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Separated But Not Equal

My marriage of 14 years is coming to an end. I had seen the writing on the wall for the past 2 years but had tried everything I could to make things better between us. We had been friends for 8 years before we got married and that has carried through some of the toughest times. The past year, though, has been much more difficult.

One year ago, my wife had an affair with another married man. The nature of her job is to interact with large groups of people. She is a trainer for people who have been outplaced from their jobs. It was with one of her trainees that she developed this relationship that developed into something more than I ever dreamed she was capable of doing. I didn't discover this on my own. She had the courage to tell me, though I often wonder if she told me everything. She said she had arranged a meeting with him and they had kissed. She said she didn't let it go any farther, that she was too wracked with guilt over deceiving me.

I forgave her on the spot, hearing the entire story she wanted to tell. She had been falling out of love with me, because she felt as though we were drifting apart. Careers, children and greater responsibilites had taken too much time away from each other. I had thought, naively I suppose, that everything was okay. In my rush to forgive her and thank her for the courage she displayed in telling me, I had made a concerted effort to devote more attention to her, to mend our broken fences. She had wanted time apart, to give herself time to heal. Against her wishes, I had asked that we work thngs out together, hoping that being close would allow us to reconnect.

Sadly this was not the case and one year later, we are farther apart then ever. Often times, she blames my lack of attention towards her as the reason for her actions. I am hurt by this because on many occassions, I have been more than attentive. Just a month before the affair, we had a wonderful trip through wine country and had also seen one of our favorite bands in concert. While I always feel I could be more attentive, I certainly do not ignore her. I have always lover her and I always will.

Separation now is the only way to go. Too many negative feelings still persist and she has not been able to move on. Now, I feel like I have to. So hear I stand by myself, letting my best friend go. And for that I am extremely sad. I have to sell my house and find a new residence. I have to live on my own for the first time in a very long time and am looking for others who can offer advice on how to get through this initial stage. Its bad enough I have to go through it, but I must take into consideration the lives of my two daughters and the impact it will have on them.

Going foward, I know I will be okay. Reading the stories of others in this group will provide comfort and any comments or suggestions to my post would certainly be helpful. Thank you for taking the time to listen. And I hope what I say may be of help to someone else. That, even in these situations, its okay to forgive though we may never forget.
enigmatic1 enigmatic1 36-40, M 19 Responses Sep 15, 2010

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I am in so late but reading all of these makes me really sad because I feel just like this. I am married seven years and we dated for five years before that. I have said we are just room mates for so long now and to see that expression here makes me think that someone understands. Just like you commented, no intimacy, never felt he wanted to be with me, wanted to feel special just to him but never did. Then started feeling bad blaming myself that I wanted too much, after all he was just a man and maybe it was me with too many romantic movies in my head. So I stayed and two years later nothing has changed, we are different people and because of the harrowing lack of genuine care and affection not to mention proper loving communication, I can't stay anymore. I cried reading this as I see the ones like I was staying and hoping love would grow, the ones that leave and look for love again and the ones being left. I feel so guilty leaving, my husband is a good man that everyone loves, no one understands me or wants to listen to me and to be honest I don't know what to tell them because unless you are in a similar situations it is hard to understand. Anyone of my family I have said anything to blame me that I expect too much and that I must prioritise my kids, my beautiful boys, three and five. I love them so much and for that alone don't want to explain to anyone why it is not working with me and their dad, for them we have to stay friends and I think we will. I mean it when I say he is a good man he just doesn't love me, definitely not the way I want and need. He says he is sorry and I feel sad that I can't forgive but I tried and gave him time over the last three months but he was still so cold and distant with me. When I explain it to him he says I must try too and because he feels he is on trial it is unfair. I understand on the one hand but I know if I was loosing the one I loved I would fight hard but I think it goes back to what I said earlier, we are different people. He admits he took me for granted and thinks I should accept it and move on that it won't happen anymore but I just feel so far apart from him now. I loved him when we married, had hopes and dreams, I thought we would always work together to get through things and support each other but it never worked out that way, I always felt alone, my god this has turned into me taking over rather than helping you. I am sorry.......even though I can't sort my own situation, I do think even though it is hard to go, it is better to be lonely on your own than to be lonely with someone......I wish you the very best also

My marriage of 20 years is coming to an end...
My H had an affair Dec.2010....
and I dicovered it by accident Christmas eve
I can relate to much you say...I still Loved him
He said all the right things at that moment and I wanted to forgive him...
I worried for my kids ...finances etc.
That seemed to be his permission to play mental games with me!
Now we are roommates and I am faced with selling my home too...

