|Where to Find It at Best Years|
Forum: The Midlife Crisis
So what are your thoughts on issues pertaining to the midlife crisis? Talk to me; talk to each other, or just talk. I look forward to hearing from you.
Please notice the dates below. If you want entries other than today's date, here are your options.
|Midlife Crisis Forum for Other Months|
|April-August, 1997||August-October 1997||November-December 1997||January-March 1998||April-July 1998||August-October 1998||November-December 1998||January-March 1999|
April through August 8, 1997
|"Perplexed," (see Q&A)
you have one huge advantage over me (alice--seeQ&A). your husband says he still loves you. don't take that lightly. my advice to you is continue to show him your support, understanding and love but give him the time and space that he needs. be steadfast. i wish i could turn the clock back and do a few things differently. unfortunately the future of my marriage does not look optimistic. my husband went from, i love you but am not IN love with you, to..i don't love you. i've been lying to myself. he won't even give it a chance. it takes two to make it work, but in the meantime, try to focus on yourself and the kids.
i wish you strength and i will keep you in my prayers.
I'm wondering whether or not I'm currently going through a "midlife crisis." I am unhappy in my marriage for the most part, like to read, cross stitch and enjoy gardening, planting flowers, etc. My husband see these activities as boring....sometimes I just want to run away. Can anyone relate?--Pam
I was very interested to see that a WOMAN wrote in and expressed those same feelings that are "typically" being said by men. We too, hit mid-life and often question ourselves about what have we done, my life really is boring,etc. Gail Sheehy in her book Passages (sorry, I haven't figured out how to underline yet), says that it is exactly at this crucial time that there is a higher percentage of "runaway wives". You midlifers will probably recall that the book Passages by Sheehy was a big item in the late seveties, except at that time we were busy looking at the stages of young adulthood. Right? Anyway, The crux of midlife, male and female, really has to do with our facing our own mortality. Up to now the idea that there is an end seemed so very far away. Anyway, we were busy with out careers, kids, etc. And now???
Friends our own age are getting sick. Our parents are getting old, may have died (like mine), and the authority figures around us look more and more like our kids! Basically, we PANIC and at some level say to ourselves, "but I'm not ready for this!" And thus begins midlife....I mean the crisis. The questioning of who am I, what have I done in my life. I should have taken better care of my body when I had the chance. All of this is a NORMAL stage of development that can be survived without destroying your whole past life. Awareness is key one. Going to counseling is point two if things get too overwhelming. AND....keeping your sense of humur is important.
Remember, we all survived the teen years, and think about what pains in the neck we were to those who loved us! This is another developmental stage. Let's learn from it and start enjoying our new found freedoms. But don't be too proud to go for help when you feel totally overwhelmed or feel like you're in foreign territory.
Best Wishes to you. Susanne
I am a Christian who is also dealing with a husband who's in severe mid-life crisis. I have received much comfort and insight from Jim Conway's book entitled Men in Midlife Crisis. I recommend it to you. God has been a very real strength in my life during this time. Pray for His guidance. He wants your marriage to work - that is His will. The two of you (meaning you and God) can handle this difficult time. Bless you.
glad to hear you recommend jim conways book. i just ordered it today. i'd be interested to know what your situation is with your midlife husband, if you care to share that information. it may help others. i too am a christian woman and have relied on my faith, family and friends to get me through this horrible time. it's so helpful to have a forum like this. somehow knowing that you are not the only one helps a bit.
p.s. i found a wonderfully inspirational tape to listen to in the car. whitney houston's sound track to "a preacher's wife". i find that i can't listen to the radio much...it makes me too sad. this tape has helped me on my hour long commute to work each day! i recommend it to all.
I sent a previous message which I signed 'perplexed'. My husband has decided that we should participate in marriage counselling to see if we can save our 22 year marriage. I am both relieved and grateful...also a little resentful that it took this long. I feel sorry for him (just a little) because the counsellor seemed to pick on him a lot during our first session. We have received homework assignments and we have to go on two four-hour dates this week. Anyway, we even had dinner after the session. I have been patient these last two months as he has taken counselling and moved out of the house. He says that my attitude went a long ways in convincing him that maybe our marriage was worth trying to save.
