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Obsessed Outside of Marriage.
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Obsessed Outside of Marriage.

Its hard to summarize my situation. I've been married 9 years. My wife is 38 and I'm 30. We've an 8 year old. Through-out our time together there has been serious conflict between my wife and my family. I don't put up with either side talking bad about the other, but its seriously hurt my relationship with my mother in particular, and shes seen her grandson perhaps 1 or 2 times a year. One time she visited she and my wife physically fought and it ended up my wife called the cops on my mother. It was very embarrassing, as we live in a very afluent area and cops there for domstic disturbances is unheard of. I've been unhappy for several year in my relationship and my wife and I argue very frequently sometimes several times a week.
I work very long hours and my wife pretty much shops all day, watches our son, does all the household duties. I've been an extremely faithful husband.

I met "C" last year at a profesional conference, and aggressively started pursuing the opportunity to work with her company (I'm a consultant). She was obviously impressed with how much of an expert I am in the field we work in, and she actually needed some help on a current project of hers which I helped with. Our relationship quickly became more than professional we'd have dinner together and I'd buy her gifts, though we never became intimate physically.

The last 6 months my mother has become extremely Ill and I've been covering all of her medical expenses. It has become an extremely sore issue between my wife and I. But "C" on the other hand has been completely supportive of me and even sent flowers to my mother when she was in the hospital.

Now the last month or so I've noticed "C" has been becoming less involved with me and I'm feeling its likely she may be focusing her interests elsewhere, though we still talk once a weekly or so. Whats horrible is that i've become somewhat infatuated with her but have been trying to control myself. I've removed her AIM account from my address book and have to continuously tell myself that I won't contact her that day. Its become a major distraction from my work and i've become emotionally, which for me is very bizzare as I'm usually very stable.

So part of this is that I'm facing that I can't tell the source of my feelings for "C". I do know however that I'm in a very unhappy marriage and I can't stop wasting my time reading relationship advice on this site instead of doing client work. Also the worst part is I've tried so long to build up my life which from the outside would look perfect, And its breaking that perfect illusion that I'm so very afraid to do, despite my unhappiness.

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10 Comments Post a Comment
973741 tn?1342346373
Hm.  Not sure what your question is Chris.  

Basically you wanted to cheat with C and you may or may not have had a physical relationship with her but are now emotionally attached.  You tie this somehow to your bad marriage and am not sure how your mom fits in at all.

Bottom line is this--------- it will most likely not work with C.  YOu met her while married and did the wrong thing by courting her and becoming infatuated.  She may be pulling away because she regrets her actions with a married man (good for her).  She gets no medal from me for sending flowers to your mother-----------  I think that was wrong and you should be embarressed she let your mom in on the secret that you are not a loyal man.  

Anyway, it won't work with C because you met her while married.  Statistically, these relationships rarely ever work out.  Something about knowing that the person WILL cheat if they become unhappy with you is no way to start a relationship.  

(And of course C does not mind you paying your mother's bills-------  she is not living with you.  What does she care?)

Hey, is your son happy?  If so, then your marriage has been a success.  Have you done everything possible to improve it?  Have you gone to therapy, made changes yourself, etc.?  I think you can ask her to contribute financially if your son is now in school full time--have a conversation with her.  That is how things change.  Just growing tired of someone is not reason to divorce.  Issues with your mother are not a reason to divorce either.  I think trying to calm that storm is more reasonable.  You are not helpless in that.  If your mom was out of line, tell her.  If your wife needs help understanding your mother's role in your life, you work that out.  You are not helpless when it comes to these two women in your life. You have to work on it.

If you have worked on the marriage sincerely, then you need to divorce and not date for at least a year.  Then you can reflect on mistakes you've made and how you got to this place so that you do not repeat it.  

Sorry your mother is ill and hope she recovers fully.

Again, not sure what your question is but these were my thoughts on your post. good luck
Avatar m tn
Thank you so much for your opinion. You're exactly correct I have no questions.

I can see now that despite my enthusiasm to be with C, it was still very improper. For some reason I wasn't viewing it as a real affair because of my sincere feelings towards her.
In your opinion, I should definitely not continue a friendship with C, even if it was less intimate?

My son is happy enough, though he sees us argue frequently. He and I have a great time together when we play sports or go out for the day, Rarely do we 3 as a family have great times together however.

I sometimes feel I missed some of my youth, as i was 21 when I had my son and my wife was 29. At that point we were in love, but its hard to remember how happy i must have been. Meeting C who is within 2 weeks of my birthday has never been married and is without children reminds me of the times I missed being single.

