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Re: Same old story?

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Message 11 of 12

Was it really worth it?  Hopefully you and your wife can work this out.  Good Luck.

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Same old story?

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Message 12 of 12

I have been spending more time than I probably should on forums such as this.  Late life divorce, Emotional affairs.  Rebuilding marriage.  Not sure if it's healthy, but there you go.

 

I'm 59, married 29 years.  Two fantastic kids in their 20s, both of whom we provide some financial support to.  (They're fantastic, but their salaries aren't, and they have student loans.)  My wife and I operate our own business.  She's the money-maker; I'm the back office guy.  Been doing this for a dozen years.

 

Here's the "same old story" part.  A year ago I started seeing a woman who was the receptionist at a doctor's office.  My wife knows her also, but doesn't like her very much.  (The feeling is reciprocated by my friend.)  The seeing part then turned, for me, into a deep, deep emotional affair.  Oh, and the woman is 33, with three kids.  She's separated from her husband and dated all the time we were seeing each other.  In fact, she hated the description of "seeing each other."  The not so funny part of this is that she was waiting for me to say something that might take the relationship further, and I was waiting for some signal from her.  It seems that my telling her that I loved her more than anyone else I'd ever loved wasn't enough.  (That's harsher than it should be, but I've never had an affair and so didn't really have any guidelines for what should happen, how, when, etc.)

 

In July she reconnected with someone she knew in high school and that was the end of our "thing," whatever that thing was.  (The story of the "breakup" is far more dramatic, involving alcohol, Rx drugs, lost time, horrifying behavior by me, and the ultimate revelation of the affair to my wife.)

 

Bear with me here. 

 

A few weeks before the "breakup" I began seeing a therapist.  After the horrifying incident, I was a wreck and couldn't have got through it without the therapist.  My wife reacted very calmly.  She was shocked, as I knew she would be, but in some ways I think she was more disappointed in me, and in her expectation of me.  That would probably change if she knew two additional pieces of information - who I was having an affair with and just how much in love with her I was, and am. 

 

My therapist, and other affair/relationship websites, advocate "no contact."  I think they're right, but breaking off contact with the woman I am in love with and who I had considered by best friend and soul mate seemed like cutting off a limb.  I couldn't do it.  And didn't.  It's been almost three months since the breakup, and we've probably seen each other 5 times.  I think we may be gradually transitioning to a default "no contact" situation.  But with the holidays coming up, and the birthday of one of the kids, all I can do is think about what I'm going to get them.  Which I have done, but which I suspect I will end up mailing.

 

There's a lot more to all of this.  For example, there's the issue of whether it's an affair if only one person is head over heels. Whether I'm an utter moron.  What the other woman wanted.  Etc. Etc.

 

But the reason I'm writing this now, and in this forum, is that I am thinking more about divorce. 

 

First of all, I thought that I couldn't possibly get a divorce.  We've been married for almost 30 years, we run this business together, etc. 

 

Then I thought I couildn't possibly get a divorce if I couldn't be with the woman I'm in love with.

 

And then there's the idea that my wife is not a bad person, and in some ways I've not fallen out of love.  Unlike a lot of posts on this forum, there's no abuse.  No major vices.  No hatred or contempt.  Although there's no sex, it's not like we're living like siblings.  It just is.  We have a lengthy and mostly good shared history. 

 

But then there's the thought that jeez I probably have another 20 years, and is this the way I'm going to spend it?  No intimacy?  A chore-based relationship.  Seemingly endless business-realted stresses? 

 

We're starting marital counseling soon, but I'm just not sure the motivation is there for either of us.  How do you create intimacy where there is none?  My therapist talks about rekindling the kind of relationship we had when we first met.  But the reality is (at least mine) is that there were no fireworks.  We just sort of decided to get married.  It happened.  It helped that we had great kids, as that sort of justifies things.  Also, one of our kids had medical issues from birth, and overcoming these created and cemented a bond between us.  But after 30 years that cement has started to crumble.

 

And then when I think of divorce, I think of the damage it will wreak on us (putting the kids aside - they'll figure out a way to deal with it).  We run the business together.  I have no other source of income.  We have debts.  It seems **bleep** near cruel to throw the proverbial wrench into the works with a divorce.  Which breeds resentment. 

 

I could go on and on, but if you're in this forum you know the issues.  Not really sure unloading like this will help, but thought I'd try it anyway.

 

 

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