The grass looks greener
Not even really sure where to start here to be honest but here goes.
I've been married for 20 years and have grown children (all over 18 years) and have more recently been less and less satisfied and happy with my marriage. I've always been a glass half full sort of person, outgoing, can pretty much talk to anyone, find it easy to laugh at the silliest things and like to find the fun in life. My wife has always, to me at least, had an element of "what if" in that she's quick to look at what may go wrong in situations, doesn't laugh easily and can come across as too serious in social settings until she's really comfortable with people. In saying that I guess I've always looked for the positives in that we got on well, shared many similar interests and obviously found each other physically attractive etc.
When we were first together my family quietly, privately, expressed concerns to me if she was right for me because they thought I would end up with someone more "bubbly and outgoing" and I explained that was just her being shy until she got to know people, of which that was certainly an element, but they were also fairly correct in assessing her demeanour traits but I think I've always managed to find a way to put a positive spin on them which for me to say seems crazy given 20 years of marriage.
There were other aspects that I didn't love to do with intimacy etc that over time I just adapted to "her way" and assumed that's just how things were. Over the past couple of years as my kids got older and through the wonders of the internet I guess I realised that a lot of the ways I used to be and things I was seeking WEREN'T that outrageous to expect from a relationship and I feel like I've compromised who I was and adapted more to her ways which I've now looked back on and realised I shouldn't have done. I should have maintained more of who I really was and if that meant we weren't right for each other then, as unfortunate as that would be, should have been recognised.
As a result I started being more of 'me' again, being less of the straighter, more serious person, and more of the easygoing person I used to be who laughs easier while maintaining a business side when needed and seeing people respond to me like they used to has had me feeling much happier and like my old younger self once again, not that I have really been someone short on self confidence but it just felt good to be me.
to be cont'd
it also meant it really opened my eyes to the things I'd just either ignored or put in the "just how it is" basket at home which meant I started being more firm in standing my ground about what I wanted and what made ME happy which would be a change to the norm for a number of things and also, possibly, a number of things that may not be possible to change given how long things have been that way.
What this has done is make me question if my wife is the right person for me or whether I've made things fit for want of a better term and just accepted that some things were "just that way" to keep the peace which on reflection I shouldn't have done.
I guess if I'm totally honest the change in my attitude and demeanor has meant more attention from other ladies and as a result of me being more open to chat and laugh etc instead of just be more business only in my approach I've realised that there ARE women out there that do much prefer the things I'd come to compromise over the years which has also made me somewhat resentful that I've allowed someone to have that negative affect on me and also opened my eyes to the fact that maybe I'm with the wrong person.
I'm obviously simplifying things but this will be long enough as it is so trying to condense things a little
I guess my point is that while I love my wife and really don't want to hurt her I feel I've lost the spark in our relationship because a big part of me is wondering whether I should have been a little more selfish and put myself first more for what I wanted and needed from it and if I should look to do that now. The flipside is I have words like "mid life crisis" in my head and wonder if it's just natural for people to have these thoughts at some part in a relationship and don't want to throw away something that has been pretty good for a long time for something I find doesn't actually exist.....but I feel like I deserve and need more. That spark, that feeling in the stomach for the other person, not just existing.
Thanks for reading if you've got this far, any thoughts and opinions are appreciated.
Please to ponder...
If you are the kite, your partner is the string.
Out of reach but so enticing, are the fluffy clouds all they seem?
Cut that string - can you have enough faith in the wind?
And what of the string that floats softly to the ground?
Perhaps the kite gives purpose to the string as much as the string allows the kite to soar.
Hi Seeks Advice,
Welcome to the forums and thank you for being here. I'm really glad you were able to share this with us and talk about your marriage. It seems like you've been doing a lot of reflection before coming here and I can see that back and forth with your heart and brain maybe.
I'd like to be able to give you some answers and say do this or do that, but I don't know the answers and even if I did, life is way too complicated. Perhaps the grass is greener, or perhaps the grass is greener only on one side of the fence.
You've talked about being more 'me' again- what does that look like in your marriage? This isn't something you have to answer of course, but I wonder if the dynamic has shifted given how differently you are feeling and acting.
I'm not sure if any of this is helpful! I suppose if there's one piece of advice I could give it would be to think about things the way they are now at this moment. If you can put aside the 'what ifs' into a box- what thoughts/feelings does that leave you with?
Lots to ponder hopefully!