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Why can't I go?
October 16, 2001
2:12 am
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jwt
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I don't know if anyone will remember my thread...stay or go?...that ended in February. I am the idiot married for more than 25 years and have been in love with my assistant at work for four years. My marrage is still miserable and my assistant is still involved in a long-term relationship with another man.

If you remember, I really did not want to go see a counselor. Well, I did finally go to one about a month ago. Neither my wife nor my assistant knew that I went. I poured my heart out to her. She told me that I already knew what I had to do. I need to leave my job, which I love, and put some distance between me and my assistant. Then decide what I wanted to do with my marrage. She suggested that I go home and send out my resume that day. I told her that I knew that I would not do that and asked her why I can't make the move. She said my relationship with my assistant just doesn't hurt enough yet. Her attitude was that I didn't need more counseling and when the pain was great enough I would go.

Our discussion led to a point that is still ringing in my head. I could never understand how my assistant can claim that she loves me and then go home to him like everything was okay. She says that she builds walls between the relationships. The counselor asked me what I would do if my assistant left her other relationship for me. I would always be scared that she would build other walls around other intimate relationships.

We had another fight this evening before our board meeting. I told her that I would not go to the company Christmas party because I could not stand to see her with him. She became very angry at me and stormed out of the office. She came back, began to pack up her office and told me she was quiting. She needs the job and I don't want her to do something that would hurt her family. I told her that it was me who should go and that I would send out my resume in the morning. I begged her to let me go. She said that she loves me and would stay but would leave if I ever did. I am not sure that I believe that or that it would really matter.

We didn't have time to talk because the board members began to arrive. She had to leave early when her 13 year old daughter called because she was home alone and scared. I began to write this thread when I got home. She just called to be sure I got home safe. She didn't want to talk about our fight, seemed very distant and did not tell me she loves me.

I can't go on like this. Why can't I do what I know I have to do and leave?

October 16, 2001
10:37 am
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ragdoll
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jwt -

the problem with situations like yours is that the truth probably is that you have no idea what is truly going on with you emotionally. the fact that you've got your wife, your assistant, your assistant's husband, various kids, all involved in setting and framing your emotional content means that all those elements are relying on each other to exist. Extricate one ofthem, and perhaps the whole house of cards crumbles. In other words, I think it's probably the case that, for example, your relationship with your assistant REQUIRES, for it's SURVIVAL, the other elements (YOUR wife, HER husband) and without those other elements it would wither and die. That's how we screw up our lives, jwt. That's exactly how we do it. [btw, The same is true for your relationship with your wife now...you've made it come to rely, for it's continued existence, on the other elements you've pushed into the mix, although that wasn't always the case.] You need to bite the bullet. You don't have an easy one here. You've tangled up your path to survival so that the only way out is to start separating them out, or go on like this forever in utter despairing stagnation. Feeling alive doesn't need to be such a chore. It's like you keep having to swing from vine to vine in the jungle, and you have to trust people who you know you are hurting or hurting you to hold the vine while you swing. START UNTANGLING IT ALL, or STAY EXACTLY WHERE YOU ARE AND KEEP LOSING YOURSELF DEEPER INTO THAT VINEY JUNGLE.

that's my advice.

-ragdoll

October 16, 2001
1:27 pm
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Molly
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I say quit the job, quit the assistant, divorce the wife, sell the house, and go buy a boat, start a new life. But until we get complete, and learn what we need to learn, we just recreate it all over again, so guess you need to work through it instead.
Your counselor is right, unfortunately as humans until we are sick and tired, of feeling sick and tired, we don't change. Perhaps that is where the no pain no gain comes in.
I really feel sorry for you, up to your elbows in love with this woman, who uses you like a door mat, and you would give up your job, your families security for her, FOR WHAT???
I like the vine analogy, and the jungle, that is sure where your at.
You are the only one who can initiate the action to remedy this situation, and you will have to deal with where the results take you. I don't get it still with this woman and your struggle,don't see where you really get anything out of it but more hurt and tragedy, when your ready, you'll stop the hurt.

