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Discussion Starter #1
After years of thinking about it I have finally decided to leave. My husband is a good man, a loving man, a great father. I love him, but I have been unhappy for a long time. I am a very passionate woman and he is a very closed up man. This difference is passion has manifested in so many ways, but ultimately I need flowers, and praise, and a man who wants to have sex with me. I need someone who calls me during the day and not one who gets annoyed by my calls. I need someone who will bring me tea when I'm sick and brag to friends that I home birthed his two enormous children <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> He is a good man. He loves me as much as he could ever love anyone and if he could he would love me more. But he can't and my heart can no longer take the loneliness. I'm reading all your posts about abuse and infidelity and feeling really selfish that I'm ruining my children's lives because "he just doesn't love me enough". Any one else leave a decent man and decent marriage and feel like it was the right choice? I wish I didn't have to ask strangers for permission to leave, but I don't trust my own emotions anymore.
 

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It sounds like you are not sure that your needs are important enough to take decisive action. I can imagine feeling the same way in your situation. My own got so extreme I had a simpler choice. I think it takes a special kind of courage and self-caring to leave a marriage that is still functional in basic ways but not thriving. With or without a man as part of the picture, you deserve to live your fullest life. Your children deserve to grow up with a mother who is living her fullest life. When we live small, we cheat ourselves and model the same for our children.<br><br>
Just wanted to encourage you to honor your truth, whatever it is, in the most honest and courageous way possible. Even when it doesn't look how you would have expected.
 

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I am in a similiar boat.. have you talked to him or gone to a therapist to talk about your issues together? We are trying to work on the issues at hand and then we will go from there... Hang in there!!
 

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We've been to therapy, we've separated, we've said nothing, we've said everything. We have really been trying. I think we just don't fit. I told him I need I was leaving last night and he's been very kind. Holding me while I cried, wanting me to be happy. But he's not crying, begging, pleading, coming up with a plan (I'm always the one who initiates therapy, couple time, etc). Him not fighting for me is why I have to leave. I can't live my life with someone who can't take the risk to break down and be raw for me. We separated in September and he was the same way. Very nice And I called him every couple hours sobbing, begging him to fight for me. Begging him to become passionate for me. Eventually I wore him down and we had one night of apologies and promises of change. But no change has come. I can say " I'm sick and a home cooked meal would make me feel better" and he'll order pizza. I can initiate sex 4 nights in a row and he'll turn me down every night. Nothing has changed. I feel deeply hurt that I can spell out exactly what I need and he still doesn't make the effort to try. I could write a novel.......
 

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Your relationship sounds like me and my ex, almost to a T.<br><br>
He was the one who left, however. Neither of us thinks the other is a bad person, although I do think he could have handled the divorce better.
 

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i couldn't agree more with the other ladies. you should never sell yourself short! my stbx and i don't fit either, and i've justified leaving by reminding myself that people should not have to change who they are to be with someone. please be easy on yourself. it's very unlikely that your children will be screwed up and resent you for the duration of their lives.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Your situation sounds very familiar. I am glad that you are honoring your inner-guidance. I denied mine and ended up having an affair and then it was a very rough "GET OUT!!" break up and I walked away from the marriage with nothing ($0, etc) because my self worth was in the toilet. All of what you said was what I was going through: he's nice, he's steady, but no passion, no inner spark.....It just wasn't the right relationship for me, even though by outward appearances everything seemed "workable". I couldn't see how on Earth I could justify leaving and putting my kids through divorce so I stayed and stayed and got more and more depressed and then, well...not proud of what happened, but I can see why I fell into the trap: here was a sparkly, sexy, exciting thing: everything my marriage was not. My x stopped trying to make any kind of intimate connection as soon as we were married (engaged actually) and I always had to do all the emotional work for both of us. Blah. Nowadays I am in a relationship that has the opposite composition: the intimate connection is SO STRONG and everything I ever wanted, but we have a hard time figuring out practical matters. It is strange to be a single mom and have a boyfriend with a kid.....I am often hanging out in the blended/ step families forum, but I really operate as a single mom. Still, I am sooooooooooooooooooooooo glad I got out of my dead freakin weight marriage, even though I had to lose everything, and even though I had to walk through the hell of really low self esteem for a while. Also: My kids had a hard time for the first year, getting used to going between houses, but now it's natural for them. NOTE: the person I divorced was actually their step-dad, though the kids call him dad. He's dad to them. I am glad he has remained in their life for their sake.<br>
Anyway, best of luck. I just dont think you'll be sorry if you are following your heart~it always knows!
 

