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ready to move on, but he is trying so hard

Okay long story.  My husband has, since the beginning of our 14 year relationship, had off again/on again sexting relationships with other women.  Some of them are even friends of ours and have been in my home.  One of them is his ex-fiancée and he would tell her he loves her, wrote her poems (never has for me), etc. We have talked it out a few different times over the years, but it's never completely stopped.  I finally am done.  He says he always chose me, and I'm making too big of a deal about things that didn't matter.  Then in the next breath he tells me he is "sorry for so many things."  He's been cleaning the house, being a better parent to the kids, etc.  But I still can't help but feel done.  I realized two full years ago that we were at the beginning of the end, but this is all still new and raw to him and it's kills me to know that I'm hurting him so much.  He seems to finally be done with other women.  I say that, but it's only been that way for a few weeks.  Which sounds stupid.  But he seems determined this time. I'm sure I shouldn't but now I feel like the bad guy because he is trying like never before, but I just can't anymore.  I can't stand to have sex with him, I don't like him touch me in any way.  I feel like there's a giant wall and I don't even have an interest in trying to scale it.  But it's killing him.

To complicate matters, after I had already decided I was done with this, I met someone.  I know, cliché.  Weirdly, for someone who historically has had extreme problems with anxiety/guilt even when unfounded, I don't feel guilty about being involved with this man.  It's bizarre to me.  I keep waiting for the guilt to come crushing down, but all the guilt I feel is over leaving my husband because I know how much it will hurt him.  My daughter and I went on a trip and she commented over how happy I was.  She started laughing, I said what?  She said momma, you're just so happy!  And it made me sad that there was a noticeable difference when I was away from home.  A few days after we got home she looked at me and said, you know, you're different at home.  I jokingly said gee thanks haha.  And she said no, not in a bad way really, you're just different.  I know what she's seeing though.  I felt almost like a different more powerful/confident version of myself when we were on our trip and among strangers.  It shouldn't be that way.

BUT.  Bottom line.  Husband is trying.  Trying in every way possible.  But the harder he runs toward me, the more I feel like running away from him.  I try to separate out my feelings about my marriage from my feelings for this other man - I believe I'm fully prepared for the possibility of leaving my husband and being completely alone, this other guy has his own life (no he isn't married or anything) and I don't presume to assume I'll become an integral part of it.  It's not that I intend to leave and immediately become more involved with this other man.  I think it's more that he has helped me realize that there are other people out there that would fully accept and appreciate every awkward goofy part of me.  Even if I don't get to have this other man in my life, it still seems like it would be so much better to feel free to simply breathe.
I don't know how to get over the guilt I have because my husband is trying now, and to just set he and I both free.  It's so hard to hurt people we care about, even if it's not in the way they want us to care anymore. It makes it even harder that when we do get on the verge of the actual split, he becomes reactive and vindictive, telling me that "he's tried so at least he knows his morals are intact" and basically telling me I will single handedly be ruining my children's lives. Threw his wedding ring at me and tried to physically take mine off my finger, then called me a cold hearted ***** :( I know he's just feeling desperate and scared and lashing out, but it still hurts.  Then when he feels like there's a chance we could still work it out, he is the sweetest person ever. Which makes the guilt come back. I guess I just need some strangers' thoughts on the entire situation.  
2 Responses
3060903 tn?1398565123
You can't feel guilt for the way he feels about the outcome of his cheating on you. You're right..about generally not feeling guilty cuz you're not doing anything wrong, the way that it seems to be is that he's like a ghost in your life. When he cheated and cheated he killed himself off in your heart , and now he's a ghost. A ghost that should not be in your space anymore, because you deserve to bring the world back into YOUR life and carry on and get over having a cheater in your life.  He's hurtful when his back is against the wall and he perceives the damage that he's done all these years. Whether he capitulates and goes back an forth from sucky to anger sounds like a teenager growing through growing pains - and how else to describe an adult that has never taken his vow to love you and you  only (whether or not you've done so formally,in church or state.

You have a choice, you can go to a marriage counselor and try to get over this, try to get back to where your heart once was - or leave and be happy with your daughter. It seems to me that you owe your daughter the best of you at this point. Maybe when she's off on her own you can revisit perhaps getting back with your husband but not now. Now you and your daughter find laughter together and carry on.
1 Comments
It s more important for you to teach your daughter to put an end to lies and  deceit and stand on your own... and be happy (because your morals  are NOT in question. As I said, you did not cheat, you were feeling sorry for this man and let him stay in your space. You simply were getting on with your life when you dated. The marriage was dead, but you did not kill it, your ex did.

I think that you and he might very well be able to get back to your relationship one day if you choose, however, right now you need to prioritize mother over wife and continue to teach your daughter how not to be an emotional chump. And watching her mother agonize over having to continue to have sex when she no longer wants it, is no life for you and no good example for her.

As for the reality of splitting up -
Tell your husband to get out of the house within a couple of months, If he can handle being respectful of you while he gathers enough cash to start again, IF you need to financially.

I think you need to be honest with him now. It might help for you to go to a therapist , for all intents and purposes to have her/him HELP YOUR EX TO MOVE ON... from the relationship that he ruined and still possibly maintain a relationship with his daughter (if your daughter is his daughter - or wants to be under the circumstances) I guess it would have helped to know the age of your daughter) If your aughter would like to put on hold a relationship with her father i she's a bit older, (16 ) then i think that should be her right. He's done something VERY VERY WRONG TO HER AND HER MOTHER and she shouldn't be forced to see a man that her own mother will not have to deal with.

However I think that if you can be kind and help to let him down easy that would be Godly of you. If you can't do that it's understandable.

You sound like you have a good strong spirit and will be okay. but to have a therapist for you on occasion as the split happens could be important too.

I wish you every happiness moving forward. If you need a friend on here, please know that i'm a friend.
973741 tn?1342342773
COMMUNITY LEADER
Sorry you are going through this whole thing.  

I always worry about things when someone talks about a long standing relationship/marriage issue but they met someone themselves . . .  At the least, it's a band aid.  And I always recommend that one doesn't jump from one man to the next because it rarely works when people do this.  If you want a shot at happiness down the road . . .  take a break from ALL men.  Don't date, don't need a male in your life.  Strong, confident women don't need men or relationship hop.  :))  You don't have to be a habitual lyer as your husband was.  But don't string him along either and keep him I limbo land.  If you are moving, move on.  But again, I wouldn't involve yourself with other men at this point.  Why do you think you lived with this situation for so long with your husband?
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