October 16, 2001
3:58 pm
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jwt
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You are both so right...thank you...but what do I do?

One thing my assistant told me last night really bothers me. She said that she has spent entire weekends with my wife and I. I should be willing to tolerate him. Well, that used to be true but she has had dinner with us only once in the last year. First she blamed it on her busy schedule with her kids. I knew better. She finally admitted that it was because her boyfriend was very jealous of me. She has a lot of nerve avoiding me at his request and then getting mad a me when I avoid them as a couple.

Ragdoll: I recognize the interdependence of the players in this situation. And I don't have any idea what is going on inside myself. Sometimes it feels like I am feeling every emotion at the same time. It seems logical that I should "untangle" my relationship with my assistant first. But I fear that you are right. As soon as I untangele one element, everything will come apart...job, marrage, all of it. How do I change it without distoying my life as miserable as it might be.

Molly: Maybe I have framed my problem in my response to Ragdoll. I know that I am being used for no good reason. Why can't I stop? I hope someone can give me some practical advice about how to work it through.

October 16, 2001
4:09 pm
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lisa78640
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Time to cut the ties that bind and gag. Time to move on and repair your marriage. But staying where you are is not going to get you anywhere but in trouble. If your asst. should ever get mad enough at you she could file sexual herassment charges. Be very careful and step lightly. You are in a very volital situtation. I have seen this very same situtation blow up in someones face. Try to find new employment. Move on. Your asst. would not be involved with someone else if she cared for you in the same way you care for her. I can not caution you enough, please very carefull with what you say and do, But get out now. Good Luck

October 16, 2001
7:35 pm
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Molly
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JWT--------- TRUTH OR DARE---------
Remember that game? There is a gain for you in maintaining the relationship with your assistant or you would not continue it. What is it, again I ask. You need to label it.
1) 2) 3)

Obvious to me that is the first issue to address. You have a much more difficult time getting into or out of the marriage, with totally different gains, and costs. One issue at a time. But on paper or on the threads, write down the answer to my first question. If you choose to deal with this.
what

October 17, 2001
8:30 am
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jwt
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lisa: Everything you say is true. I have known these things for years but it doesn't stop me. Why can't I stop?

Molly: Okay...I thought about your question overnight. Here goes:

1. We are very much alike. We see the world in very much the same way. We can sit and talk for hours. However, our discussions are ususally about her problems and she really shows little interest in mine unless they directly affect her. Nevertheless, I do really care about her and feel like I help. Maybe our talks help me forget my own problems by focusing on hers.

2. I have somehow convinced myself that this is the woman that I have waited for all my life. We seem to be such a good match when we are together. We make each other laugh and, unfortuantely, cry too. I am a very competitive person and I could never just give up when something was important to me. This is the first time since I was a teenager that that I have really failed.

3. I list this one third but I am not sure that it isn't really the first reason. She turns me on more than any woman ever has in my life. And, she says that I have the same affect on her. Some people would say that she is not as attractive as my wife and I know I am not attractive as her boyfiend. However, to me, she is the sexiest woman in the world. It seems to come from something inside us. The sexiest part of her is between her ears. After 20 years of routine sex with my wife, this is hard to walk away from.

There it is...I really don't believe that I can find these three things in my marrage. I suspect that #1 and #3 are the same for her. As for #2, I think she feels that her boyfriend is the one...but I don't know why.

