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forgiveme
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Reged: 05/14/07
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the guilty party
      #234949 - 05/14/07 01:59 PM

How do I take this situation and make it something all of you strangers might understand, when I cannot make sense of any of it for myself, and how do I do that without boring you all to tears? I attempt this, now, because, frankly, I'm desperate. Somehow, I've got to find a way to right my world, so that I can get some small piece of it to make sense for more than a milisecond at a time.

I think I am going to leave my husband. We've been together for 16 years, married for 8, and have two of the most wonderful little kids, 7 and 5. They are the center from which I cannot stop swinging to and fro in my decision-making, or lack thereof, process.

When I'm on the one side, I think: I have to leave. I am not happy here. I'm not in love with him anymore, and while I am sure that I've loved him, I'm not sure I've ever really been in love with him. He is a kind man, and we've always been friends, but I think I chose him because he was safe, and I needed safe. Problem is, I've never really seen him as a man I respect and admire. Our roles evolved, I took on the role of caretaker, he took on the role of taken-care-of, his business went south two years ago, and he went south with it, and my feelings for him went south, too. A year ago, I met a man. In 15 years, I hadn't even glanced away. I felt like I'd been struck by lightening, and suddenly I realized I'd lost so much of myself to being married to a man that couldn't feel happy or express any joy, and the whole world started spinning out of control. I told my husband that I'd felt something for some other man, and while I hadn't acted on that, it scared me to death that I could feel that way. He didn't really respond much. I told the other man that I couldn't be friends because I'd felt something I thought I should not. I know now, that was just asking for it, but at least I'm trying to own it. Anyway, the man responded in kind. We emailed for about a week, went to lunch, then I stopped it. I told my husband, again, and this time, he did respond, ... some.

We went to counseling (which we had done before, for about a year, a couple years earlier). I started individual counseling (I have major mother-abandoned-me-when-I-was-5 issues). We have worked on this for over a year. In the meantime, I was contacting this man on and off throughout the year, each time, hating myself, and trying, and failing, to make myself "be good" and stop. About 5 months ago, we made love, the other man and I. It's been infrequent, and always, up until recently, I tried to make it stop, but I never fully succeeded. Now, I admit, to myself, that I'm that person. I've cheated on my husband. I've fallen in love with another man. I cannot seem to make that go away.

I hate myself for it. I'm consumed with guilt. I haven't told my husband about the other man. I've told him only that I'm not in love with him and that I don't want to be married to him anymore. He's begun to wake up, finally, to what I've been saying to him, only I'm so tired. I feel like I've nothing left to give him, in terms of loving him, anymore.

We've met with lawyers and a therapist to help us figure out how to do this right by our kids. We've told most of our friends and our families. I've got a place set up to move into in mid-June. We plan to tell the kids at the end of May, a couple weeks before I'm scheduled to move out.

But, ... I'm still not sure I can do it. You see, when I'm on the other side, the "conscience" and "responsibility" and "good person" and "how could anyone do such a thing to their kids" side, I just cannot find a way to accept this. I get stuck. I think, "I'll stay. I'll do what's right. I'll make myself give the other guy up. Things aren't so bad with their father and I, no abuse, no hatred,.... I care about him, still. I can do it. I can stay here. If I have to, I'll fake it. How can I do this unforgivable thing to them? There's no valid, acceptable reason to leave."

But, I don't know how to stay. My husband has been sleeping on the couch for the past month or so. It's such a relief. I cannot figure out a way that I could be with him again, even if I could convince myself and him, that we should forget all that's transpired these past 5 months or so, and stick it out. "Make it work." Sex has been a big problem for us, me, for a long time, but I just thought, "Oh, this is normal. It's okay that I don't feel anything when we have sex. It's okay that I can't bring myself to look at him when we do, and I feel like I'm lying. Maybe this is just what it's "really" like in "real life." It's not like it is in the movies. Life is life, not Hollywood.

