A different kind of cheating dilemma

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by monel, May 16, 2011.

  1. monel

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    So, after 19 years of marriage I find myself at a point where I finally came to the realization that the relationship is over. When I told my wife this, she ultimately decided that she wouldn't let it happen. We have minor children and of course their needs and happiness are of primary importance to my wife and I. I'm uncertain of what the future holds for my marriage but am desirous of doing what's best for our kids. This has presented numerous difficulties but one selfish one for which I seek your input. Since the situation in which we find ourselves has come to a head, my wife and I have not had sex. She would absolutely not refuse me were I to initiate such intimacy. However, where I am uncertain of how I want the relationship to proceed, I feel that if I were to have sex with her I'd be "leading her on" or at least suggesting that I am committed to making the marriage work - whatever that might mean. As such I feel like I'd be cheating on her if I did sleep with her. I really could use the sex but I don't want it to be construed as anything more at this point. Also, I think a conversation along the lines of "we can sleep together but it changes nothing and we'll just have to see what happens" is callous. So do I remain celibate until we decide where the marriage is going or have "meaningless sex" with my wife? Life sure presents unexpected challenges.
     
  2. Madison_Thick

    Madison_Thick New Member

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    Sounds like you are over-thinking alot of it. Have some meaningless sex with your wife. It might be really hot and might rekindle something between the 2 of you... every marriage is like a roller-coaster, ups and downs
     
  3. t9

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    Agree with Thick, have the sex,but not in your bed,go out on a date, dinner,dancing and a hotel room. Get a diff. setting. Try to save your marriage, now only for the kids, but for you and wife. Best of luck.
     
  4. CuriousFem

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    I think you have thought it through just right. It would be sending mixed signals to initiate sex with your wife while negotiating the dissolution of your marriage. The reason is the expectations that are built into the relationship. (It's not as if sex must imply a commitment, but it seems likely that it will in this context.)

    My advice, which is worth what you are paying for it, is to stop any kind of intimacy that suggests you might be staying. And make plans to separate so you can both get on with your lives.

    I am taking you at your word that you have concluded in a final way that you do not want to try to "fix" the marriage, that you do want to end it. Of course, you are ending your marriage but not ending your entire relationship with your wife, which will always exist through your kids. With luck, you will achieve a healthy one-on-one (though "ex") relationship with your wife as well, at some point in the future.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  5. monel

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    This is closest to where I'm at. Though my wife's reaction surprised me somewhat and now I am not certain about the future of the marriage. I don't know if I want to or if I can reinvest in the relationship to the extent necessary to make a marriage work. My quandary is, until I figure that out, wouldn't it be wrong of me to have sex with my wife? Wouldn't that indicate that I have decided to commit to the relationship?
     
  6. RideRocket

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    If you are done, then you are done - stay celibate. Don't have sex with her even if it's "meaningless"; it could come back to haunt you during the divorce proceedings (should it get there). It will definitely be construed as you "leading her on" and would "show" you were still interested in making the relationship work.
     
  7. simbablk

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    As a divorcee, I too had this same issue. While we both discussed the dissolution of our marriage, we both still had physical needs we desired to have met.

    It didn't cause any second guessing on our part - it was just sex. We both knew the end result of our plan and sought to see it through. But, that doesn't mean it made the act any easier. In fact, for me - it was harder because I wanted so badly to work it out but knew it was next to impossible to stay with her. We still divorced, but I think those (very) few times we spent together made it a bit harder.

    If you truly desire to end your marriage then you should avoid contact with her. If you think you might want to try working on it - then by all means! Make the best choice that works for you all.

    Finally, staying in a loveless relationship for the sake of the kids isn't the way to go. Yes, it can work - but it sends the wrong messages to the kids who will one day have to make difficult decisions regarding their own relationships.

    Simba
     
  8. monel

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    Thank you everyone for the thoughtful responses. Simba, it seems you have some idea of my situation. I think the one difference that has given me pause is the fact that unlike your situation, my wife and I aren't equally resigned to prospect of divorce. The ball has been firmly placed in my court and my wife will continue with the marriage if that is what I decide to do. Therefore, I think to be intimate with her sends the wrong message. It would be easier if we both were resigned to the inevitablity of a divorce. Then any sex that might occur between us would hold no deeper meaning beyond the physical.
     
