I will try and keep this short and sweet but feel I need to give you the whole picture so you understand how I ended up where I did.
I met my husband at a party in August 2003 but we didn’t actually start dating until February 2004. We were engaged in November 2006 and married in September 2007. I was 32 and he was 33 when we married.
Let me start by first saying I was married one time previously to a pilot for only three months. We were together for two years before we got married and almost called the wedding off two times. I knew I shouldn’t have married him but we had everything planned and all his relatives were coming to Michigan from Portland. The same night of our wedding I knew I made a huge mistake. We filed for divorce in July 2003.
So my husband now and I had our first date in February 2004 and then kept dating ever since. I remember enjoying his company but I do not ever remember feeling completely gaga and soooo in love but I found him attractive, he had a great job, was “normal”, never been married, no kids and was an all around great guy. He really is a good man in so many ways and I always thought he would be a wonderful father.
Some of the challenges we encountered after we got married follow:
1) We started trying to get pregnant in June 2007 (I was 36 and he was 37) We tried for two years solid to get pregnant and it never happened. In 2008 we tried some fertility measures like Clomid but we were unsuccessful.
2) My husband lost his job of ten years in January 2009 that he loved due to downsizing. It devastated him. I always asked if he was okay and he said he was fine, just angry. He found out he was losing his job on a Friday and that following week was our fist appointment to meet with our fertility specialist to start the “big” process of invitro fertilization. He received a severance package of $40,000 but we both decided we needed to cancel our appointment not knowing how long it would take him to find another job. (The economy was horrible). I made $55,000 and he made $170,000. We lived in a $300,000 home, both had new cars and $40,000 wouldn’t last long if he had trouble finding a job.
We started growing apart, not sharing anything or enjoying activities together. I felt like I tried numerous times to feel him emotionally (something we always kind of struggled with) but I always felt so alone in our relationship. We never had a great sex life but it wasn’t horrible. It was just “awkward” and is the only way I can explain it. I also felt that the sports and how the house and yard looked was more important than us spending quality time together. I fel like I was always sitting in the background trying to grab his attention
Anyway, I was at a friend’s happy hour in June 2009 because she was leaving her old job and starting a new one, when everything in my life seemed to change. A guy that my friend worked with was at the happy hour. (She didn’t know him well but he knew some of the other girls there.) We started talking that evening and really hit it off. He was full of energy and was always smiling. He took my friend to another bar we were going to because she couldn’t drive and that is how he got my number because he was following me and had it in case we lost them on the way.
It all started with a random text weeks later out of the blue; it is now August 2009. Next thing you know we were texting all the time and I was laughing and smiling all the time. He filled my days and the texting continued for months. Next thing you know we felt like friends and started meeting for lunch a few times and quickly it went on from there.
My husband suspected something but never approached me until April 2010. I tried a few times to cut the ties with the other guy and did for a few months but really missed him. I thought about him constantly and loved how he made me feel. I would stay away for about 3 months and then a text would come up. He was married and had two children. He got married very young (20) and was married for 24 years and both children are now 23 and 18. He is just now 43 and I am 40.
My husband and I separated for about a month in October of 2010 and then I went back and then we separated again in February of 2011 and have been apart since. I have been in a relationship with the other guy ever since. If I had met this guy before my husband I have no doubt we would be together. He is getting a divorce and it is almost final and I have been putting things off which isn’t fair to all three of us.
I told my husband last night we need to move forward with the divorce but I feel so sad and sometimes still wonder if I am making a mistake. I love the other guy and we are at the finish line of being together yet I second guess myself.
I have never cheated on anyone before not even in my teens and 20’s and always prided myself of that. Then when I should really know better I begin an emotional affair that eventually let to a physical affair. I tried a few times to end it with this person but always felt like I was losing a best friend and then immediately started feeling lonely again. I hated myself for what I have done but yet felt like I couldn’t let the other guy go.
My husband feels like he never really had a second chance and that 3 months was not enough. He would still take me back now if I went back. He said he knew we had problems but didn’t think they were that bad. He said this all wouldn’t have been such a kick to the gut if we had separated and then if I met someone else (other than the guy that started all of this) and felt another person was a better fit but because it is the guy that caused our marriage to crumble it is hard for him to take. He obviously is upset because I gave up him to be with the other guy instead of giving up the other guy to work on our marriage.