But it is like that with the other man. It is. I know, it's likely just that it's an affair, and I'm just thinking it's greener on the other side. All that buzzes around in my head, constantly. Believe me, if you're thinking bad thoughts about me, I've already thought them for you, and flogged myself repeatedly for them. I'm pretty good at that.

I guess what I'm looking for is some sort of advice or wisdom for how I finally make myself make a freakin' decision. How do I stick to what I know I want in my heart? Can I find acceptance within myself? Can I ignore those around me that think there's "no way you guys can split up, You're so good together."?

Ugh. This is so long, isn't it? Well, if you've bothered to read this far, and you have anything to offer me, fire away...


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nrvouswrk
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Re: the guilty party [Re: forgiveme]
      #234968 - 05/14/07 02:43 PM

Do you plan on leaving the kids with their father, or taking them with you?

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forgiveme
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Re: the guilty party [Re: nrvouswrk]
      #234974 - 05/14/07 02:50 PM

Oh no. God no. I'm not leaving my kids. It's killing me to even lose them for half the time. That's the biggest thing holding me back. I love my kids so much, and the thought of hurting them like this, taking away their "family" is what keeps stopping me in my tracks. He loves them, too, though, and I'd never do that to them, or him, try to keep them away from him. We are planning to do 50/50. He'll stay in the house, because (1) I'm the one choosing to leave, and I don't want to hurt him further by making him leave the home, and (2) he makes more than I do, and can afford the house, while I cannot. I want the kids to get to stay in the house, at least while they're with them. They'll get to stay in their school this way, and be still close to their friends. I'm sorry I hadn't made that clearer.

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CiCi
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Re: the guilty party [Re: forgiveme]
      #234975 - 05/14/07 02:51 PM

I don't think anyone on this board can tell you what is the "right" thing for you to do about staying or leaving your marriage. You certainly sound like you've looked inward and are aware of your "deamons" and are confronting them....at least to yourself.

I think that now that you've told your husband you want out (even if you did not disclose your sexual affair), you may not be able to get back in just because you want to.

Your situation is interesting, because I know that many years ago, I made a conscious decision to stay with my husband (instead of me initiating divorce) so that our daughter could benefit from a 2 parent family. We were complacent with one antoher - no hatred, abuse, infidelity, etc. - but not a lot of love left either. Finally, he initiated divorce and I can tell you that even though we hadn't had a great relationship, it's been very hard on us. Divorce is, in my opinion, not to be taken lightly. In my case, I have NO regrets. My daughter did benefit (mostly) from having both of us in her life on a daily basis. I found many things outside of the home that made me happy - book club, bike riding, dinners with good friends, etc. Again, for me, no regrets....but you have to do what feels best for you and your kids. Nobody has a crystal ball to see into the future, so you'll never have the benefit of knowing if you've made the "right" decision as it relates to the future. Once you make your decision, however, you're going to have to make the best of it and do your best to manage it to make it healthiest for you and your children.

I'm sure that the affair feels good because it's just that - the cream of the crop. You don't have to deal with this man day in and day out - when the dulldrums set in. I can't say for sure, but I don't think the grass will be greener with a man you've slept with a few times.

Good luck....you've got a lot of thinking to do.

Best,
CiCi

--------------------
Remember: A clean house is the sign of a wasted life.


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Happy Birthday yregna
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Reged: 07/25/06
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Re: the guilty party [Re: CiCi]
      #235047 - 05/14/07 05:51 PM

Quote " In my case, I have NO regrets. My daughter did benefit (mostly) from having both of us in her life on a daily basis. "
YOU Stayed in a loveless relationship for years for the benefit of your children and YOU HAVE NO REGRETS ?

That is because you don't have to pay alimony. When a man does the "right thing" for the children, the man GETS THE SHAFT...

