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I Don't Know What To Do, Hoping For Insight

I'm up and down and all over the place emotionally about my marriage.  We have been married 8 years, have two young boys and it feels like we're at a cross roads.  Both of us this summer came to a conclusion that maybe we should just end it.  Then we talked to other people (he even talked to other women!) and then we came together and talked.  I think we both decided that we both got us to a bad place, that we did get married for a reason, and me in particular felt I owed the kids a real effort to see if it could work.  

That was about 2 months ago.

We have just started counselling, so I"m hoping that might give us some perspective, but I'm worried that the baggage about his actions are going to be too much for me to let go of.  He is an angry man.  He is touchy.  He drinks too much.  He gambles at times.  Recently, I found out that he felt up (and then some) some woman at a party when he was very drunk (everyone saw), when I confronted him he made it out to be no big deal - this when the same woman (who is married) was at our house and everyone was headed out to the hot tub.  He's also talking to other women, mainly just talking although I have tried to explain that is how emotional affairs begin.  When we were first married he told me that men can not be friends with women because they are just waiting to see if something will happen.  When I remind him of this, he says talking is just talking and if it helps him sort through his stuff than it is a good thing.  So now he's off on a business trip and he's keeping it secret that he is going to have coffee with another woman he knew when he was young (I saw the emails).

I do believe that he is not sleeping with anyone, but I am worried that this is the beginning of a slippery slope where more and more stuff like this becomes 'ok'.  He thinks I am nuts for feeling all this, overly paranoid and seeing things that aren't there.

In general, I don't know if I like him anymore.  Weird thing is, because I am committed to making a real effort to fixing this (or at least knowing that if/when I walk away that I have done everything I possibly could) we are having lots of sex.  I can see that this is the opposite of most marriages in distress.  My husband makes me feel very wanted and sexy, even after 10 years and two kids.  But I don't actually enjoy spending time with him, he grates on me.  I am worried that I will never feel good about him again after all that's gone on.

So I'm here looking at other peoples' stories and wondering where I go.  Thank you for reading this - it makes me feel heard.
espressluv espressluv 31-35, F 3 Responses Oct 17, 2010

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There is a certain formula that makes a "good" marriage. Not perfect, but goof. Trust, respect, compassion, intimacy (both sexual and emotional) and the list can keep going. If one or two of those things is missing, it can be very difficult to sustain a healthy enough relationship that works.



Just my opinion.

thank you both very much. your words mean so much to me, and you both have given me some things to think about.

Only you know when it is time to throw in the towel.



For me, I know that if I look back and feel that I didn't try everything I could, then I will regret ending the marriage. I recognize that the downside to this approach is that I am spending years miserable trying to figure out how/if we can make it better, and whether better is good enough.



It is an important decision, especially with kids. One not to be taken lightly.



When I read your story, it struck me that you don't trust him and that he isn't emotionally open with you. (duh!) I think if those two issues, which are connected, can be reversed, perhaps things will get better. I don't have any recipe for that, though. Sorry.



I'm sorry you're going through what you're going through. Good luck.