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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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<p style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0px;font:12px Helvetica;">Hi everyone- I was hoping to get some feedback or maybe just a reality check. I'm posting under a guest account so I can keep this anonymous.</p>
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<p style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0px;font:12px Helvetica;">I've been married 10 years and have 2 kids. My husband and I went through a very rough time starting 2 years ago and lasting up until fairly recently. He did something extremely hurtful that caused significant damage to our relationship. It was not an affair, but something equally destructive that created major trust issues and hurt. We were technically separated for a year- living in different rooms in our house- but in our state it's not possible to file for legal separation, and I never got to the point of filing for divorce (although very close many times). We were separated like this until this past summer. We went to counseling for about 5 months, until he quit. There were many instances when he created more hurt, but also many ways in which he made changes and tried to grow. I've had to work hard to see them, because I don't have much patience/tolerance left. And there were ongoing problems in our marriage well before the issue happened. I have done counseling on my own since this all started and have worked hard to forgive him. But there is still some anger there underneath that comes out from time to time.</p>
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<p style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0px;font:12px Helvetica;">Last spring (2009) after this hurtful situation happened in my marriage, I decided to take a trip across the country to see a high school friend. While I was there, I also visited with an ex-boyfriend- well, really my first love. I spent 2 days with him. Nothing happened between us, but it was clear we both had feelings for each other and admitted that. I had taken the trip to get myself ready to face separation/divorce, and started considering pursuing a relationship with this guy in the future. After I returned, I asked my husband for the separation but decided to cut off all contact with this other guy because it was confusing me and I did not feel it was healthy for any of us. I have not had any contact with him since- it's been over a year and I have since re-committed to working on my marriage.</p>
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<p style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0px;font:12px Helvetica;">Here's the problem- I have not been able to get this guy out of my mind. I haven't had any contact with him, but I can't stop thinking about him. There was a connection there that felt very unlike what I have had with my husband (not just of late- I mean our whole relationship). After I cut off contact, I felt this ache all the time. I've convinced myself many times over that it's just escapism, that it would probably not work anyway on many levels, that it's just a symbol of my what if's.</p>
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<p style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0px;font:12px Helvetica;">I guess I'm looking for advice on what to do, or how to move on. Thank you for reading.</p>
 

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<p>accept it as fantasy and don't think about it too much or it'll eat you up. Just succumb to your marraige and forget about anyone else. It's natural to fantasize and long but it's not reality. 2 days does not mean you will feel the same about that person in 10 years day in and out of his crap. Everyone has crap and annoying habits. Promise you fantasy boy has them. I'm sure he burps farts and a horrible spending habits and credit cards you know nothing about... probably drinks.. hates kids but says he loves them in front of you. The arguments to be had. The grass is not greener. Just trust in that and get over it.</p>
 

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<p>I would agree that it's just fantasizing at this point, BUT, you don't seem very happy about working on your marriage. Fantasy lover aside, life is too short. If you are truly unhappy get out, for you!</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Banana731</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1282432/need-some-advice-feelings-for-someone-else#post_16081124"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I would agree that it's just fantasizing at this point, BUT, you don't seem very happy about working on your marriage. Fantasy lover aside, life is too short. If you are truly unhappy get out, for you!</p>
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<br><br><p>yep!  don't leave for another man (or an idealized version of another man).  leave for you.  OR stay and work on it for you, if it is what you really want to do.  but don't choose between your dh and a dream guy.  choose you.</p>
 

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<p>I would not necessarily say it is a fantasy escape.  It seems real enough to me from what you described.  You may have a connection with this other fellow that is much different than you dh and that connection may be something very special.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>That aside I think you made the best choice in breaking contact and I would say that all of your lingering thoughts and ideals in regard to this fellow are just a symbol at this point of what is missing in your marriage... and is something that you want in your life.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I think you have to weigh all of the aspects of your situation in order to make the right choice in leaving or staying.  Part of your 'fantasy man' scenario may be the straw that breaks the camels back and sends you on your way knowing your marriage is over... OR it could be a fantasy you hold onto while working things trough...</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Good Luck.</p>
<p> </p>
 
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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>doubledutch</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1282432/need-some-advice-feelings-for-someone-else#post_16081998"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Banana731</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1282432/need-some-advice-feelings-for-someone-else#post_16081124"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I would agree that it's just fantasizing at this point, BUT, you don't seem very happy about working on your marriage. Fantasy lover aside, life is too short. If you are truly unhappy get out, for you!</p>
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<br><br><p>yep!  don't leave for another man (or an idealized version of another man).  leave for you.  OR stay and work on it for you, if it is what you really want to do.  but don't choose between your dh and a dream guy.  choose you.</p>
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<br><br><p>exactly. </p>
 

