sexless marriage/unfaithful spouse

nette37September 14, 2006

I need some feedback please. I recently got back together with my husband after being separated for more than a year. He got involved with a former girlfriend. He is still seeing this woman, even though he says the sexual part of the relationship is over. It is now an emotional relationship. They talk and email each other everyday. He has no intention of ending it. We have a daughter together. I also have one child by a previous relationship, and he has a daughter also. Right now I'm not having sex with him, because I can't really trust that the sexual part of his relationship with the other woman is over. I don't intend to have sex with him until it is completely over. Which means no kind of contact at all. I have told him this, and he seems ok with it. I don't want a divorce, because I don't want to hurt the kids. Any advice, or comments. Anyone else in a similar situation?

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I read the part where "you got back together with him", but seem to have missed the part where he got back together with you...

If he's still emotionally involved with this other woman, he's not being completely committed and faithful to you. And since he admits he "has no intention of ending it," he's essentially admitting his relationship with you isn't going to be exclusive.

You went back to him, uh, why?...

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 7:36PM
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You already ARE hurting the kids.... and giving them a terrible role-model.
I would sever the relationship.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 7:52PM
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Stop being an idiot. Get out of there. Get away from him. And shape up youself, for heaven's sake.

You're a mess and you know it. Try to change it before your kids are old enough to learn from it. Go someplace else and start over. Having already made every mistake in the book, maybe you can avoid them a second time by starting fresh. And maybe you can prevent your kids from learning all the wrong lessons.

So much to do. So little intellect or backbone to apply. Why do they always have children before discovering the obvious?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 10:37PM
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WHY would you get back together with your husband if he was still carrying on with an old girlfriend? Have you no respect for yourself?

It's your business if you want to live in a sexless marriage while allowing your husband to fool around (and I would bet my right arm it is or will become a physical affair), but at some point you have to realize that it is not setting any kind of good example for your children.

Are you just with him for money, or so you can have a roommate? Because it doesn't sound like any kind of a loving relationship or marriage to me. WAKE UP!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 11:41PM
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I think you are using your kids as an excuse for not having the backbone to stand up for yourself. Please.. if you truly love your kids you would leave this sham of a marriage to provide them a real loving environment they deserve! Kids are not stupid you know, they can sense when their parents are unhappy with each other. They will grow up with huge resentment towards you and your husband for trapping them in such hellish household.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 1:23AM
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Did your husband want to move back in with you? What did he tell you were his reasons for moving back...or did you persuade him to come back for the sake of the kids? Was it your idea and he agreed, or his idea and you agreed?

Do you fight and argue over the other woman, in front of your children, or have you come to a peaceful place where you are more like room mates, but can get along without being enormously ticked off at him when she calls, or he calls her?

How did it go when you were alone for a year? What was the atmosphere for your children like when it was just you and the kids? Were you relatively OK emotionally for your kids, or were you devastated, crying alot, and having difficulty parenting your children in your emotional state?

Why does being with a man who is emotionally attached to someone else, feel better than a fresh start, and putting together a life with someone who loves you?

Besides your children (granted, that is a big reason) for trying to put this back together?

***And last, Many women in our parents generation did stay together under circumstances like these. They held the family together for the sake of the kids. I know a few women who did this. Are the kids better or worse for this? The ones I know are now adult kids...but the family is still an intact family unit. I do not really know if they are better or worse off than families who split, and where both parents are now remarried to other people, with other step brothers/sisters. I do know several adult kids in the situation of divorce who have almost no relationship with one or both of their parents. In the situations that I know where they have stayed together, they work through some of the pain. However, I know that anger lives under the surface towards the partner who was unfaithful. But much anger exists in step families towards step kids, ex-wives, etc. etc. Read the step parent forum and you will soon realize what a high price children pay in a divorce, and get some idea how step mothers "hate" their husbands children. People so often say that staying together for the kids hurts the kids, because they know that the parents do not really want to be together. But after reading the step parents forum, and talking to my friends who are remarried to men with children...I am beginning to understand that often this is perhaps worse for the kids. So many of the women these men marry do not want his kids around, and "hate" his kids. They pick on them for everything, and overlook what their own kids do. Must be really hard on a child to have to go to dads on the weekend, and know that you have no choice, but his wife hates your guts and makes it clear that you are not wanted. Or that your own dad has no backbone, and doesn't even see his kid at all because it upsets his new wife.

