15 Years of Marriage. Unhappy. Met An Old Friend. Now What?

I am 36 years old and I have been married for 15 years to my wife. But I got married for the wrong reasons. 1) I was expected to marry this person. I did not want to disappoint anyone 2) I wanted to experience sex.

My wife loves me alot, she has always wanted romance and passion in our marriage. The problem is that I have no desire to. I do not love her as much as she loves me. The reason I stayed with her is because as a Christian I am suppose to. So for the past 15 years I continued to put un a "happy smile" in front of her, my family, and my friends.

But I am miserable. I would from time to time cry myself to sleep. I did this for 15 years!!!

I recently ran into a friend of mine from 20 years ago. She has been married for 1 year now. We both realized just how much we care for each other. But of course we cannot pursue a relationship. She told me she cares for me so much that she does not want to burn my 15 year marriage.

The fact is I feel deeply for this person. I had always felt for her. I find myself now willing to give up my 15 years of marriage for her. But she does not know this yet.

I am at a complete lost. I am carrying the heavy burden of my unhappiness from marriage while at the same time completely love sick over my friend. I feel like I am drowning!!! Help!!!

13 Responses Oct 2, 2008

if there are husbands out there in this situation, i would love to reach out and connect with you. misery loves company.

@Jomama2, how dare you say that no marriage ever works happily? Just cause you are unhappily married and most people commenting on this are also, does NOT mean that everyone is. My fiance's parents have been married for 25 years and are still madly in love after 2 awesome kids and working in different parts of Victoria, (I'm from Australia) and still are going strong. Just cause your marriage sucks doesn't mean everyones does. If I had married my fiance when I first wanted to we would also be happily maried for 2 years now. Keep your negativity to yourself.<br />
As for my reply to the post, if you are unhappily married, don't put on a show for everyone, that's cruel. Talk to your wife about how you feel and work it from there, but please, don't ask rude people like Jomama2 because I am only 22 and I think I am even more mature than her. Good luck xo

Wow. I cannot believe it that I am not the only one with this situation. I thought something is very wrong with me. But I have the same problems. I married for the wrong reasons and have been unhappy since the beginning and even before that but I always tried to put a happy smile on my face. Being with my wife makes me so uncomfortable and I am severely depressed because of that. I had been taking depression pills for more than 2 years that helped me be able to can at least work. I stopped them 6 month ago and now I am miserable again. I want feel so bad when my wife touches me or smiles at me or shows affection to me that sometime I feel really sick and I try avoid touching as much as possible. I feel very ashamed of myself and at the same time I cannot do anything about it. unlike most of you we have been only married for 3 years. I am scared that if I don't do anything now I will regret it even more later. I don't want to ruin somebody else's life this is what stops me. I don't want to be a person that destroyed somebody else's youth and life. It is so sad that I cannot do anything about it and our life are just passing by.<br />
When we got married I was a little unhappy and I thought it was just temporary and would get better over time. I thought I am capable of making myself love someone. But it only got worse. I was wrong and I don't somebody else to pay for my mistake. One big problem is that my wife loves me ( at least that's what it seems) and enjoys our current marriage. maybe because I tried to be as nice as possible all the time. I am miserable and don't have a clue what to do. I probably need to start taking depression pills before I get to the stage of being hospitalized. <br />
To give you an advice, I think you should leave. there is not pride in staying. Don't do that because you love someone else. Do it because you are unhappy with your current situations. It won't get any better I am pretty sure. Try to get support from friends and family for your decision before acting on it. Be nice to your wife and describe the situation and make her understand it is good for both of you. I think this is the right approach but I myself don't have the courage to do it. Yet.

I suggest you read the book by Mort Fertel called Marriage Fitness. It is a marriage counseling alternative. He tells you constructive advice on how to reconnect with your spouse. I've read alot of books but this one I highly recommend.<br />
He also gives free marriage saving tips via email:<br />

I am in a similar situation. Although I've only been married for 2 years I can definitely feel your pain. I too got married for all the wrong reasons. If there is any advice that I can give to you...FOLLOW YOUR HEART. If you aren't happy your kids are not happy and honestly if you're that miserable, your spouse knows it and it probably just as unhappy and as miserable as you and for reason unknown to us is tagging along in this loveless marriage because she too is to afraid to get out of this loveless marriage. Do both of you a favor and recognize what it is that you truly want before you dive into a relationship with someone else, because in the end that things do turn around with your spouse will you be able to live with yourself knowing that you've cheated on her. In the same turn if you do leave your wife and get with this other women will you ever really trust her or yourself knowing that you two started your relationship before you had ended the previous one. There's lots to think about, search your sould for the answers and make the best ones for yourself. It'll make everyone in your life happier!

