Finally posting on a forum after years of trying to make it right. Well, here goes....
We've been married 17 years.
I grew up believing (naively) that love and trust was enough for any relationship, ignoring any real plans for the future like financial stability, a good career, etc...
She grew up planning for the future and securing a good job, but just figured (naively) love would happen and then take care of itself with no work needed.
So, rewind back to 1996, whirlwind romance, known her since I was a teenager (sister of my best friend) got married, great sexual relationship and what i thought was an open and honest marriage.
Within a year, my ability to provide was not horrible, but it was unstable, going from job to job. This, unbenounced to me, was a real problem for her and she began to turn off her heart. Again, this was one year into our marriage. She figured she would just fake it and make her way through. Understandable, but bad choice.
I, on the other hand, continued to try and make her happy. Cards, "i love you's", flowers, nights out, vacation, nice home, etc....all of it was there romantically, but her resentment over my not meeting her expectations of stability grew. I didn't have a real constant career until about 2005.
Fast forward to 2006. At this point, we had 4 kids, the oldest being severely disabled. My wife meets a guy threw some friends, finds in him somehow everything I lack. I had suspicions, did some fancy tech detective work, and found a private email account. There were a ton of emails filled with all of the "I love you's" I longed for over the past decade. I was absolutely devastated. They spoke of love, children, future....everything.
I, being the kind of guy that takes a step back, thinks about things and then acts......called her up from my office and said "Divorce me, or end it".......she knew what was up and acted like I was overreacting.
Come to find out she had oral sex with him, in our oldest daughters handicapped van. ......right.
So, we talked a long while over things (weeks...months) while I waited for her to fall out of love with this guy. She eventually saw it for an infatuation and escape. We went to therapy for a year or so and cleared some things up. While it was obviously her choice to go outside of our marriage, I did have some part in pushing her due to lack of understanding I suppose. Again, I don't take responsibility for her actions, just to be clear.
So, therapy ends, she to this day (in 2012) admits she was in a really bad place, lots of resentment, apologies, etc. No reoccurances and she has taken steps to be sure this never happens again. Great. Here's the problem
: As I said, I was devastated, Cried for a long time until it hurt. Each day, wondering, picturing what happened, confusion, lost 25 pounds due to stress (great diet by the way
it was the worst time in my life. Now, I am not in love with her anymore, and she is not in love with me. She believes that in time it will "work out" in this life or the next (we're very religious), but who knows for now.
While waiting for her to come around (2006 to 2012) in 2011 I happened upon an old friend, we talked, texted and eventually expressions of love we're exchanged. It felt so unbelievable to hear those words "I love you" again after 17 years, that I went with it. It was wrong, but I chose to go with it.
We met secretly at the movies several times, enjoyed company, kissed, talked endlessly (i dated her when I was 20 - I'm 41 now) and after a year we took it further. At the last minute though, I could't go through with it. The irony was just too much and the thought of my children being hurt due to my actions was too much to take.
So, I broke it off, went to my wife, explained what I had done. She was not devistated (didn't think she would be) though she was angry and jealous (go figure)........
Still, we are here....in a cordial, but loveless marriage. There is no animosity or abuse, but the normal stresses of everyday life with kids and the added stress of a disabled 15 year old. She has no problem with continuing this way while I find it lonely, unfulfilling and depressing. We've talked in circles, but nothing is changing. I am trying so hard to stick it out for the kids. I don't want them to be hurt or feel responsible if we were to divorce.
I find the thought of spending another 10 years of my life in a relationship thats going nowhere until the kids are older, almost unbearable. I am a romantic, passionate person.....I just want to love and be loved. My love for my children has helped immensely, but of course, that only goes so far.
I see and hear about so many divorces, I never thought I would even consider one. I'm told by friends and our therapist "You are a brave man. You saved your marriage!"........problem is, I don't know why. Again, my kids are worth it. I just don't know how much of me I need to lose before it's too late.....perhaps it already is. I suppose it's too much to ask to be happy when 4 young lives are on the line.
Anyway, I could continue rambling. I'm throwing this out onto the interwebs to see what I get back.