Re: How long is long enough: need advice
We were both in unhappy marriages. We had an affair with one another and this ended our first marriages. We both realize that this was a horrible mistake (to not end our marriages before becoming intimate with one another). Please believe me when I say that we have both beaten ourselves up terribly over this.
You ask why I was unfaithful. Well, it is not simple. But I will try to explain: first, we had become very emotionally and physically distant. I was craving physical touch and sought it elsewhere. I never fell out of love with my wife. I absolutely did not want to become emotionally involved with someone else, so I paid "escorts" for the illusion of intimacy.The deeper reason goes back to emotional abandonment when I was very very young and I had never recognized that for what it was. (That is called a severe case of denial). So, I had the pattern of terrible distress when I felt abandoned as an adult and was desperate to get that physical touch. A repetition of an infantile pattern.
And finally, Gus, I had done the same thing with my first wife and yes, my current wife was fully aware. She feels foolish now for marrying me while knowing that. But truly, I just hadn't ever put all this together and understood my pattern. And, you may be wondering if I have looked at other reasons. For example, am I morally void. I truly don't think so. Nothing apart from this infidelity points to it. Am I an addict? Again, I have explored that and for many reasons, it doesn't fit at all. I have looked at all this very in depth in therapy.
And, to answer NotMyRealName4:
Yes, she is in therapy. No, she is off medications. She had been on them for over a decade and frankly, I don't see that they made any difference. In fact, after she had her more severe breakdown, she stopped her meds. She became terribly delusional at the time and of course had NO insight. Thankfully, this slowly cleared. Her depression seemed to clear up too, but I think that was just her putting on happy face and getting disinhibited by drinking.
Yes, I guess living on my own gives me more opportunity to be unfaithful again. But, that is actually not anything I want. I truly have understood why I was unfaithful and do not want that in my life. A bigger risk is just the fatigue I have (hence my original post) and just getting worn down, physically, emotionally, as a Dad and at my job. My life has been hellish. And actually, a part of me feels as if I deserve every bit of it. But another part of me recognizes that my mistakes were human, that I can now live a sincere life, and that actually both of us contributed to our marital problems. I have purposefully left out my wife's contributions to our problems. I see no point in putting any blame on her in this forum, but I know those issues need to be dealt with in our therapy. In reality, I am quite forgiving. I recognize her faults and forgive her and love her despite them (I just wish she could do the same).
And yes, she fully knows how much I care for her and the children and how much I want the return of my family. Sadly, she doesn't care. She is more focused on what she wants and needs. She is angry and not letting go of it. Like I said, maybe she shouldn't. My infidelity was a cruel thing. And yet, I need to move past it and forward. AND, I realize that for her, it is not that easy and it eats at her still. So, I continue to try and find the strength to keep on loving her, despite her ambivalence and relatively frequent hatred. I keep thinking that with more loving and acceptance she will eventually see that we can have not just our old marriage back, but a much better marriage. It is just so difficult and long and lonely and sad. Yet, she is making real progress with moving forward, but also goes backward pretty frequently too. And, her progress is very slow.
I know I need to get more of a life of my own, not be so available to her, have her see me as a strong and desirable man, rather than someone willing to be there when she wants, stay away when she wants, etc. It seems kind of gamey to be "hard to get" when in reality, all I want is my marriage back. And, yeah, I know I need to do it for me. And I do. Fact is that I have always been a homebody and that is just who I am.