I'm not completely obsessed with the relationship with my mother, though I've frequently blamed my wife for their bad relationship. I was raised by my mother as a single parent.
Avatar m tn
I meant to say "I have no EXACT questions". All feedback is welcome.
Avatar m tn
Wow, tough deal with the relationship between your wife and your mother.  I guess that I've never realized how fortunate I am in that respect, as my wife and mother get along.  I'd guess you'd have to take a good look at why there is any resentment.  It could be anything, but I'd just guess that your wife sees your mother as probably controlling and not willing to "let go".  Your mom probably sees your wife as the "woman who tried to take you away".
I'd also guess that this is where "C" comes into play.  

It seems as if "C" was not willing to pass judgement on your mother.  It looks as if you can't have that between your wife and mother, and that may have been part of the attraction.  Relationships that develop on that level are insidious.  They start on a professional level, slowly move towards a personal level, and before you know it there are feelings towards wanting to be intimate..... I really believe that there were no initial personal feelings towards "C", but as the relationship developed, you began to confide in her because you felt you couldn't with your wife or mother.  It happens on a subconscious level, in my opinion.  You begin to confide and she is willing to offer an ear and otherwise offer emotional support..... this is the lab dish where these things develop....

Not being critical of you, but I'd guess that part of the problem lies within you somewhere.  There are some unresolved issues or feelings that revolve around your mother being a single parent.... probably some resentment towards your father for not being around (regardless of the circumstances) and you've developed a protection for your mother.  I think that is natural....

Ugh.... Im kind of rambling.  Trying to cut to the chase, I think some of this is an issue for you to resolve within yourself.  Speak to a therapist before you throw either relationship away.  Let both your wife and mother know that you are going to look for help, and then ask your wife if she would be willing to go with you.  By her going with you, there is a direct benefit there as she may find the area's on which she can work on herself on a personal basis while also showing you the support you want and need.

Taking a real honest look at ourselves can be a real hard thing to do.  Our psyche's do all they can to protect us.  Typical male gender stereo-types come into play here.  "We are strong enough to get through this on our own."  "I don't need any help".  Things like that, and if you'll evaluate either of those sayings, especially the "I don't need any help" you can quickly realize you do.... as you are hear looking for opinions regarding your situation.  Thinking that you "can get through this on your own" is a testament to the strength you have or want to have for yourself.  When evaluating this statement, take a look at the things you've thought you've addressed in life.  You may realize that you hadn't actually dealt with those things, but rather compartmentalized them.  In other words, stored them to deal with them later, and as soon as we can not pay them attention, we eventually forget about them.  In the mean time, I think our ego stores them and uses them for defense.  Your ego probably thinks, "I remember the last time this happened, and it hurt/bothered the heck out of you... so don't let that happen again".

Look into that, and look into yourself.  I'm sorry about your mothers health, so start with your wife.  Again, tell her that you are going for some help and you want to get to the bottom of "why" you and she are arguing.  Ask if she will come eventually too.  By putting you first with a therapist, it may soften the blow when you ask her.  Show her that you are willing to work on this.  As you work on this, you may realize that there may always be this rift between your wife and mother, but there is a workable solution.  Your wife and mother don't need to be best friends.... it would be great and you'd be the benefactor of the best situation in the world.  But for the sake of all things, they may find a way to be mutually respectful towards each other for your sake.  Mom can see your son and the wife can have a "spa day" or vice-versa.
973741 tn?1342346373
Hi.  Well,  I think it is really risky to have a friendship with C since you are infatuated with her.  How can you now turn that off easily and 'just' see her as a friend.  It would be difficult and there would be an undercurrent to that kind of friendship that would undermine it.  And you overall.

And as you are a professional, I will tell you that in many work environments, it is unprofessional to get yourself in such a situation with a client or someone you work with.  Grounds for firing in some establishments.  It's the stuff of movies but often makes for very bad business.  

So, I do think you only have a business relationship with C.  Whether you leave your wife or not.  C will distract you from the hard job of figuring out your own life.  

And figuring out your life needs to be done.  What to do about your marriage, I don't know.  I still encourage you to work on it and with gusto to make it a happy union.  That is what is best for your child as this is not an abusive relationship and while you argue----  it is not volatile.  All couples argue and doing so in a healthy way is key.  Trying to not do that in front of our children is important.  And if we do, making it more communicative than combative is a good role model for them.  

