Sunday Thoughts

Rambling through my brain today are questions as to why these relationships are appealing to me. Also I’ve been thinking about my marriage and what is missing. Clearly there are good things in my marriage, but there seems to be a large void. Is it me? Am I just a horrible narcissistic person as some have accused? Have I changed over time? Has my wife changed over time? Was there always something missing?

Frankly I think there has always been something missing, but as we go through life we change and grow. Early in my marriage the missing pieces were not as important as what I had. For some reason that changed.

Was it Meredith or was it always destined to be somebody, and she was just there at the right time? How do I factor in Sydney? And what about the future? If Sydney disappears will she just be replaced by another? Frankly I thought Meredith was a one on a million find, but then Sydney popped up. How many more are there that I would run into? Why did it not happen before?

I’m not in love with Sydney. But she is making me think a lot about what is troubling me. I’m not happy in my marriage. I love my wife. She is a wonderful person, but I’m not drawn to her romantically anymore. I’m not sure I ever really was. I was drawn to who I thought she could be. Who I wanted to believe she was.

Can my marriage be enough? Is this even what I want to be in? Maybe run through some hypotheticals. What if there were no kids? What if there was no Meredith or Sydney waiting in the wings? Would I choose to stay married? Honestly, the answer is probably No. I think if the kids were not here, and I understand how I feel now I would probably leave this relationship.

Another thing. This relationship with Sydney has not delved into bdsm at all. As far as I can tell Sydney has no shared kinks with me. Of course we have not explored that either. Nor should we. But here I had been saying everything was fine with Meredith until there was bdsm sex on the line. Is that true? Maybe it’s not that at all.

Is it the hunt? Would the excitement die soon after if one of these was to form into a relationship? I can see it failing quickly with Sydney, but not with Meredith. She was special.

Would an open relationship matter here? If I were able to be with someone on the side how would that impact my life? I’m sure there are lots of negatives, but there are people in open marriages and they do fine. Monogamy is not a normal thing. We have to fight hard to make it happen. Maybe I’m not strong enough for that fight.

Would I just be better to have never married at all? I do feel that way many times. I love my children. I always wanted children, but maybe that was a mistake. Forever is a long time. Maybe 20 years is my max. Going down this road makes me quite depressed. I want to be here for them in the future at some level.

I feel like I’m setting my wife up for a no-win situation. We put our lives on hold for so long. They are finally coming together and I feel like I want out. On paper our lives are almost perfect right now. But I’m living in turmoil.

What if Sydney were Sid instead? Finding a man of similar personalities would help solve the friendship problem with no risk of romantic relationship. I’m not sure I could even find a male version. Maybe he wouldn’t be appealing to me because he is a man. Maybe this was always destined to be a romantic relationship. Or maybe I just connect better with women. My last two bosses have been women and we work very well together.

So much to think about. Maybe I should have another session with the counselor before I talk to my wife. I’m really scared about all this. What the hell is going on with me? So many questions…

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9 thoughts on “Sunday Thoughts

  1. My question for you is, have you ever thought about what made you want to marry your wife? You had some hopes and dreams about that particular woman strong enough to marry her. I know several women who married men they did not love due to outside pressures. In four cases out of five they had exit affairs. Some of those marriages were happy and some were not. I do truly believe you cannot help who you love. I don’t fault you for that. You cannot help it. What you can help is being a kind hearted person. You are stringing your wife along trying to make her into something she is not. Whether you recognize it or not you are demeaning her and she feels smaller and smaller trying to please you when you’re never going to be pleased. That is where my quarrel is with you. If you know that you are never going to be happily married to your wife then you need to do what you want to do in the kindest, most gentle, way possible. You certainly do not need to bring other women’s names into it.
    One small piece of information for you to think about. A study was done on people who were unhappy in their lives, particularly in their marriages. When they were interviewed five years later whatever had made them unhappy had disappeared and they were very content with their lives, including their marriages. It is something to think about. If you are truly desiring to get into the sexual subculture that you find interesting you are pressuring your wife into something she is never going to enjoy. This might be a wall neither of you can scale. Just accept that this either is a part of your marriage that is less than perfect, and stay because you genuinely care about keeping your family together, or move on and let her have a chance to enjoy happy marriage with a man who loves her for who she is.

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  2. A couple of things.

    First of all, beware those who would project their opinion as experience. For example, meaningless labels applied by others such as narcissism often lead those emotionally struggling up the wrong tree and delay getting to the meat of the issues. Blaming everything on narcissism or some other pathology is easier than understanding nuance.

    As my doctor repeatedly reminded me early on, only 1% of the population are narcissists and I “should leave diagnosis to professionals” and not internet clickbait and armchair psychologists; they don’t always mean well.

