at Crossroads after 14 years... - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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at Crossroads after 14 years...

Hi Guys,

Hope I have come to the right place, because I really need some solid advice. Not very good at bearing my soul but here goes.

My wife and I met when we were about 22, she is 6 months older but looks 6 years younger than me. We were introduced thru a mutual friend who is married to her older sister. (I will go in a bit more detail about our past to give you a deeper insight.) I went to see her but she said no to me, because she didnt want to marry someone who was younger than her ( Her sister is married to my friend who is 4 years younger). Anyhow, we remained friends and I had some other not so serious girlfriends during this time. Finally we continued to chat and began liking each other and ended up together with the consent & approval of our families.

I come from a fairly conservative family and so does she. I live in the Middle East, but have been educated in the West. She was born to eastern parents living in the West but has been educated in a highly conservative institution in the East. When I married her, I thought I was getting best of both worlds, a Modern conservative. She is a beautiful, smart and loyal wife. We had our first child a year after marriage(it was intentional) just before I turned 24 (in hindsight Too early).

Fast forward 10-12 years, we have 5 lovely children and a comfortable life. We live in a joint family setup, where we have a cook, cleaner and driver available to her. During those years, there were 2 instances, where she "caught" me chatting to one of my exs from the West who was going thru a divorce and I was comforting her during that period. I was Not having an affair with her (emotional or otherwise), in all honesty I did enjoy talking to her but had no emotional attachment whatsoever. However I did not tell my wife, as I felt she wouldnt understand or approve. Finally I completely broke off all contact with my ex.

I am still attracted to and love my wife. We have a fairly active sex life (maybe twice a week), although 90% of the time it is I who has to initiate, she reciprocates. She looks after me well but I have always felt she has been a wonderful mother more than a great wife to me. Due to her education, she is a fair bit more conservative in her views and ways than I am. Even I am not some wild child, I dont and never have smoked or drank or partied. In general I am quite an introvert and really just open up very selectively at time and with certain people.

Ok so coming down to the issue at hand, I ended up chatting (only online) with a younger girl (more than 10 years) thru social media. I did not go looking, she had contacted me on facebook before and we were talking casually ( 2 days) and my wife found out. It was nothing and to prove that I got off Facebook completely. A couple of months later, while I was travelling, that girl got in touch with me thru another media, and I spoke to her during my trip. Again, it was very casual talk and I made sure there was absolutely no other insinuations from my end. So I came back from my trip and told my wife everything (in total it was for 4 days) and she freaked out.

After that, I have come to strongly realize that I have no mental connection with my wife except for our kids. We really dont talk much, I just feel I dont have anything in common with her. We dont like or enjoy the same things. I think because of her being busier with the kids, we have drifted and this distance has only increased. She, due to my repeated betrayals, feels insecure and doesnt trust me. We continue to go on normally, have fights on this issue sometimes, but otherwise continue to coexist in peace.

I am feeling quite alone and miserable. Other than seeing my kids, I feel no joy in my life. While I spoke to that girl, although just casual, I enjoyed it as I felt I had more to talk about with her. I feel there is this void in my life, where I dont have anyone I can talk my heart out to without being judged and measured. I feel I made this huge mistake of marrying someone just because she was the Most Appropriate Partner and not because we are Crazily compatible. I also feel guilty that I am making my wife suffer due to my mistakes. I have never told her that we dont have any connection because that would be pretty much a nail in the coffin.

There are times, when I consider it would be best to just get divorced, but then I cannot do this to my kids. I d rather live like this than put my happiness before theirs. I would really appreciate some advice on how to go on. I feel I m literally living on auto pilot with no pleasure or passion for the future.

Desperate Depressed

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 08:35 AM
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Re: at Crossroads after 14 years...

It's not uncommon for parents to focus on their kids and then realize they have neglected their personal relationship with each other. You need to date your wife. Make time to take her out without the children. Go places, do things, explore together. Find out what her interests are and learn about them. Teach her about your interests. Look for a hobby that you could do together weekly or even monthly. I am not familiar with where you live, assuming Europe or the Mid-East, but here there are small colleges that offer enrichment classes for a small fee. It's often suggested couples who have drifted apart take a cooking or language class together.

Follow the evidence where it leads and question everything.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 10:12 AM
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Re: at Crossroads after 14 years...

Now is the time to work on your marriage. Try to go on some dates and reconnect (without the kids). If you have family who can keep the kids for a few days, go on a vacation with just your wife.

Also, you need to strengthen your boundaries. You are coming dangerously close to cheating.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 10:42 AM
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Re: at Crossroads after 14 years...

IF you abandon your marriage just to seek greener grasses it will probably go bad for you and your family. You have a wife who loves you, you love, loves your kids and has sex with you fairly regularly. Why do you think you deserve more then that. You don't.

First your wife doesn't and shouldn't be your whole emotional life (that doesn't mean other women should fill the void), but you can do other activities, hobbies, male friends who can also provide you with some of the missing emotions in your life.

Second your relationship with your wife is not static, you can do things to bond and get closer. It takes you risking being vulnerable and initiating it. Talk to her, date her, court her. You have control of your closeness too.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 11:04 AM
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Re: at Crossroads after 14 years...

Marriage takes work and effort. When kids come into the picture, naturally the wife shifts her focus and attention on the kids. If purposeful steps aren't taken, your bond with your wife gets lost. It doesn't mean there is no connection or not compatible, you just need to stop neglecting each other and create that bond again.
If you spend time and energy with anyone, a bond will be formed. It is dangerous to be talking to other women. Period. You are your own worst enemy. Your pulling back from your wife emotionally, and talking to other women. It's not going to end well with you. Stop talking to other women. Put pictures of you and your wife on your social media. Don't engage in conversations with women.
Stop acting like you don't have a good life, and you wish you married someone else. People would do anything to have your life. Your lucky. Spend time with you wife. You actively need to put in the time. Get off social media and hang out with your family. Go on walks together. Appreciate the good things about your wife. Your feelings of disconnection could be from lack of time spent together, lack of a bond (which is built).
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
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Re: at Crossroads after 14 years...

Thank you all, I really appreciate your responses. They pretty much match with exactly what my Brain was telling me but unfortunately my Heart is still not fully convinced. I have been and will try even harder the things you said with the intent to patch up my marriage. I am not and have never been the kind of person, who is on the prowl or is out looking for "trouble" but the situation created was such that something I was starved of for many years, (a human connection and attention), I got a taste of that and it has left me in turmoil and wanting more. I have cut off all contact and have no contact with any females. I already have and will further revisit my boundaries to ensure they do not overstep for the sake of my marriage.

Truth is my wife and I are on 2 different tangents/mindsets, which I doubt we will ever be able to meet at, except for when it has to do with our children. I consider my marriage very sacred and despite how I feel, if my marriage ever ended it would be my personal failure and would leave me shattered. I just hope I can permanently escape this feeling of emptiness/loneliness and not being understood.
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