He Says He Loves Me, But Can't Be With Him

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-26-2013
He Says He Loves Me, But Can't Be With Him
5
Tue, 11-26-2013 - 4:07am

Please don't judge me. I need help to sort out my feelings. I'm so NEW to having an affair. I can't even believe I'm carrying one because I've never thought of this for a million years! But, I'm happy and excited when I'm with him.

My story...

I have been with my husband since I was 19 years old. We have been together for the past 19 years! Half of my life! I'm so tired of running the whole household...I even fix things in the house- electrical, toilet, yard work, etc. because he is just incapable! I used to have more patience before when we didn't have 2 children...but, I'm drained, worn out, exhausted! I handle everything! Literarily, everything! I even have to book his haircut so he could have a decent look...but, I'm tired of him not stepping up as a husband. He is so  dependent on me! I need an actual husband! We have grown far apart! I don't find him attractive anymore...he's put on 80 lbs extra since I married him. He doesn't excercise, eats bad, and let himself go..,I'm no longer attractive to him. I don't even see myself having sex with him.,,it's been a year and a half...I don't miss it and I'm content without sleeping with him. We don't even share a bed anymore since our 1st child was born-6 years ago. We're just housemates now.

Two months ago, I got curious and discovered a website to meet other attached males. I found a man almost 7 years younger than me. We connected and admitted we've fallen for each other. He was the first to admit it...I was just going to have a casual affair, but I've let him in emotionally after he said he has fallen for me. We said ' I love You's', which he said it first.My problem is, we used to see each other 2x a week, talk on the phone every single day multiple times for hours, now, we only get to see each other once a week or every other week, and he even cuts down on the time. When we talk on the phone, it's now 15 mins max instead of 3-4 hours that we used to do. He also has been omitting Sundays to call me and make excuses that his wife's family is in his house. I notice the difference, but I don't want to discuss it with him because he might think in too much, too clingy. My problem is, it hurts me when he doesn't call and I'm wondering if he's slowly distancing himself...but, still constantly tells me he loves me. I'm in such a roller coaster emotional ride right now. I'm happy when we communicate, but the lenght and depth is no longer the same. I asked him last 3 days ago where we heading to and he said he can't predict the future, we could be together for another week, months, 10 years, 20 years. I know he tells me I sooth him, it's one part why he loves me. But, I want to know what's a normal affair, what to expect, or not to expect. Does anyone have an advice on how to train myself to not expect too much from him? I want this relationship to last for a long long time...I need advice on how I could keep it long-term. How could I stop myself from falling deeper with him so I don't get hurt when he's done with me? How do I prepare myself from such heartache?

Thank you!

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997

With a husband like that, no wonder you want an escape. 

You ask how to train yourself not to expect too much, but the way I read it, you're already expecting too much.  3-4 hours on the phone at a time?  Who has time for that?  With all the responsibilities you say you have, how do *you* have time for that?  That's the sort of time that young unmarried childless people have, not married people with kids and responsibilities.  If you are spending that much time on the phone with him, you're taking it away from your kids, your husband, your job, or your health.  That's not fair to any of them.  It also sounds a lot like an addiction, and I don't mean that in a romantic way.  It's what people do when they fall under the spell of alcohol or drugs.  Some people are susceptible to falling under the spell of other people.

Unfortunately, it already looks like he is not as interested as he was at first, or not as interested as you thought he was, or he's realized he can't give you what you want so he's withdrawing, or his wife is catching on to all that time he's not spending with her.  When a man is really interested, he doesn't spend less time with you, he spends more.  He shows it, he doesn't just say "I love you."  Actions matter, words don't.  If he never said "I love you" but he went out of his way to be with you, you would know he loved you.  This relationship does not sound like it's going to last much longer, to be honest.

I know people who have had happy affairs.  I know people who have married their APs and had happy marriages.  They are very very rare.  They also don't sound a bit like the relationship you're in.

Regardless of what happens with your AP, you need to fix your life for yourself.  I'm not saying that because of platitudes about the sanctity of marriage but because it sounds like hell.  Your H is no partner.  Marriage with a couple of little kids IS hard but getting fat and lazy is no way to deal with it.  If your H isn't being a real husband, then you need to get his sorry self to marriage counseling.  For your own sake.  Or get rid of him if he won't change.  Some of the happiest women I know are the ones who finally kicked their lazy-ass husbands to the curb.

