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Facing a Life Changing Decision!

Well hunker down this story has a lot of twists and turns. I apologize for the length, but didn't know how to get it all down here. I do love both of these men. I am having a hard time with some life decisions in front of me. . Here's a little history . . .

I have been with my husband for 30+ years. We married as teenagers and grew up best friends. So we are YOUNG! Both still in our mid 40's. Our kids are raised and out of the house and range between 28 and 19. We also have grand kids we love dearly. There is no one on earth who knows me better. He's gentle, caring and always thinks of me in everything he does. He has a good heart.

Back about 10 years ago my spouse experienced some career set backs. Lost confidence in himself and got caught up in an addiction to ***********. For the first time in our lives he began to be a little short with family. Lost his temper and yelled at me and the kids. He began treating me like the bimbos he was viewing online. And it slowly pushed me further and further away. I began to feel more and more lost and loney. What happened to my best friend? What was happening to my life? 

We transferred with his job to another state. I left my executive job and started the search to find work in our new home. I did find a good job. We bought a new home and started trying to make a new start.

I believe he has always been a little jealous of work success I was experiencing. Also he may have been a little scared that I may "out grow" him and not need him in my life. He also gets very jealous if someone pays attention to me. Tends to worry if he can't readily reach me and overreacts by calling me over and over.

As part of my new life I wanted to lose a few pounds and get healthy so I joined a gym. Began working out and within the first 8 months had lost about 60lbs and was now a size 2. Felt the best I ever had. Our relationship was going better too. I had made some new friends (female and male) who were workout enthusiasts too. My husband even joined me at the gym 2 or 3 nights a week.

I met my other love while at the gym. Although at first I didn't think of him that way. He too was losing weight. Our kids were in the same Sunday School class. Our families attended the same church. We lived in the same neighborhood.

We became each others support for exercise and diet for well over a year. There was no "spark" between us. Only good fun camaraderie. We became best friends!

The relationship with my husband was becoming more strained. I kept it all in and put on that pasted smile. He wasn't valuing me. Made me feel like I wasn't worthy of his love. I began soul searching and contemplating my options. It was difficult to realize that I may need to seek a divorce. (The "d" word is really not an option in our family.) I was still young and didn't want to live this way. I was trying to find the courage to tell him when our daughter suffered a very complicated medical condition. She lived about 7 hours away in another state. She was required to be in the hospital for the next 5 months. 

Mom's you can all relate to this . . .My daugther became my priority. Even though I was lonely. I pushed all of my other things aside. She needed her mom. (I figured I'd deal with the "d" word after my daughter was well again.)

On the weekends I would drive the 7 hours spend time washing her hair and trying to lift her spirits the best I could. (Her new little family was suffering too with her being sick. Her husband was trying to start a new business and take care of their baby. He couldn't spend as much time with her as he would have liked.)

My husband was having challenges at his work and was not able to go with me. And we still had teenagers at home that needed a parent there. 

One evening at the gym my best friend shocked me when he came and said he had filed for divorce.  He felt he had fulfilled his responsibility to raise his kids and his last one was now 18. (FYI. .  I had a clue he wasn't that happy, but didn't have a real idea of how miserable for 29 years he really had been. Or of his plans. We didn't ever spend a lot of time on negative things.)

I was sad and shocked for him. I even encouraged him to rethink what he was doing. He said they had been through counseling for over 10 years. It didn't change the relationship or his mind. He felt on his wedding day he had made a mistake but had been too afraid to back out. So he had just lived his life and fulfilled his responsibilities. Now he wanted some time for his happiness.

My life went on and was crazy busy! My friendship was growing deeper with my other love. He was concerned for me and the schedule I was keeping. We would talk outside the gym in the evenings after our workouts. He even came to my office and brought me lunch once in awhile. The laughter and break was much needed.  

One evening at the gym the best friend feelings were touched by a "spark." It was a simple gesture . . . an innocent touch on his wrist when  I was stepping off the elliptical trainer. We both didn't say anything, but it was clear and apparent. It surprised both of us! Nothing happened. We knew we didn't want to mess up our friendship.

From that moment on I couldn't get him out of my mind. It wasn't in a teenager infatuation way. I kept wondering what role this wonderful man would play in my life? I was genuinely I concerned for his happiness and well being. 

Then one night as we were leaving the gym he took a chance and kissed me. I didn't resist, but I was scared. I had never ever thought of even the possibility of another man in my life romantically. I was faithful and true. At this point we had been friends for well over 1 1/2 years.

Very soon on another night he told me that he loved me. I couldn't deny that I loved him too. I was beginning to let him into my heart and life more and more.

