Not an original story. I love my husband but I love someone else too. What do I do? Looooong explanation to follow, apologies.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (55 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I’ve made a big mess and while I can’t make it better I really don’t want to make it worse on everyone that I have to. I have been with my husband for 13 years, married for nearly 2. We’re mid-30s, no kids, rent a house (in his name), no joint assets or savings. I work 2 jobs and study part-time, he runs his own business. He’s a great guy and we’ve always been really happy and chilled. There have been a few issues I haven’t been thrilled with but nothing out of the ordinary. Namely he works a lot, but I can’t get annoyed about this because he says its for us. And also he can’t help me orgasm and has never shown a huge interest in this, (until recently) despite me bringing it up many, many times over the years. He’s a really nice, sweet guy but this leads to him also being very sweet in bed whereas I want someone very forceful and dynamic. Its not really about what he ‘does’ its about who he ‘is’ and I can’t change that and nor should he have to for me. So basically I had resigned myself to a lifetime of kind of unfulfilling sex – I always thought we’d fix it somehow though I wasn’t sure how – but the tradeoff was a happy, settled, mutually supportive relationship with someone who I loved and who loved me, who worked hard, was good in the house and the relationship was basically as good as I thought it could get. I didn’t think a man could be sexy AND caring.
I guess its obvious what’s coming… I met someone else. Through work. How very clichéd. I fell hard for him really fast, before we’d even had any personal conversations, before I’d even touched his hand. I’ve never felt so out of control of my emotions and my body, the chemistry left me literally breathless sometimes. But I didn’t tell him how I felt for nearly a year because I fought it so hard and felt so guilty about it because I was newly married. When I finally did it was in terms of ‘we get along really well and I’d really like to have you in my life, but we’re both married so I want us to be able to manage this properly and honourably.’ Oh how I laugh now at my idiocy. It turned out he felt the same but didn’t think I’d look at him like that – he’s 20 years older – but once we realised we both felt it, it kind of took over. That was a year ago and bar a few months of trying really hard not to let anything happen we’ve been having an affair pretty much ever since, and though I’ve ended the sexual aspect of it the emotional part is still ongoing. I’m not proud of finding out that I’m capable of things I really never thought I would be.
I’m in therapy and what I’ve realised is that I don’t have any sexual attraction to my husband though I love him a lot, and he’s very good-looking. I don’t know if I lost it when I realised he didn’t seem that bothered about my sexual pleasure, or if I found it hard to orgasm because I didn’t feel that desire for him. I always liked sex but I had no idea of what it could be like until the affair, I never got the idea of ‘lovemaking’ before, and that it could be intimate AND hot as all hell. I love my husband a lot, but I am absolutely crazy about this other man, and he about me. I never believed in soulmates before and now I do. Sorry for repeating the usual script. There are also other aspects of my relationship with the other man that it feels would be a lot better for me, in that we share a profession we’re passionate about, there are things we’d like to do together such as overseas charity work that my H would have no interest in, and the fact that we ‘get’ each other on lots of levels that my H and I don’t quite match up on, such as some political views. Again, nothing in and of itself that would lead me to divorce, but in comparison with the other man it feels that the new relationship would be better for me. (Until he goes and dies on me in 20 years and leaves me alone, but that’s another thread…)
I just don’t know what to do now. I know I can either stay or leave, but I don’t know what. I feel my H deserves a better life than the one I’m giving him now, and someone could love him the way I love OM, but then I wonder if I stay and put all my energy into my marriage could I make it work, or will I always have an empty feeling? I cant even imagine the pain I’ll be causing him if I left, but the pain of living with someone who doesn’t love you back the same is awful too. He has been trying to do everything right for me recently because I know he feels the distance, and its breaking my heart to see him while I just cant feel for him what I feel for OM. The last few times we’ve had sex he has tried to make me cum but I just feel uncomfortable and I cant relax, because it feels like I have no sexual connection to him anymore. I wonder why he didn’t try five or ten years ago, but then I also wonder why the hell was I so stupid to think this wouldn’t be an issue in the future when I married him? I feel pure joy around the OM, and at home I feel now like I’m pretending.
If I leave, do I say its for someone else or is that way more hurtful? I don't know what reason I would give when basically things are good, its just I feel more deeply for this man. He found a text from OM about 6 months ago that was just mildly flirty and he understandably threw me out of the house for a few nights, so if I end it he’ll ask is it because of him. I convinced him it was only flirting and he let it go which I feel crappy about but I just went into panic mode when he found it. The thought of lying to his face – again – is awful but if I say yes I don’t want to leave him with issues around anger and self-esteem which he has anyway. I know, I know, I should have thought of all this, but it all just happened so gradually and now here I am and I can’t put the clock back but I just don’t know what to do. The OM left his wife 6 months ago – they’d been having issues anyway but he said when he realised the depth of his feelings for me it wasn’t fair to stay with someone else. So he’s waiting for me, he really wants me to come and be with him, but he says he’ll walk away if that’s what will make me happy.
I’d really like to hear from people who were in either my H or my positions. If you left someone, what do you wish you’d done differently? If someone left you, what would you rather know/not know? How on earth do I start the conversation? When? He has a trip with his guy friends booked for a couple of months time, and he’s really looking forward to it. I don’t want to ruin it for him by breaking up beforehand but is waiting stringing him along (even more)? He’s been my best friend for a third of my life and he’ll never speak to me again, and I’m dreading losing him, hypocritical though that sounds. I also can’t stand to think of him being hurt or upset, though again I know that may seem hard to believe. There’s still a part of me waiting for these feelings to just pass and let me get back to how things were. We had our whole lives planned out and I’m devastated I’m here, my fault or not.
I feel the need to point out that my question is not, am I a horrible, lying, cheating, selfish whore who obviously doesn’t love or respect my husband? I have been on a LOT of forums over the past year trying to get a handle on things, and this (unasked) question has been resoundingly answered in the affirmative many times. And I don’t disagree with it. I just can’t take hearing it any more. A few paragraphs of text actually represents close to two years of 24/7 angst about this which has left me feeling literally suicidal at times, so I just cant cope with any more judgement please. Not at all asking for any sympathy, but I genuinely just want some constructive advice. Thank you.