I know this isn't advice...
cause I have no idea how to get through it either
but just knowing there maybe someone out there to talk to who is feeling the same things and can relate is very comforting....

Sounds like you are going through something similar. Right now I am at the stag in my marriage where I've given up because nothing changes no matter what I do. But I stay. We don't fight we are just roommates. My two kids are my life. But my thoughts are if I leave would it be the best thing for me or would I regret it the rest of my life. Married 17 years ! There is no intamacy, but I can have sex when I ask as long as I do not take to long. No passion no desire and no matter what I do nothing changes. So I've stopped trying. Advice? How do u know It was best to leave. I know I am staying mostly for the kids. I as much as I don't want to I do love her, but I'm realizing she will never want to be my lover again. And frankly at my age it's like I am less of a man and she makes me feel that way. But I can't see a life not being with my boys. Advice

Don't stay. I stayed for so long because of the kids and was so lonely without a partner. We were separated 4 years ago and I stayed and never got back to where I was in love.
Sounds like it's time for you to move on. It's so hard, I just did it and some days I am so confident and some days I am so sad. If I can say it will get better for you, it must get better for me....

How did you know it was right to go? We don't fight at all. We are roommates. We are nice to each other, so I think it's harder for me because I'm just lonely.
But I have my boys.

I never thought I would have an affair, and I haven't and wouldnt look. But now I think it would be hard to say no if it was there. To have someone into me. React to my touch, want to be with me would be hard to resist.

And today is my anniversary. We will exchange gifts, say happy anniversary, maybe even kiss. And I will go to bed alone. It was so hard to buy a card that was not a lie. It made me sad to read the cards: to the woman I love, to my wife I love you more everyday, to my best friend my lover, my everything. I wish. I remember when it felt that way. I just don't think 1 person can love for both not for very long. no cards that say to my wife, my roommate. To the woman I watch tv with. To the woman who lets me lay on top if I beg. To the woman who stole my heart and then forgot I exist. Or how about to the woman that use to always want in my pants... Until she got her own ATM card. Ok I'm venting and joking.

Day by day....

I have been married 14 yrs....n living in denial...i am thinking he has always been a liar, n a cheat...

I don't have advice but I am in almost the same situation. I am so heartbroken and in so much pain and it is of some comfort that I am not so completely alone. Although, I wouldn't wish this pain on anyone. <3

No one should have to endure this pain. Our relationships are all unique, in terms of the attraction that brings any two people together. When that attraction begins to dissipate at the hands of mistrust, infidelity or by any other means, it is painful. While attraction brings feelings of elation and happiness, separation is truly the polar opposite. It took a while for me to move beyond the separation of my marriage, accept my new life and open myself up to another relationship. I hope, in your situation, that your differences can be resolved and that you will be able to rekindle what once was lost. If your love is beyond repair, know that as long as you open yourself up to the possibility of loving again, you will find your beshert, your soulmate, the one you get to spend the rest of your life loving every step of the way.

I wonder when I will stop waking up with my stomach in knots. When will I stop vomiting when I try to eat. I have lost 10 lbs in a week. I am yet able to come to the point where I don't consider him my soulmate. I keep expecting him to realize what a horrible mistake he is making in destroying our family. I keep thinking he is going through a midlife crisis and he will look back and be like "OH **** WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING???" Our marriage had its ups and downs just like anyone elses but I truly thought we would be together forever. I wish I found him unattractive. I wish I could be more angry. I wish I could just truly understand where and why this is all happening. Everyone I know is in complete shock. We were THAT couple people looked at and said "I want what they have". People would tell us they were there inspiration. Now I wonder if it was all dilussion on my part and an act on his. I am questioning every single thing I have done and felt for the past 14 years. I know, eventually, the pain will lessen, I just don't know if my heart will ever repair to the point where I can love another again. Goddamnit, I still love him so much.
Thank you for responding. I feel less alone.

