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Avatar universal

Do I really love my wife, is there any point in me continueing?

I've been married for 20 years now to a wonderful, professional, very loving woman. If I start at the beginning I would have to say I didn't want to get married. I was practically engaged at the time to a girl I didn't want to be with forever and my (now) wife (who I had a crush of for several years) entered the picture and provided the escape I needed.
Just over a year later I was married, I felt like it was expected of me to get married and the right thing to do. I enjoyed my new life, I don't know when it all went south on me though...some are probably saying "day one idiot", and you're probably right. Sex in the beginning was hot and frequent.
Anyway we made a life together, I never argued, yelled or hit my wife.. my wife doesn't cook, grocery shop, do any banking whatsoever, doesn't put gas in her car...and I found outlets for my frustrations. I enjoyed trips to the store, gas station...I'm a big flirt! I love porn and to masturbate. Houses, moving, pets, jobs and life took over.
About 10 years ago I fell in love with a girl that all's I knew was her name. I was ready to get a divorce at that time but I didn't because I knew it was stupid! But I didn't do anything about my marriage either.... I stuck it out, don't get wrong it wasn't bad it just wasn't completely fulfilling. My wife was completely and unconditionally in love with me!
A couple years later I met another girl who flirted with me and one thing led to another and I had a relationship with for about 8 years without sex until the last 2 years. The sex was incredible, she wasn't someone I wanted to be with forever though. Sex with my wife at this point was almost non existent...it lacked everything, I could no longer maintain an erection it was horrible. I allowed my wife to believe their was something medically wrong, we didn't talk about it but we rarely talked about anything that really matters.
Well, my 'girlfriend' didn't want me to leave my wife but could no longer be the other woman, she's been their before and swore she was done with that life. So the affair ended but we continued our friendship.
Fast forward 2 years...
A couple months ago I met an incredible lady, one thing led to another and I had yet another affair...this was different, she was everything! I truly believe I fell in love with her, I was ready to leave my wife. She seemed completely taken with me as well. I knew that morally this was wrong from her family beliefs, but our relationship seemed so right.
So I tell my wife that there is something (not an affair) and I don't think I'm in love with her...tell her all the obvious things that she hadn't picked up on throughout the almost 20 years. She is crushed to say the least, never having a hint that there was a problem.
Then, my new girlfriend says she can't do it any longer...morality sets in and although she says she loves me its over.
My dilemma is...(I can't believe I'm even saying this) is there anything in my marriage worth trying to salvage? I've spent 20 years in a relationship...I loved her, she is a good friend and she's always been there for me. I have robbed her of another life, perhaps a more fulfilling life...I know that's not fair.
I have told her I had an affair...not 2. I refuse to tell her when and for how long of if she knows the other women...there's no point, I've done enough damage. I've told her everything else though. I don't know that she'll ever take me back...
Is this marriage salvageble?
Where did I go wrong? So I don't do that again!
How do I keep her number 1 and not let the things that pushed me away do it again?

18 Responses
1100763 tn?1264632098
My question to you is, Do you want to make your marriage work because you love your wife and it was just a BIG mistake or is it because the last lady did not want it any more.If you love your wife and want to make it work, tell her everything even if it hurts, It is better coming from you and not someone else.Tell her it was a mistake and I love you and i am willing to do anything to make it up to you. Suggest going  to marriage counseling, Communication classes. You should take it slow so no one get's hurt again. It sounds like you have a good wife and friend please don't hurt her again if she gives you another chance.You will not be able to talk your way out of it if it happens again .     Good Luck ...... Young/gma
Avatar universal
To be completely honest, I don't know what I want! I don't know how real the love for the girlfriend was...it was exciting, new and very wrong! And because I didn't take care of business at home first I managed to mess that up too!
I know I have to pull my head out of my a** first and be honest with myself before I can be honest with anyone else.
686059 tn?1293837427
I think you are very confused in what you want out of a relationship, because once you have it, you turn around and destroy it. What you have done is wrong, inmoral, lack moral values, selfish, selfserving, opportunist, hurting the one that does love you and it has been intentional in secrecy. It's call adultery or infidelity, breaking sacred vows and you know it, because you have been aware of your actions all along. You are the cause of your very own problems and destruction and deterioration of your marriage.  I belive even with reconciliation with your wife, you will turn around a do it again, because you are just not satisfied with one woman and it's the "thrill" of the chase and catch with the new woman, but there are always consequences to every action. Also, you have put your wife at risk for STD's and every other possible desease that is out there.  The conscience has a way of always catching up with people.

