How to persevere in decision to divorce
I have been married for nearly 25 years and have 4 children ages 17-22. I knew before I got married that I did not love my wife the way I had loved a previous girlfriend. I was afraid of being alone at the time and afraid of hurting her so after dating for 2 years we got married.
There have been some good times in my marriage but overall I have always missed the type of relationship I had with my previous girlfriend. My wife has a very limited sense of humor (does not understand most of my jokes), has no sense of sarcasm, no sense of how to flirt with a man, and no sense of being playful. I have struggled with these feelings for 27 years and told no one.
I tried hinting to my wife to be more playful and I have tried being intimate the way that makes me feel close to a woman (to give oral sex to her), but the only thing she thought playful means is tickling. And she does not want oral sex - says it makes her feel dirty and if I still want to do that she says I do not respect her feelings. She is extremely Catholic so we bought books to see what the church allows regarding intimacy - but nothing ever changed. No matter what, we have always followed the rule that a man's orgasm should only happen during intercourse. I don't want this to sound like it is all about sex - I would be happy with other intimacy as well. I cannot remember more than one or two times that she has ever come into a room and kissed me or put her hands on me or told me that she loves me. I used to do those things, but being affectionate leads me to want to be affectionate in other ways also (like giving oral sex) - and that always led to rejection.
So ... last year the woman I dated before my wife contacted me. We talked and both admitted we wondered what things would have been like if we had stayed together. One thing led to another and we ended up having an affair. I had never been unfaithful before this but I feel that within the last 5 years I have given up on hoping that I will ever be closer to my wife. The affair lasted 6 months. She was sure her marriage was over and I had decided to end mine. We talked about getting married, and she would sign her emails to me with my last name. When her husband found that we had been talking he began treating her much better and she realized maybe her marriage could be saved and felt that she had to do that.
I told my wife about the affair before her husband found out. This was about 7 months ago. My wife is completely against divorce and insists that I was happy before the other woman contacted me. I have been brutally honest about always having doubts about our marriage but she does not believe me and says that I have convinced myself of this. I know that is not true because I can recall specific feelings I have had and conversations I had with others before I even got married. She thinks I am depressed and I explain that I am depressed when I think about staying in our marriage - I look forward to the future when I think of a fresh start and a chance to meet someone else to be happy with. I know what I have been missing for the last 27 years. I know that a relationship with another woman would not be perfect either - but I know that there should be a connection there that makes getting through difficulties something to look forward to. I cannot imagine trying to make my marriage work and trying to be intimate with my wife again (I have slept in the basement the last 7 months), but she constantly makes me feel guilty and tells me I am teaching the kids the way we raised them was a lie and that I do not love them. Of course I feel bad hurting them but is feeling bad a reason to stay in my marriage?
I do talk to a counselor about once a month but am looking for feedback on this forum for support or other opinions - even if you disagree with me.
First I want to say that I have absolutely no experience in what you are going through and thus my opinion holds no real authority. I am a 21 year old girl who is just dealing with my own issues and decided to read other people's problems on this site to make myself feel better (half joking). I do, however, want to say that I think you should probably follow through and get a divorce.
I say this because I am, like many others, a child of divorce. My parents got divorced when I was 8 and it was the best thing that ever happened to my family. My mother was miserable and my father was insane and making all of us miserable with their constant bitching. The two of them would argue all the time and it never felt happy at home when they were around each other. When they weren't verbally arguing it felt like a gas leak that was poisoning the whole house and making everyone feel angry.
I also want to say that my family was religious and didn't believe in divorce either but finally once my father cheated my mother ended it. It was an awful process to go through but I wouldn't of had it any other way. I think watching them be together was giving me a really bad view of what a marriage was supposed to be. And I was 8. Your kids are at least old enough to not really get caught in the cross fires of custody battles.
Well to make a long story short, my mom eventually remarried two years after divorcing my father and my stepdad is probably my favorite person in the whole world. He's paid for my college and supported me in every way that a dad should. Also my mom and stepdad truly love one another. They showed me what a healthy relationship is supposed to look like. In fact, all of my friends and even some of my friend's parents who have gone through a divorce use them as an example of the good a divorce can bring.
So I say go for it. Be happy. Life is too fucking short and staying with your wife is giving your kids a way weirder view of marriage than divorcing would. Hope this helps in any way at all.
