Is it salvageable? ( Or even worth it)

by Wendy
(Ohio)

Wow, where to begin? I guess at the beginning, right....I met my husband when I was 18 years old (he 28). I was a senior in high school and began to work for him. I truly disliked this man in the beginning and actually looked forward to his vacations from work so that I wouldn't have to see him him.


after several months...he lightened up or I learned to decipher his behavior and moods and acclimate better to him. We became friends (not romantic) as I had never been with a man and he was married, of course. Over the next year we talk only at work and it's a great friendship and he tells me one day " I think you know more about me than both of my other wives combined (yes he was married twice before me), red flag right?

I don't know when things changed but they did, and I became the object of his affection (still not romantically involved). He becomes jealous of the time I spend with my male friends and is interested in me in all aspects...he wants my opinion, to know how I spent my weekend, the relationship I have with my parents. So you see the relationship is becoming one of mutual respect and admiration...this is when things get a lot more complicated. Jokes are made sexual advances made and it happens.

I feel horrible, embarrassed, and know for sure that my dad will kill this man if he ever finds out as I still lived at home until I graduated.
He and I (yes, I know my behavior was wrong but I justified it to myself) continue this inappropriate relationship for two months only at work and then he leaves his wife, not to be with me as we decided he needed a clear head and conscience in order to ensure he has made the right decision.

They were separated for 7 days and he goes back and they go on an impromptu vacation for 4 days to rekindle, I guess. He happened to be on a two week vacation...during their time together, the mutual decision was made to divorce. So they did (amicable, I guess). There were no children born of this marriage (although she had one from a previous relationship) she bought his portion of the mortgage on the home they shared, and they split the marital debt and went on their ways.


Anyway, after his vacation he came to me when I went back to work and asked if we could pick up where we left off, and we did. We began dating, and on two occasions told me "he loved me, but then took it back." I questioned it and he explains that he is hesitate because of his two failed marriages, I get it; I say. I wait patiently for him to say it without the hesitation, he does and we marry 2 years after we began dating (officially), not because I had those young virgin bride dreams, but rather because it's the next step...I'm 20 years old and stand before our city mayor vowing my life to this man and readily agree to put forth all possible effort for better or worse for the rest of my life. He does the same...I held no false reservations of happily ever after...almost waiting for the other shoe to drop as I am THE THIRD wife of this man.

Two years later we own our home, I get pregnant after being told by my gynos that I would never have children. Yay, we are ecstatic, flabbergasted, and omg were going to be parents. This pregnancy ended up being a high risk one that put me in the hospital for 8 weeks (solid) prior to her birth and she was born 6 weeks early. She is in the NICU for 9 days and comes home...Life is grand. This child is the center of our world and she becomes our life...the only thing more important was the plan to be there for her.

I decide I want to give her everything I can so I start working on an Associates degree (part-time) and mostly online. I never thought I'd get lucky again, but 3 years later I gave birth to her sister which again was a horrible high risk pregnancy. After her birth I had a tubal ligation to ensure a third child wouldn't take me away from my girls. I become a stay at home mom to my precious gifts while working on my Associates and later Bachelors degree.

Things go as they should, he and I care for our children, celebrate anniversaries, holidays, and cherish our children.

So anniversary 8 years role by and about six months later we are having a rare disagreement and he tells me that he is not sure whether or not he loves me... (I know right, here we go again) I think if he doesn't love me by now he never will. I make plans to separate as I'm now pushing 30 and am older, wiser, and self-efficient, right. I'm not that kid anymore who has experienced nothing, but rather an educated woman, mother, and determined person.

I am leaving....I'm not trying to please..I talk to him when necessary and continue with our lives, but need time to get it all together to ensure a smooth transition for my girls. Two weeks of this and he informs me that I am being cold toward him and he wants to know what's wrong. Seriously after 10 years together 8 years of marriage and two children and you don't know if you love me, and I'm supposed to be okay with that and go on like nothing is wrong.

He then goes into this I'm sorry I don't know why I said that and no of course I don't want you to leave. I don't want to be a weekend dad. I waited 13 years to have them...I want to be part of their lives.

I'm heartbroken (rightly so, I think), because damn it I deserve to be loved....I shouldn't have to earn it...I'm your wife (the longest one he has had), the mother of your only children, and am everything I'm supposed to be.

The conversation is dropped and we continue on with life, but I'm different, rather indifferent I think. I think he senses this and actually makes a promise to not divorce to our now 8 year old and 5 year old....wow! Is this a ploy, and is he using the love that I have of my girls to not break HIS promise and keep going on together.

We don't spend a lot of time together (he works 50 hours a week and has 10 hours of drive time too). Our girls are our goal, but that's it. We coexist, have sex maybe 1 or 2 times a month...don't really talk about much...don't hold hands, don't touch....don't even kiss goodnight.

I'm still a one-man woman meaning that I have not been unfaithful although I've had the opportunity....we bicker when we do talk....he kinda just perturbs me....we share the same bed, except I am unable to sleep until he goes to work the next day (literally).

I don't forgive him and every time we have an argument, that's where I go....this man doesn't even know if he loves me, I am not going to argue with him, he doesn't want my opinion anyway, right. I love him, hands down love him, but am not sure it's worth working on.

We just had our 10th wedding anniversary in February. Maybe it's me, not him....I'm 31 now (he 41) and wonder if my indifference stems from his love statements or lack there of or have I grown different as I got older. Counseling is not an option on either part and I don't expect miracles just an opinion and not judgement. I have my faults and know if this marriage fails, I'm partly to blame (after all it's my fault if I've made him not love me).

I really just want an outsiders opinion on where to go from here.

Noel's response

From the sound of it, you don't have much of a marriage, but many people are in that situation and decide to stay together anyway, sometimes for the kids, and sometimes because it is harder not to.

You mention that counseling is not a possibility for either of you, so I don't know what else to suggest. You have a decision to make, and no one else can make it for you.

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