You are describing almost exactly what has been happening to me in terms of what people thought, how I have felt etc. Wish you lots of strength and may you find happiness and love you deserve. I too am waiting (stupidly, I think) for the day he says he's made a terrible mistake. I think it's natural. All there is left is to wait and see. Hugs.

I agree, i too am waiting for my husband of 25 years to realize that he made a mistake. he is now in counseling himself (seeing the guy who couldn't help us as a couple) saying that he will not be coming back and it's over. I'm in excruciating pain and can't wait until that gets better. Hang in there :)

I wonder if there's an update? I feel just like you...except I am the one who ignored my husband or made him feel insignificant and he's blindsided me...

2 More Responses

I am so sorry you are going through this too. I, too am separating after 23 years of marriage. It is sad and scary at the same time. Be strong and move on. Maybe she put the blame on you to excuse her lack of willingness to work on your relationship. Same with my husband. It is sad sad. Be strong and I wish you happiness.

Sadness, I am afraid, is just the beginning. I was sad over the loss of my marriage and the end of a wonderful friendship. For me, lament followed the sadness.To this day, I still think about all the memories we could have made as a family; this, while we still finalize our divorce. I have read your story. 23 years is indeed a long time and it seems like he is abandoning you when you need him the most. In this most trying of times, I hope that you have others that you can truly rely upon to give you the emotional support that you need to get you back to a happier place. There is always hope for everyone. We are never truly alone; it just seems that way when we are at the abyss of our sadness.

Thank you for your reply. I have had a terrible mourning / grieving period. I think I'm a bit hardened now. I'm a bit better. Now, suddenly, after the terrible sense of loss and grief, I start seeing things more clearly. Things I should have felt strongly about but never did because of the sense of loss. Now I am beginning to see I surely deserve more. Or at least, I do not and did not deserve what I have been going through. I read somewhere that making a list of all the things your partner did that hurt you, helps in times of when you would like them back and know rationally it isn't a good idea. Maybe I should make a list to help me during bad times. Maybe you should try too.
Funny thing is that he rented an apartment 3 weeks ago but is still at home and doesnt really do much to move stuff and arrange his place. Today he just slouched in front of the TV all day instead of arranging his place (he says every day that he's too busy/tired to do stuff there). However, not a single word has he said to me all day. For weeks/months actually. We do talk when it comes to issues about the girls, the house sale, etc. I wonder why he doesnt leave. I think he's waiting for me to ask or say something he will "understand" as if I am telling him to move out so he can maybe feel less guilty or take full responsibility for his decision. I dont know, really. I hope you too will come quickly to a time when you will start to heal. Sending you hugs.

Hello,<br />
I am sorry to hear that you have to go thro all this but trust me I m in the same boat with the difference my hubby of 11yrs cheated on me and i too had seen the writing on the wall abt 2yrs back but believed him and trusted him bit too much, I had put on weight and was plump not like my earlier attractive self, and he had the audacity to tell me he doesnt like me as i dont look good and am obese and wld prefer to watrch **** rather than touching me,it was the biggest setback i faced than but more was to come ,he stopped communicating to me and then i found he was dropping a lady from his office, trsut me shocking part is that lady is no way near me in terms of looks but still he found me so v repelling ,i found out and he never accepted that he was hving affair,I m sure of one thing that this lady flirted wid him and he encouraged her hence dfint hv time for me ,he walked out on us (me and kids) abt 4months back ,he infact meets the lady in his office cafeteria and has even fwded my mails to her, earlier it hurt me tremendously and i asked him to justify and all and was depressed and secretly hoping he wld come back <br />
but abt 3 weeks back when i had called him to sort things out he abused me in a filthy manner aft which i lost my cool and cld see the cheapskate that he was all the time <br />
I decided then and there me and kids dont deserve such a filthy man in our lives,trust me now it doesnt matter to me at all whom he is wid or if he is dead or alive,he has stopped existing for us now and i m feeling better n better and when i feel a tinge then i immed make a list of things which he has done which hurt me so i dont miss him now ,pls b patient,u will start feeling better ,god bless u,u will b in my prayers

I am seeing my terrible marriage in so many of all these posts...bits n pieces..it is so unreal..i hate n am so bitter..

