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I don't want sex with my husband. What should I do?
May 20, 2012 12:45 PM   Subscribe

Four years ago I married a great guy. We've been together a total of eight years. Sometime around when we got married...maybe a little before, I stopped wanting sex with him. I dreaded it on our wedding night/honeymoon. At first I thought it was just a phase, something to do with wedding planning burnout and general nerves. Four years later, it's even worse than it was. Otherwise, we have a good relationship, I think. We have everything in common, a shared worldview, good communication. Because of the sexual issue, we have talked numerous times about separating. I guess what I can't figure out is, why this has happened, and if our entire relationship is worth ending over it.

Some additional facts to consider:
- I have always been the breadwinner in our relationship. At times I have been extremely frustrated with this. I guess I have some deep, primal expectation for him to be "the provider" that I didn't realize I had when I married him. It's not for superficial reasons; I don't want him to start making money so I can quit my job and drink lattes with my girlfriends all day. That sounds terrible.
- Shortly after we got married I fell in love with and had an affair with a married man with whom I worked. We were "together" over two years, and talked about starting a life together, but ultimately he decided he did not want to leave his family (he has a young child, and has been with his wife for 20 years). I was devastated.
- The sexual problems with husband began a while BEFORE the affair, so while the affair didn't cause the problems, it did compound them.
- About seven months ago I got a job across the country and took it, partly because I hated my job and partly because I wanted to start over fresh with my husband from the married man. It hasn't worked, and I am still heartbroken. The other man still contacts me and wants me to be "part of his life," though he still won't leave his wife. I have maintained my no contact rule with him about 90% of the time, but I feel like I'm being manipulated from thousands of miles away, but it's still the closest I have to sexual excitement, which is pathetic. Why haven't I been able to shake this affair, after over seven months?
- I have suffered from chronic low-grade depression for at least 10 years
- I do still have sex with my husband, though it's infrequent, because I usually spurn his advances and put it off for as long as possible until I know that I pretty much need to. I don't want him to be unsatisfied. But I've tried the "fake it til you make it" approach and sometimes I feel like crying during sex. At this point I would encourage him to have an affair so that he could be sexually satisfied, because I feel horrible for depriving him. The sex isn't bad...in fact he thinks it's quite good...and when we do have it neither of us goes unsatisfied...I just don't WANT it with him and wish it was with someone else. Even though it's pretty good!

So, there it is. I do care for my husband a lot and think we still have the foundation for a great relationship, but for the most part I feel like a loveless, sexless shell of a woman. I know everyone will probably think I'm a horrible person, but what I really do want to do is figure this @%$# out so I can do the right thing. Enough stringing him (and myself) along. Has anyone else here stopped wanting sex with their spouse, and if so, were you able to remedy it? What is wrong with me? Should I just cut myself loose from both men and be alone?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (80 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
Do you love your husband?
posted by dgeiser13 at 12:50 PM on May 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


Stop talking to the affairguy, he is certainly manipulating you from a thousand miles away. SEVER. You want him because you can't have him (but apparently he still has you) and you take your husband for granted.

The stuff you say about your sex-life is no good, honey. Is the 'someone else' any other person or just this affairguy?

Does your husband know about the affair? How do you feel about counseling?
posted by sibboleth at 12:54 PM on May 20, 2012 [7 favorites]


dgeiser, I'm not sure anymore. I mean, I love him as a person, and because of our shared history. I like spending time with him. His happiness and well-being mean everything to me and when I think about getting divorced it sounds horrific and painful, maybe mostly because I know how much it will hurt him. I have a huge amount of guilt about all of this...for disappointing him, guilt for not wanting him. I don't know if I still love him and that's why I don't leave, or if the guilt keeps me in the marriage.
posted by sugartown at 12:54 PM on May 20, 2012


This is complicated. I'm with dgeiser13. It sounds like you might not be in love with, or really love your husband? I can't tell from what you wrote. But that answer should inform what's next. Separating? Therapy? What does he want? etc. Most people in good and/or salvageable marriages would probably describe their feelings as "I do love my husband," not "I do care for my husband," as you did.

And I really think you need to cut the cord with the ex-affair guy. It's not helping you or your marriage, nor will it even help you if you decide to end your marriage.
posted by manicure12 at 12:56 PM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does your husband know about the affair? Doe she know you are still in contact with him? Does he know that you want him to be an equal financial partner and have you supported him towards that goal (moving away for your career seems to imply otherwise)? Is your communication open or do you control what you husband knows?
posted by saucysault at 12:57 PM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


sibboleth, the "someone else" is mostly the affair guy, but I've had fleeting fantasies about other people.
You're right about severing. I have severed (moved away, told him to stay away from me, haven't responded to most of his emails), but he keeps popping back into my life (I have gmail and you can't block an email address in gmail), I'm pretty sure mostly just to keep me hooked.
As far as counseling goes, I have done individual therapy in the past but have never had great doctors or any real success. We've never done couples therapy, because I think the problems are really with ME, not with US. I just haven't found a therapist that has made any real difference or dug into any of the underlying issues. It's usually all, "so how are you feeling today."
posted by sugartown at 12:58 PM on May 20, 2012


saucysalt, et al, my husband does not know about the affair. It would devastate him. At times during the affair I felt it was pretty blatantly obvious that I was up to something (I detached myself from husband to an extreme, was upset all the time, etc.), but he just never noticed.
So no, he has no idea I am (or ever was) in contact with any other man.
He does know that I want him to be an equal financial partner, and he has tried, he's just never had any success. Part of it is what he does for a living, part of it is due to limitations to his ambition.
posted by sugartown at 1:02 PM on May 20, 2012


No contact 90% of the time is not no contact. That is number one. You can block an email address in gmail, go to settings > filters.
posted by Garm at 1:02 PM on May 20, 2012 [25 favorites]


> His happiness and well-being mean everything to me

If I was in his shoes and knew everything that has been going on I would want someone to come clean and just state that they don't want to be married anymore, regardless of how painful it would be.

