I am a 58 Yr. Old Married Man seeing 28 Yr. Old Div Woman
This is much more involved than I can write here, but I'll try to be as brief, but thorough as possible. I am 58 and met this girl (28) online 2 1/2 years ago when she was going through a tough time in her marriage (she had just kicked her husband out and filed for divorce). My marriage of 38 years hasn't been the best for a very long time, but we have managed to stay together (probably more as roommates) and make it work, and say that we love one another "in our own way". In short, our marriage is "comfortable". My wife has suggested marriage counseling in the past, but to be honest, I really had no desire to go, so we didn't. I haven't really been excited or happy in my marriage for a very long time, even though she is really a good woman in all aspects. I guess it has just become very routine and her sex drive has dwindled to nearly nothing. I retired 2 1/2 years ago and moved from up North to Fla. to stay with my divorced brother for a few months over the winter. That was back in Oct. 2009 and have made a few "visits" back home during the last 2+ years, but am still here. She has mentioned many times to me that this is no way for a married couple to be (and I agree), yet right after coming here, I met this girl who I have fallen deeply in love with (and the feeling is mutual for her also) and now I can't imagine my life without her. I have within the last few months told my wife about this, and while she is hurt and trying hard to understand it, she is still hopeful I will come back, but both of my kids (28 boy and 26 girl) now totally hate me, and have disowned me and don't want anything to do with me. This is more hurt than I can bare honestly, and i just want to be truly happy in a relationship (which this girl has made me) but at the same time I love my kids more than anything and don't want to live my life without them in it. I am not even 100% sure that if I did go back to my wife now, that they wouldn't still feel the same for putting her through all that. I'm sure this is some kind of midlife crisis
I am going through, but am wondering if I shouldn't forsake what really makes me happy (this other woman) and give her up to try and make amends with my kids? I have put myself in a no win situation either way as whatever decision I make it will either hurt this other woman deeply, or my wife will be crushed and my kids continue to hate me. Ideally all I want is to continue to be happy as I have been for the last 2+ years and have my kids understand my need to live whatever time i may have left in true happiness, but it appears as though if I stay with this other woman, then I need to give up my kids. I'm just really depressed over it all and struggle every day with this decision. It's not healthy I know, but i just don't know where else to turn and the one thing I don't want to do is make the wrong decision as I know there will be no turning back on either side once I do.
It is a catch 22 and I understand your predicament.
Would it be helpful to you to change the perspective on your choices from making the 'right' or 'wrong' choice to either choice simply having consequences?
I understand the anguish of being estranged from your children, but as you say, they may not forgive you anyway. Although the may.
If you haven't done so, you might try writing them a letter (not an email), explaining in details, much as you have here, why you did what you did, and how much anguish it is causing you to be out of relationship with them. They may or may not respond, but at least you will have done what you can to explain things to them.
The desire for happiness is very strong in all human beings, which is one reason your country's constitution guarantees the right to pursuit of happiness.
One old, simple but fairly reliable way of weighing two decisions is to flip a coin, with heads being one decision, and tails the other. Flip the coin, and see how you feel about the result. If you feel depressed or saddened by the result, chances are it would be the less satisfying choice. If you feel happy with the result, it is probably the more satisfying choice.
And know that making any decision is more satisfying than making none.