I just want to run away...

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2013
I just want to run away...
Wed, 07-03-2013 - 6:27am

I'm new here, new to talking about my relationships on a forum, and new to the pain.  So please be gentle, as I think I might break.

My DH and I have been together for 16 years, married for 14; he is a nice man - albeit selfish and thoughtless - but nothing you could really point to and say "That's a reason to end our marriage."  But for the past 5 years I have wanted to end the marriage; have always chickened out - I am self-employed so money is ALWAYS an issue for me, he works away from home so I am in effect a single mother for half the year, he moved us away from our home town and has spent the last seven years fixing up a rambling heap of a house...  For "us".

Anyway, before Christmas I went to deliver a card and bottle of wine to a friend of our neighbours; a really nice, quiet man who I've known for seven years and always thought was interesting in a clam-shell kinda way.  You know what I mean?  Didn't think anything of it, other than I was being Christmassy !  Well, he was obviously feeling down, and asked for a Christmas hug before I left - it really threw me, this was no ordinary hug and felt like he wasn't going to let me go.

So Christmas came and went, and I couldn't get this hug out of my mind; it was just so unlike him, and I called him in the New Year.  Ostensibly to wish him happy new year but the conversation got round (was lead?) to the hug.  Turns out he liked me.

More phone calls, more talking, you know where this is going right?

Right - it wasn't an easy relationship.  I was too emotionally fragile to give him what he wanted, and he kept testing me - pushing my buttons to see how I would react.  Badly, it turns out, and it ended a week ago.  It ended messily with a heap of unresolved feelings on my part - what he thinks is anybody's guess, but I'm betting it's not good.

DH, in the middle of all this has been to work, come back again, and is away again.  And I haven't had the nerve to tell him yet that I want out of the marraige.  I have found a new job with regular income, and a house; but it will take a few months to get eveything in place.  I know I'm a coward for not telling DH sooner, for not being able to discuss it with him - and yes, I do feel like I'm running away from it all.  But really, at the moment I can understand why some women walk out on their families.  I love our wee one so much, but am not able to give him the attention he normally gets from me; I'm too wrapped up in my own despair.

It's just so tempting to get in my car and drive.

Will it get easier?  I need someone to give me hope - I know all too well what a stupid, selfish fool I've been - but i think I need to know I'm not alone here.

Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Wed, 07-03-2013 - 6:51pm

Hi MrsSwan :)

Believe me you are not alone.  I'm sure many of us have felt like just running away from it all.  And that is exactly what most of us here did...ran away from it all towards and into an affair. Guess what? Everything they ran away from was still there when they came back to finally face it head on.  Not only was their reality still there, but many found their problems were compounded by their further neglect.

And, most of us can relate to the feeling that our problems became amplified once this idea of receiving attention from another took hold...it helped so we could somehow feel entitled to step outside our marriage.

And many end up scratching their head wondering how a simple hug, kiss or even 'look their way 'suddenly' had them thinking of throwing it all away.  Were they really *that* starved or *that* empty inside that even the simpliest of attention thrown their way made them want to give it all up? 

And you are not alone in your denial that your presentation of that bottle of wine to that quiet, interesting in a clam-shell-sort-of-way man was just being in the Christmassy moment.  C'mon...fess up.  You were consciously opening a door...even if just for a little peek in...testing, right?

No, you are not alone in any of your thinking or behavior...not here anyway.  We are all here after having had an affair.  We can relate.

Believe me when I tell you that an affair will complicate your life to the nth degree.  Why go down that route.

Have you considered individual counseling or marriage counseling?  It sure is a healthier way to regain your footing so you can be more sure a divorce is what you truly want.  Learning to communicate with your husband so he knows that a divorce is imminent in your mind...you know, give him a chance to be involved and maybe work things out together.  He can't help fix things, if he's not aware they exist...no one is a mindreader.

I don't think you are a coward.  Communicating is not easy for most of us and sometimes getting all our ducks in order gives us a cushion and affords us the knowledge that we can make a go of it on our own.  I just think you would feel better if you layed it all out on the table to your husband in the safety of a therapist's office and allowed her to guide you through your issues.  That way you can say you at least gave it the ol' college try and gave your husband the chance to do so as well.

