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The right choice

Community Member

Hi. This is the first time i have ever posted in a forum like this. I feel a little nervous.

Im a middle aged guy. I’ve been married since I was 19, and now we have great children together.

I guess we have always had the kind of relationship that isn’t focused on affection. We are both independent people and have successful careers. We don’t sleep in the same bed, we have been in separate rooms for several years now. I’m wondering, is this normal for couples who have been together a long time? I feel like this is normal for us. There was no real precursor to us going to separate rooms, it just seemed to happen over time.

I think I do miss the intimacy. Which brings me to the topic of my post. At the start of the year, I became emotionally and sexually involved with a female colleague. This lasted about 2 months before I decided to finish it because it was so wrong.

My relationship with my wife is okay I think. I’m not particularly unhappy, we don’t fight, we are good parents I believe. Our 3 kids are very grounded young adults that I’m very proud of. I decided I would not leave my wife or destroy our family. I don’t want our children to come from a broken home.

However. I find myself missing the intimacy and affection I received during my affair. I still have feelings for the woman.

My wife knows about my mistake. I was honest with her and told her. I felt sick seeing how hurt she was. But she agreed she didn’t want our family to break up because I was selfish. I said I thought we should go to counseling. But my wife didn’t think we needed to.

I think these days my life really is all about the kids. I do find happiness and satisfaction in my life with them.

Has anyone else lived in a situation like this?

8 Replies 8

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi A&C, welcome

Thanks for your post and your honesty. You have nothing to be nervous about.

Every relationship is different. Some relationships like yours goes further and they both have affairs with each others knowledge, its whatever works for you both.

Obviously your affair wasnt to her liking. I think you'll get many varied opinions on whether it was acceptable or not. Its for you both to agree to really.

The questions I have is, as you missed the intimacy of the other lady will you be tempted again? Can you revitalise your marriage? Why are you worried about your children when they are young adults?

I dont think having seperate bedrooms has helped your marriage. Its likely guelled your needs. I dont think you not going to counseling has helped your cause...more like shoved issues under the carpet.

Tony WK

Community Champion
Community Champion

Alone & confused,

Welcome to the forum and thanks for your frankness in sharing your story.

I have lived in a situation that had some things the same and some different.

I was married for twenty years, and we had separate rooms for the last 7 years. The marriage was very up and down , there was still intimacy but not a lot. We went to counsellors and things would improve but then we would go back to arguing.

Neither of us had affairs while we were married but I decided I did not want to live my life as a lie anymore.

It us up to you but if you are only staying because of the adult children, how long will it be that you maybe tempted again.

I agree with Tony have tried to revitalise your marriage and get more intimacy. In some ways it seems like you and your a wife are too comfortable in your separate ways but if this is not enough for you, it may not be working.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello A & C, living in separate rooms is a choice you both have made, so is this because your wife doesn't want to be intimate with you or do you sleep better alone that's what you need to know before you can attempt to change the situation and whether your wife will accept.
I hated sleeping alone but my wife decided that she'd had enough of my depression and drinking and moved into another room, and once this happened there was no return unless I overcame my depression and stopped drinking.
I was unable to do this so eventually she moved out and divorced me.
I wonder whether she only wants to keep the two of you together for the kid's sake and if so then you can still change the situation around so that you can both reconnect.
If you sense that this may happen then you must go full bore by inviting her out to dinner or you and the family can start doing all the activities you all liked doing.
I wish you well. Geoff.

Thanks for all the replies. I really appreciate it.

I have talked to my wife about going back to being in the same room. She doesn’t want to. She feels she sleeps better alone and enjoys having her own space.

My kids are all in high school. The eldest is in the middle of her HSC. I feel like it would disrupt their world to much if I were to leave.

I guess I’m not terribly unhappy. But I am lonely. My wife and I have definitely swept my indiscretion under the carpet. We don’t ever talk about it. She never even really wanted to know why it happened.

I think I will bring up the topic of counseling again and see how I go. I am worried I may transgress again. I really enjoyed the attention and company. But I can’t really see my wife changing in this regard.

I feel selfish for wanting my wife to change. I should feel happy and accept her for who she is. I am looking at going to a psychologist to help me sort out my feelings.

