What the hell did I just do?
September 30, 2013 6:00 AM   Subscribe

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.

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?
posted by outoftime to Human Relations (25 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
You can't go back, you ended things and SO accepted it. So yes, I think you are just panicking right now. Breathe. You will get through this. Move forward.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:08 AM on September 30, 2013 [10 favorites]

Hmmm. You're able to write a very long essay about all the problems you had in your relationship and reasons why it was a bad relationship, and then you say "part of me thinks he was so good to me I deserve this to be a big mistake." There is a major disconnect there, I hope you can see.

That part of you that says "he was so good to me" doesn't seem to be in touch with reality - reality being the part of you that knows that a guy who didn't listen to you, didn't care about your sex life, wasn't passionate about you, and didn't even care about you leaving him wasn't "good" for you.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 6:10 AM on September 30, 2013 [12 favorites]

Any change is hard. But you weren't happy in the relationship and your husband wasn't ever going to do or say the things you needed him to do and say.

Also, it seems like your husband isn't all that broken up over your leaving. He may have wanted out for quite some time. If your physical appearance is somehow tied to his affections, shit, that's no marriage. So that whole, "Look at yourself" thing is a red herring.

Your husband may never have the passion you need to have in a sexual relationship and clearly, he's not all that interested in figuring out how to get you back. In fact, he's as much as said, "don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out."

So you're sad because you played your last scene in a sordid drama and he's not following your script, instead, he's happy and releived that you've left. You didn't make a mistake, I suspect that your marriage has been over for quite some time (at least dating back to the start of your affair,) and you're just now on the sucky end of it.

You can't work on this because it's over. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but there it is.

So nurse your wounds, and seek solice in your family, because all break-ups are hard. Learn from this that you can't compromise on the small things, especially when they aren't small to you.

Good Luck.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:12 AM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: Sorry, wont be threadsitting. Just wanted to say that it wasn't a totally bad relationship. He was very kind and caring, and was hugely supportive of my career and me in general, as we were to each other. The passion might not have been there but we've been very close and rarely argued, and never in a spiteful way. He has said this week how this is all coming from me, as he was very happy and content, which is what is making the guilt so bad. It was the fact that it felt like such a good relationship, despite some issues, that made the decision so difficult, and that is making it difficult now as I am missing him a lot. That is the part of me that things orgasms smorgasms - I just want my partner back.
I'll back out now.
posted by outoftime at 6:22 AM on September 30, 2013

He has said this week how this is all coming from me, as he was very happy and content, which is what is making the guilt so bad

That is a hugely dickish and unfair thing for him to be saying, and to me it says a lot about him (not in a good way). He sounds supremely selfish. The relationship is fine as long as HE is fine with how things are. You aren't happy? Well, that doesn't matter. He's happy so that should be enough for you.

Give me a god damned break. He doesn't sound like he gives a fuck about how you feel. I can't help but think his inability to give you orgasms may be tied to this.

I am angry for you. Properly angry. Be glad that you are ending this. As "good" as you are remembering your relationship to be right now, to me it is pretty clear it wasn't that good at all. You said yourself that everyone around you saw how unhappy you were. If your relationship was that good except for that one detail, I doubt that would have been what people picked up on. Just get through the next period, have all the emotions you're going to have, and then bask in your new found life where YOUR happiness and pleasure and contentment matters.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 6:28 AM on September 30, 2013 [56 favorites]

Doesn't matter. It's over. You. Weren't. Happy. You can't sugar coat it. Of course HE was happy, he had it all on his terms.

You weren't ever going to get what you need from him. It wasn't a good relationship. You couldn't talk openly to him and you had an affair! Trust me, this isn't a good relationship.

Please get into counseling to understand why you settled for so little and think it was such abundance!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:30 AM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]

I'm sorry you're going through this. It sounds heartbreaking.

I imagine you feel a bit unmoored and are tempted go back to your safe, familiar space. If you were a close friend of mine telling me all this, I'd say it really sounds like you made the right choice. Part of what makes splitting up so hard is the doubt.
posted by pajamazon at 6:31 AM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]

Yeah, the conversation is super hard and you work yourself up to it thinking that once you have it and move out, things will be ok. But that's when a lot of the hard work really starts. You will go back and forth on this for a while. But it seems to me like you've made the right decision here and the best way out is to just keep moving forward. Your marriage was not making you happy. Your husband might have supported your career but it sounds like he didn't support you. He didn't think of you as a special, unique person. You were just the warm body that was waiting for him when he got home. Let him go and let him find someone he really loves too.

