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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I can't stand it anymore... I need to talk to someone. I need help.<br><br>
I'm unmarried, but me and my "DP" have three children together. We're practically married, anyway. Our relationship has had it's up and downs - lots of downs. He "cheated" on me online a few times over the last few years, inappropriate conversations w/ co-workers. We bicker a lot. I don't think I've ever been in love with him. But things are usually okay.<br><br>
When I was 13 (16 years ago) I started on the Internet. Met a guy in Australia, who I talked to every day for years and years. He was like my best friend. My soulmate. I knew we'd meet one day. We met 7 years later, and had the most amazing month together. I love him very dearly. We just get each other. We dream about each other on the same nights. There's been times I wanted to email him, but didn't, and he could sense it. There's just always been this amazing connection. We went our separate ways about 8 years ago. Stupid reasons, like the complications of him living in another country, or my self worth issues, or both of us being insecure and not TELLING each other how we felt, or whatever.<br><br>
Life continued on. I never stopped thinking about him, though. I always figured we'd end up together some day, but I guess life had other plans.<br><br>
A few weeks ago I emailed him, and actually hit "Sent". He emailed back. Ever since we've been talking daily, constantly, online. He's unmarried, but has been with a woman for several years. They have a 2 year old son who is gorgeous.<br><br>
So... yeah. We talk about inappropriate things, we have created what we call a "fantasy future" where we're together. We sigh about how stupid we were all those years ago for ever letting "us" go. We reminisce about the past. We vent about our partners. We talk about this season of Dexter. We rant about our wonderful kids. Whatever.<br><br>
Neither of us is planning to leave our partners, because, well, we both feel that children should have both of their parents unless there's a huge deal breaker. There's no real way for us to work, because of living in different countries, because of the kids involved. Neither of us knows whether our current relationships will last, though. It's all just a mess...<br><br>
I don't know what to do. I tried to break off contact w/ him but I couldn't. It hurts so much. I know I'm being unfair to my DP, but gah... not like he hasn't done it, too. Not like he cares. I feel horrible thinking about his partner, so much guilt. I should break it off, right? What do I do? Why am I so awful?<br><br>
I know I'm going to get judged harshly here... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">: I just feel so lost.
 

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You're not going to be judged harshly by me and my DH cheated on me (physically multiple times)! I learned a lot from that, and one thing was that each situation is so complicated that there is no one answer or one judgment to be made.<br><br>
What you know already is that this is fantasy relationship. He can be perfect because you don't live with him and have kids with him and have to deal with the farts and the morning hair and the little things that used to be endearing and now are just annoying. I'm glad that neither of you is thinking of leaving your partners over this relationship.<br><br>
What I would really really urge you to do is to seek counseling. If my DH and I had gone to counseling earlier, I don't think the infidelity would have occurred. You're investing a lot of yourself in this online relationship. You're probably telling this guy things you'd never tell your husband. It's great that you have this outlet, but maybe you could invest some of that time and energy in your "real" partnership?<br><br>
You may also want to go to <a href="http://www.survivinginfidelity.com" target="_blank">www.survivinginfidelity.com</a><br><br>
There is a lot of information about emotional affairs. Also, there is a section for those who were cheating (emotionally or physically) on their partners. You might find some information and help there.<br><br>
Good luck sorting through it all.
 