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Your needs are important, and like pp said, your children will benefit from having a happy, healthy mother. It can be hard to leave someone you love, but if you're not happy and it's not working, sometimes love is not enough. I loved my ex very much, but I left because he would not or could not be the husband and father I wanted him to be. It's harder to leave that way because it's the after the fact getting over the person that hurts more. I waited long enough to leave that I was angry, and then lived with my parents, so that helped me transition. I am very happy with the decision I made.<br><br>
It takes effort, it's hard, but if you can see that at the end of the tunnel you will be the person you want to be, then it's worth it. You are worth it. Your children will be fine, maybe even better off.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks so much for all your guidance. I really needed all that <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">He is a good man. He loves me as much as he could ever love anyone and if he could he would love me more. But he can't and my heart can no longer take the loneliness. I'm reading all your posts about abuse and infidelity and feeling really selfish that I'm ruining my children's lives because "he just doesn't love me enough".</div>
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I hear you. I wasn thinking of starting a thread like this! I am in a similar situation. I feel like something is missing. The choice to marry DH was more cerebral than heartfelt--I felt like I could picture a life with him, we want similar things/lifestyle. I really love him as a friend, and I thought it would be enough.<br><br>
I don't think it is.<br><br>
At times I feel almost frivolous thinking this way. It doesn't seem "that bad", although there are definitely some significant depression/anxiety/anger managment issues that are not being adequately addressed, IMO. Plus some clinginess, he's-more-invested-in-this-relationship-than-me type stuff. But still there is no passion to fight for me, no fire to make it work. I don't get it. There are some changes that need to be made for this relationship to work, and I don't see that willingness from him. He's been away for school for a couple of months, which I have been studying as the 'what would it be like to be a single mom' experiment. It's been OK. Tiring at times, but OK. Nice to have a peaceful house.<br><br>
At some point (I am trying to get there--counseling helps) you have to realize that things are not ever going to be different than they are, since they never <i>were</i> different. And if the status quo is unacceptable to you, then you know it's time to move on.
 

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Just to throw something out, here --<br><br>
Have you considered just having an affair? Or six? I mean it seems to me that if the problem is that you're not feeling passion and romance, you can certainly find that without the disruption, expense, and dislocation you & your kids will experience w/divorce. And it's not as if you're enormously likely to find a wonderful man who will light your fire daily for 15-20 years, which leaves me wondering if you'll take your kids through your serial romance.<br><br>
I think it's much, much simpler, and in the end leaves your kids with considerably more stability. And money. They needn't know about your men or the source of your happiness, either. And if you can find all the excitement outside, you may find you're much happier around your husband, and he may feel considerable relief too.<br><br>
Just a thought, there.
 

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I don't think an affair's a good idea, but how about some really deep friendships with other people. Maybe some spiritual searching too before you give up. I can tell you my ex would be the knock you off your feet type but he's not a good man.<br><br>
that being said, if you can leave in a good way and you want to , I see nothing wrong with divorce.
 

