Stuck in an endless loop
So, I hope this isn't too long to follow. I have so much to say that I could write for the next hour and make you all read the rest of the day! I apologize if I'm all over the place at times. I know I'm leaving a lot of things out.
Anyway, I'm new here, btw. I'm 43, been married 13 years this coming May. We have two kids, 10 and other just turned 7. I adore the hell out of them, they are great kids and my son and I are especially close. What I'm going to say below is essentially what I had been saying about 2 or 3 years ago before I got the courage to tell her I wanted a divorce. Out of respect for the kids and her, I agreed to go to MC. We had a great therapist and she was able to get us closer and work things out. Things went fairly well for a while, we enjoyed life. But all of my lingering doubts and feelings never disappeared. I felt them lurking, but figured they would eventually go away. They haven't, and I'm feeling even more trapped in a situation than I was before.
The issues between my wife and I go back to the very beginning. And I now think of our relationship (in my mind) as death by a thousand cuts. When we met, I had gone through a REALLY bad relationship with someone who was a Borderline (if you don't know what that disorder is, look it up - you don't ever want to deal with it, trust me) and string of demoralizing dating fiascos. About 3 months prior, I deleted all my dating profiles (this was the dark ages of online dating, btw, not the smorgasbord you find today) and told myself I had to just stop looking. I was really down. We had know each other through mutual friends, but there was never any attraction on my end. She was a tomboy, who played soccer, basketball, softball, etc. growing up and you'd swear she was a boy in some of her younger pictures. She was very conservative from top to bottom. We ran into each other at the store, she had grown up a bit and looked pretty good. We chatted a bit and that was that. Since she had just moved back to the area, I invited her over to a party we were having the following wknd (I think it was the Final Four). We spoke once by phone when she called to accept and then she asked if I wanted to go out the next weekend or something for dinner. It was, officially, our first date, but nothing romantic at all. I decided to pursue, and asked her out again a week later. I don't even remember what we did, but we ended up back at my place. Not much happened. I offered a foot massage to get things going. She obliged, but just after I started she told me that she was still a virgin. Right away, the red flags went up. This didn't exactly surprise me, but it was a real deflating moment. Needless to say, we didn't do anything else that night. In fact, there were NEVER any real sparks between us. You know when you first start dating someone, it goes great and you can't keep your hands off each other or your clothes on and it acts as sort of a bonding experience for the two of you and you? That NEVER happened. In fact...we didn't actually have sex for the first nine months. We fooled around here and there, but she was so sexually ignorant, she didn't even know that a guy ejaculated when climaxing. She grew up in a bubble, driven by her zero-sex-appeal, conservative mother. I also had issues in that we spent a LOT of time around her family. A LOT. So it felt sort of like I was dating them as well, half the time. So, "Why did you stay, you idiot?" I don't have a good answer for that, other than I had given up on finding true love after so many bad experiences - and I wasn't exactly overflowing with confidence and killing it with the ladies. I accepted that this was better than nothing, she was a good person and would make a good mom. I had my doubts then, but even my dad encouraged me to stick with her b/c she was a good person. Looking back, I realized i was never actually IN LOVE with her. I settled and went along for the ride.
I should also mention that we really have never had much in common. I have a lot of interests. So many that I don't have enough time in the day to pursue them all. She's the opposite. She's never had a hobby. She still doesn't, really. That's been an issue we've worked on in therapy (counseling and individual). It's not as bad as it used to be, but still annoys me. Again, it indicates someone who has NO PASSION about anything.
During this time came another one of those "cuts" I talked about earlier. As you can see, our sex life was, uh, almost non-existent. She was also a fan of granny panties. Despite what you think, I'm a VERY sexual person. I *love* sensuality and femininity in women who have that. I decided to go to VS and get her some NICE panties. Nothing crazy like g-strings. Just nice bikini briefs. Well, I never saw those panties again. She was so offended that she threw them out without ever saying anything. Overall, she was quite an insecure person, especially when it came to her sexuality and such. Again, she had virtually NO sexual history to speak of. She had only a couple of previous relationships and one of them ended when she walked in on the guy having sex with someone else (again, she wouldn't have sex). So, certainly there was some lingering emotional trauma that didn't help things.
We've always had communication issue. I'm more the guilty party on that front. But, again, it's very difficult to express your deepest desires and such for someone you simply have never felt those desires and true, passionate love for.
Another of those cuts, and this has been an issue she's sort of tried to work on, but I don't think it's her nature, is affection. I go back to women being sensual. She doesn't have that trait. At all. We've discussed the lack of affection bothering me in the past (my love language is physical touch). And when it comes from someone who it feels either forced for or unnatural for, it feels very empty. I've had female friends/co-workers of mine (who I'll admit I'm attracted to) show me small signs of affection that just sends jolts of electricity through me. Whether it's a slight touch on the chin, rubbing my chest, or whatever. Again, I believe you have it in you or not.
All through this, we've had two kids (who are, fortunately, very healthy and happy), many job/career changes (one thing I will say is that she has been TREMENDOUSLY supportive of me when I've decided to change careers once or twice, even when it affected us financially), a new house and whatever.