It'll be quite awhile before he is glad that his life took this turn (and I say this having been in your husband's position) and it might be years before he has another kind thought about you but life is short and both of you deserve to be happier than it sounds like you are.
posted by dgeiser13 at 1:02 PM on May 20, 2012 [14 favorites]


I should also note that anytime I initiate a conversation with him about wanting/needing him to contribute equally financially, he accuses me of being superficial and shallow, and I now have a chip on my shoulder about that.
posted by sugartown at 1:02 PM on May 20, 2012


This is out of control, honey. You sound like you desperately do not want to be married to your husband and you keep flailing around trying to make the problem anything but not wanting to be married to your husband. You two should separate and maybe you'll be wonderful friends some day, but wow do you not sound like you want to be married to each other. Live an honest life, you will be surprised at how much it improves things.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 1:03 PM on May 20, 2012 [84 favorites]


The problems, even if they are with YOU, impact the relationship with your husband. Unless he's suddenly changed physically since you got married, then your lack of desire is 1) something physical going on with you or 2) something emotional going on with you. If it's 1) then your OB. If it's 2) then you see a therapist that is actually good, either alone or together or both. If you want a remedy, that's how you find it.

Even if you can't block him, but you can mark him spam. Or funnel him into a different folder.

It sounds to me like you aren't sure you want to be in a relationship with your husband anymore, and you're making the sex an excuse. The sex is a symptom. You treat the disease, whatever it is, with a good therapist. If the two of you don't want to do that together, then you aren't 100% in.
posted by dpx.mfx at 1:06 PM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I guess my fear is that I will leave him and eventually meet someone else and the same thing will happen again, and again and again. Maybe it's just a thing with me, where I can't be with someone longer than three or four years without getting bored and wanting someone else, then resorting to infidelity. Then won't I regret having thrown away a mostly good marriage because of my own stupid quirk?
posted by sugartown at 1:06 PM on May 20, 2012


honey. therapy. now. seriously. staying in this relationship because you think you might hypothetically regret it later when you maybe fall in love again and then cheat again is not a good reason to stay. it isn't fair to this guy who you say you want to be happy. it isn't fair to you.
posted by dpx.mfx at 1:08 PM on May 20, 2012 [13 favorites]


Everyone has fleeting fantasies, and so long as they're fantasies and not creeping obsessions, everything's hunky dory, I think.

Garm's right about the email blocks, but in addition I think it would be a good idea to ask this guy not to contact you. If he respects you (I don't think he does) then he should respect that.

Your husband probably isn't the happiest dude in the world. Y'all need to have a talk. I also think that your depression is in one of those self-destructive things that you do when you're cycling. I do it too sometimes.

Would you like to talk a little about why you are "bored" with your partners?
posted by sibboleth at 1:09 PM on May 20, 2012


Your husband deserves someone who loves him and wants to be intimate with him. If this isn't you, let him go.
posted by LarryC at 1:11 PM on May 20, 2012 [44 favorites]


Okay, the thing about him gmailing you as a reason for contacting him - that's an excuse. You can delete emails. It's not that you can't let go of this sliver of sexual excitement; it's that you don't want to.

(In case you didn't know, you can also set up filters in gmail so you won't ever see his emails.) 

I guess my fear is that I will leave him and eventually meet someone else and the same thing will happen again, and again and again.

Is this a pattern with you, or only your worst fear?

Sometimes relationships don't work out and it's not the start of a pattern. Sometimes it is the start of a pattern - and then you can talk to your therapist. Either way, it doesn't really matter, because you don't seem to want to be in a relationship with this man anymore, and this situation, not whatever future situation you find yourself in, is what you have to take care of. Honestly, I'm getting more of a "I no longer am in love with this guy, I love him as a good friend" vibe from you.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 1:12 PM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Please leave this poor guy so he can move on.
posted by wrok at 1:13 PM on May 20, 2012 [27 favorites]


My fantasies definitely become creeping obsessions. Relationships, especially sexual ones, are the only real "addictions" I have in life. Maybe I become bored because I need to have the intensity to be "obsessed" with, and without it I lose interest? I also second-guess myself a lot and always have a glimmer in the back of my mind like, I could probably be happier living some other life, which opens the door to fantasizing about other people and being discontent with my own life. Those are the two best guesses I have. Is it messed up that I can't imagine just feeling content (much less happy) with the path I've chosen?
posted by sugartown at 1:14 PM on May 20, 2012


Leave him. You think you are protecting him by staying with him, but in reality you are committing a fraud. You are faking your desire to be with him. He is better off starting his new life sooner than later. It sounds like you care for him, but don't love him and don't want to be with him. If you were willing to leave him if your affair left his wife, why not leave him now? Only because you have no where to run? Come on.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 1:15 PM on May 20, 2012 [16 favorites]


Kutsuwamushi, it's a pattern.
posted by sugartown at 1:16 PM on May 20, 2012


Yes. It's messed up. Get. Therapy.
posted by dpx.mfx at 1:16 PM on May 20, 2012


Please leave this poor guy so he can move on.

Amen. He deserves better than this.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 1:17 PM on May 20, 2012 [14 favorites]


I'm sure you probably have a notion of this, but it sounds like you need some alone time to figure out who you are. Doing that whole finding + loving yourself thing does wonders for interpersonal relationships. Please seek help. If you want to stay with your husband you've got to come clean to him and then it's really his choice to see you through the rest of it or not.
posted by sibboleth at 1:20 PM on May 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


I guess my fear is that I will leave him and eventually meet someone else and the same thing will happen again, and again and again.

Pretty good guess. Just on the question content alone you are drama heavy and don't take things like commitment at all seriously.

Get therapy from a doctor who will actually call you on this.
posted by rr at 1:22 PM on May 20, 2012 [10 favorites]


In my experience, there are ways to have a happy marriage with minimal sex, or even no sex. And I think that's a good thing...particularly when there are health issues involved. But you have more than just this issue with your husband, and it doesn't sound like there's enough emotional glue to hold it together in the absence of physical intimacy.

