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General :
Afraid i missed my shot and leaving now is just cruel; update

Topic is Sleeping.
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 1345Marine (original poster member #71646) posted at 6:24 AM on Sunday, September 17th, 2023

So this is kind of my update I didn't really want to give...

I had another DDay about 2 months ago, with an entirely different AP. This was a ONS with someone I once would've considered my best friend. It was a drug fueled night, and I found out because the dudes ex gf reached out and told me. I confronted WW, and she admitted to it. Him and I lost contact because he was screwing a secretary at work, and it was his umpteenth affair. I didn't know all the particulars, but I knew he had had multiple affairs his wife was working through reconciliation over. I'm 2019 he left his wife and children. Basically abandonment, and I could not support him. I lost respect for him and ceased the friendship and contact. My WW remained his friend, and it always bothered me, but I didn't know any better at the time. I didn't realize how close they stayed. So he started dating a girl after he left his wife, and after they broke up, she reached out to me with what she knew. Basically that my buddy had fucked my wife. Ironically, she cheated on me and AP with this dude (how fucked is that to even write). She says her therapist told her to not tell me, as no good could come of it. Who knows if that's true. It was a colossal mistake on every level, and she certainly would never go back to him, so why add more to my plate to forgive (great therapist, huh). Problem is, as I explained to her, if you were masterbating in our bed thinking about another man or men or men and women and orcs or whatever the hell it may be.... sure, don't tell me. That's in your mind and there's no risk I could ever find out. But once you do something in time and space in the real world with another human being, there's always the chance it could come out. That was the flaw in stupid therapists logic (assuming that's true advice she received). That needed to come out on one of the previous DDays.

Here's the fucked part. I don't care. It hurts, sure, but it pales in comparison to the 3 year affair with AP to such a degree that it's kinda like, "whatever, of course you did". I had a chance to test my theory of if it would hurt less with someone I considered not a rival, and despite the thoughts here the answer was a resounding yes. I know my friend. Knew him anyway. And he is any woman's biggest mistake. He has poor hygiene for God's sake. 6'6" fat guy with poor hygiene and halitosis. I feel like WW was just slumming, and it adds fuel to my belief that she was just so fucked up and drug addicted that she had no standards. We'd discussed him when it all happened and he left his family before i kmew about any affairs. He was completely non respectable. She meant it that she didn't even see him as a MAN. He abandoned his children. She maintained the friendship as like a littke brother she always hoped would wake the fuck up and at least be a dad. But no, he remained a man whore. Now he's homeless and living off whatever friends will cover his ass. He's a child. And it may be a generalization, and I'm sorry if it is, but I firmly believe it's even lower for a woman to sleep with a guy she doesn't respect than it is for a man just chasing pussy. I believe, as a generalization that could be wrong, that men are more prone to not even need to respect a woman to sleep witn her if he's horny and she's a warm body in a ONS situation. It seems extra degrading when a woman goes for ONS sex with a non respectable ugly man with poor hygiene. But again, that's my bias and beliefs that may not be true. So forgive me for generalizing, please. But that lense through which I view things, in a weird way, helps me see WW as just totally fucked up during the time period under discussion. It wasn't about me. She just craved any non judgemental male attention she could get. It shows with the multiple other men via snapchat during that time period as well (fall 2019 to fall 2022). Ww was an addict. A drug addiction that I never knew the extent of, and an attention addict..anything to remove her from reality.

And it hurts, yeah. It's hurting more as time goes on. But compared to pornstar 10 inch cock primary AP she fell in love with.... this new revelation just doesn't hurt or threaten me (yeah, looking through an old iPad about 2 weeks ago, I found sex pics of her and pornstar cock 3 year AP with the tiny bird chest and girly arms that I cannot unsee now, she thought she'd deleted all that out. It wasn't stored in a special place or anything, I was just thoroughly and obsessively looking through pics on this old iPad and she'd forgotten one).