October 18, 2001
10:32 am
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ragdoll
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JWT - in the final analysis it doesn't really MATTER that you can't get certain things out of one relationship that you can in the other -- that's the point. But do you really think you'd be hanging on to this assistant like this if you didn't have a wife at home? In the process, you not only kept the wife, but kept the wife even while both you and assistant use her to explain and excuse the warped nature of what's going on between you. So you can't let go for this assistant, can you? You can't show her that you are truly straight up - wanting something with her -- you're not letting go of your wife. Why not? I think you want to feel safe! Which means your wife makes you feel safe and you've totally disregarded this and chucked a whole set of emotions that are operating within you out your conscious. But apparently you want to feel safe while you take these exciting risks, get this exciting (more exciting because it's so warped) sex, act like a fool, think of yourself as a fool, (then somehow turn it around and think of yourself as some kind of potent competetive man). JWT this is NOT what makes a man powerful, admiriable, strong, stable, able to succeed competitively, virile! This makes a man weak, pitiable, impotent, coniving, sappy, untrustworthy...not something a good woman looking for a strong virile man would want around. You've taken yourself and your ability to actually be these powerful, manly, admirable things and traded them for a little tittilation. Why? because you weren't willing to take a good hard look at your life and act on your real feelings and assessments. You could have acted. You could have decided that you needed a different woman in your life. You could have realized you weren't happy, that you wanted great sex, and you were willing to act on these desires in a manner that made sense. But you hid. You snuck. You felt so good getting it and not having to give anything else up! (so you thought.) You gave yourself permission to do it backwards, in the shadows.

Unfortunately, now, you've stuck your whole life in the shadows, and you are being held ransom by your emotions. The only way out I can see is either go back, realize that you've twisted your soul and your emotions and NO WONDER (but ultimately WHO CARES!!) that you think this woman is the sexiest woman under the sun. Of course you do. It's actually going to be EMOTIONAL work (the work you avoided) to get out of the twisted shadows. You can do it now - using your brain, and making decisions, and going through the pain, whichever way you decide to go. OR, you can sit there, weak and unempowered, and WAIT, (needing someone else to act so you can simply REACT) for someone else to shine the light in on it all, and you'll go through the pain then. Not only will you have not been straight with yourself, you'll have cowered in the corner and lost all control over your situation, your mind's ability to control your life.

I know all about desire and wanting to be true to your emotions. The problem is, those shadows you've been living in not only screw up your circumstances, but they totally screw up your emotions. Get it? All that good sex HURTS to not get. You WANT IT. But you know that whatever you've got with this assistant, subconciously, is getting a diverted blood supply. It's like you've got your heart beating out of the body, and you feel like you got away with it - you feel that you like it there! - so you want to cut off the body and just live there. CAN'T YOU!!!???? Um - well -- think about it...

The only real big pain for you right now??? => "WAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!! I WANT IT!!!!!!" (Now what would an ADULT MALE WORTH HIS VIRILITY say?)

Hopw you don't think I'm being too hard on you.

I am wishing you your best outcome on this. take care, jwt.

October 18, 2001
12:11 pm
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Molly
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jwt, thanks for your trust. Ok, my take on your answers is that she makes you feel needed, you listen, you resolve, you are her sounding board. Macho man. That triggers the closer feelings, who wouldn't feel good about someone that they can help, and then she is grate ful. Its so much easier to discover new similarities with a person you haven't shared absolutely everything with for 20 years, and your wife is in her routine, and has figured out her delimas with out you, or is just so in the wife, mother rut, that there is nothing new. But what you can't see, is that in 20 years with this girl, it will be the same old same old. There are no problems between the two of you like where you live, what;s for dinner and that Billy got in trouble at school, she is like a vacation for you. Think about that, new different, beautiful location, different topics, not the same old humdrum stuff of every day life, but even when you move to the vacation location, reality sets in after time. Does this make sense? All marriages go through that passionless stage, it takes one hell of alot of effort, to just roll over, and get Mr. Jonez to work, but that stability of the hips you have your hand on unless I am way off , is some what of a comfort, as is the familiarity of knowing there are clean socks in your drawer. You go from being in love, and lust to just familiar love. Its like Bill cosby said yesterday, when we first met, I would climb any mountain, cross every sea, today after 37 years, someone said his wife was on the mountian, he would ask what the hell is she doing up there, she can get down if she want's to, or is there some one that can go get her? The key is she is there for you, survived 20 whole years, and possibly with out looking for some one else which your assistant didn't waste much time in doing in a fraction of your relationship, so is it that competitive edge that keeps you going, that unobtainable goal? Hmmmm what if the wife started to act unobtainable, what if she is as board as you with the routine marital sex, what if she can't find a single different thing to discuss with you, it really does go two ways, but what you do have, and that you are not appreciating is her loyalty, her commitment, and where is miss assistant with all of that. Like God forbid, you have that great big heart attack, of the two, who is gonna stick by your side and take care of you? Marriage sucks sometimes but it does have its benifits, if we are lucky to hang in for the long term. Its like the straight faced old folks that stare off into space after 50 years, they can't stand to be in the same room because they know each other so well , and both love each other more today, than they did 50 years ago. the assistant is a challenge, and a vacation. She is not and I mean this so clearly not worth risking your family and the complications that domino with a break up, the kids, the emotional mess, because you are really boared.
That is why I like that relational rescue book, It looks at us, your responsibility to make the marriage exciting. Sex, is 90% in your head. Sure the sponteanous eyes meeting and can't get your clothes off fast enough gets the blood flowing, but looking into the eyes of the woman who endlessly cooks, cleans, bears children, and puts up with your crap, has to be approached with a different mind set. She is stuck with you too, and perhaps is dying to put on some spike heels, and spank you, talk to her. Besides, I am sure she will care about your issues, where as the other one doesn't your wife is invested in you, not the other one, who is out to get who every puts the most on her plate.