You're young (I think, or at least young-ish?) and you both deserve to be happy. Don't waste time being otherwise.
posted by Gusaroo at 1:25 PM on May 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


The not wanting to have sex with him part is the deck chair sliding back and forth on the pitching, rolling deck of the capsizing ship that is your marriage and emotional life together. You started out talking about it like's an aberrant thing in what is otherwise a love affair for the ages, but it sounds like you're dissatisfied with everything about him, and large parts of yourself. I'd suggest counseling, and I hate counseling.
posted by randomkeystrike at 1:25 PM on May 20, 2012 [13 favorites]


It sounds like there's a lot going on for you - therapy might help sort out how the depression is contributing vs. other factors, so perhaps you can treat each factor accordingly. What you said about discontent over your life sounds a lot like what my husband has gone through with depression. That feeling may never go away, but you can recognize it for what it is. Perhaps there are things your husband can do apart from times when he wants sex. If you're the breadwinner, are you also expected to manage a lot of household duties? Maybe he can take on more of that so you feel you are being cared for in that way. Can he contribute to your sexual excitement apart from times that he's initiating sex? For example, maybe if he starts sending you enticing emails or texts that are reminiscent of when you two first got together, maybe that'll spark things a bit.
posted by Terriniski at 1:27 PM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Your husband -- and you -- deserve better than this. You desperately need therapy so you can seek out a relationship that will be more fulfilling than this one, and your husband needs to be released from this marriage so he can find someone who actually loves him.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 1:28 PM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


saucysalt, et al, my husband does not know about the affair. It would devastate him

The core of any relationship is trust. You will have to tell him.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:36 PM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


You either need couples therapy (where you start being honest with him) or you need to leave him.

Marriage is supposed to be a commitment, so I think it's worth trying to work this out. But you're not going to be able to solve your problems by continuing to do what you've been doing. Couples therapy. Look, your marriage has problems. Whatever problems you individually might have, there is clearly a problem with your marriage and you two need to work together to fix it.
posted by J. Wilson at 1:38 PM on May 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


It isn't a "pattern". That's a way of avoiding responsibility, as if it's something that's happened TO you. It's YOU and YOUR inability to confront your being in this marriage that obviously is causing you much ambivalence and pain. There are any number of reasons this could be the case, such as your own insecurity and you're grabbing onto this guy who should really just be a friend, or other things you're not telling us, but the bottom line is that you won't find the answers unless you take the relationship more seriously and with more responsibility for your own agency. This points to therapy for yourself, couples therapy, or if you don't want to do either of those, biting the bullet and separating (i put those in order of desirability).

I'm no expert on relationships, but I do know something about the deadly embrace of two people who think they can't find anyone else making each other miserable. Stop your part in this. It's hurting both of you.
posted by dhartung at 1:44 PM on May 20, 2012 [8 favorites]


Please divorce him. He can do so much better than you. Somewhere out there is a woman who will want him above all others. If you care for him at all, you will leave him today.

My ex didn't want sex at all. I didn't find this out until after we were married. It was torture. I was too embarrassed to tell my parents that I wanted out because my husband didn't want me so I stayed. I was too honorable to have an affair. When his mental illness progressed to the point where he was dangerous to be around and I had a serious reason to leave, I was so relieved. My first thought was, "Yes! I can finally have sex again!"

Let him go. Stop torturing him.
posted by myselfasme at 1:46 PM on May 20, 2012 [8 favorites]


This is a total longshot, but I know someone who was in the same position you are, and somehow found himself in Sex and Love Anonymous and it saved their marriage. Here are their 40 Questions. So far as I can tell, it's more about the "high" of new relationships and drama than anything else. At any rate, it's free, anonymous, and maybe they have some pointers- who knows?
posted by small_ruminant at 1:48 PM on May 20, 2012 [7 favorites]


To quote an old AskMe response:

"You need to be single indefinitely while you cultivate self-worth, discover the ability to make yourself happy, foster an identity for yourself that is not dependent on your relationship, and face your paralyzing fear of being alone."
posted by matty at 1:49 PM on May 20, 2012 [21 favorites]


This isn't complicated. You don't respect your husband in some aspects, though you do love and like him as friend. You're continually disappointed and frustrated by him.

Get a divorce and go find the kind of man you really want. Your husband doesn't have the ambition you want in a mate, that's not going to change and it's just going to piss you off.

Affair guy? Break it off with him, that's just pushing your buttons.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:50 PM on May 20, 2012 [7 favorites]


Putting aside the ethics of remaining connected in any way to the married Other Man:

No contact is a boolean: it's either on, or off. This partial-contact thing is the worst of both worlds: just enough contact to keep you hooked, not enough to meet any reasonable standard of emotional connectedness.

By completely cutting ties, you will free yourself to address your existing pain, and prevent any new pain from that particular source.
posted by quivering_fantods at 1:51 PM on May 20, 2012


What you need to do is obvious, it's just not easy.

1) Stop talking to the other man.

2) Sit down with your husband and tell him about the affair and your lack of sexual interest in him.

You might split up, or you might work it out. He needs to know what is happening in his marriage.

Keeping him in the dark is not protecting him. It is a selfish act.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 2:01 PM on May 20, 2012 [10 favorites]


Are you sure your hormones and everything are all right and that you have an ordinary sex drive in other ways? The fact that you can get going for the forbidden fruit doesn't necessarily mean there's anything special about the other guy. It could just be that the nature of it makes it essentially hot enough to override the fact that your body happens to take a long time to get going. I have a friend who went through this for a long time who was able to find ways around it. So I don't think that you need to write off the marriage, and I do think you're right to be concerned that this would just happen again with somebody else.

It still won't necessarily work out, given that you have other issues with this guy, but it's also entirely possible that you're just looking for things to blame this ongoing frustration on. I would look this direction especially if you have any of the classic signs of PCOS, which seems to show up a lot with depression. If your sex drive is just going to be low for unavoidable physical reasons, then that doesn't mean you need to break up to leave him other options; there are also ways to get yourself going ahead of time, spice things up in the bedroom, or just plain give him leave to look elsewhere that don't necessarily mean you have to break things off with someone you're otherwise happy with. If you're otherwise happy with him.
posted by gracedissolved at 2:06 PM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know everyone will probably think I'm a horrible person, but what I really do want to do is figure this @%$# out so I can do the right thing

There is no "right thing" -- you have now lived long enough to have hurt someone. There is no decision you can make, now, that will make you look like a hero in this. I'm sorry == I know what that feels like. When you're on the other side of it, you'll see that almost everyone around you has hurt other people at some point in their lives. It's miserable, but it's also part of life. Try to hurt him as little as possible.

Is it messed up that I can't imagine just feeling content (much less happy) with the path I've chosen?

People change their minds all the time. Marriage is a constant negotiation. Those of us who are married should agree to revisit the agreement every 5 years and renegotiate the terms, and decide whether to continue.