(And I think it's good that you are not seeing OM for a while. I'd give it a long while so you can sort through this stuff first.)
posted by dawkins_7 at 6:41 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

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.)

I should really be about 25lbs lighter, and I know I have gotten lazy and never dress up etc.

I have to have a hospital procedure in 3 weeks which will require a 6 week recovery period

My heart goes out to you. You sound sad, tired, and you have so much on your plate right now.

I've been in a similar situation, and for me the hardest part was extricating the sadness I was experiencing because of my dissatisfactions with my own life, from those coming from my relationship. I'd say that that would be a really important exercise for you right now, because it's way too easy to conflate them, and give yourself a big confusing mess of sadness and loneliness.

So decide to be happy with how you look, if you are happy with it (it doesn't matter about the other man. are you?). And if you are happy with it, don't allow yourself to posit it as a reason why this break-up was your "fault". If you're not, change it. Then reassess. Own the decision.

Decide what sexual needs you think are reasonable. Own that decision too. Were they getting met? Do you think they could ever have been, with your ex?

A lot of people in relationships are unhappy, sometimes it's because of the relationship and sometimes it isn't. It sounds to me like you have both going on here. If you can deconstruct this a bit, it might help you to have more confidence in your decision. Therapy can help with this, if you're finding it hard. Also time, and being very very kind, to yourself first, and to him.
posted by greenish at 6:46 AM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

I've been where you are. I ended a 10 year relationship, cut ties, and moved away. I spent hours staring at the wall asking myself "What have I done?" It will be okay. You did the right thing by leaving. You're grieving right now and that's okay. As the grief fades, you'll find opportunity and peace. Try not to make any significant life decisions for the next few months. Most things will wait until you're past this process. One thing I did that helped me get through was making a list of all the fun things I could do and look forward to as a single person that I couldn't do partnered.

Hang in there. What you're feeling is totally normal. It hurts and it's sad and it's hard but it doesn't mean you did the wrong thing. Be easy on yourself.
posted by dchrssyr at 6:53 AM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]

Mostly ok often gets translated to good enough which often gets transmuted to I'll settle for this cause its safe enough and comfortable enough and so on till you're 50 or 80 and going.... why did I do this? Why did I settle so long?

I suspect part of your issues are guilt. You, by having perfectly reasonable problems and expectations that were not met, had an affair, and left him. Someone could easily, looking at that, point fingers and call you names and the Villain of this piece. But, you aren't. Again, YOU ARE NOT A VILLAIN. YOU ARE NOT A BAD PERSON FOR HAVING AN AFFAIR, OR LEAVING, or both at the same time. You did work on this, you did try, and at the bottom line, it takes two people to make a marriage work. For your own sake, your own happiness, your own life, you left. His... saint like gentle tolerance? of this rankles. On multiple levels. You can say, look how good he is! He is putting up with this! OH, I HURT HIM! Maybe you did. So what? He chose not to fight for this relationship. It is now over. No going back. You deserve better. He does NOT seem heartbroken or more than... inconvenienced, really.

So.... where was the love? I fully believe you that you love him. You gave zero examples of how he loves you. In fact, he sounds more like a room-mate at that point than a partner.

Be gentle on yourself. Random internet guy thinks you made the right choice. The unknown is always scary. But you made, in my opinion, the right choice. You are only responsible for your happiness, and he is responsible for his. Love yourself, and take care of yourself. You are worth good things.
posted by Jacen at 7:20 AM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]

My therapist told me something about regret that was really helpful. Your brain wants to not feel bad! So when you have bad feelings that are a result of something you have done - sadness, guilt, etc. - your brain tries to find a way to not feel that way. One thing it does is start to second guess what you did, to find a way out, and that's regret. Assuming you made a well-thought-out, reasoned decision, which it sounds like you did, regret does not mean you did the wrong thing. It's just your brain grasping at straws to end the bad feelings. "Ugh, this hurts! Make it stop! Maybe if I change things back it would stop!"

