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Stayed in a marriage far too long

12 replies

MoreToSeeThanCanEverBeSeen · 28/03/2023 08:36

Hi all,

There will probably be others on here who have been through something similar, or who are living in similar circumstances but I am struggling with feelings of regret that I have sacrificed myself, and my life, for someone that just was nothing more than a friend.

Firstly, I’m a woman (51). Secondly, stbx was the only man I had ever slept with (I was brought up to believe sex was for marriage and, stupidly, went along with this). I met him when I was a uni student. I am horrified to say, I was 19 and he was 30! This seems horrible to me now that my eldest child is 19 and so very young and inexperienced.

Stbx and I got on ok. Nothing startling, nothing bad, nothing good (as in, no passion/spark). Two children came from the marriage (like most girls, I’d wanted to be a mother from an early age). I worked hard in my career and was successful in this area. However, something was missing. I didn’t know what. It’s obvious now though. I had accepted my life as it was.

Most of the 25 year marriage has been sexless. There was no spark, chemistry or passion. No affection, no intimacy, nothing. Nobody knew. I told no-one. I was the one who wouldn’t have sex with him as I just couldn’t. He thought I was frigid. He was very poor at anything sexual anyway (little experience himself) and it was like being with a large potato. It was dead - well, this area of our marriage was - but we continued to carry on as a married couple and do stuff you’d normally do (holidays, days out). He is a gentle man, a bit too soft in some ways and we got ok - I now know as friends. Nothing more than friends. Due to being shy as a teenager and young woman, I hadn’t dated anyone else!!

You can guess what happened (after 12 years of no sex, intimacy, no kissing). I went through a bad patch. Menopause. Deaths in the family. Struggles at work. I got involved with someone else - someone married. Someone close in age to myself. Unintentionally! It just happened. I didn’t stop it because it made me feel alive.

My goodness, my world was turned upside down and did I wake up!! I ended my marriage after a lot of heartache and soul searching.

This man is still in my life (usually by messenger or phone ) but we met again last week. I get emotional afterwards as the chemistry between us is amazing and something I’d not experienced before. I feel sad I can’t have that. He is such an affectionate/passionate man. He holds my hand. My husband never did. The way he looks at me is fantastic. The man has been in my life 6 years and, I will give him credit, he has tried to end it numerous times. He knows it is wrong and unfair to everyone. However, he comes back.

This is killing me inside. The fact I can’t have him (of course, he won’t leave his wife) and the fact I have realised the fact that I have continued to live/exist in a marriage of many years with no physical, or emotional really, connection. I have deprived myself of happiness in this area of marriage. I feel distraught about it. I know that this relationship has to stop as it is damaging me a lot. Six years this has gone on for and I cry at night knowing I am laid alone in bed each night. I’m pathetic. I know that. I have tried online dating and get nowhere with it, mainly because I’m besotted with this man and the fact no-one takes my fancy.

What can I do to end this situation and learn to live with what I can’t have? I have no family left to confide in.

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OhAMilkshake · 28/03/2023 09:07

Cut all contact with the married man. That's the only way to get over him.
And you will get over him.
Then you can start looking for someone that is single and that you have great chemistry with.

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Tex81 · 28/03/2023 21:06

This reply has been deleted

This has been deleted by MNHQ for breaking our Talk Guidelines.

jupitergirl · 28/03/2023 23:09

I'm sorry that you have lived a life or pretence, of unknowing and lacking of intimacy. However, you cannot go on living a life so unfulfilled! This man is not leaving his wife, if he was he would have done that and probably landed you with guilt. Affairs are excitement, it is not sustainable in normal life.
You 100% need to cut ties with this man, block contact and cut him out of your life. that may sound harsh but you wont meet anyone new whilst your head is giving him house room! I think in time you will realise he was nothing but a passing fling, showing you what you were missing in your marriage. But until you make him the past, that wont ever reach that point of realisation.

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Zanatdy · 29/03/2023 06:25

You need to stop the married man. He’s never going to leave his wife. Get yourself on OLD and go out and enjoy a few dates, see what happens. It’s hard to move away from someone you have such chemistry with, but it will happen with other people when you find someone you fancy. He’s not the only man in the world who can make you feel like that trust me. Go out and live your life, but not with this man

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RoseyPalm · 29/03/2023 07:31

Some good advice in the posts above. They do cover most of the problems.
Which you probably recognise, Here's hoping you have the strength to act on it.
Finding friends in Real Life will help.

