How do I work out what to do next, without disrespecting my marriage.
February 17, 2014 3:02 PM   Subscribe

Out of nowhere it seems, I’m considering asking my wife for a divorce and I can’t figure out if its because I met someone else I feel I’d really like to get to know or because I’ve realized that we just aren’t meant to be. Or am I just being a douche for even considering throwing away what I’m confident almost anyone would agree is a marriage to a great woman? Sorry for the long story… My wife is a great person – of course – why would you marry someone you didn’t think this about? The list is huge – she’s smart, funny, empathetic, gets me, is very beautiful and will one day I know make a really wonderful mother. I know most would say all of this about their spouse, but even with rational eyes, the above is true. She has bad points too for sure, but no need to list those off as well. We’ve only been married about 18 months, but together for some time before this.

In the last few weeks I’ve started to feel that maybe we aren’t meant to be together long term, which actually feels pretty crappy to put down here – partly because its so soon after being married (this thought would have been better before) and she is getting to a point where she wants children, but really because she definitely doesn’t deserve to be thought of this way. Somehow though I think this is potentially the right thing for me.
To add some confusion I have suddenly had my attention diverted quite strongly by someone else. We met about a year ago, but in the last couple of weeks have become much closer. I don’t know this woman very well of course, but we have discussed how drawn to each other we are. She is extremely beautiful, smart, shares a lot of the same ethical ground as me – but I can’t get to know her properly I feel like, without disrespecting my wife. If not the trigger to this thought process, she is certainly an accelerator in a big way and I know she is having similar issues. She’s also in a relationship, but not married and all of a sudden I think we’re both:

a) Shocked at being drawn to someone else when just weeks ago our relationships were ticking along
b) Confused about why this is the case
c) Keen to get to know each other better, but have this huge guilt about doing so whilst in a relationship
d) Confused about where our lives are going and if there is really something to pursue together

If I’m suddenly considering separating from my wife, maybe for this and if I’m wrong, I’m making the biggest mistake of my life. Or maybe I’m not because despite what a wonderful person my wife is, I can’t say that I feel that deep desire, the butterflies in the stomach thing that people talk about when describing love. So maybe I shouldn’t have gotten married in the first place? OR because I already had this thought in the back of my mind maybe neither of these are connected.

Because of this thought process in just the last week I have found myself feeling very down about everything – work, friends, wife, not spending time with woman 2 – and my wife has of course noticed my change in mood. She’s asked what is wrong, has tried to support me, but now I’m wondering if this is another indicator of the relationship not being right for me OR its because I don’t know what to do… I do feel bad about what to her will appear a very sudden change in mood and if I were to suggest separating I think it would be truly shocking / incredibly painful to her. Especially so as she is so capable emotionally and as far as I know so in love with me. Just this weekend she said to me ‘I love being married to you’. And I’m considering this bombshell??

If I were to break up my marriage or separate it would come I think with some considerable changes in my life. Maybe travel for a while, spend some time away (I’m nearly 32 so hopefully not too late). I would also probably do at least a small amount of this with woman number 2 which feels like an exciting prospect. If I don’t, I think my wife and I are considering the same sort of thing, which is actually (I think at least) a less exciting prospect.

Knowing some of the advice that may surface here it’s worth knowing that I find love along with general understanding or showing of emotion very confusing and difficult. My childhood was one that was broadly emotionally distant, did contain some domestic violence and was among a family that moved around the country a lot, with a couple of fathers at the helm. I have previously sought counseling to talk about this, which was minimally effective and didn’t uncover anything necessarily useful so it’s not really a route I’m looking to pursue again.

Sorry for the confusing and slightly incoherent message here MeFi – appreciate the thoughts of anyone who broke off from what appeared to be a very good relationship or those who didn’t in a similar scenario and how this has worked out.
posted by anonymous to Society & Culture (58 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I think you owe it to your wife to talk about all of this with her before jumping to divorce. I'm sure you're afraid that saying this will hurt her, but it will hurt her much more to have her marriage swept out from under her. It would be different if you were just dating, but you've made promises and commitments to this woman and she deserves a chance to work through this with you. She at least deserves warning.
posted by rabbitbookworm at 3:15 PM on February 17, 2014 [9 favorites]

(I'm not being sarcastic here: I think it would genuinely be helpful to know the thought process behind what made you decide to marry her. Given you've only been married for 18 months, presumably much of what led you to marry her is still current. Did you feel in love with her when you married her, or sparks/butterflies, or was it more pragmatic? Did you marry her more pragmatically, because you felt you were getting older and/or wanted children, and felt she was the best option - i.e. you were "settling"?)
posted by ClaireBear at 3:15 PM on February 17, 2014 [4 favorites]

Character isn't something you are innately born with; it is the result of a million small choices you make every day. So what is your basic character? Are you someone that can make one of the most major promises to another person and keep it, or would you be okay with breaking your promise on a whim? Because this is what this sounds like; a whim to be irresponsible, to run away, to look at your problems in the eye and decide you don't have the strength the face them and instead choose the easy way.

The other woman is not the reason you feel this way but she is not helping the situation. You need to start talking with someone you trust (a mentor, a therapist, a close friend) and really reflecting on what kind of person you want to be. You need to stop seeing this woman and having these heart-to-heart conversations with her and instead engage again with your wife. If you are being your best self for this other woman, devoting all your energy and thoughts to her while being cold and distant to your wife, of course your wife is going to come in second.

This isn't a new story at all, you will most likely repeat this relationship pattern with every new partner until you figure out what your true character is and who you really are. But that takes work, and this other woman is the easy way out.
posted by saucysault at 3:17 PM on February 17, 2014 [89 favorites]

"Meant to be" is a lie that takes this out of your hands. You decided to be married, you need to be dedicated to the marriage. That means NOT getting to know this other woman, and bringing yourself back to why you love your wife and your life together.

I mean, unless there is some other reason you really don't want to be married to your wife. But this is something you really need to sort out yourself: if you really for real don't love her anymore or if you're just feeling something for this other woman (which will happen again) and simultaneously kind of "meh" about your wife (which will pass).
posted by jeweled accumulation at 3:17 PM on February 17, 2014 [31 favorites]

If you separated from your wife and woman 2 said she no longer wanted to have anything to do with you, would you still be happy being alone?

If the answer is no then you need to face up to the fact that you are only considering this because there is someone else on your mind. Not because there are issues with your marriage.