I want to thank everyone for posting. It has been almost a year now and I thought I share with all what has transpired. <br />
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My wife and I are separated. This other woman and I did not become further involved, in fact we did not part on good terms. I became an angry person, against my church, my family, and my wife. I had suppressed years of anger and pain. I finally released it. I gave up my privileges as a church minister and even left the church all together. I left the rest of my family, left my wife, lost my job. I have been seeing a psychologist and a psychiatrist, because of the amount of emotional turmoil I put myself and everyone else through. I even became suicidal - there were plenty of moments I just did not care about life anymore. I had to be admitted to a psychiatrict hospital.<br />
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Today, things are brightening up. I am getting my life back to together. New job, new location, new friends.<br />
I am starting a new life for myself. I finally became a "free bird" as my psychologist puts it. I have learned through very bitter experience to be truthful to myself, only then was I able to be truthful to others about who I am.<br />
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I do not know what will happen in the future, but I have a gut feeling I will never marry again.<br />
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Ok so I have read several of the stories here. But alot of people do not elaborate on why they are so unhappy and why they don't leave. The reason I am so unhappy is because I know I married my husband for the wroing reason. I did not want to be alone. I hate being alone. So this man came along and seemed very nice and stable person. He is a christian man or so I thought. I thought I could grow to love him. Everything was going fine and 3 months into our marriage he was writing to another woman in Russia looking at pictures of beautiful Russian women online. I found an email where he wrote to this Russian woman telling her how beautiful she was. Not only that but he lied to her and told her he was single. That devasted me. I found out by going thru his emails without him knowing. When I questioned him about it his response was that he forgot he was married. How in the hell do you forget your married! After that things really went down hill. He has done other things that have hurt me since. Like winning 58,000 at the casino and not paying taxes on it. We got a letter from the IRS the other day saying we owed 10,000 in taxes. And he minimizes things he does like I am exagerating. I don't have any respect for him so I find that I cannot sleep with him. I have no desire at all to make amends with him he has not even bothered to apologize for lying to me about the money. And another thing he wants to keep our finances separate. He has his checking and I have mine and we share the bills. And he makes 1.3 more than me and I don't think it's fair and we fight about vacations, repairs on house etc. he won't spend money to fix the house or buy new furniture but he would easily spend it at the casino.

I'm married, and the reason I'm on this website 2:57 in the freaking AM, is because I'm unhappily married also, and can't go back to sleep. I wouldn't recommend that you leave your wife. That's a choice that you will need to pray about, and not let others greatly influence your decision (I see you posted back in October and no telling what has transpired since with your situation). One thing, however, you point out that says it all is that your wife loves you alot. Most of us miserable in marriages can't say the same thing. So, I'd suggest that after 15 years of marriage and you're still fortunate enough to have a spouse who loves you a lot, and not one who's ready to kill you, that your primary focus and effort be on loving her back. I know you married for the wrong reason, and your love have diminished. But if she loves you still after 15 years of marriage, pray to God for authentic LOVE to LOVE her back!

If you are sure you do not want to be with your spouse anylonger...do both of you a favor and leave. If you stay in an unhappy relationship, you kids know. And to wait until your kids are grown....well, that is not the answer! Trust me....I said the same thing, now my kids are almost grown and I am SCARED to leave....scared of being alone or moving away from my children. So....I'm stuck. fyi...I've been married for 24 years - over 1/2 of my life....it's a scary feeling. I feel SO alone! I can tell NOONE about how I feel...I try to put on a "happy face" and daydream ALOT....only if I would have left when I had my babies smaller....but my logic there was "I didn't want to share them" for their Dad's visitation....

I can relate to our story and the other comments. I am unhappily married and think about my ex-boyfriend all time, and what could have been. However, though the ex is now married, we have NOT been in contact and I don't know if he's happy or not. I'd love to be friends, if nothing else, as we spent 7 years of high school and college together...but he is so whipped by his now wife, that I don't think he could even say hi, if he wanted to. Anyway, marriage always seemed like a dream, when I wasn't in it...but now I see it's not always green on the other side. I want to be strong and happy, but because of how things are right now, it's sadly best to stay in this situation. Not to mention, I have a very Catholic family who does not believe in divorce. Whenever I even mention my unhappiness, always talk about counseling and finding ways to make it work. I think that's great and all...if you want to make it work, but sometimes, you're just really 2 incompatible people who might be better off alone.

Im also in the same situation. I love my EX boyfriend & married to another man. We've been unhappily married for maybe 4 yrs now. I feel like I'm in the marriage for money, benefits, & raising a child together. I dont' quite think that I LOVE this man anymore (the now husband). The EX is now also married (unhappily), and NOT ready to leave his wife & child either. I don't know how HE (EX) feels about me - deeply or not in love w/ me ? I don't wanna FORCE myself to enter his life (EX) if he doesn't want me. There's NO point in marrying someone - when the relationship is only going ONE WAY (only one person loving the other). I'd rather stay single - than have a ONE WAY relationship. Someday, i will have the courage to leave him...& move on happily ( as a single confident mom). MARRIAGE SUCKS ! really ... it's not ever happily ever after !

I can undestand. I have never truely gotten over an ex of mine. Were friends today, both married unhappily. He doesn't want to leave until his children are grown and I feel that I don't want to waste my life being sad when I could be happy with him.

I am in a similar situation. Been married 17 years and the last 6 have been like living with a roomate instead of a spouse. A girl I dated a couple of times in college 20 years ago got in touch with me last month and we've been talking all day every day and are falling in love. My spouse knows I've spoken to this woman but is ignoring it. I don't know what to do. I want to leave today but would never hurt my kids.<br />
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Good luck.