--------------------
"Anything free is worth what you pay for it..."
"Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get"

Edited by yregna (05/14/07 05:57 PM)


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Happy Birthday yregna
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Re: the guilty party [Re: forgiveme]
      #235053 - 05/14/07 06:01 PM

I cannot see any incentive for you to stay married which explains why divorce rate is sooo high nowadays. I bet your husband has an incentive to stay married to you, though...He will get the shaft money wise, not you, right ? In fact your whole post is all about how you FEEL ? NOt one word about who pays for what...I bet the whole divorce settlement will be all about how much you get paid, not one word about how anyone feels...

I believe what we have here folks is a text book example of a women screwing up four peoples lives because she has no incentive NOT TO DO IT...

--------------------
"Anything free is worth what you pay for it..."
"Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get"


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HatesMaury
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Reged: 05/13/07
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Re: the guilty party [Re: yregna]
      #235060 - 05/14/07 06:10 PM

Wow!

Good observation!



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joym525
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Reged: 03/13/07
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Re: the guilty party [Re: HatesMaury]
      #235070 - 05/14/07 06:26 PM

This is a tough one. I hope you the best and will be happy "on the other side". I hope the divorce is amicable and you do not screw DH with a large amount of child support since you are deciding to leave.

One day DH will find a SO to share his life and your kids with. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be nice to the OW. Let her know how thankful you are to have a second mom for your children.

Good luck. I wish you, your kids, and DH happiness.


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almostheaven
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First off... [Re: forgiveme]
      #235081 - 05/14/07 06:58 PM

Dump the other guy...NOW. You CANNOT get your head on straight if you're bouncing back and forth. Cut off all ties to him. Change your number if you have to. Do whatever it takes. Secondly, sit down and tell your husband what happened. If he wants to work through this still, good for you. If he does, continue counseling. Try a different counselor if the one you have isn't working out. Write your feelings out to one another if you can't talk about them. You say he doesn't respond much, maybe he'd do better writing it. Have him send you an email about his feelings. And reciprocate.

You fell in love with him at one point, or you would not have been with him this long, married him, had kids with him. And no, the grass is NOT always greener. At this stag, being together this long and kids of the age you state, I can only assume you may be approaching the mid-life area. Could you be having a mid-life crisis. Sex isn't that great, I've been with the same man for yeeeeeears, I'm tired, I want a change, something new, something exciting, a tiger in bed, this new gorgeous guy, etc. etc. etc.? Is that how it feels? What happens when 16 years from now with Mr. New, you start getting the same feelings?

The things you've mentioned are NOT life altering circumstances. You're not abused, verbally or physically. You admit he's kind. Is he a good dad? Do the kids love him? Why break that up over a possible mid-life crisis...a need just to experience something new. New isn't always better, its just a temporary replacement, a new twist...until it becomes old too.

You need to completely focus on your marriage and therapy, try to get back to what you felt 16 years ago, try to get him to open up his feelings, before you throw in the towel, before you go off with another man, before you uproot those kids. And you cannot focus on any of that if your thoughts keep wandering to this other guy. Get rid of him.

--------------------
Char Fox


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forgiveme
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Re: the guilty party [Re: yregna]
      #235097 - 05/14/07 07:22 PM

In response to yregna:

Obviously, you've gotten the "shaft" by someone, and I'm sorry for you, for that. Money, in our case, is irrelevant. I will take nothing from him. I will leave this marriage with nothing but a bankruptcy on my personal record (due entirely to his failed business), my bed, and the dog (which I'll take only because he said he'll put her to sleep, if I leave her). So, I leave my home, my neighborhood, and my lifestyle all behind, if I go. Ironically, "money" would be one of the few "incentives" FOR my staying, here, in a marriage, to a man, that I no longer love.

