Hi there, I've been stalking the forums for a few days now.... doing a lot of reading and liking what I'm seeing. Seems to be a very supportive group and I'm needing some help and support right now.
My apologies.. I'll try not to make this too much of a novel.
Husband and I have known each other for sixteen years, involved for fourteen, married for ten. We have two children... a five year old boy and a four year old girl. We're both in our early 30s.
I love my husband dearly and have never desired anyone else. Everyone thought we had the best relationship and I honestly felt like we were "in Camelot". I had the most loving, communicative partner... I was happy.
But back in 2008, Husband left me for another woman. It came as a total shock to everyone who knew him. It happened after the birth of our second child. I won't go too much into what was the worst year of my life as I'd like to concentrate on the good that came out of it. I emerged from that pain (oh lordy, the pain...) with a stronger backbone, my own house (that I bought!) and a sense of independence that I realized I didn't have when we were together.
He liked what he saw. After he had burnt himself out in what can only be described as an early mid life crisis.... (crazy, self destructive behavior).... he hit rock bottom. He had no friends left.. all he had was his family... me and his parents. We were the only ones left that would open the door to him.
I was a stronger person, certainly less naive and more cynical. I was, as he put it, "his rock". It took a lot of work and a lot of hard conversations... we took it slowly... I helped him move into a bachelor apartment... we lived apart for awhile.. dated.. talked alot on the phone. Then i invited him to move into my house with me and our children after I felt comfortable enough to let him back in. I told him that I didn't believe in the future anymore. I didn't believe in promises. All we have is the moment and if he is with me for this moment then I am grateful... I told him that I didn't need him. But I certainly wanted him.
And we've spent the last three years reconciled. It's been.. from my perspective, completely wonderful. I've felt so lucky that we got this second chance and it seemed to be working out just great.
And then the problems started happening about a month and a half ago... actually, the whole summer has been sort of awful.
For three years, he didn't do anything.. didn't go out.. just spent most of his time with me and our children... as I'm a bit of a house hermit (and an anti-social sort) I was fine with this... but I know he's a social butterfly. He missed having friends, he missed getting out there, he missed "doing things". I tried encouraging him to start cultivating a life for himself but it never seemed to happen. Until this summer.. he started a charity group that dresses up as children's characters and clowns (and the like) and we show up at charitable events. Sometimes we raise money for the charity.. sometimes our time is our donation. It's not really my thing but I wanted to show my support for him with administrative tasks and putting on a costume and coming out.
I was so happy that he was happy. Doing this really, really jazzed him and brought a smile to his face. And he made some new friends. One new friend in particular started coming out and dressing up for these charity event. He... um.. lives at her house now.
When he first started hanging out with her a lot, I raised a stink. He got angry... "What?! I can't have friends?! You want me to be like you... home all the time, doing nothing and having no fun!" (etc etc)
We argued a lot about this. I felt uncomfortable about him going to her house to hang out all the time. He began to withdraw... I started checking his emails and FB messages. They spent alot of time together.. even more than I previously thought. And it was clear that in a month they had become very close. He has been mentoring her through some hard times and she calls him her "white knight". I brought this up and we argued some more. "I can't believe you don't trust me.. you said you would trust me! I'm not doing anything.. I've made a great new friend, that's all!" (etc etc)
Then we had "the conversation" one morning... the conversation that changes everything. It just came out of his mouth without him really expecting to... He admitted that he doesn't believe in romantic love.. and that loves me dearly but as a dear friend.. because love doesn't exist. I said "but what about all the loving, romantic things you've been feeding me for the past three years since we've been reconciled?" He apologized profusely and said that he had been only saying those things because he saw how happy it made me.
This shattered me. I literally felt a crack run down my body. I cried for hours in the bathtub. He felt so badly that he had "done this to me". He apologized profusely but didn't take anything back.
I fell into a pretty deep depression. And the sadder I got, the worse he felt.. the worse he felt, the angrier he got. The angrier he got towards me, the more I cried. He finally got to the point where he couldn't stand looking at me ("because I'm only going to make you cry..") and packed his bags. He lives pretty much full time on new girl's couch (I have no proof but I can't help but think of her another OW) with perhaps one night at home a week. He calls his friend's house his "sanctuary"... a sacred place where he can feel at ease... where no one expects anything of him and he dissapoints no one.. where he feels truly at home.
We've made love twice since his revelation of viewing me as a dear friend and not a lover... and he says he's regretted both times afterwords.. because of the way I've looked at him (with love in my eyes) afterwards.
He is upset with me for "turning into another person".... I'm not the strong, independent person he turned to three years ago when we reconciled... I admit that he's somewhat right. Somewhere in our past three years of reconciliation (and me having him all to myself) I fell back in love with him. Once I did he said I've gotten unbearable... I'm clingy, paranoid and demanding more of him that he can give. In short.. I'm pathetic...
I've turned from the strong independent single mom that he admired back into the loving doormat that was so easy to leave before. And whether or not he's sleeping with this new girlfriend of his is immaterial. He lives at her house, he talks with her constantly (they text each other all day) and he views her as a better friend than I am to him. When her laptop broke down last week, he applied for a new credit card and bought her a new one. ("She's going to pay me back for it and with the monthly payments she's going to give me, my credit rating will be awesome." :S I saw this as a test and did not react caustically to it. "Oh.. okay." was my response... knowing anything else would start a fight.)
I really am not sure what to do now... I feel joyless and sad all the time (which keeps him firmly in a state of "avoiding me and staying away from home") and am waiting for a call from the YWCA, where I have applied for some personal therapy... I think it's time I had someone I should talk to about this. It's going to be a few weeks wait though...
That was a lot... I'm sorry. I know I'm leaving a lot out... I've been doing a lot of reading here and I know that I'm the "hot" one and he's the "cool" one. I didn't even know that I was pushing him away.. I just thought I was being a loving wife... but it's more than he can stand... I loved him away to the point where he has a new best friend that isn't me and he just wants me to be his friend....
Doing alot of personal reflection.