Does the good outweigh the bad? A confession

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-22-2011
Does the good outweigh the bad? A confession
28
Thu, 06-28-2012 - 3:57pm

I read a book recently that talked about what criteria give you the best chance for marital success.  My H and I meet most of them.  We have similar morals, religion, ethnicities, education levels, political views, economic status, and ages.  We share friends and a social network that is supportive of us.  Both my parents and his are still together.  Our children have no major health problems, we are both gainfully employed and make ends meet financially.  In other words, the odds are ever in our favor.   This made me feel really optimistic when I read it.  On the flipside, it made me feel like if my M doesn't succeed, I have absolutely no excuse.  I have no one to blame but myself.

Here's the problem.  I feel like I would fail myself by leaving, but that I am also failing myself by staying.  I am not at all physically attracted to my H.  And I am finally (after many years) coming to the realization that this is probably never going to change.  I care about him.  I love him deeply as a member of my family, as the father of my kids, as my friend, as my partner.  But I don't miss him when he's gone.  I don't enjoy being intimate with him.  I don't feel romantic love for him. 

He tells me often how in love with me he is and how that has never changed, how attracted to me he is, how much he wants to be with me.  Everytime, it just makes me feel more frustrated and more like $hit. 

On the other side, there are so many things that make me happy about being M to him.  I like spending time with him, I like doing things as a family and seeing how happy and secure it makes my kids.  I like how supportive he is of me, my work, my interests.  I like that we can make each other laugh, that we are building a family and a home and a life. 

So I choose that.  Which also means that I choose to live a lie in some ways every day.  I choose to pretend to be a little happier than I am about things that I know expressing my dissatisfaction wouldn't change.  I choose to leave a lot of things unsaid.  I accept that I may never have an orgasm again without battery operated assistance.

As someone on a steady diet of messages about being authentic and living my best life, this doesn't sit well with me.  However, I see it as the lesser of two evils... better than breaking up my family, causing major stress and instability in the lives of my H, my kids and myself, forcing our friends to choose sides and only seeing my kids half the time.  I see it as better than trying to rationalize leaving my family when my H has basically done nothing major wrong, we don't fight all the time and the only major issue is that i'm not feeling it and haven't in nearly a decade.  So, I stay. I'm not sure if that makes me sensible or crazy; strong or weak; noble or misguided. 

The one thing i do know is that there is no easy answer, and sometimes I do better at managing than others.  I know that life is much harder and more complicated than I ever thought it would be, and that I have let myself down in ways that I didn't think were possible twenty years ago. 

I know this is sort of a random post, but I mostly wrote it in case there is anyone else out there in a similar situation who feels alone.  Also, I just needed someone to know the truth.

Lu

 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-25-2008
Sun, 08-05-2012 - 8:04am
I would often feel like I could not settle for my 16yr marriage, that I couldn't forget how loved and special my xAP would make me feel, and the sexual intimacy I shared with him. But I knew that my kids deserved an intact family. We function well as a family. So I decided to stay till I had seen then all leave the nest.
I used to say to myself "It's not forever, just for right now."

And then another year out from the highs of the A and my marriage is better. Once I committed to staying, even if it was just for another 8 years, I started to appreciate and maximize the good parts of our relationship. It was the beginning of a positive spiral up. We scheduled date nights, I invested in some great B.O.B.s, and I began to appreciate the peace of an established relationship.

Now I can picture a future beyond the child rearing years . . Not a designer made dress that glitters with sequins . . more like a really comfortable sweater. And that's ok with me.

So have hope ladies!! Focus on one small positive thing each day and open another gate.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-26-2010
Sun, 08-05-2012 - 9:58am
Daisy and songs, great posts, thank you!
~Sunny~
Community Leader
Registered: 05-23-2003
Tue, 08-07-2012 - 6:35pm
In case I haven't mentioned it lately, you guys rock.