My life continued it's whirlwind pace . . . Weekdays work. Nights at the gym. Friday afternoon driving to my daughter and back on Sunday night. Looking back I don't know how I did it. But I have to give my other man credit for getting me through it. He was my knight in shining armor! Don't get the wrong idea he wasn't traveling with me.  We had only shared a kiss. It was just knowing I had his support gave me the strength to get through it.

Although I kept wondering . . .Could I let another man have my heart? My life with my husband had been really blessed and good. Was there any hope of it getting better? Even though in reality our relationship was getting more and more strained. My thoughts and options became just getting my daughter healthy and then I was going to have to file for divorce.

Here's where things changed forever . . . One weekend my Knight happened to be in the same town to visit his kids while I was with my daugther. He came to the hospital. We had a great time. He left to take his kids to a show. I stayed at the hospital.

When I returned to the hotel very late that night. I found a business card tucked into my door. It was from my Knight! He wrote a note that said, " I hope you sleep well. I'm in room 205 if you want to grab breakfast before heading back to the hospital." I couldn't believe he was there!

I was so surprised! I couldn't wait! I walked down the hallway to room 205. Knocked on the door. No answer. (Afterall, It's 2am.) I knocked softly again. I hear movement. He answers the door. My heart was so overwhelmed to see him. I jumped up and hugged him. Said I can't believe you're still here!

He told me that he wanted me to get my beauty sleep. He walked me back to my room. I asked him to please keep me company for a little while. I was really feeling emotionally drained it was a comfort to have someone to talk to. Even if it was 2am!

We agreed that he'd stay and talk with me until I fell asleep. Then he'd go back to his room. I laid on his shoulder and we talked and talked. We were so comfortable with each other. We gently kissed. That's when I made the decision to finally let my heart and feelings go. We made love the first time that night. It was scary and wonderful all at the same time. 

My Knight has always been by my side ever since that first night far from home. He always makes me feel cherished and loved. He knows my heart. We laugh, play games. Love to site see and dance. We also love that we don't have to say anything but just hold hands. We comfort and bring out the best in each other. I am every bit as involved with his life as if we are married. He is very different than my husband. There were things in life he didn't have in his first marriage. It's fun to share those with him now. He's full of compassion and drive.

He has been divorced now for over 4 years. We are still best friends and love to spend our free time together. We truly have joy. I am smiling ear to ear when we are together. (We even get comments from passers by on how happy we look together.) My career takes alot of time. His company takes a fair share of his too. We are two successful busy people.

My husband also has a good career. We have had several other grand kids born over the last 4 years. He has really tried to show me he can change and has done a fair job. That's why we're not officially divorced. (Papers have been drawn 3 times over the last 4 or more years.) That's why this is so hard. If he had continued to be the total jerk I wouldn't be writing this now.

Everyone can see I am not as "perky" or happy around my husband. My family thinks it's because of my work and pressures on me. Truly, I wonder if there's too much water under the bridge to be good again. But we have so much LIFE (Kids, Belongings, Bills, Etc.) between us. We had 20 perfect years! And there's a glimmer of hope in me still that he could change to be that man I once knew. Then the flip side we both wonder what's left of our life sometimes. There has not been initmacy in our marriage for over 3 years. (Primarily because of me and dealing with how he treated me during his addiction. Which is better. I haven't really wanted to try to repair that either.)

But on the flip side. . . I wonder if I could even be as deeply devoted or in love with my husband again? Or am I in love with only the thoughts of our family staying together? . . Ya know the kids coming to Grandma and Grandpa's house? I also worry about the trust factor between us. I also am genuinely concerned for his happiness and well being. I know he's feeling lost and alone too in our marriage. Counseling hasn't helped us much either.

I worry about how a divorce and the dynamics of our family will change everything. I don't want to hurt anyone. But I know the day is coming where someone will have to lose. I fear my kids will not love me as much and I won't get to see them as often because I have initiated the divorce. My husband's family has always been the "alpha" family and is pretty dominating.

I also wonder about them accepting my Knight. My family knows him. But I fear that they will judge that he was the reason for the divorce. Not the fact that their Dad and I had problems and shut down from each other over the last 10 years and before anyone else was involved.

Whatever happens . . . I am thankful for the many experiences and friends that have come along. We'll see what the next little time frame holds.

Now you know a little about my dilemma . . . It's been an interesting ride over the last few years. It's kind of good to put down in writing.

Thanks for reading it to the end.

 

salescoach salescoach 41-45, F 2 Responses Feb 26, 2009

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i am so sorry that you're experiencing such a hard decision. a similar event has occurred in my life and i'm very sad and confused.

Yes, he does know and is obviously not happy with the fact it was not him that I was with the last time. I'm sorry I probably say it clearly before. . . it has not been something that happens regularly with my Knight either. Theres so much baggage in the marriage issues. I am and probably would be more comfortable being intimate with my Knight.