Unfortunately, the only real way out is through. You're gonna feel sad and guilty and question your decision a lot in the coming months, but just keep telling yourself you know you did the right thing, you did it for good reasons, and you deserve to be happy. It might help to write down all the reasons you ended things so you can go back to it when you're feeling especially down. Also write down things that you can start to look forward to in your new life.

I ended my 10-year relationship a year ago. I still have pangs of guilt and regret and wonder if we could have worked it out after all... I have decided that there isn't really a right answer. There's no way to know the answers to all the "what if?" It's possible my husband and I could have figured out a way to break 10-year patterns of behavior and make major changes in our own personalities and how we interacted... Obviously I wouldn't have left if I thought that would have been successful, but I do have to come to terms with the fact that in the end, I decided not to keep trying.

I will say that I am way happier than I was before, and making this very difficult decision for myself seems to have had good results. I'm not engaging in self-destructive behavior that was out of line with my personal morals anymore. I'm not trying to escape my life by getting drunk and doing stupid things and threatening my continued employment. I am stable and happy and in love with someone wonderful. I wish the same for you, dear.
posted by misskaz at 7:25 AM on September 30, 2013 [11 favorites]

You did the right thing, as so many other folks are also saying. I was you, it was a 15-year relationship. Basically I had to put my own happiness first, and so do you. Every time things got hard or sad or it felt hopeless, I reminded myself that I did this for my own happiness and that I deserve that happiness. That worked surprisingly well actually to keep my spirits up.

Ok, I'll admit that I also went right into the arms of the other guy (although we had not had an affair...he was waiting in the wings.) That worked very well for keeping my mind from constantly berating me for giving up "a sure thing" and starting over. But, I am exceedingly lucky that it actually turned into something wonderful and wasn't just a rebound. Your mileage may vary, and maybe you'll do better alone for awhile.

You will have alot of emotions to process after such a long relationship. Give yourself time. Just today I got randomly angry on the drive to work about some stupid thing my ex said once, and it's been 9 months since my breakup.
posted by cabingirl at 7:33 AM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]

You have ended it. That is what happened. As others have indicated, its early, its raw, you are grieving. A relationship died. It may have died long ago, it may have died this weekend. That will be determined by you during therapy and how your perceptions change during the healing process. You gave up your husband, his family, the support, and the implicit future you had with him. That is a big, scary, and sad change. You can grieve for the change. It is okay.

It is also time for rebirth. You have an opportunity to rewrite your future. You do have a moment of freedom, of celebration, of change. Your future is not what it was - you are no longer chained to a relationship that was not satisfying. You are worthy of finding one that is. With that said, what comes next?

1. Get a solid accounting of your financial situation. Understand where the money is and was at the end of your relationship. Know what the money in is, what future potential was, what retirement plans looked like, and how stuff is still coming in.

2. Take care of yourself - emotionally, mentally and physically which it sounds like you are starting to do. You've got a therapist and you've slowed your relationship with the other man. You've indicated language which indicates you may feel sensitive to your physical appearance. I'd steer away from changing your appearance just to change your appearance, and maybe focus on the fact that doing something physical may just help you feel better (endorphins, yo!) and that feeling better will help you think better...

3. Realistically, when you are ready, start to decide what kind of divorce you want and need this to be. In your specific situation this may go from being an amicable divorce to a significantly less amicable divorce in short order in the event your husband learns of your infidelity. You need to decide how this news gets broken to him - not today - but maybe a few weeks from now, when you are more comfortable with your therapist and the changes in your life.
Maybe you get ahead of this and tell him - and suffer the consequences of a possibly immediately hostile divorce. He could also not take this as the need for a hostile divorce and instead just look for this to be a faster split - you may find capitulation.
Maybe you wait and see if he discovers this on his own - and suffer the consequences of a more likely hostile divorce.
Maybe you wait and he doesn't find out and the past is the past and it never becomes an issue.
Any way you chose to play with that - there will be consequences. The biggest thing is to be emotionally prepared and level headed with how you would like to deal with those consequences.

