In love with another man

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
In love with another man
8
Fri, 05-30-2014 - 7:22am

I have been married to dh for 8 years, we have a son and a daughter. We do not fight much, but have not had sex since my daughter was conceived (she is almost 4) I think I love, him, I want to love him, I am not totally sure that he loves me, but we both absolutely love our children. I know that there is potential for our marriage to work, I am just not sure how to make it work. I am also pretty sure that if things carry on as they are, it will fall apart.

2 and a half years ago I met a group of people in an online rpg who I became friends with. My husband works evenings, plus I was pretty overwhelmed by my 2 young children, so it was great to hang out and game with them. I totally confess to playing games on my computer way too much and using it as an escape from my life. I play for maybe 5-6 hours a day (during dd's nap and after the children are in bed). I fully acknowlege that it would be better if I gamed less. In saying that, I very much value this group of people as friends, and having known each other for over 2 years, I care for them as much as friends who are not online.

1 and a half years ago, I started spending a lot of time gaming with one friend in particular Mr "X" who is also married. Thinking back, I have probably had feelings for him almost since then. I have never actually cheated, but I probably talk to him more than my husband, I think about him all the time, I change my schedule so that I can game with him. I do not know if he returns these feelings, but I know he thinks of me as a close friend, and there is definate light flirtation. I do not have any intention of cheating on my husband (though I do in my head all the time). It has got to the point now, where I get upset if he doesn't message me or want to do something with me in game and I find myself analysing stuff he says to me, I know it is ridiculous, but I cannot help it. I have not told him how I feel, and I do not intend to, but it would not suprise me if he figured it out.

I cannot carry on like this. I spend most of my time upset, I find my mind wandering to him when I am doing other things, I am devoting emotions and energies to this that should be spent on my family.

The obvious solution is to just cut off all contact with him, delete his number and emails and messages and unfriend him on all my games, but I cannot bring myself to do it, the thought of it just breaks my heart, plus I would have to stop interacting with my other online friends. It would really leave a big hole in my life. Also he would be hurt if I just suddenly did that, I could not do it with some kind of explanation, and while I think he might know how I feel, actually coming out and saying it crosses a line. Plus my husband also plays the game that we play and sometimes hangs out with us in chat, and would wonder if I suddenly stopped playing it, and ditched my friends.

The second solution is to just really dial back my playtime, and engage in other activities. I feel like this would be best, but not sure if it is enough. I would not need to explain anything to anyone, as it is perfectly reasonable to do more non computer based activities especially with summer coming up, plus I do have a lot of things on my to do list that would get done a whole lot faster. There are times that I know he is not online (while he is at work) that I could hang out with the other friends.  My concern about this is that it is not enough, I know I will probably check to see if he is online when I am on my computer if he is still on my friends lists, I will find myself really looking forward to the time I can spend with him. Is this really a half measure that will not work? Do I have the willpower to just game in moderation?

My ultimate aim is to have a happy marriage and be friends with him, I am just not sure how to achieve that, all I know is that things cannot stay as they are.

Any advice or input is appreciated

Broken Hearted

Families are like fudge - mostly sweet with a few nuts
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2002
Fri, 05-30-2014 - 9:22am

Well, I agree with you that you should cut down on your gaming time and get involved in more activities that have to do with reality.  You are basically living in a fantasy world, with this MrX, and the longer you do, the more detached you will become, from your hustand, your kids, etc.  This sounds to me like an addiction, and you are missing out on developing your true potential as a wife and mother, as well as any other endeavors you have been escaping from.  I would really recommend counseling for you two since your husband seems to be detached himself, and who knows, maybe he has also met someone online and is feeling the same as you?  Have you even talked to your husband about your gaming, your feelings, your unhappiness with how the relationship is?  It's great that you both love your children, but that is not enough to sustain a happy marriage.  I'm curious, did you and your husband meet online?

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

.  -Albert Einstein

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Fri, 05-30-2014 - 12:50pm

Maybe think of it this way.  Instead of thinking of what you should do less of, think of what you should do more of.  There are only so many hours in a day, so the more you fill with other things, the less time will even be available to go on-line.  

I understand the "half measures availed us nothing," so I get why you are concerned that you can't moderate.  But it is kind of like a food addiction, you still have to eat.  Chances are slim you can get away computer abstinence.  

Think of what you fell in love with to begin with in your DH. Maybe try starting there.  You may also want to start planning things with your DH, kids or friends, while you know Mr. will probably be on-line.  Make it a comitment that you can't back out of.  

Good luck and I hope you stick around and let us know how things go.

Serenity CL making a marriage work

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Fri, 05-30-2014 - 4:45pm

Or maybe you need to meet Mr. X!  He may be hdiing behind an online facade and in reality is an obese slob with rotten teeth and epic body odor.  Cool

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Sun, 06-01-2014 - 7:07am

Sorry it has been so long, I haven't had a chance to reply, I do not hide anything from my husband generally, but I think for now, this thread should remain a secret.

My husband and I did meet online, maybe that is an indication I spend too much time online, but I am pretty sure that with a bit of work we are right for each other. I do not think he has met anyone else

I am trying to make a commitment this week to stay totally offline during the days, Mr X works in the evening anyway so I should be able to avoid him this week. I am also going to delete the messaging and text conversations.

Yesterday evening when we were gaming with a couple of others he was talking about how it was his wife's birthday, and he also said that she was number one above everything else, while hearing him say that broke my heart a little, part of it was because my husband never says that about me, his dd is pretty much number one, and I can pretty much place my unhappiness starting around the time she was born, at the time I thought it was ppd. I am not jealous of my daughter, I just wish my DH would look at me like that.

