Headed down a familiar path (sorry, long)

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-19-2013
Headed down a familiar path (sorry, long)
Mon, 08-19-2013 - 11:36am

I apologize now because I am sure this is going to be pretty long.  My story goes back a long ways.  I have been here before, years ago.


I have been married for 22 years.  Got married when I was young, I guess, though we were together for a while before so it wasn't rushed into or anything.  We have 2 great kids, ages 13 and 17. 

14 years ago, after a long and sometimes bumpy marriage, I had a PA on my husband.  It lasted for about a year, and was with an old flame.  I thought I loved him, and maybe I did.  The reason for my affair?  Besides stupidity and immaturity, attention.  Bottom line.  My husband, although he loves me and is a hard worker and great father, ignores me.  Sometimes I just dont exist.  So someone came along who paid me loads of attention, and I fell righ into it.  After a year of back and forth, and lots of pain, as well as therapy, I called it quits.  It hurt.  A lot.


I told my husband, partly out of guilt and partly because I knew we couldn't move ahead without the truth on the table.  I asked my DH to go to counseling with me, and he did.  Once.  He was uncomfortable sharing his feelings.  We went thru many hard days and nights, and somehow, decided to move forward and put the past behind us. 

Fast forward about a year, and a guy at my work was flirting pretty hot and heavy with me.  So I went to his house and had sex with him.  Once.  Let me back up a bit here...

My husband and I are not compatible in the bedroom.  He has had issues with "preformance" and we have tried many, many things.  But it isn't just that.  He doesn't care to please me.  It is all about him.  Always.  I asked him once to spend some time on me so I could "get off" (sorry, no better words to use).  He told me "no, that just takes too long".  OUCH.

So I slept with the guy at work, once.  And felt so sick over it that I didn't talk to him again.  It was a one time thing.

My DH and I tried to move forward.  But it was so, so hard.  For him and me.  I could go into all of it, all the things said, but it would take forever.  I was screaming out for attention from him.  I asked him once to meet me somewhere, because I had to meet someone for work and had a bad feeling.  I told my Dh I was scared and to please come meet me so I wouldn't be alone with this man.  It was a ten minute drive.  And he told me no, it would take too long. 

That about sums it up :( 


We made it about another year, and yes, I went on a website and ended up chatting with another man.  Geez...I KNOW I have to sound like a big ho by now.  I had a 3 month PA with this man.  And again, TOLD my husband.  If that wasn't a cry for me to leave him, I dont know what is.  I think I WANTED him to know, like an exit affair. We talked MORE about divorce.  Thinking we were hiding it from our kids.  But we weren't.  My DS came to us one day crying, asking if we were getting a divorce.  And it ripped my heart into peices.  So it got pushed back, again.

So here we are now.  I stayed on the straight and narrow for 3 years.  And BEGGED my DH to pay attention to me.  I climbed on him in the car.  He pushed me away and said he was more in the mood in the winter.  I tried to kiss him goodbye once, just to go run an errand, and he wouldn't kiss me.  Said he was "too busy".  Its these little things, over years, that add up and break me, just one small piece of my heart at a time.

So here I am now, having an EA and PA with a good friend.  I know I need to divorce my husband.  And this is the part that will sounds REALLY messed up.  I love him.  I lay at night and watch him sleep, and just cry.  Because I dont want to hurt him anymore.  But we have gone down different roads.  He doesn't give me what I need, even when I pratically scream for it.  And I KNOW I dont give him what he needs, and I sure dont give him what he deserves.  No one derserves what I have done.

I dont even know if I have a question here.  I dont.  I am just sad.  I look at family pictures and cry, knowing that sometime, sooner or later, I am going to rip up a family. 


The good friend I am "with" now, I really like.  We have known each other for years.  Its only in the last month that we have taken it to this level.  I have liked him for a long time though.  We seem to have a lot in common.  But this isn't my first rodeo.  I know what it is all about.  I know all about the "fog" of a new affair. 

I just feel REALLY lost right now.  Going from extreme lows about my marriage to extreme highs about the thought of being free, the thought of maybe someone loving me the way I want.  And then I worry that I am just a serial cheater.  I know I am not a sex addict.  Believe it or not, I HAVE had other opportunities I did NOT act on.  It isn't about having sex for me.  It is the attention.

I am just so, so lost.


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 08-19-2013 - 1:41pm

Are you going to indiv. counseling because if not, I think you should.  I can understand that you love your DH but he's ignoring you so you crave attention from other men.  But it would be much better for everyone involved if you just got a divorce.  I mean, you have tried everything to get through to your DH--he doesn't seem to be making any effort and it takes 2 people to make a marriage work.  So he decided to stay with you after knowing about your affairs--but he's only physically present, like a roommate, he doesn't act like a DH.  Not to mention that you are bad role models to your children showing a married couple who doesn't show any affection to each other.  And if they find out about your affair, then they will lose respect for you too.  Kids aren't dumb, they know an unhappy marriage when they see one.  So you need to get up the courage to get a divorce because the affairs are filling a need temporarily but then you are feeling guilty about it.  I think you tell  your DH just hoping that he'll finally leave you & you won't need to make that decision.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-19-2013
Thu, 08-22-2013 - 11:55am

Thank you for the reply.  I think you are right, I am doing these affairs maybe in someway hoping DH will be the one to pull the plug so I dont have to.