4. Passivity on your husband's part does not mean that he likes and wants this to go on. Ending things was your idea, but it was based on his actions as well as yours. You indicated to him multiple times how you would like things to change. He chose not to. He is as culpable if not moreso in the end of the relationship. He is coming to terms with this. He to will be sad, relieved, frazzled, angry, happy, bitter, upset, scared, nervous, and any number of emotions that drive out of this. He may also be numb to the whole thing as well... Remember though, you aren't a couple any more - give him no advice on whether or not he should be in therapy, but if it will help, let him know that you are seeking counseling on dealing with the separation and divorce. If you want, make sure he has friends and family that are aware of the separation, and that they are ready to support him if he asks for their help. Beyond that, say your goodbyes to them where appropriate and start to cut those ties as appropriate.

5. Do not be curious what your husband is up to - at least for a little bit. Do not ask friends. Do not let friends tell you. Focus on helping yourself. Let him focus on his own healing.

6. There will be times the two of you will need to talk, stay focused and calm, and keep conversations short. Schedule calls and meetings as meetings - meaning fix a start and a stop time and have an agenda - when the time ends - wrap up and end the meeting. When lawyers get brought up, even in an uncontested divorce (if such a thing exists in your state) you may want to consult with your own divorce attorney.

7. Remember, it may seem expensive to waste money on a lawyer; however, in the long run a good lawyer will help with the healing process by making the paperwork straightforward, and giving a face to the bad guy boogeyman. Good lawyers are good buffers.
posted by Nanukthedog at 7:36 AM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]

He not fighting for your relationship, and never has from your desription.

He sounds like a roommate, not a spouse. He sounds profoundly unconcerned about your emotional wellbeing, which is not sustainable. It was going to end, no matter what, because no marriage can survive with only one partner doing the emotional heavy lifting.

The reverse psychology-type comments that "this is all coming from you," and "you've made your decision," as if he's not involved, but ESPECIALLY the comments about your weight and appearance?? Yeah. The charitable read on him is that he sounds a little cold and unkind. TBH, I think he sounds like a dick, and that living with him was likely emotionally very painful.

Congratulations on wising up and getting away from that relationship.

When you're ready, find someone who loves you in the ways that make you happy. You're free to do that now because you had the courage to change your life.

posted by jbenben at 7:42 AM on September 30, 2013 [6 favorites]

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?

No, you should take this as a wakeup call that there was something missing at home and your partner, though undoubtedly a lovely man, isn't passionate about making the relationship excellent for both of you.

The passion might not have been there but we've been very close and rarely argued, and never in a spiteful way. He has said this week how this is all coming from me, as he was very happy and content, which is what is making the guilt so bad.

Why are you feeling guilty? He should be the one feeling guilty! He's happy. you're miserable, he thinks everything is fine and can't be arsed to embrace real change because he isn't miserable. Are you supposed to subjugate your happiness to his for the rest of your life?

Also: fuck this nonsense about the 25 lbs.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:54 AM on September 30, 2013 [13 favorites]

What the hell did I just do?

This question is better asked about your married life than your separation. Your actions are in 2 very separate categories: positive and destructive.

Having an affair while married was destructive. It's destructive no matter how bad the marriage was, because it affects you first. This kind of escape'ism deserves reflection, because you don't want it to rear its ugly head in future relationships. The burden of guilt is obvious in your question, and having this unfortunate secret rest on your shoulders certainly seems to be weighing in on your sadness. No one should have to deal with such thoughts.

The positive step is having taken a hard, decisive action regarding this relationship. You have to do one more thing, and that is, burn the boats so that you're not motivated to turn around and head back to a sinking ship, no matter how attractive it looks. This is difficult to do alone - therapy and close friends and family make it less difficult.

Finally, nothing is ever over, because nothing is ever permanent. Perhaps this will help with your heartache.
posted by Kruger5 at 8:01 AM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]

Have you told him about the affair? Better he finds out from you. If you change your mind and get back together and he doesn't know and finds out . . . Or if you stay broken up and he puts 2 and 2 together.

