I have loved and been in love with my husband since I was a teenager. We have been married for 28 years, have a lovely home and grown children and until very recently he was the only person for me.
Now I have read other threads about women who fall in love with another man and see how they are told to do their part, but fact is, I did, but I was the only one who did. I communicate very well and have always made my needs and wants quite clear to my husband, but he claims he cannot multitask and so I end up feeling like I am this object that he gets out when he wants to play and then I just have to go back wherever the hell he puts me until next time. Inbetween the hot sex weekend, or whatever, he does not touch me, kiss me, talk to me. I'm fact it is as if I do not exist, until he wants sex or we go on holiday.
The sex is interesting, but he shares his fantasies with me and we try and play in ways exciting to him, however my need for play and love making in this area are not met. I also always have to innitiate sex. He never does. I have a high sex drive, so he doesn't bother with even trying to seduce me.
I have always been his best friend, confidante, no 1 supporter, but I have spent most of my life taking care of myself, being there for myself, going through tough times by myself. It is not as if I do not communicate my needs clearly. When our second child died in utero I explained to him the loss I felt, the need I had for him to hold me, but he asked his mum about it and she told him to ignore me because I was just looking for attention, so he did. I had severe depression and became suicidal, but all he did was complain that I had no sex drive and that I didn't care about myself or the house anymore. Years later he would tell people he should've taken our son and left me because I was a horrible mother, when I can not even really remember those dark days anymore. I know I must have clothed and fed our son, but I can honestly not remember. I do remember crying for 5 days solidly before trying to kill myself and he never once asked me why or whether I was ok. He is quite content for me to go my own way and do my own thing, as long as I am available when he needs me and don't expect anything from him. Then I am hard work.
At one stage his brother suggested he beat me to "fix" me, so he tried, but he is not a violent kind of person and he became disgusted with his own behaviour, but blamed me for "making" him do it.
He also had an emotional affair with my best friend. I never asked the details, I was by then so convinced everything was my fault that all I could think of was how to change myself to make up for whatever drove him away from me.
We have been in marriage counseling 4 times. Each time he walks out the moment there is the remotest suggestion that he might have to change some of his ways to be there for me too. He tells me we go there to "fix" me.
I became very angry about all this, and was for a while a very angry person, but I have since dealt with it and I am at peace with myself now. This is off course another thing he holds against me now, because anger is unacceptable as an emotion. He gets angry though, I am not allowed to.
So then I met this guy and he made me feel great. I did not have a physical affair with him, but it went from being friends to a point where I realised I was falling in love. When I realised the relationship had gone from being friends to this other state I told my husband that I felt our relationship needed some work and that I wanted him to fall in love with me again, but he told me that crap is only for when you are dating. I then started seducing my own husband, trying to get him to fall in love with me again, but although the sex was regular, nothing else changed. I finally told him about this guy and how he made me feel and how I used to feel like that about him (my husband), but that I can't keep doing all of the work in the relationship anymore, but he still didn't listen to what I was asking from him.
Instead of focusing on us he decided he had to "cure" me of this need for being in love and told me to stop listening to music, reading and writing poetry (which I have always done), and he took every means I had of communicating with this guy away. Now I understand the last part, but the rest?! How does he win me by insisting I remove my need for romance out of my life?!
And don't think it isn't as if he doesn't enjoy romance, he just can't be bothered doing the work. If I seduce him, do the whole romantic thing, he loves it, but I have to do every damn thing, including bringing myself to orgasm at the end of the night!!!!!
I have suggested to him that he should buy a few books and study the issue of us and my needs with the same fervour he gives to other things in which he is interested, but he paid no attention to me.
I feel as if this other guy, who is a lot like me, has shown me who I am. That it's ok to be me. My husband fell in love with me this way, then wanted to change everything about me, and I have been an alien to myself for years. But this other guy, he celebrates everything about me. He likes me just the way I am.
Now this is not the first guy to have ever fallen for me. My husband loves the fact that so many men find me attractive and desirable, he feels flattered, but he has always been content in the knowledge that I was his, his loyal dog who would follow him everywhere and do anything to keep him with me. I have changed now, we cannot go back to that as I refuse to be with someone who makes me feel like an object. Those qualities he fell in love with, those same qualities other men admire in me, those qualities are the same ones I am not allowed to have unless he wants me to have them, when he wants me to have them. Be intelligent, unless you disagree with me, be passionate, but only when I want it, be sexy, but only at my whim. I am not a thing that can be put in a box and taken out at his whim, and I am out of the box now and never going back in.