I am not telling you to stay. I don't know that I would, even after telling you another side to all of this. But just pointing out another side because everyone told you to divorce. There are still women who choose to stay in such situations, for a variety of reasons. Some, the financial aspect. Some, because of religious reasons. Some, because they do not want to give up their home, friends and their whole life as they know it. Some, because they believe they love him, and they believe he loves them but realize that they are married to a man who will be faithful to no one. Some, because they are afraid to be alone, or the job of raising these kids on their own is more than they can handle. Perhaps they have no family (or a very unhealthy one) and few friends, and they need him because emotionally they just cannot do this on their own. And some, because they understand that they have so many problems, that it is really not in the childrens best interest to count on mom. That mom, is not OK on her own. (I am talking depression, alcoholism/drug use) etc. And that without dads help, the kids are in trouble.

So there are reasons that women choose to look the other way, and stay in such a situation. And perhaps it is not forever. But for a season, until she is able to do this on her own.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 1:20PM
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Thanks for all of the comments---mainly the comment posted by benicebekind. It seems like she understood me the best. I'm not thinking of myself. My children deserve both parents. I know my husband has problems, but I'm willing to stay in this marriage until the children are grown.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 7:42PM
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Two famous quotes come to mind.
Take your pick...

"The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for."

"Abandon the search for Truth; settle for a good fantasy"

    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 8:12PM
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"...mainly the comment posted by benicebekind."

Yup. Bnbk is always good for a pat on the head no matter how bad the situation is. Empathy is always appealing. For your children's sakes I do hope that's all that was needed.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 10:10PM
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Bnicebkind gave some wonderful advice, well done. Its easy for us to say.."leave him"..but the reality is very different.

All the best nette, hope you sort things out, and have a happy home life for you and the children.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 10:24PM
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I'm all for women turing their eyes the other way. Well, not really, but I can see people doing it for some reasons. But, come on, he's not even trying to hide the relationship from her. What next, he'll ask her to wait outside or go to the store while he has his girlfriend over?

At some point, it just becomes too disrespecful to live with. And maybe back in 'the olden days' some women really didn't have any options and had to stay, but now a woman can make it on her own and hardly anyone really needs a husband. What are your trading for what? I'm guessing respect for better financial security.

Yes, your kids may be able to get a new Game Boy or the newest jeans, but they will see/know that their father is cheating on their mother. You may think it ends there, in childhood, but it probably won't. What if the kids decide to emulate their father (or marry someone like him)? Their whole life may be affected by your decision, not just their childhood. What kind of marriages do you want for them? Do you want the boys cheating and the girls marrying cheaters? It goes a lot deeper than you just being able to put up with it.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 9:36AM
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asolo...certainly you must understand that situations involving children can be very complex. Throwing him out may not mean happily ever after for the children. You are tossing out black and white though it is one size fits all. Can you understand that situations like those described above can leave these women emotionally they emotionally deal with the betrayal, the death of their marriage and the family they were building? That the pain of such a betrayal reaches her very core, and affects how she sees and feels about who she is, and herself as a woman? Can you understand that she may have lived in a lovely home, but if she tosses him out, she will be living in a crappy apartment, and find out that friends are all keeping their distance? Can you understand that if she kicks him to the curb, that she loses all control over the influence his latest girlfriend will have in the life of her children? That she will be required by law to ship her beautiful children to "his place" regardless of what is going on at "his place". All one has to do is take the time and read the step parenting forum, and you will understand that his latest girlfriend or new wife may bring a boat load of pain into the life of your children. There are many situations where it is soooo difficult to "go it alone". She may have children with special needs, or no family support, or few friends to help, or lack an education...meaning minimum wage jobs and long hours. She may be struggling with depression and have difficulty caring for her own needs, let alone the demanding needs of her children. We do not know if she struggles with substance issues, etc. etc. etc. Can you see that the easy thing to do is kick him out. The more difficult thing to do is to presevere through this until she is in a better place emotionally, etc. to be a healthy, able parent.

So no, this was not a pat on the head, and that was insulting. It was trying to look at a bigger picture, and to understand that black and white thinking is rarely best for the children.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 4:26PM
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Your assumed in-depth knowledge of situations you know little about is frequently entertaining. OP requested advice or comments and I gave mine. Although I thought your response was assumptive to the point of being nearly pandering, I did say I hoped for the children's sake it might be all that was needed.

The "bigger picture"? Neither you nor anyone else here knows what that may be. All any of us know is what the OP wrote -- which wasn't very much. You made the rest up. I didn't.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 5:03PM
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Like you have ANY room to point out someone else assuming any in-debth knowledge of a situation, or a response being assumptive? Are you kidding me?!?

Let me quote a few of YOUR own assumptions.

Quote: "Stop being an idiot. You're a mess and you know it".

Quote: "You have already made every mistake in the book".

