Never Get To Let My Guard Down, Except . . .

Since my husband's accident 2-1/2 years ago I've assumed the alpha role in our household.  I'm the single parent in a two parent household.  My husband works but not consistently or in the same capacity so I've focused even more on my career to ensure the financial stability of our family.  I pay the bills.  I clean the house.  I run the kids.  I take my husband to the doctor, or he doesn't go.  He isn't comfortable around people, so my social life is non-existent because our friends and relatives don't come over any more.

When things happen, and in life things happen, there is no one to hold my hand, to tell me it will be ok, to let me cry . . . Except for HIM.  He can tell by the tone in my voice or the look on my face that I need a break or a talk.  He's the shoulder I cry on, literally.  He's the one who calls me and asks me how I am, and tells me not to lie because he cares about me and really wants to know.

And dammit, I can't tell anyone about him because we're both married and people judge married people who have any kind of extra-marital relationship.  We don't have sex, but support each other emotionally.  Could our relationship turn physical?  Maybe.  And the fact that we've become so close is killing me.  I know it's wrong and I can't stop.

So now the only person who is emotionally available for me is creating even more conflict for me.  I have to work so hard already and have virtually no support, then the support I get creates inner turmoil.  I just can't win.

sassyg1rl sassyg1rl 36-40, F 23 Responses Nov 29, 2009

Your Response


You have nothing in the world to feel ashamed for. I'm of the firm belief that human beings were ment to fall in love many times in their lives and to have sex with multiple people. Each of our tastes and our moral convictions differ, but is falling for two people at once natural and healthy? ABSOLUTELY. Never, ever EVER feel bad for your feelings of love. They are good and natural. Of COURSE this person means a lot to you. You are in a rough situation and he is a much needed support system for you. I would strongly suggest openly telling your husband about this man and saying that you want to open up your marriage. Of course, that might not work for you guys, but since I'm polyamorous, that's all I can see as a good solution. Best of luck with this situation. You have my full understanding and support. Best wishes my dear :D

So... this paragon of virtue of yours... this shoulder to cry on...

This man whom I suspect would be entirely willing to **** around on his likely perfectly healthy wife while preying on a woman in turmoil.

Yeah, real ******* paragon of virtue.

How's about you snap out of the fairy tale ya dumb *****.

This "other man", this "him" sees easy pickings. Go ahead and tell yourself "he's not like that" all you like... but this emotional affair is two ways... and the woman in his life (and I'm sure she's some horrible hellbent shrew *****, right?).. well, what's ging to happen to that woman and her presumable kids?

Well, I'm sure you don't give a flying ****. Why should you?

It's about "your needs" and all the rest.

If my wife wanted to **** some other guy and was "in love" with him I'd be depressed and wanting to die too. Christ. You've dehumanized your husband, turned him into either a storybook ogre or a chore. A tedious ******* chore.

And of course now you've found your prince charming.

Get... The ****... Out.

How's about you try TALKING TO YOUR HUSBAND. Explain to him how afraid you are. That's right. Afraid. Not of him, but of the changes in your life. Tell him you're scared. Tell him you need help. Tell him you need HIS help, ask him if he can be brave for you.

And ask him if he can listen as you pour it all out and not hold back, just let the dam burst.

And then work on your ******* marriage.

He's a man, and as ****** up as his head might be my guess is he hasn't lost the natural instinct to protect women. Namely you. Play that card and you might just win.

Wow are you bitter and judgemental. And you have no clue what you are talking about. This was posted over two years ago....and a lot happened. Not with him, but with my now ex husband. His accident resulted in a brain injury. You really think I didn't try talking to him? You selfish and thoughtless ****. His psychiatrist told me to think of him as a spoiled and selfish 14 year old....for the rest of his life. And I tried to keep EVERYTHING going. But because I had to work 80-100 hours a week and couldn't hold my husband's hand every single day he fell apart....started cheating and drinking and using drugs. What a great life. And you DARE to judge me for feeling badly about turning to someone for support? The point is that it shouldn't have mattered if he was a man or a woman...the point is that I had no one else to turn to. NO ONE! I ended up sick and in the hospital, and HE was the only person who cared enough about me as a friend to drive me there. His wife picked me up. We are friends, nothing more.
And someone like you doesn't belong on EP. We are here to be open about our lives...not judged by dicks like you who have no concept of suffering. Read my other stories if you want a ******* clue. Maybe you can buy a vowel to see if you can figure out the clues.
Enjoy your lonely life you miserable jerk.