I am not a heartless cold “b”, in fact, I am quite the opposite. I tried the best I could to not crush his world but of course I did. I am disappointed in myself for what I did, and I have a hard time forgiving myself for it even when he said he forgave me for the affair a long time ago he just wanted another shot.
It wasn’t like we fought or had major problems other than I felt like I didn’t connect with him or didn’t feel emotionally close to him. I wasn’t even thinking of divorce before I met the other guy. I knew we had things to work on but I too didn’t think our marriage was horrible by any stretch. I know I am rambling now. I guess I feel like I am this horrible person and like I am the only person in the world that failed a marriage. I HATE the hurt I am causing my husband but only wanted to go back for the right reasons and not because I felt guilty. However, I can’t seem to fully let him go and I cannot keep one foot in each relationship.
He said he is going to miss me, my family and friends. That when he married me he meant forever but obviously that isn’t going to be the case. He has been more than a gentleman considering everything I have done. I don’t know that I would have held on like he has if the situation would have been reversed.
You would think I would feel better finally making a decision after almost three years of this. The other guy is about done with me but he loves me so much he has been putting up with my dragging of the feet. I never thought in a million years I would have had an affair and anyone who knows me would have never believed it.
Should I be excited about finally moving forward? How come I feel scared? Am I making a huge mistake even though I know the guy I am with now makes me laugh all the time and he absolutely adores me. This guy is willing to have a kid with me when he has two adult children which floored me. I never “felt” that my husband loved me as much as this guy does. Maybe he did and just didn’t know how to show it. I am so confused. How do I know it is right to divorce? Why can’t I move on fully with the guy who stole my heart?
Sorry again for the rambling. I am sure this doesn’t make a ton of sense but if you still have questions for me I will gladly answer them if you can help me from either making the right or worst decision of my life. (Sorry for the poor grammer as well. I am tired of typing.)
Any thoughts or opinions are appreciated.
Scared and Confused
Dear Scared and Confused,
Thanks for your question. We’re sorry this is such a tumultuous time in your life. Only you will know what’s right to do, but we’ll give you our thoughts and opinions on your situation.
Let’s start with your husband. There’s no doubt in our mind that he loves you dearly. And the fact that he’d still be willing to take you back, even after all that’s happened, is a testament to his strength, and willingness to forgive. Maybe he doesn’t know how to show you his love as much as this new guy—and maybe that’s what you need; someone who can show you—but he definitely loves you.
However, this doesn’t mean you should stay with him. Love is a two-way street. We’re not sure your reasons for getting married, but it sounds like you felt it was time, and so you married a good, solid guy. Maybe your weren’t sure how strongly you felt for your husband—was it true love?; you weren’t sure–but after some of the struggles the two of you had—conceiving and then financial—you started feeling less and less connected to him, and some of your doubts became amplified.
But let’s be clear. What you’re feeling right now—the sadness and doubt–is because you understand that a new person isn’t necessarily going to solve every problem. It might feel ‘perfect’ now, but inevitably all couples have issues. (Understand that it’s not guaranteed that the two of you will have an easy time conceiving, or that he’ll still be willing when the times comes. Just throwing that out there.) You also have a long history with your husband, and that’s tough to move on from. (For anyone.)
Now to your affair.
Yes, you betrayed a person you love. There’s no other way to say it. However, it’s you that needs to try and work past it. Your husband will heal—although it might take time—but what about you? At some point, in order for you to be happy moving forward, you’re going to have to forgive yourself.
The thing you need to do is separate the two situations, or the two men. Ask yourself the simple question: If there wasn’t another man in your life, would you still want to leave your husband? Because one situation is muddying the other. Sure, the new man possibly gave you the strength to finally move forward with your life and get divorced, but would you have ultimately done that anyway?
What we’re saying is, this new guy shouldn’t be the reason you’re leaving your husband. Maybe he’s showed you that the love you always hoped for is out there, but you still need to make one decision first, then make the next decision.
We hope this helps. Feel free to ask us as many follow up questions as you’d like.
Good luck and hang in there,
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