I realize that wasn't the advice you asked for, but it was the first thing that jumped out at me - "Well, no wonder she wants an affair!"

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009

You have a problem at home, and an affair with a married man is not the way to fix YOUR problem.  If you're not happy with your husband, and you've tried to fix the problems, then get a lawyer and get a divorce.  Once you do that, your life will be your own, and for sure you won't be like many women that can't fend for themselves when there's no man helping them.  Get YOUR life in order, then you can look for a man that's not already taken.....and make a life for yourself.  It has nothing to do with the morality of the situation......but a married man who cheats on his wife is rarely planning to end his marriage......he's just out looking for fun.  And the fun is over just as quickly as it starts, and then they move on to the next one.  Straighten out your own life first.  Then you'll be free to enjoy your life and look for a companion that will be with you full time, not just when he feels like sneaking out.  First things first.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-26-2013

Thank you for your response. you gave me a lot to think about and I truly appreciate your response. I wish I could easily get the divorce. I have thought of it many times, but I look at my 2 children and I seem to doubt myself if I am doing the right thing. I know I am being selfish for carrying on an affair. But, it's something I look forward when I get to see him. I'm happy when I get to see him, but then I feel like hell when I don't see or hear from him. I wish I could be as strong as you in starting all over again. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2010

I will be blunt.  This is usually when affairs start to wind down.  If you met him on Ashley Madison, there is very little chance that he is not looking for other women at this point.  If you want to know if he's still serious about you, make a fake profile.  Create the kind of woman you know he will go for, and wait a few weeks to see if you get any hits from somebody who just happens to have his photos in the profile.  

In an A more than any other type of relationship, a person's actions reflect his feelings and intentions.  If he is cutting back, his feelings are decreasing.  Most likely, he got caught up in the whirlwind and real life is setting back in now.  Pulling back shows that whatever you two had, he is now uncomfortable with that, and he is trying to contain it somehow.  This is very, very much the pattern I have seen in the 7 years or so I have been on MAS.  Words mean nothing, actions mean everything.

Hopefully, finding the connection with the new guy reminded you what you would like to find in a partner.  Maybe that will give you enough courage to leave your M since you are clearly unhappy, and then you can take some time to let yourself heal before you rush directly into a new R.  If you really want to find true love again, don't you think being brave and going out on your own is vital to having a healthy new marriage someday?  I do.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2010
Tue, 12-10-2013 - 12:05am

I'm glad to hear you say divorce would be an option. So many people on here talk themselves out of the chance of happiness by finding every possible obstacle.  It is SCARY to get a divorce, especially when you don't have a back up person to be there for you.  But it sounds like you may be ready.  You said you are ready for a different kind of husband.  To me, that means you want a new life partner, not just a special friend or a longtime fling.  I think a long-term relationship with your current AP would not fill that need, would it? AP will not be over to fix the toilet or help you with those day to day things that frustrate you even if your A lasts many years.  So you will end up with two men in your life who are not meeting the needs you have.  Ultimately, if you are looking for a new man to marry, and married man is not a good bet.  

I haven't met many women who could successfully stop the feelings of falling in love.  What did it for me was constantly being frustrated and hurt by my AP, and by the situation.  While he and I are still great friends now, the love feelings and even the sexual attraction I fell for him finally died after about 3 years of constantly diminishing rewards.  Your heart will eventually learn to put up those walls, but I feel like I am a worse person for the experience.  It left me with a serious dent in my self-esteem, and for a long time, I found myself so used to accepting crumbs that my expectations were way too low to attract a decent guy.  It got me used to dysfunction and trained me to have some really low standards.  I'm still climbing back out of that hole, but I'm finally starting to remember who I am and what I deserve.  

I know it is gut-wrenching to imagine the end of the A at the point you are at right now...the peak of the passion and the emotional highs.  It seems like affaris have to run their course, but I would just encourage you to keep asking yourself what will allow you to live the real life you want to live?  Try not to picture a particular person beside you in it, just you.  Who are you?  What lifestyle do you lead?  Try to make choices that help you to become that person you want to be, and if that means divorcing your husband to get rid of negative influences, do it. And divorce is not always bad for children.  I know my own daughter adjusted to it amazingly well, and I think she is happier in the long run.  Anyway, whatever you decide, good luck!