Call for strength
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|Fri, 05-16-2003 - 11:49pm|
I'm 30 years old, and I've been married for 9 years to a man who can be kind and thoughtful, and also very immature, even though he is nearly 15 years older than me. He was married when we met, although I didn't know it, but his marriage was already in a shambles. In fact he left home within 3 days after finding out I was interested in him. This may have been part of the reason I married him a year later even though we had very little in common and I knew we have different values - family, Christian, and financial. What I originally thought was "the love" of my life has turned into more of a feeling of needing to take care of him physically and financially, like a wayward younger brother. I had very nearly convinced myself that this is my lot in life, I need to make the most of what we have. I thought if I just pretended to be deep-down happy, eventually it would come. But the fact is even when I feel happy on the surface, I feel I am living someone else's life, not the one I would have chosen.
6 months ago my world changed. Chatting with instant messages, I fell deeply in love with a married co-worker. This was nothing either of us planned, nobody was trying to seduce anyone, it was just something we both slowly realized was happening. We started meeting for short periods of time before or after work, and continued chatting online at work whenever we could. He told me from the beginning that he was very conflicted about what was happening, but that he did want us to be together, married, eventually. He said that he did love his wife, but that there was something that had been missing for a long time. He thought there were times when they both wanted out of the marriage At first I was impatient, but the more I thought about it, I knew I didn’t want to push him. He has a very close relationship with his 11 year old son and he is fearful of losing that. I would never want to jeopardize it because I know how important it is to him. I made the decision early on that I wanted to be with him no matter what, and that I could wait until he felt his son could handle his leaving. It was going to take some time for me to end my marriage, trying to cause my H as little pain as possible. Telling him I am in love with someone else is definitely NOT an option – I’m sure bodily harm would be done to someone.
We continued seeing each other this way for about the last 6 months, keeping sex out of the equation because we both felt it would be too painful to be together in that way and then have to return to our respective homes. Two times he tried to break it off, because he felt he needed to be responsible to and focus on his family and the commitment he made to them, and because he felt he was being unfair to me by keeping me in limbo. I was devastated, but how could I be angry? He was extremely remorseful about the pain he caused me in doing this. We agreed to remain close friends. But both times after he broke it off, seeing each other constantly at work and my unwillingness to just let go brought him back to me. Eventually our talk turned to discussions about sex, and we couldn’t stand to wait any longer. The night before it was to happen he had a debilitating attack of conscience. Now he has broken things off again, feeling that he needs to try to make things work at home, and I find myself just hoping and praying he won’t be able to do it. I want us both to be happy so much, and I don’t believe he can be truly happy there. Happy with his son, but not happy in love. I believe marriage is work, and there are countless conflicts, but I don’t believe you should have to work at loving the other person – that is the one thing that should come naturally. He is the first person I have ever felt so completely sure about. We make each other laugh, we understand each other, empathize with one another, have many of the same interests, and most importantly we share the same values, and completely respect one another.
This is where the strength part comes in – I know the right thing to do is to let him be, let him try to work things out at home, but I don’t know how to do it. I don’t think I possibly can. At work almost every minute of the day I can turn my head and see him, or I can always hear his voice. It is so painful and frustrating to have someone I want so badly, and who I KNOW wants me too, so near and yet I can’t be with him. What can I do? Every bone in my body wants to cry and beg, and do anything to keep him. But the last thing I want is to be a burden or to cause him more pain than I know he is already in. And I can’t help thinking, maybe like the times before, he won’t be able to sustain it and he will come back. And I know this is wrong, I am being so selfish. And he is the least selfish person I’ve ever known, I wish he did have a selfish bone in his body, maybe then he would use it to be with me.
Does anyone have some magic words to give me strength?