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Posted: 4/6/2006 1:28:26 PM EDT
Please don't judge me to harshly until you've read the entire post. then please be as honest as possible.

My wife and I have been married for almost 20yrs, we're both 40. We have one child, a son that is 13. We don't have now and never really did have much in common. We've basically grown apart. that has been slowly happening for a very long time. it's literally been years in fact that I've been unhappy in my marrage. Recently I met another woman. It wasn't intended but we made an incredible connection. we've seen each other a few times over the last couple of months. We are very compatible, much more so than my wife and I ever were.
I've always stayed, even though I've been very unhappy, because of my son. My wife and I don't fight. We don't talk either. my son has never said anything but I'm sure he must notice something's wrong. At this point, and it was going on before I met this woman, I avoid all physical contact with my wife, I don't like her even putting her hand on my leg. She knows I'm unhappy and have been for a long time. she's afraid I'll leave and what effect that will have on my son, I am too. I don't want to hurt him or her really, but I think how things are now and have been for months ,isn't healthy for any of us either. I also think that some of the things I do, not talk to her, aviod her when she's around, pull away from her, etc..are more hurtful than just leaving. but I can't help but do them. I have tried in the past but I just can't seem to make myself feel anything for her anymore. I really think she just likes the idea of being married and is scared to be alone. I think she'd rather we were both miserable and together than to be divorced.
I really have no one around me, no close friends to talk to so after months of wondering if I should post here for some thoughts and advice I finally did. I really would like to hear your truthful thoughts on what you think I should do as well as anything else..

Thanks
BD
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 1:57:21 PM EDT
You made a vow. Make it work.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 2:14:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/6/2006 2:15:59 PM EDT by Ginger]
Would you be thinking about leaving if it wasn't for the other woman? The way I see it, a person shouldn't get involved with with somebody else until the relationship they're in is over. 20 years is a long time to be married... You said that you felt this way before you met the other person, so I'm guessing that marriage counselling is not an option you'd consider. But have you even communicated your feelings to your wife? Aside from pushing her away... I think that you need to do that, I really do. Has this other woman indicated that she wants to be with you in a more permanent relationship?

With the best will in the world, you can't force yourself to love someone. I don't know ... It sounds like your wife knows there's something wrong. If I were you, I'd lay my cards on the table - if not about the other woman (you haven't said how serious that is), then at least about how you feel.



ETA How much of you wanting to leave is about the other person?
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 4:05:37 PM EDT
honestly, I wanted to leave before I met this person. We live quite a distance apart so a long term commitment may not work. We haven't talked about a long term relationship. although I think we are both willing to see where it goes if that becomes an option. but, I can honestly say that it's not because of her. it started long before we met. I will say it is on my mind and may have some bearing on my overall mood and thoughts.

My wife knows how I feel, when we talked a while ago, she asked if I still loved her and my answer was. I can't say I love you...

I think she just thinks things will get better...

thanks for your thoughts...I'm alittle lot messed up at the moment

Link Posted: 4/6/2006 7:09:55 PM EDT
The slow but sure demise of a long-term relationship is a sad thing. I feel for you both. I don't buy into the concept of staying together for the children or forcing yourself to stay with someone because "you made a vow." But you have to examine why this happened, and did you take any steps along the way to recover what you were losing? Or did you sit quietly by and allow it? Counselling is a good option if both parties are open to it. If you have another woman on the side (which I have no respect for), you are probably not going to get much out of counselling unless you are willing to give up this outsider. If you're not willing to do that, your wife deserves a chance to find someone who will be faithful, both physically and in his heart.
As for your son, what kind of relationship is he going to learn to emulate by watching you recoil from your wife? Is that the kind of relationship you want him to seek out when he is an adult? I believe parents have a responsibility to teach their children by example. You and your wife torturing each other on a daily basis is probably not the example you want to set. Having a girlfriend on the side is probably not what you want your son to believe is appropriate. If you think he'll never find out, you're kidding yourself. Kids are not dumb.

I hope you understand none of my comments are meant to offend. I just wanted to offer some thoughts from someone who's been there.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 5:05:46 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 6:01:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SP1Grrl:
If you're not in love with her, do both of you a favor and leave her. You two deserve to be happy, and staying in a loveless marriage isn't going to get either one of you there. Don't think that your son doesn't know what's going on, either. Kids are astoot creatures. You don't want him to think that your marriage is a 'healthy relationship'. I hate it when people stay together for the kids, b/c it just ends up hurting the kids even more.



I completely agree. You owe your wife happiness, whether it's with you or without you. She can't be happy with you, even though you think she wants to stay together. Life is too short to be miserable. And don't you think your kid deserves happy parents? My son was 4 when his father and I divorced. It's much better for a child to be with HAPPY parents that may or may not be together, than to feel guilty knowing that they only reason his parents are together is because of him, and that because of that they're miserable.