So... at least we're aware you did end up bailing on your disabled husband. Cool. He started cheating... you mean, like you did? Because let's face it. You did, in thought if not in deed. And how *dare* I judge you says the woman posting all her ex husbands misdeeds for us to judge. Right. GTFO.

Sassyg1rl, I hear your frustration, anguish, and fatigue. I don't hear you asking for advice, for judgment, or for anything really. I hear you simply describing your situation and how you feel utterly exhausted and trapped, despite being warmly supported by the friend you call HIM.

I've been in your position, caring for "my love." I've also been in your husband's situation, relying on "my love" to manage our lives, protect me from myself, and live with a husband who is no longer whom he once was. I have also been HIM, offering solace to a different "her."

What I learned from each experience that lasted years, is that our health and sanity and well-being are nourished when we accept whatever comfort, support and "shoulders" offered us. I hope you may lighten your burden by continuing your relationship with HIM just as you are responsibly continuing your multiple roles in your family. I could not tell from your last paragraph whether HE is doing something to cause conflict, or if conflict and feeling like you "cannot win," is emerging within your self. Perhaps you know that answer.

I fear many people who read your story see it as "either-or." I encourage you to give yourself the wonderfully human opportunity to deal with this in a manner that allows for "both-and." I deeply respect that only YOU can decide how to proceed.

My heart is touched by you and your husband and HIM. I detect no reason for judgment Sassyg1rl, neither on your part or anyone with whom you share you situation. Take comfort as you are giving comfort, with all the fullness humanly possible. rd999

Oh no. I know your pain. It's my wife who is disabled and we have 2 small kids. You have got to run away from (HIM) Even if you haven't had sex with him yet that is where it is leading. I was lucky enough to have the path I was on explained to me before I betrayed my wife and in retrospect I can see how I was heading down the path to sex with "that person who really understood me". You really need to let your husband know what is going on and I highly recommend that you do this with a counselor involved. You said that he had an accident so he hasn't chosen to be different. You need to realize the guilt load that he is most likely carrying. As a guy I could be the poster boy for not wanting to talk about it, putting on a brave face and shouldering the burden. That is not the way to be. Your husband needs to know (and accept emotionally) that his accident has injured you as well and that you will be there to heal/recover with him. Your lives are changed and you will never be as you were before but you should not abandon him.

Tell "HIM" that your relationship is him feels wonderful but that it is killing your marriage. You can honestly tell "HIM" that his support has been wonderful and has kept you from collapse at times but you have to focus on your marriage. If he truly cares about you as a person he will understand. Tell him that it is a problem for you to be causing him to abandon his wife and family. Tell him that even if you are not 100% sure you believe it. You really need to back off on this relationship now. Go in to this conversation well aware of the temptations of Break up sex. Give yourself reinforcements, don't shave your legs/armpits, wear ugly old underwear. Have your mind made up before you go in to that conversation. Know that he will be hurt but know that your husband is the priority.

This relationship needs to die to save your marriage.

Something will be dying. It will be your marriage and "HIS" marriage or your relationship with "HIM". No other options are possible.

It will be hard to not talk to "HIM" You will be desperate for that shoulder to cry on. But you have to avoid him and do what is right. It will feel like it is killing you but you can survive it. Find a counselor now and let them know exactly what is going on between you and "HIM" Develop a strategy to hopefully get your husband to point where you can cry on his shoulder. This part will be difficult for him because us guy's are not good at providing support for problems we cause (even accidentally) we want to fix them or ignore them. This will be your husbands struggle, part of his sacrifice to save the marriage.

Remember, you can't start a marriage by your self and you sure can't fix one by your self. It takes both of you.

I keep a quote on my monitor as a constant reminder: Integrity is never painless. - M. Scott Peck.

I don't know who he is or was but that statement is 100% true for me.

I am truly sorry for your pain and the pain to come.

a kindred spirit.

follow ur heart. ur a strong women and tha rock! be proud and cry it eases tha soul. smile!

Sassygirl... You and I are in the exact same situation! My husband got sick 3 years ago. Same outcome, depression, says he's going to die, wants to, wishes he did. I too am the sole bread winner. Same as you, found myself in the arms of another man, mentally at first, but since has become physical. There are so many similarities in our stories, I'd like to chat with you more! Let me tell you, when or if that relationship gets physical, it will change everything again.


Thanks for your post. So sorry about your husband's accident and what you've gone through. Your insight is invaluable.

