12-17-2011, 06:12 PM
Join Date: Dec 2011
| | wants a second chance
My husband and I have been together for 20 years, were married 11 years ago, and have been separated for 5 years now. We have a 13-year old daughter.
We got married because we hoped it would save our relationship. Early on, I found him cold and neglectful, and he got very resentful because I lost interest in sex. We were very different in most everything, from how we liked to spend our free time to how we dealt with conflicts. He was one of the most unresponsive people I'd ever met. But we had both had very unhappy childhoods, we were both afraid to be alone, and although we don't live or sleep together any more, we've been afraid to move on and that's why we haven't divorced yet (at least that's what I think). I definitely was always afraid to face life without him in it somehow, and I know that this is unhealthy.
A few weeks ago he came over and told me that he wanted a divorce and that he had met someone serious. He asked me how I felt and I didn't know what to say, so I just said "if that's what you want." He asked again, "will you please tell me how you feel?" And I just couldn't because I really didn't know how I felt other than vaguely insecure. He then took our daughter out for lunch and forgot his jacket. I knew I shouldn't do it, but I went through his pockets and found his phone. What I read there absolutely floored me. It was a man I'd never known before... he wrote her passionate little notes and sent her poems, lovely sonnets and ballades. I tried looking up the poems on Google later and was floored again as I realised that he had written these beautiful, intricate things himself. All I could do was hate him for withholding this from me, for somehow finding me unworthy of his romantic side, for being dishonest about who he really was, but I didn't tell him because I was too ashamed of violating his privacy in this way.
Next time we met, he told me that he was sorry if I felt pressured, but that we needed to move on. He also said that he didn't blame me, but that my reluctance to tell him how I felt about the divorce was a good example of why it never worked out for us... that he never knew me, that I never shared what I was feeling inside or anything about my life. He finally told me about a very painful, traumatic event from my childhood that he had heard about from a friend of mine, and asked, "do you understand what it means to have to hear that from someone else? You never, ever opened up to me. So please don't try to place all the blame on me." And I started crying inside because I suddenly realised how I'd blown it. I had wanted a "husband" - a humorous companion, a supporter, a blues-chaser, someone clearly "significant" in my life but I hadn't wanted him as a best friend and confidant. I had wanted to hold him at arm's length.
I now want to start anew and make amends, to be his soul-mate and really fall in love with him this time, to learn how to communicate and make our family whole. But he is now in a relationship. Some of my friends say that I would still be within my rights if I try for him, because we're still legally married, but some say that it would be an ugly thing to do to the woman who did understand him and I should now accept it, live and learn. I know that he still has a certain amount of "comfort zone" with me and this is what I would be using, so I also feel icky about that because it's not healthy. But I don't think that I have any other chance.
Last edited by susan71; 12-17-2011 at 06:18 PM.