Do yourself, your wife, and your son a favor. If all hope is gone for a reconcilliaton with your wife, then you should split. have you tried to talk to your wife about ALL of this? Not having anything in common, etc? Maybe you could try to do things together? There must have been something there in the beginning? Try to find that again. And if not? Then you tried.


Link Posted: 4/7/2006 6:12:40 AM EDT
If you're gonna leave, leave. But do NOT go from your marriage bed to another woman's bed. It's STUPID. First, of course the "connection" is "hotter" than it is with your wife: it ain't 20 years old, for Christ's sake. Second, sometimes it isn't the person, but the IDEA of the person that makes it so "hot." Third, you DO have a child. You wanna leave your wife. Fine, leave her. But do it resposibly: sit down with your son and her and talk it out. Make sure you're in complete agreement on the custody and the payments and don't screw with it. Nothing teaches kids about how NOT to act than example.

You don't wanna be a husband, fine...that's your decision. But you don't get to choose NOT to be a parent AFTER the child is born---financially or Emotionally.

just my .02.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 7:36:51 AM EDT
I feel for you and certainly do not judge you harshly.

There is much tendency to immediately dump on the man in these cases and that is often unreasonable, especially when the parties have vastly different interests and beliefs.

I do hope that you place your son's wellbeing above that of yourself. He did not ask to be brought into this world, and into your care. He is your first responsibility. You can still be an excellent father whether you are in the home or not. With so many marriages dissolving in bitter divorce these days, it can be argued that having a dad who conducted himself like a gentleman during a divorce and continues to support him both emotionally and financially is a positive plus, as compared to a dad who goes through the motions living out a miserable life "for his sake".

Please do not be swayed by emotional outbursts on your wife's part IF you make a reasoned mature decision to divorce for your OWN reasons... NOT reasons of hopping into another bed.

Keep us posted, and we can help you keep an even keel during the emotional "stuff" which you may experience.

Most of us gals here are used to the platonic company of men as just plain buddies, while most women are not, and "most women" often have very different communication skills (or lack thereof) which can be downright scary and foriegn to guys.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 7:50:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ar15_rifleman:
You made a vow. Make it work.



+1 The time and energy you're spending on the new honey could be invested in your marriage and son. There had to be some connection that made you propose, made you take those vows - think of that and start connecting with your wife.

I really recommend Dr. Laura's books 10 stupid things couples do to screw up their lives and The proper care and feeding of husbands.

Patty
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 8:13:25 AM EDT
I want you to know that what I am about to say is being said with the utmost love and compassion.

I have to disagree with those telling you that the "happiness" of your wife and wourself is the ultimate goal. Happiness, by it's very nature is short-lived and elusive, and you can spend your whole life chasing it only to find that you have lost what is really meaningful along the way. Are you a man of your word? Do you want your son to be a man of his word? Remember this: "I will love, honor, and chersish you in good times and in bad, 'til death do us part"?

Your adult responsibilities right now have nothing to do with running out on your family (and, yes, your wife is your family as much as your son is) to chase the elusive "hapiness" you expect to find beside that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. You have a choice to make right now, a chice that will ultimately define you as a person and influence your son's future in untold ways. You can act like a spoiled 2 year old and run off to another woman in the hopes of being happy, or you can act like a man and work to solve the problems you face at this moment.

Sure, you can not force yourself to have feelings that aren't there, but love is a lot more than a feeling that comes and goes. Love, the love you vowed to your wife 20 years ago, is a choice that is made to put the well-being of the other person at the top of your list of priorities. You have allready broken this vow, but you can make it right if you are willing to swallow your pride and let go of your childish ideals of romance. The thing is, making the choice to love another person, often leads to feelings of love. Those very feelings that you think won't happen again can and will. If you chosse to leave and go to this other woman, do you really think it won't turn out the same way? Guess again. (I say this with love and honesty) the problem in your marriage is most likely looking at you from the mirror every morning.

Counselling, counselling, counselling. You need individual and couples counselling right now. You need to learn to connect to your wife and not pull away. It sounds as though you don't have any deep animosities towards her, just apathy. She needs to learn how to connect to you as well. The 2 of you have enormous problems to overcome, but you can overcome them together.

I will pray for you and your family. I am sorry if this causes you pain, but sometimes our society gets so hung up on "you gotta feel good, and if it don't feel good, find something else that does" that it takes blunt words to be heard over the din of hedonism. God Bless you, and take care.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 8:19:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Cherry_45:
<snip>.



I couldn't agree with you more.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 11:15:54 AM EDT
Thank you to everyone....

I appriciate your openness and willingness to help.

I knew, and still know now it was wrong to get involved with someone else. I've now ended that. that's a decision that I know was the right thing to do but, still hope it's one I don't ultimately regret.

As for my wife and me, We have begun to talk more and we're looking into conselling. The last couple of days has not been fun. Will it help? I don't know but, I don't think it can get any worse so I'm willing to try. If nothing else, perhaps it will help her come to grips with how I feel and why. although I'm not sure if I can really explain it myself.