Wow, Polly, you made me realize what you and Sassy are going through way more strongly than I understood before. PBaker, you too. I respect and empathize with your feelings, my problems seem small by comparison. Good wishes....

My husband was in a rollover VW accident in 2001 and sustained permanent brain damage. His brain was very damaged, he was not able to eat for seven months. He was the lowest score on the survival scale.

I have two sons, at the time they were 12 and 20. Also I was, and continued to be, a fulltime working professional in the field of education.

My older son was in a drug rehab program (which he soon ran away from) after 5 years of juvenile hall, jail, etc. He was ADHD and just would not accept any authority or act in any sort of responsible way. I believe it was a byproduct of the stress of this that my husband fell asleep while driving (no other explanation), although I have since been able to let go of my resentment through Alanon.

My younger son, now 20, immediately began to have problems at school and is still withdrawn and depressed (on medication) although he seems stable, and is living at home with me.

I was so determined that my husband (we've been married 35 years) would live at home that I had an addition built onto our house, because the 24 hour caregivers he needed were so upsetting to my sense of privacy. I only lasted eight months before I realized that I could not deal with him living at home. He had been in rehab facilities for a year and a half before they would even consider a permanent placement (home, at first) so his injury was much worse than yours seems, but still, his personality had completely changed, and he would never be able to drive again, or work.

I researched Brain Injury placements in our state, visited the most likely one, and really felt it was excellent. Luckily we have the means to house him there, it is very expensive, and appears to be a regular (very fancy) house. The staff are wonderful and he has truly blossomed, I have kept our house and finally retired at the age of 55.

He keeps improving, but is about like an eight year old child on planning and learning...he does not have much emotional response (right frontal lobe destroyed), but can care for himself well and takes only a few medications. He can do much, much more than anyone ever believed he could do, and he is...happy. We can't live together, because it is me that keeps him aware of how much he has lost...our relationship is completely different, he is really my third child. We recently went on a cruise together and it worked out well, there was a lot of stability in the way a cruise is run, and I could get out and about on my own, and he fits in OK as an early-Alzheimer's person would.

It is very, very sad and cannot be changed. Brain damage is truly devastating. That person that was, no longer exists.

I had a friendship like you describe and I propositioned the person, who agreed to have a physical relationship. After about a year, I decided to look for a boyfriend (I am still excellent friends with my original friend). I found a person starved for sex, and we had a really exciting relationship for about three years, but he could never really accept that I was never going to divorce my husband. It is a lifetime commitment. I met him when I was twenty. I always want to be the one to take care of his needs, pay the bills, make sure he is being cared for properly, sees his boys (now 20 and 28).

I had another "boyfriend" relationship for yet another three years, but this person was passionless and narcissistic, and I wonder why I used this much time on it, but I did learn a lot. He had lost his wife to a brain tumor. So we did have a lot in common. But that ended about a year ago, when I got frustrated putting in so much and him being so self centered.

Now I don't have any "man" for physical love. I decided I'd better get to know myself better, and stop looking. Perhaps something will come my way, perhaps not. I don't regret my affairs (and there were more, short ones). They got me through a time no one could ever comprehend. It was truly much worse than having a dead husband, having a severely brain damaged one. You never knew what was was the most horrible thing I could have ever imagined. I lost my husband, but I still have my "soulmate", and we can reminisce about a lot of things, and he gives me support when I have problems with our boys. He is so very brave and strong to have made it out of "the other planet" back to earth and even visits home. That has only happened the last 2 years. So the brain can regenerate a lot, incredible really, but I feel it is because I never let him down, I always kept the family together, he knew I would be there for him, always, and keep the show on the road.

I am a very strong person and I am not suggesting every one could do this. But caring for myself is number one. At the time I needed an adult confidant...and lover. Now I go to the Health Club twice weekly, eat healthy (vegetarian), volunteer and help others. I read, rest, enjoy my pets, try to "let go" of my kids.

I go to Alanon, which has been the single most helpful thing in my life, even though I am a nonbeliever.

Thanks for listening at the Experience Project.

they say an emotional affair is worse than a physical affair because you get your heart wrapped in it. If you feel that your marriage vows are sacred and that confiding in him could turn to more you'll have to stop but if this is the one outlet in your life that gives you some peace, some happiness, then why would you give that up? yes it sucks being in your situation and even more knowing he's married too but if you don't turn it into a sexual relationship then don't be ashamed of it. It just sounds like you have a really good friend that is there for you when no one else can be. you may have fallen in love but so what? it happens to everyone whether they admit it or not.

