To Stay Or To Go?

First of all, I'd like to state that my predicament is abhorrent & everyday I live with the guilt of the decisions I've made that have hurt so many people.  Secondly, I want to ask you--whichever way I lean, whichever decision I make, what will I ultimately regret worse?  What will make me writhe with the pain of regret on my deathbed?   

   Now, my story:

I'm a 30 year old woman, married for seven and a half years, with a six ear old daughter.  While my husband and I did have some passion in or relationship initially, it wore out in a most dysfunctional way; we were partners in this, there is enough blame to go around for the both of us. However, right as I was getting up the nerve to leave him, I found out I was pregnant. We were both in the Army at the time, living in Germany.  We decided to keep the baby and get married.  He deployed & came back a year later.  I knew, as soon as I saw his face again, that I truly did not love him--not the way a wife should love a husband.  He is a wonderful man, however, and an even greater father who has tried his best to support me in life.  I have also tried my best to support him in his Army career as we've moved from place to place.  Our family life is wonderful.  Our daughter is gifted in many areas of life and is extremely sociable and adjusted and funny.  We do many fun family things together.  In fact, I've seen fewer families that share the bond we have.  
    Our marriage, however, has just always been less than tepid.  We share almost no interests and our personalities and communication styles are so different that it's hard to connect.  I also have almost no sexual interest in him--I know this is a large part of the problem.  Sex is an important bond. 
    Despite this, I'd resigned myself to my marriage despite the frequent spells of depression, begging for counseling, and loneliness I felt.  My Army buddies and I get together every year in a different city for Memorial Day.  This year (enter in the affair) an old friend who had just gone through a divorce showed up.  We had always had an amazing connection (typing this sounds so thoroughly cliche) but that weekend we were inseparable, spending hours doing nothing but talking and holding each other.  Although I was thoroughly depressed when I flew back home, I had decided that this was a one time thing.  I was sure I wouldn't hear from him again for a long time.   I had also decided that my marriage must be over since I was able to give myself to someone else so completely without batting an eye.  I talked separation and divorce with my husband.  We were getting ready for a hectic move down to Texas & he was, for the most part, acquiescent that when we got there, settled, and through the holidays, we would separate. 
    Ever since about a week after our initial talk of divorce, I've talked to the OM every day.  We finish each other's sentences, we have the same personalities & the same passions.  We are goofy together and have serious talks.  He is my best friend.  He is also...stationed in Korea.  This past weekend he flew me out to WA while he took leave.  We spent 4 1/2 days together and now I feel like I'm dying inside, back inside my husband's house sleeping in a separate room on a futon, trying to prepare to give our daughter a good holiday.  
    The guilt is eating me up inside.  I know that even through all that, my husband would take me back.  I could end all this and keep my family together.  A life with the OM is far from guaranteed, despite our strong feelings for each other.  He has a daughter who lives in another state & is in the Army.  But how would I even go about forgetting what passion feels like?  How do I ever look my husband on the eye again and tell him I love him?  Yet, how do I tell my daughter that she can no longer have us both living under the same roof just because Mommy wants to live in a reciprocal, passionate relationship?  
    I used to be such a pragmatist when it came to love--I could never understand how people would do such dumb things in the name of a simple emotion.  I never really grasped how much it could hurt to have a broken heart.  
MandaM138 MandaM138
26-30, F
3 Responses Dec 14, 2012

A difficult matter indeed. The "Pink-Cloud" of new romance is always quite seductive and it is wonderful to feel complete after having being "the sound of one hand clapping".
I am struggling within my own relationship and as such feel any advice or suggestions I have to offer are tainted by my own backyard not being fully in order. Yet here goes....
Your daughter will tie you to your current husband for the rest of your life this is germane as regardless of the love and romance you find outside of the current marriage you will always at some level have to return to the current one. Additionally, your current beau has a daughter in the Army is suggestive this fellow is likely a good bit older than you and may not want to have a family by "proxy", having completed the cycle once already.....something to evaluate for sure. I am of the opinion life is to short to be unhappy and unfulfilled, and if you have made a go of it (and it sounds like you have) perhaps moving on is in the best interest of all concerned. Children are resilient and assuming you will be able to leave a loveless relationship without damaging one another i suspect your daughter will survive intact. If you do not love the man it may well be in his best interest that he also be allowed the opportunity to find a "a reciprocal, passionate relationship". I am sure this is no easier on him than you. Finally, you have not mentioned seeking outside help as a couple. I believe with your stated depression and your belief your husband would be able to forgive and move forward it would be an honorable choice to seek the guidance of a family/marriage therapist before making any decisions. Infidelity is a symptom not a cause and I am not sure only treating symptoms ever resolve the cause.

I feel for you. If you love your husband, which I did not hear anything to support that, stay with him. If you respect him, end the marriage and let him find his soul mate as well. It will be hard but it will be harder to end the marriage when your daughter is older. Trust me on that one. I am living it right now. My wife and I are separating because of an affair on my part and all the kids hate me as a result of it. It will only get worse from this point forward unless you are in love and committed.

hi, amazing story, First think about your daughter. You and your husband created a inner universe(that is your daughter and her mind body system). I am not talking about external universe that has stars, planets and galaxy. I think by thinking positively day by day bring the fortune within You! and see the result within a week. Think about your daughter and think positively to make her to call her mom(That is YOU). Finally your husband will bring your daughter. That's all.The Fortune is Dawning within You! The Space is Looking for You! The Time is waiting for You. Go back and KISS your daughter!!!