Please help

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2014
Please help
23
Sat, 05-10-2014 - 8:31pm

Hi, I have been lurking here for quite awhile. I have been involved in an affair for a little over a year. My affair was uncovered by my spouse a week ago (he asked me if I was seeing anyone and I told him the truth). I have been put in the unenviable position of having to choose which man to be with. Does anyone have any advice for me as I make this heart-wrenching, life-changing decision? (Haters need not respond; I will not engage with haters.) Thank you.

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Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
In reply to: jas456
Sat, 05-10-2014 - 9:20pm

Hi Jas

It's difficult to give an opinion without knowing your story. How are you doing with the fallout?  How is your husband taking it? Do you have children? Is your affair partner married? with children? or available?  Have you discussed leaving your husband for him?   

Clarity

Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board

Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
In reply to: wClarity
Sat, 05-10-2014 - 9:36pm

You'll have to excuse me.  I thought I was on EAS when I replied.  Getting old.

Not that that matters really, I can still offer ideas...more just so you know and are not scratching your head wondering why the CL from EAS would be a first responder...oy.

Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2014
In reply to: jas456
Sun, 05-11-2014 - 5:39pm

Sorry for the lack of detail and late reply. I have been married 20 years. My kids are older, one is 19 and out of the house, other is 17. My AP has never been married. 

My husband has been extremely kind and loving to me since my revelation. He is upset and angry and all those things, but he forgives me and said if I do leave, I can always come back. He loves me beyond measure.

I am holding up okay.

Religion plays a big role here. When my husband and I were dating, he became a born-again Christian. I did as well soon after. Problem is, I don't think I really did. I never fully yielded myself to Christ. About a year and a half ago (before I became involved with AP), I kind of started waking up and questioning things. I realized I did not really buy into this brand of Christianity I had been living with so long.

My husband, OTH, is deeply committed to Christ and the church. I never have been as fervent as he. His faith is really who he is.

So I feel like we are from different planets. We get along okay, there is no open bitterness or resentment between us. But we seem to see life and the world from different perspectives.

I met my AP online. He is 1000 miles away, but has visited a couple of times and we are in touch constantly. I feel so differently about myself when I am with him. I feel more energized, more capable, more fun, more engaged with the world.

When I got involved with my AP, I was feeling unloved, unheard, and unappreciated in my marriage. I don't feel those things any longer, but I have fallen in love with my AP and don't seem to have those feelings for my husband.

I am torn. One on hand, I see staying with my husband as a life of being a square peg in a round hole. Things just don't fit right. But I live a very comfortable life and am well-provided for (he's a doctor). On the other hand, I can be with my AP, where I would have a different life, one where I feel like I can be myself, but I will have to go through hell to get there. My family would be devastated. Everyone thinks we have a perfect marriage. This would probably send my mom to the hospital, seriously. 

So I am just torn. As this goes on, I am feeling more drawn to my lover. I don't want to spend the rest of my life missing him and wondering what could have been. And I think I would resent my husband. 

I would appreciate any thoughts or guidance. Thank you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2014
In reply to: jas456
Sun, 05-11-2014 - 9:29pm

Thank you for the reply. Yes, he is ready. He's in it for the long haul. 

We had made plans for him to move here to be with me, as I can't bring myself to leave my kids. We were planning on waiting until my daughter graduates from high school (actually 2 years, she is a year behind) for me to make a clean break. But lately we had been rethinking that, but hadn't come up with a firm plan. Then I was found out. My husband is making me choose, right now, who to be with. He says I can't continue in a relationship with AP and him at the same time.

I had been sure I wanted to leave, but after seeing my husband wailing on the floor, begging me to stay, it makes me want to back up and make sure this is where I want to go. I really would like to wait, give my AP time to sell his house and find a job here, and not disrupt my daughter's life so much. But it looks like I don't have that luxury.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2014
In reply to: jas456
Sun, 05-11-2014 - 10:31pm

And yes, my AP and I have had many discussions about our future life together, what it would look like. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
In reply to: fissatore
Sun, 05-11-2014 - 11:35pm

There are a couple of things you should think about.  You say that religion is the problem in your marriage.  But you're both the same religion, but he's more involved with it than you are.  There are people out there that are totally different religions, and I know a few couples.......Catholic/Protestant and Catholic/Jewish.  Their different religions haven't affected their marriages.  They respect the other's beliefs, they've taught their children about both, and they're happier than most couples I know.  The other thing is that you don't really know the AP.  You can talk to him for 10 years, and that's not the same as being with him day in and day out.  And "visits" aren't much better, either.  You're both on your best behavior.  You found him when you were feeling unloved, unheard and unappreciated, so naturally he made you feel wonderful, you felt loved, and he hung on every word you said.....he "heard" you.  I'll bet your husband did that once upon a time too!  Maybe you need to work on your marriage before you throw it away.  Date nights?  Vacation together.....leave problems behind?  Counseling, it can't hurt and it might help. 