But that's where we are. And ONS with my gross former friend happened during the affair. It was all during the affair timeline. Other guys on snapchat with dick pics and all of that as well. Did she sleep with them? How the hell should I know? I freely admit I don't know. She says no. And she confessed to the snapchat shit without needing to. But she always swore I knew it all anyway. So, who knows? Everything this year, since a video that showed her going back to AP in January that she denied and some may remember me talking about.... everything this year has pointed to her wanting to reconcile. I've had access to everything. We've watched movies on her phone where any dude could pop up if they were messaging her (that never would've happened before). I have location. She's clean of the drugs. In.therapy and psychiatry and taking sobriety incredibly seriously. She's slipped once, and confessed with no way for me to catch her if she'd hidden it. Her entire existence SEEMS to be geared to drug recovery and reconciliation.

But I'm not so sure the damage isn't just too much to bear. I want to believe shes for real and can be a different person. But what if she CAN? Ok. That's great. But im tired of comparing myself to 10 inch pornstar dick AP and feeling inadequate. I never felt that before. I'm a slightly above average dude in that area, but I wouldn't want to be in porn with the biggest in the world. I was secure. Very very secure. Now I always wonder. She's had him. Am I inadequate? She says he hurt. But, she also lusted for him craved him and praised him during the affair in the texts I've read. So, what's true? Who knows? I'm just tired of wondering. She says that now, unfortunately, in the worst way, she knows thar sexually I'm exactly what she desires. But is that true? It's not what she told him.at the height of limmerance (which can be deceiving too, I know, it's so much I can't know). And that's the problem. I just don't trust her. But I stuck it out this long. And she seems more sincere now than ever. And there are more prove it actions than ever before from her. But it's been so much, and I'm tired. And I feel like if I was gonna leave, I should've done it when I found out about this stuff. Waiting until now, a year into drug abuse recovery and all we've been through, it seems cruel even to me. And I'm not totally sure it's what i want. I work in a place that is 95% women. I'm the attractive body builder fix it guy with the beautiful green eyes (,so I've been told and come to believe). I get hit on CONSTANTLY..it's alluring. What would it be like to start fresh? A woman who didn't hurt me like this? Just to be able to say "yes" to any number of these women and just get to know other human beings, not necessarily sleep witn them. But even witn that.... who knows where any of that would lead? Could be bad too. Maybe the WW has finally come clean and there's a chance fir a beautiful future with us and our grand babies one day. Who knows? But I don't know how to trust her. And I'm sick of comparing myself to any AP. I'm sick of feeling inferior sexually to primary AP. I'm sick of feeling like she may always love him and is only witn me because he wouldn't leave his wife (though she swears that's untrue). I'm sick of wondering what's true behind her eyes. I'm tired. And I don't know which way to go. Thus, I'm stuck in this limbo I've described.

Maybe I'm just venting. Maybe I'm just putting my thoughts into words on an anonymous internet forum. I have no idea what I'm doing. I guess I'm hoping someone has bee. Somewhere close to here before. Maybe not though. I appreciate letting me vent,regardless.

posts: 97   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2019   ·   location: Eastern US
id 8808254
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Lurkingsoul12 ( member #82382) posted at 7:05 AM on Sunday, September 17th, 2023

Brother, you have tortured yourself enough. There is no need to live in this limbo anymore. There have been more than 4 ddays. There could be many more. You are losing yourself in the process. Just leave her and START FRESH. Some parts of your heart want a fresh start. So, make that leap of faith. You have the right to seek happiness. You are clearly not happy to the level you want with your wife.

Your wife has been an addict for a long time. People with addiction disorder always get addicted to one destructive thing to another unless such disorder is treated with therapy and rehabilitation. Being a wayward is one thing but being a wayward with addiction disorder is a different beast altogether. For such people, affairs are just easy 'high' or 'distraction'. It has nothing to do with you. There is no comparison between you and her APs. If she was married to somebody else, then I am pretty sure she would have cheated on him by having an affair with you if the opportunity was given. As long as she is as addict, she will always be unsafe to you and herself. She has no control over her urges and no strength to resist temptation, especially during difficult times. Do yourself a favor and leave this limbo with D. She may have been a good wife and partner to you in the past. But, now, reality is different. Make a judgement based on what you have and what you want today.

