A Reader Writes…
I don’t even know where to begin. It’s very complicated and cannot possibly email everything. I’ll try to condense. My wife and I have been married for almost 15 yrs. We have 2 kids 5 & 11. When we were dating I never got that “spark” that most couples do. We dated for about 2 yrs before marrying. I never felt that spark and honestly knew I got married for other family members not for myself. I wanted to stop the marriage but was afraid. There were a ton of times I wanted to say divorce, but then kid #1 showed up, then before I knew it, #2. I knew in my heart I needed to leave.
But now with 2 kids, I just can’t. I’ve been living unhappy for the last 13 yrs. “Faking” my feelings for my wife & family. I also knew it would be a matter of time before I did meet the other woman. Last July that happened. I never cheated on my wife, but this other woman and I have been talking, texting and video camming online for over a year now. I’ve become addicted to her and now I really wanna leave my wife. Since last February I’ve been in and out of the hospital in a mental lock down unit 5 times. I overdosed on drugs and slashed my body. It’s over all this stuff. I just miss this other woman so much and I want to meet her.
She knows I’m married, but thinks the divorce papers are in the mail. She said she loves me and I feel like she’s my soul mate and I don’t wanna loose her. My wife gave me a choice, it’s either her or this other woman. I really want this other woman but I just keep thinking about my kids & if its even possible with this other woman because of my financial situation I would have or make if I got divorced. This other woman lives 7 hrs away in another state. She has financial issues also. Cannot even afford a car. Anyway, I feel like I need to choose, & honestly I can’t. I wanna leave my wife but I just care more about my family and hers, more then myself.
If my wife and I try to work things out, I could never stop talking to this other woman, I just can’t. She’s too much of me now. I just want this woman so badly, it’s killing me everyday she’s not with me. I’ve also been recently diagnosed with bipolar. I’m sure that isn’t helping things. Please help me, I’m on the verge of overdosing again and this time I won’t fail. I’m in a lot of emotional pain.
You are right—the bi-polar means that you are either really up or really down. You need to speak to you doctor and explain that everything has got too much. If you start to talk, the pain will begin to lessen and the doctor will be able to help.
You’re not going to like what I’m going to say but here goes. When we’re in pain in our marriage, we want something, anything to make us feel better. So we talk to another woman and her attention makes us feel better about ourselves. It’s easy to offload because you don’t have to deal with difficult stuff. You can just pretend—so you can say ‘I’m divorced and the papers are in the post’. Your girlfriend has lots of problems too, so she can escape into the fantasy of perfect LOVE and soul mates and everything magically being OK.
The BIG problem is that fantasy turns into reality and we start to have REAL feelings—except they are built on sand. As you’ve already begun to find out, everything is more complicated that ‘love will save the day’. There are money problems. Kids who are going to be heartbroken and do everything to throw a spoke in the wheels. And that’s just your end. She will have a mountain load of stuff because she’s self-mediating on this affair too and probably told all sorts of ‘half truths’ and out right lies herself.
An affair is a bit like having a drink to feel better but waking up in the gutter in the morning. It solves nothing and sets up a whole lot more problems—as you’ve found out. In fact, so many that and you’re in so much pain that you want it to be better straight away, so you call the other woman for a boost—and the whole problem gets bigger and bigger.
I’m hoping that you’re in a good enough place right now to speak to your doctor and get some help over this crisis. When you’re feeling a bit better, you can start to unpick all these problems, starting with your marriage. (If you want to understand more I have lots of books).
If you want to end your marriage, that’s another choice. However, jumping out of the frying pan (of your marriage) and straight into the fires of hell (of an affair) is not the answer.
Photography by Chris James Dade.