his married life. Finances still joined and house not sold etc. I was an Army wife for 12 years so the rejection after being a faithful, loyal and dedicated service wife who has sacrificed my freedom, career, family and friendships in order to support my husbands career and life has been particularly painful. It stings.
I have not let rip other than a couple of specific comments to issues. I am biting my lip mostly which was the advice from my solicitor until finances are pinned down. There is a large service pension and the split/share it still to be determined. He is domineering to the extreme and a master debater so I am preferring to shut down all contact other than essential comms relating to the children.
AnnaJanuary 1st, 2019 at 8:49 PM
Hi Mariana, that does help and thank you for writing that post to me. It’s (only) been five months so early days and in addition nothing has changed other than that he has pulled the pin and exited his married life and no longer lives in our family home. Finances still joined and house not sold etc. I was an Army wife for 12 years so the rejection after being a faithful, loyal and dedicated service wife who has sacrificed my own freedom, career, family and friendships in order to support my husbands career and life has been particularly painful. It stings. Lessons can be learned from this (sadly) and I will never again live my life on someone else’s terms nor prioritise their needs and wants.
I have not let rip other than a couple of specific comments to issues. I am biting my lip mostly which was the advice from my solicitor until finances are pinned down. There is a significant service pension and the split/share it still to be determined. My parents gave us money towards our house which I want him to agree to concede. He is domineering to the extreme and a master debater so I am preferring to shut down all contact other than essential comms relating to the children. Eight weeks after he left my father received a terminal cancer diagnosis so I am stressed and upset and grieving my marriage.
You have some really good advice. Thank you. I have started going to the gym which is a much needed physical outlet and I feel very much better for going. The child free time is a mixed blessing, as I have time to do things by myself but it’s also a reminder that I am giving up time with my children when I didn’t choose this. Again my life still dictated by his decision making.
Mariana S.January 2nd, 2019 at 5:34 PM
You are definitely in the throws of hell. A month after I found out that my husband had a girlfriend, my brother passed away from cancer. I was 49 and he was 52. I think I was a zombie going through the motions every day. On advice from my lawyer, I got 55% of my marital portion of his pension. After awhile, I said I would go to 50% and he said 45% which pissed me off so I said I wouldn’t take any less than 55%. I also said I wanted alimony until his pension kicked in. I did not want even one month without payment. And every time we had the divorce papers done, he wanted something changed and my lawyer would change it. This went on for 3 years. I ended up with a $10,000 lawyer bill and I know his was around $2-3,000. So watch that one. Take care.
SaraJanuary 27th, 2019 at 6:16 PM
My husband became even more verbally, emotionally & physically abusive once he met his married employee Hannah. I knew something was up but he could bold-face lie to me without batting an eyelash. He told me I was crazy and insecure. He ended up being charged with domestic violence against me and while awaiting bond, I discovered the room key to a hotel minutes to his work. Once he was out of jail, he went straight into the arms of his married mistress. I then discovered even more hotels and fantasy dates they were on. He is not sorry one bit- in fact, he is elated! She divorced her husband for him, leaving him with her children. He has left ours too to be with her. He is having a ton of fun going on dates and making love to her. He told me he deserved this, was giddy about dating again and that she is her type and I am not. He has blamed it on all me- for one reason or another- and justified his cheating. He also continuously lies- the story will change day by day, hour by hour. He’s set to marry her now (they are engaged, even though our divorce- which I filed- is not final!). It is agonizing to me that he will not see the damage he has done, both in the abusive way he treated me and in his affair. I loved him with my whole heart and was an excellent wife and mother. He never knew what he had in me. He never will either. He’s deeply in love with this woman and has moved on. He is determined to make it work and believes she is his forever girl. They work together and live together to this day. We have wiped out our entire life savings for his affair: hotels, gifts, lawyers- it’s all gone. Everything is gone. He says he has peace now but every time he calls or texts he is enraged at me. At me! The person in this scenario that cries herself to sleep, has no appetite and “babysits” his children so he can cheat. I’m the one cleaning up puke, packing school lunches, giving baths, tucking kids into bed and shuttling them to and from all their activities. He, on the other hand is smug and proud of being able to sleep in, dine out, go on fantasy dates and is ready for his new baby with her. He has exchanged his old family- for a new one. She’s proud too- she won the prize over me. It hurts so much, but I have to focus on the fact that neither won a prize but a nightmare. Maybe someday he will look back and discover what he had was true love and he’s lost it forever. All trust is long gone, not to mention the abuse made me feel unloved, unworthy and unsafe.