If you would rather be alone than be with your wife then you have some concrete reasons for separating.

Personally, I think you should grow up and cut off contact with woman 2 and see how happy you truly are in 6 months when you have forgotten about her.
posted by Youremyworld at 3:18 PM on February 17, 2014 [57 favorites]

I can’t figure out if its because I met someone else I feel I’d really like to get to know

Let me just stop you right there.

Any decision you make about your marriage has to be made when you're not in the throes of a crush on someone else. Has to has to has to. Whoever this new person is, back away -- as long as she's muddying your thoughts you will be unable to tell what are actual feelings you're having about your actual life and actual marriage, and what are daydreams about this grass-is-greener new woman and fantasies about travel and major lifestyle changes.

No offense but you're a walking talking midlife-crisis cliché right now. You have my sympathies, I've been there myself. But dude.

Table any thought about your marriage, DO NOT ENGAGE with crush, DO NOT DISCUSS with wife, wait until you're over the crush. I mean really truly over it. Then re-evaluate your current condition as it is, not as you daydream it might be.
posted by ook at 3:19 PM on February 17, 2014 [27 favorites]

If you're gonna end your marriage, for God's sake don't do it because of something as ephemeral as a work crush.

The fact you would even consider this makes me wonder how committed to the relationship you ever were, but also if you are trying to avoid something (kids, more commitment). When I've seen something like this in the past, people use sabotage stuff like this to run from, rather than to. For some people it's better to have a spectacular crash out and cast themselves as a wounded and noble villain than own their true, more complicated feelings.

Either way I would be hesitant to be with anyone when I'm getting head turned eighteen months into a marriage. How much commitment could you offer anyone?
posted by smoke at 3:19 PM on February 17, 2014 [11 favorites]

First of all, you are going to do what you are going to do. All I can do is share my experience and hope to help you in some tiny way. Butterflies and new relationship feelings are awesome, no one will deny that. Early in young adulthood, that was the reason I left any relationship...for the butterflies that someone else gave me. After 3 failed marriages, cheating on all 3 spouses ( my defense...the 3rd one totally deserved worse), and then finally finding true love, the biggest lesson that I've learned so far is this: BUTTERFLIES GO AWAY. They just do. Occasionally, they will show up for a moment, but love isn't just an emotion. It's a state of being. Loving the good and the bad about someone, but still choosing to love them, regardless. You married this girl for a reason. Why not at least try some counseling? Stop talking to potential #2 and really look into your marriage WITH YOUR WIFE and decide together if it's worth ending.

Good luck in whatever you choose. Any path is going to be tough.
posted by Amalie-Suzette at 3:22 PM on February 17, 2014 [17 favorites]

Focus on your marriage.

Just this weekend she said to me ‘I love being married to you’. And I’m considering this bombshell??

I don't know. I think you might want to reconsider therapy. It can be hard to find the right therapist, but it is very effective when you find that relationship with a therapist that you trust. I say this because it sounds to me like these two things - your wife being content and settled in what she thinks is a stable marriage and your fears about the relationship and your discussion of your history - are connected, and I think this might be helpful to look into with a competent therapist.

Couples counseling might also be very helpful. I personally think that marriage means "working on problems together" (I don't know how you and/or your wife define marriage, though) and I think that you need to be dedicated to solving this problem alongside your wife. I think you need to figure out how to talk to her about what is going on inside of your head. I might frame it as something that you want to solve together.

However, this advice is really based on my ideas about what marriage means, so it may not be relevant to you. You might want to reflect on what marriage in general means to you as a concept, and on what it means to your wife, and think about how that might inform your approach to this problem.

Also, anecdote, but I was sort of just generally meh about an eight-year partnership that was in many ways a marriage. I left him for another man that I worked with and it turned out to be a very very bad choice (the worst mistake of my life, actually, which is everyone's worst fear with this type of thing), but everything is contextual. Sometimes that kind of thing works out. I don't even think that's relevant, though, because I think you should also stop thinking about this other woman. Stop contact with her immediately.

Sorry, this may be hard to hear, but the attention and time you're spending on her (both actual time and mental time) should be spent on your wife right now. You need to evaluate whether or not you want to stay with her. This other woman is a complete distraction from the real problem - a symptom, not a cause. I suggest you remove that variable from the equation. Sorry.
posted by sockermom at 3:28 PM on February 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

If you separated from your wife and woman 2 said she no longer wanted to have anything to do with you, would you still be happy being alone? If the answer is no then you need to face up to the fact that you are only considering this because there is someone else on your mind. Not because there are issues with your marriage.

I second that this is a question you need to seriously consider before doing anything else.
posted by schroedinger at 3:29 PM on February 17, 2014 [4 favorites]

Quite frankly, if you have already gotten to the point of discussing a, b, c, and d with woman 2 you have already disrespected your marriage and your wife.
posted by cecic at 3:29 PM on February 17, 2014 [50 favorites]

Dude, life is long and will be FILLED with amazingly attractive and compelling women who are not your wife. Your job, having made a commitment to the woman you married, is to protect your primary relationship from 3rd party threats. You have totally failed to do that at the very first hurdle, so what you need to do now is what you should have done before: apologise to this other woman, go no contact, tough it out, and plan a bunch of things with your wife that will remind you of how good you have it. Take a romantic couples vacation together even if you can't afford it, because the vacation will be much cheaper than divorce.

See also: limerence and NRE. The one thing your wife cannot provide for you ever again is those compelling experiences. So, your choices are either hop from mate to mate for the rest of your life in eternal pursuit of that giddy high, or accept that long term relationships require you to exchange that for something completely different. Your choice.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:34 PM on February 17, 2014 [77 favorites]

Based on what you say at the end, this other woman isn't going to solve your problems. It sounds like your marriage is getting to a point in emotional intimacy that you don't really know how to deal with. Rather than take on the incredibly frightening task of facing your fears, you are avoiding the problem with the nearest distraction. This other woman is in your field of vision, and your brain is making her all nice and shiny so you can continue to avoid the pain that comes with being emotionally close to someone. You can follow the distraction or you can do the hard work and sort out your feelings.

