I am a 44 yo male and I have been with my wife for 24 years, married for 20 years this year.
I was very young, in fact, too young. We bought a house together (shared mortgage) when we were 22 and we still live in that same 2 bedroom house today.
After getting married we tried for children, for a few years. I always wanted to have children of my own without going to IVF etc..
Anyway, we never have conceived and we kind of gave up and decided that, no matter what, we'll always have each other.
Things became very difficult for me in my early thirties. I started going out with friends and found myself chatting to other women. I was torn. I didn't want to throw the precious years I had spent with my wife, but I also didn't want to be in a stagnant marriage.
My wife is not very compliant when it comes to talking about things, and neither am I. We have a friendly, jovial, almost childish relationship, whereby our affections are shown to each other with jokes, fun and laughter. Much more like a best friend than a proper loving partner.
When I was 35, I went away for a weekend with some male friends and I got chatting to a woman. I told her I was married and that I wasn't happy. She consoled me and invited me back to hers. I feel so bad for doing that. We didn't do anything, we just talked, but it was nice to have someone who would talk to me and listen to me.
The following day, I went home and I have kept this episode from my wife. Yes, I feel guilty.
The problem is, I don't like uncertainty. I don't want to just tear everything apart and hope everything will be better. I am quite stubborn that way, I guess. This is why I am still with my wife today.
I wish things could be different. I don't know what to do.
I feel I have let my family down. My parents only have one grandchild from my brother. I always wanted to see the joy on their faces with my own children.
You will probably think I'm stupid and it's my own fault for not talking to my wife, but she will not discuss it and I'm too frightened to approach any subject that may cause upset.
Sometimes, actually a lot of times I just want to leave everything behind and leave my wife with a 'Dear John' letter.
I'm not even sure if my wife loves me. We don't have any intimacy anymore. My wife feels she is unattractive, even if I tell her she isn't. We make love about once a year now. It's been like that for the past 5 years.
I just want love in my life but I feel it's too late.
What can I do?
I don't want to waste any more of my life being unhappy. My friends believe that I'm clinging on to a broken relationship and I should end it. I tend to agree with them.
I don't understand why my wife is still with me. If she decided to end it, I probably wouldn't mind, in fact, I'm sure I'll be relieved. The problem is, she can't afford a place of her own and I don't want to move out. I really don't know what to do. I don't think it's healthy to be together any more. Time is slipping by and I wish I'd done something years ago. Maybe I'd be happy now, who knows?
What should I say to her?
Should I just say 'I'm not happy and I want to end it'?
What will happen if I did say that?
Will there be hope or will there be misery?
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