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I stopped believing
April 29, 2000
2:15 am
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jwt
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This is a long story. I won't bore you with all with the details right now. If you are really interested, I think I was last here around November and a lot of it is there.

I'm 45 yrs old guy, married, with our only daughter a freshman at college. I have an interesting and challenging career for which I am well compensated.

For the past 2 1/2 years I have been in love with my assistant. She says she loves me, we talk for hours about everything and have an unbelieveable mutual physical attraction... BUT... We will never be together. She has been in love with a man for 5 1/2 years who is divorcing his wife for her. I don't know if those two will ever get married...my guess is no. I do know that I feel like a fool most of the time.

My marrage is a mess. My wife of 25 years loves me. I should be jumping into her arms. Instead, I feel emotionally, sexually and intellectually dead when we are together. The problems were there before I even met my assistant. Since she came into my life, the problems have just become worse. Nevertheless, my wife has been so good to me and so good to my parents during their last years, that the thought of leaving her now seems wrong.

We have talked for hundreds of hours trying to work through our problems. Nothing ever changes. I know that the only person I can change is me. I just can't seem to convince myself that what I feel is not real. The result is that I am miserable.

Don't even start on me again about face-to-face counseling. It is just not going to happen.

Why am I posting this thread now? Something happened inside me. Every morning I had been able to wake up and believe that maybe today I could find an answer, that maybe today things would be better. It didn't happen this morning. This morning, I stopped believing that things really were going to be okay.

Help.

April 29, 2000
5:23 am
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lost soul
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Things is going to be OK if you change your mentality. Pardon me if I I sounds too blunt.

I remember reading your previous thread by your above descriptions.

The issues which I can think of right now is, could it be the lack of "spark" in your marriage. This is quite common amount marriage couples and don't be surprise it is also the problems of many couples who are not marry but has being in courtship for many years.

April 29, 2000
7:51 am
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hazza
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Hi JWT,
i remember your postings from before.
I am sorry that you have not had any improvement in the way you feel.
from what i remember though, the relationship with your assistant was not altogether perfect in itself. And despite this, due to the boredom you found in your marriage, you continued with this relationship even though it could be at times quite dissatifying?

i have a couple of questions for you, firstly you say you should be jumping into your wifes arms, but is this realistic?? i ask you to question here your notions of love. are you confusing love with passion? with sex? is your notion of love based on reality or a hollywood fairytale?
i don't know many people who have been together that long that don't feel some of the things you are describing. But as with everything in life, it is always a bit of a trade off. the security you get for being with someone that long in return for losing that initial passion.
remember that passion is at its most basic, a device of nature to make us reproduce, it is designed not to last!

are you wanting to eat your cake and have it too?

now if you had simply fallen out of love with one woman and fallen in love with the next one, that i could understand. But you are pining for a woman who plans to marry another man but still tells you she loves you too!!!

it is almost like you will take ANY other offer that shows some "spark" rather than live without, even if the other person is unavailable or clearly has some issues of her own.

it sounds to me that you are not in love with your assistant, you are infatuated with her. They are two very different things.

you are sitting and waiting for chance or your heart to decide the course of your life, when sometimes you really need to direct your life with your head. you run the risk of not having either of these women in your life.

now as the saying goes, you don't know what you've got til its gone!
how would you feel without this woman? how would you feel without your wife???

by not choosing and i emphasise CHOOSING, to make a go of it with your wife and recognise this infatuation for what it is, OR telling your other woman that you need her to either make a life with you and you alone or leave. you are choosing to keep this misery alive. this sitting on the fence not knowing which way to fall.

now, as it was then, and will continue to be, you need to make a choice. what are you waiting for?

logically, you already know that this woman will not make a suitable partner, she has too many problems of her own right? so your infatuation is surely due to the fact that she has woken up a dormant sexual passion in you.
how long would that last? is it worth losing the other things in your lfie for?
some people believe it is, i once made that choice and in many ways regretted it, but i made the choice in my early 20's. I would not make that same choice if i were approaching my retirement. even now i have learned that compatablity and friendship matter above anything else.

so the question for is not what to do. none of us can tell you that, some people may say "hey you only live once, go for it" and others would tell you to work on your marriage.

the real question you need to look at is, can you learn to live with the fact that you will not have eveything you want at once? can you make a choice to end this bitterweet misery or are you keeping this situation alive because that in itself is giving you excitement? and also how can you expect your marriage to change at all while all your energy is focused outside of that relationship?

any relationship you have will reach the point where the intial spark changes for something more familiar and deeper.
some people do not like this change, they get a kick of the initial passion and get bored after that. Other poeple love this new level of the relationship, and when they do they bring out the best in that new stage.

what have you discussed with your wife? what does she say about the situation?

i am sorry to sound unsympathetic, becuase i do care, but this situation can only be changed by you. but you are waiting for an ideal outcome and that may not be possible.

the reason that nothing has changed is that you are waiting for new option to turn up and it wont. you already know the choices, they are obvious and have been there all along, it is just you wont choose any of them because it is not the answer you want to hear. you need to accept that you may not have the answer you want. but if you choose one course of action that is feasable and a realality, then at least you would be moving forward instead of being stuck in the same place waiting for something that may never come.

peace
Hazza

April 29, 2000
5:05 pm
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Brenda
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Nothing will change until YOU change.
YOu have made no attempt to change and refuse counseling, which is in fact refusing to take responsibility for the huge problems and betrayals in your life.
Stand up to plate and face the music, then changes will happen and you will become happy.