So now I am ready to leave. I do not plan on running after this other guy and recently (after hubby gave my phone back so I can do it) told both of them this in no uncertain terms. I know there are chemicals involved in my interaction with the other guy, so I don't trust my emotions on this one, but I also know I can no longer continue in a relationship with someone I love but who doesn't actually see or hear me. Doesn't realise that I can't switch who I am on and off at his whim.
Problem is now hubby has decided to get his act together. I want to be fair to him and give him another chance, but I also ask myself why should I? I have a million reasons why I still love him and I find him attractive and hot too, and we have a good life together if I want a housemate only with benefits, and we have our lovely children, who will be very upset if I leave, but inside my heart I don't feel that loving feeling for him anymore. In part this is because the other guy and the acceptance from him still occupies my mind a lot, however I know in time that will pass, but the biggest part of me is asking the question, how long before we go back to the way it was before? If he wouldn't consider change even when I begged him, why should I trust his sudden change now? I am too old to spend another 26 years with someone who makes me hate myself.
So I put this issue out there to you who are not as emotionally involved as I am; what would you advise I do? I am really confused.
PS: Please don't tell me to forgve him for everything he did and start anew because that is not an issue. I mentioned issues only as examples of how our life together has been. He, however, does not forget nor forgive.
Wow... That's a lot of information to digest... What culture are you? I'm just curious.
Many people may disagree with me but I think you should get out. I like for people to stay married but you need to be happy and depression free. Your children are grown. The deciding factor for me is the physical abuse that your husband put you through. That was just crazy! You're having a nervous breakdown and he beat you to "fix you"?! What??!!! You are also being belittled and enduring emotional abuse. This is not normal Lady! I doubt he still loves you or he wouldn't have an EA with your BEST FRIEND. Sounds like it's just more convenient for him to keep you around. Who wants to go through a divorce when you can just cheat? Sounds like you have found yourself and you realize that you are capable of being happy. What's wrong with that?
I definitely wouldn't go chasing after this other guy. He's just your way out. He just gave you the strength to get your self-esteem back. He is a rebound, but I think your marriage is over. I just hope your husband doesn't try to hurt you if you decide to file for divorce. Be prepared to have a HUGE fight on your hands.
Wow, thank you for that advice. My husband is Dutch but I am French. He seems to be really trying, but I am so skeptical, do you think people can change?
Yes and no. You have put up with your H for a long time. There is a lot of undoing on your own physch.. the treatment that you have endured is so painful to read.
It sounds like you are such a strong, intelligent woman and I think the question would be IF your H has sincerely changed, is the past behavior something you can truly forgive? There will be hiccups along the way if you choose to stay.. some of those hiccups will trigger hurt from the past. It's a long road to travel, and I think the longer you endured the pain, the longer the recovery.
I don't like divorce, but you have just gone through so much..
He beat you because his brother suggested it? Then he blamed you for making him do it. I would say his brother made him do it. Big huge line crossing right there. Also not talking about the baby you lost is just plain insensitive. Of course you needed attention you were grieving. I am sorry for your loss. Even if there was not another man involved I would have left along time ago. He needs some serious "fixing" .
I do think that people can change but usually it's because they want to change, not because someone else wants them to. I agree with the others here in that your husband is an abuser and an emotionally cold person. Is this someone that you truly want to spend the rest of your life with or is it because of the past years and that you have children together? CanadianGuy is right - your husband needs some serious fixing but he has to want to do it. If he has walked out on all of the other couseling sessions, it's hard to believe that he would be open to doing the hard work that it will take to be fixed.
My heart is with you. I've known cold, abusive men in my life and it is so painful and difficult to try and understand and love them. I wish you the best in whatever you do.
Wow, thank you for that advice. My husband is Dutch but I am French. He seems to be really trying, but I am so skeptical, do you think people can change?
You're dutch? Small world. I was born in Rotterdam.
Sandee I do think that people can change. It usually takes some sort of cross-road or ultimatum like an impending divorce.
The question you have to ask yourself is this: Let's say your husband does change and things become tolerable, are you going to be able to fall back in love with him? There is a good chance that even if he changes and becomes everything you want him to overnight, that you will hold such resentment and anger towards him for everything he put you through; and I say this from personal experience. It's like that saying too little too late.
Those are some of the questions that only you can answer
So I put this issue out there to you who are not as emotionally involved as I am; what would you advise I do?
You set the stage completely. You tell your husband that you will see if he really has changed and that you are going to set the standards to test his words. In other words your husband is going to have to PROVE it with ACTIONS for a long period of time. If he will not agree to this then he is really not ready to change IMO
I also would include a competent therapist that shows by his actions that he is helping you and your husband go forth in a positive way.
If your husband is sincere and is willing to rebuild then you get some help so that you will be able to stick with your plan. The therapist can help you with setting the plan.
