Tortured soul seeking peace - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Tortured soul seeking peace

I am a 38 year old woman who is going on 20 years of marriage. My relationship with my husband, from the time we began dating at 16, has been one of selfishness and thoughtlessness. He is very narcissistic and has rarely been considerate of me or my feelings in addition to being very controlling and manipulative throughout our relationship. I have endured much emotional abuse and neglect through the years. He has dismissed my feelings, insulted my intelligence (and I am a very intelligent woman), made me feel incompetent (and I am extremely competent), shown little regard for my wants and desires, and has put me down in front of people. Everyone else in my life recognizes my intelligence, competence, and all that I do, and have done, for my children and those in my community. My self esteem has taken quite a battering over the years, but thanks to my friends and family members, I have kept my head above water thus far, though it has been a struggle. He has never been the man I needed him to be, though he is a good man who everyone else loves. He just does not know how to treat me. In addition, our sex life has not been very giving. It's very mechanical and he's very much into what pleases him.

I've tried to excuse his behavior over the years chalking it up to the fact that he grew up in an abusive household and never had a proper example of how to treat a spouse. I have repeatedly brought up how I've felt, at times begging for his time and attention, and as non-accusatory manner as possible, pointed out when he would treat me poorly or things he would do that bothered me. It fell on deaf ears most of the time. There have been many times that I have thought about leaving, but have stayed mainly because of financial reasons, but also because I do not want to tear my family apart nor have a failed it's easier to stay. I've never known anything else. Yet, I continue to feel unfulfilled.

I have recently fallen for someone I've known for nearly 10 years...never expected it nor saw it coming. This man is everything I've always wanted from my husband and never had. He's sensitive, kind, thoughtful, considerate, generous, sensual, giving, understanding, patient, fun, affectionate...makes me feel incredibly loved. We have fallen pretty hard for each other. In the beginning, it was just friendship, then progressed to emotional cheating...but as we got to know each other and seemed to be a perfect match on every level, it has gotten much more intense. My husband has sensed my distance and we have stopped having sex, though he has tried repeatedly, it seems more as if he's testing me and not because he loves me.

Now my husband has decided he wants to try and be the man I need him to be, though I am having a hard time believing that he ever could be after all these years. I feel that a large part of his wanting to stay together is because of all he would lose financially that he has worked so long and so hard for. Though I know he truly does love me, he just has never really shown it.

I am tortured because I understand the emotional and financial implications of divorce for all involved. I do not want a failed marriage, but feel like a tortured soul because I have just not been happy in my relationship. I do not to hurt my husband, but now that I'm in love with another man, who loves me deeply and actually shows it, I do not want to hurt him either. It has taken this other man many years to get over his divorce and he has not had any relationships in 5 years because of it. I was the one who had opened his heart after all that time and he would be devastated if I broke things off. Sadly, if I needed to, I know he'd understand, but he'd be crushed. Unfortunately, I feel I can never have a healthy relationship with my husband going forward because of this other man is everything I've ever dreamed of. I've never felt like this about my husband or anyone else for that matter. How do I choose who gets hurt?

I don't ever want my husband to find out about my infidelity. I dont' want him hurt like that. I don't want to hurt either one, but ultimately, one of them will have to be. In the meantime, I am the one who is in terrible pain. It's all I think about every day, all day long. I feel so much guilt and blame myself, though try to remind myself it took many years of mistreatment to get me too this point.

I know this can't go on, yet I'm paralyzed by fear of making the wrong move. I'm a tortured soul. Help!!! Need to find I can live with.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 12:22 PM
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Re: Tortured soul seeking peace

ok number one your H wil revert back to his usual ways. he wont really change.
number 2 the grass isnt greener - but your infidelity shows you have moved on from your H.
if you split with your H and it doesnt work out with the other bloke.
then reality you could end up on your own. you have to consider that you dont really know what or who you are at the moment.
when you live on your own you have the chance to find yourself and learn to like yourself.
im not saying your not on a rebound here. but when you get attention from someone - the situation seems really nice and cosy.
but thats because you have your H at home and a safety net.
try it without the safety net and how would you feel then ?
you cant keep doing the emotional/ sexual stuff with another man or men later and remain married.
who are you being fair to then.
my guess your not being fair to him, because your selfish.
im afraid im a scorned woman myself. i can tell you it really hurts when your partner craps all over you.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tortured soul seeking peace

You are right in that I don't feel like I know who I am at the moment. This is not something I thought I would ever do. I have been on the receiving end of cheating by him when we dating as well as having two unrelated friends tell me a few months ago that he cheated on me years ago with hookers in Vegas when he went on his yearly guy trip there, though he denies this of course. I felt like I had the wind knocked out of me...and it does suck...bad! Putting the pieces if our past together, rarely spending time at home, late nights (at times until 7:30am the next day) and not answering his cell, not jumping on me when I would crawl into bed naked next to him (and I am an attractive woman who takes care of herself)...all point to signs that he has been unfaithful and fed into my feeling of inadequacy.