April 30, 2000
2:49 am
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Frieda
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There are moral issues here, too. Right, wrong, remember? Could it be your conscience won't let you enjoy what you know is wrong? You hear the alarm going off, and you're answering the phone. Hello?

April 30, 2000
10:21 am
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Spirit
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JWT: Did you stop believing in the spirit that is you, or just in fleeting feelings that betray what you KNOW in your heart? No one can judge you like you judge yourself. None of us could be that harsh. You are a spiritual being having a human experience and sometimes that bites, big time.

You have reached a plateau in your life which requires a decision. Sometimes the best decision is not to make decision at all. Sometimes running away from all the outside interferrences so you can breathe is a decision towards making a longer term decision. Me thinks you have lost touch with who you truly are. We are not the titles we bear, or the images others have of us, we are all of Spirit, just sometimes the human experience makes us forget that.

JWT, reach inside of your heart, KNOWING is there. This is but a moment in this lifetime, a lesson to be learned, and a lesson to be taught. Control what you can, accept what you can't, and be responsible for you. May you find the peace you seek through understanding...

May 1, 2000
12:45 am
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jwt
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Thank you all...again. I knew 2 1/2 years ago, when I told my assistant that I loved her, that my life had changed. I didn't know if it would be for the better or the worse. I still don't know. I do know that it was something I had to do. Inspite of all the heartache, I don't regret it because it was the truth and still is.

Hazza: I will save you for last because you touched a lot of issues.

Brenda: I don't want to have that discussion again. I'm dumb, but that's the way it is.

Frieda: Yes, this situation has a whole lot of moral issues. I pray everyday for help...not an outcome...just help. I know right from wrong. This is also about love. You may be suprised but the biggest moral question for me seems to be...is it right for two people to make love when one is in love with someone else? That cuts a lot of different directions. I know some of you may feel the need to point out some of the bigger moral issues. Trust me, guilt for this whole mess rests squarely on my shoulders.

Spirit: Wow. I see things very much the way you seem to see them. Funny, I have both found and lost the spirit that is in me. Until I met my assistant, I was a pure workaholic. I know in my heart that it was an escape from being at home. My assistant helped me find a lot of the spirit and feelings that I had burried deep inside. For that, I will always be grateful to her. I believe in my heart that my assistant and I belong together. I'm not sure that I will ever understand that I could have been so wrong.

That's my problem now...my spirit...that positive attitude I had each morning has gone awol. I guess I'm throughly convinced that neither relationship has a happy future. It looks like just a lot of pain for everyone concerned.

You raised the question of plateaus, outside inteferrences and decisions...read on...

hazza: Confusing love and passion? Infatuated? Maybe...but it sure feels like love...feels different than anything I have ever felt in my life. Its not just sex. We have so much in common and see most of life's major questions in the same way. When we are together I feel happy, better, more me. Whatever it is, I want it.

Willing to take any other offer that shows some spark? I hope not, unless the spark is in my heart. But, as unhappy as I am, I am afraid that someday you may be right. A little history...I never expected a physical relationship with my assistant...she was involved with someone...but I did love her and I had to tell her. She initiated the physical part about a month later. It just seems to be something else we have in common.

Direct my life with my head? My heart was burried for so long. Its time for my heart to run my life for a while. Waiting for chance or my heart to decide the course of my life? Yep.

You say that it is time to choose, that I am waiting for another answer or option that will never come. Right again.

I have lost hope that my assistant will choose to leave her other relationship and make a life with me. That choice seems to have been made for me. I have tried and tried to talk myself into choosing my marrage...until my heart has its say...I'm scared to end it...scared to hurt someone who doesn't deserve it and scared to be alone.

It's not just a matter of choosing. I know I will never be able to focus on my marrage when I see my assistant everyday. I can't ask her to leave. She is a single mom with 2 children and she needs the job. My job prospects elsewhere are excellent and I am not afraid to make a career change. I'd move for the sake of my marrage. I just don't think it will make any differece. All of our problems will just move with us. Do I leave? Do I leave by myself?

