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Marriage Torn

Let me preference this post and say that I have talked to my wife about everything in this post, so she is aware of what exactly my feelings are at this point. Up until a week ago she had no idea I was this unhappy or dissatisfied with our marriage so this has blindsided her to say the least. She does know exactly how I feel at this point, which is still obviously way too late to be hearing these things….

In the last week I have just recently confessed to my wife that I very recently slept with a woman while I was away on a business trip. This is the first time that this has occurred during my marriage. I have been unhappy with my marriage for quite sometime now (2 – 3 years). My wife has gained 100+ pounds since we started dating seriously over 7 years ago and is obviously no where near the person physically that I fell in love with. We do NOT have any kids and there are no medical reasons for her gradual increase of weight over the past 5 years that I’m aware of. This has drastically effected how much we hold and passionately kiss each other…how much we have sex (Maybe once every 2 months)….everything. She also has started smoking on a regular basis over the last couple of years, which I hate. We have always had our differences but it seems those differences have increased. She recognizes that she can be a moody person and very negative at times and keeps saying she will work on these things, but nothing has changed.
I’m not going to say that I’m perfect by any means either. I am a very independent guy in a sense that I can easily find and migrate to the things that make me happy…especially if there is something in my life that makes me unhappy. I tend to forget and overlook those problems as long as I'm able to keep myself happy the majority of the time. Over the past 2 - 3 years I have spent a ton of time golfing, leaving for the weekends to do guy things, watching games at the bar, playing with the dog, etc. than being with her. I do really like golf and all that stuff, but I feel if I was truly still in love with her still that I would want to be around her more than I am.
It is my fault for not talking to her before I started to fall out of love with her. It is my fault for not letting her know my true feelings and desires. It is my fault for letting things fester up inside of me. It is easy to blame her for letting herself go physically over the last 5 years or for her smoking over the last 1 - 2 years or for our many overall differences. Those in themselves are tough conversations to have but nothing compared to what we are currently going through or the conversations yet to come. I obviously don't communicate very well with the people I love over the things that really matter in life and to me...and that has possibly cost me a marriage.

I know it has only been a week but I’m not sure if I want/can save this marriage. She obviously is very disappointed and extremely sad, but she still wants to work on the marriage and see if we can make it work. She wants the opportunity to change.

My problem is that I’m not sure if I want to work on it. I do still like her as a friend for sure and I would always consider her one of my good friends…I still find her intellectually stimulating…and I think we do share some emotional bonds here and there. But am I ever going to get back to the way that I felt about her when we were first married? I don’t want to drag this out for her, but then again I don’t want to rush and make a stupid decision either. I know marriage counseling is an option, and maybe I should go with her even though I’m not a big fan of bringing all of this up again (in person) to a complete stranger….

I’m essentially lost…and any advice would be appreciated.

Thu. Oct 18, 8:13pm

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Very sad to read this. There is generally a reason behind why someone lets themselves go over the years and this I would suggest is the root of the issue. It is easy to slip into habits of eating too much and not exercising enough, but the snowball effect is that the more it occurs - the harder it becomes to gewt it back on track.
I suggest that you need to take her away somewhere and have a good heart to heart - find out what is the root problem she has and look at ways in solving it together.
Once you have a direction you can either decided that it is together or apart that you will get to your goal.
Good luck!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007, 9:57 PM

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I agree with the above poster.. you and her need to sit down and talk.. you also need to do some soul searching and think about things.. like just because she has let herself go.. is that the only reason that led to things falling apart to the point that you had an affair or is there more underneath the surface..

you said she would always be a good friend.. do you think if you went to counseling you could rekindle what you had when you fell in love/ these are just some things I would be asking myself..

finding a special somoene to share our lives with isnt easy and you two found each other so I would say there has to be a deep connection still.. so now you have to search your heart and soul and decide if the connection is enough to rebuild.what made you fall in love with her.. what was so special about her. why was she the ONE..

talk to her.. see why she let herself go to the point that it would interfere with the intamacy of your marriage and if shes willing to work out the problems and try to compromise to find a middle ground to rebuild your marriage.. if thats what you both want.

from the sounds of your post your not to sure what you want so dont make any sudden knee jerk movements without thinking first.

there may still be a chance to find the woman that you fell in love with and fall in love all over again.. or it may be best to part as good friends, but either case I would need to know if there was any hope before I would walk away

take a weekend away.. think about things.. than when you BOTH calm down emotionally talk things through and see how you feel and wether you continue on and seek help to rebuild things or you go your seperate paths.