So... to anyone facing the same situation...dont't get mad or angry. Keep your cool! Phone your friends. Go out, take care of yourself, remember your hobbies. When he phones, tell him about all of the things you are doing, but remain calm, neutral and interested in what he is doing. He might come chasing that interesting woman he married.
I am 'perplexed". I would like to thank both Alice and Paula for their responses. Alice, I am trying to be both responsive and understanding. I have not gotten exceedingly angry with him, nor have I closed the communication doors. We talk every day and we have breakfast once a week. Thankfully, accordin to him, this approach has worked. We are now taking counselling together. We now have the assignment of spending two date nights together. We'll see how this progresses. So far, so good. Paula, thank you for your words of encouragement. I have been going to church. God has been a real consolation. I have even gone so far as to write down some of the words of the sermon to read to myself when I am feeling down.
Thank you both...................Wally
Mike is absolutely right when he says that this man is in a mid-life crisis and I also agree with his recommendations that you end the flirtations asap. However, I DO have one additional suggestion, and that is to print up some of the articles, questions and answers that are in this website and present it to him as something that you thought was interesting and were looking for an opinion on. If you just present the information and say that you think he needs it, he will most definitely not read it. If you make him feel like he's doing it for you....well, he won't be able to read it quick enough! The point is that maybe he will become slowly aware that he is not the only one going through this. Of course there is the other side of the coin that says that he won't be interested to "hear" anything about midlife crisis, cuz that would mean that he has to address this issue at this point. But it's worth a try.
Also I suggest that not only you and your husband ,if you can get him to, seek out counseling as Mike suggests to save what you now have. I also think it would be great if you speak to your "friend" and suggest that he seek counseling assistance. He probably won't agree immediately, thinking or saying that he has no problems...his wife does, but there IS a slight chance that he will listen to you since he does want to please you at this point.
You are a very astute person by the way to pick up on this issue so early on with this man. Most young women are not as enlightened as you.
A very insightful and encouraging response to Just Wondering. I'm glad you sent it. I felt like I was being pretty hard on her, but since sheis 27 (the age of my oldest girl) and I'm 48 (almost the age of her midlife romance), the parent in me replied with some stern advice. She also needs the encouragement. Thanks for sending it.
Reading your Q&A forum certainly triggered lots of thoughts. I faced my "midlife" crises quite a while ago (which, I suppose if it really was a MIDLIFE crisis - I don't have far to go!). Basically in my mid 30s I 'ran away' (so to speak) from the need to 'grow up'. Fortunately, my wife stuck it out, we BOTH sought therapy (for different reasons, though the result was the same), and through a lot of work and prayer, we're still together.
We'll celebrate our 27th anniversary this year. Now that we've passed that moment (which seems like it happened to someone else now), and as we begin to approach our 50s, we are becoming not only USED to the idea, but are looking FORWARD to the concept of being 'mentors' and 'resources' for the next generations. There is nothing sadder to me, than someone who can't get past the fact that they're not 21 anymore (wasn't all the good for me anyway!). We've learned to live our lives as we ARE, not as we WANT to be - and life is so much sweeter and fuller.
It would be my wish that everyone who is going through this 'crisis' understand that any transition is painful, but that it's not the RESULT that matters so much as the grace with which you MAKE the transition. You may not end up on the other side of 'mid life' the same person or in the same place, but if you make the trip with style, you will be a BETTER person for it.
So - enough old fogie stuff - back to the real world
i am so very happy for you that your husband has agreed to marriage
counseling. i must admit i am a bit jealous as my situation has taken a turn for the worse. i found out last week that there is "another woman" in my husband's life. he claims it's not physical, but either way, he is having an "emotional affair" at the very least and has crossed over the line.
i wish i had pushed the counseling route several months back when he was open to it. now i'm afraid it's too late. my advice to you is don't back pedal on the counseling, don't let him talk you out of it once things seem better.
good luck and god bless.