October 18, 2001
12:30 pm
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Ladeska
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Hm,m,m...just by reading all of this the only thing that I see is - you guys have both got it pretty much the way you like it. Afterall, you both arranged it that way....you both set up the dominoes just like they are - for reasons. And therein lies the real problem - you guys not being willing to be honest with yourselves, not just with each other - but with "you".

If you want real intimacy with someone - this isn't the way you go about it. So for either of you to even profess that is ridiculous. The proof is in - what you do. And what you do is - sabotage that in your life at every turn and then turn around and cry in your cornflakes because you do not have it. YOU DON'T WANT IT!

October 18, 2001
12:36 pm
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Ladeska
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..hit the wrong key and posted that before I was done....anyways....

Truth is a nasty little taskmaster. We've all become rather good con artists in this society of ours over the last few decades and the best con job we've learned how to do is to - deceive ourselves...

The walls that are there, that have been built by both of you - were built for reasons. Neither of you are really ready to commit to anything close to - being intimate in a way that requires trust, pulling with each other when there is nothing sexual in it for you, being what a real committed partner in life is all about. Neither of you really want that because it's obvious you've avoided that like the plague.

So, maybe it's time that you realized - what you have - is what you want. You created it, both of you created it and this is - who both of you are - people that don't want real intimacy with anyone. You want the crackerbox version of that - the let's play pretend before it gets into the real hard work of it and then I'll flit off and play house with the other person...but in reality - you're really not interested in all that. Maybe both of you just need to be honest about - this is it, this is who we are, this is what we want.

Unfortunately, alot of pain does come with this scenario and it isn't real fulfilling but - it is obviously worth the pain of not being really committed and intimate with another person - so, maybe the tradeoff - isn't so bad. By your actions - that's exactly what you have both stated in your life, never mind your words.

October 23, 2001
8:54 pm
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jwt
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I have been thinking about your posts for five days. I am not sure I know what to say....

I don't really want to talk about my marrage right now. First, I need to find a way out of this nightmare with my assistant. You don't need to convince me that I should choose my wife over my assistant. In the end, I may not choose either one.

First things first...why can't I walk away from my assistant. I don't feel very viril...I know I am a loser. This relationship is a loser and would ultimately make me very unhappy. But, I can't seem to make my brain contol my emotions.

Ladeska's post is very interesting. I really don't think I have ever had real intimacy with anyone. I know how self-centered and secretive I have been all my life. I think real intimacy would scare me to death.

As far as this being a situation that is just like we want it...I think that is true for my assistant. She really believes that we should go on like this forever. I know I can't do it. I am way too jealous. And, I do want a "normal" life with just one woman. My brain tells me that this will never be possible with her...why can't I leave?

October 23, 2001
9:32 pm
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lisa a
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The relationships that are the least satisfying, are the hardest to let go of.
Give yourself some time and distance and I am sure that you will see how destructive and unsatisfying this realtionship has been for you.
Good Luck and God Bless!

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