After An Affair, Should I Stay Or Should I Go...

I am  an almost 40 year old male... i have been married going on 10 years and have been with my wife for 12 years altogether... We have 3 kids together and it is all falling apart.

We had a passionate loving friendship and relationship for the first 6 years of our relationship, but relocation the birth of our first child and career ups and downs apparently took a toll on our relationship. First my wife had an affair... she was going through depression and I wasn't emotionally very available for her since my focus was on taking care of the kids and work to maintain our income... I was more upset about the lying and deception than anything else... I was angry and basically told her to leave... I had majority custody of my daughter and stepson... I was done and completely ready to divorce, papers filled out and all... but i felt like I should give it one more try - for the kids - before calling it quits...

We reconciled and had two more kids in the meantime but our relationship hasn't been the same since... a lot of resentment had unknowingly been built on both sides and since then our relationship has been up and down... long periods of emotional emptiness, conflicts in ideals, lack of sex and intimacy... not the absolute worst relationship in the world (we didn't fight or argue or yell and scream everyday or anything like that) but a LOT of room for improvement...

Two years ago I had an affair that was mainly due to seeking attention and lack of sex in my marriage... I met the woman only once but we had an emotional affair for almost a year. My wife never knew or found out about that affair and I quickly got over it... but i questioned whether we should stay married because of what i had done... About six months ago I started another affair... a few months ago my wife did find out about this woman but doesn't know the extent of the affair (she has asked and suspects but I am not telling her the extent of what has happened, she knows enough to know I've cheated)

So now I've done this twice. My wife was "saved" a few years ago and believes we should stay married no matter what and though her her heart and emotions may say different, she says she wants to work on keeping our relationship... With some work I do believe we could work things out but i have concerns both about my behavior and her true, realistic feelings in wanting to work things out...  My only consideration for staying however is the kids... I love my wife but I have obviously checked out of this relationship... The girl i'm having an affair with is someone I have known for longer than I've known my wife... we have a history together and i know at least in the short term, her and I could have a very satisfying relationship and besides the obvious negatives I do consider there to be some pros to my wife and I separating.

Things have reached a point and i need to sh!t or get off it. I have gotten an apt and it's time for me to decide what I'm going to do... understandably my wife wants to know what i'm going to do... And I know she deserves to know sooner than later... I'm not sure it is right for me to stay considering what i've done but I don't know if giving up my family is the right thing to do either... right now it has come down to deciding between being on my own and hurting my wife and kids or being on my own and doing what is probably best for me at the moment and in the long run better for us all... 

  

 
blackboywonder blackboywonder
36-40, M
3 Responses Aug 3, 2010

I wrote something on a recent post called having An affair. It is from a book I read that talks about the fantasy aspect of affairs. Read that & see if it helps. It mostly addresses if you are going to maintian the affair. But I hope it helps.

thats a tuff desicion your to make there but if you and your wife don,t love each then don,t just hold on for the kids sake tell them that its a clean break and if you both agree to that then the kids will not be affectted rather than your wife using you to be the bad one if it gets out about the affair. i ,m also having an affair but it will also be a big scandle for me if we are caught so i,m being very careful with my moves and always looking over my shoulder but i have an advantage with my lover as we have know each other for a long time and we drink together with our family and friends but none of his family thou,

Hmmm thats an interesting struggle. I just wanna say a divorced family is NOT equivalent to a broken family. So your kids will be okay if you and your wife are ok. And taking care of yourselves is a prerequisite to and not independent of caring for your children. Does that make sense? This was a good first story. I hope people can help you.