Relationships are based on good communication and trust and once broke, extremely difficult to regain or simply never regained making the relationship permanently dysfunctional.  I'm a woman and your wife will never trust you again. She will always, be conscious of your every move, friend, work, time and that is just unfair for her to have to live that way and will change the dynamics of the relationship and who she is as a human being.

I recommend marriage counseling, a priest since you did take sacred vows, confession, IF she is willing to take you back. I hope this is a lesson learned that you NEVER take advantage of someone's good heart or hurt the one who love you.
686059 tn?1293837427
also, adultery (infidelity) is destructive to the very core of family values, family and relationship. If effects, the relationship, self esteem, home environment, work environment (productivity with personal problems), if children are envolved, I consider it abuse (home environment, school, agressive behaviors, destructive to their emotions and future outlook in life and relationships), all families (yours, hers, other woman), friends (you either lose them or they stay away for negative environment and drama)...and I can go on and on. You need help, because you are destroying yourself and your family.
Avatar universal
wow so you wasted 20 years of your wifes life b/c you didn't know what you want? do her the kind thing and divorce her. let her find a man who will love her for the rest of her life. you may say you love her but your actions are drowning out your words. IF you truly loved her you would never have cheated in the first place. you wouldn't be "falling in love" with so many other women so easily.

Avatar universal
You're asking if you really love your wife? You love YOU, Mr Ego-schmeego.
145992 tn?1341348674
Well the one good thing here is you're finally thinking about your wife's feelings and not yours.  It's about time.  What you have done is completely selfish and I can't understand how you claim to love all these different women.  You should have communicated your unhappiness to your wife first prior to starting long term love affairs with random women.  You were obviously looking for attention from other people instead of turning to your wife.  You have to wonder if these women hadn't walked out of your life would you still want to be with your wife.  I think that's the most important thing you need to figure out.  Then I suggest marriage counseling because your wife is going to struggle really hard here.  She has been betrayed in so many ways.  You've had multiple long term affairs.  That's not an easy pill to swallow at all.  After 20 years, she is now thinking that her entire marriage was a sham and that you are not the person she thought you were.  To rebuild this relationship it's going to take a lot of work.  Rebuilding trust is a difficult thing to do.  It may not even be possible.  I think you and your wife can learn to fall back in love again but you have to realize that marriage is hard work and keeping the passion is equally hard.  I don't think you really loved these other women but you got caught up in the newness and the excitment of it all.  Of course the sex was good because it was different and new and exciting because you were sneaking around.  After a while those relationships would turn out just like your marriage because it would get boring and being a routine just like your marriage.  The grass is not greener on the other side and you need to understand that.  Again, think if your marriage is what you really want and think if you can remain faithful throughout your lifetime with your wife because if you know you can't than you need to do the right thing and let her go.  Stop being selfish now.
Avatar universal
Sounds like you may have a sexual addiction. You need to seek council before it is to late/.
303824 tn?1294875001
You have the "grasser is greener on the other side" syndrome and you're finally learning it actually isn't. Of course "new" relationships are always exciting and fun but those too will fade in time and if you ever left your wife for one of those affairs, you'd find yourself doing the exact same thing over and over and over again with the new woman eventually. I hope you're learning a lesson from those mistakes and the key is to not repeat them.

If you and your wife decide to work things out, you need to go to marriage counseling. That will be an absolute must. I would also suggest some individual counseling to work out your sex issues. The marriage can be salvaged but only if you both REALLY want it. If you find that you really don't want to work things out, don't waste any more of your wife's time. 20 years of unhappiness and having a husband that has been cheating is punishment enough.

