Lost and Confused







Things have been on a downward slide for a bit lately. I lost my job and have no desire to do the kind of work I have done for the past 30 years. I am in a relationship that is also a little over 30 years. My wife and I are friends but that is about all. The funny thing is she watches tv shows and laughs at things like someone complaining about not having sex in over a week. This boggles me because she has not offered me any since the last century. That is right folks, it has been over 10 years since I saw any action. (On the home front anyway). I had an affair in 1999 and that ended when my lover kept pressuring me to leave my wife. Although my relationship is rocky, I would have been worse off if I had jumped in. I warned my wife once that maybe someday someone would rock my world and things might change but my warning went unheeded. A week ago I met a girl and treated her nice. I went out with her to a mall and we had a great time. She had a hard time getting past the fact of my being married but the next time we saw each other, I ended up over her apartment and we didn't go all the way but it was I guess what they call "heavy petting". She made me feel so good. It was so long since I held someone and kissed them. She made sure I was always comfortable and she was so gentle and warm. That night when I went home, I was agonizing. I believed it was fate that had put her there and immediately started contemplating a change in my life. I would be leaving a nice house for a little apartment and I dont know how she would have been in the long run. I know she has problems with depression and is on meds for it. I already have one who has head problems. One is a clean freak who is cold as ice. The other one isn't as neat but gets hot as a 2 dollar pistol. Yesterday when I saw her, she had had a night to think over what had happened and I think her conscience was whipping her about being with a married man. She didn't even give me time to make up my mind. I asked her if she expected me to just cut and run after knowing her only a week. How can I make a change that fast? Actually she did me a favor because I dont have to mull it over any more. I guess with the job thing I have enough to think about. But it still HURTS.

Okay...here's the deal. I extended myself to her, treated her better than anyone ever had (she said that), and now tomorrow if I go to the community center where I met her, she will be there. I know she looks forward to going to the place and I dont want to be the cause of her not going any more. If I dont show up, she will know she is the cause. If it was up to me it would be a cold day in hell before I saw her again because I am angry and hurt. I feel like she is an ingrate and she should have overlooked my situation till I knew what I was doing. I did volunteer to do things for her so it is not like she used me, but still she brushed me off regardless. I thought about going and pretending I didn't know her name. I can be icy too. When we parted on sunday, I didn't show I was angry. She told me we should only see each other at the center which was a nice way of saying not to go to her apt. any more. I just split out after fixing her car and patted her on the shoulder telling her I'd see her on wednesday. Now people I need your input. She admitted to me she had had a rough night the night after we were in her apt. clinging to each other. My thing is....is she hurting now? Is she thinking about how she hurt a person who tried to help? I know I cant totally blame her. If she asked a friend of hers she would have been told to give me the boot. Our situation was different though. I had no intention of using her. A little kindness and tenderness was too much to ask I guess. I fell for her because I see her needs. She touched me in my heart and I know I will always worry about her... wondering if she is ok and has eaten, things like that. She is kind of like a stray kitten and I just wanted to help. It felt good to feel love from someone after all these years. What would you do, people?

dwightmann dwightmann
51-55, M
9 Responses May 14, 2007

No matter who you are, only 5 to 15% of your life is taken up with the sex act and that's if you are lucky. So, the rest of the things you do in life makes up the rest of the percentage of your life. And, yet, depending on our age, we attribute a way larger percentage to sex and it's thoughts than is logical? Companionship and friendship are so important in life and they get more important as our journey comes nearer it's end.

I would like to thank you all for the advice, I hope you can see the true ME...the man with a heart (remember the cat story?) However, having a soft and giving heart is not always a good thing. There are many situations where I ended up on the short end. My "extra marital" relationship with that girl was not a cheap tawdry affair but was more altruistic in nature. Any sex in there was a small part of the equation. More like two lonely people desperate for a feeling of closeness with another human being. If I try to save animals how can I turn my back on a person in need? My wife... well there is a story there too of how I saved her and it is another piteous tale indeed. I am steadfast though. When I SHOULD cut and run, I stand my ground. I think her attitude as far as sex goes is that I should find it somewhere else. She expects it and I try to find it and when I do, I keep it very secret. I dont want to hurt her by flaunting it in her face. I do have a conscience so invariably I stay home more than I am on the prowl. She has been in therapy for decades with no result. Obviously there is no fixing things from a sexual stand point. She IS a fantastic person and how can I throw her away over one thing? Thankfully as I get older I crave sex less and less and my body has even stopped producing testosterone. I told her once that she had won the war by default, I was getting too old and ugly to be tom catting around. We did kind of try the counciling thing but it created a lot of animosity between us. I think it was doing more harm than good. Ok see you all!!!

