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How many last chances?

Second Chances Called it off but doubting the decision now? Someone wants you back? Let us know about it!

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Old 20th September 2017, 10:38 AM   #1
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Question How many last chances?

My spouse and I have been married for 11 years. We have three children together. For the last several years, Iíve thought about leaving. Iíve been quite unhappy in our marriage, and we have discussed it a couple times over the years. Every time I brought up the issues I had in the marriage, there would be promises that things would change. Iíd ask for marriage counselling, and there would be a promise that things could make things right. It was said we wouldnít have time for counselling because we worked opposite shifts, and we were also tight on finances. I would be made to believe that things would change, that things would get better. There was follow through. Whenever Iíd bring it up, bring up that things are still the same as theyíd ever been, that I was still unhappyÖdepression or stress at work would be to blame. This summer, after months of individual therapy (at my spouseís request, because if Iím unhappy in the marriage I needed to figure out why) I finally got the courage to ask for a divorce. Currently, weíre in marriage counseling, and my spouse is working really hard to try to save our marriage...but Iím already checked out. I find it very difficult to care anymore. I havenít even cried.

Backstory (as brief as possible): Our relationship has been one-sided since the start. Iíve been at home with the kids for the last five years, and have been lucky enough to receive a work from home position in my company to work evenings and supplement our income. I would get up around 6:00am every morning, start some housework, get the kids up and prepped for school, get them off to the bus (at least the ones in school) do more housework, lawn work, run errands, etc. All the stay at home parent type things. I did all the cleaning, cooking, and childcare tasks. I would then get the kids off the bus, and start my job which would go until midnight. I also worked 10 hours every Saturday and Sunday morning, because my spouse felt it was important for us to have a couple nights off together during the week. Generally, these were the nights of the kidís soccer practice so I could help shuttle the kids around. If there was no child events, our evenings were left silently sitting on the couch watching TV, while I would do more housework.

Honestly, I donít mind doing most of the housework. I enjoy it. Iím the type of person that has to stay busy all the time. But, with raising three kids, keeping the house clean, keeping the yard gets to be a lot. Iíve begged over the years for help, to no avail. We finally came to the agreement that the ONLY chore I wouldnít be to fold and put away laundry (I detest folding laundry) but after a couple years of it not being done, I ended up teaching the kids how to help me (theyíre young) My spouse would come home from work every night, sit on the couch to watch TV, and shoo the kids into the other room. Work being stressful, or being too tired was always the excuse.

Weíve never had a sex life. Early on, we would have sex every couple months. The last several years, itís been 3-4 times per year. Not even birthday/anniversary, etc. It was always random. I have ALWAYS been the one to initiate. There has never really been any interest showed in me. I would ask to simply cuddle in bed, and I would get either a groan, then roll over and allow me to cuddle, or outright refusal. Weíve discussed this, with no resolution as well.

Whenever weíd discuss my issues with the marriage, I would always be given the ultimatum of ďif this is so bad, what are we even doing hereĒ at which point I would give in, heartbroken. I would walk away from these talks hopeful, but still somehow defeated. I knew in my heart nothing would ever actually change. I would always find renewed drive to make things better though. I would always be able to dig deeper, and push forward hoping for that change that ultimately would never come.

About 3 years ago, my kids, and the neighbor kids became close friends. They would play together almost every day. It was nice being able to spend time with an adult (the other parent was also stay-at-home) Grownup conversations were something I hadnít had in a couple years, and it was a pleasant change. One day, though, I found myself having a sexual fantasy about my neighbor. I panicked. I tried to brush it off as nothing, but my guilt got the better of me and I told my spouse. It was immediate accusation of an affair. The accusations were so fierce, I was actually convinced myself that I had an affair (until recently after speaking with my therapist have I learned otherwise) That moment scared me though. It made me push harder for our marriage than Iíd ever pushed before. Since then, itís only been held over my head. Whenever Iíve attempted to bring up issues in our marriage now, the only reply is ďWell, IíVE never gone outside the marriage. Iíve never hurt YOU like thatĒ Move forward to this summer. I met another friend through my youngestís pre-school. We got along great, enjoyed spending time together. Grownup talk again! When I asked for the divorce, my spouse accused me of having an emotional affair with my new friend. Accused me of having feelings for another person. After being told this several times, I finally said ďyes, we have feelings for each other!Ē The problem was, I said it out of anger. I didnít honestly think it or believe it at the timeÖ.but after saying it, a lot of confusion entered my head. Now, my spouse is obsessed with my two affairs, and everything wrong in our marriage is my fault. Now I canít be trusted, and I have to prove my love.

Weíve been seeing a couples therapist since I asked for the divorce. The therapist is convinced that I want a divorce because of this other person. My spouse is as well. I feel like Iíve been emotionally abused, and manipulated since our relationship started. Iím not able to speak around my spouse. My thoughts just disappear. Iím honestly afraid. Iíve brought that up in counselling, that Iím afraid when Iím around my spouse. Iím afraid to open up. Iím afraid of being hurt. It always ends up coming back to me having to do the work.

Am I crazy? Am I missing something? This all seems so backwards. I KNOW Iím supposed to stay here and work on our marriage. Itís the right thing for the kids. Honestly, my spouse HAS been doing more around the house, and showing more affection towards me. Sex has been wanted almost every night, although now Iím really not comfortable with it. Iím not enjoying it at allÖ.but Iím told that itís important in a marriage to have sex, and we just need to do it until itís comfortable again. I donít want to be here anymore, but whenever I say it, Iím called a coward for not being willing to put in the effort. I have been a single parent for so long, Iím not afraid to be one anymore. I want to beÖ.but I also want dignity. Where do I go from here?
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Old 23rd September 2017, 5:38 AM   #2
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Sounds like you really don't know what you want, but feel guilty over your decisions send feelings.

I would say unfortunately it seems you aren't able to be happy in your marriage. Some people just are that way and it will always be a list of faults with the marriage. Glass half empty and all that.

Divorce would be best for the two of you. Better to just recognize it for what it is and love your lives apart but respectful of each other. Take some time to be alone and not thinking about other guys but about your life and what is important.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 2:57 PM   #3
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I think it's divorce time. This is no kind of life. There's something going on with him that he's a man yet never wants sex. He's either getting it or he's gay or he's asexual, none of which do you any good. Your life will be less stressful after divorce. You're doing most of the work anyway. You should definitely insist he gets joint custody so you have days off for socializing and just resting and finding out who you are again. Don't consider continuing to do all the kid care and still being tied down while he is free of responsibility. You let him care for the kids half the time and so you can have a life. This other crush is probably just a product of you being so unhappy. Don't act on it. Wait until your divorce is final and even then, don't if he's married or otherwise taken. There's a lot of fish in the sea.
"I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not better for it." -- Abraham Lincoln
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