i know i have never posted here before, but i thought maybe i could find some refuge here. i am sure that this story is not unique to me, and i guess i'm confused. i am not proud of what i've done, and have only ever told this story to one other.
i was a male teenager brought up when the internet was just starting. i quickly became addicted to porn, cybersex, taking dirty photos, and online relationships. i am not proud of this.
i met my future wife when i was in my 20s. we got married reasonably quickly. we were very much in love... but like any relationship there were issues, and i don't think these ever got addressed.
the addiction to porn and cybersex reared its ugly head every now and then.
when we got married, our sexual relations got very low. we talked about it a lot, but did not actively seek counselling or anything. i realise this was a mistake.
i took refuge online and started taking photos of myself posting them on online forums. i felt this burning desire for gratification, to impress other people.. to feel wanted. i did not feel 'wanted' in my relationship.
on that online forum i ended up meeting someone. i had always laughed at people who said serious relationships had occurred online.. but for some reason this blossomed into something that was amazing. there was a bond between us which neither of us had felt before, on so many levels. we became essentially soulmates, and shared everything with each other, including online sexuality.
after about 18 months this got more and more intense... it was hard for both of us, we both had issues in our own lives and relationship, and the refuge that we gave each other comforted us. we fell in love with each other. i convinced myself at the time that it didnt detract from the love i had for my wife, but i was probably naive.
it was at that time that i found a way to visit her as part of a work trip. my head was a mess.. i loved my wife, and she was a part of every element of my life.. but at the same time i had this emotional bond with this other woman. en route to the journey i confessed all to a friend of mine.. the only one i have ever told this story to.
my friend (female) had been through a similarish story with her partner. she convinced me that i should not see this woman.. that i loved my wife, and that i would risk any trust if she knew i saw her.. even if nothing happened.
so i told the woman i could not see her. she got very mad and angry. after a week or so, i felt guilty. i was travelling far from home and was close to where she was. she truly felt like my soul mate, and we had shared so much. i figured if the roles were reversed i would never forgive her if she didnt see me. so i ended up seeing each other.
we met, and spent time together. we did not make love.. i couldn't do that to my wife, and it made things complicated. it was incredibly intimate though. at the end, we agreed we would try and just be friends (before i left).
since then it has gotten very emotional again, to the point where we have discussed living together. i feel that i can't live with her, and i can't live without her. i understand where she is coming from... she loves me, and we can't just be friends. but i can't lose her.. and at my back i hear this voice that my life would be empty without her. she wants to be with me, and make steps to do that, of course including breaking up with my wife, or at least sorting out where i stand with my wife.
meanwhile, things with my wife go up and down. she is a good person, and i love her, but we have issues as any relationship does. things are not 'bad' between us, but they are not good... i mean, how could they be good when i am doing what i am doing..
i don't want to lose the woman, but my whole life is tangled up with my wife. my wife loves me deeply, and i love her.. i know that 'the grass is always greener on the other side', and i know i naive, and many things i have done is stupid... but it is true that the bond that i share with the woman is not as passionate or thrilling or emotional as the bond i share with my wife. but what two relationships are the same.
i don't know what to do. i know i need to get some counselling.. probably both individually and as a couple. i am so worried that whichever decision i make is going to negatively affect the rest of my life.. and because of this i have been inactive of making a decision.... scared of making the plunge and saying "ok, i am going to try and make things better with my wife" and losing what is perhaps my soulmate and closest friend; or saying "OK, i am going to risk my whole life and jump overboard and start a new life somewhere else". instead i am just hurting everyone including myself.
i guess i'm not looking for advice.. i guess it's all obvious: i need professional help... i don't know.. just sharing my story is somewhat of a relief.
anyway, that is my story, and somewhat of an introduction... i don't mean to be too forward,.. thanks... i wish i knew about this forum years ago... any comments/hellos/opinions much much welcome.