I agree with Mahler and Peedee - Counseling for both of you. It will keep you together or give you some closure. My husband and I went to counseling. It was strange - the male counselor wanted us to stay together and the female counselor told me privately "dump him" - you can do so much better. He was a talented jazz musician but a lousy businessman. It took about 6 years after the counseling for the final breakup. I left him. I would have stayed because I took vows but he didn't want to work on the relationship anymore. My ideal marriage contract would be one that people renew every year or so and add or subtract items as they learn and grow. Remember, marriage is classed as an institution. Like - you are not getting your needs met in this marriage so there would be a clause that you have permission to get them met by another person if your wife can't do this. And, when anniversary comes around this would be addressed again. Mox

dwightmann: <br />
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I totally agree with mahler!! Her advise is "right on"!! <br />
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If you and your wife want to save your marriage, I might suggest family/marriage counseling. If you have health insurance check and see if there is coverage for it. Most insurances do.<br />
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From my own personal experience...Counseling is tough in the beginning-But if you want your marriage to work and be a loving one, it is well worth it. Just be honest with yourself and to your wife.<br />
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Keep us updated! :-)

My advice to you is the same as I have written before. As for this girl, all I can say is RUN and keep running, there is no way that you can help her, she needs professional help. <br />
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I repeat, talk with your wife, and as you have both changed since meeting ask her what she wants, tell her what you want. I would hate to see you parting after so many years, but if you cannot find common ground then perhaps that is the only way for you both to find happiness. For your part make her feel wanted, the romance of flowers, candles and a meal do work. <br />
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You have your needs, so does your wife, if you both make an effort then it will be worth it. Good luck and let us know how you get on.