I have had the chance to meet Mr X, and I actually backed out. I have seen pictures of him, he is not particularly good looking, my DH is more attractive, but I like him because of the conversations we have, and what a good person he is, ironically if he was the kind of person who would cheat on his wife and come after me, I would not like him at all.

Families are like fudge - mostly sweet with a few nuts
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013
Mon, 06-02-2014 - 9:54am

Emotional affairs happen when the marriage isn't emotionally fulfilling. Your focus needs to be re-establishing the emotional connection with your husband and the emotional affair with the other man will fade away. Why haven't you had sex in four years? Usual reasons are that one person has low libido, or one person has gained weight and feels unattractive or unresolved anger issues. Whatever the reason is for you two, that's the first thing that needs to be addressed and resolved. To change another person's behavior, you must change your own first. How do you get him to pay attention to you? Get a sitter. Wear something that looks spectacular on you. Plan a weekly date, whether it be day or night. Vary whether it's fun or flirty. Tell him you will plan the first week and he can choose the activity the second week. Go bowling, hiking, bicycling, to an amusement park. Plan a romantic picnic by the beach or a lake. Go to a couples store and pick out fun toys or massage oils. 

To get back into being intimate again, start with giving each other foot rubs and back rubs. Leave him a voicemail and tell him what's in store for him when he gets home from work. If he doesn't look at you differently after this and doesn't start to reciprocate positively, then he's dead inside. Make him feel appreciated and special by baking him his favorite cookies or meal. Leave him a sexy note on the mirror with lipstick. Be intimate at least once a week whether you feel like it or not. Communicate your needs. Tell him exactly what you want because he's not a mind reader. If you want him to bring you flowers twice a year, tell him. So what if he didn't think of it himself? Life is not a fairy tale. When he brings you flowers, gush over them. It's like training any animal. The human animal is no different. Praise will ensure that the person will repeat a praised action.

Hobbies are good, but your gaming time is over the top. Limit it to one hour a day. The rest of your day could be preparing your children for school by reading to them and playing with them. They will be grown and out of the house with the way time flies. They don't want memories of the back of your head sitting at a computer for half the day. Go to a gym that has on site child care. Take online classes to prepare you for a job when they enter school. Set up play dates with other moms with kids. With those other activities that you engage in, you'll also be a much more interesting person for your husband to talk to. The emotional affair is your wake up call to get your marriage back on track. Change your thoughts about the other man. Think of him as just any other gamer and stay off when he's on. If he happens to be on, no more flirting. Don't engage in behavior you wouldn't want your husband doing. That's crossing a boundary. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Fri, 06-13-2014 - 12:16am

Safire, your advice is amazing, now I just need to find a way to follow it, I have at least realized that my feelings for Mr X are a symptom, rather than a cause of our issues. I know now, that I do not love him, just have some kind of weird unhealthy obsession with him. I just wish I could stop thinking about him. The only time I can is when I am involved in activities, and it is pretty hard to be doing something 24/7. I am actually fine when the kids are home, because there is always something to do with them, the time I have trouble is when they are at school or in bed, and my husband is sleeping or at work. I do go to the gym already but that only takes a few hours out of the week. I found definately use more time to set myself up for a career, I know what I want to do, but getting started on that is a whole other issue.

I could probably use some local friends too, we recently moved and I have no one here, I also don't call my old friends enough. Would you other ladies tell your closest friends something like this? I have not said a word about any of this to anyone I know, I am scared to talk about it unless it is anonymous.

I just called my DH at work to tell him I love him, he told me he loved me too, and he sounded so sweet I started crying because I feel so bad at betraying him. Then I just told him, not everything, but I told him that I had just googled " falling back in love with your husband" and that I knew that I/we were doing everything wrong and that I wanted us to start doing it right. I really hope we can carve out time for us to do something fun together

Families are like fudge - mostly sweet with a few nuts
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Fri, 06-13-2014 - 12:43pm

So glad you are taking steps in the right direction!  Keep us posted...

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013
Sun, 06-15-2014 - 10:59pm

That's great that you're taking steps to get back to a loving place with your husband. Don't ever try to clear your conscience and tell him about the emotional affair. It will jade the way he looks at you afterwards and cause problems in the relationship. You didn't cheat and now it's a wake up call that you both have a lot of work to do, but it's fun work. I wouldn't bother talking to anyone about obsessing about another man. The more you talk about that man, the more you'll have him on your mind. Your spare time should be spent reading articles and books about getting back that loving feeling and acting on it. Join some meetups on meetups.com for women only, like the ones for mothers with young children, or book discussion groups, etc. Sounds like he responded positively to your phone call, so just think about how rewarding it will be when you try all those other fun, romantic, sexy things you have in store for him.

Stop feeling guilty. You're only human. My ex-husband and I both had something like emotional affairs at the exact same time several years before we divorced. It was never involving sexual thoughts for either of us, it was basically forming a strong friendship with a co-worker of the opposite sex. I was attracted to my co-worker's mind and we'd have really interesting conversations and exchanged e-mail addresses. His co-worker is someone who was happily married with a young child and I trusted my husband 100 percent. I just didn't want him having a best friend of the opposite sex. These emotional type strong friendships happened because he and I weren't fulfilled in our marriage. It happened gradually and nothing we thought about until it was too late. Our attempts at marital counseling for other reasons were unsuccessful. My point is that I don't see myself as a horrible person because of an emotional affair. I was human and was swept into something that I didn't understand until later. Forgive yourself and consider yourself lucky that you've realized what's going on and are taking steps to change for the better with your husband. Good luck and keep up with it. Books I have read and recommend are The Five Love Languages and the old standard Men are From Mars and Women are From Venus. By the way, I'm happily re-married and definitely put to good use the lessons learned from these books and do not repeat mistakes I made in the past.