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Mid life crisis - affairs

(23 Posts)
blondie63 Thu 20-Aug-09 21:12:56

I've been married 20 years and have two children,9 and 13. A year into our marriage my husband had a brief affair on a work trip abroad. I was devestated, angry but went to relate and he was so desperate to make things work that I forgave him. We had children and I think he may have had a fling sometime in the next 10 years but never had any real evidence, so I battled on. However two years ago, I discovered he was having an affair with a work colleague. I took myself off for a week to try and sort my head out but decided to stay in the marriage.Since that 'second' occasion, he has worked so hard to improve our relationship and we have been getting on well. I have to say here that despite the affairs he has always been very loving and complimentary to me(I know that sounds like a contradiction)whereas I have always been quite undemonstrative and critical eg not good at showing my affection and had a pretty low sex drive compared to his. Im not making excuses for him just trying to explain our relationship. To outsiders we look like the perfect couple/family. My close friends who know about the affairs were shocked that I stayed with him, because I am a strong, intelligent, quite tough cookie and I actually surprise myself that that was the course of action I took. ANYWAY, a few months after his last affair, when I was feeling more settled, I met a man at a club.I wasnt looking at all but we just started talking and after a year of flirty texts/facebook chats, we started a sexual relationship. This ended very recently and I am now trying to decide what is going on in my head. I am depressed, largely because my relationship with other man has ended, and with it the attention. My husband cant understand why I am so unhappy. Ironically, we have been getting on really well during my affair. I think the affair probably stopped me dwelling too much on my husbands behaviour and now Im very confused. I think I love my husband but have the usual boredom and loss of attraction issues that often come with a long term relationship. I am also at 46, very aware of my age(my affair was 35 and very desirable). My husband, same age, talks about us retiring happily, has a high powered job and likes to stay in while I crave excitement and want to go out to music festivals/gigs etc. I forgot to say that I packed in a second degree to support my husbands career and be there for the kids shortly before he started his second affair and havent worked since, and have become quite lonely with my stay at home lifestyle.Probably why I crave excitement. Perhaps my affair was part of my need for stimulation? So many issues here even before I complicated things even further by having an affair. I am returning to study in september to try and give my personal life more direction but am worried that my thoughts are on my ex and indeed on other men. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

HolyGuacamole Thu 20-Aug-09 21:26:50

Sorry, I broke this up into paragraphs fr you OP as it was quite hard to read smile

I've been married 20 years and have two children,9 and 13.

A year into our marriage my husband had a brief affair on a work trip abroad. I was devestated, angry but went to relate and he was so desperate to make things work that I forgave him.

We had children and I think he may have had a fling sometime in the next 10 years but never had any real evidence, so I battled on. However two years ago, I discovered he was having an affair with a work colleague. I took myself off for a week to try and sort my head out but decided to stay in the marriage.

Since that 'second' occasion, he has worked so hard to improve our relationship and we have been getting on well. I have to say here that despite the affairs he has always been very loving and complimentary to me(I know that sounds like a contradiction)whereas I have always been quite undemonstrative and critical eg not good at showing my affection and had a pretty low sex drive compared to his.

Im not making excuses for him just trying to explain our relationship. To outsiders we look like the perfect couple/family. My close friends who know about the affairs were shocked that I stayed with him, because I am a strong, intelligent, quite tough cookie and I actually surprise myself that that was the course of action I took.

ANYWAY, a few months after his last affair, when I was feeling more settled, I met a man at a club. I wasnt looking at all but we just started talking and after a year of flirty texts/facebook chats, we started a sexual relationship. This ended very recently and I am now trying to decide what is going on in my head. I am depressed, largely because my relationship with other man has ended, and with it the attention.

My husband cant understand why I am so unhappy. Ironically, we have been getting on really well during my affair. I think the affair probably stopped me dwelling too much on my husbands behaviour and now Im very confused. I think I love my husband but have the usual boredom and loss of attraction issues that often come with a long term relationship. I am also at 46, very aware of my age(my affair was 35 and very desirable).

My husband, same age, talks about us retiring happily, has a high powered job and likes to stay in while I crave excitement and want to go out to music festivals/gigs etc. I forgot to say that I packed in a second degree to support my husbands career and be there for the kids shortly before he started his second affair and havent worked since, and have become quite lonely with my stay at home lifestyle.Probably why I crave excitement. Perhaps my affair was part of my need for stimulation?

So many issues here even before I complicated things even further by having an affair. I am returning to study in september to try and give my personal life more direction but am worried that my thoughts are on my ex and indeed on other men. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Overmydeadbody Thu 20-Aug-09 21:31:23

Ok, let's just say that you both love each other and want to stay together as a married couple, perhaps an option would be to have a non-monogamous relationship, i.e agree with each other that it's ok to have extra-marital liasons as long as there is no lying or deceit going on on either side.

It works for many people.

Your DH certainly sounds like monogamy isn't for him, and maybe it isn't for you either?

GypsyMoth Thu 20-Aug-09 21:35:43

where is the point in being married? where?

hatesponge Thu 20-Aug-09 21:41:47

Why did your relationship with OM end? Who ended it - you or him?

