Hi everyone...I've been reading on here for some time but finally got the courage up to register and make my first post. I'm not sure really where to even start. I want to be completely honest so that I can get the best help/advice. I'll try to make it as brief as possible and still get the gist across.
My husband and I have been married for just over 24 years and dated for 2 years before we married. We are both in our early 40's. I fell for him hard and fast--head over heels. Even when we were dating he never really put me first--his friends were first and I was second most of the time. I resented that (as teenagers do) but I loved him so much it was ok. Fast Forward to getting married and having 2 children early in our marriage--our oldest is 22 and the second oldest 21. We struggled greatly financially--he worked 2 jobs and I stayed home with the kids. Looking back I don't know how we survived the first 5 years...lots of yelling, screaming and cursing on both sides. And yet somehow our marriage survived. Still I was so in love with him. And still he never loved me quite the way I wanted him to. The same old story you guys have heard a thousand times....he didn't understand me, not really. He never loved me quite the way I wanted him to love me. The only affection he offered was during sex. period. Eventually I got to the point that I resented sex sooo badly that I just refused. Or I'd make sure he knew I really didn't want to even if I gave in. I would hazard to guess that 90% of every argument we have had over the years was sex related.
We went on and had 2 more children for a total of 4--the younger two are ages 15 and 9.
About 2 or 3 years ago I realized that I really just was tired of living that way...just "settling" if you will. I wanted MORE. And no matter how much we talked about it, or how much I begged him time after time after TIME, he just was not capable of giving me what I needed. I fell "out of love" with him at least 2 years ago, maybe more. Last year we sat down and talked about it....I TOLD him that I was not in love with him and that I wasn't happy with our marriage. He assured me he felt the same way and that he wasn't in love with me either.
Soon after this I met someone else....yes I know how horrible I am for allowing myself to fall into that trap. I had taken my wedding ring off long before that and I knew in my heart that my marriage was over. The ONLY, absolute ONLY reason I was still here was because of the kids...especially the 15 year old.
I developed very strong feelings for this other man. I fell in love with him and he fell in love with me. It felt wonderful to have that feeling again and in other threads where I've seen it likened to a drug---that's exactly how it felt. As soon as my husband found out about the OM...which was quite early on, he immediately decided that he was madly in love with me and could not live without me. This completely threw me for a loop---I thought all along that we were on the same page and he had even told me he wasn't in love with me. I told him I didn't love him and I wanted a divorce.
Ok this has gotten longer than I intended--I'm sorry! I'll try to condense this last part....after several months I had to make a choice about whether to leave my family or not, including my husband who was completely pitiful during all this. Reading other threads has made realize that our situation was completely text book...in almost every way.
Where we are right now is that I've stopped contact with the OM and I'm here with my husband and family. It's been 3 weeks since I've seen the om and I'm just going to be honest and tell you that it's the hardest thing I've ever done. I really believe I love him....and that I'm "IN LOVE" with him. I'm trying to do what's right for my entire family. I do love and care for my husband...he's one of my very best friends. He's a wonderful father and he's been a good husband for the most part. I think he gave me what he could emotionally...and it wasn't enough for me. My husband and I have not had sex in close to a year. We haven't kissed on the lips in about 7 years. I feel no sexual chemistry with him at all...the desire is just not there. I hate hurting him and that's why I'm here. I just needed to get this all out and hopefully get some unbiased opinions about where I need to go from here. I'm really trying...Is it possible that I can get those feelings back for my husband??? And what about my feelings for this other man? I hope all this makes some sort of sense...I skimmed over a lot so if you would like to know something else I'll do my best to answer as honestly as possible. Please any advice is greatly appreciated.
I know exactly what you mean when you describe your relationship in the first paragraph. I was in the same boat in a long term relationship that ended before I met my DH. It was for the reason that he couldn't/wouldn't put me first that I ended it when it seemed to inevitably head towards marriage. I guess I wasn't as optimistic as you at that time. The resentment wasn't a teenager thing at all, but I think your heart warning you that you couldn't deal with that lack of commitment to you, regardless of your age.
