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Suffocated by her marriage, falls for another guy but can’t leave

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Jane was physically and sexually abused by her mothers abusive partners as a child, at aged 12 the abuse stopped and Jane began spending more and more time at her friend‘s house. Over a couple of years she fell for her friend’s older brother; she pursued him, sneaking into his room when everybody else was asleep.

They began a physical relationship when she was 13 and he was 18. No intercourse, Jane would go down on him and lay beside him stroking his skin when he fell asleep (she was sure she loved him and wanted him to feel her love) he wouldn’t touch or kiss Jane which left her feeling used, nor did they talk about their ‘relationship’ or see each other other then these night time visits. This went on for a few years. Once Jane reached 16 she had a boyfriend and spent less time at the friends house, soon after this the brother left his parents home and they rarely saw one another but Jane still felt a longing for him.

At 18 Jane had finished with her bf and met her friend’s brother (Chris) again. They began officially dating, and though the relationship wasn’t everything she’d pictured it would be, she stayed with him because she was sure they were meant to be together. She loved him. After 5 years together she became pregnant and they married.

They’ve now been together 15 years. They had 3 children together but during this time Chris has become sexually violent and some times forces Jane to have sex when she doesn’t want to, he’d say her body was his. This has resulted in Jane having two abortions that she didn’t want to have and has brought back memories of the fear she felt as a child at the hands of her mother’s partners.

Jane has become increasingly suffocated and resentful in her marriage, she doesn’t want to be in a relationship with Chris anymore but doesn’t want to leave the marital home or split the family up for her children’s sake. He is a good dad and their children are happy and secure. Something Jane never felt as a child.

Partly in retaliation or vengefulness, and partly out of desire to feel valued/respected and desired, Jane started a relationship with an ex colleague. John knows Jane is married with kids and in an unhappy relationship and they were both clear that she has no plans to leave her husband. Their sexual relationship has been on and off for four years.

This relationship opened the flood gates for Jane, even at aged 29 she’d never had an orgasm, she felt numb during sex but did it out of duty. This awakening with John left her wanting more. She began meeting men and couples for sex, sometimes attending sex parties which she really enjoyed. She’d never felt in control of her body or sexual relationships, these meets impowered her but became addictive but not fulfilling.

Fast forward to now, Jane has been seeing more of John and has ended the other meets (she told John about the swinging). She’s developed feelings for John, wants to spend more time with him but she’s sure he wants to keep their relationship as a no strings attached arrangement.

John has never had a long term relationship, he’s 31, Jane is 32. John will go a week or more without texting sometimes but when they are together, treats Jane like they’re an item, he’s introduced Jane to friends and his father, but only as his friend. He reads poetry to her, hold her hand, kisses her forehead and makes her feel loved. He told her he loved her when he was drunk. Once ‘as a friend’ when they were in front of people and then again when they were alone but Jane didn’t know how to respond because he was drunk and so she just kissed him.

There time together is fun but, when they part John retreats, doesn’t text or replies with only a few words. John very, very rarely initiates contact or says he wants to see Jane. He says he doesn’t want relationships because he is too selfish and he likes his own space, and, he likes flirting and meeting other women for sex. Jane suggested he finds somebody who was happy for him to be other women too, an open relationship but he said he wouldn’t want his gf to sleep with other men.

He’s told her how he’s ended relationships with other women when they’ve said they’re in love with him because he doesn’t want to end up hurting them in the long run by being non committing.

John’s mother left when he was young, he is attracted predominantly to older women, has sexual relationships with them but then ends them abruptly. Almost like he’s punishing these woman for his mother’s sins.

Anyway! Jane wants to tell John she loves him but she doesn’t want to ruin what they have because their time together does bring her joy. She is confident John doesn’t feel the same, but even if John said he loved her back, she wouldn’t want to leave her kids anyway. Honest advice for Jane please?

Suffocated by her marriage, falls for another guy but can’t leave

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Hi Jane.
First I want you to know that you think you are protecting your children....i stayed in a relationship thinking the same thing and years later my kids (whether you think the children know or not there are problems in your marriage...they DO know and it DOES affect them and for that reason) you and your husband do not belong together...That is what is BEST for the children...they can have both valuable/quality time with Mom and Dad separately as Mom and Dad live separate lives but love them all.....That way on the nights Dad has the children....Jane can sleep with John or whomever else she sees fit....You could tell me till your purple in the Face that the kids think you and the husband are "fine"...I am telling you from experience I am kids are now 34 and 31...and they DO know and wish you two would split up.

you learned at a very young age...very young...that sex gave you attention...and so of course your going to continue that pattern because everyone wants affection and attention both are very addicting....I see from looking from the outside you get very emotionally attached to the men very quickly because you crave alot of affection that was probably missing from your parents when you were younger....

I feel like as far as "John" that you feel he brings you joy...but to me he is not bringing you "joy" he is sleeping around...not wanting to are accepting that because you don't feel worthy of anything more than scraps....I would suggest...That you move on from your husband first....situate yourself with the children and whatever arrangement you want to have with THEM....first....stay away from John until all of that is done....your pleasure or need for affection now that you are an adult...can wait until you have the kids in a safe/scheduled/happy environment.....And then don't go back looking for John....Start over...find YOURSELF....find out who you are without SEX involved for as long as you can....make it a challenge to just focus on learning who you are...loving you would a child or a best friend....And then when you are will find a man of your "own" one from the start a fresh life without the past trauma's involved...and maybe live happily ever after.

Suffocated by her marriage, falls for another guy but can’t leave

CAYETANA profile image
Jane should go to therapy and stop getting involved with unavailable men. She should work in therapy on reframing what love is because what she is confused about what men she deserves to give her love to. Jane should also re-evaluate what staying "for the kids" means and what her responsibility is toward them. If she thinks staying in a relationship in which she is getting abused teaches her kids anything good, she is mistaken. She should consider that her responsibility is to teach her kids the healthy way to respond to someone who is abusive and that's by leaving and securing a place where she is not abused.

She should report Chris to the police for assaulting her and file for full custody of the kids. She should find out what documentation is eligible in court and she should gather it, like recordings if it's a one-party consent state. She might think her kids don't now what's going on but even if they don't know everything, they are exposed to the reality of a relationship that is not healthy. They are learning that when similar vibes arise in a relationships it's normal/expected to stay and to keep kids in it. And if they will try to do that as adults they will also find out staying is incompatible with getting their needs met and discover that going outside the relationships to seek satisfaction makes it more tolerable. But that just continues the cycle.

Jane should work on healing from her abuse in therapy, and stop dating and pursuing random/meaningless sex. Her priority should be reaching a place of safety and authenticity so her kids learn from her modeling about what a healthy response is to the kind of toxic relationship she is in. She thinks she is staying for the kids, but she's not really staying. She is avoiding responsibility and turning a blind eye to what is going on at home in order to seek immediate gratification from outside encounters. In the meantime she is not teaching her kids how to deal with conflict, how to respect themselves, and how to avoid/exit bad relationships.

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