Is that a consideration?


Community Leader...EAS

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2013
Thu, 07-04-2013 - 5:59pm

Thank you Clarity, it means a lot that there ARE people out there who know what this feels like.

I agree that an affair solves nothing - I'm living proof of that.  All my relationship with Mr Swan did was highlight where my relationship with DH was lacking.  For the past five years i wanted ou of th emarraige, but being with Mr Swan made me belive in love.  You know, loooooove.  Really, real loe.  Not just putting up with it because I dont have enough money to support me & the little one.


Let me be clear, I marraied DH because I couldn't think of a good enough reason to say "no."  He is educated, intelligent, in a good job, able to povide, handsome; a really good man.  But he is self-absorbed, thoughtless, and completely incapable of listening to me.  He needed a wife who could look after herself and the offspring - given his job involves time away of seven week at a time, he knew he needed an independant wife.  Well, he got one.


And truth be told, right from the beginning it was never a UNION.  We both worked away, we hardly saw each other at all our first year of marraige (I think it was two months, all told) we had separate bank accounts, my car, his car, I left my flat and moved into his house.  My name never went on the mortgage.

So, we decided to try for a family: I had to give up my job (couldn't be away months at a time with a baby!) got a job where his house was, no family round me, none of my firends round me; he went back to work when little one was two months old.  So, I have been a single mother, off and on, for nine years now.  The deal was that, once DH got back from work he had a week's grace, then HE was the single parent.  Well, that never happended.

And in all honesty, I knew DH was selfish and thoughtless - there is an explanation, and I knew what that was.  So I have been as complicit in the failure of this marraige because I didn' push him harder to NOT be selfish.  I tried, sort of, and I admit that I didn't try hard enough to tell him what he was doing to me.

He married an independat lady, who turned into an independant mother, and who now wants to be independant.  Period !

Mr Swan made me feel like I didn't have to do it all on my own.  He cooked for me, ran errands, picked up messages, he was THERE for me in a way that DH had never been.


And the bottle of wine was actually a long standing thing - 5 years ago we got flooded out of the house (while DH was at work natch!) so Mr Swan found us a rental house where me and  little one moved into.  Mr Swan was then our nieghbour, and did the sweetest things for little one - built him snowmen, painted him cows for the garden, took him rowing on the pond.  Things that DH has also never done.


DH does work hard, and he works hard on his house when he comes back; but it's to the detriment of his family.  He has no time for me (fair enough, I'm a bg girl) but it breaks my heart that he has no time for little one.  And when I raise the subject, I am told that DH is working so hard for "us."  Ppppffffftt.

Somy affair with Mr Swan was probably inevitable, but now it's over I can't come to terms with the loneliness.

And yes, DH is fully aware I am unhappy, that I want to separate, and that he is on borrowed time.  But he was fully aware of these things before Mr Swan upset my equilibrium.

Counseling?  To what end Clarity?  I have no heart left in this marraige, and counseling will not make me change my mind.  I have burnt my bridges with Mr Swan, and THAT is the relationship I am greiving for - I have done all my greiving for my marriage many years ago.

I just need to be brave...?


Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Fri, 07-05-2013 - 11:32am

Yes, I suppose bravery is needed here.  Bravery to dissolve a marriage and walk forward into the future of the unknown.  I just did it myself.  I left a 10-relationship and relocated from Massachusetts to Florida not knowing what the future may hold.  I only new that my present was unsatisfactory and going forward in that relationship in its current unsatisfactory state was not what I wanted.  So, I took a leap of faith.  I'm just settling into my new life.  Although it is a huge adjustment and I feel far away from my friends, and at times I do feel very alone, and it's going to take some work on my end to get out there and meet new people, it is still better than being stuck in a relationship in which I was not happy.  

So maybe it's too late for marriage counseling, but I still strongly suggest individual counselling.  I got together with my therapist and she helped guide me, allay any fears that could have paralyzed me and prevented me from moving forward...the support she gave was so valuable.  

I know you think you have accepted and grieved the end of your marriage, but I've heard it again and again...once those divorce papers are signed and the finality of it hits you...really hits you, there will be be more grieving.  The loss of your marriage, the loss of your xaffair partner, and all the change that will come about as a result of these losses, well...it's going to feel overwhelming, and really a therapist can help you grieve through it, set a future plan in motion for you and your children.

