Let me preface everything by saying that the point of this thread is to get real, honest opinions and feedback, in a group setting. I don’t know any of you. But I’m a member of a few internet forums, and have developed real friendships there. So much that I’m not even comfortable posting anonymously there. So, I’m here. Based on my experiences elsewhere, I’m sure there are people here who will give great responses, and I welcome feedback of all types.
Skip to the ****** if you don’t want all the backstory and want to get straight to the now.
About me. I’m a well educated, middle aged man. I’m fairly attractive and fit. I live in a medium size city. I have a good job, but I’m not rich. I’m middle America in so many ways.
I got married when I was young. Too young. I was dumb. I was barely more than a kid. I never really dated and explored what it’s like to be a single man. I had doubts when I got married. About her, about whether I was ready. But I pretty much pushed those doubts into the back of my mind and moved forward. I was committed. I was in too deep, too far to turn back. I convinced myself that I loved her, and did in a lot of ways. I thought that we could carve out a good life together.
Married life was fine at first. We had some good times. My wife was fairly introverted back then, but we did things together and had fun. Bought a fixer upper house and turned it into our own.
Some warning signs were there early on. Sex was never great, but I didn’t know any better. Within a couple years we had arguments where I complained about always being the sex initiator, sex frequency, things like that.
After 5ish years we started having kids. She’d always dreamed of the family life, about being a stay at home mom. I wanted to give it to her. So we started having kids, she mostly stayed home with them. She became more introverted. She had no friends. Sex became even less frequent. I attributed it to the young kids, assumed things would get better.
My wife was never a skinny girl growing up. Never fat, but a few extra pounds that didn’t bother me when we got married. Three-ish years ago we had our last kid. From marriage to now, she’s put on probably 70 pounds, with probably half that or more coming during the last pregnancy. The weight thing is complicated… she’s always had a problem with it… and will do some fad diet for a few weeks until it doesn’t work and she just gives up. She’s NEVER gotten serious about it; eating right and vigorous exercise just isn’t her thing. I’ve never gotten on her about her weight, but have mostly just tried to encourage her as best I could.
Two years ago I had a serious conversation with her. I was unhappy. I first asked her what I could do to improve our relationship (more encouragement and helping out). I put in a significant effort for months. I was encouraging, brought home random flowers (even more than usual, I’ve always done this), did house tasks without provocation even after an extremely long day, etc. What I told her I needed was more affection and positivity. More kissing/touching around the house, more effort to initiate sex and act like she wanted it/enjoyed it, etc. I was becoming unattracted to her, and this was my effort to improve things. It never happened.
Four months ago I was extremely unhappy and it was showing. My wife had become completely unattractive to me. I couldn’t stand to do things with her due to her completely introverted personality, I had zero fun when we did do things together, I had become completely unattracted to her physically due to the lack of affection I received, and frankly, the way she looked and presented herself.
I broke down like I never have in our relationship. Told her how our relationship needed to be the most important thing in the world, how I needed affection if we were going to survive, how I needed to come home from a 12 hour day at work and feel wanted, to come home to a big, sloppy kiss. I told her I had become unattracted to her more because of her actions than her looks (FYI women don’t believe this, even if it’s true).
She got mad at me. For trying to fix things. Said I called her grotesque (which I didn’t). She blamed my emotions on my stress at work. Basically said that she puts everything into our kids, what do I expect? We ended things with her saying she’d make an effort.
To this day, I still haven’t come home and received that big sloppy kiss. Not once. There was one other very specific thing I asked her to do… an errand that would have taken no more than an hour out of her life, but was very meaningful to me… she said she’d do it that week…and she never did it. I think I mentally and physically checked out a week or two after that conversation, when nothing really improved.
Up until this point, I had never cheated on my wife, not even a kiss. I never even thought about it. I was completely devoted. I was the model husband.
About a month after that last emotional conversation I met someone. I don’t know if my eyes were opened, I had a different mindset, or why it happened, but it did. It was like a floodgate was opened.
I have been seeing this woman for 3-ish months now. She is in a very similar situation to me. Married young, kids, and unhappy for years. She is beautiful and compassionate, and to this day I have not found a single flaw. Neither of us can believe the physical and emotional connection we have made. I’m sure people will laugh at this, especially after such a relatively short time, but if such things exist, we are soul mates.
We escape during the day when we can, mostly at lunch, even if it’s just for 20 minutes together making out in a park. We have gotten to spend a few full days together at hotels or out doing various activities. We talk all the time over email.
In truth, I love this woman.
That’s where we are.
I am in a constant mental struggle. A debate in my head about where I’m headed. My long term happiness vs. my commitment to my family. I know people can be successful parents in a divorce situation, but can I live with myself if that happens? I wonder if I’ve done enough to salvage things… and then I see the vivid image in my head of my wife minimizing my feelings and emotions when I poured my heart out to her, and I think about our non existent intimate relationship. I wonder if I can live two lives, and for how long? I wonder if I can live with myself if I DON’T make ME happy? I wonder what is best for my family long term. I wonder if I can live without this woman who I’ve completely fallen for.
So, let 'er rip. I’m an open book. As long as this post is I’m sure I left stuff out. Ask me questions. Tell me I’m a jerk. Tell me you’ve been there and what you’ve done. Give me advice.