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<p>I would do as other posters have suggested ... realize that this is a "grass is greener" fantasy. Either put that energy into your current partnership or make the break and use that energy to get out... but not for the other fellow... for yourself.</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Ravenlunatic</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1282432/need-some-advice-feelings-for-someone-else#post_16082401"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br><p>I would not necessarily say it is a fantasy escape.  It seems real enough to me from what you described.  You may have a connection with this other fellow that is much different than you dh and that connection may be something very special.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>That aside I think you made the best choice in breaking contact and I would say that all of your lingering thoughts and ideals in regard to this fellow are just a symbol at this point of what is missing in your marriage... and is something that you want in your life.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I think you have to weigh all of the aspects of your situation in order to make the right choice in leaving or staying.  Part of your 'fantasy man' scenario may be the straw that breaks the camels back and sends you on your way knowing your marriage is over... OR it could be a fantasy you hold onto while working things trough...</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Good Luck.</p>
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Yep to all this.
 

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<p>I agree with a lot of what other posters have said, but I would add that I really think you have two separate decisions to make: 1. whether to stay with your husband and 2. whether to start a new relationship with this ex. I would strongly encourage you to make those decisions separately and, if you do leave your husband, to spend a significant amount of time (a year or more) alone recovering from the relationship and rediscovering yourself before starting a new relationship with anyone.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>10 years is a long time and clearly there is something to this relationship since you've stayed with him through 2 years of trying times. Perhaps, if you think about this other guy as someone you <em>might</em> have a relationship with down the road, <em>if</em> he's still available, <em>after</em> you've had a chance to recover, it will cool the fire a little bit and let you focus on more immediate decisions.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Whatever happens, I wish you the best.</p>
 

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<p>i am sorry but i think if your dh is really eager for your relation to work out, you should honestly work on it too. that is what you promised you will do he moment you married him. other guys are just a passing things on your family life roads...</p>
 

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<p><br>
I know that feeling you are talking about. That feeling passes though, kwim?</p>
<p>The grass could possibly be greener for a while, but then what?</p>
<p>You did make a promise and it seems like you've worked very hard to keep your marriage and that it's important to you.</p>
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<p>I dont know what your DH did. If you can honestly never get past it, then that's another story entirely.</p>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Ekatherina</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1282432/need-some-advice-feelings-for-someone-else#post_16084134"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>i am sorry but i think if your dh is really eager for your relation to work out, you should honestly work on it too. that is what you promised you will do he moment you married him. other guys are just a passing things on your family life roads...</p>
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<p>Great post. I agree with this.<br><br>
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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mom2happy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1282432/need-some-advice-feelings-for-someone-else#post_16084547"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p><br>
I <strong>know that feeling you are talking about. That feeling passes though, kwim?</strong></p>
<p><strong>The grass could possibly be greener for a while, but then what?</strong></p>
<p><strong>You did make a promise and it seems like you've worked very hard to keep your marriage and that it's important to you.</strong></p>
<p><strong> </strong></p>
<p><strong>I dont know what your DH did. If you can honestly never get past it, then that's another story entirely.</strong></p>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Ekatherina</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1282432/need-some-advice-feelings-for-someone-else#post_16084134"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>i am sorry but i think if your dh is really eager for your relation to work out, you should honestly work on it too. that is what you promised you will do he moment you married him. other guys are just a passing things on your family life roads...</p>
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<p>I agree with the above posters and also with the statement that if you do dissolve your marriage to take a break and be alone for a while before pursuing another relationship.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Follow your heart.</p>
<p> </p>
 

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I had a bad marriage and need up seeing an old college boyfriend on a trip<br>
back to my hometown. I didn't cheat. Yet after that trip it was clear I had to make a choice. He and I had been chatting on the phone and by email for years.<br>
Being in the same place proved it was more than a friendship.<br><br>
I urge you to really focus on your marriage, be it becoming stronger or divorcing. If it ends you can contact the guy. It might lead to something. It might not. What I would not do is allow yourself to be emotionally attached while married. You cut off contact which is a good place to be right now.<br><br>
How did it work out for me? I'm happily married to the friend. our 5th anniversary is this weekend. My divorce was messy even though there was no physical affair. Knowing I was moving on so quickly really hurt my xh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
<p>Thanks everyone for your feedback. I'm staying in my marriage for now, because things have gotten better, and my H has tried to make amends and positive changes. But making a decision to stay and put effort into my marriage does not unfortunately take away my sadness and yearning for this other person. Does anyone have any advice for this?</p>
 