His happiness and well-being mean everything to me This is demonstrably not true. Or, at least, it hasn't been true continually. There are at least 2 years worth of time when it wasn't true. I have no "moral opinion" about whether it "should've" been true or not. I'm just saying that it's a nice sentiment, but not really very true. It also sounds like if the other guy had been willing to leave his wife, you would've been willing to leave your husband. You should've left then -- no matter what the other guy did. No spouse wants to be the booby prize.

I guess my fear is that I will leave him and eventually meet someone else and the same thing will happen again, and again and again

I'm not sure why you see your husband as protection against this -- and I'm not sure that's what he signed up for. It's kind of like "Hey honey, I may have a destructive pattern that threatens to hurt a lot of people. So I'm just going to stay and hurt you, okay?"

Also -- that pattern doesn't actually have to hurt people. You could just not make a long term commitment to anyone. Or explore polyamory. There are people who have come to this conclusion about themselves and tread lightly and honestly with other people.

I've been plenty hard on you. Now I'm going to say something that I needed to hear once. What kind of person decides that living with and having an intimate relationship with someone who doesn't want to have sex with him is okay? Why is this alright with him? He probably should've ducked out a long time ago -- you've been HINTING REALLY HARD. Why hasn't he suggested counseling? These are not accusations to throw in his face -- just keep these questions in your heart and bring them out when you feel like the Worst Person In The World.

You're going to have to be the one to leave. Clearly.

ps: don't tell him about the affair unless you want to REALLY REALLY hurt him. If there's zero chance that he'll hear it from someone else, you're not doing him a favor by telling him. You have to do humiliation control. Do not humiliate him. If there's a chance someone else will tell him, that's MORE humiliating than telling him yourself. That's the only case in which you tell him -- because it's SLIGHTLY less humiliating than hearing it from someone else.

Also -- don't tell him as a way of getting him to break up with you. That's really low and it might not work!

Honestly like that is what I call "honest as death". Yes, honestly is generally a positive trait -- except when that honestly will really really hurt someone for no gain or different outcome.
posted by vitabellosi at 2:08 PM on May 20, 2012 [23 favorites]


Don't ask us what do with your marriage, ask your husband, who is the only other person in the world whose views and opinions matter on that question. Show him this post. Asking us for answers only helps you preserve the illusion that your decision is the only one that will matter, which isn't true. To have a real relationship and marriage, not just a living arrangement, you have to accept that you won't always be in control, because there's another person there making some of the decisions, even if it's just the decision whether or not to continue putting up with your bullshit.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 2:14 PM on May 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Okay, let's back up and take a running leap at this.

You don't respect your husband.
> I have some deep, primal expectation for him to be "the provider"
> my husband does not know about the affair
> he's just never had any success
> part of it is due to limitations to his ambition


You don't love your husband.
> a great guy
> care for my husband a lot
> I'm not sure anymore. I mean, I love him as a person, and because of our shared history. I like spending time with him.


So why haven't you left him?
> I guess my fear is that I will leave him and eventually meet someone else and the same thing will happen again
> won't I regret having thrown away a mostly good marriage because of my own stupid quirk?
> low-grade depression for at least 10 years


Ah, you haven't left him because you're afraid of winding up alone, and you prefer the current "mostly good" equilibrium (in which you "feel like crying" and "feel like a loveless, sexless shell of a woman" and periodically chat behind your partner's back with the man you cheated with) over what you imagine solitude will be like. Plus, you know, hubby's a pretty good pal, all things considered.

Shut it down. You're not happy in this relationship, and by perpetuating it you're being cruel to a husband who incorrectly thinks you love and respect him.

A lot of depression consists of inertia: of the dejected refusal to challenge the all-too-easy patterns of thought and of behavior that one has fallen into. You know that you have to end this. Gal up and do it.
posted by foursentences at 2:14 PM on May 20, 2012 [45 favorites]


You'll both be better off out of this marriage. "Loveless, sexless shell" is no way to go through life. And your husband will definitely be better off once he's able to find a partner who actually enjoys having sex with him and isn't constantly disappointed by his economic contribution.

You don't have kids, right? What are you waiting for?

With regards to your affair, I don't think this is mysterious. Here's a guy who you did enjoy having sex with. Contact with him is contact with this part of you, the part that's not a "loveless sexless shell." It doesn't much matter whether you keep talking to him or not, the way I see it, because your marriage doesn't sound salvageable. (If it were, of course you'd need to cut affair guy off, but I don't see what's worth sticking around for -- no sex, not much respect, no kids. But I wouldn't be surprised if affair guy stopped contacting you once you get a divorce, because that would be a bigger potential interference with his marriage.)

Please understand I mean this with no harshness: you made a mistake marrying a man you weren't sexually and economically compatible with. We all make mistakes. I'm sure you did not mean to hurt him or yourself in doing so. But it was a mistake and the resulting marriage is a shambles and painful for both of you. There is a lot more to life than this, for both of you. End it and find a better life.
posted by fingersandtoes at 2:27 PM on May 20, 2012 [7 favorites]


I think it's fear of change and losing the appearance of normality, the same reason so many stay in a loveless marriage "for the kids" when a loveless marriage can be far more harmful than two well-adjusted divorced parents.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 2:37 PM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Have you ever been evaluated for borderline personality disorder? It might be worth your talking with a therapist about.

I would never in a million years pretend that I could "spot" an issue that complex from someone's post on a message board, but your posts are reminding me strongly of a friend who has been diagnosed with that, who was in a situation that was in many ways similar to yours, and who has been doing good work with a therapist, happier than she's ever been in her life, in a great second marriage, and whose ex-husband found a woman who adores him with whom he has a great second marriage.

Getting off the roller coaster will allow you to move forward.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:46 PM on May 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Should I just cut myself loose from both men and be alone?

I think so, yes.

If the thought of being alone frightens you, that's understandable. If you can envision that time as an investment in yourself, figuring out what makes you tick, what you really want in love relationships, and coming up with a plan of how to get that, it may come to feel like a positive move, not a horrible one.

And, if you understand that you needn't take on that process all by yourself, perhaps it will feel less daunting. You don't have to go it alone. You can get therapeutic support, or find a community of others grappling with the same issues, and join them.

