To wonder whether I should ‘settle’ or take huge risks(43 Posts)
I won’t go into huge detail here. I am 37. I’m in an unhappy, unfulfilling and childless (my issue) marriage. It’s just not been close, physically or emotionally, for a long time. We sleep in separate beds and other than holidays, have largely separate social lives. We are more like flatmates than anything else, I do love and care about him dearly, but am not ‘in love’. Without a family to anchor us, I do feel deep dispair about the future.
I have also been in a long term (4+ years) affair, initially emotional but now physical. This man is married and has a young child. I know this is very wrong, and I’ve tried on multiple occasions to break it off. He says he loves me.
I live in a constant state of not belonging and feel lonely everywhere. I feel perhaps if I was to shut down the affair and really commit to my marriage, perhaps things would be different. But this very much feels like ‘settling’ by not causing upset or drama for others (which I’m loathe to do). The other option is to leave, and go it alone. But I’m scared.
I feel I’m at a pivotal point in my life where I’ve been sleepwalking for years. Advice welcome (I’m thick skinned, but please be gentle as feeling very dispairing at the moment).
Leave your husband
Stop seeing the other man.
Start to live for yourself and ban yourself from relationships for at least two years
Without a family to anchor us
So you see a family as an anchor, except when it comes to fucking the married father of a young child?
Grabs popcorn and settles down in the comfy chair.
Ok, I haven’t written this for other people’s entertainment. I’ve written it because I geniunely feel like I have nowhere to turn and no one to speak to. I resent that comment
Can you afford to go it alone, secure accommodation, etc? Clearly, that would be the best option, but needs more careful and lengthy planning if you're (for example) in minimum wage work and renting in an expensive city.
Leaving finances and logistics aside, you know these are two unsatisfactory relationships. Once you break the inertia and trapped feeling by actually make a decision and take action, these situations usually feel a lot better more quickly than you expect them to.
Leave your husband. Leave the other man. Be on your own for a while. Prioritise your fertility and consider AI if you decide you would be willing to parent alone.
What pineappledelight said.
Leave your husband so that he can move on. Leave the married man alone. Take time to work out what you actually want. Then start again.
I feel perhaps if I was to shut down the affair and really commit to my marriage, perhaps things would be different. But this very much feels like ‘settling’ by not causing upset or drama for others (which I’m loathe to do)
Stop the affair. Not so you can "settle" for your husband, or "prevent upset and drama" for other people (I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you don't realise how selfish and patronising you sound) but because it is going to make all of you miserable - you, your husband, your affair partner, his wife and his young child.
End the affair with this disgusting cheating scumbag - yeah, yeah, it's complicated, he's a nice guy, we didn't mean to fall in love, etc - and then do your husband a favour and end what remains of your marriage.
This is a mess but fixing it is relatively simple (I said simple, not easy). Stop cheating on your husband, stop enabling a man to cheat on his family, and stop being in a relationship with someone you know longer love.
I would end your marriage, I'm not sure why doing that is a 'huge risk'. You and your DH still have a lot of life ahead of you so why would either of you want to settle for what you have?
It would be best for everyone if you cut contact with the OM while you are going through the separation process.
Firstly, stop fucking a married man, it's pathetic. I'm so sure he "loves" you.
Secondly, your marriage is over and the biggest risk would be to waste one more day of your life in a miserable relationship.
Get your shit together and move on in a POSITIVE direction.
Ok, I haven’t written this for other people’s entertainment
I don’t think anyone is entertained.
I resent that comment
Because it’s true?
I resent women who are willing to break up two marriages because they can’t get their own shit in order.
How young is this man’s child? Were you sleeping with him during his wife’s pregnancy? If so, I hope you’re using contraceptives or else regularly getting checked for STDs. If you’re still having sex with your husband, he’ll need to be checked too.
Thanks all. Going it alone is what I know I need to do. Financially that is tough but I could do it, even if it meant getting into debt short term.
I feel like a complete and utter failure.
I understand it won’t be easy but I also think it best to end the affair definitely and maybe have a trial separation from your husband. Maybe book a solos type adventure holiday to have something to look forward to. By having a trial separation you can both get used to the idea of being apart without burning your boats or whatever the expression is!
I feel like a complete and utter failure
I'm not being flippant, but I really think you'll feel a lot better about yourself once you've ended these relationships. At the moment, you're allowing yourself to be very passive - you feel you've "tried" to end the affair but are powerless, you don't enjoy your marriage but feel like you can't leave, you know your affair partner is cheating on his wife and risking his family but you can't do anything, etc. So you are seeing yourself as a passive victim - helpless to direct your own life.
Take control of your life. End the affair - your affair partner may attempt to talk you out of that, but so what? Block him on all channels and ignore his attempts. You will feel so much better once you realise that you have the power to control your life.
Think the entertainment comment was directed at a poster grabbing popcorn etc.
You know you have got yourself into 2 bad relationship situations. You know you need to get out of both.
I think you just want others to agree as need the confidence to do this.
Hopefully going it alone will help you build that confidence.
I feel like a complete and utter failure.
Well if you are, so are millions of others.
Finish the affair first. Being involved with a married father is the most damaging aspect of this, which you clearly do know, and you're bound feel better about yourself once that's firmly ended.
You need to own the decisions you've made, and accept that you've fucked up.
And you need to end both relationships. Immediately, in the case of the married man, with a small child. Soon, with your husband, once you've sorted out somewhere to live.
That man's poor wife might be on here. You need to think about the consequences to her and her child, of what you're doing, and stop being so selfish.
Think about AI, as a pp said, if you want to hurry up and have a child. Don't get into another relationship straight away, just because you want to get pregnant. You need to take time out from relationships for a while.
End both. Move on.
I met the love of my life at 40. I think I found him by a process of elimination. Stop considering your current status a failure and think of it as two things crossed off a list because they weren’t right for you.
You've been having a 4 year affair with a married man who says he loves you but also has a young child? Born during your affair or not?
Seriously leave this man alone and end your marriage.
I love the idea that you are powerless to end the affair because he says he loves you. Is someone is holding a gun to your head forcing you to write texts/whatsapps to him, driving you to a hotel and standing over you while you are raped by him? Get a grip.
You have made choices which have got you where you are. Time to start feeling your feelings of guilt, shame, anger, grief etc. Time to give a shit about yourself.
None of what you have said points to taking a "huge risk". Millions of people break up and live alone.
Having an affair will deny your confidence. After 4years, I will assume that the thrill element has long gone and now it is just simply living a double life. Really damaging to everyone, including you.
You need to end your marriage. You're being massively unfair to your husband. Then start again. Begin to get organised now and then it will be less stressful when you end everything. Seek legal advice first. Then do it!!
You're poor husband.
I think whatever direction you chose to take from here, you need to tell him the truth about your affair. The whole truth.
Even if you think what he doesn't know won't hurt him, I promise you that the affair will have been hurting him for years. If you have any respect or compassion for him, tell him the truth.
First up - the married man is a total shit. Leave him. It will do your mental health and sense of failure a power of good to do so.
Second - your marriage doesn't sound as if it'll be doing much for your husband either. I suggest you separate, and spend some time, a couple of years, on your own. No dating, just get to know yourself.
You knew this was the answer, didn't you?
Try to see the affair in the same terms as your marriage. Neither are a good thing. Happiness lies by getting rid of both and finding someone else, someone who's available (for starters) and with whom you truly connect and are able to openly and authentically find happiness.
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