Did you discuss your DH's second affair? What were his reasons for this?

Am not sure why you want to stay married to each other - do you not think you might both be better off separating now, pursuing the lives you want, whether in a new relationship or alone?

Overmydeadbody Thu 20-Aug-09 21:41:49

Mutual love and support maybe?

You don't need to be monogamous to have a worthwile succesful marriage. All you need is trust and honesty.

Overmydeadbody Thu 20-Aug-09 21:43:09

Where is Solid when you need her?

aRLcat Thu 20-Aug-09 22:01:47

OverMDB has provided the same suggestion I was going to make.

By agreement, open or poly relationships can work well for some, providing the mutual care, support and even financial stability withing the home that marriage can bring and the 'stimlation' or tittilation of extra partners.

Boundaries would no doubt have to be discussed and adhered to but throwing away the companionship of years doesn't have to be the only way of making change.

screamingabdab Thu 20-Aug-09 22:04:56

Yes, where is solid ? (on hols, I suppose?)

AbricotsSecs Thu 20-Aug-09 22:09:51

Message withdrawn

Apollinare Thu 20-Aug-09 22:25:02

My thoughts?

Going back to further education is THE BEST - just the best. The intoxication of choosing to use your brain again to study something you love and to talk with like -minded people is far, far more consuming than an affair. Roll on September 14th, I'm counting the days til we go back!

blondie63 Thu 20-Aug-09 22:27:27

Well, there are a lot of positives in our marriage...we are good friends who share so many similar interests, our two children are very happy, we spend a lot of time together as a family, we have a good social network.

Re counselling, I have thought that it should be the next step, just have had so little motivation to do anything much recently, aside from keeping children busy in holidays.

My split with OM was probably more him, I wanted to see more of him than he did of me and managed to upset him badly( I recently discoveredhe has mild aspergers which made things a bit difficult sometimes)but I still miss him a lot.

A friend suggested an open relationship but how many actually work? i just cant imagine either one of us feeling happy that the other partner is out having a relationship with someone else, or indeed that another external person would want to engage in such a relationship. I'm not sure its a much more healthy situation than the one Im in.

blondie63 Thu 20-Aug-09 22:30:24

Re study, thanks Apollinare for that positive comment.I really hope that it will make a difference. I did a couple of science a levels before I attempted the degree and was very happy, mental and social stimulation. Really miss both.

GypsyMoth Thu 20-Aug-09 22:30:45

no Blondie,i don't think that suggestion was a good idea either.

Overmydeadbody Thu 20-Aug-09 22:35:43

A non monogamous relationship would be healthier than the one you are in now as it would involve trust and open honesty. But it only works for some people obviously.

I think you will feel much better once you start your degree, as someone else said it will give you a whole new lease of life.

aRLcat Thu 20-Aug-09 22:38:29

I know some people in very healthy open relationships, possibly more so than the average conventional scenario, not least because each partner has been able to be honest about what they wish to attain smile

GypsyMoth Thu 20-Aug-09 22:44:19

op's partner isn't so honest tho,so it wouldn't work! on any level...as for trust??

blondie63 Thu 20-Aug-09 22:51:11

Really dont think it's for me, so don't fret! I think thats why I am so screwed up about the situation...I would never have imagined myself having an affair and have in the past advised friends who have had them, to talk to their husbands or get counselling, as something is clearly wrong in the relationship, and here I am not heeding my own advice! It really is so different when it happens to you. Chemicals take over and logic is out of the window.

aRLcat Thu 20-Aug-09 23:08:09

IDontReadTheDailyMailAnyway (nor me grin) OP isn't honest! I can't see where she mentions telling her D?P about her affair? Same goes for trust.

In an open relationship they could both screw around but a touch more respectfully, given they each appear to have a taste for it.

blondie63 Thu 20-Aug-09 23:23:01

aRLct, I appreciate what youre saying about it working for some people but I really dont want to be screwing around. Just want to try and sort this mess out.

aRLcat Thu 20-Aug-09 23:53:33

Blondie, I understand it's not for you smile. I was specifically responding to Idontread's post about your DP.

Had I stayed with my X after his affair, I felt that at some point I may have entered into an affair too. I was not premeditating an affair, just aware that this may happen.

Knowing that his behaviour had led to such a lack of respect for him is in part why I did leave him. Our relationship would have become pregressively more unhealthy. He would have done it again, probably and I would at some point have sought reprieve from how this made me feel, with someone else.

I do empathise with how you might feel, I hope you are able to start to strike out with a clear conscience for what you want, need and deserve and reap the happiness that will come hand in hand with that.

countingto10 Fri 21-Aug-09 08:50:30

Hi, my DH had an affair 4/5 months ago, we are having therapy and things are still improving slowly. I found this website www.beyondaffairs.com (hope it links) very useful. It explains why affairs happen, what you can do to improve your marriage and improve your self. It helped me and my DH understand why I needed to know everything about his affair and how it would help us in the long run and why he had the affair even though he didn't think he ever would and still loved me. In fact this website has helped me more than the therapist whom seems to be fixated on me and my insecurity issues etc.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

blondie63 Fri 21-Aug-09 09:01:28

Thanks for all your help, really appreciate your time. x

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