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I Know I'm An Idiot But.....

I married my ex when I was 16 and he was 20. We were married for almost 14 years before we divorced. There were so many issues in our marriage. He treated me more like he was my dad instead of my husband, but for all his faults he was the best friend I had ever had. In the late 90s we got a computer and he showed me how to go online and play games. I started meeting guys online and chatting and flirting. Well he was convinced that I was going to go meet one of them and told me he wanted to come clean and told me he had cheated on me 11 years earlier. He said he thought if he came clean then I would too and we could get past it. Instead I asked him to leave. We spent the next few months living separately but going to counselling and dating. It was nice but there were still issues. I didn't want to give up the computer. Finally one night he came over and told me he met someone and wanted a divorce so he could start dating her. Two weeks later he moved her in with him. He was 34 and she was a 19 year old ********. I quit school and work and gave away everything I owned and moved out of state with the first guy that offered. I tried to pretend everything was good but he saw right through that. Two months later his girlfriend had spent all his money and left. He moved another ******** in but she didn't last long either. By this time he was addicted to coke and was calling me whining and crying. We would spend hours on the phone. I made a trip back home thinking maybe we could talk and work things out. He told me point blank there would never be anything between us again. He said he would always love me and we would always be friends but that was as far as it goes. Broken heartedly I went back to the guy I was staying with but ended up moving back home with my mom. At the same time I met the guy I moved in with I also met another man online. He was so nice but had so many strikes against him. He was a single father of three kids and didn't want any more but I had never had kids and wanted at least one of my own. He was military and being from a military town I had learned to dislike them and swore I would never date one, and he was in another country. He was the nicest person I had ever known and he was there for me no matter what. Even after he found out I had moved in with someone else he never stopped being there for me. After I moved back home with my mom he and I got even closer and he said that he might want one more child. He knew how much that meant to me. One night my mom and I got into a big argument and I called him crying. He offered to drive the 4000 miles to come and get me. I said no a few times but really had no where else to go. I knew things weren't going to work out with my ex because he treated me so mean and accused me of stalking him. He lived 20 minutes away and I didn't even have a car, plus I worked and went to school full time so when this man told me he would come and get me I said ok. I left to go stay with a friend (another guy) in another state for the weekend while I waited for him to come get me. My friend asked me if I knew that he was going to ask me to marry him. I said yes. He asked what I was going to do. I told him I was going to say no, I wasn't ready to get married again. The guy made it back to my hometown before I did. He drove straight through and made it in less that three days. When I met him at the hotel he sat me down and asked me to marry him. His voice was so shaky I was sure if I said no he would cry. I couldn't hurt him. He had driven all this way for me so I said yes. 

Now fast forward almost 11 years later. I have an 8 year old son, a wonderful husband, a nice house, I'm in university working on my second degree (which was the one I originally dropped out of) and still pining over my ex. My ex has always been a part of my life in some way. We would go our separate ways for months but eventually one of us would email looking for "our best friend". We have cried together over the love we lost. He listened to me cry when I found out I was pregnant because it was suppose to be his. We have talked about how stupid we were. He has had a few relationships since we split but nothing for really long term and has never been remarried. He says he has never met anyone he loved or trusted as much as me. He said his friend had told him you only get one chance at true love and he had let it go. He said that she had also told him that he was still pining over me. I know he loves me but I also know he would never ask me to leave my husband. I went home a few months ago by myself. It was the first time I had been home in years and the first time since the divorce that my ex and I had been alone. We always see each other when I am in town but usually just dinner or he will come by my moms to see me. But this time I was at his house every day. We spent every spare minute together, laughing, crying, just hanging out. I spent a few nights there and everything was wonderful. But alas it was time for me to come back home so everything came to an end. I cried. I wanted so much for him to ask me to stay or to come back but he didn't, he couldn't. I have a family and school to finish. He doesn't want to mess that up for me. He still blames himself for me not finishing school the first time. And he doesn't work full time, can barely pay his bills and has nothing to offer. So I had one week of being able to relive the life I had and I haven't been the same since. He and I talk all the time. Except right now because I am mad at him which seems to be happening more and more lately. This recent one is because he is still hanging out with his ex girlfriend who has done him wrong on so many levels and he has said he was done with her. He says they are still friends but that is it. This happens to be the girl he was dating when we met and she stalked him for the first 4 years of our marriage and then as soon as we got divorced she somehow seemed to find out and they started dating again. He didn't leave her for me. He just didn't want to marry her so she married someone else to get out of the house. There is such a history with this girl. I hate her and I hate him when he is with her. I don't care if it is just as friends. And he says not even good friends because so much has happened between them. But I sat for a long time after they got back together listening to the stories and how she had done him wrong. she would leave him for someone else then go back and then leave again. So when he told me he was done with her for good. I thought just that "for good". So when I logged on the computer the other day and it was her on his MSN I lost it. Told him there was not enough room in his life for the both of us and I wouldn't have anything to do with him as long as he was still friends with her. I know that sounds awful childish but I truly hate this person and I was beginning to hate him because of her. I was wishing some very bad things for him and I didn't like that. I have never been able to hate him but I was feeling it boiling up inside me.