@blushadow,<br />
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Thank you for your comment. I have also received much support from this community. We are indeed following through with divorce, though I am sure that process will carry out for a while. I committed to making myself happy and it seems you are.

You sound just like me. I am still married though, longer than you. I'm going through a really hard time, and have received some very positive support from this community. I'm fairly determined that I'm going to end our relationship, because we are nothing more than room mates at this point, and I can't imagine living the rest of my life like this. Our 2 kids are grown which I'm glad. I don't hate my husband, we've raised a wonderful family together, but, it doesn't go much beyond that. There's never been intimacy or passion. He's not my soul mate. I'm lonely and miserable, trying to get my act together so I can figure out my future. I wish you luck. Hang in there.

Dude been through the same thing. Sometimes it is best to just move on and cut the cord as they say. Don't get me wrong I still think of her often that never goes away. Especially with the time that was spent with her. And it sounds as if you have two beautiful daughters and that can never be taken away.<br />
I was married for 19 yrs,. So I know the pain you speak of.<br />
I cut all ties she will not even talk to me she changed her cell and I had double hand transplants and still not heard from her. <br />
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The moral is to go and let time heal your wounds......... God Bless my friend. !

I am sorry that your family is having to go through this time. You sound like an awesome man that cares for his children. I try to be nice to everyone until they prove to me beyond any doubt that they do not deserve it. It took your wife a lot of courage to admit what she had done and even though there may have been more to it she still came to you and admitted her errors. It also sounds like you are willing to admit you could have been more for her as well and although mistakes have been made I truly believe you can come through divorce friends that love one another in the end. It isn't the same love you had before but it is love nonetheless. Some people cannot have this mature level of divorce so you are blessed to have it. i wish you luck and love in your future. ((hugs))

@ISPsWTF: Thank you for your comment. I consider it more than a comment actually. They are words of wisdom and they give me hope. You exhibit such fortitude now in the wake of your divorce, to be so confident in the breakup of another relationship so soon thereafter. I know these times are difficult and I believe it is selfish of another to separate because of your single mother status.<br />
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You seem to be a genuine person who has her priorities straight. I am glad that you took care of you first and ended a marriage that was failing. I believe you had the best interests of yourself first, which will translate into a better relationship with your daughter. (I have two by the way and consider myself the luckiest man on earth.)<br />
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I know I am a good person who has much to offer. I am not the perfect man but my intentions are always good, I don't think any of us can be perfect. But we have to learn from our lessons in life, to make it work better the next time around. I know I will find love again and I know you will to. Thank you again for your words to live by. They do make a difference.

I am so sorry for your loss... that is the most common comment that I got during my separation and its true, so much of myself was invested in my future with my husband and I had changed in so many ways to accomodate the life that he wanted for us. Although I tried to do my best to make my marriage work, nothing I had done was enough and at the end of the day neither of us could be happy remaining today. Nine months post separation I am still in the process of reinventing myself. I am really enjoying the opportunity to be myself again, to redefine my future and now I find that my future is definately much more to my liking. We have finalised the financial agreement, the parenting plan and I always keep at the forefront of my mind to make decisions in the best interests of my daughter. I had found love again after separating from my husband, I think I was yearning for intimacy in my life as I had not had genuine affection from my husband for about three years prior to our marriage ending. Six months ago I began dating a guy from work who brought some fun and laughter back in my life but unfortunately he ended our relationship today because of my single mum status. Even given all that has happened I am a much stronger person today than I ever was during my marriage, I like and respect myself much more and I hope that given time I will find someone who appreciates and respects me. I know my soul mate is out there some where and hopefully I will have the patience to wait for them and the wisdom to recognise them when I find them.