Best of luck.
what a pity you couldn't find the courage to tell your wife how you really felt much much sooner (before you took your wedding vows). it sounds as though you felt pressured by yourself, your family and your close friends. maybe you also felt a little bit pressured by society once more and more people knew you were getting serious in a relationship with someone you got on well with at the time; but someone that you knew deep down you did not actually love. this other person openend your eyes to what love could look like and it may be that that person also felt pressure to stay with thier partner. but they are not really the problem in this situation anymore, and you are not be the first person to get into this mess. there is no point wishing it hadn't happened because it has, and ironically you are probably going to both find yourselves alone and hurting for a while. But the good news is that with time you will both heal.
others have had this happen to them and have gone on to have happier lives too so I think so can also if you stick to your instincts and do what you now know is the right thing to do. I'm not going to pretend this is going to be easy, but at least your children are adults, so there wont be the same kind of torment and worry about their welfare, however there may be some animosity as they are grown up, but that depends on how you and your wife deal with things. so far it looks as though your wife is not only in denial about how you feel and why you feel this way, but tying to convince your children the way they were raised was a lie. it was not a lie at the time and of course most balanced parents love their children regardless of what other things are going on in their lives, so don't feel you have to carry those accusations with you as well as a divorce.
your user name says the same thing too, you want to be happy!!!, and you have a right to be happy, and so does your husband; which is why I feel you ought to look for ways to find that happiness. talk to your children and put your case across too, you may not get a glowing reception, but you may get an ok one, either way you need to keep dialogue open with them and treat them like the adults they are, they don't need to know every argument and infinite detail, but they do need to know you love them and that you are willing to talk as a respectful adult to them.
the bottom line is a relationship without intimacy is not a togetherness, even people no longer sleeping together are intimate in different ways you don't even have that, to be sleeping in the basement! how is your wife allowing this to continue and question respect or your behaviours? it is odd that she accuses you of no respect when she is not respecting your intimate needs and needs as a loving person. but intimacy is not a given thing as a male either, so dont think it is your right to anything physical based on what the media and public persception keeps telling people. both men and women need equal intimacy and love. men are no more superior than women in a marriage, it is about respect so dont buy into that way or no wonder your wife is tired of you as well.
it is not that respectful to force children to side with one person? your partner is in denial and may benefit from counselling on their own too; not to get back together, but to start accepting that this once happy time is over.
ok, so the actual affair you thought might happen after cheating did not happen, but that is a symptom of how you were feeling. that is not an excuse, it was wrong to cheat, you have paid a price for that but at least you were honest. the cheating was another sign that this person that you are with cannot give you what you want or need to make you feel whole or even happy.
it sounds as though you have lost a lot of time with this person, and personally speaking I think you should set some new goals and targets to sort things out (get out). all I would say to you is before you do go your opposite ways, look into things like finance, what will happen to your home and seeing what your children would like after your break up, if they dont want to know, dont force it but tell them you will always love them and that you will be there if or when they come round again, try to keep the contact up and of course it would be worth compromising with them and your partner to try and meet half way on what will probably be a difficult time.
both you and your partner desearve to be happy. if your wife does not believe in divorce then discuss things again and separate anyway. why stay with someone that doesn't want you. you are not happy and nor is she I would imagine.
I suspect that respect has been lost on both sides a long time ago but you both do not talk in the way you both need so it has been put off and now is getting to the point it is being forced to the surface, but be strong and find a better way forward that will not alienate your spouse or children or humiliate them. keep being honest to them and true to yourself. if someone you were married to wont listen to you anymore, you have to ask if they still love you or is it that they are just so used to you and are just going through the daily habits of being with you, good or bad.both of you are at fault in this; not your wife for not knowing how you felt earlier, but for now knowing the truth but denying it for so long once she knew.the other person is being blamed because it is easier than facing the fact that you don't love your wife any more.
the brief affair or religion or whatever is not the real problem here. the problem started the day you married, but look on a more positive note. you are finally accepting that you cannot continue this farce any longer, let that be the first step in a continuing steps to go forward and leave to find happiness.
I hope there is something there that can help you and that maybe others may offer their advice to help you. I think you will both have relief over this in time, fortunately you will have it quicker as you are the initiator. but there will be still be sadness and anger and embarrassment and probably denial and arguments, but that is to be expected. nobody likes to hear that they are no longer loved. but that is the truth of it. you are not suited anymore, you are unhappy and you owe it to each other to have a happier life whether that is single for a short while or with another whenever you meet them who will love you the way you really need and desearve to be loved.
but remember one thing in all of this!!!!!! don't let the next relationship you get into fall into the same problems. you have to talk. its just better for everyone. if your partner still struggles with your decisions then there is not much you can do except keep on telling them over and over. but you must make provisions to leave. it will happen sooner or later, and as you have already found out to your sadness and wasted time, later could have and should have been avoided, it has not done either of you any good. good luck. I hope you find what you are looking for soon.
Thank you both for your responses ... I do wish I had made a different decisions many years ago. It is helpful to hear that some others agree that continuing to plan for separation is the best thing to do. And MIAWALLACE - thank you for reminding me that sometimes it is better for kids if the parents divorce and find a relationship that shows how a loving marriage should be.
I am continuing with my plans and should have another place before the end of the year.