Mr. Swan gave you a better idea of what you want in a relation, and that is okay, but you have to tie up loose ends and dissolve a previous commitment and make a new life for you and your children.  It's going to take much of your focus and energy, and once you settle in, then forging a new relationship, now in a healthy manner because you did it the right way, can be a real possibility.



Community Leader...EAS

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 07-11-2013 - 7:54pm

You are not alone.  Embarassed

Some people have an exit affair.  The A that makes them realize that not only do they want to end the A, they are ready to end the M and be alone. 

It sounds like there is no reason to rush into anything or run off and inadvertantly shoot yourself in the foot.  I hope you are able to end things calmly with your DH. 

There is also a Surviving Separation and Divorce board.  The A may not be taken kindly over there though.  So just a heads up on that one. 

Hang in there, you really will be okay. 

Serenity CL Making a Second Marriage Work

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-14-2013
Sun, 07-14-2013 - 7:14pm

If you had an affair, you are a coward, cheater, and bad person.  The man you have been seeing is obviously not very bright - if you will cheat on your husband, you will eventually cheat on him.

Don't try to rationalize things.  You did a very bad, cruel, selfish, cowardly thing.  You need to own up to it and try to learn to be a better person.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2013
Mon, 07-15-2013 - 6:47am
Hello Serenity - thank you for your words. I hadn't thought of it as an exit A, and in all honesty I didn't want it to end. I mean, I didn't want to be in an A, but I don't want to be without Mr Swan. That's the bit that's really bothering me - and that's the bit that I've only got myself to blame for, and that I need to get over. Given I have seriously thought about ending my marriage for the past five years, I really don't think it's rushing into things that I leave soon. I have seen what my life could be like, and while I do want things to end calmly with DH I doubt that will happen any time soon. He is a proud man, and this is going to hurt him. A lot. I'm not proud of myself, but then I haven't been proud of myself for many years - living in a half-hearted marriage has turned me into someone I don't like. But thank you again for your kind words. I will keep taking it a day at a time, and keep trying to find my bravery. Mrs Swan x
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2013
Mon, 07-15-2013 - 6:50am
And to Carpocratian, you are right. I AM a bad person who did a cruel and selfish thing. But I actually don't need you, or anyone, to tell me that. I am reminded of the fact every time I look in the mirror, and am taking the steps (baby steps at the moment...) to try to resolve the issues. However, it is always good to have someone willing to put their view out there no matter, so thank you. Mrs Swan
Community Leader
Registered: 05-23-2003
Mon, 07-15-2013 - 2:43pm

Hi MrsSwan - and welcome to the board.

You're in the right place - and you seem as though you have your head on fairly straight, so that's a good first step.  :)

As far as your question of "why counseling" - even though you feel your marriage is over, and that you won't be changing your mind - there will still be issues to work through, emotionally I mean.  And counseling can be a tool, to help with all of the emotional fall-out that comes with a divorce.

A counselor won't try to "change your mind" about your marriage (at least, a good one won't).  What they will do is help you to navigate the path that you are on so that you can get to the end of it and be mentally and emotionally healthy.  It's a place where you would be able to talk things out, to clarify things in your mind, and to get some help with processing everything.

It will take time, and work to get through the ending of the marriage.  Since you have a child together - you will still have a relationship with your DH.  It will change from husband/wife to that of co-parents, but you will still need to deal with him on a regular basis - you know?

The affair is a whole separate ball of wax, really - and something that you will also need to deal with emotionally and mentally.  I know that right now - the two things are probably pretty jumbled up in your head, the affair, the ending of the marriage - but they are two different things, and you will need to deal with them that way.

You can get through all of this stuff, though.  I know that all of it seems really hard and scary and overwhelming - but I promise that you can get through all of it, and come out the other side whole, healthy and happy.




Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 07-18-2013 - 2:56pm

Good luck with everything.  Oh, and the other poster is simply in the wrong place.  Kim was saying our header is gone describing what this board is:  a support board for anyone who has been a participant an affair. 

If it happens again, just remind them this is a support board, not a debate boad.