May 1, 2000
9:05 am
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Cici
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Sometimes, the most socially acceptible thing to do is to bury your emotions. We do this for so long, in the end we become divorced from ourselves. We begin to over-intellectualize everything, analyzing every action and motive as if we are observing ourselves. That, I think, is when life starts to move from something that you yourself control to something that happens, moves along, and carries you with the current, bumping you about on rocks and dragging you across sandy embankments, sometimes leaving you stranded in the middle of the river, until the current rises enough again to carry you further.

So. Some people live their lives being carried along by the current, outside of themselves, watching their lives. Some people are strong enough to walk their own paths their whole lives. Some need the help of others to regain their footing. But you need to take the outstretched hand and put your trust in something outside of yourself to do that. A foreign concept to the American mind.

Which one are you, jwt? And which do you choose to be?

May 2, 2000
5:52 am
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hazza
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HI JWT,
okay, my first impression now put aside, i am going to make this post assuming that you are genuinely in love with this woman and that the feeling you have for your wife and no longer there.
this happens and i am not going to judge anyone for that. i just want people to be sure first!

have you told this woman that she must make a choice?
in other words does this woman feel as strongly as you?

if she did and told you "hey babe, i am your and your alone for ever" then problem solved.
okay people would be hurt by your decision, but sometimes that is unavoidable. we all talk here of being true to ourselves, as we must be, but sometimes it does hurt others and that is really horrible but it does happen. we would all be staying put in unhappy lives if we did nothing through fear of hurting others.

the problem now, is though, i don't think your lady friend can make that choice can she? she does not know who she loves.

so even though we now know what the ideal would be for you, it still cannot happen while she is indecided.

you cannot focus yourself elsewhere until you know.
Ask her to choose. it is time she did.

if she cannot choose you, then take in your heart all she has taught you and be grateful and use what you have learned as you go forward, see if you still love your wife, maybe you can teach her what you have learned. If not choose to live with the status quo or move on.

But surely it is time too make your assistant CHOOSE, you seem to know what you want and it is HER that is keeping her options open all the time, and using you in the process.

the question is as you know, all about taking the next step and being brave enough to make this stale-mate over. you fear that you will not get the answer you want, so keep it going. you know the answers to all your questions, you just need her to answer the main question.
Peace
HAzza

May 3, 2000
8:40 pm
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minnie
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I'm new to the board and your dilemma struck a cord in me.

I am the assistant, now married to the boss. We've been married 7 years.

We were and still are very emotionally connected, sexually attracted, best friends and our marrige has been great, overall. I must tell you, however, when the boss and I got together I had only been divorced for 2 years and was, believe it or not, engaged to another guy.
I never loved "the other guy" - I think I was going to marry him to not feel the kind of love and, ultimately hurt, I felf in my first marriage. I only tell you this to let you know how twisted my thinking was soon after a divorce. The "boss" and I married shortly after breaking it off with my fiance.

I have not been a perfect wife. We have had some problems because I have baggage I've brought with me into this relationship that I should have gotton rid of a long time ago. I'm really working on it because I love my husband. Would he marry me again if he knew it was going to be so difficult? I don't know and don't really want to know the answer to that. What I'm really trying to tell you is no matter how great and right it feels, you'll still end up going through some of the same difficulties and feelings you have with your current wife. Life does, indeed, repeat itself. I think all relationships take a great deal of work and anyone at anytime (including your wife) could find someone else that would spark enough of an interest they would consider leaving their marriage. I'll stop here because I sure don't have the answers I just have some experience.

May 3, 2000
9:34 pm
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vositor
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If you've had a physical recently and there's nothing wrong with your body, you're probably just plain bored silly. The only solution you've come up with for the boredom - swapping women - is boring, too. Otherwise, you would have done it (and lost everything you've worked for all these years).

Why don't you go on one of those testosterone weekends - war games or survival games - and get your brain engaged on a completely different level.

Or, if you're one of those people who eschews medical exams, and haven't had one in the last year, it wouldn't hurt you and you might learn something.

After you've exhausted a few possibilities and you still keep coming back to the assistant, then maybe . . . It would be interesting to know what she does if you suddenly have ideas that don't include her. Your wife, too, for that matter.

Get a physical.

May 6, 2000
12:40 pm
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May 6, 2000
11:52 pm
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Frieda
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jw, I didn't want to heap any condemnation--you seem to do enough of that. The point is what is causing it? Your conscience is a valuable tool to help you discern right from wrong. I think you want to do what is right but you can't find a way to have what you want and still do what you know is right. Making love to your wife is not wrong. The fantasizing may be. That's the conflict. You want to fantasize more than you want to make love to your wife. But your conscience tells you that's wrong. If you truly want to do what's right you would go back to the Top Ten, and see what they say about it. Many people say you can't control who you fall in love with. Like Hazza's positive thinking thread, though, I think that what you think on and what you DECIDE to be faithful to are more relevant than a magnetic/biochemical attraction. You don't want to hurt your wife, but you're not willing to give up what you want more (the assistant) to spare her. It's all a matter of what you want most.

What do you really want? You can only have one.

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