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I have been unhappy in my 17+ year marriage for almost 10

years. I felt i...
I have been unhappy in my 17+ year marriage for almost 10 years. I felt i told my husband what I needed very clearly and he didn't want to hear me (I told him I felt badly about losing my mother, having an ectopic pregnancy and losing my fallopian tube after 10 years of fighting infertility and losing everything we own in a catestrophic house fire - all in the course of 10 months and I wanted to cry about it and I wanted him to hold me while I did it. He put his arms around me, patted me on the back 3 times and walked away). I met "the one that got away" and naively thought we were just friendly. As you might expect, it was like fire and gasoline. My husband asked if I wanted a divorce. Knowing that he was VERY clear that infidelity would not be tolerated, I said I guess so. Over the course of the next 3 weeks, he filed for divorce, accused me of stalling on signing the paperwork, and we fought more than we had in the last 18 years. I shared with him hte problems I have, he said I checked out of the marriage 7 years ago. I feel he handed me away 7 years ago. He continues to blame me for things that aren't my fault (he deposited a check in the wrong bank and said it was my fault), he is unable to see that i work to enjoy his likes but says "we will never have that in common" when I want him to share mine. Meanwhile, the other man is fabulous. He loves - and has always loved - like no one else. I love this new guy, I have for 24 years. WHen my current husband asked me to marry him I hesitated because the new guy popped into my head. I love the new guy, I love his family, they love me and he "gets" me like no one else. he always has "gotten" me with no effort. How do I choose whether to stay with 18 years and battle it out or go with the new guy? My heart, my body and my soul scream that the new guy is the answer. My mind wonders if i'm bailing on my marriage to easily. How do I choose one over the other?
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
9/6/2012
TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3,692
Experience: Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
Verified
CoachJenK :

Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families on a variety of issues.

CoachJenK :

I think you sound very clear. i dont hear much of a battle about where your heart, mind, body and spirit is.


CoachJenK :

The worry may just be because making any change can be scary but I don't hear anything that would make me suggest to stay in your marriage.


Customer:

so how do I get my mind to stop interfering? I do love my husband - the marriage has been pleasant enough most of the time. very little abuse in the traditional sense, just not much support. He is DEVESTATED and i feel horrible about leaving him.


CoachJenK :

and all of what you are feeling is normal. and in time it will lessen once you make the choice to now focus on your needs and what you truly desire.


CoachJenK :

it is sad for both of you no doubt and you can handle it with grace and dignity so that you can both heal and move on


CoachJenK :

I think the mind will interfere less once you make the decision....limbo is a very hard spot to be in.


Customer:

i'd like to, but all i can think is whether I should go back to my husband and give it a try. even though it's been ages, if ever, since he's seen *me* as opposed to the person who packs his bags, does his bills,brings home a great paycheck...


CoachJenK :

dont you feel you des

erve to have the kind of love you have with this other man?

Customer:

how do i watch him cry for me (for the first time.. i felt like i've been asking for attention for years... in fact, I've asked him to go to counselling 3 times, all three he refused). how do i walk away from a good man as he cries and begs me to just stay. i feel like he's saying because i've got a gun to his head. When he didn't think it was bad and i asked for counselling he declined. Now that I'm actually leaving it's all of a sudden a great idea


CoachJenK :

I am all for you living your best life so it makes me ask why after 17 years and 10 years of being unhappy that you would all of a sudden feel differently. i hear you have tried for the last 10 years.


CoachJenK :

I understand all of that and his experience as well. it really comes down to whether you feel things could be different and if you could love and feel love with him that way you want and deserve and his "change" isnt happening in the short term just as he is faced with your leaving.


CoachJenK :

what do you want...tell me what the fire in your belly says.


Customer:

the fire in my belly tells me that the other man is where I belong - he's ALWAYS been where i belonged. We parted ways through a series of misunderstandings, not really intentionally. When I found him again it took him 6 minutes to see what husband couldn't see for 10 years. I love him. I love his family. I love how he makes me feel. I love the attention and the support. He's not perfect - enough baggage to fill a train - but he loves me completely. I believe him when he says he has always loved me. Husband doesn't do quite as well. I believe husband needs me. I believe he loves me, but I dont believe he sees me. I'm not even really sure - even now - that he *wants* to see me. he has a short attention span - if I'm sick, i get 5 days. If i'm sick longer than 5 days he "forgets" that I'm sick and stops being nursemaid. how long will it take him to "forget" that he's supposed to be working on the marriage?


CoachJenK :

Wow. That is the fire I am talking about. The answer seems clear to me.


CoachJenK :

That doesnt mean there won't be pain around it in the ending and the moving away, but it seems VERY clear.


CoachJenK :

be your best self and live your best life....we only come around once! it seems like now is your time for you!!!!


Customer:

the how do i forgive myself for causing such devestation in his life?


Customer:

i must be a bad, bad person to willingly cause that for someone i promised forever


CoachJenK :

ahh so now you are taking responsibility for it all?


CoachJenK :

the leaving hasnt been the only devastation.