Thanks for the words of encouragement, but I think it will be a long time before I can breathe a sigh of relief. We went to our first counselling session and were given a homework assignment. We were to spend 4 four hour dates together before our next session. We went outside after the session and set up the times. The first date venue was my choice. Then, my husband phoned up and explained that he had forgotten about a camping trip he was supposed to take with colleagues. So I told him how I felt about this, and he went camping. He phoned me upon his return and said he'd come back to spend the day with me. He came....slept for three hours...cleaned his camping gear....took a walk with me and left because he was tired. So much for the whole day. I phoned him at home and found out he was having Chinese food with friends. So, I got mad and went out with friends myself. So...don't be jealous...my husband is also still back-pedaling.....Perplexed
Don't forget that change comes slowly. My own midlife marital crisis lasted about one and one-half years, and it was another two before our relationship developed the richness that it now has. I also remember how some people (not my wife) were constantly down on me, doubting that I was sincere about wanting to change. They were wrong; it's just that my actions didn't always follow my intentions. I don't want to offer you false hope here. Some people don't change. But the other side of the coin is that many of us do, but we do it SLOWLY. . . Hope this helps some.
sounds like you are a bit discouraged. i agree with mike's advice about patience but in the meantime try to help yourself. everyday is a struggle for me but i am TRYING to be pro-active in reaching out for help for myself. i have joined a support group that will begin next month for separation and divorce. although we are not truly separated and i don't want a divorce, there is an "emotional" separation. probably the most painful of all to deal with. you are still a step ahead of me in that there is still some willingness on your husband's part. although not enthusiastically, but still it's there. have you considered if there could be someone else in his life? i hope not and this may not be the case for you, but i was convinced there was not another woman and guess what! 2 weeks ago ifound out there is. He claims it's not a physical relationship but someone he has fallen in love with. they have so much in common he says,but he even says she is alot like me (that did not comfort me in the least). what i am struggling with now is trying to live under the same roof with this man. i feel so betrayed and foolish. he will soon be taking an over the road job and i feel it's best that there be space between us. the tension is too much and unhealthy. He even suggested that we live together after the divorce (which for him is a foregone conclusion). anyone have any thoughts on what the odds are that this "affair" will last or if i should hold out any hope that he'll wake up and smell the coffee once he's on the road? we have (had) a beautiful loving family up until a few months ago.
perplexed, stay strong and put on your fighting gloves, but with dignity!
Hey Everybody. Please visit our new Questions and Answers Page, and offer whatever advice and encouragement you can to three new guests with husbands in crisis. Thanks---Mike
The things that you enjoy are important too! Don't stop doing these things: gardening, cross stitching, gardening, and planting flowers. Your husband may be jealous of the time spent on these activities. Perhaps, you could try something that he enjoys doing(golf, hunting, bicycling, watching football, etc). Then he could try something that you enjoy. It is fun to share different interests. If you were both interested in the same things, your marriage would get boring. I like to shop for tires with my husband. He entertains my waiting piano students. He gets tired of piano music all the time, but he likes to listen to me play. I hope that things will go better for your relationship.
Dear Mike, Paula, and Alice,
It is so comforting to have support in this. No, I'm absolutely sure that there isn't another woman involved. If there were, I guess I would have to decide whether or not I loved him enough to wait it out. Anyway, today was our second counselling session. My husband, again, was confronted by the therapist. We were both told to listen to our gut instincts...our intuition. We were told that our emotions and our head have to work together and that we can't go on keeping our feelings to ourselves. We were told that it was deceitful and it didn't do any good to keep these feelings to ourselves. We have both been trying to protect each other's feelings, but our therapist said were just making things worse.
He also said that at the root of my husband's aversion to intimacy (touching, kissing, talking out feelings, sex) was a fear of something. He said that my husband shouldn't try to think about this because his fears wouldn't emerge, for him to examine them, if he thought about them or tried to analyze them. They needed to be felt. So, we will have breakfast together on Sunday and maybe have a date later on in the week before our next session.
If nothing else, these sessions are giving me a stronger sense of myself...and I've joined a 'tai chi' class and have entered my garden in a gardening contest. Life goes on and hope springs eternal.
Thank you all, Perplexed
July 1, 1997
I am a woman reading about affairs. Its very interesting that as a society who seems to need the family intact doesn't seem to realize that as a human animal we are doing exactly what nature has intended for us to do. I thoroughly believe that men especially need to find younger women. Society as a whole considers it a taboo, but the idea is to procreate and older women can't do that on a regular basis so men need younger women. Of course we need to call it something, and we need to be politically correct so we say men who have affairs, its their midlife crisis, and the women who have affairs sluts. Its the old societal double standard. Men and women have been doing this for centuries. Its human nature!