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Sweetie, no judgement here and I have lived through infidelity hell. I can feel the remorse and conflict in your post.<br><br>
I guess my question to you is it really worth staying in this marriage? I don't know that it serves the kids for your soul to be dying in this relationship. Which it is. Even if you can't have your guy in Australia, there are other people. And more importantly, there is YOU.<br><br>
It hasn't been easy for my children not to see their dad every day but I am SO much happier and have this wonderful sense of freedom. I know they will be better served by this.<br><br>
The book Too Good to Leave, Too Bad too Stay was really helpful in dealing with relationship ambivalence.<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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no judgment, been through infidelity hell as well-on both ends.<br><br>
This doesn't make you a bad person at all. What has helped me is to really figure out what was missing, what I need-and yes, your emotional affair seems to be based on a fantasy interpretation of each other-that's not to say that it doesn't feel very real, or that the deep moments aren't true! But it is sort of an escape for both of you-and (from experience) it is easy to take any feelings you may have from your partner and transfer them to the affair, in which case both relationships are a bit distorted.<br>
Step back and really look at everything, do some journaling, self exploration. That has helped me through some insane stuff. (trust me, my stories seem more soap opera than real life) Don't make your happiness dependent upon the affair and unfortunately that often happens. (not a judgment and not being harsh)<br>
good luck.
 

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I second the vote for counceling, at least for you if you don't see a point to it with your partner. Putting aside for a moment how damaging it is to the relationship you are in (which is by no means small, I think we all get that) it is damaging to you and your kids, to the quality of your day to day life, to be putting that much energy into something that doesn't put anything back into your lives.
 

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you're not a bad person.<br><br>
you're a person who needs something that she isn't getting in her life right now.<br><br>
if you don't love your partner, why are you with him? don't you believe that people deserve to be loved? to be happy?<br><br>
beyond this, if you can't get what you need from your partner, or you don't want to get it from him, then there's really no harm in leaving. in my opinion, there's more harm in staying. it's hurtful to keep someone "on the hook" when you don't really care for them as deeply as they deserve to be cared for. it's hurtful to you, it's hurtful to him, and it's hrutful to your children.<br><br>
it's true that this australian guy is a total fantasy. even if you were both unattached, would anything really happen? would he consider moving himself and his child to where you are? would you mvoe to where he is with your children?<br><br>
if so, people do DO that. people move across the world to be together. but if it's not realistic, then why continue tormenting each other with fantasies and "what ifs?"<br><br>
that's hurtful too. it creates longing and desire and is unnecessary.<br><br>
if i were you, i'd consider getting rid of both relationships. first, consider setting you partner free so that he can be with someone who loves him and whom he loves unconditionally, passionately, etc. Unless, of course, you think you can be that.<br><br>
and second, cut yourself away from fantasy. some is fine--it can help us to define/determine what we want in our lives. but they also have to be attainable. so, you see what is attainable about your fantasy life. The idea that someone cares about you passionately, excites you to no end, and has that connection--those things are real and they can exist. but they may not exist with this guy in australia or the guy you're with now. Or, maybe they will.<br><br>
but only you can know this.<br><br>
look into why you're doing this, and you'll understand every aspect, and you'll know how to act. Don't just indulge it--think about it.
 