If therapy wasn't right for you in the past, you can try a different type of therapy. There are a lot of different methods out there to choose from. You might also stop thinking of it as an effort to make discoveries about why you feel a certain way, but rather as an effort to learn skills in decision making so that your feelings don't cloud your actions in negative ways. The past is the past and there probably ins't really an answer, but right now you are having a really hard time distinguishing between competing feelings in the present and searching for better tools in guiding your behaviors.

Some people find this in therapy. Some find it in prayer. Some find it in exercise or meditation. The point is that you have a lack of emotional skills right now, and you either need to use this as a chance to get them, or make a few more mistakes like this until you do.
posted by ohisee at 3:35 PM on February 17, 2014 [11 favorites]

You need to be in therapy. I can't help wondering if what you really want is drama. 

Drama is not passionate or real or meaningful - it's pure self indulgence and dangerous to everyone around you.

In seriousness and sincerity: seek help.

Tell your wife you are feeling disorganized and have decided to go to a professional.

If therapy leads to couples counseling, and it probably will, then that's the time to talk about this "bombshell" with her.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 3:36 PM on February 17, 2014 [16 favorites]

Yikes. You need to stay far, far away from Woman #2. Why have you suddenly become closer to her? Stop hanging out with her. If you work together, stop doing that. Seriously. Quit your job, or ask to move your cubicle. In future, if you're interested in somebody else, stop seeing them. You're an adult, and you made promises. Man up.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 3:36 PM on February 17, 2014 [7 favorites]

Dude, I did this, and it was truly amazing how much pain I introduced into a number of lives, and how truly astonishing the mess was that I made.

Your marriage needs to stand or fall without the specter of a fresh lover out there. I still carry the psychic albatross around my neck from this, lo all these years later.
posted by Danf at 3:39 PM on February 17, 2014 [19 favorites]

Everyone here is right. You need to focus on your marriage and ignore the fact that other women, especially woman #2, exist. Marriage is hard, and hopefully long. Twenty or thirty years from now, you will look back on this moment and judge the character you showed.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:41 PM on February 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think you have unrealistic expectations of a long-term relationship. As others have said, it's not always going to be butterflies in the stomach.

I can't tell from the rest of your question whether you don't like your wife, or if it's a bad relationship, or if you're just doing a grass-is-greener thing. A therapist could help you sort through those possibilities without nuking your marriage in the meantime. (And therapy doesn't have to be about insight from your past to be helpful. You're in the middle of a muddle, and talking to someone who's being paid to help you make the best decisions for your life can be valuable.)
posted by jaguar at 3:43 PM on February 17, 2014 [3 favorites]

It really sounds like you fell victim to the expectation that finding "the one" and getting married would mean you'd never be attracted to anyone else again. That's an incredibly dangerous assumption, both because it leaves you unprepared when it happens, and because when it happens, you assume it means there's something wrong with the marriage.

The combination of "meant to be" and this underlying assumption makes me think your primary problem here is wildly over-romanticized ideas about what you expected from marriage. As everyone here has said, it's a series of choices, and either you will make them or you will not. But no, there's no respectful way to explore your relationship with another person in order to decide whether to leave your wife for her if, in fact, you and your wife agreed upon monogamy.

Something just seems very odd to me about the way you're feeling about your own marriage, and because of the notes you left at the end about your complicated emotional history, I really think therapy is it. Therapy, therapy, therapy. At least to figure out what to do next. But "getting to know" this other woman because there is a specific thought that perhaps you want to choose a relationship with her over your marriage is not something you can incorporate respectfully into your marriage.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 3:46 PM on February 17, 2014 [11 favorites]

DarlingBri, among others, has nailed it. Marriage is not some magic spell that prevents you from being attracted to other women. Quite the opposite, marriage is a voluntary commitment to ignore your attraction to other women and uphold the value of your wife and your relationship.

Also, yeah: therapy.
posted by gnutron at 3:48 PM on February 17, 2014 [6 favorites]

You are already cheating on your wife. You're in the midst of an emotional affair. You just haven't consummated it yet. Don't lie to yourself or your wife on this point.

It sounds like you're bored and on the verge of an early mid-life crisis. What a pity that it comes only months after getting married! It's like you didn't understand what you were getting into and that's on you, not the universe or anyone else. You do owe it to your wife to work through this and grow up, and you're going to need to do a lot to make that happen now that you're actually to the point of fantasy planning a runaway with this other woman. That was the most telling line of all in your OP -- you want to run away from your obligations, your responsibilities, and get your cake, too, yeah? No no. Time to man up.

Steps you need to take:

1. Let the other woman know that your relationship cannot continue in any capacity and that you are ashamed that you've let it get this far given your marriage and her other relationship.
2. Immediately cut off all ties with other woman, and replace whatever convos you used to have with her with those that come from a therapist.
3. Every single day, you need to wake up and look at your wife and remind yourself of why you love her, why you married her, and why you are staying with her.
4. DO NOT HAVE CHILDREN UNTIL YOU ARE 100% re-committed to your wife. Use protection. Be honest with your wife about not being ready.
5. If, after therapy, after daily reminders and honest-to-god effort you still feel like you made a mistake, you need to tell your wife.

And remember, anyone willing to leave their current partner for you will likely do the same to you someday. Do you really want to be infatuated with someone whose priorities are so low? Or are you okay with her doing that because it means you'll be in good company?
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 3:48 PM on February 17, 2014 [14 favorites]

I think you should break it off with your wife. I think it will most likely be a huge mistake and a train wreck that blows up in your face, but I still think you should do it. You're not really ready to be married if the first exciting gal turns your head this easily.
posted by quincunx at 4:09 PM on February 17, 2014 [5 favorites]

The way you describe your unhappy upbringing (especially saying, "a couple of fathers at the helm" and how you worded that), craving travel or "taking off for awhile before it's too late [age-wise]" and your anxiety over wanting a divorce now just when your wife is "starting to want children" make me think this is all about rooting down and having kids, when you never had a model for that and it's clearly bringing up painful history and freaking you out--and not about ANY "other" woman.

Therapy, especially if you've never been. And tell your wife she needs to slow her roll with the baby talk until you have some time to work on this.
posted by blue suede stockings at 4:12 PM on February 17, 2014 [9 favorites]

Okay, also, to be really honest, I just want you to break up with your wife for her sake. I don't even care about you; quite frankly, you don't deserve your wife and you're being an idiot. But I would really, really hate to see you take down a lovely, smart, healthy woman with you and destroy her chances of ever having children. If there is one noble thing you make yourself do, for God's sake man, do NOT take her down with you. Do NOT destroy her best years. Let her go right freaking now before it's too late for her if you know you cannot be the man she thought she married.
posted by quincunx at 4:20 PM on February 17, 2014 [46 favorites]

If you end your marriage and embark upon a relationship with Woman Number Two, she will become the woman who wants things from you that you're not sure you're ready to provide, and who just doesn't seem as sparkly as she used to. Fortunately, Woman Number Three will be along in no time.