CoachJenK :

and now want more as you always did but sacrificed your needs


Customer:

no, the marriage - the failure of the marriage - was 50/50. My choice to have an affair rather than talk to husband was my fault adn may have caused the act of divorce, but hte broken marriage is on us both.

but im' the one turning my back on it.

CoachJenK :

I dont hear a bad person. I hear a woman who has stayed in for 17 years


CoachJenK :

I just dont share that view. I believe you tried for a long time and begged and pleaded to be seen and to work on things...eventually that devastation took its toll


Customer:

but woman stay if FAAAAAAAR more uncomfortable marriages.... why do i have the right to leave what is by all accounts a pleasant arrangement - if not a for the ages love affair


Customer:

woman = women


CoachJenK :

just because you are the one leaving does not mean that you have turned your back on it


CoachJenK :

why compare? You have the right as we ALL have the right to live our best lives.


CoachJenK :

we only get one shot!


Customer:

doesnt that make me selfish?


CoachJenK :

If I said to you....stay in the marriage how would you feel.


CoachJenK :

selfish after 17 years? NO!


Customer:

how would I feel?? stuck. sad. horrified that i'm walking away from the other man AGAIN


CoachJenK :

go live your life and handle the ending with care!


Customer:

the other man actually told me that he wants so badly for me to stop hurting that if i want to go back, he will drive me. He suggested that I share my husbands bed if it would m ake me feel better. The thought of sharing husbands bed is.... unpleasant. not disgusting, just not... pleasant/


CoachJenK :

ok then as I said before it is CLEAR. your guilt feelings are just clouding things and that is normal to have the feelings that you are but it is clear on what you want and need.


Customer:

so why the heck am i even considering going b ack.

CoachJenK :

A gentleman


CoachJenK :

guilt


CoachJenK :

but time to let it go and see things and all your desires for the last 17 years.


Customer:

i have always had enough guilt for a Jewish grandmother. I guess this is no different :)

CoachJenK :

let it all go, breathe and move toward what you want. you deserve it.


CoachJenK :

lol


CoachJenK :

guilt doesnt help in anyway


Customer:

but what does husband deserve? if i deserve happiness, doesn't he?

CoachJenK :

I like to say its a wasted emotion


CoachJenK :

only eats us up but is not helpful in any way


CoachJenK :

yes and he will get that when things end as it is not right between the two of you so you are colluding in the view that if you stay that brings happiness to both of you.


Customer:

colluding?


CoachJenK :

there will be pain but in the end everyone will heal


CoachJenK :

believing in this view


Customer:

you make it sound so simple. Hell, when I hear me talk about it it's so simple. I think you're right - its the guilt that is causing the problem . (thanks for the definition)


Customer:

i know a great decluttering plan - catestrophic house fire. no more clutter. Do you know a similar de-guilting plan? Is there an easy way to get rid of the guilt?


CoachJenK :

emotions are never simple but you are more clear than you think...if you took away the guilt there would be nothing standing in your way


CoachJenK :

lol. yes breathe and let yourself know that you have put in your time and you now deserve to be happy.


Customer:

again with the simplicity....


CoachJenK :

sorry...Im annoying. LOL


Customer:

it's never that simple to put into action


Customer:

no, not annoying. i liek the clarity actually.

CoachJenK :

we tend to over complicate things and I like to break things down to see the simplicity of it all


Customer:

i've asked myself what i would say to my best friend if she told me this story. It's pretty much what you've said to me. some how my advice isn't as helpful when it comes from me to me, kwim?


CoachJenK :

to me...everything in life is simple and we make things harder so I am asking you not to make this harder than it already has been for you and to move toward what you truly desire and to handle the ending with love, grace and dignity!


Customer:

how can i love him and still walk away from him? that makes no sense to me.


Customer:

ok. i've taken enough of your time.

Customer:

i'll try th esimple path.

CoachJenK :

go get what you need!!!!!


CoachJenK :

I am ok...sweet to wrry about me, but that also show me that you worry more about the others and less about what you need!


Customer:

right..... i'll get right on that.

at least I'll try! :)

CoachJenK :

lol


Customer:

yeah, i tend to worry more abou tthose i love than myself. that's totally true

CoachJenK :

come to me anytime!


CoachJenK :

its okay to care for the self..that is not selfish.


CoachJenK :

hate that word...its just used as a weapon


Customer:

Thank you very very much for your help.

I may seem a bit flippant, but i did hear y ou. i just hope i can figure out to actually do it.

CoachJenK :

you can do this!


CoachJenK :

you will figure it out. love yourself and let yourself just be.


CoachJenK :

Please take a moment to click on the rating tab. My goal has been to give you excellent support


Customer:

right. i can do that. super simple.

Customer:

i will click hte smilie face, don't worry!


Customer:

thank you for the help.

Customer:

have a great day!~


CoachJenK :

lol. Im not worried!


CoachJenK :

you too. Go out and get it! The time is now...nothing else.


TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3,692
Experience: Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
Verified
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TherapistJen
TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3,692
3,692 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

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