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Can my marriage be salvaged?

(54 Posts)
Demelza70 Wed 02-Mar-16 16:12:50

I hardly know where to start with this. I’ve been with my DH for nearly 23 years, married for 18. We have two DCs, both primary age. The bulk of this time has been happy but over the last couple of years I’ve been aware of an increasing distance between us, a lack of connection. Our sex life, which was never fabulous, has tailed off almost entirely and even passing touches, hugs etc are now few and far between. I’ve been aware of this but never really wanted to confront it and just buried my head in the sand telling myself it was an inevitable consequence of being with one person for that amount of time. I have no idea if my DH is as aware of this as I am but I suspect not.

About 6 months ago I met someone. We clicked immediately and it quickly became apparent that there was a very strong mutual attraction between us. We started texting and eventually that led to kissing and touching whenever we met (I’d say we’ve seen each other about half a dozen times since this started). We’ve slept together once. I still see this man in a non-social context because for various practical reasons it’s not possible for me to cut off contact with him entirely. However we both know that there’s no future in this relationship and we agreed that the intimacy had to stop. It’s no good for either of us in our current situations.

This brief affair has made me realise that I can no longer kid myself that things are ok in my marriage. We seem to have lost any deeper connection we ever had and it feels like living with a flatmate and not a partner. It’s not bad – it’s just not good, if that makes sense. I can never envisage leaving my DH – he’s a lovely, kind man (who I clearly don’t deserve), an amazing father, and there are financial/practical issues that just seem insurmountable. But I just feel so desperately sad and lonely that we’ve come to this.

I cry myself to sleep most nights. I cry in the toilets at work. I cry in the car. I feel like crying when I look at my DH because I used to love him with all my heart and I can’t believe this is where I am now. I do still love him but like a friend - not a lover. I feel as if I’m carrying this huge burden of sadness around with me all the time and I can’t possibly tell him how I feel because then he’ll be sad too and I don’t want that. Or perhaps I’m just being a coward because I can’t face the consequences....

I have no-one in the world I can talk to about this. My DH is universally liked by all my friends and family and they would be rightly shocked at what I’ve done. I think they also wouldn’t understand as, from the outside, we look like the perfect little family.

I know I’m a liar and a cheat and I don’t expect any sympathy. I don’t even know what I’m hoping to achieve with this post….I think I just need say the words, metaphorically, since I can’t speak about it to anyone. Is it possible to get past this feeling of loss and live a companionable life together? Or can the spark be re-kindled if it’s gone out?

IamlovedbyG Wed 02-Mar-16 16:22:37

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hellsbellsmelons Wed 02-Mar-16 16:26:06

Can you talk to your DH about how you feel regarding intimacy?
I think you need to have a long and frank chat about your relationship and where it's going.
Would he agree to counselling?
You've done an awful thing but you already know that so there's not point beating you up about it, no doubt you are already doing this to yourself.
But if you want to stay with DH then some work needs to be done to rekindle things or it maybe that you both say, we've lost the love, we will live together but that's it. We can see others outside of the marriage.
You never know what might make you both happy unless you discuss it all.

Summerlovinf Wed 02-Mar-16 16:28:08

Well do you want to 'salvage' your marriage or do you want an excuse to leave your marriage? Or have the best of both worlds...the financial security and familiarity of the husband, combined with the excitement of an affair?

You have got away with it so far...but how long can you carry this on and how will you feel and what will you do if/when you get caught out?

IamlovedbyG Wed 02-Mar-16 16:31:36

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Demelza70 Wed 02-Mar-16 16:32:48

The affair is over. In an ideal world I want to regain the connection and intimacy with my DH but I don't know how realistic that is. I don't want to break up my family but don't know how much longer I can go on feeling as lonely as I do now. I guess I'm hoping I can push that feeling down and just be content with what we now have.

Demelza70 Wed 02-Mar-16 16:33:50

...and the financial security is mine, not my DHs.

Summerlovinf Wed 02-Mar-16 16:35:23

Well, you're not willing to cut contact with the man you had the affair with...sounds like you're keeping your options open..

IamlovedbyG Wed 02-Mar-16 16:35:54

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AdriftOnMemoryBliss Wed 02-Mar-16 16:39:03

i think, if you're genuine, you need to go back to basics.

While there was no affair, DH and I did separate briefly a few years ago.. we lost the connection, and regaining the 'spark' had to be a joint effort.

We went back to working on our friendship, went on some dates.. meals out, cinema, bowling...etc, we were also very honest with each other.

the issue in your marriage isn't just down to you, its takes two people to stop being intimate.