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<p>I feel for you. I was in a relationship with my college boyfriend and fell intensely in love with someone else who lived a few hundred miles away. I didn't quite cheat, but it was a messy breakup. The other guy and I were briefly together, but without living in the same city, we didn't make it reall happen, though we were in touch for a long time. It's been, oh gosh, 12 years? And I guess I'd still call the other guy the love of my life. It's hard, you can't control that kind of thing. If you know you don't want to leave your husband, the only real thing to do is to banish all thoughts of the other man from your mind, and don't indulge in any thought of it. You basically have to treat it like an addiction.</p>
<p>Here's an article you might enjoy:</p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/12/AR2007021201657.html" target="_blank">http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/12/AR2007021201657.html</a></p>
 

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<p>My marriage was going through a rough spot but we were working on it and then I found out that my husband had a fling with his high school sweetheart when they met at their reunion.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Words cannot even begin to describe the devastation I felt. I also felt like a complete fool - that here I was trying to work on our marriage and take responsibility for the problems I created and he was pretending to work on it too but all the while he was thinking of someone else.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I immediately stopped counseling and ended the marriage. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>My ex's old sweetheart, by the way, did NOT stick around. The affair was exciting when it was with someone technically "unavailable" but once he was all hers, she didn't want him anymore.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>If you really want to make your marriage work, commit to it 100% and stop thinking about this guy. If you can't stop thinking about this guy, then end your marriage.  But be realistic - for all you know, he stopped thinking about you 12 months ago.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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<p style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0px;font:12px Helvetica;">I know it's hard to keep our personal experiences out of responses, but I would appreciate answers that could be as objective as possible. I obviously did not have a fling, and in fact made the responsible choice to cut off contact. It would have been much easier to engage in a relationship with this other person to escape the pain I was dealing with. </p>
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<p style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0px;font:12px Helvetica;">I haven't shared specifically what my husband did because I know most responses would focus on "why didn't you leave?" It was not what anyone would call "a rough spot", and I believe most people would have walked away from the marriage. I made a choice to stick it out and work on forgiving my husband. It took a lot of strength to do so, but here I am, and I am working on moving forward in my marriage. I'm not considering being with this other person, because I'm sure he's moved on in his life. But I am looking for advice on how to release leftover feelings for him- it's much easier said than done.</p>
 

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<p>Cary Tennis so often captures the essence of what I am feeling or what I need to hear but I think this column of his really speaks to your situation.  You have to mourn, as he suggests, the loss of the possibilities of the path NOT chosen, while still honoring and trusting the path that you did choose.  Put that way, I think all of us, in some way or another and to varying extents, can relate to your situation.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>You have hinted at more complex externalities to your situation, so what I'm suggesting here is general advice not dependent on knowing those externalities.  But it sounds like there is a lot more to your story and whether the rest of it is relevant or not to the kind of advice or wisdom you are seeking is for you to decide, but it does seem to me that it might be relevant.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I have been in your situation and although I didn't choose the path you have chosen, I know what a tough spot you are in.  I wish you all the luck.</p>
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<p><a href="http://www.salon.com/life/since_you_asked/2010/12/14/restless_in_marriage/index.html" target="_blank">http://www.salon.com/life/since_you_asked/2010/12/14/restless_in_marriage/index.html</a></p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MDCGuest01</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1282432/need-some-advice-feelings-for-someone-else#post_16116036"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p><br>
Thanks everyone for your feedback. I'm staying in my marriage for now, because things have gotten better, and my H has tried to make amends and positive changes. But making a decision to stay and put effort into my marriage does not unfortunately take away my sadness and yearning for this other person. Does anyone have any advice for this?</p>
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Allow yourself to grieve for the loss of what might have been if things had been different and then dedicate yourself to improving your marriage. We all think "what if?" at times, even when our marriages are going well and all that, but if you are feeling sadness or regret, I think you need to let yourself feel it a bit, have a private pity party and move on. I think you might feel a little sadness every day for awhile, but eventually it will fade and suddenly it will be gone except for just some lingering good memories when you choose to think about them. At least that is how grief has worked for me in the past. I don't know if that helps, but maybe something to think about!
 
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