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Married and Done...

Community Member

I'm a married 35yo mother of two boys.

Married for 13 years - during this time, I have been loyal, loving hard & forgiving my husband for his actions (that were not acceptable, not keeping boundaries, flirting, visit to the prostitute etc). I would say in total, I could count 5+ events that had affected me which I approached him about but was brushed off. He is an extrovert & loves company of others while I'm an introvert & focus on the inner peace.

I think it came to a point where one day I woke up & felt 'I am done' - but FT work, kids etc - I don't think I had the time to think.

We had a flatmate 'N' who moved in soon after - a young man in his late 20's who had come out of a broken place & wanted space away from everything he went through - which he chose our place.

Him & I got along well - we would open up to me about his past, which was quite dark & had just broken up with his partner so both being quite broken, we connected.

Hubby didn't like this & told me to keep my distance, that he feels 'N' isn't keeping his boundaries.

That is when I flipped - talking to him for hours is nothing compared to what you did & how you brushed me off, yet, you expect me to listen to how you feel? I think at that point I knew I was done & it hit me hard. I broke down in front of hubby & exploded with all my emotions going back 13 years until now - & how I feel about him now = no emotions, no love, just numb. Not even angry anymore. That if he was to go flirt now, I'll feel fine.


Since then, all hell broke lose.


4 Replies 4

Community Member

...Continuing on..


'N' knew what has happening since I told him & obvious as he lived with us. He could see what was going on.

'N' & I continued to be our normal selves around the house (& so did hubby, but you could tell he had his eagle eyes out). 'N' & I would text each other often, talk etc, hubby & I would continue to argue - I was getting exhausted but my feelings for 'N' were growing.

I knew deep down that I wanted to escape from hubby and numerous times I would tell him I am done, that we should end this relationship but continue on as responsible parents & sort out the life we shared. 'N' continued to support me throughout this rollercoaster ride - he was such a great listener, emphasized deeply, gave advice (where he thought our relationship was toxic, that he felt hubby was controlling me, that I am worth more than his pride, that my happiness is most important etc). But at the same time, 'N' & I grew closer - eg: If I left the house to see a friend & call him out later, he would be there in a heartbeat. Or if I had plans in the city which involved drinking & needed a way to get back home, he'd come to collect me etc. We would talk about my troubled relationship (just us 2) & he would then hold my hand. We felt attraction, which was dangerous I know... 

'N' & I talked about it & we confirmed that both being in a broken place, we are there for each other. I told  'N' that if anyone blames our bonding is the reason for why I'm on the verge of leaving hubby & that I'm leaving the marriage due to 'cheating' with 'N' - that whatever anything thinks, it is not true & that 'N' you've done nothing wrong. That I thank you for being here for me. 'N' told me he wasn't ready for anything serious but if I want, we could be in an open relationship until my situation is sorted, that we could discuss further after I've settled.

Hubby gave 'N' a really hard time during his stay with us - knowing what was happening, he confronted 'N' several times. The most recent event (before 'N' vacated) was throwing his fist at 'N', threatening him & telling him to F off. 'N' thought it was best he leaves so he did.

By this point, I had left the house - I stayed with my parents for a week to have some me time. Everything that was going on was so overwhelming & I couldn't stand anything at this point. Work allowed me to switch off from personal life for a moment. 

Hubby's friends tell hubby that 'N' is a threat & that he is crazy to come into our lives like this & do what he did.

My friends on the other hand, understood me & knew why all this had happened the way it did - actually felt sorry for 'N' being that middle person & dealing with hubby's abuse.

When 'N' rushed to move out, he had nowhere to go so stayed in an Air BNB for a couple nights & asked if I wanted to come over. So I did. He asked if I had made up my mind around my marriage but I couldn't give him an answer.


....Next page...

Community Member

...Continuing on..


Since then, I could tell 'N' was keeping a distance from me. The communications we normally had everyday, chatting away non-stop via text reduced from his end & I could sense he was slowly pulling away. 

After my personal time at home with my parents, I was able to think. I felt - responsibility for my two boys, hubby was crying to me everyday asking me to come back, that he will change & loves me so much that he cannot imagine life without me. He was begging. I thought, if I take my emotions out of reality, I could give our marriage another try. That my emotions are not everything, that if I try, maybe we could work again & trust hubby just one more time.