Sassygirl may I remind you of the Marriage Vows? As I recall one of them was to care for each other in sickness and in health. So you are finding it tough? Well join the club and stop bitching. My first wife was a drug addicted alcoholic, in love with her father. I did not find this out before we married, but I knew what my duty was. I cared for her for the six years before she passed on. Anita, was ill for 9 years out of our 20 years together

And the last year of her life I cared for her 24/7, administering drugs, turning her every 3 hours, cooking, etc. Less than a year after my 3rd marriage J got ill and I have been dealing with her physical and mental health problems for the last 6 years.

Like you my social life is virtually non-existant. Will she be able to go out, or stay curled up in a dark room? Will I have to wash and pot her this week or will she manage by herself.

Career? I have been unable to work since the turn of the century and my thriving practice is a fond memory.

Sex? Well that is a do it yourself job: but the thought of betraying any of these women has never entered my mind.

You say that you cannot leave HIM? Well he has a family as well and you are putting his marriage at risk as well as your husband's welfare.

Women go on that they want equality? Well girl, prove it and do what men have been doing for thousands of years: looking after their family because it was their responsibility. Your husband and children have become your responsibility. Do it and stop moaning

This is a slippery slope regardless of emotional availability. I see how it could certainly happen, but I know, and the writer's bright enough to know, that 'emotionally available' opposite sex 'friends' tend to lead to sexual innuendos and weak moments, from which there's no return.

When, and not if, one 'crosses that line', the woman generally feels the pangs of guilt. A woman with all the household chores and complete burden of the housework--a condition that's not gonig to subside simply because of the comfort she gets being with another man--is a prime candidate to falling apart at the seams and the children not only suffer, but figure it all out in a blink. Her pangs of guilt run in a crescendo, her performance in her home as caretaker tanks...and it's a far bigger mess than what she's writing here.

I'm trying to write in the third person because this is common and nobody needs to be singled out or attacked personally.

The grinding gruel of divorce court proceedings, as horrid as it is, is all that remains, and I never advocate divorce.

She refers to her husband's injury, presumably a head injury. She mentions the classic hurdle of a BP (or any mentally ill person) resisting medication/treatment. I'll mention that there's ALWAYS an 'acceptance curve' in submitting to having to TAKE medication. The spouse of the affected realizes the neccesity of it instantly; the affected, PARTICULARILY if he's a man, goes along the pathway to acceptance 1) at his own pace 2) when he's

ready, and (clincher here) reaches #2 with a strong spousal team member and support system.

That's one more burden for the spouse. By the time this is published, there's an almost-certain possiblity that she's reached the slope and gone down it, making her detached and 'dual-ly loyal' to two guys, which only means she'll be more of a mess than her husband.

My only suggestion is a support group, the #4 component of recovery, right behind 1: seeing a doctor 2: taking the medication the doctor prescribes (and yes, a spouse can leave it out for him initially 3: GET COUNSELING, and 4: catch a couple of support group meetings, most preferably DBSA (depression bipolar support alliance) that specializes in tackling ALL realms of mental illness, including head-trauma-induced ones.

Best of luck, hang in, LOOKING down the slope's ok but staying close to that temptation for too long, ma'am, is a dangerous direction for you at this (or any) time.


Alton, IL

I understand your need for HIM, but be aware that crossing that line into adultery, even if OK'd by others, is a very dangerous thing for you, your children, his wife, his children, your husband, your friends etc. Emotions run high when a thing like that is "found out" about even if there is prior agreement that it is "OK". Friendship is worth a tremendous amount, and I understand completely your needs with HIM, HE sounds like a very good thing for you, and probably you for him. Keep it to friendship/love and avoid the physical infidelity at all costs is my advice. I tore up many lives by going sexual with a friend, my husband knew (we were agreed on divorcing prior), but it backfired tremendously with effects on me, my children, my husband, my lover, his wife (they were separated for 1.5 years prior), their children, and friends and business associates on all sides, even involving the police, violence and arrests. I will never, ever have sex with anyone married ever again, and advise everyone else to follow the laws and their promises no matter the "agreements" or length of separation. You have to sort out your own feelings and live by them. Good luck.

This is one of the very difficult situations that can occur in a marriage, which is why it would be so helpful for you and your husband to talk with a professional to be able to better put things in perspective and communicate. And easier if you do this sooner, rather than later, when boundaries may have been crossed that you will so regret. Go to if you cannot network to get a referral.