It's hard to compare a 20 year marriage to a new and exciting relationship.  Also, has he told you why he's never married?  Assuming he's near your age, 40ish.......You'll do what you want to do, but be careful you're not jumping from the frying pan into the fire.  Your children and your Mother?  They may not be happy, but if they love you, they will accept whatever choice you make.  Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2014
In reply to: jas456
Mon, 05-12-2014 - 11:47am

I talked with my husband and he says I can take however much time I need and that I can continue in my other relationship in the interim.

My husband has an awesome support system, his faith. He also has many friends who would support him. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2014
In reply to: jas456
Mon, 05-12-2014 - 12:15pm

Hi fissatore, thank you for your reply. You bring up a lot of good points, ones I have thought about and will address here.

Yesterday, my husband asked me what my purpose in life was. He told me there are only two: to please God or to please yourself. I didn't have an answer at the time, but the more I thought about it, I felt like my purpose is to live a full life and to realize my potential. But I felt stupid telling him that, like my purpose is a selfish one. And I guess it is. But that's the kind of marriage I'm in, there's either a right or wrong answer, God's way or the highway. I asked him, can't it be both, to please God and yourself? Basically the answer was no.

I really would not want to go on vacation with my husband. We are on such a spiritual disconnect. He himself told me that he wouldn't be able to be with someone long-term who he couldn't share scriptures or spiritual insights with. And I don't think we could even agree on a counselor. He would want a Christian counselor and I don't think I would. I've taken my children to Christian counselors and it was a big waste of time and money.

I realize that I may be seeing AP in the wrong light. I feel like I know him very well, but you're right, I don't know what our day-to-day chemistry would be like. I do have some apprehension about that.

My AP has never married for a few reasons. There was one girl in his early 20's who he came very close to marrying but got cold feet. He says he regrets it now and should've married her. She will always have a special place in his heart. Other reasons are he worked nights for 7 years and it was nearly impossible to meet people that way. And he had some health issues for many years that kept him from being his best self and able to have meaningful relationships. He has had those issues taken care of.

I don't view my relationship with my AP as new and exciting. And you're right, there is no comparison of a 25-year relationship to a one-year one. It's like comparing apples and oranges. That's part of why it's hard to decide what to do.

I don't know. Since my husband is no longer pressing me for an answer right here, right now, maybe I will seek some counseling on my own, to help me clarify things.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2014
In reply to: jas456
Mon, 05-12-2014 - 3:28pm

I've asked myself some questions.

If I take my AP out of the picture, would I still want to leave? Probably. If my AP had never come along, I imagine I would've gradually drifted apart from my husband. I wouldn't want to leave until my daughter graduated from high school. So I would hang in there until then.

If I take my husband out of the picture, would I want to be with my AP? Yes, without a doubt. I know it would be a risky move, but I love him so much that I would take that chance. I would be planning my life with him this minute.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
In reply to: fissatore
Tue, 05-13-2014 - 8:10am

Your husband said: He wouldn't be able to be with someone long term who he couldn't share scriptures or spiritual insights with!  What does that tell you?  You aren't as religious as he is, therefore, he is not able to be with you long term.  And his statement that a person can please God OR please themselves, not both?  Your husband is a religious fanatic.  What he is saying is that you MUST please God, and what YOU want or need is unimportant.  I'm sorry, but I believe God wants you to be happy, not to be FORCED into a religious belief that you can't believe in.  I'm sorry, but I really mistrust people who go around thumping the bible!  They're the ones that are usually caught stealing from the collection baskets, or having mistresses on the side.  I believe if you live your life by the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule.......you CAN be happy and also please God.  Even him telling you to continue with your "relationship" as long as you need to.......that makes no sense IF he wants to continue the marriage.  It's almost like him saying that you do what you want, you sinner you, and when you get tired of him, I might take you back.  If that man truly loved YOU, he would demand that you stop seeing the other man immediately, and the two of you work on your marriage.  You know you're not as religious as he is, and what he's saying is that if you "get" religion, he will be able to stay with you.   I think you should make your plans to leave, and NOT jump into anything with the AP until you've spent a LOT of time with him.  With all of his excuses about being single, not grabbing the girl when he should have and now he's got a special place in his heart for her.....I'd think long and hard about anything permanent with him for a long long time!  You need some time to be single and alone to get your thoughts together about what you want in life, and whativer it is, it WILL please God! 

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