The problem in your relationship is you. You can either deal with it now, or take it with you into all your subsequent relationships.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 4:20 PM on February 17, 2014 [24 favorites]

Nthing the suggestion that you talk to a therapist. I know you said that you have tried it in the past, and it didn't work for you, and that you weren't thinking in that direction. You really need to rethink that. There are any number of reasons that you might not have had a good experience before, but you definitely need to work through some issues (at least in the moment, if not also from your prior life) and you owe it to your wife to try.

Lose woman #2 from your life, completely. Find a therapist. If the therapist isn't good or it isn't helping, find another (and make a commitment to being honest and really working on yourself while you do work with whomever you find). There are plenty of bad therapists out there (and many, many excellent ones) and no one therapist is right for everybody, so try and keep trying.

Good luck.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 4:30 PM on February 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

When you married you promised to tough it out with your wife. You promised to foresake all others and to only be in a relationship with your wife.

You know your wife is an amazing, wonderful woman and you still love her. So you've got feelings for someone else/ So what! Squash them. You don't get to be that guy any more. But that's okay, you're a HUSBAND now, and that's a much better deal.

Besides, this awesome new lady? If you do it with her, you'll do it to her. If you're a magpie, than all bright sparkly things will divert you. Be a man, not a magpie.

Acknowledge that you were attracted, and triumph in the fact that you were a MAN and decided that your family is more important than a passing fancy.

If you believe that butterflies are the definition of love, you'll always be chasing that feeling and you'll live a life of romantic failure and disillusionment.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 4:34 PM on February 17, 2014 [3 favorites]

There are a few similar responses from last week
posted by Dashy at 4:45 PM on February 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

From a friend's recent experience, there is nothing but a world of pain, anger, disillusionment, etc. after dropping a bomb like this. It will change you in ways you never expected, and will probably change the way you view all of your future relationships as others have pointed out. Marriage is compromise at best. There are good and rough times, but the number one thing that I have seen with marriages that work is inherent trust and respect. Right now you have compromised both. The advice about breaking it off with the new woman is dead on. You need to find yourself and why the marriage is important to you.
posted by Benway at 4:47 PM on February 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is a lot more about your upbringing than you realise. Your role model for a 'realtionship' is lots of different partners. You haven't had a long-term loving relationship modelled for you. Ask yourself this: do you want to have the same roller-coaster of relationships your mother (and stepfathers) had? Do you want any of your future kids to have the roller-coaster life with badly modelled relationships that you had? If the answer is NO, then you need to find a therapist who can help you work through these issues.

As for your marriage... There's a quote that rings true for me after one divorce and a few long term relationships, including the one I am in now. There is no perfect marriage. There is only two imperfect people who don't give up on each other. Marriages are not magic. There is no fate or perfection that suddenly appears and makes everything work smoothly. Marriages are about compromise. Successful relationships are about compromise, learning, growing and finding that love is built on these things, not flutters in the belly and loins.

I know a number of men who have done what you are considering. One left his girlfriend for me, but she won him back and they have now been successfully married 20yrs. Another is my uncle who left his wife for the woman who mothered my four cousins. His leaving of wife #1 was done with incredible respect, communication and love, and they remained friends for their entire lives. Another is a neighbour who left his wife for woman B, but then woman B dumped him and his wife refused to take him back. No one else wants him and he's a lonely self-pitying shell of a man now. And then there is another neighbour. He left his wife for another woman, married her, she dumped him, took his money, and now he jumps from woman to woman with no idea of how to make a relationship work.

What ever happens to you in your romantic future will be largely determined by how you behave and resolve this self-initiated and self-absorbed situation you have created for yourself.
posted by Kerasia at 4:50 PM on February 17, 2014 [8 favorites]

"she is getting to a point where she wants children"

That's all I really needed to read. It sounds like there's a few issues going on here. The first is that you admit you're not sure you and your wife are on the same page. This is glaringly obvious when you say she wants children, and you're talking about traveling with another woman.

It's ok to be afraid of the future. But that doesn't mean you're powerless to stop it, or that you should throw in the towel and start chasing after the first girl that gives you "butterflies". Communicate with your wife about how having children makes you feel (clearly, very scared and ready to run away). Do you want children? Now? Soon? Ever? Chances are, she's willing to wait until you're more comfortable. That's assuming you even want children, of course. If you don't, then that's something you really need to address - it is probably a deal-breaker for her (and she probably went into the marriage with children in mind).

The second issue is that you're chasing another woman - no doubt because she's new, mysterious and probably isn't thinking about children --- the answer to all your problems. But you're making a LOT of assumptions about a woman you don't really know and who is in her own relationship. What makes you think she won't cheat on you, when she's apparently willing to cheat on her current boyfriend? And for that matter, why would she trust you when you've emotionally cheated on your -marriage- of only 18 months? I suppose what I'm getting at is, you're making lofty plans in your head involving a woman who might ultimately reject you after you get to know her - or who might turn out to be not at all like what you're hoping (or building up in your head). And I really can't emphasize that enough - you don't even know this woman but you're ready to throw away your marriage just so you can find out.

You need to stop and communicate with your wife about where your future is going and whether you and she are on the same page anymore (it sounds like you're definitely not). Open that communication and go from there. This other woman is a distraction from the path your marriage is headed (ie: to children) and your inability to cope with those life-altering changes you see coming. Disengage. I've no doubt you're attraction to her is based on this perceived sense of freedom that you associate with her.

In all of this, I feel sorry for your wife the most. You were clearly too immature to take on the vows of marriage and lied to her about the future you wanted together. She deserves someone who is honest about what they want. I can't help but think that ending your marriage is the best thing to do for everyone involved, but mostly so you stop stringing your wife (who's being kept in ignorance of everything you're feeling/thinking) along.
posted by stubbehtail at 4:52 PM on February 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

People are being really harsh and I do sympathize, because you sound emotionally torn, but this is pretty awful. Like, weapons-grade awful.

