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Old 23rd June 2011, 10:42 AM   #1
Kite Flyer
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Midlife crisis

Hi all, first time for me on this.

Been happily married for 17 years, had a good life have one child. My wife is 11 years younger than me. She has been suffering with depression for the last 18 months. Recently I noticed a real change in her behaviour at home and after a few weeks I questioned this. I was totally devastated when she told me that she had become emotionally involved with someone at work, (emotional affair). She swears that nothiing sexual has happened, and I am trying to believe that. She says that she has addressed this now and wants to move on. The sad news is she shows no regret for what she has done to our famly and the heartbreak it has caused.

After many weeks of talking and crying together, she is now seeking counselling, and she has come to the decission that when our son is older she wants to change carreer to involve travel, which will most likely mean her being away from home for months at a time. She feels that she has given herself to the family for a number of years and now wants to do something for herself before she gets to old and looks back and regrets it. she says she still loves me.

she says I have not given her enough space over the years and that she is bored and wants to do something more exciting.

Should I just let her go and live this freedom live that she craves? only herself to answer to, or should I just sit back and let her do her thing. I just feel so mixed about it all. maybe the next affair could be the real deal that will end our marriage and being away from each other will seal our fate.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 10:56 AM   #2
Helen_uk
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Re: Midlife crisis

Hi kite flyer ,

Firstly can I just say, don't underestimate an emotional affair. Although it doesn't involve sex it can be just as damaging and cause just as much devastation. So don't be surprised by how hurt you feel.

If your wife is set on changing careers then there is little you can do to stop her , however she isn't planning this right now so there is time for things to change . If she is still suffering from depression it might be she is trying to find a way out of that and one way to do it is to try and plan a brighter future for yourself. That doesn't necessarily mean it will happen but it's something to hold on to when you're feeling down and struggling to cope with life as it is now. Depression is a horrible illness, not easily treated and very hard to live with , for all involved.

The fact she isn't likely to go off and do these things tomorrow means you both have some time for things to change, and to work on the problems , at least you have some warning .

As you obviously want the marriage to survive, take a look at how it can be improved , what to do to make sure you both feel it's worth saving and working on. At least if it doesn't work out you will know you've tried everything you can, and if it does work out it will be stronger and happier for the future.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 11:38 AM   #3
Kite Flyer
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Re: Midlife crisis

Hi Helen,

thank you for your comments.

I have read so much on the internet about emotional affairs and do understand that they can be even more damaging than a physical affair. I just can't understand why she does not feel any guilt about it. It also makes it very hard when she is still going to work where he is. She also does not seem to appreciate this at all.

Yes I most definately want our marriage to work. I love my wife with all my heart and I do believe that has been one of the problems is that I have focused so much on her over the period of our marriage. Maybe suffocating her, I have tried hard not to be possessive, but my own insecurities make this hard.

it seems there is a quite a lot I need to address.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 11:50 AM   #4
tmw52
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Re: Midlife crisis

Knowledge is power. You are SO fortunate to have discovered this when there is still time to work on it.

Try not to dwell on what might be coming down the road, i.e. her traveling. Instead, focus on what you can do today to make things better.

You might try encouraging her to do more things separate from you now. Not big things like vacations, but maybe taking a class just for fun, or having a night out with the girls. You might be surprised by how much good it would do her.

I heard once that having somewhere you are expected to be just one hour a week, away from home (like a club or team type of thing, maybe volunteer work) will increase your happiness as much as doubling your salary. Gives one something to think about!
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Old 23rd June 2011, 12:05 PM   #5
Helen_uk
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Re: Midlife crisis

Is she on any medication for her depression ? That can sometimes make you feel a bit numb and inclined not to " feel " so much about things.

If not then she's probably told herself it was " only " an emotional affair , some people seem to think this is not as serious and that they can be more easily forgiven- not true as anyone who's been on the receiving end knows.

It's good that you've taken a look at what might have lead to the position you're in and are prepared to try and improve things , however do bear in mind you didn't have the affair so there is only so much you can do . If you have insecurities then maybe look at sorting those out, that can only be a benefit in the future . A counsellor could help you with that , and if your wife sees how willing you are to work on things it may just be the kick start she needs to do the same.

