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Confused, please give advice and help.

Community Member

Hi all this is my first foray into discussing online my personal situation so please bare with me.

I'm 46, married with 2 grown kids (living at home 19 & 16), and my 87 year old mother lives with us, has done since November 2018. I've recently (6 weeks ago) gone through severe anxiety and depression, though thankfully it only lasted a month or so. We have just built a beautiful house that we are moving into in 2 weeks, so are all set for the change.

I don't want to be with my wife, I've known this for a long time. But having 2 kids you want to make sure they have the best possible life growing up, right? I have slept with several women over the years (3) and am constantly online chatting with women, trying to find my soulmate.

We have constant arguments and disagreements about little things, and we don't spend quality time together, because I don't really want to be around her. We sleep together, but it's been over a year since we were intimate. I've always been the affectionate one in the relationship, and she admits that she is not, and has never been. This has been the case since we started dating. I've never felt loved, in fact I really don't know what love is. We have spoken about this numerous times and she said that's how it is, and she shows me love in other ways. Those other ways don't and have never cut it. I have tried leaving her several times, the last time was about 18 months ago when I suggested that I go away for a week. Her response was if you leave I won't let you back in. I saw a psychologist about 2 years ago for relationship help, and have confided by phone to an employee assistance program through my employer. It's always the same answer, try repairing the relationship/do what you think is right.

My heart and soul have never really been in this relationship. We've had massive medical hurled to overcome, with my wife battling breast cancer twice, but she came out the other side stronger than when she went in. No doubt I played a part in that.

I have much more to my story, but for now I will see what responses I get.

Thanks for reading


2 Replies 2

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi SC and welcome to the forums,

Something you wrote stuck out to me... That although you don't want to be with your wife you have stayed to give your kids the best possible life growing up.

But they're not really 'kids' anymore but young adults. Old enough to understand what is happening if you separate.

From what you write it sounds as if you have already decided what you want. So I suppose I was wondering what stops you from moving on?

I'm sure others will reply with experience from a male point of view in time. You're welcome to join in conversations wherever you like, it's a pretty relaxed place here.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Dear SC

Welcome to the forum. This is a good place to talk about whatever concerns you.

I think Quercus has put her finger on the bottom line. You do not want to stay with your wife so why not separate? I left my husband 19 years ago for various reasons, different to yours. My children were grown up and left home, two married, one starting family, others getting there. It was easier in some ways than having the children at home and I sometimes wonder if I left it until they had gone to make it easier for them and me. I was with my ex for 30 years and was unhappy a lot of the time.

Going away for a week is not the same as leaving for good. All you can do in a week is savour being alone without the hassles of separation, sharing property, getting a divorce. All that is very stressful but is not apparent at first. After a year I fell into the biggest black pit of depression including suicidal thoughts. Not because I wanted to return but because I had grown accustomed to living with someone and it makes a difference.

It's a pity the psychologist did not get you to think through this aspect of separation. For me, for some time, I put up with the situation until I could ignore it no longer. Had I known what I was letting myself in for I may well have changed my mind. Who knows. Down the track 19 years I am glad I left but it was an enormous shock. I nearly died and needed a lot of help to heal.

What do you expect to feel like if you separate? Does your wife know you have been unfaithful? Why did none of these other women make you want to stay with them? Our feelings are very complex and not always obvious. There's the apparent reason and often the buried reasons. I suggest you go and see someone from Relationships Australia. Low cost but they have the expertise. They used to be called Marriage Guidance Counselling.

Have you ever made a list of pros and cons? This can be very revealing. I think I am saying you need to think beyond the immediate potential separation and look at your future as much as anyone can. It seems a shame that now you have built your dream house that you may have to leave it. Ask the Relationships Australia people about legal advice. They will not have it of course but I imagine they can point you in the right direction. Always good to check out the fine print.

I hope I have given you something constructive to think about. I have no view on which is best for you, just throwing in some of the areas I needed to navigate.