I don't want you to think that my unhappiness is something that started just recently or wanting to leave was a decision that I came by easily or quickly. It's been something I've struggeled with for years. A few months ago things just became very acute. I don't know why or what triggered it.

Again thanks for all the thoughtful responses and IM's.

BD
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 2:41:11 PM EDT
Best of luck to you, Blackdog. I hope you guys get things figured out.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 2:47:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Blackdog:
Thank you to everyone....

I appriciate your openness and willingness to help.

I knew, and still know now it was wrong to get involved with someone else. I've now ended that. that's a decision that I know was the right thing to do but, still hope it's one I don't ultimately regret.

As for my wife and me, We have begun to talk more and we're looking into conselling. The last couple of days has not been fun. Will it help? I don't know but, I don't think it can get any worse so I'm willing to try. If nothing else, perhaps it will help her come to grips with how I feel and why. although I'm not sure if I can really explain it myself.

I don't want you to think that my unhappiness is something that started just recently or wanting to leave was a decision that I came by easily or quickly. It's been something I've struggeled with for years. A few months ago things just became very acute. I don't know why or what triggered it.

Again thanks for all the thoughtful responses and IM's.

BD



It's a good start. Wishing you the best of luck.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 3:13:02 PM EDT
Well, It seems lack of communication is one of your big problems. And 20 years is a very long time to throw away , and yes it would deeply effect your child in a very hurtful way. I know kids that cry there self to sleep at night due to these problems. My wife works in the Medical Feild with Children and most of their issues are from parents who have divorced and they no longer feel like they are normal or living a normal life. All mariages have ups and downs , if you don't communicate correctly with your mate to keep the issues from getting this bad, than your the one to blame. You may not have felt this way had you told her from the start and tried to keep the fire burning. As for seeing this other woman, You are wrong for this,,,What kind of message is the sending to your child , that you are in a commitment and not being faithful , And what kind of message are you sending your child ,,treating your wife this way and giving your child the wrong ideas in marriage. I find it very sad to see people in there 30,s or 40,s to have been married several times. I am not trying to be mean , but sometimes we need a wake up call. I know your wife and child would be devasted to find out about your infedelity. If your wife don't know , I wouldn't tell her, Because even if you all work on it and work it out , that might be the last straw for her. And NEVER EVER speak nor see this woman or any other again unless you are fully divorced from your wife and have an understanding with your child. I feel no child should have step parents ever. If you end up with someone . You should live alone , so your child can live or visit without a constant reminder . Also Step parents Never treat them the way they should be treated!That seems to be the worst thing about divorce ,,,parents living with someone else and totally changing that childs everything ..It's not fair to you kid. I always say ,,when I had kids , I now live for them...I have to think of them before I do anything and think how it would effect them,,then I make a dicission. Good luck and Please think of your child before anyone. This is the moral police ...any your first warning ! (LOL) GOOD LUCK
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 3:33:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Cherry_45:
I believe parents have a responsibility to teach their children by example.





Originally Posted By cat_aclysm:
Are you a man of your word? Do you want your son to be a man of his word?





Originally Posted By cat_aclysm:
You have a choice to make right now, a choice that will ultimately define you as a person and influence your son's future in untold ways. You can act like a spoiled 2 year old and run off to another woman in the hopes of being happy, or you can act like a man and work to solve the problems you face at this moment.





Link Posted: 4/7/2006 4:36:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/7/2006 4:42:31 PM EDT by chrome1]
Well , I'm not a Woman , but I have some perspective
on this situation .

I too was married for almost 20 years and had teenage children .
We also drifted apart through no ones fault , other then different
interests . In the end we decided that the best course of action
was to part friends and go our separate ways . The children are
old enough and free to live with either of us as they so desire .

The only real difference between your situation and mine is the fact
that you have met someone else before taking care of current relationship .
WHICH IS THE FIRST THING YOU NEED TO DO .

After that , I will give you my advice based on what I've learned
in the years since my split .

Every new relationship you get into will seem like you both have
much more in common then you and your Ex spouse ever did .
It's an illusion . Fueled by excitement and hormones ( Even At 40 )
After a year or so the gloss will start to wear off and cruel light
day will reveal that your new found mate has some flaws ( And so do you )
Only now you're old enough to come to the conclusion faster then you did the
first time around .

Relationships take work , Allot of it . Along with compromise and tolerance .
The old saying that the grass isn't greener , really is true .

I'm not saying that you really haven’t found your perfect woman . Because
anything is possible , but the odds based on fact are way against it .

What you need to do is take the time to look at yourself honestly .
Not the person you think you could be if you make the changes
that we all wish to make in ourselves but rarely do . In the end you may
find that what you really need to do is to learn to live with yourself and be
ok with it , before you plunge into another relationship because that's all
you've ever known
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