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?