I'm so sorry for your situation.

This is one of the very difficult situations that can occur in a marriage, which is why it would be so helpful for you and your husband to talk with a professional to be able to better put things in perspective and communicate. And easier if you do this sooner, rather than later, when boundaries may have been crossed that you will so regret. Go to if you cannot network to get a referral.

I'm so sorry for your situation.

I appreciate all your responses. I know what is morally right and I love my husband; his brain injury resulted in emotional and personality changes that are really hard to deal with. He is not the man I married but I am NOT leaving him. Sitting by someone day after day watching them struggle with a physical disorder is one thing, watching them struggle with an emotional ailment is sooo painful. He is convinced he will die soon and scares our children with his odd behavior.

So I rely on my 'friend' for emotional support. We do not talk about my husband or my personal life. My husband knows about HIM, but doesn't understand the impact HE has on my life. They've met, they both tell me the other is a really nice guy, and I like and love them for very different reasons.

I don't want HIM to leave his wife or family. I don't want to ruin his marriage. But I can't walk away from him . . . I think it would kill me.

I KNOW how you feel . My husband has mild brain damage from ruptured aneurysm . We have been married 25 yrs have 3 boys . I was going to divorce him 3 yrs ago , not because I don't love him but because I was not IN LOVE with him anymore . I was supposed to see a lawyer the day before my apt was when my husband's aneurysm erupted. I will NEVER leave him , he needs me . No one understands what I am going through , all of my friends are gone now . Family has stopped talking to me , They wanted me to leave him. He has anger issues because of the brain damage . Scares our youngest . who is 14 . I am the only one who can calm my husband down . He still works . They created a job just for him at his company. I cant go anywhere or do anything outside the home alone because I can't leave my boys with my husband because he will go off on them for the dumbest things . He is not physical but yells and it is scary . He storms around the house and throws things . WE all walk on egg shells . But if the phone rings and its work , he sounds just like his old self . he sounds normal. its very weird . HE wont go to counseling . I am in counseling and so is our youngest . IT is a very stressful life . I have no one to lean on for emotional support . IF I cry my husband gets angry . YOU do what YOU need to do to get by . NO one understands what YOU are going through but YOU . Keep moving forward and STAY strong .

Take care

rojojeepnut: I think you meant STD (sexually transmitted disease) NOT SID (sudden infant death).

Sassy: this is a hurtful and confusing time for you. If the only support that you have is a guy than so be it. You need support too no matter where or who its coming from :)

hang in there

ENSHA the truth is that god showed me the way out of that dispair because I did not know the way out.

Mary did the work of another force in the universe.

God showed me what marriage vows and unconditional love is all about.

If my friend told me to leave my wife and divorce her ___NOW___because she is disabled and in chronic pain I would TURN AWAY FROM SUCH ignorance.

If my wife had followed Mary's advice she would probably be disabled and depressed ___NOW___writting into this site and asking how she ended up like that.

Dear Sassy, I'm so sorry for your hurts, that of your husband and your children and friends. It's so hard for so many people to understand that we're not all the same and not all made up of the same characteristics, strengths and weaknesses. Where a problem for one might be just a challenge for another and where a strength for one might be a weakness for another. Unless we have "stood where they are standing we can never know what the hurt and suffering of another feels like.

I have had kids die from natural causes and self inflicted ones but i never found anyone who fully understood my feelings unless they had "stood in my shoes".

In your case i have not stood in your shoes but if i was ever laid up as the husband and provider and not able to supply my wife with her needs i would want her to find the love and affection she needed from else where.

We have a good communication and our marriage is built on that. I trust her and would trust her. I know this is highly controversial and will stir reactions against it but I know God's ways are not our ways as His thoughts are not our thoughts. So He works in mysterious ways and open honest communication between two people, even others than your spouse is so contrary to the ways, and traditions of society today.

I don't care what others want to think or say. God help them for thinking they know what is best for me and my situation. But that is the shame of our society today. People are too good at gossip and judging others by what they think is right and wrong. Where is the real love and genuine care and concern for one another? The real sin in this situation is not that maybe this woman needs someone to support her and be a shoulder for her, the real sin is that of those who would judge her for being a human being and needy and reaching out for help. Reminds me of how Jesus treated the self righteous Scribes and Pharisees of his day. He pretty much blasted them for being cruel and unloving. Love is the most important thing.

