Been married 12 years. Affair of the heart for 2 years.
I don't know if this will help me or not, or if I'll even get any responses. But I have no one else to talk to, and I need to put everything that's in my head down somewhere.
I'm 36, Male, been married for almost 12 years, my son is 3. I love my wife, and she's a terrific mother. But for a long time I've known that my feelings have changed in a bad way.
Here's the first layer:
The best way to describe it, it's like she's my sister. We get along fine. Not a lot of fights, good parenting pair, plenty of trust and freedom throughout our 12 years. I would give my life for her's, what happens in her life is very important to me, and I can't stand the thought of hurting her or breaking her heart.
But I am pretending. When I kiss her it feels unnatural. It's not physical though, I'm pretty sure she's still beautiful. But still, it almost creeps me out. I have had trouble having sex with her for almost 4 years. It feels wrong, and forced, and sad.
For a long time, I convinced myself that this was some kind of natural progression of marriage/relationships. And maybe it is, I don't know... I consider myself a very logical, loyal, almost old-school "you made your bed, now you lie in it." kind of guy. Maybe most importantly, I would move the universe for my son. So I tried to just power through it, convince myself that the growing sadness was not there.
But now my wife is ready for a second child. And I am ready for a second child. But like a ton of bricks it hit me that I do want another baby, but I don't want to have one with her. I don't want to add another lie to the pile, or have a baby out of obligation or something. And coincidentally, I've become suddenly impotent. God...
So let's get into layer 2 of this mess.
About 2 years ago, I began working woman, and without any trying whatsoever, we became strong friends. She was very good at her job, and essential to what I do for a living. And I have been colleagues and friends with a hundred women in my 12 years of marriage, so it's not like this was some crazy new situation for me. I knew she was kind of special, but wrote it off as a professional crush, compartmentalized it, we did our jobs, worked adjacent, whatever. It never occurred to me that this was "something." Not at first.
Then, six months later, my colleague was laid off. And it devastated me. I never expected that, but there it was in front of me. That compartment opened up, and my stomach dropped out, and I was very afraid that I was in love with this person. I was guilt ridden, couldn't sleep for days. Though I had feelings for her, in many ways I thanked God that this person was leaving.
Eight months passed. And I tried to rededicate myself at home. But it was largely still a fabrication. And I thought about my friend all the time, and my feelings did not fade. Then I got the good/bad news that we were going to possibly rehire my "friend." When she called to tell me, and ask me advice about coming back, I concocted a story to convince her not to come back to maybe avoid more of this. But it was a lot more money, and she hated her new job, so of course she came back.
At first I avoided hanging around her, we never had lunch even though I have lunch regularly with every other person who works with me in that capacity. But that pretense wore down eventually, and we fell back into our previous friendship. Even now, I still felt like I could work harder at home, and put this weird crush back in the box. I never scheduled work travel with her, I never went to happy-hour when she was going. And about another year passed.
That brings us to now. Last week, there was a terrible snow storm here on a Friday night, and many of us from work walked to the bar across the street. My friend was not going to go so I tagged along until the snow let up. 30 minutes in, my friend showed up, and sat across from me. We all chatted over a few drinks and food, and I kept up my act as usual. About an hour in, my friend came back from the bathroom and when she sat down her foot touched my foot, and I jerked mine back, and we looked at each other. And she put her foot back against mine. And then she got up and left. And I was kind of in shock. And then my phone buzzed with a text message.
"I am in love with you."
(and neither of us were close to drunk)
So there it was. She loved me too. No physical affair, no contact for the better part of a year, trying to avoid it. But we were both in love.
Now I'm a wreck. I'm the good guy in my family, I think with my head, I talk people out of stupid moves all the time. I never hurt anyone's feelings if I can avoid it. I would call myself a moron if I heard this story. My in-laws love me, and think of me as the dependable one. My dad talks about how proud he is of my marriage. I can't lose my son forever, I can't ruin his life. I think of the pain that I will cause and it is unbearable.
But I am also in pain. I've felt broken for a long time. My good friends have told me I seem sad for years. I'm faking it to make my wife believe we have something. And I'm lying by omission. And I think of waiting another 5 years, and what if we could find something for both of us that was better? And I think of dying with regrets.
But I could probably just power on. I could probably just push further into a marriage that feels wrong. I think I have that in me still. I almost wish I'd had sex with someone, and that was my secret. But how do you tell someone the things I'd have to tell my wife? How do you utterly destroy someone who is not a bad person, and has done nothing directly to change your heart?
I've tried to be as honest as possible here, and I know its a strange stream-of-consciousness story. Sorry. Please feel free to throw any responses back that you have. Judge me, point me in some direction for help, whatever. I just need someone to tell me something. Thanks.