I hope you find whatever it is you're looking for...
Avatar universal
i agree with MYown also imanaddict you are in love with yourself, and have thoughts for no one else, also no matter where and how many time you cheat the grass is never greener on the other side  jo
Avatar universal
I dont know what you call love but for the last 20 years of your life, you have not shown anything resembling love to your spouse. How many affairs? flirting, porn, jacking off! You sound like you have narcicistic tendencies. Sorry if that offends you, but the only one you have cared about is you. You will do it again the first chance you get and how do you know you have not given your wife hiv or something? Lovin her to death is not the kind she needs. I say let her go for her sake. You still have you, afterall. You said yourself, you do not even know what you want so obviously it is not her.
Avatar universal
Jack remember the ole song OH LORD ITS HARD TO BE HUMBLE just look in the mirrow ans sing this to yourself  that is what you sound like why would your wife even care what you do jo
Avatar universal
Dude, all these people are right.I know exactly how your wife feels right now. I wish i hadnt wasted my time and gotten married, because he acted the same way, i almost thought you were my husband talking. What you really need to know is that it sounds like you want to be a player and not a husband. If you are finding that you have to have numerous relationships to feel fulfilled, then you need therapy. There could always be another woman who can screw you the way you want or cook well, or look so hot, but at the end of the day does she complete you??? can you spend the rest of your life as her partner through all the ups and downs of life??? think about the marriage vows, richer for poorer, sickness and good times and the bad. If that is still how you feel about your wife then go to marriage counseling, but if now, cut that knot so she can go find her a real man. because by the way you are sounding, YOU ARE NOT A REAL MAN, YOU ARE A HORNEY TEENAGE BOY WHO WANTS EVERYTHING BUT IS WILLING TO GIVE NOTHING!!! Sorry, but that is the truth baby.
1294093 tn?1280380036
You are honestly the kind of person who'd be better off dead. You are IN NO WAY WHATSOEVER good enough for your wife.  
1294093 tn?1280380036
You know what, I really don't think you know the first thing about love! If the "love" you feel is real, there isn't anyone else. Other women would be nothing to you. Maybe you've just been using the word love because you're mind works the same way as a childs, if you like someone then CLEARLY you're in love right? You are an idiot. You don't deserve to be with any woman. The fat guy with a plastic face and **** bigger than mine would be a better choice than you.
Avatar universal
My husband and I really don't want to stay married but we do. We live in two different homes. If we broke up it would be to big of a hassle. We moved apart from each other about 43 years ago. The only time we see each other is at tax time.
973741 tn?1342346373
Hi there.  Wanted to welcome you to the forum. This is an older post that you've tacked your comment on.  Odd that you stayed married but have totally seperate lives.  To each their own as I assume financial reasons are the culprit.  Hope it hasn't stopped either of you from living fulfilled lives.  good luck
Avatar universal
For starters, you need to stop looking for greener grass and water your own garden. And stop looking an all the things your wife isn't and start focusing all your attention on all the things she is. People can change and any relationship damage can be worked on if both parties are open and willing to change. But in order for your marriage and your wife to change, the change needs to start with you. Go for counseling and find the source of your need for love and attention elsewhere. You say your wife didn't know, but I can guarantee  you that in some way, she knew. When people have affairs there are "symptoms" so to speak, and it is noticeable. She likely just chose to ignore them and believe that you weren't having affairs. You and your wife need to have serious conversations with a counselor about what's going on and not going on in your relationship if you actually want to fix it. Start by asking your wife what she wants. If she wants to go to counseling with you, if she wants to spend the time working this out and mending the marriage. I don't think your marriage is unsalvageable, but you have some serious work to do and some serious changes to make for yourself and your mentality if you actually want it to work. It sounds like from day one you've always looked for something better than what you have, and you need to figure out deep down where that comes from and what causes you to sabotage your relationships. Focus of your self growth if you truly want to fix your relationship. You've got a lot of work ahead of you and a lot of digging to do, for your sake.
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