It may be a good time to have an overhaul of your mental health treatment -- to make sure you are getting the latest, greatest care available, and that your diagnosis is up to date; and also, to integrate new, healthy behaviors that support your mental and physical health.

Taking a sabbatical from dating -- a nice long one, maybe a year? -- will help give you distance from the relationships you are exiting, and a different perspective. You may find that what would make you happiest, and is sustainable, is something other than a married partnership.

vitabellosi stated it well, and it matches my own experience:

Also -- that pattern doesn't actually have to hurt people. You could just not make a long term commitment to anyone. Or explore polyamory. There are people who have come to this conclusion about themselves and tread lightly and honestly with other people.

To reach that conclusion, I had to first exit a longterm relationship, grieve the loss, and then spend a good amount of time fumbling and flailing and thinking really hard to disentangle myself from the cherished notion of marriage being the gold standard -- a standard that simply didn't work for me. And then, I had to do more thinking, and decide what I really want. And then, I had to come up with a plan to get it, and stick to my guns. It sounds like a lot of work (it was), but I didn't do this alone, and you don't need to either.

That's a lot of me-me-me digression, but I hope it will give you a little encouragement.
posted by quivering_fantods at 2:52 PM on May 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yes, I think that you need some time to yourself to work out who you are and what you actually want because it sounds like you went into that marriage not knowing either.
posted by mleigh at 3:00 PM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


You most assuredly don't have a good relationship, so don't base your actions on that. Saying you have a good relationship except for the giant problems you listed is like saying the Titanic was a great cruise, except for that huge iceberg part!
posted by yarly at 3:10 PM on May 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


"What kind of person decides that living with and having an intimate relationship with someone who doesn't want to have sex with him is okay? Why is this alright with him? He probably should've ducked out a long time ago -- you've been HINTING REALLY HARD. Why hasn't he suggested counseling?"

@vitabellosi, that's a great question, and one that I've asked him point blank several times. He says he's happy. He says that he would rather be with me and having minimal sex than without me and "starting all over again." I've told him that I don't believe he's happy, I've acknowledged and reminded him that I haven't done much to foster his happiness and that I think he should consider if this is how he wants to live indefinitely, since it's clear the sexual thing isn't "just a phase." I've suggested that maybe we aren't compatible, suggested that we consider living apart for a while to figure that out, but he doesn't want that. He really says he's happy.
But as you (or maybe it was someone else) said, it's clearly going to have to be me that takes that step. Maybe he really is okay with our relationship, despite its problems, and it's just me who is secretly suffering. I brought the above issues up with him in calm, sober conversation hoping we could agree that a separation would be best, though I am realizing that was probably pretty cowardly of me, and yet another way I've avoided taking responsibility for my own unhappiness.
posted by sugartown at 3:20 PM on May 20, 2012


If he is okay with the relationship that does not mean he would be okay with it if he knew you cheated on him. A lot.
posted by TheRedArmy at 3:25 PM on May 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


sugartown: "I should also note that anytime I initiate a conversation with him about wanting/needing him to contribute equally financially, he accuses me of being superficial and shallow, and I now have a chip on my shoulder about that."

You're not the only one who might benefit from counseling; your husband is manipulating you. You've expressed a genuine need to him and his response has been to shame you into not standing up for yourself about something that is important to you. That's not healthy behavior in any relationship. It's no wonder you don't want to have sex with him -- resentment like this can be very corrosive. You probably also are feeling guilt over his well-being if you were to leave him; these feelings might be making you think you have to stay in this marriage. However, his behaviors do not excuse your affair; that was a deplorable way to handle your issues.

Marriage counseling or divorce. You two sound fundamentally incompatible. Sorry.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 3:26 PM on May 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yeah, you can't put the burden on him to infer that you are miserable in this relationship and that therefore he should end it. Put on your big girl pants and act like an adult.

I know I weighed in before in favor of couples counseling, and I still think there's some merit to trying that if you are both willing to give it a fair shot -- but it really sounds like you are trying very hard to ask for permission to leave your husband. Well, you don't need the internet's permission, but you have mine. If you don't want to put work into this relationship, and it doesn't sound like you do, then you should leave.
posted by J. Wilson at 3:36 PM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


...your husband is manipulating you. You've expressed a genuine need to him and his response has been to shame you into not standing up for yourself about something that is important to you.

I think this is too strong: defining something as a "genuine need" doesn't make it the trump card in any relationship negotiation. Is it possible that there are real, compelling reasons that her husband should step up and try to make a greater financial contribution? Sure, but they aren't outlined in the post. In fact, all we have to go on is:

I guess I have some deep, primal expectation for him to be "the provider" that I didn't realize I had when I married him. It's not for superficial reasons; I don't want him to start making money so I can quit my job and drink lattes with my girlfriends all day.


If a guy expressed a genuine need for his wife to quit her job because he had a deep, primal expectation that she would stay home and care for the kids, few people here would accuse her of being manipulative when she pushed back, even if she was less than tactful. However, if the husband was able to make a solid financial case for her to doing so, based on their relative incomes and career trajectories, the cost of childcare etc., it would be different, but we aren't seeing a case like that being made here yet.
posted by pullayup at 3:39 PM on May 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's pretty clear you're a timid person who doesn't know what she wants, and as a consequence you let yourself get steamrollered. You don't want to have sex with your husband (but you do anyway) and you don't want to maintain contact with the guy you had an affair with (but you do anyway). I would even go so far as to say you don't want to be married (but you stay with it anyway). Just show some guts and break up with him already: it's clear you don't want to be with him, and if he realized the truth about the affair, he wouldn't want to be with you either - so why drag this out? Neither of you is getting any younger and you definitely don't want to break up later and try dating at 40 (see other metafilter threads for plenty of examples as to why that's difficult).
posted by wolfdreams01 at 3:42 PM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


pullayup, maybe I'm a misogynist for expecting my husband to pull equal financial weight as me. Maybe I'm also a misogynist for desiring, but not demanding, a recessive professional/financial role because I'd like to be able to devote a couple of years to staying home with (future) children. Or maybe I just think it's fair terms for a partnership. I might also just have a totally warped view of marriage.
posted by sugartown at 3:46 PM on May 20, 2012