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The answers you've already gotten are great, but I thought I'd add what I could... I was in a somewhat similar situation a few years ago, in which I was very tempted to be unfaithful to my DH. I had a job waiting tables and in that very casual environment, ended up in a very flirty relationship with one of the managers. Never actually DID anything (refused to see him outside of work) but we flirted constantly... the attention was addicting, really. He complimented me all the time, we could talk about books, music...<br><br>
At some point, I realized that I was actually being pretty unfaithful, in an emotional sense. And as the other posters pointed out, it was stemming from what I was missing at home. In my case (hate to sound like a man here <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">) it was sex, flirting, compliments, etc. You know, being treated like a desirable, sexy girl and not just a life partner/ housemate/ who's cooking dinner tonight/ the cat box smells/etc. And working nights while the DP worked days wasn't helping, either. I ended up just quitting the job and the guy cold turkey (we'd never exchanged phone numbers, so when I quit, I didn't have any way to contact him or vice versa) and working on the real relationship in my life. It wasn't easy, and I still occasionally think about that other guy, especially when I'm feeling neglected at home.<br><br>
But I recognize that my situation is different than yours-- I did (and do) really love my DH and want a future with him, and could never imagine a future with the other guy. (Just a steamy affair.) I second the suggestion for couple's counseling. Also, it might be worth attempting to define the difference between <i>loving</i> someone, and <i>being in love</i> with someone as far as it applies to your relationships.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you everyone. I don't know what's up from down anymore. Things are so confusing. I know I need to figure things out. I just don't know how!<br><br>
I will try to answer some of the responses I got...<br><br>
I don't know if it's worth it to stay in this relationship. I don't want to leave for the wrong reasons. We have a lot of problems. There is no trust. I mentioned him having an online affair or two before. One of those times was just a day after we had FINALLY reconnected, or so I thought. We spent the day in bed together (the kids were away at grandma's) and talked and connected and for once in a long time I thought, wow.. we CAN do this. And then the next day I find him talking to some girl online about how he can't stand not talking to her on the weekends. Bleh.<br><br>
I don't trust him at all anymore. Sometimes his words are nice, but his actions don't ever match. Sometimes I think he emotionally abuses me, but I can't be sure. I'm constantly questioning our relationship, I don't know if it really IS just me being "crazy" or "grumpy" as he always says, or if he's just a jerk.<br><br>
This other guy makes me feel so good about myself. He tells me how amazing and great I am. It's so good to feel that. It's so good to have someone seem to really LIKE ME. Not always picking on me about every little thing.<br><br>
I have discussed counseling endlessly with DP. He doesn't want to go. Maybe I should go myself... I don't know how to get the time right now, but maybe soon.<br><br>
I'm with my current partner still because I can live a loveless life. I've had enough love before I met him. I have enough passionate relationships to last me a lifetime. I would stay if we could be content, if we could stop fighting, if I could feel like we were on the same team. That is enough for me, I think. But he doesn't seem to think there is a problem, ever. "All couples fight", but like this? Name calling and insults that I can never forget? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
If I didn't have kids I'd be on the plane yesterday to Australia. But I DO have kids, and so does he, and I would 1) never want them away from their dad, or me. 2) never want his son away from him. 3) never want his son away from his mom. So... it's just not possible.<br><br>
I wish I knew what to do... I wish I knew how to figure it out, once and for all.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>brenda003</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9937022"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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I don't trust him at all anymore.<br></div>
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I don't think your relationship stands any real chance if there is no trust. And you deserve a real relationship.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I have discussed counseling endlessly with DP. He doesn't want to go. Maybe I should go myself... I don't know how to get the time right now, but maybe soon.</td>
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Yes, you absolutely should. I think this will help your current situation a lot, as well as give you some clarity on why you are staying in a loveless relationship.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I'm with my current partner still because I can live a loveless life. I've had enough love before I met him.</td>
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Sure, you can ... but the evidence of your emotional affair suggests that you do, in fact, want a lot more. Don't beat yourself up about it, but recognize the importance of what is going on. You deserve to be happy and loved, so does your DP - but maybe not by each other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Oh the Irony</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9937166"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">seriously check out the book i mentioned. it made it extremely clear.</div>
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I've been meaning to get this book, thanks. Hopefully I can pick it up this weekend. I wish it came in electronic format. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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also with a fantasy relationship like this one you would tend to forget the "human" qualities of this man. if he was with you, over time you would get used to each other and relaxed and things may be as mundane as they are with your current dp. he would do things to piss you off, too, like leave the toilet seat up, leave dirty dishes scattered, wet towels on the floor, things like that, you know? when you aren't actually LIVING with the person, things seem so perfect... i agree that counseling is necessary, for you, your dp, and your friend and his wife.
 