I think you should give it a shot, work on your marriage wholeheartedly. You are still there, and you now have his attention. I don't think you can trust the feelings you have for TOM. If you were divorced, single, and recovered from the split, then met this person and fell in love, I'd think you'd have a good chance of being happy, but your marriage will always taint this relationship if you leave for him now. You'll have guilt and shame and he might too to some extent.
You are going to have to get over the affair before possibly feeling affection for your husband though. In that time you could work on understanding eachother, and both understanding what has been going on in eachothers heads for the last 24 years. Possibly a marriage counselor would help you both to open up fully.
Thank you so much for your reply.
I wanted to add that I feel like I skipped over so much....
Although I do love and care for my husband it's more in a very close family type way and not in a romantic way. We've been together since we were in high school and he IS a very good person. But he hasn't been perfect (nor have I). And while he's convinced that he's fallen so in love with me, I do worry and wonder if it's real or if it's more that he's afraid of being alone (he has no family and no close friends), and afraid of everything changing. He gets very upset when I bring that up but I do think it's possible. He's never been one for complimenting me...never once until 6 months ago had he EVER told me I was pretty---and now he tells me I'm beautiful all the time. I'm sure it's normal for me to feel at least somewhat skeptical....but I know I have to get past the skepticism if we are to have a chance.
I'm just so afraid the "spark" is gone forever...it's been so long.
It sounds like your H is at least trying. I know that it does sound a bit suspicious, like he's just doing damage control, but I also would give him the benefit of the doubt and let him prove himself. As for the situation with the OM, I'd simply let it go. Relationships that grow out of desperation, i.e., affairs, may feel good at first, but they rarely last. Heck, I'm still waiting for Eddie Cibrian/LeAnn Rimes to explode!
As to your question, yes, it is possible to fall in love again, but you will both have to commit yourselves to it.
I wish you the best of luck, SoBelle, whatever the outcome is.
He IS trying...and he's giving it his all. And each day I feel more and more guilty because in the very depths of my heart I just truly don't feel like I will ever be in love with him again....I think we could go on the way we are forever and be "satisfied" but there will always be something missing. I am so sad and upset and I feel like I have to keep it inside so that I don't hurt him any more than I have already.
Just today he brought me a little gift...and he does this all the time now. I just wish he'd been this man for the last 25 years
I guess I just need to stop lamenting over what's missing. I truly don't think I will ever regain that "spark" that I'm searching for....BUT he's a wonderful person and a great father. He's a very kind man and my best friend. Surely I can deal with a future with all those qualities...
My wife and I went through a similar situation a little over a year ago. Our life together had become bland, boring, and predictable. We did love each other, but were far from being in love.
Our problems came to a head when we both strayed from each other emotionally, physically, and mentally. We were going through the motions, but something was missing. That spark, that excitement, the headrush when two lovers see each other.
We talked, went to counseling and decided that we really did love each other and needed to rekindle the fire. We did it.
So yes, you can fall in love again and it is incredible. My wife and I have been together for 30 years and we act like giggly middle school kids.
Since you left the OM, it seems to me that you do love your husband. Talk to him, set up dates, go away for a weekend, go for walks, bike rides, feel each other up in the movie theatre, whatever it takes to get the two of you out of the house and away from the tedium of household life.
Send him a romantic note, set up a "fantasy night", there are literally hundreds of things to do out there to make you feel like teenagers again.
Go for it!!
I am hopeful for you that those feelings do come back, but I think after 20+ years it's going to take some time, maybe 6-12 months before you start to feel like it is going to last long term. Ask your husband to read "The Five Love Languages", and I would suggest reading it yourself as well. It might just be the greatest book to help a couple understand what each other needs in their life to feel loved.
My sister in law went through a very similar situation, although she had only been married a few years. And in my case, I find myself with similar feelings regarding my wife of 22 years. Only difference is that I don't think she's mentally capable of treating me like she wants to stay married.
To the point. My sister in law later realized that her feelings for the OM were more of a confused representation of everything she had been longing for over the years. And once she saw that, she realized that she really didn't know the guy well enough to know if it was him that generated her feelings, or just her loss being answered by a guy giving attention. Ultimately, she decided to give herself time and finally married a great guy.
Likely, the thing that your husband missed is that love is not just a feeling. It starts that way, but must be nourished with continual behaviors and actions. Now, he's learned that the hard way. Problem is, you likely knew it all along, and all the years of loss have taken their toll.
