I would appreciate a listening ear here... and hopefully not to much judgment but help. Also, apologize for the length.
I got married when I was pretty young (24), to a guy I hadn't dated very long (about 3 months). So we had only known each other for a total of 10 months when we said I do.
Some background. I come from what most people would consider a religiously fundamentalist background. And while my parents beliefs are probably not the most extreme, they were also very "religiously" manipulative. I was told the best thing I could become is a married woman, who was a virgin on her wedding night. So needless to say, I had never slept with my husband when we got married. And Guess What?! There isn't a lot of sexual chemistry.
Initially I pleaded with my husband for us to work on it together. I had heard of a book that could help, that we could read together. I also requested that he try initiating things earlier in the day... his recipe was to start foreplay at 11:00 at night, when I had a demanding job to get up early for the next day. I guess he took these requests to be "demands" and rebelled by rarely pursuing me for sex. I later found out he was masturbating for himself, while leaving me relatively unnoticed. I tolerated this for a long time because I really haven't had a lot of sex anyway (and sex with us hasn't been that great), so I didn't exactly have a well developed libido anyway. I'm not cold or limp, I just didn't understand.
So besides the sex thing, my husband has been very challenging and difficult person at times. We can't talk about issues, we can't discuss hard things, we can't joke around. It's all a fight. At one point, I think we were fighting 3 + times a week, or every time we talked.
Also, he's kind of lazy. He claims to be a hard-worker, and once in a while he will get a bunch done. However, any level of consistency is basically a misnomer. Also he has been without work several time during our marriage, in which I am left to figure out our bills and mortgage. I have worked a demanding job during the time together and do all of the budgeting and bill paying paperwork and maintenance. He has no idea... and has often been pretty difficult when I plead with him not to purchase expensive computers and top of the line phones. Then he berates me for my small indulgences like picking up new to me clothes at a consignment store (something much less than a 3000 computer). Then telling me he needs to be able to spend equal amounts on clothes that I do. When he was last formally employed, he would go to work at whatever hour he pleased (like anywhere between 8 am (on the rare occasion) and 1pm (more commonly)) - claiming it was aok with his employer. Later his contract was ended suddennly - he claims it had nothing to do with the strange hours.
I am saying all this, because it's important you understand how burdened I have felt with this marriage. I also think it's valuable that I have had many discussions with him throughout the marriage explaining that his behavior is inappropriate. Saying we need to work on things. I have really fought for us in many ways.
So what I am going to say next won't be good, and I totally assure you that I am not trying to defend myself or make light of an inappropriate behavior.
To pay bills - we have had renters at our house (many of them in and out). One of them was a guy I'll call MDM. MDM was an easy-going type who I got to know really well when he lived at our house. MDM is significantly overweight, and is not the kind of guy I would be attracted to, but he was a listening ear during much of the turmoil of my marriage. One of my problems is that I never wanted people to know how bad I felt about my marriage, because I felt a need to keep up appearances. However, I couldn't exactly hide the problems from MDM, because he lived with us. So, all in all, MDM and I became excellent friends. There was a lot of laughter and fun, but I always saw the connection as platonic.
One night, I had originally planned on making my husband dinner, but then he canceled and went to his social event instead. This is not, of course, the end of the world, but I had not other plans and ended up talking to MDM and having a few drinks. I'm pretty much a lightweight so I was bit tipsy (not drunk) when the husband finally came home. He gets violently mad that his dinner isn't ready and that I had chosen to eat something without him. I thought he had canceled, so I had already eaten mine, but then I was like okay - I'll make yours too. (Remember, I am making dinner now without my full level of focus - because I am tipsy). My husband doesn't like anything that I am making or how I am doing it. (It's 10 o'clock at night FYI). MDM is pretty much freaked out - so goes up stairs (we were in the kitchen). I notice this and because, I am worried about MDM, I sneak upstairs and ask him if he's okay... and then for no reason I kiss him. I came right back downstairs and finished dinner.
This is the first time I had any recognition of non-platonic feelings towards MDM... and with that I promptly wrote it off as drunk mistake. I still wanted to love my husband.
