I'm The Problem In My Marriage, But Where To Start

I'm a 46 year old male. I'm married to my best friend and have been for 17 years. The story I've claimed for years is that we are good friends, but we have ALWAYS lacked chemistry. Even when we were dating and newlyweds, sex was not an exciting part of the relationship for me. I have always been a very sexual person, but not with my wife. After about11 years of marriage, I had an affair. I quickly fell in what I thought as love with the other woman. The affair lasted for several years. I was in, then I was out, only to get back in, only to get out. This happened over and over and over again. I honestly wished my wife would have left me because then the decision to stay or go would have been out of my hands. I felt like I was going out of my mind because I couldn't make a simple decision and stick with it. Finally, I moved 1200 mile away and it was this that finally ended the affair. My feelings however, carried on for several years- despite no contact.
I desperately want to be a good husband. I desperately want to be a good father and aside from the drama I've brought into our household, I am. I recently found myself having feeling for yet another co-worker. I can say the first time I met this person, there was no physical attraction. As time went on, I found myself growing more and more fond of her personality. Eventually, I justified I could simply have a physical affair, but just not get attached emotionally. I seem to have temporarily come to my senses and stopped this before it got out of control. However, I know me and I know that old feeling will return.

Here are my questions.
1) Why do I seem to fall in "love" so easily.
Even before marriage, I would become attached to people who i knew were wrong for me. I truly find something attractive about nearly every woman I get to know and then I become attached to that feature. I then convince myself that I want to be with this person and eventually convince myself I am in "Love".
2) Why do I feel lonely, even though I'm with my wife who loves me and my kids who adore me.?
3) Why do my feelings flip-flop so easily?
I can decide I"m done with a person at 8:00 AM and then miss them by 9:00. My wife and I broke up several times while dating because I felt we were incompatible - only to miss the friendship and would then call her later the same day and patch things up.
4) I'm a very emotional male who tends to cry more than most. Why am I such a sissy?

I feel like I am truly heading towards a speeding locomotive. I somewhat feel like turning this train around and running like hell, but part of me says that I should accelerate to top speed towards the oncoming light.

Would love to hear if someone has had similar or relative experiences.
flynlow flynlow
46-50, M
1 Response May 15, 2012

Hi Mateo,<br />
I do have children and they are the biggest reason I stayed in the past. I can tell you they don't change the way you feel about the person, only the situation. Like your wife, mine has been a saint and is a good person. I do slowly see the fire dying in her eyes and I know time is not on my side. I either have to get it together and keep it there forever, or I know she will be gone. <br />
Do you find yourself being jealous of silly things with your wife? I have no issues if she goes out with friends, but I closely check her story for holes. I didn't use to be this way, but since I myself have not been trustworthy, I suppose I expect some retaliation. Its just one more thing the affair has done to discredit me and our marriage.<br />
I hope things get better for you but after 17 years, I can tell you for sure you will have good days and bad days.