Confused and Feeling Guilty
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Old 10-30-2009, 04:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Confused and Feeling Guilty

I'm looking for some input or advice or validation or maybe all of the above ...

I've been married almost 30 years. We have two wonderful children (22 and 18 years old) who are both away at college and doing extremely well. I have a wonderful relationship with both my children and they mean the world to me. My marriage, however, has been upside down and tumultuous for at least the last 8 years. The passion and love left long before that but I resiled myself to an unhappy life for the sake of my children. My wife is an alcoholic who sought treatment last year but has had many relapses this year only making things more difficult in our home. I'd like to blame the alcoholism for the state of our marriage, but I truly believe that we'd be at the stage now with or without her addiction. I've tried to get her to counseling or therapy (couples and individual) or treatment, but she refuses. Now that both my children are out of the house, it feels more than ever like my wife and I are simply roommates leading separate lives. I have only stayed this long because of our children.

Almost one year ago I met a wonderful woman. She lives about two hours by car from me and we see each other at least once a week. We've carried on a PA for almost 8 months. I want to be with only this woman. She is strong, independent, kind, loving, caring, passionate, beautiful, intelligent, funny and I love her more than I have ever loved my wife or any other woman. I want to be with this woman and I feel guilty when I am away from her.

There is only one thing holding me back: the fear that I will hurt my children. I feel no guilt towards my wife (to be honest, I'm not sure she'd even notice if I was gone) but I do feel guilt about hurting and losing my children. I also feel guilty about not being able to devote my full attention and time to the woman I love. She has not asked for anything other than my time and it hurts me that I am not with her every minute of every day.

So, this is where I am now. I have decided to leave my wife (I have not told anyone this, not even my lover), but I cannot seem to pull the trigger. I have just started therapy but wonder if anyone out there has been in a similar situation and can offer me an advice. How have your children reacted? How has this affected your relationship with your children? I feel very confused about how to make this work so that the hurt to my children (and my wife) is minimized and I feel very guilty about the affect this will have on my children and that I cannot seem to pull the trigger and leave.
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Old 10-30-2009, 05:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused and Feeling Guilty

well buddy I have blew it I lost both of them...because I could not pull the trigger like you said....your kids will get over it...they want you to be strong and make your mind...I have been there and blew it....be fair to yourself in the 2 women in your life...if you are happy your kids will see it. take care buddy...and wish you the best....
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Old 10-30-2009, 05:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused and Feeling Guilty

They are 18 and 22. Time to learn to love yourself. Alcoholism is a terrible disease and it sounds like you tried your best.

Pull the trigger and your children, if you raised them right, will be happy for you.

good luck.
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused and Feeling Guilty

I'm in the same boat - married 23+ years with 2 kids, S20 & D16. My marriage is a sham and always has been. Wife has told me she hasn't felt close to me since we first started dating. That might explain why we haven't had sex in over 6 years and only 15-20 times in 23+ years.

I sooooo want to move on with my life (I'm 50) but remain in a complete unhappy mess due to my kids. I'm encouraged by the replies to the original post.

I wish you the best. Please keep us updated on what happens. I might be following your path to happiness.
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused and Feeling Guilty

If you are leaving your wife to be with this other woman, I'd suggest that you are doing it for the wrong reasons. One doesn't equal the other. If you want to leave, then leave. Your kids will understand. But making leaving contingent on a soft landing, is a cowardly way to act.

Cheating is cruel, no matter what the circumstances. The right thing to do is end it with the OW, get out of the marriage, and then figure out your next steps.

Oh, and "she won't even notice" if you leave is a massive lie to yourself. Ending a long marriage is going to be a hell of a lot more emotional then you think. Your senses (and judgment) are totally clouded by this other woman.