  9. august86

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    Thanks for sharing your story with us, Monel, I'm sure it's a very difficult situation to be in after 19 years of marriage.

    I'm sure your marriage, as with many people, is the longest commitment you've ever had to anything/anyone, which is why it is crucial that you do some serious "soul-searching" and introspection before making decisions of this magnitude.

    Someone once told me: it's impossible to be totally committed to one person for the rest of your life! :eek: He then qualified his statement by adding: without committing to “continual efforts”. Now of course this is a broad term, which could imply anything from those mentioned by t9 and thick, to common interests, date nights, or religion/spirituality (if you're so inclined).

    An important question to ask yourself is:
    Why? What are the things that you're not happy with?
    Being truly honest with yourself, is vital. Speaking to your spouse openly about your dissatisfaction, will allow her to understand where you’re at, as well as listening to why she thinks your marriage is not over.

    Secondly, in your mind, is there anything you (personally or as a couple) could do to revive the relationship? (trying ways to "find each other" again)

    The reason why I’m not inclined to “egg you on” to divorce is because each relationship is different and based on its own ideals. So, decisions and advice given to others would not necessarily work for yours. Also, you haven’t mentioned any issues like abuse, infidelity or animosity between the two of you, which leads me to believe that it’s more of a mental/emotional dissatisfaction.

    Please don’t see this as an advocation of staying in an unhappy marriage, and scarring your children in the process. Your children will only be affected by a destructive/unstable home environment (i.e: constant fighting, unhappy, unsure atmosphere), so that shouldn’t be confused with an amicable and pleasant home environment.
    Regardless, of your decision, you should strive at all costs to achieve this.


    Some resources from a film called “Fireproof” that might help in your introspection and decision-making:

    FP Resources

    PS: To answer your question, if you’re honest with your partner about your intentions (or lack thereof), then the sex is not “cheating”. She is your wife after all.
     
  10. D_JohnUpHerPipe

    D_JohnUpHerPipe New Member

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    It is incredibly sad to think that yet another marriage has failed, really, your generation has pretty much made marriage pointless to those of us coming of age now. Why did you marry your wife in the first place, do your vows now mean nothing? You fell in love with her once, can you not bring yourself to do it again? For the sake of your children don't split up a household, it happens far too often as it is...
     
  11. Incocknito

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    This is impossible to answer without knowing the reasons why you think the marriage is failing. Are you gay/bi? I notice your percentages aren't filled in.

    And she can't be that hard to live with or else you wouldn't share a bed.

    I think that you should stay together for the kids; at least until they are old enough to understand and to deal with the divorce.
     
  12. AlteredEgo

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    Nothing would trigger my vindictive side like a man being dishonest with me. It is possible that if you keep fucking your wife at home, she will eventually become determined to fuck you in court. I would.
     
  13. str8one

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    I think you are describeing my marriage! Thats exactly where I am at in mine as well....... Good luck
    Children come first, always!
     
    #13 str8one, May 17, 2011
    Last edited: May 17, 2011
  14. jonluke6ft2

    jonluke6ft2 New Member

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    The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence, but you can bet the water bill is higher as well.
     
  15. Stephenmass

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    Children do always come first, regardless of the outcome. If the marriage can be saved, by all means save it. If it can't be, and only you would know that, then proceed and get it over with. It sounds as if you have reached a point of emotional void (meaning no emotion left - you have fallen completely out of love) with your wife. I understand that completely and if that is the case, I would not sleep with her either (I was once married). Just because there is no emotion left, does not mean you don't care about her, and it's that caring that is keeping you from "leading her on". Only you would know for sure. As I said in the beginning, if it is worth it to save, save it...if not, move forward and make it as painless as possible for everyone involved, especially your kids.

    A 19 year marriage can be a killer in court for a guy. You will be the defendant before it even starts. That alone shouldn't keep you from going onto a happier life, but I have a few older friends that got ripped apart by the courts and the majority of them got "blind sided" never thinking that justice, or more aptly put, the lawyers can screw around with what could have been an amicable divorce. Consider mediation instead of one side vs the other. You have to go in being fair, and also knowing that Child Support will be involved as well as potential rehabilitative alimony (usually a max of 3 years). Especially if she is a stay-at-home Mom which does make some sense if you really think about it.
     
