No, I was trying to get in touch with Sarah
i'm game if you want to give my messed up head a shot
Hi Dr. Jackie! I'm sorry for the delay getting back to you. I've been swamped both physically and emotionally. This is the low down. I have been married for 22 years. In hindsight, I do not believe I have been in love with my husband this whole time. Before getting married, we had broken up and I didn't want anything to do with him. Then about two weeks later, I found out I was pregnant. Back then you weren't really given a choice. You dropped out of college, got a job and got married and had a baby.
He is a really great guy. He has been a good husband and provider, and an excellent father to our four children. I feel like he is a best friend. I'm not attracted to him sexually. I don't want to kiss him or be intimate with him. He is a handsome man, I'm just not attracted to him that way at all.
Last summer a friendship blossomed between me and a dad from my son's class at school. Our lives are very similar in that he too is unhappily married. She doesn't give him any attention and doesn't generally have a lot to do with their children. (She had one from a previous marriage and really did not want any more. She agreed to have babies for him but told him that he would be the one responsible for them.) Anyway, this friendship progressed to some pretty intimate conversations. Nothing physical ever happened between us. I cannot say that nothing would have happened if we were in a certain environment. I think I would have liked something to happen. But. We are both married and neither of us were willing to literally step over that line.
Last Labor Day, my husband confronted me with the relationship. He had been reading my emails and texts and monitoring them. I knew what I was feeling but didn't realize just how much we were communicating. Anyway. I told my husband that I was not in love with him, that I care for him a lot, but was not in love. Since then, we have been going to counseling, he has tried "woo-ing" me, but my feelings have not changed, not even a little.
Though I am ready to move forward with a divorce, I am having a difficult time actually saying those words to my husband. It would be much easier to stay though I wouldn't be happy. I feel extremely guilty for wanting to put my happiness above that of my children. I know, and he keeps telling me, how much this will destroy their lives. I really feel that how they cope with it will depend a lot on how we deal with it. If we make it ok, and stay civil with each other, they will be ok with it too.
Part of my problem is that this gentleman, Matt, is still very much in my head and heart. He is also still very much, though unhappily still, married. I miss him so much it hurts. I just want to spend some time with him, talk to him, just see him. I don't have any idea where his head is. I know that he can't be a part of this decision to split with my husband. He has said that he can't do that to my kids. He can't hurt them. I reassured him that he is not doing anything to them. I am. I am in love with him. You are the only person I have said that to. I know that I am seeing him through rosy colored glasses. I haven't spent the day to day time with him that a statement like that deserves. I just know how my heart feels about him. And I want more than anything to explore those feelings.
So this is where my term, "messed up head" comes from. I don't know how to take a step and move forward with anything. Can you help?
I do have four children. The are 22 (recent college graduate, started a full time job, living in NYC), 20 (in college, currently home for the summer), 14 (starting hs in the fall), and a sweetheart, cuddly, "I love my family" 8 yr. old. My oldest will have to be told over the phone since I don't expect him home before the holidays. My middle two can probably be talked to together. And I think my little guy will need to have his own conversation with us. He is at a very different place, maturity wise than the middle girls.
My husband and I have been through counseling, I think 3 times during our marriage. We go for a while and then stop, but things just always stay the same. I feel like he deserves to have a wife/girlfriend that loves him and wants to be with him in the way he wants to be with me. I just am not that person.
I'm trying very hard to balance those feelings of wanting Matt with my desire to end my marriage. I do know that he cannot be a part of that decision and I really think that I am okay with it. I want to figure out just who i am and what it is that makes me happy. How does one do that? figure out who they are and what makes them happy?
I just care about him so much. I want to support him and encourage him to do what makes him happy too, because right now, he's not. He told me that he does not love his wife and really does not even care what she does. His only worry is upsetting his daughters and the fear that his wife will try to take them away from him. It terrifies him.
What do you suggest, Doc? :)
Thank you for your words. They ring very true in every sense. You are correct, his girls are a bit younger than mine. They are 13, 9, & 6. They are his whole world and as much as their mother does not do anything for them, he fears that out of spite she would fight to take them away. (I keep thinking, but it wouldn't last long because then she would have to actually take care of them!) But that is neither here nor there. I love and care about his little girls and would do anything for them.
My husband and I have both agreed that since we each want the kids, and we each think the other parent is a very good parent, it would be best for us to have the kids 50/50, however that would work.
I also married at the tender age of 21. I also spent the first 15 years of our marriage at home with children. I occasionally worked part time here and there but not anything serious or long lasting. About 7 years ago I started working at my son's elementary school part time. It was a good choice for then. It kept me on my children's schedule and gave us a little breathing room financially. This past February I took my very first full time job. I am working at our local University. Because it is full time, I now have my own benefits and am making enough that I believe I would be able to support myself and my kids. It would be a much smaller lifestyle than what they are used to, but I think we would be just fine/comfortable.
In Indiana, I've been told we are a no-fault state. Everything between us gets split equitably. I would be entitled to half of my husband's retirement as well as half of the equity in our home (which these days isn't great). I feel like with having that money, I can put a nice down payment on a nearby home and be able to have the payments affordable. The rest would need to go back into some sort of savings so it can continue to earn money, but I would need to be able to access it in case of an emergency (new roof, hot water heater, etc.).
So that's kind of where my mind is, my plan per se. Any advice on talking to the 8 yr old? He is the one I am dreading the most. I can already imagine his little heart breaking.