Prequel to an Affair

HE SAID

I have a marriage that works well functionally but has long been drained of passion, deep intimacy and truly meaningful conversational full of the type of disclosure that builds connectivity. That void leaves me personally, emotionally and intellectually lonely in a very busy house. I do not suffer in silence and have tried repeatedly to talk to her about my issues and concerns I have for the relationship and our marriage. Late last year I made the decision to find a discrete and manageable way to fill that void and open the door to emotional, intellectual, and physical passion. I have been too lonely for far too long.

My wife is a very educated business professional. I feel that we have taken different paths of growth and have drifted into separate emotional spaces. I am not laying fault or blame but where I have tried repeatedly to address things and bring them back onto a strong marital path, she has chosen to pull farther away and deny there are any issues. She dismisses my concerns and needs. I chose not to uproot the entire foundation of my life. The commitment is here to keep the family together; I have two growing fine talented boys worthy of the sacrifice. I am not sure where the matrimonial road will end in the future, but this is the way that it is today. We have a sibling type relationship, sharing a home and family but nothing of an intimate relationship between us. The idea of re-establishing an intimate relationship between us, almost seems abhorrent to her.

This conversation, just the act of opening up and being listened to, has me feeling alive… and it is a good feeling. I actually like the no expectation reality that this is. There is great opportunity for free expression that touches me intellectually and emotionally. Sometimes some our complex needs are met through unconventional means encountered in random path crossing. I am glad that my path has crossed yours. If the experience is a day, a week, or longer I plan to value the moment. I didn’t expect to find that and so its presence is valued.

After 20 years of marriage,  the baggage is very heavy and painful to carry daily. I know that well and consistently live out the reality of romance lost, respect diminished, affections gone, and tenderness replaced with a blunt cold wall. I know the feeling of importance that I seem incapable of giving and importance that I have lost. The dilemma that I face today is that I think I have acknowledged some issues I previously have been ignoring. I found myself today admitting that I have lost the capacity to pretend and can now confess that I am love depleted. Every attempt to walk it back to a better place ends in greater conflict and pain. I hate that I am a giver in this negative, stagnant relationship and have reached my place of none acceptance. It is definitely not okay.

I am troubled that I am a player in this vicious cycle and have a role in how things have turned out. There are times that I cannot identify myself in it, such a far cry from the internal fire and desire to have a rich and powerful life, and the potential is ever present. These exchanges are such evidence that little stings are important and enriching to life. I am filled with love and passion that I desire to share and open to receive. It is caped inside and terribly in need of release. I truly understand and can relate to the need to be loved without reservation and have it reciprocated. Loving someone is uncomplicated and only stopped by fear. Being truthful, I have live with that fear for years.

In all honesty, today was a telling time of reflection and personal decision making and resolve. I do not want to spend the rest of my life living under such a dark ominous cloud, the sun has stopped shining and I need to see and feel it again. Having this conversation of exposure  certainly does make the burden easier and certainly makes clear the wisdom of finding that woman who captivates my mind with the feeling of life again. I have a lot to give. I have no fear of what I need to do right now to bring joy back into my life…that is why I am seeking someone. I am not going to reproduce the emptiness in my marriage in an affair. I don’t feel like I can leave yet, but it is unbearable to stay the way things have been for the last 15 years. Its not fair to her that I stay and break my marital vows, but I can’t stay without having the support I need to endure the last crucial and agonizing mile of a marital marathon that has almost destroyed me.

SHE SAID

My fear for you is that an affair will not be enough. If you find someone suitable and the emotional connection does not pan out into what you need, you shall move on and lesson learned make a better choice for the next affair partner. But if u find someone with whom there is the attachment, and you actually have a person where you see a stark comparison to what you have and what you need, one of 2 events will happen; you run from it or you run to it.

In the prior, you see the mistress as the embodiment of all the idealized wants and dreams come to fruition. You see her negatives; her baggage, her real self and you want it. It fits with what you can offer her. This scares you as much as it excites you. Reality sets in as to what do you do? it gets harder to return to your wife and to leave the woman who has made you see and feel again. But the fear of change or of even being a man who has walked away from a moralistic life comes too much. You feel selfish for the first time.

You don’t want to disrupt the family life of your kids, but you can’t stand how you feel when you have to return home anymore. And so you leave her….OR… you make a life changing decision that the reality of an affair is not something you can live with any longer. You can no longer maintain the facade around your friends and family…you are smiling more, happier, feel more alive than u have in years. There is purpose and intent in your life once more. You no longer regret what the marriage failed to be but are sad its potential failed to be achieved. You are ready to move on.

Through talk and discussion with the other woman, you realize that things can be simple, and often times we put too much onus on something that really has no impact on how we should really be living. Choices. We make them every day for so many things and so many people…and yet we seem to fail ourselves time and again because we add the weight of expectations and what we think others will need from us. We forget that we run our own destiny and if we chose to change direction, we can. Others accept more than we give them credit for. We forget that we deserve to be happy because we have been living in a neglectful environment for so long that we see its cold hollowness as normal.

And when you see the juxtaposition of two woman who make you feel so diametrically different, then it places you in the position of confirming all your prior fears, hopes and concerns. Its real. Now do you ignore it or embrace it? How much of the rest of your life do you want to invest with someone who has proven time and again, they aren’t what you need? Clinically speaking if the relationship was a business, wouldn’t the sound advice be to cut your loses and stop investing in something that failed a long time ago? To diversity your interest and focus on something that is bringing you a return?

As much as you wanted to have a lifelong marriage, sometimes that’s not what you get. Accepting what you have instead of mourning the loss of what you hoped for, gives you the ability to be more practical about your decisions. Working your way to understanding your needs, presenting your concerns to your wife, drawing up an action plan of how you can come back on track in the kind of marriage you want, should all be the first course of action. If after years of trying and meeting with failure, there comes a point where you reassess your situation and make the choice to change things. If that means divorce, then so be it. But you have earned your way out. You haven’t left her for another woman.

Nobody knows where another is in terms of spiritual recovery. Because that’s what’s happening. When your partner fails you and doesn’t meet your needs time and again, they damage you spiritually. At some point, you either fight to get it back or accept that it’s killing you and as a result, killed what you felt about them. What do you want from your life? How long will you beat up over things that won’t change? When do you decide to embrace the things life has to offer again. When will you choose to live with love in your heart instead of false hope? Why are you struggling? Decisions are a process and if you haven’t accepted where you are in your journey then the harder it will seem.

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7 Responses to Prequel to an Affair

  1. Really interesting. I think a lot of men could relate to what “he said”, and the analysis (“She said”) — The realities of what he seeks vs. what he as, and the internal dissonance it creates. I could very much relate. Excellent post.

  2. Pingback: A reblog: Why many men have affairs — and the mental consequences | Affair Resources and Advice

  3. I was about to tell you that I had. Hope you didn’t mind. I thought it was terrific

  4. rgonaut says:

    This certainly describes why in words that I understand.

  5. This is incredible. Wow so powerful…thank you for sharing!!

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