@small_ruminant
"This is a total longshot, but I know someone who was in the same position you are, and somehow found himself in Sex and Love Anonymous and it saved their marriage. Here are their 40 Questions. So far as I can tell, it's more about the "high" of new relationships and drama than anything else. At any rate, it's free, anonymous, and maybe they have some pointers- who knows?"
Yikes, I just took the test. I didn't fare well. Thanks for sharing, I'm definitely going to look into their group.
posted by sugartown at 3:49 PM on May 20, 2012


I think you should seriously reconsider having children. You aren't being honest with him and it's not a good marriage (from what you've said). Why bring kids into it?
posted by getawaysticks at 4:01 PM on May 20, 2012 [15 favorites]


[sugartown, you're being pretty hyper-responsive here in a way that doesn't fit with how AskMe works. Now is probably a good time to walk away and let responses come in on their own. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 4:01 PM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Regardless of whether this marriage is salvageable or not, perhaps your husband would do well to read The Married Man Sex Life Primer. I thought it as interesting, and the top review at Amazon is pretty convincing.
posted by Durin's Bane at 4:05 PM on May 20, 2012


Hmm. I have to suggest Married Man Sex Life. There are a lot of questionable things about that site but...maybe it's worth a shot for you to figure out what's missing in your attraction to your husband.
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:09 PM on May 20, 2012


Oh, PLEASE do not have children with this man unless/until you've a) explored what's going on with your need for 'excitement' and worked through all the complications of that, and b) rediscovered what you love about him and made a joyful commitment to staying in the relationship. Dysfunctional marriages are never saved by having children.

I think it's fine for people of any gender to want their spouse of any gender to be an equal financial partner. I think it's fine for people of any gender to want to take some time away from the paid work world to focus on parenting. If you think that the latter should be you simply because you're a woman and he's a man, you might want to think about what kinds of other sociocultural narratives are influencing your thinking.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:38 PM on May 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


If OP had asked a legal, criminal, or medical question, people would have overhwelmingly suggested "seek a lawyer" "talk to the police" or, "consult with a doctor" instead of dishing out arm-chair therapy like there are no consequences from bad advice - there are - you fuck people's lives up even more.

OP, seek therapy through a professional. Anything short of that, you would be cheating your self.
posted by Kruger5 at 4:54 PM on May 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


You're not doing anyone any favors currently, and it doesn't sound like you're going to in the future. I'd let him go.
posted by ead at 5:19 PM on May 20, 2012


One thing is for certain, if you stay on this 'ship', its going to sink and drag you down further than anyone else involved.

Based on my very similar experience.... I think you need to take small steps now, to get back onto a positive path. The guilt will continue to cripple you and only make things worse if you dont face the problems head on. The first thing is to learn acceptance of your faults and responsibilities for whatever you did to lead you to here. Accepting fault is the first step to moving forwards. Know that you need to make a decisive action quickly because this path is way destructive and you can't stay here. Certainly in the next 1-2 months things need to be on a different course. The longer you leave it the more pain you will have to process later.

Basically, you are heartbroken over another man. You need to sever all ties with that man as its already established as a no go zone. Change your phone number and remove any social references. He is just a part of your past now.

The next thing is to take a long hard look in the mirror and ask yourself what you want. My biggest mistake when i went through this was I never actually gave myself the time or respect to put myself first. I was swayed by everyone else's opinions and ideas over my own. Doing this will only put you in a bigger mess. Ask yourself the hard questions and give yourself the answers you need to know about you.

Know that your marriage is salvageable with some hard work, people fall out of love all the time, it doesn't mean you cant fall back in love again. Marriage however is a two way thing - it is not your sole decision to make if, the commitment must be a shared decision. Assuming you actually want this, you need to open up and talk to your husband. If it were me and I choose the marriage then I would tell him about the affair, tell him you have accepted fault and will do whatever it takes. Im sure your husband has been through alot too in the last few years as well, its not like you are that close (intimate) with him anymore. He may even leave you due to the affair but that has to be his choice and simply respect it. At the end of the day, your strength as an individual and/or as a couple will come from facing issues and dealing with them in an atmosphere of growth. The no sex thing can also be dealt with if you allow for it.

You might also choose to divorce him if its what you want. Yes your husband wont understand your reasoning on this as he is completely unaware of what you have been going through for the last many years, (its not like you are close to him anymore) so be prepared to give him some answers. Divorce is a life-changing thing and severance is very painful and will take years to overcome. But at the end of the day you only live once and life is short, dont waste time. Even with divorce, you will come out again and be on top eventually, you just have to give yourself the opportunity.
posted by Under the Sea at 6:19 PM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


You should bring him to therapy with you and tell him why: And you should be in your own individual counseling to deal with: There are probably other things you should be bringing into counseling than the above - finances, taking care of your physical health, maybe spiritual/moral direction stuff in general (figuring out what "The Right Thing" is for you.) I suggest you spend a LOT of time trying to sort out what those things might be.

Keep trying different therapists till you find one you like. "Eh, that didn't go so well" does NOT translate to "might as well let this go on for another sixteen months while we dither in complete despair."
posted by SMPA at 6:46 PM on May 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think the problem is that you are looking for fulfillment and thrills through other people. Each time the initial thrill or thrill of something you aren't supposed to have wears off you will be back where you started and hungry and looking for someone else. You might think the sex you're having is great and you're good at it, and you might even be good at pleasing others, but you are probably really sexually immature. There is far more to sex than the thrill of someone new or something forbidden, it develops slowly as you explore and you get closer to someone, and that is what most people find really wonderful about relationships. I think you need to work through whatever issues make you a sexual thrill-seeker and try to become a well-rounded sexual being.

As far as your marriage goes, I don't think there is any way to save it or even make it bearable now. You really need to start over after working on your own issues.
posted by meepmeow at 8:07 PM on May 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Snarl Furillo has it nailed on the head, perfectly: This is out of control, honey. You sound like you desperately do not want to be married to your husband and you keep flailing around trying to make the problem anything but not wanting to be married to your husband. You two should separate and maybe you'll be wonderful friends some day, but wow do you not sound like you want to be married to each other. Live an honest life, you will be surprised at how much it improves things.

Honestly: you aren't married to your husband. Yes, legally, but that is but a technicality - you are not married to your husband, emotionally or practically. There's nothing you said in your post that leads me to believe that you are in love with him, are committed to him, are otherwise enmeshed with him, or even care about him on more than just a cursory, superficial level. All you've got is a piece of paper; why are you struggling to act as though the problem is otherwise?

