General chatter - Stay or Leave?

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10-01-2013, 01:12 AM
I eat from stress and in the past, I have had a lot of stress in my marriage.

We have had the usual money problems and in-law problems. My husband didn't hold down a job during the first years of the marriage and he didn't seem to care how it affected me. When his mother was verbally abusive to me, he never defended me. But the hardest thing for me was when our attractive neighbor moved in next door. My husband went crazy for her. It wasn't just that he was sexually attracted to her, he acted as though she was the person he had been looking for all of his life. Every time she was outside, he would find a reason to go and be with her. He acted as though he was obsessed. She is married with kids and, as far as I know, has done nothing to encourage him but she must have seen his demeanor and figured it out. She and he would spend hours talking and I was never invited to join them.

I did find out about some negative gossip about me between she and another neighbor. At the same time, I was dealing with the deaths of my parents and an abusive boss.

I was so angry and exhausted that I gave everyone the cold shoulder, especially my husband. I confronted him and he didn't deny what is going on. During the heated confrontation, he admitted that he married me because he was afraid that he wouldn't find anyone else. I told him that I wanted out. He talked me into staying by assuring me that he loves me and wants the marriage to last. Since then, he has not pursued the neighbor, to my knowledge.

I would like to forgive and forget but I just don't trust him and I am still pissed off about the whole situation. The relationship with the neighbor is very strained so every time I come in and out of my driveway, I dread running into her.

I have stayed because my husband and I have had a deep friendship and connection. We have supported each other through many other life experiences so it has been hard to decide to walk away.

I am interested in what you would do in this situation. I have lost some trust and respect for him. I feel very badly that I didn't handle this better and I would love to know your thoughts.

10-01-2013, 02:11 AM
If I had a deep friendship and connection (which is harder to come by than sexual attraction) I would work to save the marriage, but with the condition that my husband was also willing to work to save the marriage, starting with agreeing to go to counseling.

I would also consider moving, if at all possible. The daily reminder of the "emotional affair" would drive me batty (and I'm not very jealousy prone).

10-01-2013, 02:18 AM
Thank you, Kaplods. Your post means a lot to me. I read a lot of your posts and you always have such great insight.

10-01-2013, 08:48 AM
I agree with Kaplods, just the act of staying together doesn't mean it is saving the marriage if you aren't actively working to make it work. I would definitely seek counseling. I think moving, if possible, would be a good thing as well. If you guys just plan to co-exist in the same house without actively working to make the relationship between you better, then you are delaying the inevitable.

10-01-2013, 09:38 AM
During the heated confrontation, he admitted that he married me because he was afraid that he wouldn't find anyone else. I told him that I wanted out. He talked me into staying by assuring me that he loves me and wants the marriage to last.

There are questions you need to ask of yourself and then you have to act according to those answers.

1. Is it good enough for you that he married you out of fear?
2. Are there enough good memories worth fighting for?
3. Is there a reason beyond yourselves worth staying together for? (children)
4. Do you ever spend time daydreaming about your future without him? Or daydreaming about what your life would be like if he wasn't in it?
5. Has any friend or family member expressed concern about your marriage?

I can tell you what I would do, I'd leave. But I can only say that based on what you wrote. I'm sure there are pieces of this story that aren't mentioned here, like good memories, and fun times and feeling comfortable. Honestly I wouldn't worry so much about him having an affair with that woman, if she's married with kids the chances are low. I would however be really angry that he didn't marry for the right reasons. You're worth more than that, you deserve better than that. I don't know how he's talked you into staying with him but his honesty about that is out there now like a huge elephant. Can you ever forget that he said that? I can't.

10-01-2013, 11:34 AM
Telling you he married you because he was afraid he wouldn't find anyone else was cruel, but men can say really dumb, insensitive things sometimes. The big question is does he love you now and how much? Does he love you enough to treat you like you are truly special in his life? Does he love you enough to go to counseling? Does he love you enough to move? How badly does he want to keep you? You should mean the world to him.

10-01-2013, 12:42 PM
What I would do, is leave. I'm not saying that is right for you though.

I don't think I could ever reconcile a relationship that was built on "I was afraid I'd never find someone else so I married you." I would never be able to forget he said that. Every time I looked at him, I would hear it in my head again. It would color my perspective forever. Perhaps that is my failing, but I'm just being honest.
I would also never trust him again, not after what happened with the neighbor. Being unfaithful is so much more than just a physical affair. He was unfaithful, and blatantly disrespectful and disregarding towards you and your feelings. Those are things I would not be able to just forget and live with. Again, a failing on my part I'm sure.

I'm sorry you're facing this choice. Truthfully there is probably a better relationship out there for you. But only you know if you can/want to go look for it or stay put and work with what you have.

10-01-2013, 03:35 PM
Do you care about you?

Because your husband is only treating you the way you expect and accept to be treated.

Care about you unconditionally and it will fall into place.

10-01-2013, 05:26 PM
In moments of guilt and shame, men can say some hurtful things. Chances are he probably didn't mean some of the things he said about marrying you out of fear. He married you, not someone else. You have a life together, children, a home... think long before making big decisions. I've been there too, and these things can be overcome. It's not that you're not good enough, it's that he just needs his brains to be un-scrambled. Work for it, it's worth it in the end.

10-01-2013, 05:49 PM
If you're both willing to work on the marriage there definately seems to be something worth saving but it won't be easy especially since you live right next door to a source of pain.


10-01-2013, 06:47 PM
I am not sure how involved your husband got with the next door neighbor but crushes happen and if your husband wants you to stay I would trust that.

I had a huge crush on a co-worker while with my boyfriend. I knew it hurt my boyfriend's feelings but I just missed having a crushes. I was going through other problems both with my boyfriend and family and the crush just was a nice distraction.

I am not excusing his behavior or anything but if there is still good there I think that is something worth fight for!

10-01-2013, 08:10 PM
If you don’t have kids, leave. Who randomly says ‘I married you because I was afraid I wouldn’t find anyone else’ - if it isn’t true? Also, it seems really likely if the neighbor had felt the same way about him - they would already be sleeping together. You deserve better and he deserves to be alone.

10-01-2013, 08:45 PM
My husband "settled for me" because he just wanted to be married. I'm in the process of leaving after having 2 kids with him and being scarred by multiple affairs.

I deserve a man who wants me for me, not because he's afraid of not finding anyone else. You deserve the same!!


10-01-2013, 08:50 PM
Don't leave yet if you have kids.

Try marriage counseling first.

If you do not have kids, I'll be honest and would probably leave.

10-01-2013, 09:34 PM
I really want to thank everyone for all of your wisdom. You have all truly helped me.

I am going to start with counseling - preferably with him - or if he won't go, then without him.

Again, thank you all so much. I have struggled with this alone so it really does help to share it and get your feedback.

10-02-2013, 02:22 PM
I wish you the best, I hope he will agree to counseling with you.

10-02-2013, 04:47 PM
I agree with Kaplods. There do appear to be things here that make this worth working on. But I would either move or make it a condition that he end his inappropriate friendship with this woman. His crush and this close friendship he has is what affairs often start out as. If he respects your marriage, he needs to end this pronto and commit to not doing that again.