As for how to get over it? You don't. You heal slowly, so be sure to not do rash things to get better.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:11 AM on September 30, 2013

You're only second guessing yourself because that is what people almost always do after making a hard decision that has serious consequences. But there's nothing - NOTHING - in your description of your relationship that makes it sound as if breaking it off were a mistake. (There's also nothing to suggest that your ex husband is interested in working on your marriage. It sounds like he's fine with you leaving, just as he was fine with you being unfulfilled sexually.)

And, you should NOT feel guilty about your affair. It doesn't sound destructive to me at all. Your husband was telling you you weren't worth pleasing sexually. He was so uninvested in your sexual relationship that you wound up doubting your own body's ability to have fulfilling sex. You went out and found proof that your body is just fine. Good for you.
posted by fingersandtoes at 9:00 AM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]

Am I just panicking because the loss is so hard, even if it is the right thing to do?

Having been there before (more than once), I can say with near certainty that this is exactly what it is.

When the ground falls out beneath you -- even when it's because of something you chose, which you know to be the right thing -- it is extremely unsettling. The first impulse is to get the old, familiar ground back underneath you, even if it was lousy ground that you wanted to be rid of!

Be very gentle with yourself during this time. Take things slowly. Spend a lot of time breathing deep breaths. Think about the good qualities you already possess and would like to cultivate in your life as you move on. You've just closed one chapter in your life. This new chapter may be hard for awhile. The chapter after that gets better.
posted by scody at 9:07 AM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: It's only been a week, and you have surgery and recovery coming up. Focus on your health now. If he's interested in you coming back, and you are interested in going back, that won't change between now and when you are recovered.

Don't put yourself in the situation of recovering from surgery while living with someone you've had to beg to take you back, in a relationship you aren't sure about.

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

One, that is extremely unlikely, and two, if you did need a very specific touch that no other person could do, you would want to be with someone who was happy for you to do that touch when you are in bed (or bath, or wherever) with them and have an orgasm in their company and perhaps even in their arms. Maybe they would even hope to learn something about how you like to be touched by watching you, the expert about your own body.
posted by yohko at 10:14 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Wanting to be happy is not selfish. Wanting to share your life with a romantic partner who is attracted to you, expresses affection freely, and cares about your orgasm is not selfish.

Asking you to smother your healthy libido and silence the parts of you that want to feel loved is incredibly selfish. It is outrageously selfish.

What have you done? Exactly what you needed to do in order to take care of yourself.
posted by prefpara at 3:43 PM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]

This should be self evident given the other answers you've received, but regarding your follow up:

it wasn't a totally bad relationship

How much badness do you think you should have to tolerate before the relationship needs to end? Do you really believe that it might have been wrong to leave him if things weren't 100% bad? When you have to make excuses by saying "well, there were those good things that he did sometimes", or "he wasn't a complete jerk, he had a redeeming quality or two" - you should realize that you were rearranging those deck chairs on the Titanic.

There were fundamental things about your relationship that were bad. A person can be caring, kind, supportive in some ways and still be passive aggressive, bad in bed, and a poor communicator.

This isn't a black and white world, but just because he wasn't all bad by no means implies that he was good enough.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 4:57 PM on September 30, 2013

It sounds to me like you are making the best decision you can make for yourself right now. That's been one of my guiding principles as I go through my own divorce this year. I'm learning that there's not necessarily "right" and "wrong" or some universal force under which we are "supposed to" or "not supposed to" be together. Sometimes I feel SO, so horrible and wonder what the hell I'm doing. But then I remind myself that I'm making the best decision I can for right now. Some deep part of me knows that, no matter how painful this divorce is, I will be in a better place outside of the relationship I was in.

I think you must know that too.
posted by singlesock at 10:01 PM on September 30, 2013

Well, yea, if we could all build our own SuperMen out of all the good qualities of so-so spouses and OMs, leaving out the bad, noone would have anything to be unhappy about, but unfortunately people come with their good and bad qualities and it sounds like your husband's bad outweighed the good for you. In the immediate term you will be missing the good qualities but that doesn't mean you should go back and settle. Move on, find someone with a better qualities profile for you. No need to come clean about the affair at this point, that sounds like some crazy attempt at closure for yourself or one last blow to see if your husband will actually show any emotion. Honestly he sounds a little dead inside. Don't let it rub off on you.
posted by WeekendJen at 10:49 AM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

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