Shortly after this, MDM moved out. He wanted to avoid being the center of our marital drama, and he was trying to be cautious. Unannounced to me, I guess he like me more than he was showing. As time moved on MDM and I stayed in touch, but there was not much more than an IM convo. One time, My husband was out of town, and I ended up hanging out with MDM - Dinner, Drinks ... it felt strangely like a date. MDM even picked up the tab (which my husband did not do when we were dating - should have been a sign). I was having so much fun, laughing my socks off, talking about our lives. Then we are leaving the bar and he pulls me by the hand up against him and we started making out. It was awesome. I felt so hot, so wanted... ok, so I'm getting off track. The point is: I had an affair.
I felt guilty, I tried talking to my Huzbun about areas we needed to improve... sexual, labor habits, other issues. I told him I was broken, hurt, that I needed to feel cared about... and that I didn't. I told him I was thinking about the d-word. Any point during this time would have been a good time for him to start a turn around. To improve. To discuss something. But simple requests, were met with hostility. I tried to plan dates, but he would always put it off. Say things like we'll do that later and that he is too busy with work. He would sometimes want to watch a TV show or a movie with me, but even that was at a minimum... Still limited to no desire for sex with me.
I tried to work on what we had... tried to remember all the good times (of which there are a few)... tried to be the best wife I could be. Tried to discuss, but I felt it was in vain.
However, despite my efforts, fighting with my husband got really really bad. At one point he punches the wall and flinging objects in my general direction, after I told him we couldn't get a new car that we could not afford. He makes offensive comments like I could be thinner (FYI: I weigh 111 pounds at 5' 5"), like I should work out more, like I'm not good at math or work (and I teach math), that I should decorate the family room differently.... all of the comments are completely baseless. He blames me for his failures, he acts as though he is the victim in our whole lives together.
So, for reasons unknown, I give up. MDM becomes more to me... it became "an actual affair", not just a couple drunken mistakes. This when I realize that I really liked MDM, that he always listened to me, that he cared about me (not just wanted me). That he had liked me for a long time, but hadn't wanted to make drama.
My husband never suspected the affair, he was paying almost no attention to me, so it was easy to work around. One night, in haze of fighting and destruction... I tell him what's going on - about the affair. I thought this would be the final straw to end things for good. After I tell him I leave, because I was seriously concerned for my safety (he's has had violent behavior at times- nothing directly toward me). So I leave, and stay with friends for the night. I think things are over, but I go home the next day anyway so we can talk about "next steps"...
Suddenly, My husband has transformed. He is making me dinner, he is cleaning the office. He wants to spend quality time. He has clear and direct understanding of his mistakes. He wants to go on a date the next day... on and on.
He forgives me for the affair and even go as far to say that it could have been partially his fault (of which I feel he is partially correct). He's acting like the kind of husband someone would really want. IT feels a little false and way over the top.
SO I should be happy that my husband is "so great now" and get over myself and the affair, but it's really really hard.
People don't tell their husbands they are having an affair if they aren't over it. If they don't expect it to end. I expected it to end, I wanted it to end. I knew that divorce creates problems and it's not easy, but I just want my freedom back, because I have felt so trapped.
I feel obligated by the sense of "right-doing" to continue to stay in this marriage.
I also feel the sting of devastation, as I know I must then end things with MDM must end (and things are on a major pause - for those of you who will ask) if I try to continue with the marriage. No one's ever accused me of being very emotional, but I cry every time I think about it.
I should add here too that I'm a realist. Things with MDM and I may not work out. He can't be my knight in shining armor, and if my marriage fails - I will have to rescue myself. I will have to pay lawyers and I will have to pay bills. I know that it won't be easy ... and that I won't always be perfectly happy. I never thought or was deluded into believing that was life. However, I look forward to life that is my own. When I can make my own decisions and I don't feel so trapped.
I just feel pretty unhappy and I want to let go and move on.
SUMMARY - for those of you who don't want to read everything
So these are the facts:
-I've been in short, tough marriage that produced no children
-My husband is not the kind of man I would choose to be with
-but suddenly he is all in love and practically syrupy sweet.
-I have almost no motivation to keep up this marriage, other than obligation and keeping up appearances.
What should I do?