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Married for 4 years. I realized that there is lack of

passion and sexual interest since...
Married for 4 years. I realized that there is lack of passion and sexual interest since the beginning. We are good together for other things but I feel frustrated and lonly. I started to really miss a guy who I always have feelings for. He lives in a different country. Last year, I met up with him and I cheated on my husband. We were planning to be together last year but then I couldn't face and handle the massive emotional problems and fear from the separation with my husband. We separated for a few months then he moved back in April 2010 when we decided to give another try. Now, the same problems are back. I feel I can't do this and but feel so guilty and don't know what to do....
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Answered in 1 hour by:
6/27/2010
Selah R, M.S. LPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 582
Experience: Licensed Professional Counselor; over 13+ yrs exp working with adults, teens, & families/couples.
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Thank you for trusting JustAnswer with your important question.

If the rest of your relationship outside of the bedroom is going well, then maybe you should consider couples counseling to work on the intimacy. If you've got too many other problems in the marriage, then maybe it's time to consider divorce. EIther way, you should work things out with your spouse before you continue a relationship with someone else (ie, fix it or leave it).

But it's not fair to any of the three of you to continue an affair.

In many marriages intimacy levels change in relationship to many things (stress, age, medications, unspoken issues in the marriage, and there seems to be normal seasons of more and less sexual activity in most marriages). Rarely are intimacy issues, and affairs, caused by only one person in the marriage. Which means you run the risk of leaving your partner but bringing the same toxic baggage with you into the next relationship.

Sincerely,
Selah
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Sometimes I feel divorce will be the right thing for both of us. But sometimes I feel the guilt will stay in my mind for the rest of my life and the fear to face that makes me staying in the marriage. If I don't feel this is true love and I still believe in love and want both of us to find true happiness. Why am I so weak to make a decision? I don't want to admit that I am going to destory my marriage and hurt many people who care about us so much. Why is it so hard?
It's hard because we don't want to lose the person we fell in love with and the dreams we have for our future that involved that person. We don't want to be judged by others as "the bad guy". And we don't want to admit that we've hurt them. We also don't want to admit to ourselves that we did something (like an affair) that we never thought we could have ever been capable of doing.

You will always have this secret hanging over you, and it will become a wedge between you and your husband. Affairs *DO* matter. Even if you decide to stay with your spouse, you have to get counseling to deal with this infection or it will kill the marriage sooner or later. That's where finding a couples therapist who deals with infidelity is so important. Because marriages can be saved, and even made better, if both parties are fully committed to making things work.

It's also scary to leave a marriage. There is so much that will change (your friends, where you live, the financial mess). And then there is still the fear that the new relationship won't work out any better.

Again, that's why I strongly recommend counseling first before you make any decision. You have to figure out the inside stuff before you make outside changes so you don't end up destroying things that didn't need to be destroyed.

But I think the longer you try to go along as is, still emotionally open to an affair, still not fully committed to make your marriage work, the more damage that is going to happen to everyone involved.

Stop the affair. Get into individual counseling if you're not ready to work with your husband. FIgure out what you want, figure out why the change in intimacy made you look outside the marriage instead of inside the marriage for answers. Once you have a better understanding of your stuff, then maybe you'll be ready to fight for your marriage.

Selah
Selah R, M.S. LPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 582
Experience: Licensed Professional Counselor; over 13+ yrs exp working with adults, teens, & families/couples.
Verified
Selah R, M.S. LPC and 87 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Last year we tried therapy as a couple, and I also tried individual therapy. The result lead to the separation for 6 months. I always got so nervous before the therapy. I don't know if that worked for me. Maybe I didn't try long enough. Also it's hard to talk about deep feelings under the pressure of time and money. I wasn't sure if I was truely honest during the sessions. And that just brought another stress in my life. Chinese is my first language and more comfortable with,so I found a male Chinese psychologist to talk to. It was little better but I stoppped going because I wasn't sure if that really help or force me to come up with answer when I'm not ready. Anyway, thank you so much for a lot of good advices and things I do know but need someone to remind me to face it. Thanks, sincerely.
You might find this book useful:
Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship
by Mira Kirshenbaum
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Selah R, M.S. LPC, Therapist
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