July 2, 1997
Dear Perplexed, Well yours sounds like my situation a year and a half ago.I came home for lunch on day and he said he thought we should seperate. We had grow apart and let things just go to far. He refused counseling(there was nothing wrong with him) he swore there was no one else,SURPRIZE there was , I had suspected her for 9 yrs and he had assured me they were just co workers. He too stayed in the house with me for 4 months, it was hell.My advice is to send him on his way, if he is not willing to work on your marriage,with him there and a constant reminder to you of the loss, keeps you from the stages of grief, loss and the chance to begin YOUR new life. Once I got him out (he was waiting for his and hers house to close) I went through the grieving process that I think we all have to go through.I hid with my grief in my garden and redecorating and crafts. I cried ,vented,screamed and then I grew.....I now relish being alone.The peacefulnes, my independance. I am now moving 300 miles away,sold my house,quit a job I detested and enrolled in college. I am scared to death,but I feel it's my second chance to MY LIFE.Good luck to you,get him out he sounds like he wants the best of both worlds,for your sake get on with your life it does get Better. Peggy
July 4, 1997
Hi Peggy; I thank you for your concern, but I think you have me mixed up with someone else. There is no other woman and my husband is out of the house right now. We are in counselling--just had our third session, which was a real tear jerker. It seems that my husband has some unresolved fears that have been eating away at him for years. We're working on it, and he has asked me not to give up. So, right now, I am cautiously optimistic. Perplexed
July 8, 1997
This response is to the women who says that she's been reading about mid-life crisis, etc. She says that it is human nature for men to want younger women to pro-create regularly since older women "can't".
Her observations may be true as it relates to "animal" instinct and behaviors. We are after all part of the "animal" world. However, the behavior that is described is not acceptable on a SOCIETABLE basis, or as part of the socialization or developmental process. This is why there is so much confusion and pain during this stage.
Midlife quite simply is when we realize that youth is leaving, goals have not been accomplished and finally getting in touch with our own immortality. What happens in long term marriages, or relationships, all of a sudden one of the partners (yes, it can be the woman too), looks at their spouse and "sees" them as getting older. Perhaps "matronly"? With that comes the realization at some level that they too are getting older. Thus, the best way to hide from that realization is to have someone younger pay attention to them, listen to them, tell them what they want to hear....mainly that they are still wonderfully sexy and desirable, etc. In short, hide from their own maturity process.
This person sounds like she's angry at something. Sounds like there are some unresolved issues that may need to be addressed. Are you perhaps one of the "younger" women? Or the "other" woman? Just curious. Susanne
July 15, 1997
I have writing to you on and off for about three months now. Today, my husband and I finally got down to the real issue, after three counselling sessions. It turns out that my husband left because he still loves me, but the passion is gone. He feels differently. He wants to save the marriage, but doesn't know how. Also, his feelings are not changing eventhough we are spending more time together. Is there anything I can do? He says that we wouldn't have gotten this far if it weren't for the way I am handling the whole situation. But, I would really like to have some suggestions on ways to rekindle the wonderful marriage and love we had for over twenty years.
Here is a column I did on a similar subject ("Making Marriages Last"). Maybe it will help. I do sympathize. My wife and I went through a time (in midlife) when she didn't have the feelings anymore (wasn't sure she ever did). We are both sure now.--Mike
Before reading the next letter, you might want to check out Just Wondering's first letter and my response as well as other messages from her on this page and the guest registry.
Hi, I am "Just Wondering"
Ï wanted to let you know that I have finally told the other man that I am not ready to give up on my marriage. It was a very difficult thing to do, but it was the right thing to do. He had said that he had fallen in love with me and would give up everything for me, but I just know that he is suffering aand that I was a convenient escape from the miserable life he was living.
My husband and I are talking a lot now, and although he still says he doesn't understand me, we both still love each other and have decided to try harder. Communication is absolutely vital, to any relationship, and I only wish everyone could learn that lesson. It's not easy to communicate, but people must learn how to master the art.
I have encouraged my "friend" to really talk to his wife and maybe they could work something out, but I know he's not really trying. I want to help him be happy, but I can't do everything I guess. He has to want to be happy with her, not me.