Leaving her now (or any other time) is not a cruel choice at all. People end marriage even when infidelity is not involved. If relation is not working and people involved are miserable and unhappy for any reason, then ending such relation is the right thing. Its how you leave her and for what reasons is what defines the cruelty of it. If it's anything, then this dday has given you another good opportunity to leave her. You have good reasons and right way (I.e amicable and fair divorce) to leave her. Take it!!

[This message edited by Lurkingsoul12 at 4:51 PM, Sunday, September 17th]

posts: 457   ·   registered: Nov. 12th, 2022
id 8808256
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InkHulk ( member #80400) posted at 8:23 AM on Sunday, September 17th, 2023

Marine, I completely understand the uncertainty and indecision dripping from your words. For what it’s worth, as someone who is in real time on a similar timeframe as you, I don’t think the possibility of your own cruelty should factor into your decision. I understand why you would think that. But if you say you want to honorably move on, after 4 D-Days, countless lies, finding that your wife has a therapist encouraging deception, comparison and feelings of inadequacy forcibly injected into your heart, that is NOT cruelty my friend. It is grace that you have given her this year. Amazing fucking grace. Stopping the grace spigot to someone who despises it, I know of no ethical framework that says that is cruel.

I’m not telling you to D, I know the anguish of the decision. But don’t artificially lock yourself to her by thinking you’d be a monster to leave. That thinking won’t serve you.

[This message edited by InkHulk at 8:24 AM, Sunday, September 17th]

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

posts: 1891   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
id 8808257
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Copingmybest ( member #78962) posted at 9:41 AM on Sunday, September 17th, 2023

Man I feel your pain brother, I too have been perched on this fence. My WW is being kind like a loving wife normally would be, but she wants to rugsweep the whole affair. She just wants to move forward with a happy life and let it go without trying to heal the damage. It honestly makes me feel like I’m just not worth her effort. I have been thinking a lot about D lately and have been browsing dating sites just to "see what’s out there". One woman had posted in her remarks that she’s just looking for a good decent guy because "there aren’t too many of them out there". Those words make me feel like I have value. I can’t tell you what to actually do, but I don’t think that after all I’ve been through these last 2-1/2 years that I could handle any more lies or deception. Your wife should have come clean about it all. Her therapist was wrong and the statement that "nothing good could come from it" was ignorant of the statement that by hiding it "something even worse could come from that action". Man I wish I had more support I could give you but you are most definitely not being cruel if you decide to D. Being cruel is what she put you through.

[This message edited by Copingmybest at 9:43 AM, Sunday, September 17th]

posts: 227   ·   registered: Jun. 16th, 2021   ·   location: Midwest
id 8808259
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Potentialforevil ( member #83626) posted at 12:05 PM on Sunday, September 17th, 2023

1. Your W is still incapable of threating you with the respect you deserve. You are your own person, not an actor in her drama.

2. Your W (if she tells the truth) should demand money back. Honestly if there is anything positive that could come out of this fiasco is making this therapist change jobs, maybe selling used cars would fit her approach? No joke.

3. Speaking about cars. Some are interesting to look at, test drive, talk about, complement, but ridiculous to actually get somewhere. Same with body parts. Personal anecdote - I told my W as a half joke that I will make it bigger if she gives me N kids. After I got the kids we are looking for ways to make it feel smaller in some of her favourite positions look

4. You deserve to feel the genuinly accepted, loved and desired number 1. If your W can't restore that feelings in you, you will never be happy with her and it's not your fault.

[This message edited by Potentialforevil at 1:10 PM, Sunday, September 17th]

posts: 51   ·   registered: Jul. 20th, 2023
id 8808265
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 12:52 PM on Sunday, September 17th, 2023

It doesn’t matter what the therapist said (if, indeed, she actually told your wife to lie to you). Your wife knew you expected complete honesty. Your wife knew you wanted her to tell her everything.

And it’s not like she had to fear you would leave her if she were honest. She has never faced any consequences for her behavior. She knows that you will go to any lengths to make excuses for her behavior and justify remaining to married to her.

