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Old 08-19-2005, 09:49 PM   #1
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honeybunchxxx HB User
What am I doing?

I have been married to a wonderful man for 16 years and dated him for 3 years prior so we have been together for 19 years. We are best friends. We love and respect each other and would never do anything intentionally to hurt one another. We have built a life together and for the most part we both love that life. The biggest problem in our marriage is that for 15 years we have had no intimacy or sexual relationship at all (we sleep in separate rooms). It really started when both of us gained a lot of weight and quite honestly we lost our physical attraction to each other. Over the past 2 years we have made drastic lifestyle changes - regained our health, lost weight, etc. But we are having trouble reconnecting on a physical level. We talk about it all the time and say it is something that we want to work on, but it does not seem to be changing or improving and I am losing hope that we will ever regain that part of our relationship.

Over the past few months I have taken notice of a man that works for the same company I work for (we work in the same building but we do not work together). I initially noticed that he seemed to be checking me out and then he started to say hello to me by name (which really captured my attention since we were never introduced). I have come to find this man extremely attractive and his body language makes me believe that he is very interested in me. We share "hallway hellos" daily and lately my heart pounds like a schoolgirl every time we see each other. I think about him constantly - the attraction seems to be growing stronger by the day. Just yesterday I had the opportunity to finally ask him his name and we shared some brief but very pleasant conversation in which we learned that we shared some common interests, I learned that he has children (assuming divorce) and he (quite intentionally) confirmed my marital status in a round-about sort of way (I sensed he was going to ask me out if he had learned I was not married). Our conversation was interrupted when other people joined in and I had to leave to go to a meeting. This morning I sent him an email saying I was sorry our conversation was cut short and asked if he would be interested in grabbing a quick lunch in the cafeteria. He emailed me back immediately saying that he was unavailable today but would take a raincheck. Later in the day he went out of his way to pass by me on the way to a meeting and said "We'll talk next week." I did not have a chance to tell him that I will actually be on vacation all next week, and will not be back in the office until the following week.

I am so confused about what I am doing. Part of me really wants to explore a friendship with this man to determine if there is any substance behind my feelings. I honestly would never consider having an "affair" nor would I want to break up my marriage for a meaningless sexual encounter. In fact, in my mind, I envision more of a romantic relationship with this man, rather than a lustful, sexual relationship. But at what point do I need to accept that my marriage is not healthy? I can't see myself living the rest of my life with no intimacy, romance in a relationship. And if I do explore a friendship with this man, how can I convey that I am not looking to "cheat on my husband" but rather interested in establishing a friendship that could potentially blossom into something more. Is it even fair for me to want that?

Since I don't know this man yet at all, I also realize that there is a strong possibility that we may not ultimately be compatible or a long-term match, but at the same time I dont want to miss out on chance of finding out. I am so affraid that this man will think low of me for inviting him to lunch knowing that I am married. But I really am a decent person and just want to get to know him better as he seems like the type of person I would want to be friends with. Am I fooling myself into thinking that I can build and maintain a friendship with this man? What are the chances that he will even be willing to enter into a friendship with me? Is it wrong for me to want or expect that? I have played out in my head what I would say to him if he were to question why if I am married am I asking him to lunch. I really don't plan on admitting that I am attracted to him - instead I want to tell him that I am always looking to make new friends and he seems to be type of person that I would want as a friend. And that really is true, but of course in my mind I cannot deny my attraction towards him. And now I am afraid that he might be questioning my moral values.

I have thought also about the possibility that if I start a genuine friendship with this man that it will "kill the crush" which would also not be a bad thing. And I have also wondered if I were to develop a romantic relationship with this man would it really be considered cheating, given the status of my relationship with my husband? Would it be wrong to discuss this with my husband? And probably the most important question - is it possible to save my marriage? Can a sexual relationship be reignited after this much time? I am so confused!

Any comments? Has anyone else ever experienced this? I really don't know what to do.

 
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Old 08-20-2005, 06:40 AM   #2
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Ruth6:11 HB UserRuth6:11 HB User
Re: What am I doing?

Yes, I ran into a really neat guy at a Continuing Ed class after I'd been married for several years. He was funny, intelligent, and I found myself thinking about him that week following the class. I knew that if I continued the class I could end up going out for that innocent cup of coffee after class, etc.

What did I do?? I quit going to the class.

Your ethical choices are:
Stay married (and faithful) and work out your problems

Get divorced and THEN explore the possibilities with this man.

To do otherwise is a breach of your marriage contract.
Simple? No - it's not.
But rationalizing even an "affair of the mind" while you're married is cheating. Unless you're going to be telling your husband about this new friend and any lunches etc you may have.

Sorry - maybe someone else will suggest you "go for it"!!

