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Need To Be Talked Off Relationship Ledge


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I dunno where to start, so i guess I'll just start at the beginning. I've been with my wife for ten years and we've been married for five years. We've had our ups and downs and I've been through periods where I thought a lot about leaving her, but it's bounced back.

Last year she cheated on me with someone she met online. She didn't meet up with the person, just over a webcam. We opened up our relationship. I ended up falling in love with someone I met online as well. Me and the other woman had an instant emotional and physical attraction unlike either of us had ever felt before and we soon started talking about leaving our spouses and being with each other (she has two kids and I don't have any). A month and a half later I told my wife I had fallen in love with and got cold feet about leaving her. But my wife and I kept our relationship open and the other woman and I stayed in contact and met up once in October (we live really far apart). And it was really great, although bittersweet in that was only for a few days. The other woman did go on to divorce her husband. My wife and I started couples counseling and came close to separating in December. My wife had still been meeting people but after her last guy stopped talking to her, my wife gave me an ultimatum, leave her or I'm going to start making preparations to move. I felt like I wasn't giving my wife a chance and, though it was really hard, I left the other woman. But my wife still wanted to leave to be on her. I talked my wife out of just leaving and agreeing to give things a shot.

The last couple months have been hard to say the least. The first month was awful, especially since me and the other woman had plans to meet up again where she lives. So there was still a little communication with her about that, which mostly drew things out. Over the past month, there hasn't been any communication with her at all and things calmed down a lot. I've felt empty without her however and things with my wife seem to have risen back to the level before she cheated on me. But I don't really consider that a great time, just a very blah time.

Here's where I need to be talked off the ledge. Last week, the woman contacted me. At my wife's insistence, I didn't respond (me and the other woman had a rule from the start that "there'll always be an answer"). The other woman then texted me outright that I had always responded before and shouldn't keep her guessing. So I responded that things were going ok with the wife but that it's going to take a long time to work it out and that we shouldn't be messaging each other. So we said our goodbyes (seems like for good this time) and she said she loved and missed me and just wanted me to be happy. So since then I've just been wrecked. I feel like I've made the biggest mistake of my life leaving her. We had a connection unlike any I have ever experienced. Meanwhile things with my wife are still rather blah. It's taken everything I have to not try to contact the other woman. I can feel her becoming a memory. And I don't want to look back the rest of my life just wondering "what if." My therapist says that I need to work things out with my wife first and the relationship will still be there if my wife and I can't work things out. I guess I'm just scared that it won't be there. But I just need someone to tell me to wait and keep working on things with my wife. Things were getting better, if rather slowly. If I do end up back in a relationship with the other woman, I want to do it right, so that we can love each other freely.

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This is just my view, but it seems to me as if you have already closed yourself off from your wife and want to be with this other person. If you can't fully throw yourself into working things out with your wife, then don't keep stringing this out. If you think there is a chance, a real chance, your relationship with your wife can survive, then do everything you possibly can to work it out. If not, then don't make things worse for her.

This other person may have stirred up something exciting for you, but marriages that last the tests of time are not always filled with exciting experiences. However, if you really feel this person connects to you in a way like no other, then, why are you even questioning yourself?

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Completely agree with spiritual wanderer here.

It sounds like you just don't have the guts to action the huge change. You sound like you know what needs to happen but you're doing the "better the devil you know, than the devil you don't" approach which will not only disrupt your life, your mental health but that of your wife too, which is totally unfair and of course the other woman also.

Reading your post, you know what needs to happen, you can't make good, gloss over a failed relationship, it sounds like it is past salvaging, if you have to put that much work into keeping a relationship alive then it's probably one you shouldn't be in.

It sounds to me that you're trying to salvage the wrong relationship and that is hurting everyone involved and prolonging the agony for your wife.

If it were me (well it has been recently) I would do the what I consider the right thing and bring a conclusion to your failed marriage (as you have tried to fix it) put your wife out of her agony, allow her to move on in time and get on with your life in whatever way you see fit. However, I would still not jump into a new relationship after bringing a conclusion to your previous one, take it slowly.

Edited by katersbee
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Thank you for your responses. You guys are right I do want to be with this other person and I am afraid of the huge change. I just couldnt fathom giving up a relationship and marriage of ten years for someone I've only known for six months and have only met in person once. Especially since she has kids. It would be a totally different way of life for me.

Meanwhile things have been better with my wife, if not great. And we've talked so much about our relationship and our sex life that she is at the point where even talking about it is off the table. At least for now. I think I am so emotional right now that it probably would just end up with me saying things I shouldn't. On another level I think I am not ready to talk to the other woman as I havent worked things out with my wife. I am just feeling very trapped right now. I'm in this position of working on things with my wife while pining for the other woman. And I am just totally freaked out that when I do contact the other woman I won't get an answer. It makes me feel so claustrophobic and helpless.

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