Maybe I'm eternally naive, but I would encourage you for a while to take it slow, seek counseling, and try to understand if the feeling is more of a feeling of loss than not feeling in love. In other words, what characteristics made you fall in love in the first place? Does he still display these, or is he different now?
I only suggest this because I'm going through similar feelings. My wife suffers from borderline personality behaviors. She has always felt that initiating conversation, compliments, endearments, or even reconciliation after arguments was the reponsibility of the husband. Now she wants to change, but feels powerless to do so. I no longer feel 'in love', but there were traits that brought us together. I've committed myself to working through these with a counselor.
i can so relate to you,,,im going through something similar and dont know which way to turn ,im so mixed up.....ive been marred for 13 years and loved my husband dearly,,,,,we have a daughter shes 7,,,ive always felt 2nd best his job comes 1st,but ive settled for it and just got on with life,,,until may this year when i told him i wasnt happy and he must leave.....(as we had never spilt up i thought the break would do us good,give us time to think)2 months later he had found a new girl(20 years younger,,,he had moved in with her and now shes having his baby)i was devasated,,,,,until last week when we talked(something we never did)he told me he as made the biggest mistake of his life and he loves me like mad.....he wants the baby,,,,but doest want her,,,i love him so much and have missed him like crazy,,,,,,he wont leave her until he is named as the father on the birth cerciff,,,,,he wants to get to know me again and as asked if we can go out once a week,,,,,how can i have affair with my own husband until hes ready to come back ??????????im so confused wat shall i do
I'm not sure if you really are. After many years of marriage, that giddy, dating, just falling in love, honeymoon period is not feasible to retain long-term. People grow, they change, our priorities shift, etc., and for long-term marriages we move into a mature-love type of marriage.
Yes, we're comfortable, may take each other for granted, etc., but have we fallen out of love - not necessarily.
My husband and I have been married for over 25 years and no, we're not giddy and like a just-married couple, but what we have a mature, comfortable, we know we love each other married husband and wife. He is like a good, worn out pair of shoes that I just can't throw away because I feel so good when I put them on. Maybe a bad analogy, but how I feel.
Maybe you need to ask yourself if you truly are "not in love" with him anymore. If he was to walk out tomorrow, what would you miss?
If that list isn't easy to come by and isn't long, then maybe you're right - you're not in love anymore and he is just a comfortable pair of worn-out shoes. If that list is easy to make and very long, then maybe you're just in a rut - or maybe you are going through a mid-life crisis and questioning your life (which includes your marriage).
You mentioned he is now buying you presents and wish he had done it 25 years ago. Are you maybe trying to recapture the past and good times and maybe missing the good times that are happening in the here and now? We all want to go back to our past and relive those good times, but we can't. What we can do is focus on today and making our future better - quit dwelling on what was and what might have been - live for today and if you want things to be better in the future - then make it happen - its all within your control.
Bottom line - be thankful for what you have today and what you will have tomorrow, quit living in the past as you can't change it and change how your future turns out. And - figure out once and for all if you are really "out of love" or just bored and in a rut.
okay, like many have said before me, I could have written this myself. That is why I searched for some answers tonight.
I have been married for 23 years, we lived together for 3 before that and have a 17 yr old son.
My husband is the same guy I married 23 years ago; I am not the same girl. He is a nice man, a good man. Any woman would be lucky to call him her husband. But I feel so fake all of the time because I don't love him, I sometimes wonder if I ever really did. I was supposed to get married, that was what college was for, so I found someone and married him. Problem is that I finally realized what I want and need is important, too.
I have tried so many times to "make my own happiness", but I am always the one who tries to make a relationship with him. It always ends in him being miserable, making me mad so I don't want to do anything with him anyway. So all the advice of planning dates and get aways may work for some, but if you are the only one putting effort in, the glass is still empty.
Therapy is "a waste of money", so I am done trying to make a marriage work by myself. I have no reason to leave. We don't argue. We live "alone" and pay the mortgage and get ready to send our son to college.
I just have to figure out how to stop feeling like I want to climb out of my skin all of the time or stop thinking about running away.
So, no, I don't think you can make yourself fall in love again, it's just a fairytale lie, like Cinderella when we were little girls...