If you downright refuse to get back into therapy, try mindfulness meditation to get your head on straight and figure out what you want.
posted by chainsofreedom at 5:09 PM on February 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'll also throw in a vote for:
1) I'm married, not dead. There's no "one", he's not the only attractive man on earth, etc. You don't magically become a-sexual to everyone but your spouse when you get married. Integrity, character, etc. *ahem*. Life is long. You picked your wife for a reason. You're panicking.
2) Why on earth can you not travel with your wife? 32 is definitely not too old. If you can travel with the other woman, you can travel with your wife. I'm almost 32, pregnant, and I sure as hell have every intention of travelling more in the future. We're travelling while I'm pregnant. Kids are portable. We travel on a budget. What's your wife interested in? Is there not some way you can agree to do some travelling soon-ish, and then try for a kid? When you get back, set up two savings funds - one for kid stuff, one for the next trip. (These trips do not necessarily have to be "vacations" either... I know people younger and older, with and without kids, who've backpacked India, camped in the high Sierras, drove to Alaska, etc...)
3) I will note that you ARE too old to get drunk with new mates at a youth hostel in Europe, even without your wife. Don't be that guy. That guy is creepy and icky and... Dude. You're 32, not 20. Nothing will change that.

Stop talking to Lady2 and talk to a therapist. Several therapists, until you find one you like that's working. This is the LEAST you owe your wife. You're using Lady2 as a scapegoat for a whole host of other problems kids etc. are bringing up for you. Tell her you need to deal with some family stuff in therapy first, and to cut back on the kid talk for six months. Start with that.

Keep in mind your wife married YOU - she clearly thinks highly of you. Try to live up to that.

My husband had a rough childhood too. He's periodically been to therapy, and was in therapy working through 'dad' stuff up until I got pregnant. He's doing great - but he's still dealing with the stuff his dad did to him, and probably will be his whole life. Life is messy. Man up.
posted by jrobin276 at 5:41 PM on February 17, 2014 [8 favorites]

People get divorced all the time. At age 32, after 18 months of marriage, with no kids... neither of your lives will be ruined by a divorce. Your wife will not die if you split up. It's likely she will remarry sooner than you will. She'll probably be extremely angry at you, but that's how it works. This doesn't mean you should leave her, but you shouldn't stay in a marriage you don't want to be in because of guilt, either.
posted by BabeTheBlueOX at 6:01 PM on February 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

[As per usual, helpful constructive advice is great. Nasty sneering JudgeMe advice, much less so.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:18 PM on February 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

There seems to be this romantic fallacy that if you fall for someone while you're in a relationship with someone else, you must be compelled to do something about it. It's love, I couldn't possibly ignore it, you have to forgive me, I FELL IN LOVE! Quite frankly, that's bollocks. Love is a choice, like anything else. If we were that unable to control our emotions that we had to follow through on everything we felt, people would be dying every time we got angry with one another. If you can control anger and all of your other emotions, you can control these feelings about this other woman and recommit to your wife. It's a choice, you just have to be man enough to make it.

If you're not capable of controlling your actions just because of something as fleeting as a feeling, you shouldn't be in any relationship at all.
posted by Jubey at 7:17 PM on February 17, 2014 [14 favorites]

We just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. i can tell you that it IS a choice. Try dating your wife again. Focus on what you love about her. And stop seeing the other woman. I imagine you've had crushes before. They passed, didn't they?

Give your marriage a chance.
posted by michellenoel at 7:20 PM on February 17, 2014

If I learned that my partner had written something like this, I'd absolutely want him to break up with me.
posted by BibiRose at 8:14 PM on February 17, 2014 [7 favorites]

I'm not married and I've never been married, but I think the whole point of marriage is that you don't flirt with other women or get close to them when you are married. I am not optimistic enough to think that just because you get married, you never feel attraction to other people. In fact, it's something that will probably pop up the rest of your life. But the point of being married, it seems to me, is that you opt not to pursue those situations and when they arise, you avoid the temptation and cut it out of your life. A good first step would to be ending your almost-fling with this other woman (who is in a relationship of her own, nice).

Maybe some other married person can shed some light, but I don't think you feel those "butterflies" forever -- I think that is exclusively reserved for the beginnings of relationships. If you're only into the "honeymoon" phase of relationships, then maybe marriage isn't for you because you'll be getting a new girlfriend every couple years.

I think as a married person who made a commitment to someone you think is special and who you don't want to hurt, you will have a series of choices to make for the rest of your life. It seems you have been making choices not consistent with being married. You should've never started your intense relationship with this other woman in the first place and I sure hope you can cut it off before your feelings are too far gone. Re-focus your attention on your wife, who apparently has done nothing wrong. Or end it immediately and give your (ex)wife some time to find a new husband so she won't miss her chance to have children and start a family.
posted by AppleTurnover at 8:14 PM on February 17, 2014

You should totally break up with your wife. It will be the best thing you've ever done for her.
posted by spunweb at 8:18 PM on February 17, 2014 [3 favorites]

There is a reason that there is a saying: "I'm married, I'm not dead."

Just because you marry does not mean you quit having crushes or being attracted to people-however it should mean that you have decided to shut the door to other possibilities and concentrate on the relationship you freely chose. That's why there are wedding vows and such.

Something else you should think you want to be with the kind of person who would be comfortable dating or sleeping with someone who has been married to someone else for a short period of time but decided to leave what you yourself has said was a good spouse-just because the grass is greener, yadayadayada?

Can I tell you, as a person who has been happily married for over thirty years, that it, indeed, was a choice and continued to be a choice? Neither I nor my husband can say we have never been attracted to others-because, hey, biology-but we were COMMITTED to each other, and to go outside our relationship was simply not an option for either of us. Not just because we promised, not just because we vowed-but because what we had and what we have is worth honoring and worth preserving.

Now, after thinking about all of the above....if you still want to jump ship? Jump ship honorably and let your wife find someone who really loves her. Because if you can consider all that I have written and all that other people have written here, and disregard it?

She needs someone better.

I am not trying to slam you, insult you, hurt your feelings, or anything like that. I do want you to realize that what you are feeling is not a unique thing, most or all of us (me included) have had those kinds of thoughts at one time or another, and for a lot of recorded history many of us have categorized them as "temptation" and decided fleeing from temptation was the better option.