AnnaFebruary 1st, 2019 at 12:28 PM
Sara, I can feel your hurt. You are in the middle of an extremely challenging and emotional time. All I can gently suggest is that you shift your focus from your ex husband to yourself. You must prioritise self care and kindness. Make small goals to work towards and take control where you can, not to ‘show’ your husband you can but because you need and deserve to. Start the legal process to separate/divorce whatever that looks like. The marriage you though you had has gone. Accepting this and embracing YOUR new life and next chapter will free you from looking back over your shoulder and standing in pain. Take just one step forwards and it will get easier.
MarianaJanuary 29th, 2019 at 6:24 PM
Sara, He sounds like an absolute nightmare. Keep plugging away and use any energy you have to take care of your beautiful children. Totally take care of yourself. Don’t try to get even, let life take care of that. Just do what you have to do to get the money your children deserve. Fight for it and pay a good lawyer. Tell him if he sends nasty texts to you, you will keep a record of them and use them against him. Wish him well in his new life. And count your blessings while you do. And if you believe, pray.
joeyFebruary 15th, 2019 at 7:34 PM
i am married of 25 years and totally out of love i am 53 .Life yep what to do . She has evolved into different interest and i have Plateaued . i havnt had sex with my wife for 3 years due to woman issues , yep what to do done it all talked to her spoke about it blah blah blah she wont see counseling . i just give up . i dont have a mistress and dont even want one but need sex . i have thought of dating sites to meet someone in a similar position and i am close to do this . Anyway welcome to life . Anyone interested in meeting for coffee and chats be happy to
Oh no.February 17th, 2019 at 5:21 PM
Don’t do it. Work it out with your wife or not, it’s not a good idea. Your wife may not realize how you feel or she may feel the same. If you work it out with here to stay or go first, you’ll be in better shape to start another relationship if things don’t work out.
JoeyFebruary 18th, 2019 at 5:14 PM
Sick of being not loved. Over it to tell the truth. She knows we talk but nothing changed. Anyway thanks for the reply
KateOctober 29th, 2019 at 9:38 AM
Love is not a feeling! It’s a commitment. you can have that with your wife again if you communicate. The grass is greener where you water it. Do you know what you do to a woman’s heart when you do this? You smash it into so many pieces and it can never be repaired because of your selfishness. What about your vows, mate? Obviously met nothing to you. You’re very selfish. Good luck with everything. I hope your wife finds herself a loving man who will take care of her if you leave her. I hope you find a 20 something woman who takes you to the cleaner and drops you for a hunky 25 year old man.
Joanmarie O.February 27th, 2019 at 11:56 AM
I meant AL-ANON meetings, sorry.
BillMarch 21st, 2019 at 3:25 PM
I’ve read most of these with great interest. My story is a little different. I have been married for 33 years and have been having an emotional affair on and off for 20 years with my first love of almost 40 years ago. We were way to young at the time to understand our relationship and unfortunately it ended. Needless to say when she contacted me almost 20 years later I was elated, but I knew I would not sacrifice my time with my children and she understood that. Fast forward to almost a year ago when she came back to her home state where I live. Right or wrong we met and something magical happened and we fell head over heels in love again. My failing marriage has been in the works for at least 10 years and I am gaining more courage everyday to leave her and it will probably be the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I still care very deeply for her, she is an excellent mother and grandmother. She has fine qualities but I am not in love with her anymore and have been emotionally and intimately unfulfilled for quite sometime. My life will be completely changed and I will leave a trail of hurt but I know this is what I must do.
I write this not for feedback but for therapy. I want a more meaningful relationship, I want to feel joy and happiness.
SaraMarch 27th, 2019 at 11:42 AM
Hey Bill…you are seeking joy and happiness but you will end up with only guilt if you leave. If you’ve been having an emotional affair on and off for all those years, you have not been investing in your current relationship/marriage. Any time you are investing time and energy elsewhere, that is less you are giving to your current situation.