    Because I tend to be empathic and reflective about other people’s perceptions, their attitudes can have an outsized influence on my feelings and thinkings about the problems and solutions. Because I’m willing to acknowledge I have blind spots and want to see them I sometimes get bogged down in meaningless mental and emotional gymnastics. It took me nearly four months to see other people’s opinions for what they are and refocus on the right questions and truthful solutions. Because of my hurt, loss, and humilations it took me months to stop letting unsafe people in my head.

    What has become obvious as I examine my shitheadery and Ugly is it is shitheadery and Ugly. It isn’t a grand conspiracy, narcissism or some other mental health issue or overt/covert maliciousness. It is family of origin damage coupled to fear. I spent every day trying to make it better. I know who I am. I know what I want. I know what I need.

    Mostly. Today.

    More will be revealed. Just as I cannot step in the same river twice, every day I am a different person.

    Secondly, we all have blind spots in the way we love and live and I’ve come to appreciate that the reason to have relationships is to act as a mirror for ourselves. It allows us to see ourselves more clearly.

    We are all missing things. If we aren’t missing pieces we would never seek out others. Whether I take a religious, spiritual, philosophical, cultural, or psychological perspective we become involved with others so we can learn more about who we are. The idea you have to be complete and love yourself before you can love yourself in nonsense (Check out Stan Tarkin’s talk about love, danger, deviance, and conflict on the Good Life Project podcast 2/5/2018). The idea that one person should be burdened/expected to be everything all the time for an entire lifetime is idealistic and unrealistic (check out Ester Perel, Brene Brown, Mark Nepo).

    However, how we approach that makes all the difference.

    Although I don’t agree with everything Amanda wrote yesterday, I do agree there are times and reasons to move on. It just shouldn’t be out of fear, bitterness, or anger. Those are emotionally stunting traps.

    Thirdly, you are not responsible for your W’s happiness or well-being but she cannot make decisions about what is best for her own happiness or well-being without all the information. Giving her all the information means you are faced with choosing between vulnerability (vulnerability = risk + uncertainty + emotional truthfulness) and fear of vulnerability (fear of vulnerability = trickle truth + pride + controlling). For me to have something different I have to do something different. That can feel terrifying – or maybe just think it feels terrifying.

    Regardless my fear of vulnerability meant I was trapped behind shame and pride. As such, C (nor K) were ever given enough information to make informed choices. Contrary to cultural pressures, you have a lot of choices between simply staying or simply leaving. I repeatedly say, love them and leave, love them and stay, hate them and stay, or hate them and stay are not the only choices. There are a 1,000 choices inbetween because every situation is unique. It isn’t all one thing or another no matter how many people say otherwise. It isn’t a black and white choice.

    I made a lot of selfish and mistake-riddled choices trying to find a face-saving, relationship-saving way to extricate myself from my betrayal, secret-keeping and escalating series of lies. All built around trying to protect myself and C from my Ugly and shitheadery. I tried everything but asking for help, humbling myself, and trusting C’s commitment to Us. That is true vulnerability. It is what I was working towards with C.

    I knew what needed done but K made the call to C before I was able to tell her the whole story. There are at least three people that know 7 days before the reveal date I had made plans to sit C down and tell her the story…and then ask her to marry me…but I knew we couldn’t move forward as long as I was hiding behind secrets and lies. C had a right to know.

    Your and my journeys are different. I never doubted where I belonged and to who. You are trying to figure out what is true for you and who you are. What is similar, when I read your journal, is we are both still sorting it all out.

    You want answers for yourself and your W. You clearly want to do to best for your W, family, Sidney, Meridith and whoever comes along next. It has taken me months to recognize that to do what is best requires vulnerability and asking for help. Swallow your pride, face your fear, embrace vulnerability. It is the only way you will know the truth of what you need and want. It is the only way to find the right mirror so you can see yourself more clearly.

    You are more than a label. You are more than your fears. You are more than the stories.

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  3. I will share some insight with you – if you are always looking somewhere else you will always see intriguing things – which will make the “lacks” in your life stand out even more.

    I do feel you have “conquest” behaviour, take it from my experience – once you have a chance to be with another woman in a monogamous relationship, the excitement will very quickly wear off and you will wonder what the fuck you did.

    Also, I want you to have bit of knowledge of what happens when you only see your children 50% (or less) of the time – you have absolutely ZERO control (and you do seem to like control from what I’ve read). Your (ex) wife can have as many men in her life that your children will call “daddy”, and you can do absolutely nothing about it. They will sleep over and do things even better than you – yes, both with your wife and your kids.

    How will that make you feel?

    I do believe we are each responsible for our own happiness, and yes, you deserve to be happy as well. However, you should be aware of the consequences that you are not thinking about.

