Hello Oksana. What a dilemma! Yikes! I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing so much emotional pain and turmoil.
First of all, I suggest that you try, if you can, to forgive yourself. You use the word “wrong” several times in your comments. I get that you believe you made a mistake. Perhaps you also feel terribly guilty. But guilty for what? Falling in love with someone else even though you, by your own admission, were in a “loveless” marriage? Your heart yearned to experience romantic love again. Can you forgive your heart for that? Not that I am saying that what you did was “right” either. I am neither condoning nor condemning. I am suggesting that having to wrestle with guilt on top of the other emotions you are dealing with right now can’t exactly be helpful in trying to find clarity. Without your belief in your wrongness, you’d feel freer to explore what it is you are really after. This is also true for your husband and even the other man. Forgive them, if you harbor any ill will towards either of them for the choices they have made. They, like you, are doing the best they can. We all are.
I’d also suggest you ask yourself some questions, with a view towards being as honest as you can be:
1. Are you sure that your children will be better off if they are raised by you and your husband as a married couple? If so, why? What do you think they will gain or lose if you remain married to your husband out of a sense of obligation to them? What example do you wish to set for them as you attempt to lead a life you love?
2. Are you really unable to let go of the man at work? If that is true, then is this inability to let go a sign of love or addiction? What if, by some miracle, you found out that letting this man go was in his highest and best interest? Would you let him go then? Again, I’m not saying you should or you shouldn’t let him go. That is up to you.
3. What part does your mind play in all this? Your comments make you sound as if everything you have decided is emotion centered. What about the cognitive aspects? What about your beliefs, about love and family? As powerful as feelings are, they are not all powerful. The emotions are like a GPS in your car. They can orient you with regard to where you are and where you want to go, but you still have to drive to get there. And just as your GPS can’t tell you where you want to go exactly, neither can your emotions.
4. Is there some kind of unconscious payoff for being in the center of all of this drama for you?
5. What is the most loving thing you can do for yourself and your husband and your children and your lover?
6. Finally, who are you? What kind of woman do you wish to be? Who is your best self and what would she do in this situation and why?
Of course, you can ask and answer these questions to yourself or here. Or not at all if none of this resonates with you, which it may not. I’m not a fan of telling people what to do outright, especially in situations like this. Besides, something tells me that on some level, you already know the answers to your questions. It has been my experience that emotional confusion is often a mask to hide the truth from ourselves. We know what to do and what we want, we just run away from this truth for one reason or the other and call it confusion.
You sound like a loving woman Oksana, a woman who is doing the best she can in a difficult situation. There is a lot of wisdom available to you. Tap into it, be honest with yourself and with other men involved and follow your truth. Make the kind of decision that the woman you will be 10 years from now won’t regret!
Thank you for your wonderful post! Very enlightening.
I'd like to respond to your questions, maybe you can tell me if my thought process is on the right track.
Just as a note first, I'm still struggling to understand why our marriage is in such shambles. I believe that we are such different people - he's very square, I'm very fluid - we don't see eye to eye. But worse, we simply don't connect. Everything with us is work: our conversations, time together, sex. Nothing is natural and very rarely FUN. Our big problem is intimacy. He can say at 2pm that he's in the mood and I may say the same and when 9pm rolls around after the kids are gone to bed and all, he actually expects it. And when he finds out I'm no longer in the mood, he gets upset instead of attmepting to PUT me in the mood. He's not playful, flirty, he has no approach at all - kind of too wooden for me. While I am flirty, playful and that's what gets me going. With the new man all this is fluidly natural - the play, the connection, the tenderness..
1. No, I don't think kids should grow up in a family where love is missing.
2.Yes, if i knew i had to let go of this man for his own good, absolutely I WOULD let go.
3. My mind is on an overdrive and overthinking a lot of things too. Sometimes I wish I could ACT more than think so much. Thinking gives birth to a lot of fears and uncertainties while I do know that if I chose to leave, things will eventually be fine - I'd have to simply trust in that.
4. I thought about the drama aspect. Not sure if maybe in the beginning I got the attention from my husband that I needed? But really, this is NOT the attention I desired, if any. Maybe not the drama part but the realization of my own desires and needs that were the payoff.
5. That's a difficult one. All I can do is love them and accept them but keeping in mind my own happiness as well.
6. I am a woman that realized so much in such a short period of time, I have had an awakening, I believe. I've matured as a human being and learned so many lessons - lessons I should have learned years ago. More than anything now I want to be happy and free of all this emotional and mental baggage.
Thanks again for your post!
You are welcome Oksana! I was hoping I could be of assistance to you in one way or the other.
Three things. First, you say that you are a woman who has learned much from all of this. Terrific! What did you learn? Was it wisdom? If it was, how will you apply that wisdom to help you in this situation?
Second, you might consider shifting your paradigm around this issue. I can tell you how I have learned to experience more happiness, freedom and less baggage in my own life. I did it by making a fundamental paradigm shift. I had to switch from placing the responsibility for happiness on other people and return it the only place it belongs: myself. I bring this point up because I notice that you contrast your husband’s approach to you with the new man’s. The implication is that “what gets you going” is dependent on what someone else (in this instance, a man) does or doesn’t do. When it comes down to it, what gets any of us going – into happiness, joy, and freedom – is how we choose to relate to ourselves, our thoughts and our world. We can wait on other people to behave in the ways we believe will make us happy. That seems to be how most of the world thinks! But I have noticed that the way of the world isn’t working well in creating happy lives and neither is yours, hence your post here. Your husband, your children and inevitably your new man, will all let you down if you place the weight of the responsibility for your moods squarely onto their shoulders. It’s a burden none of us can bear! But the good news is that happiness and mood management are inside jobs, meaning you can do it for yourself, right here, right now! There are many techniques you can use to generate all the happiness you could want, all with or without a husband and a lover on the side. YES YOU CAN! :) The truest joy is the kind the world (anyone outside of ourselves) can’t give.
The next shift you could consider involves how you see your husband in all this. Are you sure you are as unconnected to him as you believe you are? For someone so unconnected, you sound as if you know him pretty well. You know his habits, how he thinks, how he is likely to respond and so on. Perhaps you are unconnected to the fantasy husband, the one you wish your actual husband was. Is your fantasy husband one that reflects your ideal self (the person you think you are or would like to be) while your actual husband might, just might, complement your actual self? And if there is any confusion about who you actually are, just look at your actions. You also said in your previous comment that your husband wants to work things out with you. That doesn’t sound like a husband who is disconnected from his wife to me. You’d know when he was truly disconnected by the sound of the door slamming as he walked out of your life for good. Couldn’t there be more connection there then you think?
Third and finally, you could try an imaginative exercise. You could imagine what your perfect outcome would be. Vividly see it in your mind. Who’s there, in this perfect outcome? Who are you with? Where are you living? How are the kids feelings? More importantly, who are you in this perfect outcome, as in, what are you thinking, feeling and doing? Coming out of this imaginative flight of fancy, who would you have to be (thinking, feeling and acting) to make this vision a reality? What steps would you take, right now?
Oksana, I don’t know if your thought processes are on the right track or not. Or rather, I could say they are on the right track because they are what they are. Reality is. But that’s another discussion. Only you know what the right track is or is not. You can look within and without to notice which track your thoughts are really on and whether you wish to stay on it. All I can say is that happiness and freedom aren’t hard. They are just ego free. And to reiterate, I’m not saying you should or should not stay with your husband. None of my comments should be interpreted that way.
I don’t think you are a bad person Oksana. I think you are a loving person. You have a lot of warmth, affection and fun to share! That isn’t a problem, that’s a blessing!