Last Friday would have been our 26th anniversary and this argument happened Saturday. I haven't spoke to him since. I know he is just waiting for me to cool off and come apologizing like I always do but I really don't want to have anything to do with him as long as he is friends with her. I felt so liberated after our heated discussion when I told him I wasn't talking to him anymore but by that evening I was so depressed. I see him online all the time and I just want to talk to him so bad. I love him and miss him and I know he loves me too. Right now in my head I just want to let him go and do right by my husband because truly I have been having an emotional affair with my ex for years (and thats not counting the physical cheating when I went home) but my heart just can't seem to let him go. There is always that hope that one day we will make it back together for good.

I know this story is long and pretty messed up and there is so much more to it and I wouldn't blame anyone for not reading it all but I was hoping just writing it would help me feel better and maybe help me do the right thing. 

mom2kman mom2kman 41-45, F 2 Responses Mar 12, 2012

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I understand why you reached out online. I did the same. Self esteem issues due to my ex. Yet it still is the same issue. I lived out of loyalty for a long time. I betrayed myself in doing so. I then became the one thing I didn't like the most. What I hated my X for. Had to see what it felt like. If you are writing here you must be looking for your words to direct you. I know mine have. They show me my real pain. I re read my stories and finally see where my real pain is.



I am sorry to say but I think your "real best friend" is your worst enemy.



I am only judging by your words. You are in his emotional grip and he likes it that way. I may be wrong just speaking it how I see it. I don't mean any harm. It hurts me to see a woman harm her self esteem. I know mine is in the gutter. Both outside and inside effect you in these situations.



cheers

You are right. In writing this I am hoping to see what is really going on. We spent two hours chatting the other night. a very intense conversation but they always leave me so drained I literally need to take a nap. I just try to rationalize what I feel and I dont seem to have the answers. Thanks, I appreciate the understanding and support.

I totally understand. You are putting so much effort into something you know you can't have. I feel for you. Totally. No judgement. Just a friend.

You have been having an emotional affair with your ex.



So...I have a very close online friendship with someone not my spouse.

I realized some things:



I was getting things that I was not getting in my marriage from this man.



I needed to make my marriage richer for me or I was going to lose it.



I needed more friends in general.



Online we are able to be more our "ideal selves," while we talk, so it does to remember it's not anywhere NEAR as hard to be in an online relationship as it is to make a marriage work.



Keep in mind if you were abused as a child you will have attachment problems:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attachment_in_adults.



(Anxious/avoidant is where I stand on that)



....So, like me, you've realized you're not entirely bonded to your spouse, and you are TOO close to someone else.

What do you plan to do about that?



My decision is to carry on being my best friend's best friend, while working on my marriage (and myself) and making things better.

The idea being I won't feel so distant from and afraid of the brilliant, loving, if very imperfect person who's put up with my insanity for 10 years.

Thanks Hylierandom, I have often felt I use my ex as an excuse to not be happy. If I was happy in this new life then I was betraying him. If I was happy he would never see how much I missed him and needed him. My life with my ex was so much like my life at home, I was given lots of love and affection as long as I was doing everything expected of me. All love and affection came with conditions and I guess I grew comfortable with that, I knew exactly what was expected of me. So now that I have this wonderful man who supports me, loves me no matter what, and expects nothing from me I seriously feel lost and often long for the chaos that was my life.