Basically I think everybody has the same advice, which has been given many times in many threads.
If you can possibly stay with your wife, do it. The cost, pain and struggle - whatever difficult things you will experience to do it - will be less than the cost, pain and struggle you will experience if you are separated from your kids. Your kids will also have the same equation to settle, and it is probably the same for them. Working to stay with their mom is probably better for everybody than working to separate from her.
If you really feel like it is better to separete/divorce, do it. But make sure you are making the best decision you can, don't be impulsive or emotional about it.
Desire to meet a basic human need doesn't equal jumping bed to bed.
True.... However the OP does admit to having more than one affair during his marriage. Therefore, it seems to me that the OP is as much or more to blame for the lack of intimacy in the marriage. I also hold to my feelings that the wife is perhaps unwilling to let go of the "caught" affair.
Not really. He said he cheated more than once and got caught.
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”― Mark Twain
things for your consideration: -If you stay together one thing you will want to teach your children is how to have a happy relationship and family. You will be modeling what both you and stbx consider to be an unhappy relationship and family. This will be difficult. So either try to work it out as described above or not. Continuing on in your current situation is not an option in my view. -Living in a relationship with the knowledge that you have no future in your relationship is depressing, I have walked in these shoes. However much you try to hide this your child will see mommy and daddy are depressed. -Is staying together when you and your stbx know your marriage is beyond repair healthy? Once again continuing on in your current situation is not an option in my view.
Right now you are looking at the mountain you need to take this one step at a time.
Step one: decide if you want a divorce or if you want to try to work it out, independent of STBX do not involve her in this decision. You need to deal with your depression or you will never allow yourself to be happy. You will feel so much better and happier after you have made your decision. I am not guiding you to rush it, you obviously understand how important it is because you are here and no doubt talking to friends about it. Step two: well ... we will cross that bridge when we come to it.
Your three year old will be fine if you get divorced or if you try hard to work it out. Personally I would say try one more time to reconnect if you can't then come back and we will be here.
One last thing never cheat again, have some respect for your wife and be a good model for your child to learn that cheating is wrong. If you want to be with someone else, get divorced. That new person your thinking will come into your life after divorce isn't going to be the magic bullet that makes everything in your life workout. Life after divorce is still just life. You have to make yourself happy and your the only one that can do that. Your wife probably can't connect due to your lack of fidelity, I bet she feels that she can't trust you with her soul or heart. I know that is how I felt when I found out.
Here_We_Go hit the points that I needed to hear. I find it really hard to embrace the idea of "staying together for the kids", unless we can figure a way to do it happily. I cant see my way to happily given multiple years, attempts, and the dynamics uncovered in therapy.
To some of the others, I absolutely admit to my emotional unavailability. I've done an insane amount of work in therapy to understand my issues and learn to speak a new language. That's not to say that I'm not at risk of recreating the same dynamic again in the future. I'd venture to say we all run a similar risk.
As for cheating... I take everyone's admonishment to heart. I'd venture to agree that it's being held against me. But communication is so lacking in the stoic corner, that other than the initial reaction, I've heard nothing of it since. This is the true silence of which I speak. Incidentally in my own circles there is very limited admonishment and the prevalent idea that "everyone is doing it". I've never fooled myself into thinking an affair is an emotional connection. It's a crutch or a distraction. Believe it or not there are many women who get this. I can hear the attacks from here with regard to this final comment.
I like the idea of a final attempted reconnection. On the day I reach my own conclusion... is it all miserable hurt from there (for a while)? Is there no clean or more bearable approach? There was an article in the WSJ which used the term "Leaning In" and "Leaning Out" spouses to refer to the spouse who wants in and the spouse who wants out of the marriage. I found the terminology most useful. In my case must she who is leaning in be hurt or is there an approach to somehow preemptively approaching in some other manner? I recognize this question is perhaps childish.
As a Public Service Announcement, I'd venture to guess that all of us are saying the same thing that HWG stated.
The underlying current is that not doing anything is the wrong thing to be doing, and modeling for your kiddo.
But I still am reading you want out, rather than you want to fix. I think that is the last thing anyone should want. Watch Fireproof, get the book that goes with it, Fireproof Your Marriage. Find ways to connect. Push all-in, wholeheartedly. Leave nothing on the table. I'd say you owe it to your daughter.
Then, IF the time comes to walk away, you'll leave knowing you did all you could to give her the family life that she deserves most. You'll walk away feeling you've accomplished something, even if that something hurts your heart more than anything in the world. You'll be able to look your daughter in the eyes on some distant date, and say you did everything you could, but it wasn't meant to be, and you're sorry. But that you'll always love her just as much as you love her now. You'll walk away with your head high. If you could do that now, you wouldn't be checking in with some anonymous strangers on the internet.
The meaning of life is Happiness. What makes you happy? - Dalai Lama
For a more peaceful life, live the serenity prayer.
RC211V wrote:No, even for the kids. That idea is a false one, that parents should stay together 'for the kids'. It isn't always the best alternative.
Yup. I can only imagine how many distant and/or non-functioning couples stay together "for the kids." What kind of message does that send your kids? It's ok to stay in a loveless relationship with someone that does nothing for you and leaves you daydreaming that there must be more to life. Kids aren't stupid. They're sponges that soak up everything around them. They know when something (i.e. you) is off. Being in a relationship like that certainly makes you "off."
One thing that I'll say is that if the kids are the ONLY consideration for why you haven't bailed yet....you might be a candidate for a divorce. I spent the last six months I was with my wife trying to figure out (in my head) how I was going to disengage from her kids (I really miss them)...not what a divorce would do to her and would I miss her.
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