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In Love With Someone Who Is Not My Husband

(19 Posts)
Twentyyearstoolate Tue 31-May-16 01:27:20

Okay. Not really sure about writing on here. I think I will get a lot of negative responses, but I just want to vent.
For the past six or seven years, I have been hugely attracted to the husband of a friend of mine. I am 'happily' married myself (20 odd years and three children), but my relationship with my husband has never been what you would call passionate - or at least not on my part. I have always been aware of the possibility of meeting someone who switched on all my lights, so to speak, but time was ticking and my now husband was a good friend, who also wanted children, so I made the conscious decision to marry him. Now I have felt that switching on, albeit remotely, and it is making me utterly miserable.
There is absolutely no possibility of anything ever coming of it and I do my best to avoid seeing him, but it is tricky as this friend and I are both part of a group of 5 or 6 couples who socialise together and also one of their daughters is best friends with mine.
I feel so stupid to be in this position at my time of life (50's), when I ought to know better, instead of feeling like a love-sick teenager! Perhaps I am just having a delayed mid-life crisis and will just get over it - eventually.
Right - shoot me down!

Twentyyearstoolate Tue 31-May-16 01:30:26

I should make clear that I am not having and never will have an affair - I would not do that to any of the parties concerned ( myself included!).
It is all in my head.

MysteriesOfTheOrganism Tue 31-May-16 05:42:51

It's incredibly sad that you've spent 20 years with someone who doesn't switch on all your lights. The decision you made back then meant sacrificing your passionate self. Sacrificing parts of ourselves is never a good idea - they never truly go away, and over time become more and more disgruntled.

So your passionate self is saying "What about me???"

Well - what are you going to do about it? Live without passion for another 30 years? That wouldn't be sad - it would be tragic.

I wonder if you've talked to your husband? It's never too late for him to learn how to switch on your lights!

Savagebeauty Tue 31-May-16 06:02:49

Do you want to stay with your dh?
You have years ahead of you....don't grind it out if you feel things are never going to change.
I was in a similar position 3 years ago.....no one else though and H was EA. But I had a lightbulb moment of " there must be more to life than this" and we are now divorced. Very happily in my case. I'm mid fifties.

LateNightEveningProstitute Tue 31-May-16 06:11:48

I think in your 50s is an excellent time to decide how you want to spent the rest of your life.

I don't know anyone who had made the decision to split (whatever the motivation for that was) who regrets it. I do, however, know several couples around my age (40s and 50s) who believe they are doing the right thing by staying in a marriage that doesn't quite tick all the boxes anymore, and they are all miserable.

I wonder if you've talked to your husband? It's never too late for him to learn how to switch on your lights!

I've always been puzzled by this sort of sentiment. If there chemistry isn't there and someone just doesn't do it for you, then that's not going to change after 20 odd years.

MysteriesOfTheOrganism Tue 31-May-16 08:21:01

LNEP:
I wonder if you've talked to your husband? It's never too late for him to learn how to switch on your lights!

I've always been puzzled by this sort of sentiment. If there chemistry isn't there and someone just doesn't do it for you, then that's not going to change after 20 odd years.

Chemistry is - for the most part - a result of the energy we put out. And the nature of the energy we put out is strongly coloured by our emotional beliefs - and these can change. That's what psychotherapy is about,.

Twentyyearstoolate Tue 31-May-16 08:36:41

Thank you all for responding and for not condemning me.
Reading through your replies, I can see that you are all correct - this is not about the other man, it is about me!
Savage, it's not that he's not good at sex (he is, and very thoughtful and giving on that front), it's just that I don't feel any chemistry, physical or mental - and I never really have. I have to gird myself up to have sex, partly because I don't feel emotionally close to him.
The lights, or lack of them, aren't just physical; he is a lovely man in many ways, but very English, in that he doesn't get enthusiastic about anything, doesn't really engage - I recently started a new job and to date, he has not asked anything about it - hasn't even asked how it's going - he simply isn't interested. He's also quite passive - I tend to make all the decisions, about our life, our children, whether or not we go on holiday - not because I want to, but because he won't. Yet he is very uncritical and asks very little of me, doesn't manipulate or criticise. In so many ways, it is such an easy relationship....... I have read about so many dreadful, abusive relationships on MN, it seems really churlish to complain. He has done nothing wrong and I'm not really lonely - my children are the light of my life and the best thing I have ever done.

Twentyyearstoolate Tue 31-May-16 08:41:50

Mysteries - do you really believe that one can 'learn' chemistry? What if only one party is interested in ' learning'. He doesn't like to put too much effort into things - likes a quiet life.
And of course its me that is the problem - he is quite happy with the status quo.

Writingdragonfly Tue 31-May-16 09:05:02

I do think you can spark chemistry but it usually requires big changes because otherwise we tend to carry on as we are comfortable. If you're financially able to, could you and your husband go on a trip somewhere, travel, cruise, backpack, bike ride, anything to get you out of your normal and into a new routine where you are each other's everything, maybe that would add some chemistry into your life together? New adventures often spark romance and thats not only for new relationships! :D Youre not a monster for feeling the way you do, and its brave of you to come and ask for help/advice, with my ex husband i was never attracted to him, but that was due to his awful treatment of me not for lack of anything else, and i spent our entire marriage fantasising about other men, knowing i wouldnt cheat but almost obsessed with other people's husbands who demonstrated what mine lacked, companionship, kindness, respect, passion etc. Perhaps your fantasy and crush are based on what you percieve he would be like to be married to, youre projecting feelings onto him that are an extension of what youre lacking?