I wish you luck.. you will be in my thoughts both of you.

Friday, October 19, 2007, 4:21 AM

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i'm so sorry to hear that you are going through this. would you consider going to a marriage counselor to talk about how you are both feeling? this doesn't mean that a decision has been made one way or another, but i feel that it's useful to have an objective (and trained) 3rd party who can mediate and facilitate really difficult discussions that would otherwise be hard to have otherwise.

best of luck.

Friday, October 19, 2007, 7:24 AM

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first of all, thank you for your honesty. Give yourself some credit here. You were honest, owned what you needed to own, but you shouldn't take responsibility for her letting herself go. No one controls what we eat or how often we exercise, she has to take ownership of that.

If she is a negative person, then i see why you're not spending time at home. If it's always a downer, why be there? Besides, each of you needs time away from each other. I don't see my husband from Sept through Dec 31st because of hunting, he enjoys it. Who am i to stop him from doing it?

I believe if couples were more open minded about their sex life and allow multiple partners, couples would be happier.

I feel your pain, i am a female and am in the same boat. My husband is abusive, is never home, doesn't do anything around the house, and will not open up to sex any way that isn't for his pleasure. that leaves me wanting to stray, I think that's not fair to me, the way it isn't fair to you.

Marriage counceling only works if both people are whole heartedly into it.

You are not shallow for leaving because of her weight, looks aren't as important as attraction and lust. If you don't have those things for her now, you probably will not get them back. This is coming from my own experience, not as a general statement.

good luck to you, you should like a good man.

Friday, October 19, 2007, 8:41 AM

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I sense a lot of distance in your relationship - and you admit to much time away. This in and of itself can make a woman feel rejected. Feeling rejected is a huge factor in a woman "letting herself go". Not blaming you, just acknowleding that women, when they feel rejected, will turn to something that makes them feel alive. Food is a "safe" alternative, especially if she is a moral woman who wouldn't consider finding her "worth" in the arms of another man. You can totally turn this thing around, in my humble opinion. If you can find a way to make her feel special, adored, loved, and cherished, I'm betting she'll be everything you've ever wanted her to be. You have more power than you think. A woman whose husband treats her like she is the world to him will (in the vast majority of cases) will rise to the occasion and become that woman - we're pushovers for a man who truly loves us.

Friday, October 19, 2007, 8:59 AM

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Wow~First let me say how sorry I am that you are going through this. Im recently divorced(for reasons I will spare you) and I have to tell you that it was a very difficult time for me.

When things started going bad for my marriage,we both knew it was coming. We sat down and talked about what we thought we should do and we both came up with marriage counseling. I have to say that by the time we got to the first session we both knew that it wasn't going to work.

Don't beat yourself up over not loving your wife. It's obvious that you have/had a connection with her otherwise you wouldn't have married her. In all honesty I still love my exhusband in a strange sort of way but sometimes you're better off being apart; and that is what has worked for us. There were a couple of times that we did get back together but we knew that it wasn't going to work.

Take the time to realize what it is that you want and don't do anything that you might later regret. This won't be the end of the world for you maybe just a new beginning.

Good luck with everything and what ever happens I hope you find happiness.(trust me it does get better)

Friday, October 19, 2007, 9:09 AM

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8:41 poster here.

8:59, you are right about that. My mother taught me that when a man gets what he wants from his wife, he will treat her like royalty. This is true in most cases (not my particular one). But i still question his being gone all the time because of her negativity. now, he's had an affair. How does that change things for her?

Friday, October 19, 2007, 9:10 AM

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I'm sorry you and your wife are going through this. I applaud you for telling her the truth about your affair, and I see it as your way of saying to her "hey, we have a problem and we need to deal with it". I grew up watching my parents live in a loveless, cheating, bickering marriage. They are both great people...they would do anything for anyone! The only problem, they could not be there for each other. They couldn't communicate between themselves, so they argued, picked on each other over the slightest annoyances. Mom nagged and dad spent his time away. 42 years later, they are still together...hating each miserably!

