I Don't Want To Leave My Wife, But....

The Question

I am in my mid 40s and still very active. Physically I keep myself in very good shape and have not changed much since my 20s.

Since the birth of our 2nd child (more than 12 yrs ago) our sex life has stopped (once every couple of months or less). My wife comes from a conservative family in which she was taught sex was dirty and was necessary for children ONLY.

She has let herself go and has no interest in making herself look better. She constantly complains that she is fat but eats a bag of chips while she is complaining. I travel a lot and although the opportunity presented itself a number of times, I never strayed until recently. I met a nice girl who made me feel attractive and competent again. My wife makes me feel ugly and stupid.

Anyway, one thing led to another and... it was fun for a while but then turned into a nightmare. Rather than have a Tiger wood incident, I did fess-up and took the heat. I thought we had moved on but, that too, was short lived.

I have always been one who took on a challenge head on but in this case I just want to leave. In a few years our kids will leave the nest and then I fear so will I, thus ending up like so many other couples who stay together just for the kids.

My wife is a great friend and we still like to do stuff together but I didn't get married to have "just a friend". I could understand if I was a fat slob who was constantly groping after her but that is not the case. I try everything to keep my appearance up, I compliment her, help her around the house and try to take as much house work on so that she isn't SO TIRED.

I'm at the point where I feel I can't do anymore and that she is just taking advantage of me. I've even tried to get us into counseling but she refuses that as well. Any suggestions?

Noel's response

Sounds like a tough situation. I am not sure what to suggest except to follow what you think is best. If your wife won't go to marriage counseling you might find that getting some counseling for yourself will be useful in figuring out what the right action is for you.

It is difficult when one person wants to move forward, and the other one won't.

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I Don't Want To Leave My Wife, But....

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Another lady's opinion...
by: Anonymous

If you didn't tell you wife about the affair and somehow she found out, I think it would probably have been a worse turn out than her hearing it form you. Either way it wasn't good. Honestly if I were your wife I wouldn't want to have sex with you again. Knowing you've been with another woman after how long we've been together (even if you guys haven't been happy in a long time), it's a complete betrayal. On top of that you guys weren't having sex very often. I think you should just suck it up (for lack of a better term) and move on. Your kids are old enough that they shouldn't have major psychological damage if you get a divorce. But they might end up strongly disliking you for cheating on their mother.
I felt that way about my father for a long time after finding out he cheated on my mother.
Truly sorry for all the bad opinions/advice.
Good luck with getting your life back on track.

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know how you feel
by: Anonymous

if your wife was taught that sex was dirty that's a lie her family needed to look at a different way i love it my wife has lost interest to i feel like i been put out and put away so I'm getting over it and moving on know how you feel

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final
by: pathetic loser

I am now simply waiting for the inevitable. My story will only end in one of two ways. I am losing self-respect daily, and eventually my disgust at myself will override my need to be with her and I will kill myself. In scenario two, she gets fed up with the wimp she created, and leaves me, taking my 'reasons for existence (my girls)' with her. At that point, we are back to suicide. I have lost ALL of my friends, all of my family; I am utterly alone except for her. I do not complain because I am aware that this is my choice. I am doing this to myself. I don't need marriage counseling, I need rehab!! She is my crack-cocaine, and I need my daily fix. This is what loving deeply has brought me. I always believe in love, I am one of these old-school chivalrous hopeless romantics. I believe in love with all my being, but this is the path it has led me down and will ultimately be the death of me.

Noel's response

You say you need rehab, and maybe you do! Or maybe you need counseling. It sounds as though you are projecting a lot of your 'inner gold' onto your wife, which makes her carry a big emotional load, and makes you dependent on her. True love is not an addiction, it is an equal partnership.

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I can add yet a different layer to this
by: pathetic loser

I can relate to this issue, but mine has gone a step farther (not that I am competing or anything). I have been enduring emotional and physical abuse from my wife for the better part of 10 years. I am a devoted father of two beautiful girls. I do all the cooking, cleaning, laundry and other tasky-B.S. in the house after my wife decided to change career to match my own. So in answer to what you are wondering, yes, I also work full time.

Five years ago I was badly bullied and harassed at work; to the point where I was put on medical leave by my doctor and I now have to take blood pressure meds for the rest of my life. Like many other men, I workout constantly. I am in the best shape of my life (I actually weight now what I did in grade 11), but still need the meds due to stress.

To tried and let go of some of this, and in that vein, I reconnected with my mother as we had been estranged for a few years. My wife despises my mother only because she views her as competition for my affection.

My wife also knew how broken I am due to the work situation, but she didn't care, all she could see was the decision i made without her consent. I love my mom, but my wife has made sure that every time I spend time with her, she makes my life miserable after. To top it off, to help me heal, we had decided to purchase a family cottage. We were about to submit our acceptance of the real-estate transaction when my wife informed me that she had no intention of ever buying it, she just wanted revenge for my choosing to reconnect with my mom without her permission. That cottage was the 'light' at the end of my very dark and bleak tunnel. And now that light is out. She had claimed that initially that she was nervous about spending that kind of money right now, but has decided since then that tomorrow we are going out to buy her a new car, even though her lease is still 6 months away from done, and I still drive a 1998 Malibu with 312,000 kms, no heat, no a/c, manual windows, and only 4 out of 6 cylinders working.

