Has anyone experienced this?

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
Has anyone experienced this?
Fri, 09-14-2012 - 5:09pm

 I am in my late 20's, 12 years with my husband (high school sweethearts), two years married.

I am currently unhappy in my marriage. Quite honestly, we have grown up and into two very different people. I also have feelings for a mutual friend of ours who embodies everything that I wish DH was.

My unhappiness stems from the fact that there's a divide in our relationship. I have a white collar career whereas my DH is blue collar. Our outlooks on the world are inherently different.  I love literature, culture and travel whereas he's content with sitting at home watching T.V. or taking trips to local vacation spots.  I think about everyone else first, he thinks that's me letting people walk all over me, I am outgoing, he is intrinsic, I am sensitive, he is has a tough exterior, He enjoys one genre of music whereas I enjoy them all, I am an enternal optimist, he is a pessimist.

Through all these years together, I have loved him and from the time we met as teenagers, I envsioned marriage and children. Although we are different, we share laughs together and nobody knows me like he does.Now I just worry that I made a mistake by marrying him and that I am holding onto him because he is all I have ever known that we have been through so much together. Essentially, our history.

I wonder what it means that I have feelings for our friend. Even though I would never act on them, I can't help but realize that these feelings are happening due to what is missing in the marriage.  Our friend is everything I menitoned above that my DH is not.  I think about finding someone that does embody the characteristics I want in a spouse.

Has anyone ever been in a similar situation? Is this all normal to feel? Do you think these differences are too vast to withstand a long, happy marriage?  I feel quite alone right now and I would appreciate any insight you might have

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Fri, 09-14-2012 - 7:38pm

loveconquersall, you've given a great list of the things where the two of you are different.   Now, I've been with my guy for 20 years and we share some of the same differences.   Frankly, I think most marriages would share many of the things you state.

He's extrovert and I'm introvert,   He's white collar professional and I'm a stay at home mum/carer,  He's optimistic and I'm realist and worrier.    He's sensitive of what he says and I have continual foot in mouth.   Our music tastes are quite different.   I like craft and he doesn't have an artistic bone in his body.  He likes sport and I have no interest.    But we still manage a great partnership despite our differences.   I think of us as being two pieces of a jigsaw which fit perfectly together - our differences compliment each other.    Our differences provide what the other lacks.

On surface value, I don't see any of the problems you write about as being dealbreakers.   I guess it comes back to just how much compromise the two of you are prepared to make and the understanding you give each other.  Let's look at the issues you state one by one so we can get a greater understanding of the mismatch you face. 

I have a white collar career whereas my DH is blue collar. A number of my have a white collar and blue collar mix, so I don't it as unusual. Pehaps you could tell us more about why this is a problem

I love literature, culture and travel whereas he's content with sitting at home watching T.V. or taking trips to local vacation spots.   I've got married friends who do their different interests with people other than their partner.  It's OK to share your interests around.  Enjoy the arts with your art loving friends.   As far as travel goes, are you both happy to take turns in where you go?   Local destination one year and O/S the next?   There's good things to be had in both local and international travel.

 I think about everyone else first, he thinks that's me letting people walk all over me,   Could there be something in what he's saying?   You know, it's a good thing to give yourself some priority.   At any rate, how does you putting everyone else first create a problem for him?   Do you ever complain about the outcome of putting everyone else first?  

I am outgoing, he is intrinsic,  How does this create problems in the relationship?   

I am sensitive, he is has a tough exterior,  Does he have a sensitive interior?  Does his tough exterior create problems?

He enjoys one genre of music whereas I enjoy them all,  Hubby and my music tastes are quite different.  So when we're together, we play music which we both enjoy.  When we are separate, we play music to our own tastes.     Is this kind of compromise possible for you?

I am an enternal optimist, he is a pessimist.  Just how bad is his pessimism?   Is he sad and depressed with the world being against him - or is about him acknowledging that things don't always go to plan?    Likewise, are you unable to admit that things may not go to plan?   Is it possible that the two of you use these differences to balance with a sense of realism?

Sorry about all the questions, I hope you come back and explain more about how your differences create problems for you - or that you can look at ways of making the perceived negatives into positives.

Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
Mon, 09-17-2012 - 12:09pm
As the others have said, feelings for other people can happen to anyone. Those areas of your brain don't shut off after marriage. So that is not necessarily a sign that you are with the wrong person, but it could be. It can be somewhat of a "grass is greener" scenario. This guy is better than H because of A,B,C, etc. However there is the side of him you don't get to see socially, which you may or may not like.

Also as the others have said, your deal breakers, are different from mine, and different from everybody else's here. You really have to arrive at yours on your own. Others like us can guide you, so can your counselor, but you are going to have to make the call.

You started dating in high school. You alluded to to the idea of growing. You grow most as a person in your 20s. It is not uncommon for couples who start out in high school to grow apart. Not all of course but statistically speaking they have the most trouble staying together because you can change so much from 17 to your late twenties. Or one person changes while the other stagnates.
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Registered: 11-21-2011
Thu, 09-20-2012 - 10:18am