It was a bit uncomfortable at work at first, it seems as though I ran into him around every corner, but he can say hi to me now without cringing.
I have not told my husband about him, but the guilt was enough punishment. If anyone out there is considering an affair, please take it from me, don't give up so easily. It just isn't worth it. If you are truly unhappy, and have exhausted all other avenues, you may need to part ways. Cheating on another person is just plain mean.
Thank you for all of your support.
Now signed, Feeling Much Better
"Feeling Much Better"--Susanne was right; you are very mature for your years. I'm proud of you. You made a tough choice for the sake of both yourself and others.--Mike
July 23, 1997
Hi, An update is in order, now. My husband went for an individual counselling session today. Afterwards he told me that he couldn't go on. He wanted an official separation or a divorce. Of course, I was stunned. We called our counsellor right away and he cleared his calendar for us. We wound up in counselling, either individually or together, for over five hours. The outcome was that our counsellor feels that my husband is making a mistake and sometime in the future he will regret his decision. My husband says he doesn't have anymore feelings for me. Our counsellor said that judging from his actions, my husband had disabled his emotions because of past hurts, etc. I learned so much in this session. We love each other and yet we did not communicate with each other. We love each other and yet when we complained to each other it was often not for reasons flowing from love. Some of our actions were often not motivated out of love. Our counsellor asked both of us to think of our actions. Our actions should be motivated by love and no other reason. So, now, I have removed myself from the situation..out of love for my husband. He needs to know that he is free to leave or free to stay. I hope he decides to stay for both of our sakes. Perplexed
July 27, 1997
My husband will be 46 in a few days. Our oldest daughter married this year. Our other children are in college and are away most of the time.He had a affair, that I learned about last November. He still lives with me and I guess we are trying to work things out.We went to a therapist for a while and then I went by myself, he's not much on sharing his feelings( even before the affair). He tells me everyday he loves me,but in my heart there is something different! My question is one day he really wants to make our marriage work and the next day he wants to run away. What do I do on the run-away day?. Let me say he hasn't gone anywhere on those days he just wants to, he always comes home. What do I do with the fear I live with everyday that today is the day he want come home? And with what I've read this is classic "mid-life crisis"!! I'm not expecting any answers just thanks for listening and letting me read about others, it helps!
August 2, 1997
Hi Mike...Here is some more on my saga. My husband has now started drinking again. He was sober for 19 years and is having an affair with a girl he knew when he was in the service. He went to see our son over the weekend and took his romance with him. Our son came flying home to see what was going on. I found his vehicle and unfortunately did some damage to a window which I am very sorry for and very ashamed.
This is to Marcy. We have been married for 23 years and four months ago my husband just left one day. We went for individual and pair counseling. He said almost the same words that your husband did. He loved me but was not in love with me. He didn't know for how long he had been feeling this way. He was not having an affair, as was suggested in this column to both you and me. Sometimes, without the wife being aware of it, the husband goes through emotional changes which he thinks he can handle himself. My husband wants us to separate formally with divorce in mind. Our counselor told me that I had nothing to be ashamed of -- I had done everything possible and my husband was just not willing to commit. So, my advice to you is that there are plenty of women going through the same thing as you are. Keep the lines of communication open, but keep in mind that your husband may decide to leave for good. In that event, you need to be strong, which means develop your interests, go out with friends, and be sure you have individual counseling. I know how you are feeling, and my prayers are with you.
Perplexed--You make an important point that I'm glad you brought up. It's dangerous (and not very smart) to suggest that everyone's situation is the same (and I plead guilty if that's what came through in my response to Marcy). I hear from so many (women and men) whose spouses are acting like Marcy's (and, in their cases, another person is involved) that I get suspicious of similar scenarios. Thanks for reminding me and other readers that things aren't always as they appear.--Mike
August 4, 1997
hello mike, it's been a while since i've posted here and wanted to give you an update on my situation. unfortunately, things are worse. no change in my husband's attitude and he is still living here in the house. things are quite tense. he is planning his "move" to another state and openly discusses his "relationship" with his friend, who just happens to live in the state he is planning to move to.
