Am I having an early mid life crisis or am I just a cold hearted bastard?
(Montreal, QC, Canada)
I'm 36 years old, married to my college sweetheart (Together since we were 19 years old) have two amazing boys (7 & 4) and all I can think of for the past two years is getting the heck out of my home and living alone (of course with shared custody 1 week out of 2) I care deeply about my wife. She is a great person, an amazing mother, we get along very well, sex is present on a regular basis. The problem is I don't think I'm still in love with her. When we have sex, I don't really enjoy it.
I've never experienced living alone, never lived my life like a bachelor i.e. traveling, hooking up with different woman just to live it up. Never been able to do things the way I wanted to do things or when I wanted to do it. I would love to experience life a different way and with different people. I would love to experience the butterflies in my stomach of a new relationship or the love of another woman.
Am I being a cold-hearted prick?
I don't know that you are being cold-hearted, but perhaps a bit naive, thinking you can find what you want by 'going on your own'.
I believe what you are looking for is inside you, not in the arms of another woman. Looking outside for what can only be found inside is a mistake many men and women make.
Carl Jung said that all men have an 'inner feminine' that he
called the anima, and women have an 'inner masculine' he called the animus.
There are four metaphorical feminine archtypes: "Eve" - the original Mother (as in Eve of Adam and Eve), who is our nuturer, etc. when we are young; "Helen" - the beautiful, alluring young woman who we fall in love with (who incidentally often has traits similar to our own mother); "Mary" - as in the virgin Mary, on whom we project all kinds of 'goodness and light', and the idea of purity; and "Sophia", the ancient image of wisdom.
The woman we marry is usually a "Helen" in our eyes - alluring, exciting, beautiful and sexy. As time goes on, and we settle into the routines of work and daily life at home with children, our "Helen" begins to look like "Eve" (i.e. more like a mother than a lover). We begin to imagine the excitement of having, as you describe, the butterflies of a new relationship.
The problem is that no new relationship can carry that exciting energy for very long.
So the challenge, especially at midlife when these feelings often rise up with a vengeance, is to begin to make the 'inner journey', through prayer, meditation, spiritual growth workshops, and perhaps counseling or spiritual coaching, in order to integrate these 'anima' archetypes into ourselves, so we don't project them onto other women.
It is not easy, but it IS possible and even necessary, and far more rewarding and less painful for all in the long run than chasing after the fleeting feeling of 'being in love with love'.