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PinotPony · 29/03/2023 12:09

Now you've woken up to the possibilities that are out there, you don't need to be constrained by this married man. You've been restricted your whole life... do you really want that to continue? More pretence, more emotional upset? You're worth more than that.

Move on from him and find someone who can give you what you really need.

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MoreToSeeThanCanEverBeSeen · 29/03/2023 18:56

I know, I know. It’s hard though when you have such chemistry with someone. It’s really affecting me though so I know I need to act.
I had already tried dating and didn’t get anywhere with it. Two ghosted me. One took met me after chatting for 3 months! We had a nice day and we went on a city break together (separate hotels). He got back and decided we didn’t have enough in common and the 35 miles between us was too much. The ones that like me have usually been awful or eyeing up my ‘gold-plated (apparently)’ pension. The genuine one that liked me, I didn’t feel anything for him. And, I left swipe most others.
I struggle to fall for someone/have feelings and it has only happened twice in my life.
Feeling down about it all.

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MuddledMindy · 30/03/2023 08:27

It's so hard isn't it. The more you try and cut contact / break away, it multiplies the feelings there.
Do you see other man in a normal every day setting other than your relationship? Blocking him off everything, maybe take yourself away on a holiday, get chatting to other people, a new hobby and being really strong is needed. The right person will come along, you won't ever be in the right frame of mind though while ever he is in your life.

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SpringleDingle · 30/03/2023 09:06

You have so little experieNncw that you are hanging to this married man. He is affectionate where your exH was not and you see that as the pinnacle of what you can get. It isn’t. I’m speaking from experience here. Better than your ex is ok but it’s not the ultimate. There is better pit there again. You can have affection, mind blowing sex, kindness AND a guy who puts you first every time (which a married man does not).


Get rid of the married dude and look for someone better than him. They are out there but you can’t find them whilst still involved with someone else. If the guy isn’t everything you want then he isn’t the best you can find!

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MoreToSeeThanCanEverBeSeen · 30/03/2023 09:36

MuddledMindy · 30/03/2023 08:27

It's so hard isn't it. The more you try and cut contact / break away, it multiplies the feelings there.
Do you see other man in a normal every day setting other than your relationship? Blocking him off everything, maybe take yourself away on a holiday, get chatting to other people, a new hobby and being really strong is needed. The right person will come along, you won't ever be in the right frame of mind though while ever he is in your life.

No, I don’t see him regularly as we live 250 miles apart. We keep in contact by phone/messenger. This has gone on for years. He has tried to end it, as have I but we both end up back in the same situation. I, however, have come off a lot worse out of this as it opened my eyes to what was wrong with my marriage. Like a massive wake up call. I think my subconscious was trying to tell me all along that I’d married someone I shouldn’t have. I stayed to stop him from being hurt. I ended my marriage very quickly after realising I had strong feelings for the OM. The chemistry between us is amazing. I don’t think I a will ever find that again, even if I do block him out of my life. However, I know I need to make an effort to move on. He isn’t going to budge.

I think my feelings are blown up a lot as I feel extremely lonely now (having lost my parents and siblings recently) and obviously struggling to balance the books a lot whilst paying ridiculous solicitor fees.

I feel overwhelming guilt for my husband and the situation I have left him in but I also know I have deprived myself of happiness over the years. It’s tough!

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MoreToSeeThanCanEverBeSeen · 30/03/2023 09:38

SpringleDingle · 30/03/2023 09:06

You have so little experieNncw that you are hanging to this married man. He is affectionate where your exH was not and you see that as the pinnacle of what you can get. It isn’t. I’m speaking from experience here. Better than your ex is ok but it’s not the ultimate. There is better pit there again. You can have affection, mind blowing sex, kindness AND a guy who puts you first every time (which a married man does not).


Get rid of the married dude and look for someone better than him. They are out there but you can’t find them whilst still involved with someone else. If the guy isn’t everything you want then he isn’t the best you can find!

I know he isn’t the best. I know he needs to go.

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MoreToSeeThanCanEverBeSeen · 30/03/2023 09:46

I think I married a bit of a lemon tbh. Inexperienced me didn’t realise!! He lacked passion totally in all aspects of his life. But, bottom line was, it led to me losing any attraction I’d had for him in the first place. It took another man to completely blow my mind and make me feel happy in lots of ways (but sad in others knowing he can’t be mine).

Please tell me that passionate/tactile men (I never realised how much I’d enjoy simple things like my arm stroked or my hand being held and fingers playing with each other) exist out there!! Ones who will
stimulate me in other ways too! OMG is this OM a great kisser!

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