She didn’t tell you because she wanted to keep this secret. She doesn’t respect you… and respect is actually harder to regain than love.

As long as you stayed married to her, you should expect a bomb like this dropped on your head every few months. If you’re lucky, the blitzkrieg will occur every few years. Is this how you want to live the rest of your life?

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 12:54 PM, Sunday, September 17th]

BW, 40s

Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 1943   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8808268
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Grieving ( member #79540) posted at 1:19 PM on Sunday, September 17th, 2023

It’s hard to ignore the glaring hypocrisy/double standard involved in you saying it’s more understandable/ok for a man to sleep with a random woman than vice versa, but I’ll put it to the side because I can read and hear the depth of your pain and feel the complexity and conflicting thoughts in your situation.

You are dealing with a situation that is harder than most of us can know, and trying to make a decision that is harder and more complex than most people are ever faced with. The complexity of my husband’s infidelity pales in comparison to the cocktail of addiction and betrayal that you’ve been served up. Take a breath and go easy on yourself. Get up each morning and prioritize yourself. You didn’t deserve any of this. And you can leave any time. It’s not unfair to her to decide that the betrayal and addiction are too much. They would be for the vast majority of people. At the end of the day, she is responsible for her, and you are responsible for you. It may take you more time on the fence before you can force a decision; that’s ok too. Give yourself the grace you’ve been giving your wife.

Come up with a mantra to counter the mess of inadequate feelings that come with thoughts of the other dude’s dick. Sexual pleasure has very little connection to body part size. Also, my husband wasn’t slumming with his affair partner. I could point to multiple physical and other ways that a casual observer would see her as a better, more desirable person than me. But in the end it’s possible to rest in your own sense of worth as a person and get off the merry go round of insecurity. One thing I’ve gotten out of this whole mess of infidelity is a sense of who I am and a self worth that is no longer rooted in my husband and the 25 years of our relationship. He can take me or leave me—that’s his choice (and vice versa). But his actions have no impact on my worth.

I’m talking a big talk here—there are days I fall grievously short of valuing myself. But the framework of self worth is there, and I built that shit out of the ashes. I’m proud of that. You can do that too.

Wishing you strength and grace as you figure out your path forward.

Also, fuck that therapist.

Husband had six month affair with co-worker. Found out 7/2020. Married 20 years at that point; two teenaged kids. Reconciling.

posts: 630   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2021
id 8808271
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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 2:59 PM on Sunday, September 17th, 2023

Let me ask you this. Aside from the obvious family and kid stuff, what really scares you about divorce? In your mind, when you tell yourself this is ridiculous and you can't do it anymore, what does the other side of you say?

Also you do not owe her to stay in this. You didn't 'miss your shot' to leave. After infidelity occurs, especially when there's been multiple days, a BS can leave at any time for ANY reason. I can tell that you're a stand-up guy and that you want to make decisions that you can live with and that's okay. But staying in a marriage with a person who's this fucked up and who has hurt you this badly is not obligatory. You can still love her and not be married to her.

I'm so sorry you've had yet another dday Marine. None of this is your fault, none of it is because you're inadequate. This is all on her.

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"The love that you lost isn't worth what it cost and in time you'll be glad that it's gone." – Linkin Park

posts: 3901   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: Louisiana
id 8808275
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jb3199 ( member #27673) posted at 3:31 PM on Sunday, September 17th, 2023

1345,

I don't want this to come across as blunt, but just what I(and possibly others) may see through your actions:

You don't want to leave your wife.

This is your life and your choice. Your decision is only wrong is YOU believe that it is wrong. But I will say, from the outside looking in, that you are struggling justify your choice(s). You have given explanations why you have stayed, or continue to stay. Some may look at these as excuses. But does that really matter? The question is "WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT?"

You are saying that it would seem cruel to leave at this point. What is your definition of cruelty? How much is enough to walk away....if you wished to do so....with a clean conscience? Your wife has long given up the 'I don't deserve to be divorce' card with her prior.....and in reality, current.....actions. If nothing else, she should have had an EXTREME level of inner conflict with her therapist, is what she told you was true. Like Bluer said, she knew how much honesty meant to you at this point. It should have been tearing her up inside, if she was sincere....ESPECIALLY with addiction-based programs that start with a foundation of honesty when they are working on sobriety.