Smooches,

Kim

    

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-08-2011
Tue, 08-07-2012 - 9:04pm
Hi all,

I just wanted to say that I am so happy to have discovered something about the rebuilding process. We've had lots of conversation on the board about how hard it is to reconnect and feeling false and sad and all over the place. Yeah well, me too. But recently, sometimes just as a way to distract myself from thoughts of xAP, but also sometimes just to do it, I will reach over and touch DH, or scratch his head or SOMETHING a bit tender. And I am finding as the days go by that my inclinations to do that are reappearing! It's a bit like rediscovering a skill you used to have, right there in your fingertips, at will. And then I got thinking, well hey, DH at one time occupied the same star-spangled world as did xAP later on. I mean, he made my heart leap, I loved to be with him, all of that. So maybe it isn't going to be quite so brilliant, but still, the affection is there if you just give it a place to come out. My point is to work through those times where it feels forced, because it may lead to the real thing.
This I say, as Prince Charming DH is watching the Olympics wearing only his watch... I mean, how does THAT help the home team? I am trying not to judge...

XO Daisy
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-25-2008
Wed, 08-08-2012 - 11:08am
Daisy,
Just trying to picture this . . . Is he in bed nude watching the Olympics? Or sitting upright on the sofa in the family room?? Either way it makes me smile.

:-) Songs
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-08-2011
Wed, 08-08-2012 - 12:10pm
yeah well it would be the living room version...no TV in the bedroom. He really did look cute, sometimes it's just the watch, or just socks. The other morning he put on just the belt to his bathrobe because he couldn't find the robe itself (I had washed it). A little ADD!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-08-2011
Fri, 08-10-2012 - 3:52pm

Ananda=bliss - let's hold that thought.

Sorry you have tears and fears all at the same time, you are mourning more than just one thing. IME intimacy is tied to attraction, certainly, but also to trust, even if it's an A-fog trust. You trust that your partner is happy to be with you, "loves" you, won't be hurtful afterwards, that kind of trust. in that vein, what might worry you about being inimate with H? I also want to back up and ask if you are trying to reestablish your M, or just work together on raising your D? I wasn't clear if you meant intimacy wth him or with someone else. if with him, then look at what you are afraid of - possible physical or mental outcomes. Sometimes just making the list will help you identify if you are afraid of a possible future event, or are instead reacting to something in the past or in your thoughts.

Hugs to you, I hope in time you will feel like you can manage even more new steps towards your happiness. The first one out of the A was a biggie, but you made it.

 

Daisy

Community Leader
Registered: 05-23-2003
Sat, 08-11-2012 - 3:15pm
Fake it till you make it actually does work. :smileyhappy:

And it can be exactly like rediscovering a skill you used to have.

So many of us close ourselves off from our spouse while engaged in an affair. And then, we come out of the affair, and we think that we'll be able to just *snap* plug back in, and re-engage with our spouse, without missing a beat.

Nevermind all of the emotional turmoil that we're wading through, and the damage that we've done to ourselves, and trying to heal from all of that.

It all takes time, and it takes effort. And at the end of the day, whether the good does outweigh the bad is something that each of us has to work out for ourselves, and come to peace with.

As I've said...it's a process. Not a quick or an easy one. But it can be very much worth doing.

More hugs, all around. :smileyhappy:

And Daisy...I...um...naked Olympic watching...I don't even know how to respond to that.

Except maybe to suggest that next time...you could make it a tandem event?

:smileywink:

Kim

    

Community Leader
Registered: 05-23-2003
Sat, 08-11-2012 - 3:17pm
Hi yoga - and welcome to the board, if I haven't done that already. :smileyhappy:

So...let me ask you this. You say that you're afraid to try to reconnect.

What are you afraid of? What specifically, I mean?

Hugs,

Kim

    

Community Leader
Registered: 05-23-2003
Sat, 08-11-2012 - 3:20pm
So glad -

That is all such excellent advice. :smileyhappy: And I'm glad that you're finding things that work for you, and that things are improving. Yay for progress!

And I was really struck by what you said: "I made the decision to improve things with H and as a result things are improving."

I think that is the heart of it, really. First, you have to decide. And then, you see what comes next.

Hugs,

Kim

    

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