Happiness is fleeting. While you very well may be in love with this other lady, true love involves honesty and commitment. If she were an honorable, lovely woman she would have stood her ground and not gotten involved- even emotionally- with you while you were married. A respectful, decent woman would have done the toughest thing which is tough love- “Bill, I have feelings but I respect your marriage. That lady is the queen of your life. Focus on her. If you become single down the road, you know where I am. Until then, please do not reach out to me or talk to me. I wish you the best.”
And you would have done the same for yourself. If you wish for joy- true joy is from God & occurs in the midst of pain and hard decisions.
I come at this from the perspective of being the wife. My soon to be ex left my relationship for another woman. He also stayed in contact with his first love. He never invested fully in us. There always was a block from being intimate, honest and true because of that. When he left for the other woman (who was married and ultimately divorced her husband for him), he left a path of destruction and pain behind.
Is he “happy” now? Yes, indeed he is. Does he have peace and joy? No. You can not have those things when a relationship was attained through immoral methods and sin. He has lost the respect too and love of a wonderful, caring, excellent wife and mother and moreover he has sinned against his own body. Guilt eventually has a way of eating up your soul from the inside…either through health issues or confusion and pain down the road.
Do you deserve to feel peace and joy? Absolutely! But you and your current wife both deserve this! And you deserve it together. If you’ve done ALL you can to facilitate this through counseling and you feel it’s time to move on- then do so openly and honestly. Do the right thing and file for divorce first.
I will warn you….what you are seeking is fulfillment, admiration, love and attention. These are things that can be found in your current relationship if you put in the hard work and you cut off the other lady. Will you grieve your old love? Yes, you will! Will it tear you up and will you sob and fight it? Yes! But, doing the “right” thing ultimately will bring that joy and peace you long for.
You made a covenant and commitment before God and your wife to remain loyal. While you’ve broken it already- it’s never too late to get back on track.
If you decide to go forward with your past love….remember this- everyone is on their best behavior now. You will carry over the same issues you are dealing with now into your next relationship. You would be wise either way to get into individual therapy to heal the hole in your heart you’ve tried to fill with this other woman.
The passion and love of sneaking around and having a relationship on the side will die out once you actually make your leap. Suddenly it will be real. Weigh your risks carefully.
It appears you know what you want but I bet deep down you know what is right too. And, that other woman, if she is very special, does not deserve a guy who is willing to leave his marriage for her. He’s not then a standup guy. She’s settling too for less than she deserves.
Love is tough. Love is about doing what is difficult and it’s hard work…it’s not easy.
BillApril 2nd, 2019 at 1:37 PM
You have brought up some valid points to be sure and I thank you for taking the time to comment on my dilemma.
However I do not possess the religious beliefs that you do so I’m not of the mind that God judges me.
I also know that I’ve given my wife the very best years of my life. Our lack of intimacy is not one persons fault, I firmly believe that there’s three sides to every story. I do however think our relationship has become stale and people do change.
She is a wonderful person in so many respects and I’ve tried to tell her that I need more and I’m not happy. I have also suggested counseling but she does not seem interested and I’m not going to beg her.
I may not understand completely the consequences of my actions yet but I have grown so tired of not wanting to go home and pretending I’m happy.
My first love and i have tried to stay away from each other and you think it would be easy since we are separated by over 2000 miles but is seems we are not able and our love and desire for each other grows daily.
JennyJune 4th, 2019 at 5:25 AM
Sara, re: your response to Bill. Whoa, that was a big helping of judgement – that happens to reveal much more about your own insecurities & demons than it does about a strangers relationship struggle. “We judge people in areas we are vulnerable to shame.” I hope you find healing for your personal shame. And Bill follows his heart & lives his best life whatever that is. Love wins. Jenny
MarianaAugust 3rd, 2019 at 6:23 AM
Jenny, talk about judgement. I saw no “personal shame” in Sara’s response. Bill, move on. File for divorce and give your wife freedom from a self-absorbed life-partner. There are plenty of people out there who will validate your means to make yourself happy. YOU deserve it!