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i don't think an affair is smart either ... if the husband were to find out then he would suffer even more than if they were to end the marriage now.<br>
and i personally do not think children's lives are ruined because of growing up in a single parent household. i'm sorry you're struggling with this right now.<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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We are hearing your part of the story (and I am sorry you are in so much pain). What is his side? You say you need different things from him than you get. What does he need from you? You have been to therapy and noted what he said he would change -- what did you agree to? I am just curious.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks very much for all your replies. I have had an amazingly emotional and draining couple of days thinking and talking about all this. After much soul searching I am taking responsibility for parts of our problem that I had never looked at honestly before. I will be going to individual counseling for some issues that have come up for me and my husband is willing to do the same. We are going to try to make this work. I really, really hope we can.
 

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Just wanted to give you a <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">.
 

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I hope this makes you feel a bit better. I left a good man about 4 years ago or so. We were together for almost 4 years and he was a good father. However, we had zero chemistry together. Not to be crude, but I had to pretend he was someone else to even close my eyes and got to bed with him. I know, bad! I should've known, but I kept thinking, but he's the "perfect" guy, treats me so well, is such a great dad, a family man, he has a great job, looks out for me, is good looking, smart, what in the world would I be doing leaving him? Well, it took years of those thought before I finally did, and while guilt lingered for a year or so afterward, I can look back now and say affirmatively, that was the BEST decision I ever made in my life. I needed space to find myself as my own individual. While I was often sad, it was a grieving process and learning process I needed to go through. In fact, all of these mourning processes do build a new strength and understanding and wisdom in us that we can impart on our children. Try not to feel guilty. Your heart is telling you what is right for you, loud and clear. Listen to it! You want your children to do the same. Live life, don't suppress it. If you are going through anything similar to what I was, I felt like a non-being for years, and finally felt alive (that meant feeling the lows and the highs, as well.) I'll take that any day over just breathing and tolerating, and moving on to the next day of---breathing and tolerating. I made poor choices but that was the best choice I ever made. I do not regret it for one moment.
 

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I also want to add that if you are already feeling emotionless, try to cut the cord. I made mistakes (which I do regret) in cutting the cord emotionally. Everyone was "against me," I felt, because he was the "perfect" guy, just not perfect for me! You have to be in love or be able to rekindle fond feelings. For me, it was never in love. So no rekindling. I did eventually cheat, once, and that is what made me leave, as my concsience could not handle my own deception. Therapy helped after that. My mind was trying to tell me what to do, but I acted out in a way that forced my decision to come from my own indecency. Try to end things before you get there, is my advice. Guilt tears you up! Good luck.
 

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The attitudes I hear here are disturbing to me.<br><br>
There are many, many couples who have a quiet agreement about affairs, precisely because they have children to whom they want to give a stable, prosperous upbringing, but the romance and passion, if ever they were there, are gone. This used to be known as the civilized thing to do. Everyone recognizes that adults have needs. However, it's not necessary to tax the children with the costs if the adults can be grownups about how they run their romantic lives.<br><br>
I know at least three married couples in this situation. The partners look the other way when it comes to the (quiet, reasonably discreet, very exciting) affairs, and see the marriage as a partnership in raising children and a friendship, not a vehicle for romance. There's mourning and loss, but it ends. Sometimes the partners see the others' affairs as a relief, because it means the pressure is off. From what I've seen of older couples, sometimes the parents divorce when the last or second-last kid is out; sometimes they find they are, surprise, married, and they stay that way.<br><br>
In this way the children are not asked to come along for their parents' adult rides. Their homes are stable, they have college savings, there's not a series of "are you my new mom/dad" moments, they're spared watching the parents go through second (or extended) adolescence, they're spared the fear and craziness surrounding custody fights and the post-divorce period.<br><br>
I'd say if the man is good, and the only problem is to do with passion and romance, keep what you got and come to an agreement. It sounds like he might be amenable to your stepping out so long as you could keep it quiet and didn't involve him or the kids, and didn't use it against him. He may find a nice lady who likes him as he is, too, to keep him company sometimes. As for trying to change him, I'd stop that, I really would. He'll go where he's comfortable, and so will you. Just keep in mind it's possible for both of you to do that without disrupting the kids' lives.<br><br>
m40.
 
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