I wish you the best.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:18 PM on February 17, 2014 [5 favorites]

Lots of advice saying figure out how to fix your marriage. Not bad advice. Getting your head on straight and re-committing to your marriage is your best plan. Ditching a good marriage over a work crush, very exciting, but not likely to the the smart choice in the long run.

The tone of your question makes me think you are in fact already done with the marriage, though. I hope that's wrong. But if it's right, then at least be a stand up guy about this, make up your damn mind, and ask for a divorce without cheating and without the usual torrent of lies that comes when one partner wants out and the other has no idea.

Ending your marriage, in itself, will not ruin your integrity. Cheating on and lying to a spouse who is loyal to you will be a stain you'll carry for the rest of your life. If you're going to end it, do it right.
posted by mattu at 9:16 PM on February 17, 2014 [3 favorites]

(hi, divorcee here. I was you, I torpedoed the marriage. Just like you're thinking of doing. Let me tell you what your future looks like!)

If I were to break up my marriage or separate it would come I think with some considerable changes in my life.

You have no idea how right you are.

Maybe travel for a while, spend some time away (I’m nearly 32 so hopefully not too late).

Nope. You will be so damned broke, man. So broke. For way longer than you think, even though the back-of-the-envelope math looks like it will work out okay. Hell no. Divorce is expensive. I think I went on my first vacation 4 years later. And it was, like, to visit a friend in Milwaukee. There were no glamorous beaches with my sultry lover. Because...

I would also probably do at least a small amount of this with woman number 2 which feels like an exciting prospect.

Nope. Because when you actually leave your wife and come to her asking her to leave her boyfriend, she is rightly going to say SON YOU ARE MENTAL and run sooooooo far away. (Ask me how I know!)

If I don’t, I think my wife and I are considering the same sort of thing, which is actually (I think at least) a less exciting prospect.

Well why the blue hell not? And for that matter, why do you only Think and not Know what your wife is thinking? Talk to her! You married her, for the love of pete, you're allowed to ask her questions and have conversations. She isn't some capricious wizard-warden who dictates your life from afar forever. You get a say in what your lives together look like.

Get a new job. Get a new therapist. Get back in your life before you do something so freakin' stupid, you spend the next 7 years (YES THAT IS A SEVEN) smacking yourself on the forehead, embarrassed at yourself. Again. Ask me how I know.
posted by like_a_friend at 9:45 PM on February 17, 2014 [38 favorites]

Plus, I mean, you won't just feel stupid and embarrassed. You're gonna feel awful. Years later, even when you've kind of got your shit back together, the thought of it will make you just a little sick to your stomach. You will tell future partners because you can't lie about having been married. And they won't think as highly of you anymore and they will never quite trust you (and why should they, really?)

Maybe you shouldn't have gotten married; in hindsight, as awful as I feel about it all, I am pretty sure I never should have gotten married. But I also owed my ex husband so much better than I gave him.

If you really, truly, believe your wife is a wonderful and good person, you will:
-cut this off at the pass. You will absolutely not be in non-work contact with Glamorous Coworker. New job, if need be. block her on the phone, the facebook, everything.
-every single time you want to email Glamorous Coworker? You will email your wife instead. Every time. Who cares if she thinks you're a little nuts, just do it.
-You will find a marriage counselor and start telling your wife what you feel about travel, and kids, and all that.

Maybe after everything it doesn't shake out. But in that case, you can part ways with your head held high. With a story you can comfortably tell a future girlfriend. With your reputation and finances largely intact. Maybe with your ex wife as a friend! Crazier things have happened.

But none of this can be, if you chase after this woman and blindside your wife with a quickie it-isnt-cheating-if-we-just-separated thing.
posted by like_a_friend at 9:54 PM on February 17, 2014 [8 favorites]

Well, if you're the kind of guy who gets his attention strongly diverted by some rando woman, then I think it's only fair to release your wife from her marital vows so she doesn't waste any more time with you and can get on with finding and having a family with a new husband.

If I were your wife and I knew what you told us, I'd leave, at least eventually. She'll be happier without you, to be honest, because nothing's worse than a relationship where this kind of "oh but there's this other woman" disrespect starts to seep. I'd pretty much be done right there.

You at least owe telling her that you're thinking about a divorce and there's another woman, and let her have some real feelings and autonomy in deciding what she wants to do.

It's the right thing to do.
posted by discopolo at 10:23 PM on February 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Getting a crush on someone else and questioning your original relationship go hand in hand so much that it's not worth asking which came first. I'm not surprised that both are happening to you. They are two symptoms of the same underlying cause.

I would say that it is your job to figure out what that cause is, but honestly, you may never know. You might be escaping or afraid of something, then overcome that thing without ever quite knowing what happened. You may just be temporarily insane, like that one night in high school when you were like "screw it! I'm staying up all night and driving to the coast!!" because you just ... couldn't not.

That's the thing about feelings. Sometimes they are nothing more than the full moon, your hormone levels, not knowing how to handle something you feel or the upcoming big change in your life, an anniversary you don't even remember, or the oncoming change of seasons. Emotions provide valuable data but don't usually offer wise advice about what to do in response. That's why, even as adults, we sometimes have to disregard what we want to do and let our Inner Sensible Adult take the wheel.

I've been where you are (I broke up with someone for someone else), so I know how real and right it can feel. But what you are saying, and what I was saying back then, are straight out of the same script. The Surviving Infidelity online forums have dubbed this The Fog. You are in The Fog. You need to wait for the fog to burn off, and in the meantime, proceed carefully lest you drive off the road.

It's not that there's nothing special to these feelings you have for this new person; it's that you have only a tiny sliver of the information you need. The rest of the potential that you see is your own mind filling in the blanks. You're imagining something that would grow into something much better than what your current relationship is becoming, but the likelihood that you are correct is small. And to find out, you'd have to destroy something that you know has real value. It's like your marriage is this tree you planted that is starting to grow, but meanwhile you are seeing this little sprout from an acorn... You would uproot your tree for that? It's the kind of decision that is occasionally smart or unavoidable but really risks being unwise. And meanwhile, you're neglecting your marriage and not actively participating in pruning it, fertilizing it, and otherwise helping it grow in the ways you need it to.