You also need to make a commitment to change if need be. You must trust your therapist to guide you so it is very important that you get a therapist that is very experienced and good in the areas that you and your husband need help with.
[COLOR="green"]Your chances of making your marriage work with just you and your husband is very unlikely. Just look at the last 28 years. A third party is a must![/COLOR]
Thank you so much everyone! Your help and advise is appreciated more than you can ever imagine.*
Please be patient with me as I hear and agree with what you are all saying, but there is inside me the need to be able to say that I gave it at least one more chance, maybe to succeed, maybe to fail, but either way, to enable me to live with myself and my choices.*
To those who asked whether I could forgive him, and to those who suggested I get therapy for myself; I have been getting therapy for myself re this and I have forgiven him for what happened. I have not forgotten what has happened though, and only mentioned it by way of examples of the pattern of emotional neglect that has prevailed throughout our marriage. I have been in individual therapy for almost a year now because I was so very, very angry at him that it was affecting my health and other relationships. I didn't forgive him because he apologized, but rather because I decided not to allow my anger at him to destroy my health and my relationships with my children who were stuck with an angry and depressed mother. I am also on anti-depressants to help me cope.
The week since I decided to try to save my marriage and get my husband to go to therapy with me has been pure hell. He is constantly telling me I am only looking for excuses to leave and that I am the kind of person who just doesn't want to be happy. I thought about it and almost believed it, because I have been unhappy for so long, but then I realised I have been unhappy for real reasons, not just because I like being unhappy! I want to be happy so much that I am willing to walk away from 25 years to get away from unhappiness. To take that huge step, that is so contrary to everything I always thought I believed in, just to be happy.*
This week I was told not to listen to music and he took my phone to work with him. The other guy texted me one day out of the blue because he "felt" that I was struggling emotionally and my husband read the messages and became so angry that I was afraid to go home. At home he read me the messages, which were only encouragements in my attempt to make my marriage work and a reminder that I am a strong and amazing woman. I could understand why my husband was so angry about the messages, but even if my life was at stake I could not prevent my reaction to those words. Apparently I had this happy, dreamy smile and my whole face lit up. My husband is furious because he says I never smile at him that way, I told him he hasn't made me feel accepted and loved in years. But how I felt when I heard those words was loved, accepted. Whole.*
Anyway...On Friday he decided to organise this huge romantic holiday in the pacific to "fix" our problems. I told him 3 times that I did not want to go on holiday, but he just kept on organizing it. So finally I said if he could spend that amount of money on a holiday then we could afford couples counseling because I think he needs an interpreter to tell him what I am saying, since he seems unable to understand even the simplest sentence that I construct. It's like I'm speaking Greek and he is Swahili! So he threw his toys out of the cot because I don't appreciate anything he does and I'm just looking for an excuse to leave and he basically told me to F-off then. Monday night I spent awake on the couch crying because I realised my marriage is over. If he will not even consider the fact that he needs to change for me too, then I cannot stay. I contacted a friend and asked whether I could go stay with her. She said ok, but then rung my husband and gave him a dressing down about his behaviour. So he tried to ring me and texted me and tried to Skype me, but I didn't want to talk to him. Finally the friend rung me back and said that she believes he does love me and I should hear what he has to say. I answered his next call and he told me he would go to therapy and do whatever it takes to be with me. So I stayed. On Tuesday he bought me a gift, and this morning he started talking about the romantic trip again. I asked him about the couples therapy and he says he bought a book online (that I have been asking him to get and read for ages), and will read it first before "deciding" whether he needs therapy. When I told him we all have to change and grow he jokingly called me a hippie. Then he sent me a lovely text about how amazing I am and today he was texting me and calling me and telling me how he always has time for me. Yeah right*
I am so damn confused! But I have decided I will give him until the end of the year to see what he does. I need to have a definite timeline in my own mind and decided that should be ample time for him to prove he wants this too. I sent him links to several couples counseling groups with good reputations so he has no excuse. If he cannot manage to organise something in the next four months then I will initiate divorce proceedings and end it. No more chances after that. I can live with that, knowing I did try my best to the end. It's important to me to know I tried. I am sure he loves me in his own way and will be devastated if I leave, but I need more than that in my life. I just don't know how to behave now. Do I act as if everything is back to normal? Move his stuff out of the room (my aunt suggested this) to remind him that we have unfinished business, or be honest in my interactions with him, letting him know I am still not happy? *I am not going to ask him again, nor remind him about the counseling, that ball is in his court now, but what do I do in the meantime? How do I behave towards him? I have been seducing him, trying to remind him who he fell in love with, but I am so confused about that now. Do I keep giving it my all until the end, or just sit back and let him do whatever he wants or nothing, as is most likely?