    #15 Stephenmass, May 17, 2011
    Last edited: May 17, 2011
  16. monel

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    Again, thank you to everyone. Your input has been insightful and much appreciated.

    Thank you Curiousboy. I applaude your idealism and I don't mean that to be patronizing or condescending. Whether my marriage ends or not I don't view it as a failure. My wife and I have worked hard on it for 19 years. Where we find ourselves now has nothing to do with a lack of effort. There are many households where the husband and wife remain together that are nontheless broken. Such situations rarely do anyone any good.

    Thanks Incocknito. I am not prepared to get into all of the reasons my wife and I find ourselves where we do. For one thing it would make for exceedingly tedious reading. Suffice to say that substance of your inquiry palys no part in it.

    Str8one. Thank you and good luck.
     
  17. monel

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    Yes, Stephenmass. Thank you.
     
  18. helgaleena

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    My ex was the withholding kind of man. I knew he was truly pissed when he refused to even touch me on the hand, brushed my hands away from him, etc. But even that was not enough to make me give up on the alliance itself because there were kids involved. I would not have minded the both of us 'stepping out' at that point once he had explicitly stated out loud that he was decided never to touch me again... what got rid of me entirely was his wish to keep me without any sex unless it was with him, despite his denial of my need. It was so manifestly lopsided a situation that I knew we had to divorce, kids or no kids.

    Your wife is willing to work within the marriage framework, for the sake of the children, even if it means you are getting your satisfaction elsewhere. She does not find you undesirable, I take it; it's you who are tired of her. Try suggesting she find a lover, to take the burden of satisfying her away, or else be straight with yourself and realize that you can still enjoy her as she is, even if it's 'meaningless' to you. If she is allowing you to have sex with her, there must be something about it that she actually enjoys. Find out what it is.

    OTOH if she has been freezing you out and not trying to romance you, so that you no longer feel valued sexually, she would not be open to your advances for mechanical sex at all, so the dilemma won't arise.
     
  19. B_crackoff

    B_crackoff New Member

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    I don't understand this - "she wouldn't let you" leave?

    Leave, if that's what you want to do.

    If your reason not for leaving is that you're going to lose your house, most of your assets, most of your income, some of your mutual friends, & regular access to your kids- get a life! If you want out, there's a price to pay.

    I can't believe the number of people on here who say "The kids come first"! If you & your wife (like many others) had put your relationship first, maybe many of the emotional distances & communication problems wouldn't have occurred, & a happy Ma & Pa make for happy kids. Kids should orbit their parents, not vice-versa - parents are the adults FFS & should set the agenda. It's no wonder people split up when they don't make enough time for each other, & each other's individual interests.

    You spend your time raising kids, then boom, you realise half your life has gone, & the only sticks of glue adhering you to your wife are about to pack up & leave sometime soon.

    I do feel for you, & I know that you are feeling trapped, but what exactly are you hoping to achieve if, & when, your marriage is over?

    What are you seeking, what are your goals, & what are your aspirations? Why can't you achieve them in your marriage? If your wife is an obstacle, try convincing her of the importance of your dreams one more time.

    Personally, I couldn't, & haven't had sex with someone when I thought the relationship was over. The fact that even after 19 years you're still able to bone each other is wonderful.

    Have you tried just going away alone with your wife & rediscovering each other? It doesn't happen overnight, but it's worth a shot & is also what most couples therapy counsellors would advise. Maybe you should also invest in a productive ( & exhausting) hobby - couples with interests that they pursue separately do tend to stay together, & have more to talk about!

    I'm sorry if any of this is coming over as hard - I barely know your situation, & do not live your life, though I honestly feel for you, & know men who feel trapped just 1 year into a relationship.

    I just think that you should review all possibilities, passionately try to save your marriage, & know that you gave it your best shot before you walk away, because what's out there maybe a life that's a lot worse than what's at home.
     
  20. nicenycdick

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    These are the things you should do, I think:

    1. go see a therapist;
    2. ask her to go see a therapist;
    3. speak to a divorce attorney (the laws vary state-to-state, so don't ask here);
    4. be honest with yourself and with her;
    5. keep the kids out of it;
    6. make a decision between fight or flight quickly;
    7. give your decision a good amount of time to take hold...don't waffle;
    8. always think of the kids (it is worth repeating.)

    Good luck.
     
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