Does your wife want this marriage to work?  Have you two done counseling together?  I would try these things first.  Then decide if you can save things.

If you can't, then you can think of romance outside of this marriage ----AFTER waiting a bit to clear your head.  Otherwise, you do things like strike up an emotional romance with someone you work with and become infatuated.  THAT person seems great because they are different than what you have now.  But really finding a mate takes being on healthy emotional footing to start with.  You are not in that place right now as you are tied to someone else.  So you need time to be on  your own without a significant other before trying to find a new one.  That is also better for your son who could possibly never like your partner if he believes she is the reason you left his mom.  That cooling off period is important for kids too.  
good luck
Avatar m tn
First off - I really have been getting emotional relief and clarity from the perspective you give. I'm feeling much better and things feel more clear. My infatuation because of "C"s different lifestyle makes complete sense.

The fact that brice mentions so much my relationship with my mother, is very insightful, as my wife says similar things all the time, though I don't take her oppinion very seriously in respect to my family.


My wife has indicated that she wants the marriage to work, however in the heat of an argument she tell me to get leav and that can persist for several hours.

She gets very controlling about little things, such as recently with the new coffee machine. The last one broke and she got the new one the other day, i was making coffee this morning and couldn't figure out how to operate the new machine. I also had filled too much water in it and it was leaking a bit. I told her i couldn't work the machine and she came downstairs and started freaking out saying that i was breaking the machine and that she doesn't want me to make coffee at the house anymore and i'd have to go to my office to have coffee.

We both know full well that this is just a 5minute fit she's having and that tomorrow I'll make coffee just like she never said anything. After 9 years I've grown accustomed to this type of thing.

However in front of my brothers or other family she's exhibited the same type of bizarre control and its been extremely embarrassing for me. And its weird stuff like if I'm going out with my brother to get something for the house, she'll go into extreme detail about the exact item she wants, the exact store she wants me to goto and exactly how to get there. And it'll be the most stupid thing like cardboard boxes, then if i don't get them from the exact store, i'll have to hear her complain for a good 15 minutes about it, then throughout the next couple days.

Buts it really at a point where i'm constantly indifferent as to how she feels, i completely ignore her emotions probably 80% of the time.  Because of my emotional indifference to my wife our sex life is bad in general. The frequency is once or twice a week, but i never feel closeness and its not very fulfilling for me (nor her either i assume).

As for my professional relationships, I'm actually extremely separate between my personal and work life. The thing that happened with "C" is very much not the way I handle my office relationships.

For "C" i really took on a mentor role on the project together with me as the lead. The project has been over for several months, but we've still  been keeping contact. I see potential in her abilities and I know she doesn't get professional direction from those around her. I'll attempt  to stay within the professional level for the time being with her, like I said she's pulled away from our intimate contact so it might be for the best.
Avatar m tn
Well Chris, the good thing is that your wife did say she wants the marriage to work.  That of course means a lot of work on your behalf, considering the thing with "C".  But, that is a good place to start.

Something I just picked up on from the above post is, your wife seems a little obsessive/compulsive.  Take the coffee maker incident or the fact that she needs you to go to an exact store and basically have each and every move you make lined out for you.  I mean the woman no disrespect, but she has a few issues of her own to attend to.  I used to be a little obsessive about things, and I guess I still am to some degree, but it's not dysfunctional... she on the other hand, if she is going to rant for a couple of days on end, has an issue.  (I remember a boss saying "I don't care how it gets done, just get it done!" .  When the job was done, we filled him in on it and he was pleasantly surprised.)  It has to do with letting go a little bit.  Too many people feel like they have to be in control of everything within their lives, and when we count on others for production, it completely takes us out of the equation.  (Obviously some tasks have to have an order in which to get things accomplished, but going to a store and buying a coffee maker and trying to outline that for someone is overboard.)

And as for the thing with your mother.  I learned so much about myself, my family, relationships, etc. through therapy, man.  The thing with your mother is a protection device.  You don't want bad things said or done to your mother, because she is your mother.  (I'm a 44 year old momma's boy and don't have a problem saying it.)  But with that, I think this really has to do with the dynamics of the relationship between them.  As I stated before, mom might think this woman is stealing her baby and your wife probably thinks your mom wants to control your life..... kind of funny that it is your wife who seems to have a control issue though, eh?