RonJune 18th, 2019 at 7:58 AM
There are many of us good single men out there that have never been married with a family. And many of us definitely would’ve been married already, had we met the right good woman to settle down with. It is very unfortunate that many of us weren’t that lucky and blessed at all, especially since we keep meeting the wrong women all the time. Many of us would’ve been very happy to be married, and very thankful too if we had been that lucky and blessed to begin with. What a shame.
wisdomJune 29th, 2019 at 9:13 AM
hi here looking good
SusanJuly 29th, 2019 at 11:49 PM
I have been married for 33 years. I found out 2 years ago that my husband has been having an affair with a
coworker for the past 30 years. I had no idea. It has broken my family, my relationship and my self esteem. When you are married, you should do everything possible to make it work with each other. If that spark is gone between you and your partner then do whatever it takes to bring it back into your marriage. Dont turn your back on your spouse and kids. Make it work. Unless your mutually separating by choice. Even talking to another female while being married is a form of abuse towards your spouse. Why not spend those efforts on your own marriage. Why can men spend great efforts to make another woman happy but can’t keep their own wife happy. It’s the choice they are consciously making. Put the time and efforts to make your own relationship better. I found out after 30 years and it has destroyed me, my self respect, my outlook on life, I dont believe in love anymore. Guys dont realize how much their wife will break when she finds out. Spouses should be able to sue their cheating spouse for damaging the marriage and breaking the family unit. If your not happy than end your marriage than go be with someone else. Do it the right way. Dont hide and cheat. And also to the ladies that have affairs with married guys. Go find a single or divorced person. Dont RIP apart someone’s marriage just for fun. What goes around comes around. People that cheat have no self respect or respect for anyone else.
ElizabethAugust 7th, 2019 at 7:42 PM
My husband and I have been married about 46 years. He has had many affairs, he won’t leave , he lies and he always say to death do us apart. My husband wants his cake and eat it too. But I know I should close the door on this marriage, he says he happy, he retired early all he does watch nudity pictures of women ,he won’t work around the house, he just won’t. Anything I want he will give me, our house is falling apart. I have to hire people, he leaving going on vacation alone, He keeps saying he going to Virginia to visit his military friend, I asked can I see the tickets he was upset, I rather live alone, and be happy, put he won’t.
MarianaAugust 8th, 2019 at 9:11 AM
Elizabeth, Whether or not you live alone is up to you. Leave this ,…
ChloeAugust 1st, 2019 at 3:17 AM
I have visited alot of sites and forums and I have not gotten the help I’ve requested. All I want is for my wife to come back to me and love me more. I’m a changed man and promise to be a good husband.
The GoodTherapy TeamAugust 1st, 2019 at 8:29 AM
Thanks for your comment. If you would like to consult with a mental health professional, including marriage and family therapy, please feel free to return to our homepage, http://www.goodtherapy.org/, and enter your postal/zip code into the search field to find therapists in your area. If you’re looking for a counselor that practices a specific type of therapy, or who deals with specific concerns, you can make an advanced search by clicking here: http://www.goodtherapy.org/advanced-search.html
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JillAugust 12th, 2019 at 11:24 AM
What is it with middle-aged/older men who decide that they no longer love their wife of 30+ years? This cliche makes me so angry, scared and incredibly disappointed. My dad (now aged 64) did this to my mum 4 years ago. He is now with a woman 15 years younger than him and is carrying on like a teenage boy in love. Meanwhile my mum, sister and I have been left totally devastated at his actions and he doesn’t seem to care. He thinks my sister and I just need to ‘get over it’. It is completely pathetic and also makes me terrified that my husband will do the same thing to me when he turns 60. Sadly there are always women looking to be with an older man, there are not many men looking to get with older women, or apparently women of a similar age to them. So my mum’s options for finding a new love are really limited while these middle-aged men (who act like teenagers) can carry on with their selfishness without understanding why it’s so incredibly unfair. Yes, if your wife treats you badly you are fully justified in leaving them, but saying you no longer love someone like you did when you first met…come on!
MarianaSeptember 1st, 2019 at 7:38 AM
Your mum needs to focus on herself. She needs to take care of herself especially financially. It will not bode well for him but she needs to get everything she can from the person who vowed to be with her for the rest of her life.