I think if they actually took the time to communicate with each other, reflect back to what brought them together in the first place, and to identify the things that came between them, they would have been able to determine whether or not the marriage would work. So, for the OP, stop the continuos running away to what makes you happy. The ultimate goal is to have a happy life, not a happy moment. Take the time to deal with the issues. The right thing to do is usually the hardest thing...but when you deal with it, whatever the outcome will know that you faced it, dealt with it, and will move forward from there (with no further regrets). Do each other a solid. With having posted your question here and telling your wife the truth, I get the feeling you have some hope for this relationship. Good luck, and be true (to your wife and to yourself).

Friday, October 19, 2007, 10:48 AM

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Original Poster:

Thanks for all your comments and advice. It is greatly appreciated. This seems to be a very down to earth and caring thank you for that.

Friday, October 19, 2007, 12:58 PM

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You describe your wife as moody, negative, morbidly obese, and a newcomer to an extremely unhealthy habit (smoking) that she knows repulses you. Has anyone suggested that she get treatment for depression? In any case, here's my spin on things...I do believe people can change, but not if their situation doesn't change. Otherwise there's no reason, intrinsic or extrinsic. She sounds very complacent and uninspired to change, and it will probably take something as drastic as you leaving her (or a heart attack - which is obviously not the better option) to give her the impetus to deal with her stuff, get treatment, take charge of her health, and eventually thrive, with or without you.

Friday, October 19, 2007, 7:14 PM

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I think she started putting you at a distance as soon as she started losing weight (as long as there is no medical reason for it).

It's very common for women (maybe for men, too, but I can't speak for men) to use food to suppress emotions, as well as to minimize or cut off intimacy. I know I've done it. I know it's one of the reasons that I can't let go of a lousy 15 pounds (so far!).

Even if you don't want to save your marriage right at this moment, you should at least say that you tried, i.e. go to at least three therapy sessions with her to say that you exhausted all options.

Also, don't let her make you out to be the bad guy for cheating on her. Sure, you shouldn't have done it. But she should've been more honest with her emotions from the very beginning.

Friday, October 19, 2007, 9:26 PM

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As a woman, I'm not sure that I agree with you. I know I use my weight gain to set the distance, subconsciously anyway.

Friday, October 19, 2007, 9:27 PM

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Amendment to October 19 post at 9:26pm

I meant as soon as she started gaining weight, not losing!

Friday, October 19, 2007, 9:29 PM

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In SO many cases women DO let their emotions be transparent to their husbands. It's because he doesn't do anything to change what is making her sad/depressed/hurt/etc. that she puts the weight on. Just telling someone what's wrong does not make it right - something actually has to be done about it. And if a husband won't change the wife feels hopeless and on goes the weight. Implying that she somehow drove him to an affair is so completly unfair and no matter what went wrong in the marriage cheating on your spouse is wrong - no matter what the other person does. Wrong is wrong, and he is wrong for cheating.

Saturday, October 20, 2007, 4:21 PM

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So it's his fault she's fat.
It's his fault for not being clairvoyant.
It's his fault for not insisting she change.
It's his fault she's miserable.
It's all his fault.

You're either not married or you're married to a very unlucky man.

Saturday, October 20, 2007, 6:59 PM

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"Why Did I Get Married?" Tyler Perry

Go see the movie, there is a guy in the movie just like you. His wife gained weight and he handled it the same way you did. In the end he regretted it. Go to counseling. You married your wife for better or worse.

Saturday, October 20, 2007, 8:21 PM

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No, it's only HIS fault that he cheated. His decision to do that was entirely his own, no matter how much weight she gained, her moodiness, etc. He should have left his wife before making the decision to have sex with someone else.

Sunday, October 21, 2007, 2:56 AM

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I feel sad about what has happened to both of you; I truly believe there is hope. I know marriage is hard work. I believe with God's help this marriage can be saved and your wife can loss the weight. Hang in there and do not give up. Best wishes.....

Sunday, October 21, 2007, 12:08 PM

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I agree with 7:14. It sounds a lot like she is battling some undiagnosed depression. She needs to get that worked out before she can deal with the symptoms (overeating, smoking, other self-abuse). If she is depressed about herself, she may not feel worthy to be in the relationship and may be subconciously sabotaging it by pushing you away.

At any rate, she needs to get her own self straightened out with a therapist and maybe a psychiatrist (though I'm not a fan of drugs). Only then can she think with a clear head about what she wants to do about her relationship with you.