Edited by forgiveme (05/14/07 07:41 PM)


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forgiveme
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Re: First off... [Re: almostheaven]
      #235102 - 05/14/07 07:32 PM

In response to AlmostHeaven:

Yes, I hear you. I have tried, and tried. I know, it's weak of me not being able to "just do it." I hate myself more and more each time I "fail." I haven't seen him in awhile, in attempt to do just as you suggest, get my head on straight. I'm trying my best to make this decision, knowing that it's highly unlikely that I'll end up with this other man on the other side. But, even assuming that, I want out. Even imagining myself on the other side, alone, I feel like I can breathe. I feel free and like there's finally air to breathe. I'm so afraid I'll look back and be sorry, so sorry, and think it was all a HUGE mistake. But I'm also afraid I'll stay here, not be in love, and then it'll happen again. I'll betray him and have an affair again. I so don't want to do this to him, ever again, have an affair, I mean. I'm also scared I'll stay in a loveless marriage, and end up looking back at my life, thinking "that" was a huge mistake??? He, my maybe STBX, tells me not to settle for him, that he does not want that, nor does he deserve that. I agree with him. I want him to have someone that will be in love with him, and can adore him and look up to him. I just don't think that can be me?

Edited by forgiveme (05/14/07 07:40 PM)


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almostheaven
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Re: First off... [Re: forgiveme]
      #235130 - 05/14/07 08:14 PM

Why not a trial separation without the other guy involved? Before tossing away the marriage, and putting your kids into a split family permanently, why not a test run? Then you AND your husband can decide, with clearer heads, if there's something worth saving or if the grass might be greener. You won't just be guessing.

--------------------
Char Fox


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googledad
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Re: First off... [Re: almostheaven]
      #235242 - 05/15/07 12:13 AM

Just a statement that someone I care very much for told me when going through a similar situation , "it's harder to stay and make it work than to leave ". You may not feel an emotional bond to your spouse but you once did .Please look at this and determine for yourself the emotional upheavel you will be subjecting yourself and the children is worth it .

Why Women Cheat


The reasons most frequently cited for female infidelity include
• a desire for emotional closeness and intimacy (someone caring to confide in and bond with on an emotional level)
• a desire for attention (wanting be the center of a man’s attention again)
• to reaffirm her desirability (To feel validated as a woman)
• to re-experience feelings of romance
• a desire to feel “special”
• boredom
• loneliness
• sexual excitement

--------------------
Careful. We don't want to learn from this.


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Happy Birthday yregna
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Re: First off... [Re: googledad]
      #235314 - 05/15/07 09:50 AM

Why women cheat:

You left out the part about LACK OF PENALTY. Men are severly penalized for cheating BY LAW. The wife gets pissed off, gets a RO which is granted without ANY evidence the guy did anything wrong, you have no custody, you pay large financial penalty for years and years.

Do you suppose if there was a huge financial penalty for women cheating it would make a difference ?

--------------------
"Anything free is worth what you pay for it..."
"Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get"


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almostheaven
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Really and truly?... [Re: yregna]
      #235361 - 05/15/07 11:45 AM

Hmmmm. Maybe my ex knows something you don't. Cause he cheated numerous times, even with his own first cousin, and didn't suffer anything at all for it. Well, except a divorce which he still didn't want. He just wanted to be able to stay married and keep cheating.

--------------------
Char Fox


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Relayer
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Re: the guilty party [Re: forgiveme]
      #235653 - 05/15/07 09:22 PM

Lady, you are giving the husband the house and 50/50 with the kids. Fine. If you think it's better somewhere, go.

At one time you were satisfied with sex with your husband, and somehow talked yourself into being unsatisfied. Thats fine. And of course you will be statisfied with sex with your new lover..for a while, and then you will be unsatisfied. Then that will end. Then you will be..so on and so forth.

Listen, if you want to leave a faithful loving husband of 8 years (together 16) who is the father of your kids to run to a man who has sex with a married woman (you), go right ahead. And after you two hook up, just direct him to your married girlfriends, co-workers, girls at the 7-11, your sisters..go right ahead. He's already demonstrated he likes sex with other mens wives. And he ain't going to change. You deserve each other.

Guys, on the other hand, this one dosen't seem to be about money, but rather wild hot monkey sex.

--------------------
GO CUBBIES!!!!


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