LeonaSeptember 10th, 2019 at 1:07 PM
So you would have rather your father stay in a loveless marriage (on his part, anyway) until the day he died? How “fair” is that? I don’t understand. We are responsible for our own happiness. If you don’t like where you are, MOVE. You are not a tree
JamesAugust 30th, 2019 at 9:50 PM
My Wife of over 35 years has left me. Our three kids are grown and have families.
MarianaSeptember 1st, 2019 at 7:41 AM
So sorry, James, time is your friend now so give it time.
JamesSeptember 1st, 2019 at 2:25 PM
I have no hope, or will to go on. Funny thing is she is a strong Christian. I am so numb. I was in an 11 day coma nearly two years ago. She told me it would probably been better for the family
JamesSeptember 1st, 2019 at 2:26 PM
It would have been better if I had died
The GoodTherapy.org TeamSeptember 1st, 2019 at 6:20 PM
Hi, James. Thank you for sharing your comment. If you would like to consult with a mental health professional, please feel free to return to our homepage, http://www.goodtherapy.org/, and enter your postal/zip code into the search field to find therapists in your area. If you’re looking for a counselor that practices a specific type of therapy, or who deals with specific concerns, you can make an advanced search by clicking here: http://www.goodtherapy.org/advanced-search.html
Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. From this list, you can click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. Please contact us if you have any questions.
If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, in danger of hurting yourself or others, feeling suicidal, overwhelmed, or in crisis, it’s very important that you get immediate help! Information about what to do in a crisis is available here: http://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html
RandySeptember 3rd, 2019 at 3:20 PM
Hey Ready To Go….you should talk to your lady friend first and see if she is open to what you are thinking about. Make sure of that first, because it sure would suck if you go through a divorce and all the mess that it brings and then come to find out your lady friend wasn’t even thinking of you in that way.
You deserve to be happy. (we all do) and you deserve romance and emotional connection . Romance is a huge one. We become stale old curmudgeons without romance. Talk to your lady friend. If she responds positively…you need to leave your stale marriage faster than you can say “I’m outta here”. Best of luck to you.
VonnySeptember 3rd, 2019 at 4:53 PM
You really should try to work things out. Oh I know the devastation too well then recovery is a b—— tr
James S.September 7th, 2019 at 12:23 PM
Thank you for this forum. I am a 48 year old man married 23 years and met my wife 10 years prior to that. We would have what otherwise appear to be a very solid marriage all these years and raised two boys who are now successful in college. The spouse and I love each other, are vastly compatible and communicate often. One unique difference from these boards is that I was the male domestic stay-at-home Dad, and I was able to make decent money from home in a high demand industry averaging perhaps 12 hours a week.
But here is the rub… my wife has been very happy for 23 years. I take good care of her and of my kids; my therapists confirm me as a classic caretaker who does not address his own needs. I have not been happy, have suffered depression, primarily due to childhood trauma. My spouse has known this and has mostly taken the position that she is helpless to impact it (and I agree). I have been numb in our marriage, I love and respect my spouse but did not feel in love, did not feel much at all but having a good friend and companion. I have for at least 4-5 years thought I would leave the marriage after the kids left the house, because I knew I could not continue to live this way my whole life.
This past year, I finally picked up with the therapists where I left off when my kids were 2 when things got too busy to focus on my mental health. After much work, I have completely transformed and freed myself from the deep fog I have been living in. I am a new person. But my spouse did not recognize my change, and worse, does not even seem to like the new person very much. Without intending to, I met someone who very much did see and appreciate and deeply love my new self, and I am deep into an emotional affair and in love (just three months).
I have been completely transparent with my spouse (something I do not recommend based on my experience and you have read the arguments before). We have continued to work on our marriage for about six months now and she claims to want to get to know my transformed self. Progress has been slow. I shut out my new love for a while to keep working on it. But I just cannot get the feeling into my marriage. My wife continues to want the old person only improved, instead of the new person.
So I have been tasked with working on my marriage first with the affair on hold. I do not want the other woman to be the perceived cause of a separation because it is not. It is merely the thing that made my wife start to really listen to me, for better or worse. But it may be too late. How long do I need to work on my marriage before it is clear that we need to go our separate ways. I want my wife to be happy to, and she deserves to be able to move on if that is where we are headed. I feel ready to move on, but our marriage deserves a chance. My transformed happy self is getting squashed in all of this drama and when my spouse can get my old personality into the room. The emotions are awful for everyone involved.
