Is there any hope?

justducky22January 6, 2012

My husband and I have been married for almost 6 yrs. now but we were together for 9 yrs. before that. Recently I found out that he was talking to this girl online through a game he plays. I asked him about it, and he was honest and said that he has not been happy for sometime now and that he felt lonely. He said he knows it is not an excuse and said he did not tell me because he did not want to lose me. He said that things just got out of control and that he knows it was wrong and is willing to work on things because he does still love me. We agreed to work things out but of course I am having a hard time trusting him. I am sad that things have gotten this bad and I did not see it. Has anyone ever been here before? How did it turn out for you? Any suggestions?

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Well it didn't turn out good for me, but I think you are a step ahead of where we were at the same time in the process.

My wife of 7 years (together 10...two kids) had a 9 month affair on me back in 2003/2004. I was devastated, was always faithful to her, worked very hard building a software business so she could be a stay-at-home, which is what we both wanted, was a good dad, rarely if ever out with the boys, etc. Basically the kind of husband I would think most women would have been happy with. But not her.

In the subsequent discussions after I found her out and we decided to try to work things was still one lie after another, always putting the blame on me, etc. She was bored and missed attention because I was always at work and she was stuck home with two kids...stuff like that. Real the years since, as I have talked to people, participated in forums, etc....I've heard the same thing 100 times or more. Sure, I was not perfect, I could have done a little more to make her feel special, etc....I get that now. But life is not always a romance novel or chick-flick, it's usually filled with many boring days...and she missed the sense of being "made special" and "being put on a pedestal"....ugh.

Three years later, after going thru the motions of trying to reconnect, she did it again, and we are now amicably divorced, sharing custody of our kids, which I will always hate her for, I hate the fact that my kids don't have the stability and security I had as a kid.

Look, all is not lost where you are now. He hasn't done anything that is really anything more than flirting, from what you write. Inappropriate, yes of course, but he has NOT committed adultery, sure it may have headed there but it didn't yet...don't lose sight of that fact!

IF you love this man, you need to circle your wagons NOW. Tell him you are at a crossroads in BOTH your lives, he needs to COMMIT to reconnecting with you by doing whatever it takes, couples counseling is of course a good place to start (I was never able to get my ex to do this no matter how much I tried, that should have been a HUGE red flag for me).

Even though, from a big picture view, nothing awful happened here, do not "sweep it under the rug", as I did, and assume that you can put in in the past and all will be ok. The goal of the counseling is not to "beat him up" for what he did....again, be grateful you wised up before it went much farther, but rather to attack the causes that have caused you two to disconnect, and see if you can (assuming you are both honest to yourselves in wanting to) reconnect with each other now.

Learn from my mistakes. I feel if I was a lot wiser after the first affair in really forcing us to tackle our problems head-on, my marriage might have been saved, I do believe that, we always got along, never fought, etc....just lost that "connection". Even if the relationship was not saved, I would have not wasted 3+ years thinking all was going to be ok, only to have to go thru the pain of being cheated on all over again 3 years later....

Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 3:11PM
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mkroopy-thank you for sharing your story. Yes, nothing physical happened and I am glad for that. He says he is dedicated to making this work because I am the one he wants. He needs to work on talking to me when something is wrong or about how he is feeling, he knows this. I guess all we can do now is focus on us and our marriage and improve the communication. It will take time, I know but whatever the least we tried.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 3:08PM
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Improving communication is the best thing you can do for your marriage. But I think you both need to work on those techniques.

Go to counselling read books. It is a good investment.

Him admitting he was lonely is really an alarm bell.

When I look back in my 28 years of marriage at the times I have felt very lonely for long stretches - I can now analyse why this happened to me.

I think the issues where:

I needed to learn how to express how I felt in a way that did not evoke a defensive response from DH.

I needed to work out what was important to me.

I needed to make sure that I made an interesting life for myself and not rely on DH for that wholely.

I have tackled all those issues and thankfully things are a lot better now. I don't feel lonely.

Sometimes we blame others for our lonliness, when really that is our defensive, blaming mechanism at play.

All the best to you.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 9:18PM
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