Enigmatic1..I don't know you..but you sound like a very smart man....a very sensitive person that is in touch and willing to work on whatever it takes to get out the other side......I think you are doing just great...and i want to applaud you for opening yourself up to strangers and allowing people to speak into your life...this shows me your level of transparency. I am confident that you will get through this, no matter where the road leads you.......I , also like you, cannot share my private matters with people closests to me (sad actually)....but have found enormous amounts of insight and encouragement from this wonderful people here on EP. This is a great tool in your journey , use it as much as you need..and if you ever need to chat, you message anyone you feel comfortable talking to....I wish you well , I wish you strenght and wisdom and I wish you the ability to realise you are a special person..not a failure...you are destined for great things....the only difference between people that succeed and those that don't...is what they believe about themselves....sometimes we lose someone, but we gain something else...one door closes, another opens.....there are coming and goings.....but even in the unpredictable world we live in where our houses can go up in flames, we can lose our jobs, our money, our partners, our kids...to then be able to stand against all adversity ...that is true strenght....strenght only God can give......may He be with you always my friend........life is not perfect, neither are we.....we are just on this journey..(ok, I know i sound philosophical)...he he...but yeh..you get my point....<br />
Only through pain we grow it seems....we just have to surf the wave out......You are going to make it...one day you will look back and see....:)

@DJK44: That is exactly how I want to go about it. I am a product of divorce, and my mother had actually stayed in the marriage long as she did for the sake of her children. I remember the angry emotions swirling through my head at the thought of being deceived into believing my parents were happy. I never wanted the same for my children if we ended down that road. At the end of this all, I know I will still have her as my best friend and my children will see that happy but separated parents are more important than those who merely stay together for the sake of their children. Thanks again.<br />
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@KFC: Thank you for your recommendation. I am always looking for perspective. EP has also been a great help.

We can't make someone want to be with us or love us a certain way. Two years ago, I left my Husband. I couldn't take the pain any more of his rejection of me on all levels. He was a generous man and at times very kind, but our marriage was lacking intimacy (not just sex). We weren't best friends and I so longed for more than he was capable of.<br />
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I don't know all the details to this story, but you may want to read a book called, WHEN GOOD PEOPLE HAVE AFFAIRS. It may help you understand why your wife did what she did.<br />
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I hope in the end all of this works out the way it is supposed to for you.<br />
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Best<br />
KFC

Puggy, thank you for your comment. I do find it a long road to travel and I am saddened to hear that you are going through this again. From my experience dealing with all the emotions involved here, I would not want to get on this bus again.<br />
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I have also taken the time to read some of your stories and there is much I can relate to you, especially with how you feel. It seems our situations are similar, though we are on opposing sides. It would have been nice if I came here sooner to get the perspective that you have, for it would have helped me understand why my wife felt the way she did. I did love her but we have come so far down this road that we just don't know how to turn back.<br />
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I hope you find happiness too and I do find this site uplifting. Neither my family nor friends truly understand my predicament but its nice to have this community to open up and share my thoughts. I no longer feel like I am going through this alone.<br />
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Again, thank you for your kind words.

I am so sorry to hear you go through this. my heart breaks for you...we think we get married and we know things wont always be easy..but when the emotinal stuff starts getting in the way and we drift away from the person we thought we were the closest to..it does not leave us feeling hopeful about things to come in future......it leaves you disillusioned.....you need to moarn the loss of this and cry about this and acknowledge your feelings..everyone of them..dont try and act strong and in control.....because it will come back and get the better of you some way up the road.....are you a christian? if you are, draw closer to God ....just to give you the strenght to get by day to day..because this is not an easy road...divorce is equal to a death......I have been there once and looks like I am going there a 2nd time again...sometimes life really just hands you lemons...it is unpredictable..and people are complex.....but you have support here on EP...if it was not for EP I would not have come to this point where i am now .....don't try and fight this on your own.......

Be cordial even though you are separating .. you can always need a friend for sake of your children...