Drew64 Wed 02-Mar-16 16:39:39

And what is your reason for not investing the time in your marriage and trying to sort things out because from your thread I see no effort from either of you.
If you do nothing, nothing will change.

Demelza70 Wed 02-Mar-16 16:40:01

Summer, I would if I could but it's just not an option due to the circumstances in which I know him. I can't be more specific without risking giving identifable information. We are both clear it's over and no longer have any contact other than that which is unavoidable - no texting, calling, meeting etc. I can't say any more than that.

Summerlovinf Wed 02-Mar-16 16:40:37

Can you imagine wanting to be intimate with your DH again? It might be possible to have an amicable split if the relationship is over. Practical and financial issues are rarely insurmountable.

Demelza70 Wed 02-Mar-16 16:44:18

I've tried to raise the intimacy issues with my husband but he won't engage with it. He kind of laughs it off and says things like "don't worry, we're both jsut tired" or "we just need a break". But he won't talk about it any further than that. I should probably have pushed it more but I didn't which was a mistake, in retrospect.

hellsbellsmelons Wed 02-Mar-16 16:46:59

I guess I'm hoping I can push that feeling down and just be content with what we now have
Well clearly you can't do this.
It manifests in other ways, i.e. getting affection and intimacy from outside sources and that is NOT OK.
So you need to face it or this will just not end well.

OldestStory Wed 02-Mar-16 16:48:03

I think you should speak to your DH and spell out to him how you feel, that the intimacy has gone and that you want to work on getting that back.

If you feel that's true, I do think it's possible, if both people communicate and make the effort to regain a more intimate and affectionate relationship.

I don't think you should tell him about the affair if it is really finished and if you really want to make a go of things with him and your family. I know others will say that's dishonest, but that's just my view.

IamlovedbyG Wed 02-Mar-16 16:53:05

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motherinferior Wed 02-Mar-16 17:05:06

Maybe it's just over for you. 23 years is a long time. It might just be time to face that and sort out a separation?

goddessofsmallthings Wed 02-Mar-16 19:19:13

It seems that your cuckolded dh's opinion is that "we just need a break".

So book one, and use the time away to tell him what you got up to while he his eye was off the boil ball.

If nothing else, it will sort the wheat from the chaff and he'll be free to ruminate on what part, if any, he played in you playing away and your marriage will either be rejuvenated or ended - which, imo, is exactly how it should be as I daresay you would welcome the opportunity to hold a post-mortem on your relationship before deciding its future course if he'd been the one who got his leg over with an ow.

If it weren't for the fact that you had a full on sexual encounter with the om I might take a different tack, but you cannot in all conscience go forward without making your apparently unsuspecting spouse aware of your infidelity and, more particularly, as you are continuing to see the om.

Come on, OP, what possible 'practical reasons' can there be for not severing all contact with the om? I have read some bolleaux on this board and, in the absence of any further qualification, your explanation falls in the category of 'utter' as, while you continue to see him, you'll be looking and longing on the sly.

Make your motto 'do as you would be done by' and treat your dh accordingly.

AnyFucker Wed 02-Mar-16 19:21:05

No, because you have no respect for your husband

Tell him you shagged another man, then we'll talk

AddToBasket Wed 02-Mar-16 19:30:59

OP, would you have some counselling on your own? It might help you understand things better.

I wouldn't tell DH about the affair yet, if it is definitely over. Put some distance between it and telling him and you might know better what you want. Also, it's just possible that he has had a similar relationship.

goddessofsmallthings Wed 02-Mar-16 19:37:54

Put some distance between it and telling him and you might know better what you want

There's a well-known term for this, Addto, as as I recall it goes something along the lines of having your cake and eating it which, as it happens, the OP seems more than content to do.

JonesTheSteam Wed 02-Mar-16 20:57:48

OP, I take it you work with the OM?

BeyonceRiRiMadonnna Wed 02-Mar-16 21:40:01

Can my marriage be salvaged?

So you have lied and cheated but want to save your marriage??? Afford your husband the opportunity and respect to make an informed decision, start by being open and truthful, then take it from there.

AddToBasket Wed 02-Mar-16 21:55:07

Goddess, I don't think the OP is eating cake right now, do you?

She's regretting an affair and is trying to make her marriage work - that's why she's posting. If the DH is very unlikely to find out by another route, I don't see why she should have to tell him NOW. Why not get a bit of counselling first?

Quite often on these boards people are so quick to tell the poster to pull the grenade pin on their whole lives. (And yes, I am aware the person having an affair was the one that set the grenade up in the first place.)

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