That's the problem when you have lived years of lies and dishonesty---it is hard to filter out what is and isn't truth. But that is her job to help you believe in her. This last episode surely doesn't help. Which comes back to YOU and your choices which have you here today. IF you want to be here, trying with you wife for no other reason than you want to, then that is your choice. Just make sure you own your choice, and are comfortable with it. That way, your choice isn't 'wrong'.

BH-50s
WW-50s
2 boys
Married over 30yrs.

All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary PuckettD-Day(s): EnoughAccepting that I can/may end this marriage 7/2/14

posts: 4349   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2010   ·   location: northeast
id 8808278
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waitedwaytoolong ( member #51519) posted at 5:38 PM on Sunday, September 17th, 2023

And I feel like if I was gonna leave, I should've done it when I found out about this stuff. Waiting until now, a year into drug abuse recovery and all we've been through, it seems cruel even to me.

You could look at this another way. You didn’t abandon her when she was at her lowest. You helped her get as healthy as she probably could be at this point. That is the furthest thing from cruelty. Where she goes from here is up to her. Not saying to leave her on the side of the road, but you do have the option to leave gracefully if that is what you want. Taking care of her in perpetuity, especially after what she did, should not be a factor in your staying.

I also feel for you on the size issue. My EXWW AP was bigger (never saw pictures but she admitted it and by his size I could assume) and in much better shape at the time. He wasn’t a porn star, but he must have watched a lot of it and had her doing the things he saw there. It’s something that is very hard to get over.

With your friends height of 6’6, and her 10 inch lover, it could be she is a size queen and that’s what turns her on. At least, although you never know the true size looking at someone, you can be on the lookout for anyone else she might be sizing up.

You don’t have to do anything right now. If you aren’t sure just wait on any decision. It just shouldn’t be based on guilt of leaving. That should have been taken out of the equation by her actions

I am the cliched husband whose wife had an affair with the electrician

Divorced

posts: 2161   ·   registered: Jan. 26th, 2016
id 8808288
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survrus ( member #67698) posted at 9:32 PM on Sunday, September 17th, 2023

1345Marine,

You wrote, So this is kind of my update I didn't really want to give...

I had another DDay about 2 months ago, with an entirely different AP. This was a ONS with someone I once would've considered my best friend.

I understand why you wanted to hold back on this disclosure, you and we can only fix so much at one time. Like killing cockroaches.

I suggest you have your WW write out a complete timeline with everything sleasy or unconfessed that ever happened in your marriage. And what happened before you were married.

Then take her for a polygraph, you only know what a liar has told you.

Even if the details are not important the fact that your WW is not minimizing, omitting or brazenly lying is.

[This message edited by survrus at 9:34 PM, Sunday, September 17th]

posts: 1474   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2018   ·   location: USA
id 8808306
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SacredSoul33 ( member #83038) posted at 10:22 PM on Sunday, September 17th, 2023

You get one life and only you get to decide how to live it. It's never too late to make a different choice, even if she's miraculously become Mother Teresa. And it's not cruel to decide that her past cruelties are too much to bear and her true intentions are unreadable. I may sound like a 5yo, but she started it. She created this mess.

Remove the "I want you to like me" sticker from your forehead and place it on the mirror, where it belongs. ~ Susan Jeffers

Your nervous system will always choose a familiar hell over an unfamiliar heaven.

posts: 1286   ·   registered: Mar. 10th, 2023
id 8808308
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HellIsNotHalfFull ( member #83534) posted at 12:14 AM on Monday, September 18th, 2023

1345,

I want to add on to what everyone is saying. Let’s face facts, your wife is a serial cheater. Snapchats alone are enough to walk, let alone three year A, and at least a ONS. When you married her, was that part of the vows? Sure there is always for better or for worse, but that is after forsaking all others.