I'd go No Contact with this other woman and spend some time in therapy trying to figure out why you suddenly got enveloped in fog and what you want to escape from via this vacation. I think you're on the right track wondering if this has to do with your upbringing. If you don't like therapy, try couples therapy. (They are really pretty different.) I know from experience that this confusion is awful. I wish you the best in getting through this.
posted by salvia at 12:21 AM on February 18, 2014 [5 favorites]

"Love is a choice, like anything else. If we were that unable to control our emotions that we had to follow through on everything we felt, people would be dying every time we got angry with one another. If you can control anger and all of your other emotions, you can control these feelings about this other woman and recommit to your wife. It's a choice, you just have to be man enough to make it."

Amen, amen, amen. Love doesn't just happen to you. It's something you do. And when you took those marriage vows, that's what you were vowing to do. Not to never find someone else attractive -- that's absurd. Lots of people out there are attractive and will find you attractive. But you chose to commit to her, which means you need to take that seriously and love her.

(I was the wife in this scenario, and honestly, I find this whole thread very hard to read. I know the pain that is likely to happen here...)
posted by litlnemo at 5:05 AM on February 18, 2014 [9 favorites]

I was the partner (with genders reversed) in this scenario.

You know, we all do a lot to make our narrative of our story seem to be the heroic, fair and just one. In my case, my partner wrote a 9 page letter over two years (instead of, you know, talking to me) before she told me about it about all the things she was going to do unilaterally and refuse to discuss.

It worked to make her feel like the hero in her story. It worked pretty well to make me feel like the monster, the discarded, the one holding her back. It took a significant amount of therapy to shake that off and return to feeling good about myself and my contributions to my new life, my new partner, my existing family and friends. It really sucked to have to face that down in addition to knowing that my partner was lying to me for at least 2 solid years about an affair that, at best, would be called an emotional affair (and I'm not convinced it stopped there).

I don't know but I'm pretty sure I will never trust her again. We don't talk and I'm not inclined to. It really sucked as hard as anything has sucked for a long time, and I have her to thank for it.

It seems to me like you wrote this AskMe looking for validation for a hero story you were writing for yourself at the cost of your marriage. I hope to g-d that you heard the feedback you got about the marriage vows you were prepping to leave by the wayside. Because making and keeping that promise is not just a measure of your character but it also reflects to some extent poorly on your wife that she chose a liar to marry.
posted by kalessin at 8:21 AM on February 18, 2014 [7 favorites]

I'd go No Contact with this other woman and spend some time in therapy trying to figure out why you suddenly got enveloped in fog and what you want to escape from via this vacation.

This. The thing is, there are so many questions more or less like this on AskMe. Someone linked to one of those above, but there must be dozens. Dozens of dozens. People tend to give tough love because, ugh, it's awful to be on the other side of this, but also, I think a lot of us have experienced similar feelings. It's really really common and that is why people make similar posts so often. Opportunities for this kind of infatuation are all around and always available, so why are you caught up in one at this particular moment? If you don't work this out, it is going to happen over and over and no matter whom you are with.
posted by BibiRose at 9:00 AM on February 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

My wife is a great person – of course – why would you marry someone you didn’t think this about? The list is huge – she’s smart, funny, empathetic, gets me, is very beautiful and will one day I know make a really wonderful mother. I know most would say all of this about their spouse, but even with rational eyes, the above is true. She has bad points too for sure, but no need to list those off as well.

I think it might actually be useful for you to think about her 'bad points'. Not to list them here, or to be mean about her. But to really think about what it is that isn't connecting for you at the minute. I know everyone is quick to judge about these stories. I get why people jump to saying: stay with your wife you bad person you, and stop being a douche. But they don't live your life and right now there is something wrong in your marriage, and I'll wager it goes deeper than just 'I met someone new and I am stupid and shallow'. I have no doubt that your wife is all the wonderful things you said about her, and I'm sure you love her very much. The fact that you don't even want to start to think about the 'bad points' makes me wonder if there's something you're not admitting to yourself.

When I was in a similar situation I went to a therapist - which I advise you to do too - and she asked me in one of the first sessions "are you attracted to your husband?" I immediately said "yes of course!" He, like your wife, is great and handsome, thoughtful and smart etc etc. It took a while for me to admit to myself that there was something missing for me. It wasn't just that I wasn't very happy with our sex life, it was that there was some kind of connection that wasn't there for me that I missed a lot. Meeting someone with whom I felt that connection was what shook me up, and I'm sitting here as a separated person who questions my decision every day. But I think that even if I had stayed, I would still be missing that something, it's just that I couldn't name it before.

I’m not at all telling you to leave her. I’m saying that it would be a good idea to think hard about what you want and need and work out if you can meet those things with her. Talk to a therapist, and talk to your wife. I had talked to my spouse over the years about things and I don’t think he could hear me, and I wish I’d tried harder to make him understand. Maybe your wife will be able to hear you. Something I read here really stuck with me – just because someone is an amazing person doesn’t mean they’re the right person for you. You can hand-wave away a lot of things you’re unhappy with when the person is great, because so many people put up with real crap in their relationships. If you have a great partner, you feel like giving up X or Y is a fair compromise because all the other stuff is so good. You maybe keep the little voice inside you quiet because you don’t want to admit the bits that make you sad. But you don’t live your life to please internet strangers, or friends and family, or anyone else. Maybe it’s not about this other woman. Maybe she’s made you realise there’s something you need. If you can admit that to yourself and work to achieve it in your marriage then that is great and hopefully you’ll live a long and happy life together. But once you start to hear the voice its really hard to keep ignoring it. I suggest you take some time to listen, to accept that this is a turning point one way or another, and decide to actively work at figuring out what you really want. If it comes to leaving your wife it will hurt more than I can explain, but you will both live. But if you stay hopefully it will be with more honesty between you and a sense that you weathered a storm together. Just remember that you are not a bad person, just a human one, and this shit is hard. Good luck and memail me if you want.
posted by outoftime at 9:07 AM on February 18, 2014 [7 favorites]

If she wants kids, your wife has more to lose than you do if you stay and decide later it doesn’t work.

Your difficulty committing might be because of the crush, or it might be down to your past, or it might be you kicking at the death of options you feel might happen with kids and a settled life. You talk about family now like it’s something for the distant future and seem surprised at your wife’s wishes (which I think have emerged on a very typical timescale).

