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psychlady, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 6893
Experience:  I have over 16 years experience in treating adults presenting with a variety of relationship issues
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Hi, I have been relatively happily married for 13 years with

Customer Question

Hi, I have been relatively happily married for 13 years with two lovely boys aged 7 and 10. My wife and i were always good friends rather than having any real chemistry or romance. Over the last few years we seem to have drifted further apart. We've never really had much sex and always felt slightly embarrassed with each other on the topic. 2 years ago my first ever girlfriend got in touch, we'd always held a candle for each other and were together for 2 years in our teens. we were very close back then and wrote many letters to each other. Very quickly we rekindled some amazing shared feelings. She is twice divorced. we made the decision to meet and things just felt incredible. I had never felt so close to anyone. It was like a whole undiscovered side of me had been unlocked. I told my wife very soon into the relationship and moved out of the family home. Despite the obvious connnection we have i suffer from huge guilt and i miss my boys terribly. I still get on with my wife very well and the divorce is reaching its conclusion. I have attempted to go back on 3 occassions and on each one i crumbled and just physically felt unable to go on with the prospect of never seeing my girlfriend again - it was really devastating. Despite this history i have now desended into confusion again torn between where i feel my one true love in life is compared to what my head says in terms of going back where i feel i should belong in the family home. Surely i can't divorce a wife that i have nothing but care and respect for. Yet the downside is i will never see my girlfriend again...The boys have settled into the routine but i can't put them or my wife through a return to then depart again when i fall apart. I feel utterly torn and confused and completely unable to make a decision. Both girls are strong and determined and i feel totally weak and unable to be asertive. The whole situation is making me feel ill. Help!
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  psychlady replied 6 years ago.
First you are struggling with the one you love and the one you feel obligated too. You can't base a relationship on obligation and it won't keep you warm at night. And that's why you feel guilty! The last thing you need to do unless you plan on staying forever with no girlfriend is to go back to your wife. It is unfair to your wife and especially to your children. Stop putting them on a roller coaster ride. Stay with the woman that makes you happy except for one huge difference now. Find a way to parent your children separately - that's the important part. You can't live in a loveless marriage because you feel guilty. Build a strong relationship with your girlfriend and an alternative parenting style which eventually will involve her too. For now let your wife heal while working out the mechanics of single parenthood. Don't apologize for this; it was no one's fault. The sooner you stabilize your life, and stop making the family feeling there's a chance that it could work, you will stop feeling sick. sorry I am a very upfront person.
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
thank you. does sort of make sense. just seems so much to give up for one person, wife, children, family home, friends etc. I do love my girlfriend but that love sometimes seem to come at an unacceptably high price and i do struggle to comprehend how i could put my feelings for one person over those of my family. Will i ever be rid of the guilt and what if the passion with my girlfriend is just and unhealthy infactuation - i don't actually believe it is. I would do anything to rewind to the simple uncomplicated life i had 2 years ago but i guess i have to come to terms with change rather than continually panicking about what i'm loosing. Also is the utter panic attack i feel about loosing my girlfriend forever treatable? - presumably in the same way as dealing with grief.
Expert:  psychlady replied 6 years ago.

You can very well be grieving for a relationship with your wife as well. this does come at a price but remember that you are not giving up your family. You are simply giving up the marriage. Be very sure if this is what you want and work from there.

This is very complicated but so is any relationship when you separate. You would do well in counseling before you make your decision to deal with the anxiety, depression and hopelessness. It could benefit in many ways.