Hi Alone&confused,

I hope I don't overstep here and say anything wrong. I understand first priority is to mend a marriage and keep a family together and I absolutely agree with that.

I just wanted to share my experience with my parents who ended up splitting because they weren't happy. I see from you post you're main priority is your children. Now I may be different to your children I don't know but anyways... I am 19yrs and my mother and father split around 6 years ago. After figuring out what was going on it was a very drawn out process. There was no sudden moving out etc my parents just both explained to me that they were not intimate anymore and more like friends. They both started seeing partners whilst they were still living together in seperate rooms. Although this was strange at the time I felt that because there was no sudden and horrible split it slowly progressed instead - we all had time to process it whilst it was happening. My father split from my mother and she was devastated, he had been with women prior as he wasn't happy. Anyway, today both my mother and father have seperate homes, us children had decided where we wanted to primarily live - no routine was forced on us and I would've hated that. I stayed with my father. We made sure to always see mum and stay united as a family and in contact. Everyone is friends. We do short visits, long visits, anything.

My point is, as a child, even though it may have had a big impact on my adolescence, to see both my mum and dad in positive and healthy longterm relationships today makes me more than happy and I love them both and don't blame either of them for what happened. To me it is normal. They stayed together for as long as they could just for us children which I believe is a huge thing. For them to give up part of their happiness for us. My mum seems like a different person now, purely because she has never been so happy before. As I got older and less self absorbed as teenagers most of the time are, I began to see my parents as people, individuals, not just 'mum' and 'dad'. I thought they deserve to be happy just as much as anyone else.

No one deserves to feel alone. Keep trying. I hope your wife comes around...



How mature and wise you response is. It is good to see it from your point of view.

Thanks for being so honest and sharing your experience.


Hi Quirky.

l'm sorry about the situation. My marriage and our relationship was even far better than most for a long long time . But pressures and stresses really tok their toll on us and after 15yrs together we started sleeping separate rooms. that actually started bc l went onto the couch just for a break , l just couldn't sleep for about 6mths with someone else in the bed. So l figured l'd earnt some along sleep time after all those years.

But it wasn't such a good idea and we become even more and more weird and distant but first problem was ,l got really use to sleeping on the couch. For once l could do what l wanted and be up all night watching movies and stuffing my face and smoking haha, It was damn nice to have the freedom again after so long.

But things got worse and worse between us and eventually we separated. We're divorced now. 3yrs.

Ex married a guy she met before we split , me ,l've just broken up with a girl l was with for a coupe of years, sadly she was my dream but she also had problems.

not too sure how happy ex w is , as she's a different person and impatient, irrefutable, swears her head off, wasn't sleeping for years , so l don't think it's all roses because that's opposite of the her l knew.

But l'm still not sure regardless , if we could've saved the marriage or if we should've, my w had changed so much l didn't really like her as a wife very much by the end, so l dunno if we could've recaptured it anyway..

Not much advice in here sorry , just some of our story you might relate to bit. But it seems you guys might be where we were and l can appreciate how hard it is to know what to do from here. l wish in ways we waited until my daughter was older but you have older kids in your favor . Your wife sounds like she's well and truly checked out though so l'm not sure if you feel like you could recapture any of your feelings for her again.

lf you both wanted to try though , well worth a shot.

Good luck with everything anyway.

Community Member

Hi Alone & Confused

My grandparents always slept in different rooms and in different beds, and they were the best role models for me when I grew up. They weren't super affectionate to each other but you could always tell that they loved each other so much. For my mum and the rest of our family, this was a normal set up. It wasn't a weird thing to us at all, and it doesn't necessarily indicate that your relationship is doomed, it could mean that you are both comfortable in the relationship enough that it works for you and it's a sign of progress.

As for the intimacy, you have two options that don't necessarily mean divorce. 1) have an honest sit down with your wife and explain that you both need to amp up your romance and chemistry together to make this work or 2) start to amp up the romance yourself! I know it will be hard at first but getting her favourite muffin for her and dropping it off at work "just because" or planning a spontaneous picnic at her favourite park can be easy little ways that will at least improve your communication and even your chemistry! I hope my advice is okay, bare in mind that I am only 21 🙂 But seriously, everything will always work out in the end, and if it hasnt 't worked out yet, that means it's not the end.