Sunday, October 21, 2007, 4:38 PM

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But am I ever going to get back to the way that I felt about her when we were first married?

I'm not married and never have been, so my opinion may be worth nothing, but I suspect that this is an unrealistic goal. The beginning of a relationship or of a commitment is very different from what it is 5 or 10 years later. I have lived it, and seen it in others' relationships, and it seems to be true for everyone. Your relationship will evolve, it will have ups and downs, but you probably won't be head-over-heels infatuated the way you were at first. It doesn't work that way.

I once heard somebody say that if you put a penny in a jar every time you had sex in your first year of marriage, and then took a penny out of the jar every time you had sex after your first year of marriage, that you would never get all the pennies out of the jar! I don't know if that's a sad commentary about sex after marriage, or a really positive comment about sex in the first year!!! But it's an old saying, and I think it reflects that many couples fall a little out of love over the years, but stay together with warmth and respect nevertheless, maybe because they are each others' best friends.

Sunday, October 21, 2007, 6:14 PM

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I would say, be a man and live up to your vows and commitments.

Monday, October 22, 2007, 3:50 PM

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disagree a little--she didn't live up to her vows and commitments of health, but he has to?

I agree, there's something going on with her medically or emotionally to have her in such a rut--and that doesn't excuse an affair. However, if she knew looks was high on his attraction look, she didn't keep those commitments, why should he keep his.

just an opinion.......

Monday, October 22, 2007, 4:13 PM

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no one makes wedding vows to eat healthy, maybe we all should but we don't

Monday, October 22, 2007, 6:23 PM

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It is easy to be faithful when things are perfect, the measure of a man is how he responds when things are tough.

Marriage is never easy, it is a daily thing. I believe if you make a commitment you don't bail because things did not turn out like you planned. I would also hate it if my husband gained a bunch of weight, I would not be attracted to him either, but I made a commitment to be here and be faithful not just when it is easy, but for my life. This is not something I would take lightly.
I am sure her self esteem is really low right now, and she is in a depression, of course it would be easier to be with someone else, but guess what everyone has baggage.
Be a man and deal with the cards you were given, find out how to help her.

Monday, October 22, 2007, 6:28 PM

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Get a referral and start seeing a good marriage counselor. You probably will regret it if you just up and leave her without at least trying to work on the marriage. That is, if she really wants to work on it, once your infidelity sinks in for her.

Monday, October 22, 2007, 9:01 PM

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Thanks to all

Original Poster:

Again, thank you for all your comments...obviously there are some differing opinions as we are all different...I thought I would give a little update on my situation.

In the past 3 - 4 weeks I decided to go to marriage counseling with my wife. We attended three sessions and then the counselor suggested that we continue with individual counseling. Please know that even though I have a major problem with her weight…that is not the only major problem as I said earlier.

In my past serious relationships, I have always been the one to initiate the break up…is it because I fall in and out of love too easily? Is it because I have not truly understood all my needs? Is it because I have not communicated those needs clearly enough to my loved ones? Is it because I’m a very passionate person? I would answer a little bit of yes to all of those questions…especially in the difficulties in my last couple of relationships. I had a previous relationship for 2 years that involved a lot of passion but very little emotional bond…I was not allowed to think or act for myself…It was ok if only one of us poked and man fun of the other…There was only one of us that ever had to say I’m sorry. In the beginning of my last relationship and eventual marriage, everything existed in a relationship that I thought I needed. But that was lost over the next 3 years in a waterfall fashion and before I knew it, I had lost everything that I had once loved about us. Could it have been saved with tough conversations and good communication…possibly…but the point is at least you still have a chance if you open up your heart and talk about those things regardless of how difficult it seems at the time.

In new relationships, everything seems so perfect as the both of you try desperately to learn everything you can about the other person. You listen to music all night…stay up late watching movies while holding each other…the feelings of never being able to get close enough…you do fun and weird things together…why does all of this fade over time? Is it supposed to? Why do couples lose that part of their relationship they once valued? Why do we become lazy with each other and not work on the things that matter? Why do we lose our spontaneity? Why does the passion fade over time? Why do people say that marriage is so hard?