I mean, I love him as a person

Ouch.
This is what I say of my enemies; I mean, I love them as people and hope they go on to have good health and reasonable happiness, but...I hate them. If I read somewhere that my partner said this of me, I would be unbelievably upset. And would know that the relationship is over.

Frankly: reading your question made me a little sad. This just sounds so broken and sad.

Maybe I become bored because I need to have the intensity to be "obsessed" with, and without it I lose interest? I also second-guess myself a lot and always have a glimmer in the back of my mind like, I could probably be happier living some other life, which opens the door to fantasizing about other people and being discontent with my own life. [...] I guess my fear is that I will leave him and eventually meet someone else and the same thing will happen again, and again and again

Nthing therapy.

Then won't I regret having thrown away a mostly good marriage because of my own stupid quirk?

You already threw it away.
posted by vivid postcard at 8:16 PM on May 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


I notice you are responding in-thread and you are engaged in exploring this issue. What can I do to help you here??

I mean it. Let me know.

____

In the meantime, I noticed at least two comments honed in on your attraction to drama and your lack of agency ("I can't block gmail" which is not entirely true...) So let's put a pin in that? Yes?

OK.
____

I had a "just adequate" first marriage. I have a MUCH better marriage now. You can achieve this. I feel you here.

- The moment I realized I did not want children with my first husband it spurred me to get divorced. You? Think about this.

- If you are not happy with how the finances work, you are right to want something that suits you. No explanations or guilt required!

Long story, short. My ex husband made more than me and was always holding that over my head. I never seemed to do well with all the judging going on. Ironically (or not, really!) my current husband does not do as well as I do/did (I'm now a stay-at-home mom) BUT - he definitely supports us and we are about to launch what will be a very lucrative business together since we are in the same industry and our combined customer base is HUGE.

Back before Lil' jbenben was born, it always occurred to me how funny it was that suddenly I was making bank with a new partner who truly loved me, when before despite my talent, I always struggled previously to be well paid for what I do.

I attributed my success towards having a partner that was self-sufficient and could carry us both, either way.

As a woman, I'm not saying you should give your husband a pass here. No! What I am saying is that it means SO much to have a Man in your life. It's not just the bills, it's the willingness to take responsibility for the whole show. Yes, you can take care of the whole show. But can your partner?

MOST of the perks in the old lifestyle with my ex were down to me, not him. In my Better New Life, perks exist because we are BOTH able to drive the car. Know what I mean??

----

Go for what you want. Stop settling.

----

Lastly... I find depression is often situational, despite what the pharmaceutical companies will tell you.

Change your life. Do some self-work. Get rid of people and things that hurt you.

You'll be surprised if you make those radical choices how "depression as a lifestyle" becomes a thing of the past.

--------------------

Why do you make choices all the time that please others, but require you to lie and go underground to get your needs met?

This damages you more than you think. Stop living a double life - depression solved.

-------------------------

Completely cut off married guy. He's awful and evil and toxic. Memail me for the 411 on where that will end up if you do not. I went to New Zealand and back and I still didn't get "it" for another six years. Let me save you the hassle and wasted time. Really.

---
Best.
posted by jbenben at 8:40 PM on May 20, 2012 [9 favorites]


Did you make any changes to your birth control around the time that your sexual interest shifted?

It's my understanding that HBC mimics the effect of pregnancy on the body and therefore going on or off it can affect who you find attractive.
posted by bunderful at 8:45 PM on May 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


sugartown: " I'd like to be able to devote a couple of years to staying home with (future) children."

Please don't do this unless you have cleared things up with your husband, properly and permanently. If you think you have issues now, adding a couple of kids into the mix will make things unimaginably worse for everyone. There are lots of single parents out there who thought having babies could solve their marital woes.

You 'broke up' with affair guy two years ago (not seven months if your dates are correct) and yet you still have secret contact with him? You love your husband 'as a person'? I could go on, but it sounds to me like your marriage was over pretty much as soon as it began and maybe it's time to pull the plug for the benefit of both of you. There's no rule that says you have to be married to anyone and maybe marriage just isn't your thing.
posted by dg at 9:47 PM on May 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


I agree with all the voices urging that you find a therapist who will get serious with you. I think it is generally good to listen to what your body is saying and I believe it was saying loud and clear to you that your husband was not measuring up to your idea of what a man should be so your body lost interest in sex with him. If you'd faced up to it then and perhaps not even married him, you could have taken the next honest step to discover what you really wanted. Since you married him anyway, you gave yourself permission to cheat and gave him what really amounts to contempt by deciding you didn't have to be honest with him. Makes perfect sense since you've suffered all these years from not being honest with yourself and living with someone you don't respect.

You can go back to square one, get a therapist to help you learn how to be honest with yourself and with your husband. Then you can work on having an honest marriage or shutting it down and learning how to live by yourself and be responsible for your actions and find out what you actually want in a relationship. The sooner you do one or the other, the better chance you have of getting to the healthy life you want to bring a child into.

Time to cowgirl up.
posted by Anitanola at 9:52 PM on May 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


I like the Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous suggestion. Even if you leave this marriage I would be concerned the cheating behavior could persist.

I suggest seeing a couples therapist and being completely honest about the affair and your feelings about sex. Try to identify if you want to save the marriage, what is missing in it, and what it seems to be you are truly looking for outside it.
posted by Golden Eternity at 10:07 PM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


"He says that he would rather be with me and having minimal sex than without me and "starting all over again." I've told him that I don't believe he's happy, I've acknowledged and reminded him that I haven't done much to foster his happiness and that I think he should consider if this is how he wants to live indefinitely, since it's clear the sexual thing isn't "just a phase." I've suggested that maybe we aren't compatible, suggested that we consider living apart for a while to figure that out, but he doesn't want that. He really says he's happy."

This makes me think he's just attached to you, and possibly not even "in love" with you either. Does he actively seek out your happiness? Does he show empathy when you're in pain? Does he try to understand you? I sort of think you're both in a codependent loveless marriage because neither of you thinks you can do better.

Realizing that he might not even love you as strongly as you think could alleviate a lot of the guilt you're feeling.