the good news is i am slowly starting to get some strength. it's a very slow, painful process but i am beginning to make some decisions. one is that i will no longer be a doormat for him. i have calmly asked him to move out. he is resisting, saying we can't afford it, but i'm sure we can figure something out. my health (both physical and mental ) are at stake here. i've lost almost 30 lbs. and have a hard time concentrating at work and lord knows i haven't been the most attentive mom these past several months. i feel so taken advantage of and humiliated by his taking these trips to her state, under the pretense of job hunting and real estate hunting. enough! i've spoken with both the kids privately and explained what i plan to do and why i must do it. i know this is extremely painful for them, but they both admitted they are tired of the tension and feel it is only a matter of time before he leaves anyway. who knows, perhaps this will wake him up..although i am not counting on it.
i would like to take this opportunity to thank you so much for putting me in touch with susanne beier. she and i have been in constant contact via email and phone. she has truly been my godsend, giving me lots of practical advise to survive this crazy, painful time. she's a feisty lady with a lot of personal experience. i thank god everyday for her, my family, my close friends and for resources like your web site. without my faith in god i don't know how i would have gotten through the past 9 months. when things get out of control and i feel as though i just can't handle it anymore, i take my wonderful mother in law's advice..."throw it up to the Lord!". just envision you are putting your problems, your pain, your fears, everything on a big platter and hand it up to Him and say, HELP! i'm putting this in your hands because i don't know what to do.
mike, thank you for this forum. i wish you continued luck with your PHD studies. i know you will be a great success. don't know how you are juggling all this. your family must be incredibly supportive, especially your wife. you are helping so many people and it is truly appreciated. "alice"
Hi Alice--Thanks for the kind words. I too have found Susanne a godsend. And I've also appreciated the way you find time to respond to other guests on this web site.--Mike
August 6, 1997
Dear Confused, (see the Q & A II Page)
I am a 40-year-old female. I read your question and thought of having a little discussion with you. I am also sailing in the same boat with you of course mine is little different from yours.
About 6 months back I got attached emotionally to a man in my office. Of course my attachment was entirely different and I wanted to have a Brother/Sister relationship with him. My brother lives 36,000 miles from me. I miss him a lot and I have an in-depth feeling for him. When I was going through some difficult times in my life I came across this man. He became my motivation. I started developing brotherly feelings for him. Unluckily I got transferred to a different office. Still dealing with the feelings. From that day to Today I have been crying. There is nobody to dry my tears. In next few days I will be sending a question to this site. Almost wrote the question tore it off since this is the first time ever I have to write about my family. I never spoke about my family to anybody in 20 years of my marriage. It is against my ideals. What to do Should I send the question Should I not? If I write I feel as if I am doing some disgrace to the family. If I don't write I am not going to get peace of mind. What should I do?
I also feel the same way as something missing in my marriage. I don't know what it is. I love my family a lot. They are my heart and soul. I don't know when that something is going to be filled. I am waiting for that day.
It looks from your question you love your family a lot. Nothing is wrong with you. It is easier to get attached emotionally than to get detached. It takes time. The Family is the most vital entity in the world. Everything is going to be alright after a while. I admire your honesty about your feelings. 11 years of marriage will not fade away. This is the time you have to be more strong. Its good you are going for a vacation. Try to spend as much time with your family as possible at this time. You are definitely going to focus on your family and to the important things in your life. Give yourself a little time. My advise for you to not to tell about your new emotional feelings to your wife. I told about my emotional attachment to my husband my marriage almost fell apart Although I had a brotherly attachment my husband never understood my feelings. If you ever feel like talking about your emotions you can write to me. You have to deal with your emotions in such a way that it would not interfere with your beautiful relationship with your wife. I always define a relationship as caring, loving and understanding one. My relationship with my husband was lacking in understanding and hence he never understood my feelings and was ready to throw away the 20 years of marriage.
good luck and god bless. let us know how you are doing. I wish you happy vacation. Let this vacation greet you and your family with all beautiful things.