How much work is enough before I ask for a divorce? All these people promising that if I come back, close the affair, work on the marriage, great things will happen…. it has not. I am ready to live and need to emerge as my new self. Confused. Thank you.
bruce t.September 8th, 2019 at 11:15 AM
Peter L.September 8th, 2019 at 1:58 PM
James S. – IMO the answer depends on how solid and clear your judgement is about your new relationship. If really and truly you and your new love are a good match for the long run, and you are not just evaluating the new person in a rosy way, then I urge you to go forward with your divorce. We only have one life to live. You’ve really made an effort to make your first marriage work, but you’ve been very unhappy for a long time. Marriage isn’t a sentence of bondage. I say this as someone who posted earlier in this thread as leaving my wife of 21 years for another woman – my judgement of my new love was 100% on target. I’m happier than I’ve ever been – many people (both friends and family) have remarked that I haven’t seemed so happy in years (meaning decades). Treat everyone – particularly your children – with as much care as you can, but follow your heart.
James SSeptember 9th, 2019 at 5:26 AM
Thank you for the support and comments. I am doing my best to keep the evaluation of any future relationships separate from the question of whether my marriage will succeed or fail. Because it is entirely true; the problems of the marriage predate my emotional affair (I have no other history of infidelity). What I cannot wrap my mind around is how long is long enough in trying. Our marriage therapist seems to be completely numb to our lack of progress. I am perplexed by the lack of progress with my marriage, because I read about how we have all the ingredients to get back on track. The prison metaphor feels apt. I also know that all the keys are within me; it is not about my wife and it is not about my affair partner. But knowing that does not make it move forward… very frustrating. Thank you again.
MarianaOctober 14th, 2019 at 7:58 PM
Once again, a friend of mine has split from her husband. I have been following and adding to this thread for several years. I found out in 2013 that my husband of 24 years had a 26 year old girlfriend (who also was married). It wasn’t the perfect marriage but it was my family and my 3 kids were getting to the independant stage and I thought we could start enjoying some freedom together. Nope. My ex is a police officer and my cop’s wives friends are dropping like flies. These guys are seeing these other guys with 20 somethings and leaving their families. So once again, a woman who bore his children, raised them, set up a home for the family, plus worked outside the home to contribute to the income, is left to start a new life. My ex is still with the same girl, lives in filth, goes to a therapist and has lost a relationship with one of my kids. How is this substantiated? This is what happens when people’s purpose in life is to focus on themselves. SMH
RosyNovember 6th, 2019 at 3:55 AM
I wonder if a shift in mindset would be helpful. You mentioned all the things you’ve done FOR him; bore children, raised them, set up a home and worked to contribute to the family – I assume you got some personal satisfaction and personal enjoyment out of doing all those things – right? None of that is lost just because your spouse no longer values it. That’s his problem. You should be able to lay your head down at night knowing you did those things because they made YOU happy. And that with or without him, you will continue to do the things that fulfill your life.
Bitterness comes when we spend all our energy making somebody else happy at the expense of our own dreams. It is a huge risk to be in that kind of relationship. People change & sometimes grow into needing something different than the happiness you “sacrificed” to provide – and leavr partners blindsided, baffled and hurt. It can be a shock to realize that another’s happiness IS & always will be completely out of your control!
Bottom line, you control your happiness, he controls his. The couples that can genuinely encourage & support each other’s mutual contentment seem to thrive (often the second time around after learning the hard way!). They understand that the most “unselfish” thing you can do is to be selfish about your personal happiness.
It might seem counter intuitive & it’s hard, but anything else (the false belief that you are providing happiness to someone and they are obligated to you in exchange for it) is a risky way to live in a marriage, and a set up for a whole lot of bitterness & anger when a partner doesn’t live up to it. Which is what most of the posts here are about.
Bottom line, nobody OWES us anything. Certainly not their life if they are not happy, no matter what we believe we did to earn it.
Peace & well wishes to all!