Here's the thing: Can you really not do better? How hard did you try before you got married? How experienced are you? I don't want to say, "You can definitely do better!" because I'm not that much of an optimist, and I think sometimes people can't. That might sound horrible, but it's true. But if you really think you were too quick to settle, you should divorce. If you realize you can't find the type of person who would make you much happier than you are now, you should calmly and logically think this through and then attempt to start over and engineer love in the marriage. I would start by telling your husband about the affair, no matter what else you do. It will provoke some sort of reaction that will cure your indecision, at the very least, and I can't see going on in the marriage honestly without coming clean.
posted by quincunx at 12:59 AM on May 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wanting one's partner to be one's career equal does not strike me as a great foundation for a relationship, but this isn't my relationship and I can't see how it's damaging for two laid-back people or two go-getter sorts. But this just has 'fundamental incompatibility' written all over it.

I also don't understand why it would have to be you who stays home with the children.

But please, please extricate yourself from this mess instead of musing on reproduction. Some of this is pretty delusional stuff. You "think we still have the foundation for a great relationship" after spending over half the marriage having a serious emotional and physical affair? That's the foundation -- cruelty? "Maybe he really is okay with our relationship" -- he doesn't know what the relationship is!

What is wrong with me?

Poor choices? Depression. Poor impulse control? Nothing that can't be fixed, but you do want to fix it instead of wallowing in it.

Should I just cut myself loose from both men and be alone?

Yes. It almost sounds like you're telling yourself that since your husband says he doesn't want to split, answering a question he hasn't really been asked since he doesn't know about the other man, you are doing him a favour by staying with him, and using this doing-a-favour to assuage your guilt...

There are nice ideas about saving the marriage but it sounds like you have no respect for your husband -- you're nearly contemptuous if not actually -- and I can't see how you'd regain respect that was never there in the first place.

Counseling is still a great idea even if you come to certain decisions on your own; divorce is a big transition and professional support is a good thing to have.
posted by kmennie at 4:08 AM on May 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


Well, you don't have to stay home with your children, but if you want to, that is a totally fine goal for you to have. You just won't ever have it with this guy. So...how many years are you going to spend with this guy who cannot help you fulfill one of your major life goals? That's not even including the no-sex thing.

Anyway, it sounds like deep down you don't respect him and are unable to respect him as an equal partner.

When I had really low self-esteem, I would go for two types of guys:

One: the guy who would never ever ever leave no matter how poorly I treated him. He was usually passive, had no life goals or ambition, no real interests beyond Game Cube and masturbating. But he would totally never leave me! Ever! And I beat myself up for not being into him because he was so into me, guilt, lots of effort to try to make it work...and yeah, zero sex. But I OWED him because he was sticking around and constantly felt in his debt.

Two: the guy who I was super into who would treat me like dirt or be completely unavailable. He was, in my mind, way too good for me so I would follow him around and just ignore the asshole behavior and ignore the lack of commitment (never dated a married guy but the principle is the same...he's not going to be there for you).

So with that in mind, I diagnose you with low self-esteem and say that maybe there's nothing wrong with you. Can you just try to pretend that you're a good enough person that you deserve to be in a happy, functional, TWO-WAY relationship? Because you do. Everything in this post and your comments is about how something is wrong with you or you need therapy or whatever...I mean, maybe you do need therapy. But it's not because you don't want to be married. You need therapy because you don't think that you deserve mutual love.

I'm really curious now what your parents were like. They had other issues, too, but primarily my parents were not around for me and they didn't demonstrate unconditional love. That led to me choosing romantic relationships primarily out of fear of abandonment while also seeking out withholding and absent partners to play out that abandonment again and again.

Anyway, not to me me me, but maybe there's something there that resonates with you. If there is, I suggest this: You owe your husband nothing. He has been with you because it benefits him just as much as it benefits you. If you can't believe that, just pretend it's true. If you owed your husband nothing, what would you do right now? Can you picture it? Can you picture your own apartment with your own things? How does it feel?

Good luck!
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:46 AM on May 21, 2012 [8 favorites]


Some women don't mind being the breadwinner, some do. It's okay.

You're not just being self-destructive, you're making a fool of your husband and you are fooling yourself. The marriage you have became a joke when you slept with another man without your husband knowing or finding out.

Figure out how to be less of a total mess through brutally honest therapy with a professional. Interview a bunch of them. Be honest about your goals, which ought to include how not to do bad things to the people who believe they love you.
posted by discopolo at 7:59 AM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Even if you're married to someone, you can't be responsible for his/her happiness, so let's take him out of the equation right now.

Why do you think you deserve a marriage to someone you're not sexually attracted to (and you even CRY during sex with), someone who doesn't meet your financial expectations, and someone you feel you have to lie to (about the affair)?

If nothing else, think of yourself, leave this unsatisfying marriage and find out what is going to make you happy. That will also allow your husband to do the same.
posted by xingcat at 8:05 AM on May 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Honestly your life sounds like the definition of living a lie. You need a divorce, you need to decisively eject from any aspect of your life the married man who doesn't want an affair with you over his family and small child, so you can work on sorting yourself out and what you actually want. Your marriage isn't salvageable because it never should have happened in the first place. And stop blaming it on him. You're using the marriage as a crutch to avoid facing real change as much as your husband is. Sounds like two half-lives to me.

I have gmail and you can't block an email address in gmail

You can create filters in gmail that will send all mail from a particular address directly to the trash.
posted by nanojath at 8:24 AM on May 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Tell him the truth, all of it, and then let him decide.

Tell him in couple's therapy so the conversation doesn't degrade too much, as the third party can guide the conversation.

You can't make this work, or even end, without all the cards on the table.
posted by Vaike at 8:36 AM on May 21, 2012


pretty much everything you've described of your actions indicates that you haven't been honest with yourself so it makes sense you haven't been honest with your husband. you'll never get anywhere by continuing to lie to yourself about your actions, your situations, and your needs. by continuing in this vein, you're being disrespectful to both your husband and yourself. please get some therapy and work on yourself and work on liking yourself on your own, because this "marriage" isn't doing either you or, especially, your husband any favors. he deserves to be with someone who didn't cheat on him from almost the minute you two married and who continues to allow herself to be emotionally attached to the person with whom she cheated (and yes, you can block ppl's emails on gmail—again, stop lying to yourself and others), and he deserves to be with someone who doesn't hold him in such contempt.
posted by violetk at 10:48 AM on May 22, 2012


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