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I don't think that pretending to be happy when you're not is the answer and I also don't think that having an affair is the answer. I do think you should go to counseling to help you figure out what to do--either to stay in the marriage or get divorced. I also think you need to figure out how to regain your own identity if you decide to stay in the marriage. Right now it seems like your DH likes the convenience of having a wife/mother around the house but he's certainly not supporting you or treating you like a partner. So it would be inconvenient for him sometimes if you worked--so what? Don't you also have the right to pursue what you want to do like he is? If you want to get a job, you should be able to do that--maybe you could try something out while your kids are at school for now. And if he can't be bothered to go out with you, then maybe you should start going out alone or with girlfriends doing things that you want to do--he needs to be shocked into seeing that he can't take advantage of you any more. And you need to speak up clearly that it's about time for him to stop saying hurtful things to you and then saying that he's kidding. It's obvious that you are drawn to AP because your DH is not treating you well at home, so a decent guy who finds you attractive and is nice to you is very appealing. That doesn't necessarily translate to "this is the guy for you" but I don't think that just being stuck in the unhappy marriage is the answer.
I don't think your only options are stay unhappily married, or leave your H to be with your AP. A third option is to separate from your H and spend time without a man to find yourself and discover what YOU want and need. Then you could better decide if you want to try to work things out with your H (who obviously would need to make some changes) or if its too late to fix the marriage. But AP should not be the deciding factor. You would need to go strictly NC with AP.
The value of a counselor is a professional third party to guide you through figuring it all out, someone who knows what questions to ask and suggestions to make. You can do that without separating just to help get clear about what you should do next. Its not uncommon for couples to lose their connection and have to work at rebuilding one. If you hadn't embarked on an EA I would suggest marriage counseling right now. But I think the presence of AP complicates that a lot, and marriage counseling probably won't help unless you are 100% "in" the marriage. If you decide to work on the marriage a counselor could help you and H to address the control issues, the belittling comments, and whatever else needs working on.
You already realize that, if you leave your H, you may not find "happy ever after" with AP. Even if you both decide to leave your marriages it could take a long time to settle and there could be a lot of obstacles and dificulties to overcome. More reason why you should find yourself instead of thinking that the next step would be a relationship with AP.
Thank you so much for your replies--both are helpful and given me new perspective on how I need to get my own self in order. I do have an appt with a counselor (on my own) in mid- April. Thank you again!
I agree with the others. You have to get some outside help to try to figure out what you need to do. Your marriage has gotten off track, and you need to either fix it if possible, or end it. I was married to a controller, and I know from experience how that makes you feel. I took it for almost 20 years, and then I couldn't take it any more. I have to tell you that when I walked out of the courtroom, I felt like 1000 pounds had been lifted off my shoulders. I had been reduced to a spineless nothing.....and suddenly I had my life back, and I loved it! Once you take matters into your own hands, then you won't need this affair to go any further, and you know you don't really want that anyway. You need to inform your husband that you're going to counseling, and he can join you if he wants to, but of course controllers know it all, and he won't. His loss! You go, you learn what you have to do to save your sanity. No one wants a divorce, but no one deserved to be miserable all the time either. If he can't change his ways, then it's time for you to get a life of your own. Good Luck.
Hi Conflicted. I will throw my two cents in here for whatever it is worth. It sounds like you are so unhappy and unappreciated and disrespected in your marriage. But before moving on, I would suggest you sit down with your H and explain exactly how you feel about how he treats you. Tell him what is accceptable and what is not, That way he has a chance to better the situation, and a drastic move on your part won't blind side him. If he can't/won't change, let him know the consequences, and be sure you will be able to follow through. You deserve happiness and respect.
Regarding the AP: This may be true love, or it may be just the person that came along at the right time to fullfil your needs that your husband is not. It may be that you are clinging to AP because anything is better then what you have to go home to. Or, this man could be the love of your life. Would you be able to give up AP if your H could change for the better? I don't know the answers, but I agree with others that if you do leave your H, you should do it on your own so you are not swayed but another.
I know this is a terribly conflicted time in your life. We want our happiness, but we don't want to hurt others. All I can say is if you aren't happy, then you are not at your best as a mother, wife, family member, friend, etc. Best of luck to you. Hugs, Lisachilene
Agree with all the others. It sounds like you are on the right path now. I would offer that the option of staying in your marriage "as-is", should not be considered an option. It is what lead you to where you at, to your AP, and if things do not change you would remain vulnerable to addition affairs in the future.
It looks like you have already had your counseling appointment. Not much else to add except to say that you can only change yourself. Stay NC and make a decision regarding your marriage. If you and AP are ment to be together, the powers that be will put the two of you in the same place again at the RIGHT time. I married my AP but I would never repeat the way I handled things. If I could go back, I would have waited until he was divorced. I believed we had a long journey together, but we could have skipped over two or three very painful years had we waited.
We don't change until the pain of staying the same is worse or scarier than the pain of change.
Keep us posted.
Wow! You have a lot going on! I think discussing this with your therapist is your best route. I find it a bit disturbing that your husband would want to tell everyone that his wife had an affair. Why would he want people to know? Especially if he wants to work things out. he needs to go to therapy with and without you so he can sort through his feelings.
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