The hard thing is, I do love my DH.  Maybe it's being with him for 22 years.  So many memories, and private jokes, and just so, so much accumulated over the years.  I look at him and want to cry, because I WANT him to be the one.  And I dont want to hurt him.  He has been really sweet to me the past week.  But we had a big fight last Thursday, and NOW he is being sweet.  He does this.  He will lay it on, then just go back to the same old routine :(

I dont want to do this and look back and be sorry.  Maybe that is what everyone faces when they are considering a divorece.  I dont know.  I still even have times where I am very attracted to my DH.  And yet other times where he just tries to kiss me and I want to shove him away.  I dont think that is normal.

But I dont know what normal is anymore.  I just know I am in my 40's.  And I want to make my kids happy, and DH happy, and everyone happy.  But when do I come into the picture??

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2013
Tue, 08-27-2013 - 12:44am

I think you have given up your happiness for far too long.  I don't think you'll ever separate from someone for that long and never think or never miss those little things.  There are obviously going to be things you'll miss but are those worth sacrificing one more miserable minute not getting the attention and treatment you deserve?  Absolutely not.  My mother was in a marriage for 20+ years and finally just left the guy.  Met someone else and it helped but it's still a man.  Gives her different things she never had in her marriage, but she's still not 100% and still misses her ex.  But not enough to go back.  Your kids are older they will understand.  You are of no use to anyone if you're not happy.  You have to give yourself the opportunity.  Maybe living in separate households and doing a trial run if you will?  Maybe just separating completely so you can see if that's what you really want.  It's never easy especially the longer you stay and when kids are involved no matter what their age.

I am in a 10 year relationship with kids 8 and 5 and am with a man who is divorced and now engaged with one 4 year old kid.  Talk about a mess.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-27-2013
Tue, 08-27-2013 - 2:18pm

You and I are quite similar. I am in my 2nd marriage. My 1st marriage was full of abuse and neglect. Sex became all about him and towards the end he even raped me. I cheated on him alot...between the positive attention and the possiblity of him leaving so I didn't have to. He never did...I always came clean (not sure if out of guilt, hopes of him walking out or just the fact that I didn't care if I hurt him anymore) yet he never walked out on me. After he raped me, I started dating my current husband. Eventually, I grew a pair and started separating myself from him. After numerous threats one night, my current hubby asked me to move in with him and start divorce papers. Which I did and never looked back. I had eyes for noone but my current hubby up until I miscarried our first child together. Then my mentality came crashing down and my fidelity flew out the window. It has been a crash course ever since. He is an amazing man that deserves so much better but he has stuck by me through 3 PA 1 in which was an EA too. So, I know what you are feeling in many ways. I came clean about pretty much everything but in my case I do not want to lose this man.Just know you can always vent here or myself.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2013
Wed, 08-28-2013 - 10:23am
I came clean a long time ago to wipe the slate clean so to speak. He hasn't cheated on me since. He went to jail for sleeping with a minor (my sister's best friend) while I was pregnant and we kinda tried to start fresh after he got out of jail. I thought I could forgive him and a big part of me has forgot about it but I just haven't been the same since. He thinks it's so far in the past (6 years ago) that he can talk freely about it and I shouldn't get upset still. It is what it is and I stayed with him when I should have walked away years ago. They say the grass isn't always greener, it's green where you water it. But I am just sick of standing here watering dirt! It sounds ridiculous that I've stayed with him because we are a "family". We are a sorry excuse for a family. He is not involved even 1%. I do absolutely everything when it comes to the kids, the house, etc. and I work 2 jobs. I am 30 years old and can't even go out with my girlfriends because he literally freaks out because he is so insecure and thinks I will cheat on him (and he's right). I have cheated over 2 dozen times since we "came clean". Those of which I never told him about because he said if he ever found out I cheated on him again he would kill me. He's very violent but never hits me or anything but comes close and I think this would push him over. Not to be mean but he would literally have nothing but the clothes on his back without me. Which is another thing. He would and will never leave me. I have been seeing this guy on the side for 1.5 years and he is a cop and I know he would protect me but he also has his own life to protect. And if it's just sex I am fine with it but we are crossing lines and my vision is getting blurred. He says he is going to get a divorce and he's not married yet but then yesterday he says "I kinda dig this one" and "she's good for me". I am getting mixed signals. I know men can keep it simple and even if he did feel something for me he would just suppress it anyway. Everyone says walk away from both. I can't. Financially I would be a mess and why be single and struggle? I wish this guy would give me something to work with I don't know how much more time I can let pass before I burst.