Should I leave my wife??? I have doubted my feelings for her from day one... story below... This is lengthy, sorry...
posted by anonymous to human relations (54 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I am a married male, soon to be 32 years old. I've been married for 12 years (yeah, so I got married at the age of 20). We had a rocky beginning, where we lived with my parents for two years while I finished college. It's important to note that before we got married, she had been sexually assaulted twice. After a year of marriage, I got to hear the story of exactly what happened. It put me on a HUGE depression, one which I'm still battling. I ended up developing retroactive jealousy for her past boyfriends. Again, still fighting that one!
We moved out after college, and had one year alone in which we almost divorced because of fighting. I had applied for a job in California, and had decided to tell her that if I get it, I was going to move there alone... The day before I was going to tell her this, she told me she was pregnant. I decided to make it work for the baby.
I got the job, we moved to Orange County, and decided to not have TV. We ended up very happy. We had five years of bliss. At that point, we had three daughters. Then came the smackdown! In the summer of 2005, she told me about a sexual experience she had with another woman in high school, before she knew me. I realize that it shouldn't matter, and all of that. However, with my issue of retroactive jealousy, I ended up obsessing over this newfound discovery. This led to more depression, and I've never seen her the same way since.
In 2006, I re-discovered an old flame, and we chatted a lot. I had all the old feelings come up, and I told my wife about it, and how I wasn't sure what I wanted. She gave me space, and a few days later I decided I wanted to stay with her. However, I think this is only because the old flame told me no... I cut all ties with the old flame.
We moved back to Phoenix, and I started my drinking problems. I started smoking. I smoked pot once. It was a rough few years. The whole time, thinking of that stupid history she had with a girlfriend, which I realize doesn't matter. But it hurts all the same.
Now we approach today... In March, I got hit on. Hard. I had liked this girl (at work) since I had met her in 2007. However, now she was flirting with me. I flirted back, and we both ended up crushing on each other. Her marriage was in shambles. Mine was comfortable (my wife and I get along great. We rarely fight. When we do, it's stupid issues, and we always make up quickly. I have little to complain about with her. We watch the same shows, read the same books. We talk ALL the time, about EVERYTHING. We also give each other freedom and alone time without the kids). The hangup here is that I've never been sure I was in love with my wife. Even on day one, I never felt "that" feeling. I never miss her when I'm out of town. In fact, I look forward to getting away, always have.
In any case, this girl and I (she's older than me, if it matters), we get along great, love talking to each other, love just being around each other. We did nothing more than hug. We almost kissed, but backed away before it was too late. Yes, I know it was an emotional affair, but it was physical.
I got another job in California, and moved back to Orange County. Now here I am, alone as the kids finish school in AZ. The other girl doesn't talk to me (altho I email her, she never responds). I still feel a HUGE attachment to this girl. She's trying to make it work in her marriage, but she hates it. I'm trying to work this with my wife, but it feels insincere. I've never been sure I want to be with her, and now that I'm on my own (one month now), I'm loving it. I really am.
My question to the hive mind... Do I leave my wife? I've been comfortable with her for years. I told her about this other girl, and she's willing to stay and work with me on this. So, I've done this twice now, and she's still dedicated (can you believe that???). I don't doubt her loyalty or love for me. I doubt mine with her.
Her past still haunts me. She tries to help me with it, but I can't get over it. I'm on pills for it, and soon to be back in therapy. I know that I shouldn't make a rash decision on leaving my wife, and I won't do it anytime soon. But I'm considering it. I've decided to do the therapy thing, and figure my issues out, as well as my relationship with my spouse.
What this all comes down to is how I feel about my wife. If I'm in love with her, why don't I care if I'm near her? Why have I almost left her twice now for someone else? Why am I so happy to be alone? And it's not sudden. It's been a few weeks now, and I'm still happy. Part of equation, the girls are now 8, 6, and 4 years old.
I guess what I'm looking for is general thoughts on this. What do you think? Am I in love with my wife? Do my doubts mean anything significant? Or am I just reaching a mid-life crisis? Or not? I've always doubted my feelings. Am I just seeing an opportunity to walk without too much difficulty?