Our sex life is...bad. Even she's acknowledging lately that it's been very sub-par and we need to step it up. But....this has often been the case. Another of those cuts: She is an AWFUL kisser. Good kissing, to me, can bring a person to their knees. I've had women in my past who were GREAT kissers, and I thought of myself as one until I got together with my wife. I'm embarrassed to say that, if I was with someone new right now, I wouldn't know how to kiss them properly. But, the lack of kissing in our relationship, I think, is another sign of passion/sensuality that doesn't exist between us. And it's not like I can tell her she's a bad kisser, especially now. I wouldn't even know how to fix that!! So, we barely ever kiss, especially during foreplay or sex. It's a very empty feeling for me and I'd rather jerk off half the time. The sex is so...lacking in desire a lot of the time, I literally clench my teeth to get through it.
I will give her credit for slowly, but surely coming around on a number of things. She has, occasionally, worn sexy underwear. Even lingerie a couple of times the past 13 years. A couple of times. :/ I've gotten her sexier underwear and she's been much more open to wearing things (again, this is all part of being sensual, erotic, etc for me and almost every woman I know does these things on a normal basis), but they eventually disappear. I got tired of being the one to have to buy everything, and she finally bought....one pair last year. She wears them all the time. I like them. But, c'mon. And here's another one of those cuts: a couple of weeks ago she wore them before we had sex...but kept her brown work socks on. I can't describe how turned off I was.
We've gone the toy route a bit here and there. She likes one of her vibrators. But, again, it was me who had to initiate and buy this stuff. (I forgot to mention, the kinkiest she's been with me have been after we had a blowup before agreeing to go to MC and then the week after I told her I wanted a divorce. You know the joke that the only time women give you anal is when they think you're going to break up with them? It's real, folks!)
Another issue is smell. A great-smelling woman makes me swoon. I work with a woman (who's gay, so nothing happening there) who wears a certain perfume that, if I wasn't an atheist, I would say is what heaven would smell like to me. I'm not kidding. It's one of those scents that I wish I could, literally, inhale for hours. I'm so hapy when she comes into my office and I can smell it for a while after she leaves. She's not the only one. Any woman that smells good is a turn on. I have bought my wife perfume a couple of times in the past few years. To me, if a guy buys you perfume HE WANTS YOU TO WEAR IT ALL THE TIME BECAUSE IT LIKES HOW IT SMELLS ON YOU! Yet, the only time she will use them is in her pre-sex routine in the bathroom. In fact, when I bought her the last one, I found the bottle in the downstairs bathroom. She thought I got her bathroom deodorizer for Xmas. :/ She also has bad breath almost all of the time. I usually tell her, but it's so common that it's another one of those things that wears me down and turns me off. And, I'll throw a gross one at you guys that's happened several time - including last night. I'm sure this happens to other people (I guess, but it never happened with other women I've had sex with). If we're doing it doggy-style, it's instantly noticeable if she's gone to the bathroom at some point in the day and not fully cleaned herself. It's so bad that I'll literally have to hold my breath for as long as possible in order to finish. I may be at fault for never saying anything to her about it. I don't want to embarrass her. On the flip side, this is another one of those things were I say to myself "How does a person not know to do this? You do everything you can to clean up certain areas before you have sex!"
There's a lot more I want to say, but I've been typing this for over 2 hours now and I'm surprised if anyone is still reading. But here's sort of my bottom line: I'm attracted to feminine women, who know how to flirt, know how to be sexy and sensual. My wife is none of those (she is attractive and has a great body - more so than what I've maintained). In fact, ever since we were dating, I've had roving eyes. All of these things have added up for me, to the point I am absolutely CRAVING other women all the time. Craving everything she's never really been able to provide because it's not who she is. I've never cheated and would never hurt her like that (I had sort of an EA years ago before/after my son was born, not realizing what I was doing and ended up really hurting in the end. But it woke me up to things that I needed). But, I feel like I've circled back 3 years after we left MC in decent shape and really wanting out again. There are certain things I resent about her, but the bottom line is that I did not marry the love of my life. Not even close. And If I told her a lot of how I feel or have always felt, it would absolutely crush her, and I don't want to do that. The sticker is that I'm terrified of hurting the kids. My son, especially. Overall, we have a good life. But my feelings consume almost every waking moment for me and I don't want to go through the rest of my life like this. So, I feel completely trapped.
I know some of you may toss me "the grass isn't always greener" line, and I appreciate that. I know, given the crazy women I've dated. I was never good at the dating thing, and I can't imagine how crazy it is now. Getting divorced would nuke our life in many ways. But I don't think it's crazy to want/crave/need to be with someone that, even on occasion, will take my breath away. Someone who I *want* to be with and not even think about anyone else. Someone I actually miss when I travel and wish they were in said country with me to share the experience instead of thinking of other women. Even for my kids' sake, I wish they could grow up seeing what a healthy, passionate, loving relationship REALLY looks like instead of two roommates that occasionally give pecks to each other.
That's my story for now and I'm sticking to it. I hope it makes sense. Thank you for reading my novel. :/