Divorcing your wife is the least of your concerns regarding your children. The way they'd view you being in an affair is the much more pressing issue.
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused and Feeling Guilty

Quote:
Originally Posted by ConfusedandGuilty View Post
I feel very confused about how to make this work so that the hurt to my children (and my wife) is minimized and I feel very guilty about the affect this will have on my children and that I cannot seem to pull the trigger and leave.
How exactly do you think it will affect the children? Can you go into detail?
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Old 11-01-2009, 08:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused and Feeling Guilty

100 percent disagree with this. His wife has chosen alcohol over their marriage again and again. This is a type of infidelity - she has broken her vows. He has found someone else. Good for him. Certain things are simply grounds for divorce - the fact he has a soft landing - well maybe if his wife had focused on being a wife instead of a drunk, she wouldn't be in this situation.

My experience with alcoholics - is they will always choose a bottle over their family.








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Originally Posted by seeking sanity View Post
If you are leaving your wife to be with this other woman, I'd suggest that you are doing it for the wrong reasons. One doesn't equal the other. If you want to leave, then leave. Your kids will understand. But making leaving contingent on a soft landing, is a cowardly way to act.

Cheating is cruel, no matter what the circumstances. The right thing to do is end it with the OW, get out of the marriage, and then figure out your next steps.

Oh, and "she won't even notice" if you leave is a massive lie to yourself. Ending a long marriage is going to be a hell of a lot more emotional then you think. Your senses (and judgment) are totally clouded by this other woman.

Divorcing your wife is the least of your concerns regarding your children. The way they'd view you being in an affair is the much more pressing issue.
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Old 11-01-2009, 08:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused and Feeling Guilty

the kids know what their mother is like. won't they be happy for you?



Quote:
Originally Posted by ConfusedandGuilty View Post
I'm looking for some input or advice or validation or maybe all of the above ...

I've been married almost 30 years. We have two wonderful children (22 and 18 years old) who are both away at college and doing extremely well. I have a wonderful relationship with both my children and they mean the world to me. My marriage, however, has been upside down and tumultuous for at least the last 8 years. The passion and love left long before that but I resiled myself to an unhappy life for the sake of my children. My wife is an alcoholic who sought treatment last year but has had many relapses this year only making things more difficult in our home. I'd like to blame the alcoholism for the state of our marriage, but I truly believe that we'd be at the stage now with or without her addiction. I've tried to get her to counseling or therapy (couples and individual) or treatment, but she refuses. Now that both my children are out of the house, it feels more than ever like my wife and I are simply roommates leading separate lives. I have only stayed this long because of our children.

Almost one year ago I met a wonderful woman. She lives about two hours by car from me and we see each other at least once a week. We've carried on a PA for almost 8 months. I want to be with only this woman. She is strong, independent, kind, loving, caring, passionate, beautiful, intelligent, funny and I love her more than I have ever loved my wife or any other woman. I want to be with this woman and I feel guilty when I am away from her.

There is only one thing holding me back: the fear that I will hurt my children. I feel no guilt towards my wife (to be honest, I'm not sure she'd even notice if I was gone) but I do feel guilt about hurting and losing my children. I also feel guilty about not being able to devote my full attention and time to the woman I love. She has not asked for anything other than my time and it hurts me that I am not with her every minute of every day.

So, this is where I am now. I have decided to leave my wife (I have not told anyone this, not even my lover), but I cannot seem to pull the trigger. I have just started therapy but wonder if anyone out there has been in a similar situation and can offer me an advice. How have your children reacted? How has this affected your relationship with your children? I feel very confused about how to make this work so that the hurt to my children (and my wife) is minimized and I feel very guilty about the affect this will have on my children and that I cannot seem to pull the trigger and leave.
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused and Feeling Guilty

MEM - He said:

Quote:
I'd like to blame the alcoholism for the state of our marriage, but I truly believe that we'd be at the stage now with or without her addiction.
The booze is an issue, but his kids are not going to jump for joy that he found a new woman. AND the affair has been going on for 8 month. He's not some victim here, he's a cheater. All cheaters rationalize their decision to cheat based on the spouse.