Have you told your wife or haven't you? I never kept anything from my husband. I decided to tell about my feelings to him thinking that he would understand my feelings and told everything but he took everything in the wrong sense and never understood my feelings. Don't do the same mistake as I did. Deal everything separately without interfering with your beautiful married life. Don't try to loose the trust that your wife has on you by letting her know. Without even letting your wife know you can get out of this situation with the people like us. I am going to give you all the support and all the help that you need to get out of this situation. You can count on that. Good luck
'til I find you again
August 8, 1997
I read your response today and feel I should give you an update. I found out 3 days ago M. is having an emotional affair with someone who is in the same career he is, but they have only seen each other about 3or4 times. He is purposely distancing himself from her, she does not want to get involved because he is married, but they both wish they could be together. He says this is not the first time he has been attracted to someone else and that he feels that maybe he was never meant to be married: committed to one person. I feel we are soul-mates and do not feel complete without him, although I realize I must face that possibility.
We are still living together (for financial reasons) but plan to separate. I think my staying will only make the situation worse. I encouraged him to keep seeing her on a social level (I think the attraction will die out given time),but he says its too painful. We are still seeing a counselor and talk a lot on our own but I am experiencing a great deal of hurt and anger that he is forcing me to turn my life upside down(We live two states from family, We must move out of our current home, and I have to find another job)because HE doesn't feel like being married anymore. I must say he is very upset that he is behaving this way but feels he cant hide his ambivalent feelings anymore.
IN answer to your question, I am 29 and we have no children. I feel for now divorce is out of the question and just want to give time and space to the situation, but I know he is thinking about it. I have told him he can do whatever he pleases while we are separated, but i think he feels uncomfortable with that because technically he will still be married, and he wont pursue anything physical while we're married. I am at a loss. Am I doing the right thing?
In Pain (for Susanne's answer, see the August 11 entries)
It should be a really painful time for you. Susanne has advised you in many ways. You would be always in my prayers. At this time god might have closed all the doors but he will have left a window open for his children. Let me pray god to give more strength to you and to your son. Here is a little blessing for you and for your son.
May your troubles be less
'til I find you again
Mike, when you said release my husband to sort out his feelings, exactly what did you mean?? Also, I have asked him during this whole thing and he, and his counselor have told me that he has never had an affair and that there is no one else.
How does he find the "want" to recover the lost feelings and if he does want to... what does he do to recover these lost feelings?
He has been going to counseling (although it doesn't seem to be on a regular basis) and he said he is trying to figure out what he wants. He and the counselor claim this "not knowing love" or "can't be happy" is somehow from relationships or things that have gone on in childhood and in the past. He seems to be more open to conversations and "trying" - but is still so cold and distant. Won't touch me.
It is so hard when he is so cold and distant. I have no emotional or physical support in the relationship. I am unhappy. Am I stupid to think it stands a chance - should I just get out now? What inspires him to "wake up and realize the value of what he stands to lose?" This has been since May. Realistically, how long does figuring out/recovery take. If I am to give it a fair chance, keep the doors open... what am I looking at?
Is this midlife crisis??
Thanks Mike for talking, sharing with me.
Marcy--I'm afraid I'm getting over my head here: remember, I'm not a counselor.
By releasing your husband I mean don't prod or push him. Take care of yourself and let the other (his feelings and actions) take care of itself.--And if I wanted to recover lost feelings, I think I would do the things one does "if" he has these feelings (walks together, romantic meals, little notes, etc.). Feelings seem to follow actions as often as actions follow feelings.
I have no answers for your last questions. Every person is unique, as is every situation, and you have to find your own answers. I do encourage you to reach out to others: friends, family, a professional counselor, a support group, a church maybe. None of us get through these things alone.
I wish you well. Keep in touch.
Dear Mike- I have gone on a diet and have lost 10 pounds, have seen a counselor that pointed out to me that I have been emotionally abused for probably all of my marriage, and started attending Alanon since my spouse was a recovering alcoholic (sober for 19 years). He drank since he abandoned his daughter and me. He calls the house just about every day and has been here when I have not been here. I did finally have the locks changed. He says there is no chance for reconciliation since I broke the window of his vehicle. He seems so mean and it seems like all he wants to do is continue to destroy me. I have seen a lawyer and have not yet signed papers. I am having so much trouble with accepting this whole ordeal. I don't know how much more I can stand.
Hi Alice, Good luck to you. I'm sorry that you are going through so much pain. You do, however, sound stronger. Keep it up, and thank-you for your kind words when I first started writing to this forum. Perplexed
To continue with the midlife crisis forum for August 1997, click here.