I have asked a previous question about my situation and was really grateful for the advice. So last week I took it, and I told my SO that I thought we weren’t working and it would be better for both of us if we separated. So we did at the weekend. And now I don’t know if I’ve made the biggest mistake of my life. Where do I go from here? Oh so many, many details below.
posted by outoftime to human relations (25 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
We have been together over a decade and married for a couple of years, and I love him a lot. We’ve always been very happy and compatible, but our sex life was never what either of us wanted. He couldn’t help me orgasm so I rejected him quite a lot as I knew I’d end up frustrated, which obviously left him feeling bad and he rarely approached me because he was afraid of the rejection. I also always missed a deep emotional connection with him. He’s a daydreamer and fades in and out of conversations (not just with me) and I felt that he didn’t really listen to me. We also have different ideas about spirituality, and we have different interests. He runs his own business and works long hours, and always has, and I always felt that his work was his main priority rather than me. I got into a habit of eating too much junk food and lying on the couch watching rubbish between me getting home from work and him finishing his (usually 2-3 hours, plus several hours at the weekend, though he does work from home.) Although he was really good to me, did most of the cooking, liked us to go to dinner at the weekends, and I know he loves me, I have felt very aimless the last while. We don’t have kids and never planned on having any.
I met someone else through work and had an affair, which I am ashamed of. But the OM really adores me and wants me to be with him. He learned how to make me cum in a matter of weeks. That meant a lot to me because I had got to the point of wondering whether there was a physical flaw I had that meant I could only orgasm by myself, that maybe the touch I needed was so specific no other person would ever be able to do it for me. It was a revelation to me to realise that sex could be so fulfilling. In part I ended the marriage not to be with this man – the physical affair part is over and I’m finding it hard even to be in touch with him at the minute – but because I felt that if I had such strong feelings for someone else for so long, and was struggling so much with my decision (and obviously had betrayed him in the worst way) then no matter what was best for me I needed to end it for SO. I didn’t tell him about the affair because it would have been too hurtful to him as he has self-esteem issues, and also because the reasons I gave have been issues we have talked about for years, from long before I met OM, namely our sex life and the time we spend apart due to his work. He did however find a flirty text from this man last year. At the time it was very difficult but he forgave me – or at least never mentioned it again – and while that partly makes me think how good a man he is, it also made me think that he is ok as long as things are good but if there’s a real problem he doesn’t really want to face it. When he has an issue in his business he works til its resolved, but when I told him over and over how difficult it was for me never to orgasm when we had sex nothing changed. He’s a very sweet man and handsome, but while I would like him to be quite dominant sexually he’s quite shy about a lot of things and finds it hard to discuss certain things. I’ve never heard him use the words clitoris, orgasm or even period.
When we had The Talk he took it very calmly and didn’t ask me not to go. We have had these discussions before, and went to counselling this year, and I think he thought things were ok, even though everyone else has told me that I didn’t seem very happy. I’m staying with my Dad for now, and I have to have a hospital procedure in 3 weeks which will require a 6 week recovery period, so I’m going to stay with my Mum then because her house is an easier layout and I won’t have to travel to work. Now that I’m out of the house, it has made me realise how all I really ever wanted from him was some passion, and some feeling that his love for me was deep. He never just looked at me and told me he loved me. When we were talking all this out this week between the big conversation and the move, and I said that he didn’t desire me (he only ever approached me for sex when we were in bed, and on vacation earlier this year we went to bed in the afternoon and he asked me to close the curtains and turn off the lights) he kind of said “well, look at what you’re wearing, and you don’t look after yourself”. He didn’t say this unkindly, and I know it’s true. I should really be about 25lbs lighter, and I know I have gotten lazy and never dress up etc. But at the same time the OM thought I was sexy, and loved my body, and constantly complimented it and named and kissed parts of me that my SO has never mentioned in all these years.
So now I’m so confused as it has made me feel that its not that I want this OM (though I love him) but rather that he felt about me the way I always wanted my SO to feel about me. But the fact that he has been so fine about me leaving, and carried on his week as normal, and never once said “I love you, please don’t go” means that maybe I was right, and he’ll never be able to love me the way I need someone to (which may be due to neediness for affection and attention due to childhood stuff). I just don’t know what to do now. I thought making the decision to leave and saying it would be the worst part, but now it feels more of a mess than before. I hate how much I’ve hurt him –we have sent a couple of texts and he said he was sad – and part of me thinks he was so good to me I deserve this to be a big mistake and end up on my own while he goes on to be happy and successful. But I also saw my brother after his GF split up with him last year, and how he did everything he could to try and get her back, and the fact that my SO isn’t like that at all is hurtful even though I have no right to be hurt. I’m also afraid that if I went back, if he took me back (which is doubtful as he said basically “you’ve made your decision and I’m not having this conversation again”) then we’d end up in the same place in a year and I just couldn’t go through this again or put him through it. If I did go back there would be no contact with the OM.
I have a therapist appointment for next week. I also am not looking for advice on whether I should/should have come clean about the affair. I have my own views on that and it’s not what I want advice about. There is no STI risk for Reasons.
TL;DR Did I make a big mistake? Am I just panicking because the loss is so hard, even if it is the right thing to do? Should I take this as a wake-up call that there was something missing at home and I took the easy way out to find it, and I should go back and work on giving us both what we need in the marriage? Or go back and accept there will just be a quality to the relationship that won’t be exactly as I’d like? Or should I accept that this is where I am and just try and move forward from here?