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Should I leave 18 year old marriage for another man

(7 Posts)
Ladywit Sat 16-Mar-19 20:38:40

Hello...I’m in a dilemma, to say the least. I’ve just turned 40 and have been unhappily married for 18 years to a man who’s essentially not a bad person but has put me through a lot over the years. My marriage was semi arranged (south Asian) and happened too quickly, remained unconsummated for almost two years with little or no sex all along. He wouldn’t let me keep in contact with family and friends for a few years, was emotionally and physically abusive. I left him for a few months 12 years ago but came back. Things improved but I still put up with a lot because I thought I loved him, he was my ‘first’ and more importantly what I see now as cultural conditioning. Fast forward 18 years, two lovely kids to whom he’s a good but absent father, we moved to another country where I have been living half the year as a single parent/primary caregiver since over 7 years - so suffice to say the marital intimacy both sexually and emotionally has not grown . But it’s a functional relationship.
Last year, whilst finishing a higher degree and before I turned 40, I met a wonderful man. It was unexpected and we fell madly in love. He’s also unhappily married with two children. We both feel guilty but the joy at having found each other seems stronger than the guilt. We come from entirely different worlds ( he’s English) and yet I’ve never felt this connected to anyone on so many levels. It’s been a year now and he has expressed that we need to think about being together formally and permanently.
As much as I love him, I also feel terrified about making another mistake and this time it won’t be just me that suffers but my children too. My husband has a vengeful side and will make sure I go through hell for any financial settlements etc. More importantly, the social ramifications for me are even worse- leaving a marriage for a man, one not from my religious/cultural background, breaking another home, causing my children damage...
All these years feeling lonely and unhappy in my marriage I would dream about finding what I have found in S but now I really don’t know what to do.

greathat Sat 16-Mar-19 20:43:40

I don't think you should leave him for another man, but I do think you should leave

TurquoiseLagoon Sat 16-Mar-19 20:45:23

You only have one life. You've been unhappily married for 18 years. I would see no ethical dilemma in you leaving your husband. And you've found someone you love and who loves you. You could spend the next 40 years unhappy with your husband or happy with your new partner

Quintella Sat 16-Mar-19 20:46:16

I agree. You need to leave your husband but I don't think leaping into another relationship is necessarily the way to go. After 18 years of being in this bad marriage you need time to decompress and see what it is you really need and want. It's not to say this thing with this other man won't go anywhere, just that it shouldn't be your main focus.

museumum Sat 16-Mar-19 20:51:43

How old are your children? Depending on their age and where you’re bringing them up do they realise your marriage isn’t one of love yet? If not now they will. Are you happy for them to have your marriage as their reference point?

I’d say you do need to leave but that’s easy for me to say, it sounds like your visa issues / where to live could be complicated by law.

wigglypiggly Sat 16-Mar-19 20:54:53

You deserve to be happy but there are two families and children involved, maybe you should leave and have some time to yourself. How old are your children.

Ladywit Sat 16-Mar-19 21:13:47

The children are 14 and 7, both boys. Elder one recognises that the marriage is not ideal but wants, as all children do, for it to stay (we talked about it once). Little one doesn’t realise as its not outwardly a toxic marriage.
I don’t have any visa/passport issues but I’m financially dependent on the husband. His work is abroad and he will easily hide assets/money to make sure I get as little as possible. I am currently trying to get back on my feet professionally but I don’t know how long it will take.
I have told this man that we should wait and see how we feel after another year. This will give me time to get somewhere work-wise Also, I feel at a disadvantage having known very little about men while he has a lot of experience- so I want to be sure he’s not fickle etc. But this means being a ‘cheat’ for another year sad
Leave but not for another man is sound advice, but he is the reason I feel my marriage has finally unraveled.

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