What’s Left?

That is the question my wife asked me, and it keeps floating around in my head. She is right you know. With both an emotional and physical affair what remains for the spouse?

An emotional affair covers the emotional and intellectual bonding of a couple. When I was with Meredith we bonded on such a strong level it was hard for me to contemplate. Before I considered it an affair I told my wife how wonderful it was to be around Meredith and how well she understood me. Of course my wife remembers those comments. Either way Meredith and I had a much stronger emotional and intellectual bond than I’ve ever had with my wife.

Then you add in sex which is another core component of a romantic relationship. Sex with my wife was not fulfilling for me. I was always searching for something different even when I didn’t know exactly what I was looking for. More of a subconscious act. Meredith and I had some of the greatest sexual experiences of my life. They were all earth shattering.

When you add up those two elements then you get to my wife’s question, what’s left? I have to agree with her there. Even if you take Sydney out of the equation there is an emptiness for me in this marriage that I don’t think can be filled. I want those two things more than almost anything. I want them to be the core of my primary relationship moving forward.

My wife is never going to be able to fulfill the sexual side. We have tried. She is not interested. I also don’t think we will ever have a great emotional bond. It’s just not part of who she is. I don’t think she can or would be willing to fundamentally change who she is nor do I think she should. She is wonderful, just not for me.

On top of that she does not want to be in a marriage where she does not feel valued for her emotional and sexual connection. She will not ask me to stay just for the kids. She will only ask me to stay if she thinks she can have that level of bond with me in the future. She desires strongly to be a good wife. She needs to be everything for her spouse, and she knows now that she cannot fill that role with me.

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9 thoughts on “What’s Left?

  1. In marriage what was left? Because it seems to me there wasn’t a lot to stay for anyway apart from the material things and that really isn’t enough. It might be helpful for you both to sit down and dissect the marriage so you know exactly what you would have been staying for and what both of you were truly getting out of the relationship.

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  2. Your wife sounds like an exceptional person, APM. Her strength and fortitude in adversity is truly impressive. There are not many people who would handle devastation like this with such presence of mind. It’s amazing how much of her integrity comes through the nooks and crannies of your writing, even when you are discussing the attributes of other women. That really says something. It is so good that she is now in the caring hands of her loved ones, and that you recognize her need for extensive healing and support that cannot be met by you. I think she will come out of this nightmare brighter and stronger.

    Please find a time very soon to complete full disclosure, as your window for doing so without increasingly risking harmful repercussions is closing. Don’t forget to take care of yourself, and reach out for your own support. This may end up being a much harder time for you than you realize right now.

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    1. She is an exceptional person. I agree with that. I don’t know how well she would’ve handled this a year or more ago, but with the counselors help she has really found her strength. She has even mentioned that they talked about how resilient she actually is because she didn’t believe it before. But she is handling this all very well, and I’m really proud of her. Of course I think she also saw it coming for quite a while which reduced the sting of the shock.
      It’s even more than that Lynn. I knew she would need this type of support, and have worked with her over the last couple years to cultivate those good friendships that are not related to me. I encouraged her to get a counselor so she had someone she could open up to. I know she processes thoughts by talking them out. She needs that. I knew it was coming, and worked to help her get that support setup. Now it is in motion, and I’m glad I did. I’m glad she has people to talk to. It will make her feel much better.
      I will reach out to my own support as soon as possible. It is a bit harder on this side of the equation. There isn’t as much sympathy. Mostly judgement. In fact I fear my own family may be the most in judgement of me. Can’t wait for that to come up.

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      1. It is good of you to worry so much about your wife’s support system and her ability to handle the devastation you both are currently facing, but I wonder if perhaps you have spent so much time focusing on her flaws and needs for improvement that you have not paid equal attention to yourself. Very gently, you are not her rock anymore. You are letting her go. That means that there is nobody here to focus on but you.

        Please start working on yourself, and working on your own support system. Like they always say on the airplanes, make sure to secure your own oxygen mask before helping others.

        Please seek out good support for yourself.

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      2. Thanks. We’ve actually been talking about that. It is hard for sure. There isn’t any sympathy for the cheater. I have some ideas on that but need to get fully through the separation discussion today. This limbo just sucks.

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      3. Good luck with your difficult conversation today. There truly are no winners in situations like these, but I feel that the love and care that you both share for your children can go a long way in guiding your discussions.

        I know you are in a pretty challenging position finding support as the wayward partner. You may or may not be able to count on receiving that from your loved ones, in various degrees, and that is as unfortunate as it is consequential. You have a lot of healing and digging to do for yourself, and you should not be alone in that. I’m glad you have some ideas there, and hope those sources will provide healthy and balanced feedback for you. (Also: the website I sent earlier for your wife has a protected forum for wayward partners. You can designate your posts on this forum so only other waywards may comment. This is certainly not the only resource available, but it may be a starting place.)

        Good luck today.

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