And as far as learning to like myself, I do, except for what I have been doing as of late. I have found, well before this other man came into the picture, that I am much happier on my own when my H is not around, whether it be working late nights or traveling for work. I would rather be alone and happy than together and miserable. It's all so much more painful than I ever thought possible...I just don't want to give up if there is an ounce of hope left, but after years of my trying and he wasn't willing to, dismissing my pleading and cries for attention, I feel like I've put myself in a position that if there is any hope left, I have damaged our chances of ever making it work, though I must remind myself it took two to get here.

Last edited by tortured soul; 02-20-2009 at 02:28 PM.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 02:37 PM
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Re: Tortured soul seeking peace

i know its not something you thought about.
you needed to feel life again in your heart and soul.
as for the prostitute bit, he probably did. so easy.
i think of alot of us try and hope if there is even the minutest bit of hope.
i know i have done the same.
i know what ive said on this topic to you, but remember your stil a respectable individual. dont we all want that loving feeling, special warmth around us in a relationship.
i know i do to.
but leading a double life, is just a fools game. because you do get caught in the end. if not by someone else, then by your own inner guilt.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tortured soul seeking peace

Originally Posted by justean View Post
but leading a double life, is just a fools game. because you do get caught in the end. if not by someone else, then by your own inner guilt.
Ah, this I know all too well. The inner guilt is tearing me up...and well put by the way...

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 03:00 PM
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Re: Tortured soul seeking peace

If you want your marriage to have a chance, end all contact with TOM. Lay down the situation with your husband as to how unhappy you are in the marriage. Put it all out there for him and tell him this is the last shot but you are willing to work at it if he is. Give it a chance to work but you need to have TOM out of the picture to give your husband a fair shot. If you end up exhausting all your options and the marriage isn’t going to work then leave on your own terms and take time to work things out for yourself. Do not consider TOM as plan B, it will only sabotage plan A. Your marriage has been badly damaged by both your husband and yourself. I wish you the best.


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"Some of the greatest lessons life has taught me came from my darkest days in it" -Amp
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-16-2009, 11:48 AM
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Re: Tortured soul seeking peace

I so understand where you are at with the pain and guilt. Or spouses sound very similar with emotional abuse, negating, dismissing who I am, what I have to say and any desires I may have. We've seen marriage counselors over the years with no real changes in the relationship. We've been in couples counseling now for the last year, starting after I said I was leaving and meant it. I was asked to stay by the counselor at the times to see if issues could be resolved. This looked promising for a several months but ultimately found myself right back at square one.
I feel like I closed the door on our marriage about 2 months ago as I reached that wall and know that I cannot do this anymore. I am completely drained and empty and honestly do not have it in me to even begin to try to be apart of this marriage. I've been very unhappy for so long I can't remember the last time I've felt any joy. There's so much more to this but want to get to my issue right now.
I made a list several weeks ago of non-negociable issues that HAD to be addressed and resolved or there was nothing further to consider in our relationship. Though, really I think what it really is is a letter showing him WHY we ended up the way we did from my perspective as he never seems to quite get it.
The therapist talked me into giving him this list, which is 6 pages long by the way, so he could really understand my perspective. So, all this happened and now I'm getting all the promises I've heard so many times. Everything I ever wanted him to work on he's now willing to do. Problem- I've heard all this so many times I can't count and 2-3 months down the road the whole thing repeats itself. I can't do this anymore.
And finally, the one thing that really confuses me. He agreed and did go to see a therapist of his own to work on his "issues" that he knows he has. This has never happened before and its made me more conflicted than ever. I was/am so ready to make my own life and find peace and happiness and now I'm not sure what the right answer is. I don't think I can open that door again, I have tried and its just slammed shut. I don't know that I can love him like I once had. so now I'm back in the same old dilema.
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