I think it's possible (probable?) that it’ll be a few years before you feel like family is something you want. Does that sound right? Let’s say you “come around” at 40. I still think it’d be kind of unfair to put your wife through 5-10 years of moods and crushes and (possibly false hope promised by) couples counseling. Loving someone who doesn’t really want to be there is a particular and awful kind of pain.

I agree with those advising being as honest with yourself as you can be, and putting it to your wife. (Though even if it does turn out you’d each be better apart than together, she may want to fight for the marriage before settling that way and lose years in the process, but ah, what are you going to do.) Clairebear’s questions are key, I think. Did you sort of let yourself get dragged into marriage because it seemed like the natural next step (inertia, guilt)? Were you excited about being with your wife? Be honest with yourself about that, and all the other good questions others have put to you here.
posted by cotton dress sock at 9:33 AM on February 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

Call me old fashioned, but:
  1. Honor your marriage vows.
  2. Don't cheat on your wife.
  3. Create and respect boundaries with regard to anyone who might make you stumble with #1 and #2.

posted by BurntHombre at 9:34 AM on February 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

There's this problem that I think is happening for a lot of people, which is that definitions of What Is A Marriage are shifting very rapidly. Is a marriage about falling desperately in love and staying with that person? Is a marriage about being best friends with someone? Is a marriage about being mutually compatible with dreams? All of these are very different marriages, and they all look different.

There's a difference between having once had butterflies with your wife, but now you've settled down, and you feel butterflies with New Lady, and having never had butterflies with your wife. If that's the case - if you've never felt that way with her, if you just went for her because she was beautiful and kind and great and caring - then you have a "best friend" marriage, and you have to decide if it's good enough for you and/or what you want.

Because the thing is - that lady who you get butterflies with? Is going to drive you crazy. Passionate butterfly love is awesome, but it also means more of a bumpy road. There is no guarantee of empathy. There is no guarantee she'll get you, or make a good mother. There's no guarantee you'll even get along.

I'm not saying either of these two types are to be preferred, but you do need to figure out what you want and go with it.
posted by corb at 9:55 AM on February 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

Well, if you're the kind of guy who gets his attention strongly diverted by some rando woman, then I think it's only fair to release your wife from her marital vows so she doesn't waste any more time with you

There have been quite a few comments along these lines, and I just want to make a small counterpoint to them.

Look, crushes happen. They don't automatically mean you're a bad person, they don't automatically mean your wife would be better off without you. There's a reason this is a cliché; it happens a lot. To most people, I think, to greater or lesser degree.

What can make you a bad person and make your wife better off without you is your actions as a result of the crush. You can choose to fuck up your marriage or you can choose not to. You're already in the talking-about-it-openly-with-the-potential-other-woman area, which means you are well on your way to crossing the line but it is not too late to back off and make this right.

Don't kid yourself: the crush is not an 'accelerant' for your feelings of dissatisfaction, it is the source of them. It is not a coincidence that you are suddenly thinking about other options at the exact same time that another option appears to have become available. You've carefully written your question to make it sound like your dissatisfaction predates your crush, but the self-deception couldn't be more plain. I was where you are once. In hindsight it's really obvious to me that I was on the verge of making an incredibly stupid decision -- the woman I was crushing on was exciting, new, and completely wrong for me -- but in the moment I couldn't see that. I wasn't thinking clearly. You're not thinking clearly. Don't make major life decisions when you're not thinking clearly.
posted by ook at 9:55 AM on February 18, 2014 [9 favorites]

Although I believe wholeheartedly in trying to save a marriage, I agree with others that say to consider letting her go. I was her once - I went through more than a year living with my husband who became grumpy, easily annoyed, distant. We tried talking, we tried therapy, we tried separation. I'm not sure if he was having an affair or not. But the whole experience made me question myself, my abilities to maintain a relationship, and my self-confidence plummeted (fortunately, years after the divorce, I feel better than ever). I'm actually the one that forced the divorce because I was sick of feeling the way I was feeling. Your wife might do the same. And maybe that's what you subconsciously want, for her to make the decision for you?

All I can say is try to be open and honest with her and just talk to her - either she'll want to make the marriage work or she'll want to let it go and move on with her life. I know that I wouldn't want to be with a man that just seems like he's "settled", but like someone mentioned above, maybe you all will come to terms regarding what type of marriage you want, if you both still want it.
posted by canda at 10:21 AM on February 18, 2014 [3 favorites]

You're willing to throw out a marriage after getting to know someone else for a few weeks?? You don't even know this other woman! Even if you do end up divorcing your wife to be with her, and she magically breaks up with her boyfriend to be with you (unlikely, she might just like the attention and the flirtation!), in a couple of years, this other woman will be the 'boring' one who you end up talking to about mundane things such as grocery shopping, car insurance, mortgages, family obligations, etc. That won't ever go away, no matter who you're with. And there will always be attractive women popping in and out of your life, but you can't be willing to throw out the life you made whenever someone else comes along. I mean, you can, but then you should never ever get married.

You really need to stop talking to this other woman, and never let yourself get into a situation that you would feel guilty telling your wife about. Once you have truly forgotten about this other woman, think about whether you are happy in your marriage. But don't set your marriage up to fail during this time by keeping your wife at arms length while imagining how exciting a made-up life could be with woman #2. Really figure out what it is you want long-term, not what your penis wants this week.
posted by at 1:32 PM on February 18, 2014 [3 favorites]

Two thoughts:
1. Please read Mira Kirshenbaum's Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship -- I found it most helpfull (and it was recomended by someone in another thread some time ago).
2. When I was considering divorce I had a very strong urge to have an affair with another woman. This strong urge vanished instantly the next day after my wife move out and I sued for divorce. It seems that I didn't want to have an affair -- I just wanted to force my way out of (unhappy) marriage. While others advice you to not have affair because it's just a crush, I advice you not to have one because in reality you might not want to have an affair -- you could just seek an easy out of your marriage.
posted by przepla at 2:26 PM on February 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

My ex 'didn't feel the butterflies' or 'electricity' with me anymore. It's been a year since we broke up and she still begs for me back, realizing now that 'love is more than all of that.'

You gave vows to this woman. Considering breaking them over a shiny new woman? No. Don't do it. You owe it to your wife to figure this out. There will always be someone else you're attracted to in some way, probably. That doesn't mean you should act on a whim every time.

And why, if you would travel with this other woman, wouldn't you do so with your wife?
posted by anad487 at 9:41 PM on February 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

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