He Said, She Said...Should He Leave?
Should I leave my wife?
We've been married for 34 years. I haven't loved her for several years and haven't had sex for nearly that long. It hurts her back. There isn't even any affection which I seem to thrive on. I also feel there is a big communication problem because when I say something, she responds with something entirely different. She seems to have selective memory and forgets almost everything I tell her.
I haven't been looking for someone else, but when I met someone that I connect with it seems so right. Recently my wife found out about my 3rd affair. Although she was mad and hurt, she has gotten to a point where she will not deal with it. I obviously had affairs for a reason. I don't really want to leave my marriage, but I can't stand to remain unhappy and unfulfulled like this. We have gone to marriage couseling in the past and it lasted for awhile, but then she would forget what we learned. I haven't had fun with her in quite some time. Most of the time I think she has her head in the sand and thinks that everything will be ok. My children are grown and one supports me that I should go where I'm the happiest. My daughter wants to give it one more try and if it doesn't work out, then leave. The thought of ended my affair is very difficult to accept. She and I seem like we're made for each other. But I know if I divorce my wife, it will be so final.
Before you respond to this question, I want to point something out that I have noticed about women & men's response to infidelity. If its a guy cheating they jump all over him and condem him. If its a girl that cheats, they somehow seem to look at it much more rationally.....WTH? Please try to put yourself in my shoes and tell me what you think I should do.
•19 hours ago
•- 1 week left to answer.
8 hours ago
Some of you have ask about my contribution to this marriage over the years. Since I am a Cancer, I naturally nurture, love, protect and take care of her. Since she is on fixed income and cannot work, my job as the sole provider has been stressful at times. But I want to point out that if/when I leave I will be taking all of the bills with me. During this entire time, I have taken care of her when she has shoulder aches or migraines.....she's not confined, she just can't sit for very long. I would do the dishes, get her something to eat, go to the store for her.......stuff like that. I'm always looked out for her best interest and tried to make her comfortable. Basically sacrificing my needs for hers. Sounds similar to what women do for men doesn't it. She in turn, has been right there for me during my illnesses. I've had 6 major surgeries since 2004 and she has been right by my side the entire time.
You guys are awesome and your answers really help me out. thanks, steve
Should Steve Leave His Wife?
Steve posted the question, should he leave his wife?
I'm "the other woman" in this scenario and would like to add my perspective:
While he was in the hospital this last time, I could not be with him as I'm an interstate driver and was out of state. I was in anguish about not being there and only survived by staying in phone contact with him and the hospital. When he called me one day, I was horrified to learn that he was sick from medications and complications, and his wife would not question the staff on his behalf, for fear of causing trouble, believing they knew what they were doing. In truth, it turned out, things were going on that caused him to have to receive two more surgeries after the initial one. When he told me she would not intervene, I got on the phone with the hospital staff and would not relent until answers were given and solutions were being sought. I made many phone calls during that time, from the nurse, to the head nurse, to the director of nursing, to the surgeon, in order to get things done. So, while she was there everyday, as Steve said, she would not stand up for him or behind him when he needed her. When I did get within travelling distance and had a weekend to spare, I rented a car and drove 500 miles each way to visit him.
Steve did not say in his posting that he has moral convictions that are making this very difficult for him; I understand that and we're dealing with that together. I don't want to be a home-wrecker and never sought out a married man. He is not in love with his wife. We have an uncommon bond that's being built day by day on friendship and mutual respect. I would uproot my life to be with this man, but not until and if he's ever ready to make the life change. I'm not pushing him because I want him to be sure and have no regrets. He's soul-searching and so am I. If he decides he cannot be with me, I'll accept it and disappear. But he's not happy now and we're both very, very happy when we're together. I want, more than anything, for him to be happy, even if that happiness is not with me.
Ellie...what a thoughtful, insightful message. Thank you for that.
In fact, we have discussed at length what we would need to do if he did decide to leave, these matters concerning his wife. I do sympathize with her, believe it or not, and would be more than willing to help. Steve knows this.
Asked By: Kim - 11/30/2008
You have my deepest sympathy for this dilemma...I know of another couple who love one another deeply, yet cannot be together because of insurmountable issues that keep one of them tied to a marriage, and I find the whole situation sad beyond measure.
Because of the pain and sorrow and frustration I see in this other couple, and the joy that is so plain when they're together, and based on your narratives, I feel that Steve should leave his wife. It is always better, in my view, to seek positive happiness, rather than maintain a bearable status quo. Steve's wife's decision, not to deal with the issues in the marriage after she found out about the affair, clearly shows her priorities - she is with Steve because that's what she is...his wife. It is simply a position she is used to occupying. Her pride would be hurt, and she would have to come up with a different view of herself, if Steve were to leave. Beyond that, she does not seem emotionally engaged. She seems, if anything, apathetic.
Unfortunately, her physical condition adds a different dimension - you can't just walk out on someone who cannot take care of herself. How disabled is she? Is she able to live on her own without help? What kind of financial help can you give her to make sure that she does not suffer unduly from losing the sole provider in the household? You say you'll be taking all the bills with you...is that enough to allow her to live in some level of comfort, since she has no ability to earn? In fairness to her, you will have to address these questions before you make any decisions that will affect her future.
Once those issues are sorted - I think Steve should leave. Good luck to you both...and I hope you do find happiness together.
Answered By: ellie - 11/30/2008