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sure, you can be in a loveless life or a pssionless life--but why when you could have more? and does he really wnt that? and would it be fair to "settle" for that anway?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>brenda003</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9937022"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm with my current partner still because I can live a loveless life. I've had enough love before I met him. I have enough passionate relationships to last me a lifetime. I would stay if we could be content, if we could stop fighting, if I could feel like we were on the same team. That is enough for me, I think.</div>
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It's not though. It's not enough for you.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
Don't stay for the kids. Please. Don't hide behind them. You owe them more than that.<br><br>
I hope you can find a counselor to help you through this difficult time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>D_McG</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9939722"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It's not though. It's not enough for you.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
Don't stay for the kids. Please. Don't hide behind them. You owe them more than that.<br><br>
I hope you can find a counselor to help you through this difficult time.</div>
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Ahh, how'd you see me hiding back there? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I have a lot to figure out... thank you everyone for not judging me harshly. I thought I'd get a lot of "how dare you!" or something.<br><br>
I don't know what I'm going to do. I think I know what I need to do, I just feel so frozen when I think of actually doing it. Maybe things will make more sense after the holidays.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>brenda003</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9943962"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Ahh, how'd you see me hiding back there? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"></div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"><br><br>
Truthfully, I have never met anyone who I believe was REALLY staying for the kids. Everyone I know who says that is (IMHO) staying because they are too afraid to leave and using their children as an excuse.<br><br>
Good luck to you!
 

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I also recommend counseling. Whatever choice you make, know that worrying about something is usually worse than the actual thing. Being a single parent has been hard in many ways, but easier in others. In fact, my ex and I get along much better now than when we were together. You and your children AND your DP deserve some happiness in life.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>brenda003</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9937022"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">There is no trust. I mentioned him having an online affair or two before. One of those times was just a day after we had FINALLY reconnected, or so I thought. We spent the day in bed together (the kids were away at grandma's) and talked and connected and for once in a long time I thought, wow.. we CAN do this. And then <b>the next day</b> I find him talking to some girl online about how he can't stand not talking to her on the weekends. Bleh.<br><br>
I don't trust him at all anymore. Sometimes his words are nice, but his actions don't ever match. <b>Sometimes I think he emotionally abuses me</b>, but I can't be sure. I'm constantly questioning our relationship, I don't know if it really IS just me being "crazy" or "grumpy" as he always says, or if he's just a jerk.<br><br>
This other guy makes me feel so good about myself. He tells me how amazing and great I am. It's so good to feel that. It's so good to have someone seem to really LIKE ME. Not <b>always picking on me about every little thing</b>.<br><br>
I have discussed counseling endlessly with DP. <b>He doesn't want to go</b>. Maybe I should go myself... I don't know how to get the time right now, but maybe soon.<br><br>
But he doesn't seem to think there is a problem, ever. "All couples fight", but like this? Name calling and insults that I can never forget? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br><br></div>
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i've been exactly where you are. EXACTLY. your relationship is going no where good. *YOU* <b>ARE</b> a good person. you have needs, you are human. you are being lied to and treated badly, OF COURSE you want love and connection; nay, NEED it.<br><br>
be gentle on yourself, spend time with people who know how great you are and who make you feel good. i didn't have such great experiences with counselors, to be honest. a lot of them don't understand emotional abuse. i read a book called "<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fs%3Fie%3DUTF8%26tag%3Dmozilla-20%26index%3Dblended%26link_code%3Dqs%26field-keywords%3Dwhy%2520does%2520he%2520do%2520that%26sourceid%3DMozilla-search" target="_blank">Why Does He Do That?"</a> that helped a lot.<br><br>
peace and love to you <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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I can't offer you any advice, but let me tell you this: YOU ARE <b>NOT</b> A BAD PERSON! I hope you find an answer to all this, just don't beat yourself about it, ok? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>D_McG</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9945380"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"><br><br>
Truthfully, I have never met anyone who I believe was REALLY staying for the kids. Everyone I know who says that is (IMHO) staying because they are too afraid to leave and using their children as an excuse.<br><br>
Good luck to you!</div>
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That was my mom. She makes us feel that it was my sister and my "fault" that she stayed so long, when, in fact, we begged her to leave my dad all the time. We still carry the emotional scars from growing up in that house with him!<br><br>
She finally left him when she met someone else. I was happy for her, but also lost a lot of respect for her. It was clear that she was too afraid of being alone or of being poor to leave . ..
 
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