It is difficult that they are both still working at the same place so I can understand how you feel, unfortunately unless she is likely to be open to moving jobs ( which I'm guessing she isn't ? ) there isn't much you can do . She's broken your trust and in an ideal world she'd be doing everything she could to regain that , but as she isn't you have to decide if you can live with that . At the end of the day you can only change yourself , she is responsible for her own behaviours .
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Old 23rd June 2011, 12:53 PM   #6
Raymond
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Re: Midlife crisis

A lot will be to do with her attitude.

You are reading a job with more travel = more emotional affairs, but is this really so?

The plus side on this is that she told you and also that she has addressed it. This says to me that she knows it is wrong and has done something about it. It could be something that just happened without her looking for it. It has never happened before in 17 years I presume so why should it happen again? We can be safe for years and years until we are tested by that one person to whom we are drawn. That is when we have to fight to preserve our marriage which is the right thing to do.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 01:08 PM   #7
Kite Flyer
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Re: Midlife crisis

yes, she is on medication she has suffered with S.A.D. for years and every winter gets depressed, to start with a lightbox helped then the doctor put her on 10mg of Citolpram, when this all kicked off with the affair he put her up to 40mg, which for some reason increased her sex drive tenfold over a peiod of time she has gone back down to 10mg, and the sex drive has gone now. So maybe it is the meds that are stopping her feeling any guilt.

The one good thing out of all this is we have talked more openly about our relationship and our pasts than we ever have done. But the hurt is still so intense and I feel so lonely. I don't think my friends truly understand how this has effected me, my whole world has just fallen apart. I can't imagine my life without her in it. I wish I could have the strength, to fully understand and make a decision. Maybe I just need to give myself and her more time.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 01:33 PM   #8
Helen_uk
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Re: Midlife crisis

It's as I said Kf , people think emotional affairs are less hurting, so they tend to think you've not suffered as much as you have.... I actually find EA's worse .

My first husband had one and the hurt was immense, I was as if not more upset by his sharing emotions with someone as I would have been ( and later was ) by him sharing his body .

I don't think you have to make any decisions right now, just wait and see for a while. If you need someone to talk to find a counsellor, or come and chat to us on here . If you need to, write your feelings down , it can be very therapeutic .

One of the side effects of anti depressants can be that they numb your feelings , maybe she just isn't fully realising the effect this has had on you. I don't mean you haven't told her, just that it may not have sunk in.
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Old 24th June 2011, 12:23 PM   #9
sammie38
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Re: Midlife crisis

Hi KF

I've just come back on here after a month or so away and of trying to deal with my problems alone but have decided that it definitely helps to talk. I'm not sure whether you've read my thread but I have been going through pretty much the same as you. I won't go into all the detail, just have a look at what I wrote in my first post entitled 'How Do I Trust Him Again'. All I can say is that in my opinion EAs hurt a hell of a lot and probably more so that anything that was 'just sex'. Although my husband's affair didn't last long, it's not the length is it, it's the fact that they felt they needed to do it all and part of me thinks, why wasn't I good enough? Like your wife, my husband is still working with this woman (although admittedly she isn't in the same country anymore) and that's really hard to deal with. I think I could have coped more easily if he never had to contact her anymore. My husband doesn't seem to feel any guilt either and in fact just keeps asking me why I'm not over it yet? Every time I ask him a question about this woman, he asks why I need to keep talking about her and that he has made his decision and that he wants to be with me, why can't I just let it go?! This really annoys me, and I think it's far easier for him because he is the one who has been in control throughout this. He started it, he finished it and now he just wants to move on and can't accept that I'm not finding it as easy. In fact he now says that I am the one who is driving us apart! I have hardly told anyone because I don't want other people to think badly of him! Hope everything works out for you.

Sammie
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Old 24th June 2011, 04:43 PM   #10
Chamomile
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Re: Midlife crisis

Quote:
Originally Posted by sammie38 View Post

Every time I ask him a question about this woman, he asks why I need to keep talking about her and that he has made his decision and that he wants to be with me, why can't I just let it go?! This really annoys me, and I think it's far easier for him because he is the one who has been in control throughout this. He started it, he finished it and now he just wants to move on and can't accept that I'm not finding it as easy.
Hi Sammy

It's understandable. They say, "one needs to be forgiving" but maybe, you don't feel the same way about him in the light of his adultery? I think, that is really a serious offense. I'm with you on that.
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