Quote: "So much to do. So little intellect or backbone to apply".

Who in the world are you to assume that she is a mess? Perhaps she has it together, but after going it alone for a year, decided to put her family back together for her own reasons. The life of a divorced MOM is not easy. Not that Hillary Clinton is an example anyone wants to follow, she is certainly not a mess, and yet she too made the choice to stay in a marriage like this. The point I am making is that just because someone chooses to stay in a situation like this, it does not mean that they are a mess. Perhaps they need several years to get their life where they want it, before they wish to go it alone.

Your quote that she has already made every mistake in the about someone making assumptions! She may have made a very wise choice in a husband, and he shocked everyone who knew him by falling for an ex girlfriend.

And you last quote regarding her lack of backbone or intellect was nasty. And again, very assumptive on your part. She may be brilliant, and could very well have tremendous backbone to actually put this family back together for what she believes is for the better welfare of her children. Your assumptions are insulting.

Your posts used to be such an asset to this forum. What happened? Your recent posts are downright mean spirited. Where you used to offer wisdom, now you attack.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 7:20PM
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Asolo, Obviously none of us have any in debth knowledge into the lives of those who post. However, since so many attacked her for trying to put this family back together, I wanted to toss into the ring for thought or discussion some reasons why a woman might try and hold her family together in a situation like this. Like Hillary Clinton, there are still women today who keep their family together, for personal reasons.

It may not be a choice you or I would make. But it is a choice. After taking a long, hard look at the step family forum, I am wondering if it is the better choice afterall.

I personally know families that have made this choice. And thirty years later, they have much less baggage than the adult kids I know with step parents, and half siblings, etc. who are no longer speaking to ANY of them.

I am not presuming anything. I am just posting reasons some women may choose to hang in there.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 10:30PM
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So now we've got Hillary Clinton's personal situation (about which I doubt you know much either) thrown into the mix. You can ride that wave in alone.

I strongly suspect those who may still be reading are weary of both of us. However that may be, I am weary of you. I'm done.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 12:08AM
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As I am with you. Finially, we agree on something!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 5:32AM
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Hilary always "claimed" she had no knowledge of Bill's affair(s). So, she's not really a good example, IMHO. Forgiving after the fact, is one thing, continuing to live with it, is another.

I'm just wondering if people think it is ok that the OP will just continue to live her married life probably without ever having sex. Of course, this is the smart thing to do since she'll never know what disease her husband could bring home. Still, if he continues to have his flings while she has no sex, how do you think this will affect her emotionally year after year?

2 of the 3 kids in this scenario are already in step family situations. So, this may not be the one big happy nuclear family you are thinking of to begin with. Although, I'm not buying that step families can't end up happy most of the time.

nette, I wish the best for you, and the strength to do what is truly right for your situation. Regardless of what you choose, just remember that you will have to have the strength to be able to live with your decision not just today, but future days too. Can you turn your head forever and still be a rational loving person yourself? No, life isn't about being happy -too much emphasis is put on this, IMHO, but at the same time, will you be able to live a functioning life in your situation? What are you personally able to put up with without becoming a depressed, bitter, vengeful, (even loosing faith) type person that you may not want to become? Will it push you overboard, or are you able to contently live with it?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 10:15AM
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You have to be in charge of your life. You only have one. You may be willing to wait until the children are grown, but your husband probably will not. So....lets get you organized.
Do you have a good education and some skills? If not, you have the time and the energy to get both.
Start getting some exercise with your kids. Forget a diet, they never work anyway--but if you take your kids out walking every day, or going to the park you will magically lose weight.
Join a church, join a choir, join a softball team so you will have friends of your very own. Don/t tell them your troubles either. Nobody will notice that you aren't telling them about your life if you are a wonderful listener.
Good luck--life is a bumpy road and you never know what's up ahead. But the person who is prepared for anything always does well.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 1:31AM
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Excellent advice marge. You gave good advice on so many levels. Churches can be places where women support one another. The softball team is another great idea. And you were right about not talking about her troubles with every mom she runs into. A mom I know does that and at first people listened, but now, everyone avoids her and her child like the plague.

Nette 37...While your husband is back home, and able to help with the kids, so that you are not trying to do everything on your own... use this time to do as Marge suggested. Did you get a college education? If not, take college courses, even if you have to take them on-line, if your kids are really young, and you cannot get to a school. Do any of the schools nearby offer daycare? Or build up an at home business or something that would earn "good" income if you have to go it alone at some point. Or simply start thinking about a job that would work well if it is just you and the kids at some point. But get organized, be up beat and positive with your friends, and begin building yourself into the woman you want to be.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 9:38AM
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