Mariana SDecember 1st, 2019 at 7:08 PM
You’re perspective was spot on! You are so right. Everything I did as a wife was because I thought it was the right thing to do and the best thing for my family. I did a great job as a wife and mother. I did my best. I did do things to make me happy including hobbies and working. He resented it. Even though he wants to make it that I was not a good wife, I did a great job. And I still am a great mother :)
PeterOctober 31st, 2019 at 3:57 PM
We are just not meant to be with one woman or one man for a prolong period of time. Society create this overwhelming of unhappy people just move on to greener pastures and have great sex again as this is what we are here for procreation that’s all. It’s a sad world to know we stay together because of love and commitment I say be happy of u are unhappy u can’t make anyone happy so leave
DBNovember 10th, 2019 at 7:13 AM
Sorry this is so long… I’ve been in marriage for 21 years (next week). The last year has been a horrible experience and my life has been flipped upside down. Before our 20th, wife said she was unhappy and that I’ve failed at many things and I need to fix them or we are done. I’ve been trying (single & group counseling), reading books, finally talking with friends and family about emotions/thoughts/etc, started going to church and praying (even for her), listening to her more, agreeing to moving out when she demanded me to, being a “tougher” dad, focusing on myself to be happy, and more.
I have never had any addictions, never been abusive. I never hold grudges (after a day or so, water under the bridge, but sometimes I wish I could hold onto anger!) I care for everyone around me and will never say “NO” to them when they ask me for help. My very closest friends have told me I am the most patient and caring person they’ve ever known. My friends, and even her own family have told me she is making unreasonable demands. My wife would not disagree with any of these statements about myself.
Her biggest two complaints are 1) I don’t protect her, and 2) I am not a leader of the family.
Regarding #1 – she has had a lot of “drama” with past friends and family (especially my mom and her sister-in-law). She tends to latch onto things said and not be able to let them go. In the beginning of our relationship (around 15 years ago), I said she needed to let things go and insinuated that perhaps the “drama” was partly her fault. That, of course, was not good for our relationship and still continues to be brought up despite me apologizing and trying to do better. My mom and sister-in-law have said some things (minor, in my opinion that a grown adult should be able to brush off and deal with) that have rubbed my wife wrong. When she has brought these things up to me, I have often tried to offer an explanation on what I thought they meant by it. For example, “my mom didn’t mean it that way, she just meant…” She has told me repeatedly recently that it is proof that I have never protected her, that I should be in her corner 100% of the time, and that by me trying to deflect things they’ve said makes her feel like it is all her fault. (Funny thing is, my mom is hands down the most supportive of my wife while we are going through this, but my wife constantly tells me how much my mom hates her and how she hates my mom too.) Recently, we were trying to have a good heart-to-heart emotional discussion and I asked her if I have EVER protected her. Her response, after thinking a bit was “I don’t think so. I am not even sure you would physically protect me if someone was trying to hurt me.” Wow, that was a horrible thing to hear. I’m 6′ 4″, 200lbs, and am a gentle person, but I’m very athletic and built and would go medieval on someone if they thought of hurting anyone I know. I’m so hurt by this.
So my question for #1 is, am I really not protecting her by not agreeing with her on her “drama” with friends? I have questioned her behavior in the distant past, but in last 5-10 years, I only try to offer potential motives of the other people, not hers, only to try and understand what others have said or done. I’m not disagreeing with her, I feel I’m only exploring the various ways things said or done could have been taken.
Regarding #2 – I am a very high wage earner. We have never ever had any money issues. She buys what she wants, when she wants. She has been stay at home mom for 17 years now who plays a lot of tennis, gets a lot of massages and pedicures, has a huge shoe, purse, and clothes collection, nice new car, etc. She wants for absolutely nothing material. We are set for life with investments. Over the last year she has complained that I keep “DOING THINGS” such as remodeling, filling her car up with gas (because she complains about having to do it), cleaning the house, doing laundry, etc. (She has not said a single “thank you” for as long as I can remember for anything I’ve “DONE”.) Before we officially started having our issues, she complained that I never plan things, so all of our 19th year, I planned single and group outings to musicals, plays, dinners, a semi-surprise birthday party (that turned into a disaster because she said I should have known she doesn’t like surprises). I feel like I am being the “man of the house” and leading in some aspects such as taking care of finances and our future well being, making sure we have a roof and future. I have been trying to make more decisions about family and home matters and plan socially for us, and I’ve been doing a great job (IMHO) disciplining our two boys more instead of being their best friend (we are very close).