Or, F**k it - take the soft landing. Choose what makes you happy. Just don't be surprised when the whole thing goes to hell - your lover gets bored, and your kids don't respect you. After all your lover chose to be with a married man which wouldn't be my first choice for a life partner.
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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PS: Usually when I read about someone hanging on to a bad marriage "for the kids" it ends up being some rationalization for the affair they are having. As if, by toughing it out, he was noble which makes the active affair more understandable. It's the same rewriting of marital history all cheaters employ to be able to sleep at night.
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confused and Feeling Guilty

To be fair I have no direct experience with cheating. My parents were faithful to each other - to my knowledge. My wife and I are faithful to each other.

Maybe I am missing something - I have read so many stories here about people being treated so badly - maybe it is just their side of the story and they are lying - but if I were treated that badly - not sure I would have stayed married/and or faithful.

And I do believe some partners pretend to be good until you are married/with kids and then they treat you like dirt. And when that happens I tend to be sympathetic to the person who got tricked.





Quote:
Originally Posted by seeking sanity View Post
PS: Usually when I read about someone hanging on to a bad marriage "for the kids" it ends up being some rationalization for the affair they are having. As if, by toughing it out, he was noble which makes the active affair more understandable. It's the same rewriting of marital history all cheaters employ to be able to sleep at night.
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Old 11-01-2009, 11:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
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MEM - I want to be clear too, that if she's a drunk and it's untenable for him, then by all means leave the marriage. But one wrong doesn't justify another wrong. And really, he's asked for marriage counselling while he's involved with another woman. What kind of honesty is he really going to bring to the table.

Confused and Guilty - you need to get honest with yourself. This new woman isn't some saviour, you're just experiencing limerance. It passes. And the high you feel right now isn't much different than any other addiction. You're high on the feeling this woman gives you, probably partly because it's not a real relationship. It's a fantasy, made all the more sweeter by the forbidden nature of it.

It never ceases to amaze me how willing people are to dishonor themselves.
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Old 11-02-2009, 02:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I appreciate the comments.

To "Seeking Sanity", I tried to get my wife into counseling continuously over a period of at least 5 years before I met the other woman. And I have been the only parent that my children have had for at least the last 10 years. My wife comes into and out of their lives depending on what she needs from them (for example, when my oldest hit legal drinking age, she became his best friend and tried to convince him to buy her alcohol; or when she drank a large bottle of vanilla extract that she convinced my daughter to buy for cookies they were baking while I was out of town on business, and then blamed my daughter for helping her fall off the wagon). Every situation is different and fact specific and I really don't think it's fair to judge until you've walked a mile. I know what I've done isn't ideal or a great example for my kids -- I should have been a man left my wife 5 years ago. What held me back was my children because my wife has a great capacity for endearing sympathy from others and making herself out to be a martyr. I did not want them to be swayed by her "victim" act at such an early age. I'm looking for objective advice here, not to be judged.

Some developments. I told my wife over the weekend that I want a divorce. Her response was "as long as I get half of your sh*t, I don't care." I broke the news (about the divorce and my friend) to my kids yesterday and after initial silence, they both asked why I didn't do it sooner. So there you have it. It was all much easier than I could have ever imagined and I am now looking forward to moving on with my life.
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:57 PM   #14 (permalink)
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"What held me back was my children because my wife has a great capacity for endearing sympathy from others and making herself out to be a martyr. I did not want them to be swayed by her "victim" act at such an early age."

Wow, I could have written that! Exact same situation.

Good luck C&G. I envy you and admire your courage. Please keep us updated.
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Old 11-02-2009, 05:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Hey, if you need to get out, get out. Good that you took the step of asking for a divorce. However, I am being objective. But it sounds like she doesn't give a damn anyway, so I guess, in that way, your not hurting her. Good luck.
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