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kaleidoscope7
Urban, what is missing from your marriage? When you say you don't know if it will ever be enough for you, what does that mean? No judgment here, just wanting to understand.
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kaleidoscope7
Or, gosh -- it sounds like you are sure it will never be enough.

There are so many reasons for all of our decisions. In absence of dialogue with my WS, I am just trying to see all of them. Thank you for being open here; it helps.
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Scarlett
Urban, I wonder if you were having an exit affair. That's what mine was and I've seen other women say the same thing about theirs. We are not happy in our marriage, but don't want to take the leap to leave the marriage, so we choose to have an affair as a way for the husband to leave us, or to have another man we can immediately go to to help us have the security a man provides. I haven't seen men have these, but I think it's very common in women.
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UrbanExplorer
I have been thinking about how to put into words what feels missing from my marriage. I suppose my husband was a safe bet for me from the beginning. He is religious and always wanted a big family, while I am not religious and always wanted a big career. We compromised by having the family and my career and him as a stay-at-home parent. I think he reins me in on many levels, and I wanted that at the time we settled down. I had moved from relationship to relationship as a very young person, I was in grad school, and my friends were settling down. There never seemed to be a reason to break up, so we went on year after year.

I feel warmth for him over our 20+ years together and the children, but I don't feel much attraction, and it makes me uncomfortable to try to meet his needs for affection (which are obviously increased now because of what I have done). I feel panic when I picture spending the rest of our lives together, but I also feel extreme guilt when he says that is all he ever wanted and can't imagine not doing that.

I know I avoid arguments (and this has harmed my marriage), but I do thrive on deep conversation about life and issues and inspiration/evolution of people over a lifetime. Those are the things that attracted me to a very emotional AP and almost into having affairs before him. I can't recall ever going that deep emotionally with my husband. We lived together peacefully and had fun times doing activities we both like, but we never crossed the gulf between us. It is a low energy relationship. We are like two brick walls.

Perhaps five times over the years, I cried and told him I didn't feel connected to him. The most recent time was when my affair was about to begin. We mentioned counseling, but we did not follow through until after I had an affair and the problem was truly in our faces. Prior to that, he never felt we had a problem, and I was willing to keep going along with the status quo because I was obligated to be married and I am someone who almost always does the responsible thing. Even now, he won't consider that our problems are insurmountable.

The comment about an exit affair makes me think. I recently read a book called Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay, and one section asked if the reader has already left the relationship and just doesn't realize it. Having the affair absolutely felt like a choice, not something I passively fell into doing, and I felt my marriage was over when I did it. I didn't think it would come out and hurt everyone like it did, but I knew I would never be the same.
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