That is when I decided to move back in & I am now living at home with my family again. Hubby has definitely changed - I can see he is trying so hard, caring for me more etc. I can feel he does still love me but I wonder if those unacceptable actions he had done in the past will happen again? I know he is a natural flirt... 

I think I closed my heart's door as a defence mechanism towards hubby so I do not feel the pain again. I still have no attraction towards him. It is amazing how the soul closes off just like that. I am shocked at myself. Hubby knows this & is still trying. Since I had decided to give us another try, I feel calm now. My focus is now on myself, to care for myself more & do some activities for myself rather than being a fully dedicated mum & income earner. I think this was another area which burnt me down.

'N' - we still communicate from time to time. I think I really did like him & still do. He knows I'm back with the family but I cannot resist contacting him. He doesn't text me first now - but does respond as though nothing happened. Like friends - no immediate responses & none of the long conversations. More simple talk responses. 

For everyone who reads this - I want to ask you what you think of all this that is happening in my life... 

- The relationship between my husband & I...

- What you would have done if you were me...

- Was I in the wrong? 

- If you were me, what would you have done?

- 'N' & I - what do you think we were? What do you think he was?

- If I end our marriage, what do you think 'N' would do?

- I wonder how much more hubby can take me from here knowing that I am still done but trying to make things work for the family we had built...


Thank you everyone... I know it is long but it is the whole truth & happened within the last two months. 

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi SC333


I found once I came to better define 'love', it was then much easier to work out who truly loves me and whether I'm acting in truly constructive self loving ways. So, bit of a mix of a soulful sense of love and the logical side of it, as far as my own logic goes. I believe we can be raised out of emotional detachment based on how our partner can begin to love us in new ways that we can really feel.


For me, love is found in evolution, in more ways than one. If someone is going to raise me, raise my consciousness, raise my spirits, raise me to consider things with a more open mind, raise me to feel in soulful ways etc, I can feel them loving me. On the other hand, if they're going to bring me down, let me down, put me down, shut me down etc, I will feel them not loving me. The ups and downs go for myself too. If I'm going to raise myself through seeking knowledge or greater awareness, for example, I'm loving myself. If I'm going to put myself down, I am far from loving myself. If part of the goal in life is to partially navigate with the assistance of love, I've found it pays to get an accurate feel for it, partly through better defining it.


If we're born with some kind of emotional compass, perhaps the goal in life is to become familiar with each individual emotion and where each leads us. True love is what I suppose you could call a 'true north' emotion, something that takes us in the right direction, promoting progress and growth. While you could feel things kinda going south with your marriage, 'N' showed you what north feels like, through raising you to feel heard, understood, valued, cared for etc. Perhaps his purpose was not necessarily to offer you a whole other intimate relationship, perhaps it was simply to begin taking you out of heading south or further down, while leading you to become more conscious of how love feels.


I know I sound harsh when I say the following and that's partly due to emotional detachment, so I get where you're coming from. While my husband loves me in his own way, rarely do I feel the love. He typically loves comfortably and in familiar ways, ways that serve him more than the growth of our relationship. While I could count on one hand the number of times he's left his comfort zone over the last 22 years, I have left mine in loving ways that have served him more times than I can count. It's not about keeping score, just about making better sense of why sometimes we can feel the disconnection more than we can feel the love. I suppose the question then becomes 'How hard is our partner prepared to work in order to recreate a connection we can come to truly feel or are they simply going to 'wait it out 'til we come good' or 'get over everything'?'. Waiting in such a way serves no one plus it's a cop out from the hard work that love can ask of someone.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Always hazardous asking people what they think, but you have provided a fair appraisal of the situation without trying to justify anything either way.
If you are open minded and aware that I am just a 'stranger on the bus', then, based solely on the facts presented, here goes...


While unintentional, N was the catalyst (as distinct from the problem) which sparked a series of revelations about where you might rather be. Plus the history in repeated self serving behaviours by husband (and perhaps the belief that your identity was being eroded) where you may have felt powerless to steer the relationship back on an even keel.


Acting the way you did was one way of demonstrating how you were feeling by making husband experience everything you were dealing with. For this brief period, he was you and you were him - can you describe how this made you feel?
And now you are effectively in his position where husband will be feeling the same insecurities and fears you had.

While 'wanting to change' might seem praiseworthy, there needs to be open communication about culpability on both sides (yes, and it goes back further than you might think) to not modify behaviour (as that is delusional), but determine what both will accept to sustain and hopefully rebuild a loving relationship despite the mistakes.


It all boils down to what constitutes love...