You have no obligation to stay, she broke the basic fundamental principle of marriage. Loyalty and not giving herself to anybody else. There is nothing wrong with calling it now, no matter what. It doesn’t matter that you agreed to R. It doesn’t matter if she actually y on herself. None of that matters. Everything that you valued has been broken, and will never be the same. You didn’t marry a serial cheater knowingly, she tricked you.

Don’t feel like you owe anything. More than she ever deserved she got multiple chances, it’s ok if it’s too much.

I’m not saying D is a magic solution, for sure it has its own consequences. What I am saying is you can without guilt because this isn’t your fault.

Me mid 40s BH
Her mid 40s WW
1 year EA/PA

"Just" a friend.
in R, getting by

posts: 282   ·   registered: Jun. 26th, 2023   ·   location: U.S.
id 8808313
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MintChocChip ( member #83762) posted at 1:12 AM on Monday, September 18th, 2023

Everyone has written such incredible responses to this and mine is short.

I think men think the size of their penis is really important.

My experience is that women don't really give this much thought.

It doesn't even rank in the top 25 things which determine sexual enjoyment for me.

Please don't be insecure about this. Infidelity is hard enough without these thoughts.

It's just a thing men think matters.

D Day: September 2020Currently separated

posts: 273   ·   registered: Aug. 20th, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8808314
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M1965 ( member #57009) posted at 3:03 AM on Monday, September 18th, 2023

What would it be like to start fresh? A woman who didn't hurt me like this? Just to be able to say "yes" to any number of these women and just get to know other human beings, not necessarily sleep with them. But even with that.... who knows where any of that would lead? Could be bad too. Maybe the WW has finally come clean and there's a chance for a beautiful future with us and our grand babies one day. Who knows? But I don't know how to trust her. And I'm sick of comparing myself to any AP. I'm sick of feeling inferior sexually to primary AP. I'm sick of feeling like she may always love him and is only with me because he wouldn't leave his wife (though she swears that's untrue). I'm sick of wondering what's true behind her eyes. I'm tired. And I don't know which way to go. Thus, I'm stuck in this limbo I've described.

1345Marine,

Saying this out of concern for you, not in any way as a criticism of you, but why do you continue to put yourself through this? Uncertainty/insecurity appears to be trapping you in a toxic relationship in which you sublimate yourself, your needs, and the way you - as any human being - deserve to be treated, to what your abusive, unfaithful, addiction-prone WW may or may not want.

Why is that your mission in life? Who implanted the idea in you that your purpose is to please an abusive/addictive person, as if - in some way - you are a second-class person/human being?

In your analysis of the situation you are in, have you tried turning the focus 180 degrees around and instead of thinking about you, your actions, the size of your reason to be cheerful, are you potentially being 'cruel', are you performing at a level sufficient to please an abusive, addictive cheat, and start analyzing and assessing how hard your abusive/addictive WW tries to please you?

You are clearly an intelligent man, and from what you have written, you are attractive to women. So why would you think that your abusive WW is as good as it can possibly get for you in life? Somebody, sometime, did a real number on your self-confidence. And I speak as someone who has realized later in life how indoctrinated I was in my youth with the idea that I had to please people and prove my value to them as if they were somehow superior to me, and I was somehow lacking.

After I realized this, the next time I was told that I should improve something about myself to please someone else, I told my critic that I did not give a damn about pleasing anyone else, and that it was up to other people to please me and win my favor, not the other way round.

Now, that is not how I really feel. How I really feel is that in a healthy relationship, both people work to please their partner, and receive a similar effort in return. However, I had to send the message to the person who kept talking to me as if I should spend my life seeking the approval of others by assessing their expectations and then satisfying them, with no regard of what I want or need, that I was equally in need of people pleasing and satisfying me, In other words, the playing field is level, not slanted against me.

As far as your uncertainty about what a new, future relationship could be, there are no guarantees in life. When we enter any new relationship, we have no idea how it will go. They may go well, they may be disastrous. However, I ask you what guarantees you received when you entered your relationship with your WW. And whether they have been met. I hate to say this, but I have to. When you hitched your wagon to your WW's star, did you do it thinking that her behavior would one day lead you to be writing to strangers in an infidelity forum about multiple betrayals?