My true feeling is these things shouldn’t be lost with time or so difficult if you are truly meant to be with that person. I don’t think marriage should be really hard…I don’t believe it should require A LOT of work. Those individuals should naturally gravitate toward each other to fulfill and compensate for the other persons needs and gaps. So many people grab on to that first someone that comes along and think they have found true love. What they have missed is the possible opportunity of true happiness with an individual that truly understands them. I believe this is what makes marriage so hard. I believe this is why so many people say marriage is A LOT of work. It is if that person was not truly meant for you. I believe that the majority of us have that one person out there that is meant for only us, but patience, understanding, a open heart, and a realization of one’s self is needed before the both of them can finally gravitate toward each other. I feel these qualities by the majority of us are very hard to come by when we are in our early 20’s. To be honest...a lot of people never get this far in their life times.

I feel very alone and lost right now, and I suppose this is natural after being with someone for 7 years. In the past I have always had someone waiting just outside the door for me and I suppose in a way, I do have that someone but it is obviously a much different situation than in the past. It seemed to really help with the sadness and difficult transition but as a result did not really allow me time to think about what things I should do to improve my next relationship. Or even allow me to think about what things I need to improve for myself. I do understand there are no perfect relationships since we are not perfect as human beings...but I don’t understand why people listen more to what society tells them, than to their own hearts. It is almost like we have a set of assigned major milestones in our lives that need to be met or we fail as a person. Why is this? None of us are alike and some times it takes a person much longer to find themselves that it does for someone else.

I sometimes think that my personality lends itself to never being completely happy with someone over a long period of time, but my heart and feelings tell me that there is someone out there that was meant just for me….just as I was meant for them.

Friday, November 09, 2007, 3:28 PM

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call an attorney - get some legal advice.

Saturday, November 10, 2007, 9:22 AM

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OP, thank you for your thoughtful posts. While my philosophy is different from yours -- sufficiently different that I would not begin to give you advice -- I am learning from what you write.

Saturday, November 10, 2007, 1:43 PM

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I am so sorry to hear about your problems. I felt reading that you are married to my sister except he doesn't play golf. From a personal stand point women will tend to gain weight, quit dressing up, quit making the effort and generally let themselves go when their own personal self-esteem is low and they do not feel loved and the priority in their partner's life. I also know communication is a real key in all this. A counselor will help both of you learn how to communicate with each other. What you also have to understand about counseling that like friends not all counselors are a match so you may have to go to a couple of them to find the best fit for you both and counseling is not a one day cure all, it still takes a commitment on both of your parts. A counselor should never judge but they should hold you accountable and assist in finding out your communication styles then help you both learn how to communicate within those styles. The grass is not always greener on the otherside, sometimes a little water, fertilizer and time makes your own grass just as lush and beautiful as the otherside

Saturday, November 10, 2007, 2:10 PM

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keep trying

Most failed marriages are due to selfishness. If you put her first, and she puts you first, you can save it. There are obviously two sides to every story and no one here should be diagnosing her depression or anything else. I think seeing a professional counselor is a good idea. Learning each others love languages is another. Is she very selfish? Is she willing to change? She could be the one made for you and you for her. Often when the grass is greener on the other side, it's time to water the lawn. You can get the love back and so can she if you are both willing. If she is not willing, you may have to reconsider. If you are not willing, well then why ask here. I would give it 110% so that if it does not make it, you know you gave it your all. And consider, if you had a physical problem, ie, a huge scar on your face from an accident, how would you feel if she left you, knowing that physical flaw contributed to it? Or, you became impotent and she decided to leave you because of it? I am not saying there is innocence on her side, because I do not know. But even if you find someone made for you, how long will it be before either one of you no longer feels that way. All marriages ebb and flow. If she is a good person and you are a good person, it is better to try to grow together than grow apart.

Sunday, November 25, 2007, 9:42 PM

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OP--I'm pretty sure you're the man i've been waiting for my whole life--you're a rare gem. Don't let a failed relationship bring you down--it takes two and you should not take 100% of the blame. Don't feel guilty for leaving her because of appearance or lost passion. You sound like one hell of a guy. And I agree with you that you need to level with yourself and determine what it is you're looking for before you get into a relationship for more than a month. Take some time and flirt, enjoy women, and learn about yourself without looking for a relationship. You may learn things about yourself you didn't realize.

Monday, November 26, 2007, 8:58 AM

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