So, my question for #2 is, what else am I supposed to be leading and how am I failing here?
Just a few days ago, I told her “I’m done and want a divorce”. Now I have extreme regret and remorse, but F#$!, reading what I’ve wrote angers me…
JamieNovember 18th, 2019 at 5:25 PM
DB, Whoa! Not a leader? Seems you have led by working hard & providing a great secure life for your family, you’ve led by being a kind person, by humbly trying to find solutions in your marriage, by listening and seriously examining if you have a role in your wife’s unhappiness (even by writing here). That is the definition of leadership! Only knowing what you’ve said here, it sounds like your wife is deeply insecure & lacks confidence (only you know) If so, sadly until she finds something worthy within herself to like & builds her self esteem, she will most likely continue to criticize & blame everyone around her for her unhappiness. And keep filling her life with drama, a distraction from the inside work she needs to do. She might even subconsciously resent everything you give to her (love, support, friendships) as it emphasizes what she herself has not done. And why she needs to keep you feeling like a failure & walking on eggshells. All unhealthy stuff. Hard to say if she can change, that maybe a long road with no guarantees. All you can do truly, is decide how you want to live the rest of your life. Do you risk valuable time with a partner who may not be able to change? Or do you move on. For sure, you deserve to be happy, and choosing happiness, whatever that looks like for you is not selfish. It’s mature. It’s kind. It’s a loving act to everyone around you, including your sons.
ViviDecember 1st, 2019 at 11:24 AM
I’ve been hurt. I have been betrayed. I’ve been through some PAINful life experiences. But you know, I have never been devastated by actions of another person. Because THAT is a choice. I chose to have boundries. I choose growth. I choose to trust my path. I chose joy,
What do YOU choose? I sounds like from so many of these posts, that you chose to roll aroung in the mud, the blood and the beer. NO ONE’S actions define who I am. Move on to living life and becoming your best self.
DavidDecember 14th, 2019 at 3:54 PM
markJanuary 18th, 2020 at 6:52 AM
I have been married for 31 years, I am 55 years old.2 weeks ago my wife told me that she met someone 8 weeks ago and she is in love.6 years ago she had an affair and it devastated me the thing that stuck with me most is after she never took responsibility always saying it was my fault. Fast forward 6 years same thing do not hesitate to leave if someone devalues you and your feelings move on i just moved out 2 days ago.I cant wait to see what happens next in life .
ChuckJanuary 18th, 2020 at 11:46 AM
After 45 years of marriage and several years of therapy, I’ve learned it’s never one persons fault in an affair and I’m not talking just about the other person. Two people got married and it takes two people to make it fail, I’m not taking up for your wife or saying it’s all your fault and maybe she’s trying to tell you how you made her feel rather than blaming you. I know for years I have tried to explain to my wife what was happening but only through therapy did I understand I was wanting to tell her how I felt that caused me to make the choices I made, I was never trying to BLAME her I was trying to let her know I felt our marriage was in trouble, I just didn’t know how to explain it.
mark v bunyanJanuary 19th, 2020 at 3:48 AM
Thanks Chuck you are right it takes 2 people to make a marriage we tried counseling and trying to work things out. In the end it was really just a breakdown in basic communication. Right now i am bitter and hurt but she is the mother of my children and i will always love her for that.
TonyJanuary 19th, 2020 at 6:08 AM
Actually, I sympathize with the woman in this instance. She is trying to preserve the marriage. Even so, the man has a right to pursue his happiness. The consequences of his decision are his. What I do have a problem with, is our antiquated family laws, and our anachronistic family law courts. Most of the time, our anachronistic system plunders the man. I have seen many times, when the woman decides to plunder the assets, a man has worked decade to accumulate, in order to pursue her fantasy of her personal happiness. That fantasy might be new sex with a younger man, or the freedom to have easy sex with multiple partners. I call it fantasy, because the newness always wears off. These are instances where there no children, and the man has lived a caring responsiible life. And yes, he has earned most of the assets. In these cases, the woman can support herself. She has her own ncome. But she is awarded a disportionate amount of the asstes the man has worked for. She is awarded this, just because she is female.
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