The therapy thing is really pretty easy to get the spouse involved.  A therapist can work as a great mediator if the both of you are at each others throats.  Another thing a good therapist will tell you that this isn't about placing blame, its about correcting behaviors on both of your parts.  It will indeed take some effort on both of your parts as well.  You may find this as a bonding period, or at least it is possible to find this as a bonding period.  What is important to remember is, baby steps.... celebrate the little victories... no big changes are going to happen over night and it isn't realistic to expect that.

With "C".... distance is the key.  Keep it professional if you have to be near each other.  It would work to your advantage if "C" was completely out of the equation.  

Regarding the poser struggle between your wife and mother.  It just doesnt need to be that way.  Realize that you cannot control them and that they can only control themselves individually....  Let them know that you can be there for both of them, but that you aren't willing to be in the middle.  You can be a husband and friend to your wife and handle all of those duties, and you can be a son to your mother and handle that as well.  Keep the two seperate and deal with each accordingly.  If your wife is willing to get help with you, there is plenty of hope.
973741 tn?1342346373
Oh no.  I am totally like that about little things sometimes .  .  . if I care about them.  I see the kitchen as my domain and if my husband puts the spices in the wrong places--------  I don't like it.  I don't throw a fit but then again, I didn't just go out and buy a new coffee machine.  I agree that this type of reaction from her in public is embarressing.  I think that you can talk to her about this and ask her to wait until you are alone to complain about something.  That you are private and would prefer to keep squabbles just between you.  I think that is legit and it takes some self control on her part.  And also, remember-----  our reactions can be a habit.  Takes time to break them.  

Your wife sounds passionate.  Your closing off yourself to her emotions is actually not healthy for either of you.  If you are business like, unlikely to show emotions, perhaps she may bring that out of you more.  Which is a good thing.  And by your being more open to her, then perhaps she'll have less of a need to be so emotional.  Feeling ignored is lonely.  Your wife might be lonely for a true companion.  

I'm glad that you are not going to pursue things with C and really, I'd limit contact as much as possible.  Your mind may fool you that 'you're just trying to help her with her career' when in actually you are still deep down hot for her.  Not great for working on your marriage.  

Is honest marriag counseling something you would be willing to do for your end of things that aren't working between you as well as for her to work on her things?  
Avatar m tn
The last two weeks its seemed that my wife and I have managed to not get into heavy arguments. Its a shame that I don't have any feelings for her any longer. I don't know if marriage counseling is what i want to do really. I would never really do that type of thing. When i think about getting separated I feel like I'd have a large sense of relief, staying together feels more like it'll just be coasting along.

We still don't sleep in the same room, and i've not interest in it. Originally it was her that didn't want me to be in the same room. Now she frequently asks me why I don't sleep with her, and I say its been that way for 3 years, I'm used to it now.

My wife's bossy personality really has done me damage over the years. Every time I see my family I avoid talking about the emberassment they've witnessed over the years. The thing is at my work I'm extremely respected, and with my family I'm the oldest of my whole generation even. Its completely out of my character to let someone talk to me like that.

The original purpose of making this post was to get "C" out of my head, I know completely shes not the type of partner that would be compatible long term with me. Its mainly that I think she's a much nicer person than my wife and I enjoy being with her much more.

The obsession with "C" isn't healthy for me, as even now I'll have to work extremely late, but i can't concentrate enough to get started. Instead i'm thinking about a conversation I had with "C" earlier today. Plus the conversation was absolutely about nothing romantic in the least, so its even more pathetic.

Avatar m tn
So now, comes the truth. You married an older woman at 21.. whom you probably did all of the chasing because you were enamoured with her. Now, almost a decade into it, you are feeling the monotony of daily life setting in. Now you meet a single woman, your age, with no responsibilities who is doing allll the things that you look back and see that you did not do.. and you now want in on the action. And in order to convince yourself that you have a good reason, you have gathered up all of the bad things and problems in your marriage and assembled them into a great big excuse to proceed with an affair. Whether emotional or physical, an affair is just that.
If your problems with your wife were that great - then you wouldn't have needed "C" to come along in order to see it.
Funny how humans can derive excuse from any problem in their life and turn it into justification into doing whatever they want to, with no regard for anyone else.
And now the bottom line: You can get with "C", and you bet your bottom dollar, there will be problems. Maybe not the exact same ones as you have with your wife, but it's a risk you would take. They may be bigger, smaller, more frequest, different in nature, and you may acquire new ones ( child support, bad feelings with your ex-wife, regret) but yes, with "C" you will have a new set of problems. Will you then proceed in life turning those into reasons for doing as you wish?
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