We avoid Mary and people that like her or EVIL sick people that wish to destroy people that are going through difficult times.


It seems to me that Mary was the big catalyst in your movement toward help. Sure you cite- Lucinda bassett for that however Mary's comment "brought it home for you, really made you see that all wasn't right with the world."

I suffer from depression and I won't leave the house unless I have to. I know what I talking about, when I say that it's a very selfish disease. Of course your wife loves you and even under threat of divorce, she still loved you. Her telling you was her way of giving you another chance to make things right. If she had just written you off and said I don't care anymore- then she would have just filed for divorce, WITHOUT talking to you about it.

I am married, and I love my husband as much as I love my kids, he is my best friend and best guy in the world. But I would not go twelve years with a social life or expect him to- it's cruel. And marriage vows don't say cruelty is acceptable.

Marriage vows large point to the things we can't fix/change- prosperity, poverty, sickness, health- you didn't have to wait twelve years to do something about it, I have no doubt in my mind that Mary's the one who made you realize you had a problem.

My people-clautsrophobia isn't so bad I won't go to work, it does hamper my social life - though being anti-social to begin with- it doesn't bother me much. That's me being selfish, I could fix my problem but I don't care enough to.

Don't shoot Mary she was only the messenger.



I became very ill from PANIC Disorder and a related digestive disorder back in the late 1980's's.My wife had to do all the shopping and and we never had a social life for 12 years.

Depression set in and agoraphobia made it impossible to do more than clean the house.

My wife had to talk eventually and vent so she went out to a party which I understood she needed .She had a few drinks and opened up to Mary which we knew since childhood.

Mary told her to DIVORCE ME IMMEDIATELY because my wife didn't have to put up with this !!

She came home and told me what Mary said and I can't tell you how ____low it made___ me feel.I have loved my wife since 1968 when we were kids in the same village and she is my heart and soul.

Here how the story ends because in life we all write the end to our life story.I prayed for help and two years later on November 15th/1993 Lucinda bassett was on TV and explaining her similar illness and how she had recovered.

My wife stood by me while I had therapy and loved me like a wife should.I am now a wealthy healthy millionaire.I didn't shoot myself like I felt like doing that day I heard that she was told to divorce me.

When things were better in our life Mary we began to play and have fun with 3 vacation a year.We found several good friends on our vacations and life was wonderful again.

WE are happy now and we know the meaning of our wedding vows that say for better or worse.Unfortunately y wife became disabled in 2002 from a work accident but I knew just what to do through her agony and depression.I would take care of her and LOVE HER because that's what love is.I would talk to someone I trusted like my brother or mom and then research on the net if I needed information.

We avoid Mary and people that like her or EVIL sick people that wish to destroy people that are going through difficult times.

We will now grow old together and live on the B.C. Gulf Islands in the summer were we will sail and then sail to the Carribean for the winter.

inspired by ur story

Where is this conversation going? Your Husband has had an accident and the discussion has turned into a "Hunt for Sex".

What were his injuries? Does he have physical injuries or mental injuries? Has the "Promise" of Fidelity been betrayed?

Don't do this to your Husband. Finding Sex out of wedlock is morally wrong, not to mention the potential of S.I.D's being introduced to your husband. Divorce him before you betray him. But, divorce is a betrayal, in itself.

Doesn't anyone keep their promises, anymore?

your life sounds hard. i can see your need to escape. having an emotional relationship with another man besides your husband isn't cheating, it's called friendship. don't feel guilty that you need human companionship. everyone does. some get a whole lot less than we actually need.

also to balance your struggle, have you considered explaining to your husband how hard it is for you in your life and how he isn't supportive, emotionally, enough and how you need that. you don't need to mention your friend. just talk about how much you need someone to help you cope with your life and how he hasn't done that for you. he may be receptive and openly talk with you about it. he may be feeling the same thing but hasn't said anything because he knows he's been a burden to you and is afraid. men usually don't like to admit they aren't strong and providing in the way they feel they ought to.

if your husband isn't receptive and is defensive and doesn't talk to you in an emotional understanding way, then there's the insight you will need to make your next decision. will you stay in your marriage? will you continue to live this hard life? if so, for how long? will you have an affair with your friend? will your friend ever care for you enough to leave his wife? these are all very important questions. it's obvious from your story that your NOT happy the way it is and you want a way to escape from the struggle.

as far as i know, you only get one life. so is this how you want yours to be? if you don't like it, there's only one person who can change it. the question is, do you have the courage to be truly happy?