HandyWoman Tue 31-May-16 09:10:13

Twentyyearstoolate - undemanding, uncomplaining, unenthusiastic, passive. That's how you describe him. I think you deserve and need more. You're denying several parts of yourself, not just the sexual but also the emotional/relational.

I could kind of understand it if you were emotionally close, but you aren't that either. The fact he hasn't asked you about your new job is really sad and shows there is quite a lot lacking between you, not just sexual fireworks.

If you were on your own I think you would get some of your wholeness back. You could live authentically even as a single person. At the moment you are very compromised and it must be sad. I guess it will mean a lot of deliberation to get to that point. How old are your children?

Randomposter Tue 31-May-16 09:12:15

I also don't think talking to your dh will change anything. Someone either does it for you or they don't, & it's usually a lot more than just sex that turns you on to someone. Ie: their personality, the way they treat you, your opinion of them etc etc. If dh bores the life out of you generally then you can't expect explosions in the bedroom.
As for other man. I'd just enjoy fancying him from afar & leave it at that.

MysteriesOfTheOrganism Tue 31-May-16 09:20:32

Twentyears: Mysteries - do you really believe that one can 'learn' chemistry? What if only one party is interested in ' learning'. He doesn't like to put too much effort into things - likes a quiet life. And of course its me that is the problem - he is quite happy with the status quo.

The lack of chemistry you experience is probably at least partly due to a lack of dynamism on his part. The question is whether he is a naturally laid-back person or whether emotional wounding has stifled his natural energy. If the stifling extends to his sexual energy, then it's more likely to be a case of emotional wounding. And that can be sorted out in therapy.

Either way, the two of you should sit down and talk. Now that the kids have grown up (I assume), you're entering a new phase of life. It's time to reinvent yourselves! Sit and talk about what you want from this next stage of life.

HandyWoman Tue 31-May-16 09:21:29

I concur with writingdragonfly that this other man provides a template for projecting what it would feel like to be married to someone who met those needs for emotional and sexual intimacy.

I had a similar 'crush' on a school mum's husband in the latter years of my marriage at the point when my ExH had killed all the love between us with his distance, contempt and misery. It really was all to do with what I lacked, and nothing to do with this man. The crush faded away completely. I am separated 3yrs and divorced (different reasons from you OP) and am in a fledgling relationship with someone incredible.

I agree when people leave a marriage that doesn't meet their needs they are pretty much always a lot happier in the end..

People who 'stay for the children' or 'because he doesn't beat me up' - not so much.

hownottofuckup Tue 31-May-16 09:33:08

Would you be happier single?
If you are so unhappy you want to leave or feel you may be ripe for an affair, I think you should tell him.

SandyY2K Tue 31-May-16 11:45:04

So basically you got married out of desperation because time was ticking along and you didn't want to be left on the shelf.

Your husband has spent 20 years with you when he could have met a woman who loved and felt passion for him, but you denied him that because you were only thinking about yourself.

I do apologise if you actually told him he didn't light your fire before you married him and he was fully aware of the fact.

You have choices.

1) Stay married to him
2) Divorce him and go on to look for a man
that does it for you.

You've said you won't have an affair... so there's no option 3 here.

amarmai Tue 31-May-16 11:54:28

Better orgasms V V decent h and happy children?.

Randomposter Tue 31-May-16 11:58:33

I'd never leave a marriage just because my dh didn't 'turn me on' anymore, I'd consider that extremely selfish. Marriage is a serious long term commitment, 'for better or worse' & all that, you're not in just until things die down a bit in the bedroom ( which probably happens to 90% of couples anyway )
I'd just accept my sex life is dull ( like most people's if they're honest ) & concentrate on all the other aspects of my marriage, like being a good mother.
But yeah, have a little crush on this other man, you're not hurting anyone, & if it brings a bit of excitement into your dull life then it's all good. But don't leave your marriage, because chances are the next man will be even more boring in bed than your dh ( in time )

MysteriesOfTheOrganism Tue 31-May-16 12:11:45

People are in relationships for all sorts of reasons: sex, emotional intimacy, friendship, companionship, security, belonging, procreation...

And everybody has a different set of priorities. Some people will accept dull sex, others won't. We're all different.

But the priorities can change over time - because we change as we transition through different stages of life.

Which is why it's sensible to develop awareness of your needs, embrace change - and discuss these things with your partner.

Twentyyearstoolate Wed 01-Jun-16 01:04:47

Thank you all for taking the time to share your insights and advice; it is so helpful to hear other people's take on things one takes for granted oneself. I think you get so used to things being a certain way, that you don't always stop to question whether things are as they should be or should change over time.
I agree that I am probably projecting onto this other man and I also agree with Mysteries, that it is probably both a lack of dynamism and emotional closeness which leads to the lack of chemistry with DH and I don't think that's ever likely to change.
However, at present there is no question of my leaving the marriage; my youngest DC is only 11 and I wouldn't dream of disrupting the lives of my children or DH simply because I am feeling unfulfilled. Also, we run a business together - not doing too well, hence the new job to boost our income - so finances are a potential issue.
In theory, I would have no problem with being single and lived very happily alone for much of my adult life, prior to my marriage and looking forwards, I see the strong probability that once the children have upped and left, DH and I will gravitate in different directions - we have very different tastes in almost everything these days and when we talk about it, we also have very different ideas about what we would like for the future.
In the meantime, I wouldn't call myself unhappy, just a little lonely - and I am not bored by my life as a whole - I love being a mother and I also love what I do, both in our business and my new job.
I guess this is probably a time for taking stock and seeing if there is anything that I can do to improve things, without trying to impose change on DH.
For what it's worth SandyY2K, I never pretended something that wasn't there - we both went into our marriage with our eyes open (and each for our own reasons) and he is still happy with the way it is.

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