Here is the kicker, get ready to laugh at me gents. I can't leave her. I hate her, I loathe her, I despise her. She treats me like dirt. I am a university educated person who is fully aware of how I am being manipulated; but I love her. I can't explain why, or how, or anything else, but I love her, with all my heart and soul, and I can't live without her. The small part of me that is still me has no respect for this sycophant. I can not even look at myself in the mirror most mornings. Today she decided that my girls can no longer see their grandmother, so she made me call my mom and tell her this while she watched, and then she removed a hand-made set of scarves and mittens that my mom made for my girls last holiday season and threw them away.

too many characters.. to be continued in next post

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quiero dejar a mi mujer. pero no puedo, no la quiero mas.
by: Anonymous

Tengo un problema y quiero ayuda, mi mujer me fue infiel muchas veces y por amor la perdone pero, hoy en el presente vivo deprimido, y no nos queremos, creo q estamos juntos por nuestra hija, me trata mal vivimos discutiendo , dia a dia. ahora mi problema es q no la puedo dejar por miedo a estar solo, siento q si me separo de ella tiraria 7 años de mocho esfuerzo de mi parte .
deseo realmente ser feliz, cuando no tenia trabajo , ni casa era un problema, por q yo era pobre, y hoy q tengo todo seguimis igual, casi peor, realmente no soy feliz estando con ella

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most men lead lives of quiet desparation
by: Anonymous

Who was it that said 'most men lead quiet lives of desperation.'

This is generally how it goes for many many men I think. I see it all the time.
We marry the woman we think will be a good mother. We have children. After the children come the good mother is no longer 'sexy.' (why can't we see that one coming?) Our minds and bodies start to change. The hell begins.

We stay together because raising the children is the only rewarding thing in life. We are lonely. We no longer communicate sexually but don't go outside the marriage for fear of being ruined financially (divorce), ending up estranged from our children, and dealing with crushing feelings of guilt and/or shame. Young good looking women will be all around, reminding you constantly with their mere presence how utterly trapped and obsolete you are.

There is nothing you can do because you're in mid-life male hell. Sorry. Time to just man up and stop whining. But hey, you should: 1.try to preserve your sanity so don't drink too often or use drugs. 2. Try to get in a little exercise. 3. Find healthy distractions. Don't look at porn. 4. Be accommodating with the wife and pray she doesn't do anything stupid. 5. Raise your kids to be independent, honest, and hard working.

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Feel your pain
by: Anonymous

I am 48, been married 19 years, good career with 2 beautiful daughters. In 4 years they will both be out of high school and I am thinking of graduating with them.

Not sure I see a future after kids with my wife. She likes to do nothing I am interested in doing. I like the outdoors and am very active and have a ton of friends.

She only wants to shop and clean the house we do nothing together and if we do I am on pins and needles waiting for her to blow up at me, not in front of people, but after she would never want anyone to see that side of her.

I am lonely and confused about what to do or where to go. We have made appointments to seek help, only for her to cancel.

Not sure where to turn or what to do next.

Noel's response
I suggest you get some help for yourself, in order to think your way through this with the help of another person, to figure out where to go from here.

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Yup !
by: Anonymous

I can relate to what you are experiencing. I have been a care giver for a greater part of my life and that is only my fault. And I'm not trying to put myself down when I say this.

Its more about understanding what I've done to promote behaviors around me. That said, it is a tough one and as was mentioned, to get some help for yourself so that you can clarify your decision.

And by the way, as a man I also need to feel desired by the wife/partner in order to have nice love-making. It's a two way street and men and women may have this myth that men will have sex whenever or wherever. This is definitely not my case. So hang in there friend.

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Single Man's POV
by: The Guy

I agree with L's opinion that you should have not spilled the beans. Now that the cat is out of the bag it might be a time to move on with your life.

The fact that she does not want to have sex more than on a bi-monthly basis is not just frustrating, it is unhealthy. Simply put, us men need sex for good mental and physical health. Not necessarily ten times a day, but certainly more than twice a season.

Anonymous Woman's comments are a bunch of hooey. Of course your wife is going through issues, we all are. A night of champagne and dancing is not going to solve her problems. Also, a motivating factor for men to get married is to have sex when we want it. Yes we want also to have emotional commitment, but it is important to be rewarded for our efforts.

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from a womans perspective.
by: Anonymous

She may be going through some depression or hormonal transitions or self esteem issues of her own.

I would suggest that you take her on a date, and make her feel special and talk to her lovingly, not accusatory, about how you feel and your needs.

My husband has abandoned me emotionally yet he expects sex when he expects it. Yet when I would like to connect emotionally he runs away.

Remember that women need to feel loved to make love.
So maybe try to connect on a more emotional intimate level.

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A woman's thoughts
by: L

You seem like a nice guy. It doesn't seem like you don't want to have sex with your wife even though she has "let herself go". I more get the sense that you want an intimate/exciting relationship for the rest of your life, and that if you left now while you still are attractive you might find that person?

I think it was a big mistake to fess up to the affair, because now in her mind you owe her. You need to spell it out for her. "I am disappointed with our lack of sex and I'm not sure I want to live like this. I love you. What can we do to relight the flame?"

You have probably done this, but I suggest turning up the volume before you make any decision.

Of course this advice is coming from someone who's life is a mess too so, really, I just hope it works out for you.

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