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    1. Actually the percentage of individuals with a personality disorder is much higher than 1%. I agreed, with someone’s response, that some of his actions, based off his writing, appeared to fall into the Cluster B area of personality disorders. The pattern of his behaviors *could* suggest that. For me I was leaning towards BPD but I’m just basing that off what he has written, what I personally experienced and what I’ve obsessively and thoroughly researched. There is a pattern of behavior and a disregard to what the behavior is doing and could do to his loved ones. He either doesn’t care OR cannot stop himself. Based on just that, I’d guess something was amiss. It could be lots of things but it is certainly something. Normal people do not repeatedly and carelessly risk hurting the people they love. They don’t repeat risky behaviors that put their emotions in constant turmoil. That’s all I was saying. I’m always hopeful that everyone struggling can find a reason that helps them find their way out of it. We all want to be happy.

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  4. Why wouldn’t you change? Noone stays the same and just because you are married to someone for twenty years (or however long) it does not mean you will stay the same. I do believe that in relationships, in the early days, we see it through rose tinted glasses. Things that most people would find annoying we see as cute quirks of personality etc. As time goes on, it becomes annoying. Sometimes you can deal. Sometimes the honeymoon period lasts a lot longer and before you know it you’re married. Who knows.

    I’m not convinced you can stay ‘in love’ with the same person infinitely. I think you just get used to them. My parents have been together for just short of 50 years. How the hell does that even happen? I have no idea. Is it love that keeps them together or that they are ‘just together’ because it’s been soooo long. Also, I do not believe that there is only one person for everyone. Far from it. And sometimes, one of those other people will find their way into your life. I also don’t believe that man is inherently monogamous. But that’s just my opinion.

    The kink side of it is not something you can ignore forever. You get into a relationship and you think, ahhh at some point I’ll broach that. And it doesn’t happen. And it never happens and for a while that’s okay but you can’t keep that kind of thing smothered forever. It needs a release. And it will find a release.

    There’s no point in regretting the choices you have already made because you already made them. Look at the future. Yes, if you ran off with Meredith or Sydney the chances are it wouldn’t last forever. And yes lots of people have very satisfying open relationships but it has to be a 50/50 thing and I think you have to go into it from the start. Going from monogamy into non-monogamy unless both partners seriously, seriously want to do it, will not work. There are simply too many emotions involved. I have personal experience of that one.

    Definitely talk to your counsellor separately about this before you broach these subjects at home because it will come across like you’re looking for a way out and that won’t come across well. You have no guarantee that all this therapy and all these blogs will result in a happy ever after for you and your wife, but you deserve the right to try, both of you. If it doesn’t work out, don’t beat yourself up about it. Staying only for the kids is not a good reason for staying. They are not the relationship. They are the result of it. But at least then you can say you gave it your best shot, which is more than a lot of people ever do. The other comments on this post are great, food for thought. I hope it all helps in some way.

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  5. Honestly you can dig deep into all the possible questions you want about what is going on with you, but the solution will come down to something simple. What are the pros and cons about staying and what are the pros and cons about leaving. What list wins and can you commit to that decision no matter what? You have to make a choice. To me the fact that you keep floundering says that you’ve already left your marriage. You’ve stepped out, you’ve thought about doing it again, and you’re just afraid to actually officially do it. I’d love to be wrong. Maybe you want someone to agree with you and tell you how you feel is completely normal and right, but it isn’t and you know that. It would feel better if someone did, I’m sure. The reality is, you should have left your marriage before stepping out. You should have left for yourself and never for another person if your not going to be happy with your wife.

    Here’s are some truths…finding our your spouse has cheating or is cheating is extremely painful. If your wife is fully invested in you, your life together, and your future together, she will be crushed. There’s no way around that. You’re children’s lives will be affected and they will lose some advantages that other children in a two parent household (no I’m not referencing when there is abuse in the house), and it will affect more people than just your family unit. It will affect everyone you are closely associate with, as a couple and as a family member. Your children will miss out on things due to custody issues. They could feel misplaced and confused. They may also feel they have no say or control over anything in their lives and act out because of it. They may not, however it will change them and they will not come out of a divorce household the same way they would if they came from a two parent home (stepparent does not apply here). It will not be easy.

    The infatuation stage of loving someone isn’t long lasting. I was shocked to learn, a few years back, that not everyone knows this. Anyone you spend years with, share responsibilities with, and see every side of, will be hard with anyone. After years have gone by and the newness has faded, you have to chose to love someone. Love them everyday through it all, chosen never to purposely hurt them, consider them when making any decision, and love the life you’ve built. People get so wrapped up in the madness of perfection and getting everything you’ve ever wanted. Those things come with work and choices not stepping out and selfishly pursuing something/someone outside of it all.

    If you decide to leave or you are forced to, you will struggle. Things will
    most likely get a lot worse before they get better and it may take a lot of time to feel ok. Things may not work out with either decision you make but you have to commit to one and be happy with that decision. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

    Stop hurting your family by dragging this out. Either commit to them or commit to leaving. You could waver like this for years if you don’t. This is hurting them now. I promise you it is.

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