I know that you didn't. Just as no member of this forum was contemplating their membership of SI when they came back from a first date thinking, "Wow, I think he/she has potential".

The thing is, there are loads of 'good' men who are emotionally capable of being faithful and honest to their partner, and loads of 'good' women who are the same. And there are loads of men and women who are not capable of that. If we remove the issue of 'goodness' from the equation - which is always a judgement call - they key to a happy relationship is to find someone who is your equivalent, and who wants the same things.

If you want an 'exclusive' relationship, based on honesty, integrity, and fidelity, you need a partner who feels the same. If you want a relationship that is 'friends with benefits', you should fulfill your side of it without expecting anything more from your partner. If you want to be polyamorous and sustain a relationship in which both of you have multiple partners, you have to work to a mutually agreed set of rules so that there is not an imbalance.

The problem we all have is that we can meet and be attracted to people and think that both parties can change and have a happy and harmonious life. The truth is that is that unless both parties are relatively similar in their needs/expectations, the relationships are likely to struggle.

As you review your relationship with your WW, how similar would you say your expectations and behavior have been? Would you say you are similar people, with similar expectations, a similar level of commitment and honesty, who place an equal value on the concept of fidelity?

There is a saying in the UK when comparing things that it is like 'chalk and cheese', or comparing apples with oranges. In other words, a mismatch. And what I take from your story is that you and your WW are a mismatch in terms of what you want, what you value, and how you want to live your lives. That is not knocking either of you, or saying who is 'good' or 'right'. That debate can become a grand distraction that diverts attention away from the basic truth that if people have different values and expectations of themselves, or of their partner, or of the path their relationship will take, trouble is inevitable.

Whatever work your WW had done to become sober is great, but it has to be done by her for herself. It was not done for you, and therefore you do not owe her anything as a result of it. That is harsh, but I am speaking with your interests at heart.

So, what is the way forward? Is there any guaranteed way to find a female version of 1345Marine who will be enough of a match to potentially sustain a long-term relationship? No, but does that mean that you have to remain in a relationship with someone who clearly has different values, goals, and ambitions to you? I would say that by maintaining and prolonging the relationship, both of you are preventing yourselves from finding a life-partner who is a closer match to yourselves. Which is not good for either of you.

In terms of cruelty versus kindness, to both yourself and your partner, you need to ask yourself whether continuing the relationship is really serving the best interests of both of you, or if ending it and freeing both of you up to find life-partners that are a better match for each of you might actually be a kindness.

[This message edited by M1965 at 3:05 AM, Monday, September 18th]

posts: 1269   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2017   ·   location: South East of England
id 8808318
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 4:24 AM on Monday, September 18th, 2023

The best time to plant a tree was ten years ago. Best you can do is today.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 2631   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8808320
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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 10:38 AM on Monday, September 18th, 2023

I’ve read this thread and here’s my two cents. FWIW.

You will do your best in your future life IF you walk away from your marriage knowing you did everything you could to save the marriage and make it work.

You don’t start any new relationship with other women until you have closed the door on the relationship you are currently in. You don’t drag your unfinished business into the next relationship.

It may be guilt that prevents you from getting a divorce. You see your spouse’s troubles and you don’t want to leave her. However as others have pointed out, she’s at a good place in her life. So you should be able to see you stayed until she was stable and in recovery. That should ease your guilt.

If you want to D — it doesn’t have to be ugly. If your heart is not into this marriage then it just is the best decision for you.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.

posts: 13923   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8808327
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 10:45 AM on Monday, September 18th, 2023

You have more guilt about the prospect of leaving her than she’s ever had about the billion times she’s cheated on you.

Just let that sink in.

BW, 40s

Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 1943   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8808328
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seaandsun ( member #79952) posted at 6:44 PM on Monday, September 18th, 2023

should you think about yourself?

Your wife does not show emotional/physical interest or respect for you.

Doesn't the fact that your wife even slept with the man she despised explain her view of you and your relationship?

Stop writing about your wife in long sentences, move away from her and get therapy.

posts: 65   ·   registered: Feb. 16th, 2022
id 8808369
Topic is Sleeping.
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