Feeling Trapped In a Failed Marriage
My wife and I have been married for 17 years. I am now 50, she is 44 and we have a 16 yo girl.
We started dating when I was 28, and she was my first sexual partner (sad, but true). She was 22, and had had a pretty active sex life. I fell in love with her. She had rescued me from a life of solitude and sexual frustration. Two years later we were living together, in two more years we got married. I was happy, and so were she.
When our child was born, our problems started. She had talked me into it, she wanted it so badly. She made a promise that she would take the burden of the child and I said ok. When it finally happened, she couldn't handle it and broke down. Everyday I came from work to a home with a crying baby and a crying mother. She wanted me to take care of both. I did my best, but we got into arguments ("you don't do enough", "I feel alone in this", "you have disappointed me", "I work long hours, all you have to do is being a housewife"). After a stormy year she was diagnosed with a depression and started on a medication. Her anxiety problems disappeared, but she started to gain weight. From 122 lbs to 210 lbs. SInce she is small, that means severe obesity. My sexual desire for her vanished. We had failed each other.
Our sex life stopped. I can't remember how often we had sex during those years, but it was not very often. Probably months in between.
Eventually, she left her medication and lost weight pretty quickly. It must have been at that time that she cheated on me with my younger brother. But I didn´t know at the time. I seems it was just once, at the back seat of my car.
After that our sex life improved somewhat, but it was routine.
Then I had an affair with a co-worker, Raquel. I lasted for three years, and it was hell for me. I seemed to have the urge to have sex with someone else before I died. Raquel fell in love with me but I did not. She also had a sexless marriage. I realized my sex fantasies with Raquel, something that I never tried with my wife. But I felt so guilty. I wanted to get out of that affair, I tried several times, but I always went back to her.
My wife found out and of course she was hurt. I was relieved that my affair with Raquel was over. She never asked for divorce. She reproached me, insulted me... A few days later she told me that she had nearly cheated on me, when she was fat, with a neighbor that had a thing for fat women. She tried to sleep with him, but the neighbor declined. She said that she wanted to be honest with me and wanted to get that out of her chest, so we could start anew. The thing with the neighbor was true, but she didn´t mention her infidelity with my younger brother. She looked at me in the eyes and told me that that thing with the neighbor was all that had happened, and that after all nothing had really happened. I believed her. She played the
We restarted our sex life after that. I confessed my fantasies to her, and things went well for a short period, maybe a few weeks. But one night she said that she didn't like my fantasies, I felt embarrased and humiliated and our sex life stopped completely for about two years. She seemed to resign herself to the situation, and seemed content. She said to a mutual friend that our marriage was ok, our life together was fine, except we didn´t have sex. Two years with no sex whatsoever. Our girl had entered adolescence and she seemed to feel an urge for another child. As it happened, our kid wanted a dog and we bought it. She devoted herself to the dog completely, and that seemed to fill her urge for another child. The dog was a child that will never grow, that will never cease to demand and give unconditional love.
We both had lonesome sex in the bathroom, we both assumed the other did the same. Everything was peaceful but frustrating. She stopped smoking and in a few months she was again above 200 lbs. Not that I cared by now.
Then I had another affair with another woman. Again the same story. This one lasted seven months, and again I was found out. This time it was hard for me to give her up. But I did. I felt horribly guilty.
My wife was devastated, and all of a sudden she wanted to rekindle the non-existant flames. She wanted me to want her again, she wanted to make love every night, and hold me and kiss me during the day. Overnight she said that my sexual fantasies were fascinating, and tried to convince me that she had never understood what I wanted before. Overwhelmed with guilt I ran to her and we made love. It was frustrating for me. I barely managed to finish. I was desmayed at the prospect of having to do it often. She demanded that I kissed her and hold her many times everyday, and I forced myself to do it, but it was plainly a forced situation.
She was terrified that I should leave her. She started having nervous breakdowns: one night she went to the bathroom and started piercing her skin with the tweezers blaming her body fat for all that has happened. Another night she started trembling uncontrollably on the bed. Many times she got furious against me, and told me that all I wanted was to **** younger women. Most of the time she just cried. Everytime I went to her and tried to console her, and everytime she calmed down immediately. I said whatever I felt was necessary to stop her attacks.
I was in hell. I didn't want her to touch me, to hold my hand when going for a walk, something that we had stopped doing since we were engaged. I used to put on a forced smile and she noticed. I was afraid of her and her reactions. I told her this was not working, but she kept on.
One day she told me about what happened with my brother many years before. I don't know why she did it. But since this had happened before my affair with Raquel, I wondered why she confessed the unconsumated affair with the neighbor but was silent about my brother. She said she was afraid to tell me and that I would leave. So all her claims for honesty were phoney.
A few weeks passed, and one day I just could not take it anymore. I packed and left to retire and think. I was away for a week. Now I have returned, we have a pact that she will take it easy. She wants sex, but I don't. Can't. She wants kisses, but I don't. If I want a divorce, she tells me that I must be prepared to witness the pain I am causing. During the past two months she turned to heavy drinking. I don't want that for her and I don't want that for my child. So I pretend to believe that our marriage can still be saved. But I don't really believe it.
She has agreed to take psycological therapy. I just hope that will help her face reality, and give her the self-esteem she lacks. She is on a diet now.
I feel trapped in this marriage. I also have a neurotic fear to being alone. But I am ready to face that. I just don't think I have the guts to leave this woman. I love her, and I love my child. I don't want to ruin their lives, but I think I am ruining mine.