Update.....1 year later.<br />
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I had too much feelings for that girl to just walk away. She told me her family had all moved away and she had no one. I decided to try to fill the void. I did whatever I could for her, helped her with her car, picked up groceries for her now and then, even giving her an old computer since she couldn't afford a new one. I wrote the original story after knowing her for only a week. Shortly after, I found out just how bad psychologically she is. She is a paranoid schizophrenic and I had hopes of curing her in the beginning. Now that a year has gone by I can see she is getting worse. Due to her condition she cant really hold a job. She is very smart, in high school she was an honor student and student council president and also attended college. Somewhere along the line genetics caught up with her and it became apparent that she had inherited her lunatic father's genes. From what I can gather, he did a number on her head when she was young. Although he is old and half dead, she still fears him. About a week after I wrote the original story, I went to the drop in center to meet her one night and she wasn't there. I called her at home and she was in a bad way. She told me she was going to get thrown out from where she was living because she had not lived up to her agreements. I had NO idea what she was referring to . I went to her apt. and asked what she meant and that is when she told me that she is on rehab for smoking cigarettes. She is under the assumption that since the state is paying for her apartment, etc. ,that gives them the right to spy on her and "monitor" her. She swears she hears announcements over speakers that explain to her why she must quit smoking. As fate would have it, there is a cop (of ALL people) who rents the apt. upstairs. She sees him as some sort of super human who can use his x- ray vision to see through the floor and watch her, (sometimes she sleeps on the kitchen floor instead of her own bed). I think she also feels he can read her mind since I have seen her try to block out any bad thoughts about him and if I tell her he's just an a**hole, she freaks out as though I just said it to his face. I dont want to go on about him but he IS an a**hole. He wears some clodhopper boots and he stomps up the stairs and clomps around. Her reaction is like a gaggle of geese that just heard a shotgun going off in the distance. When he's out it's a little better but when he is home we whisper and tiptoe around something like "The diary of Anne Frank" when the nazis were in the building they were hiding in. She told me of a conversation she had with him outside where she was having a cigarette on her front stoop with her neighbor. He happened to come home from work and she asked him if it was ok for her to smoke in her apt......(right?) Well, being a typical douchebag cop, he told her it was illegal to smoke in public buildings and she was living in a public building. I think that means libraries and schools, not cheesy little low income apts. At that point it started going downhill because now she was "breaking the law" by having a cigarette in her apt. She has a fan by the window to blow the smoke out through closed blinds, only smokes there huddled in the kitchen, and I've seen her hide her cigarettes under her mattress. Now the neighbor across the hall smokes like a tar keel and the hallway smells like a pool room but the other chick could give a rat's *** if the cop smells it or not. Anyhow.....the paranoia has increased and is spiralling out of control. Now she feels as though by accepting the freebies the state is offering her, (apt. free med care and food stamps), they now own her and she has no rights or privacy. She is convinced that she is being spied on and they check her mail and watch her on the internet. Last time she called me it was from a pay phone....of course they are tapping her phone calls...DUH! Oh they also search her apt. when she is out. She says they have the right to do that. Ok the truth is... she has no social worker or goes for any therapy because she is so paraniod...since she is not a REAL bad basket case they just let her live her life without much intrusion. They DO make her go to the psych doctor to get her happy pills. And she twists everything around that he says to validate her delusions. I have put up with her for a year, there were a few weeks and the last time a month before I spoke with her. I just fade out and she calls me with a crisis that I try to resolve for her. Two nights ago I had enough. I went to her apt. to fix her computer. I was ready to tell her when I would do her exhaust on her car for parts cost only. She was all flipped out telling me she was in trouble, etc. She started with the paranoia about how I dont believe her but it's true. She gets extremely angry because I wont humor her like the rest of the world does. I will NOT EVER bend on that issue. She is in such bad shape because everyone else, (doctor's included), tries to humor her and wont tell the truth that she is not controlled to the point she thinks. The end was when I sat down to make sure her computer was ok and she was paranoid I guess that I was going to put something in it to spy on her. I just put my hands up, stood up, grabbed my keys and told her to take care. Outside the shy had JUST opened up with a torrential rain. I went into the hall and ws waiting for a break in the rain when she walked up behind me. She asked if we could go in my car, (where she can talk and smoke) I laughed and told her I didn't think so. I spent TOO many nights driving around for hours at 4.00 a gallon because she was too scared to go home. I just bolted out into the rain and got in my car soaked to the skin. Goodbye and good luck. Phew, no more for me please. I puit up with it for over a year and cant listen to it any more. Any thoughts?

Ah Mahler, some very wise words here. Yes, try to fix things if you can. I can say from my experience that when I got emotionally turned off - it affected the sex life of me and my partner. Women, emotions and sex - they are all one.

I agree with moxie, the grass is always greener on the other side! Do you know why your wife is so cold towards you? Is it not possible to repair your marriage? 30 years is a lot of marriage to throw away. <br />
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People do change over the years, perhaps your wife, and you of course, have different needs, you both need to talk honestly with each other. Pull out all the romantic stops. If you really want someone else then end your marriage first, be honest with your wife. You two must have been happy in the first place, but do not think that by being with someone else you will expererience that exact same happiness, it will be different. To have an affaire on the side will bring with it many problems and people will get terribly hurt.

My experience in the "love" field has been that if a person is married - they are off limits. I had to learn the hard way. When we trade partners - we just trade problems. I know that initial feeling of self worth and esteem we get plus the great endorphins that flood our bodies with a new "love/lust" scene is sooo tempting but the karma that generates from dabbling in this endorphin pool can really exact a toll on us. So, until you can make up your mind what you really want to do permanently with the 30 years you have put into your marriage, I'd say - cool it. The price can be high. I now am alone and most likely will be the rest of my life. Old age is not fun to spend alone. It's nice to have a best friend - probably nicer than the "instant gratification" deal.