 
Old 08-20-2005, 01:21 PM   #3
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honeybunchxxx HB User
Re: What am I doing?

Thank you Ruth. I know you are right. I love my husband deeply and do not want to betray our marriage. I welcome any other feedback from other readers...

I am having difficulty figuring out if I am just craving intimacy and perhaps fantasizing about this other man as an outlet for that. Is it really even possible to develop intense feelings for someone that you don't know that well?

So what should I do about my situation at work? How do I go about turning off my schoolgirl crush on this other man? Part of me thinks that if I become casually friendly with him that chemistry will fizzle out because the reality will set in and push asside the fantasy. The likelihood is that we would not be nearly as compatible as I am with my husband and that our lifestyles are probably quite different. I feel like I need to put some closure on the situation - after all, I already invited him to join me for lunch. Now all I keep wondering is what HE must be thinking about my invitation. Would it be wrong to grab a quick casual bite with him (which by the way would be in the cafeteria in the wide open with other coworkers around), keep it brief, talk about work, etc...? At this point he really has no reason to believe that I have thought of him other than as a friend. Or am I fooling myself?

On another note - does anyone have any comments on sexless marriage? Any ideas on how to reignite passion and intimacy? Is it possible? There is still a part of me that wonders if we need to agree to just be best friends and leave it at that, as sad as that would be. My husband and I are quite compatible - we share similar interests, do a lot together, share the same moral values, etc... I know that having that type of relationship is precious and I really don't want to give it up.

I welcome any other feedback...

Last edited by honeybunchxxx; 08-20-2005 at 01:26 PM.

 
Old 08-20-2005, 01:51 PM   #4
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goody2shuz HB Usergoody2shuz HB User
Re: What am I doing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybunchxxx
So what should I do about my situation at work? How do I go about turning off my schoolgirl crush on this other man? Part of me thinks that if I become casually friendly with him that chemistry will fizzle out because the reality will set in and push asside the fantasy. The likelihood is that we would not be nearly as compatible as I am with my husband and that our lifestyles are probably quite different. I feel like I need to put some closure on the situation - after all, I already invited him to join me for lunch. Now all I keep wondering is what HE must be thinking about my invitation. Would it be wrong to grab a quick casual bite with him (which by the way would be in the cafeteria in the wide open with other coworkers around), keep it brief, talk about work, etc...? At this point he really has no reason to believe that I have thought of him other than as a friend. Or am I fooling myself?
Honeybunch ~ What is having lunch with a guy you admittedly say you have a "crush" on going to do that would be constructive to rebuilding the intimacy and passion in your marriage??? I mean really think about it....wouldnt it be more constructive to focus this energy within your marriage rather than outside of it which will only be destructive?? Like Ruth already has said....you need to direct your attention towards your marriage or if you are unable to then divorce and pursue your passion and intimacy elsewhere. To do it any other way is only hurtful to your husband/marriage.

Now you ask if it is possible to restore passion & intimacy within a marriage. I say YES if the love & committment are there which seems to be the case with you. How???? Well a start would be to start a "crush" with your husband again. Think back to how it was when you first fell in love and the things you did for one another. You need a vision to work with of what you see as the passion and intimacy in your marriage. And then work towards that...using the same tools you did when you first dated. Seduce your husband. Make a nice romantic day for the two of you. Make his favorite meal with candlelight, nice music, wine and wear something sexy to show off your new body that you have since you lost weight. Play footsie with him and tell him that you want to make his night like no other he has ever known. Dance with him, nibble on his ear, touch those errogenous zones that you know will wake him up again!!! (Wow, I'm thinking that I ought to do the same tonite with my hubby ) Anyway....I think you get the idea. Perhaps watch a really sexy movie with him...."The Thomas Crown Affair" happens to have some passionate scenes that I guarantee will put you both in the mood. I think your husband has been waiting for a moment like this and somebody has got to make the first move so take a risk and do it!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybunchxxx
My husband and I are quite compatible - we share similar interests, do a lot together, share the same moral values, etc... I know that having that type of relationship is precious and I really don't want to give it up.
This shows me that you have all the ingredients to make a success of this. Think of your vision and make it happen....you had it once before and you certainly can have it again. You only have to want it to get it. And you seem to have a husband who wants it just as much. That's the key.....two people who want something and are committed to wanting to rebuild and see it happen.

Forget about the guy at work ....tell him that you have a loving husband who you want to have lunch with and had an out of body experience that you want to apologize for. Good luck ~ Goody

Last edited by goody2shuz; 08-20-2005 at 02:03 PM.

 
Old 08-20-2005, 02:20 PM   #5
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evy38 HB User
Re: What am I doing?

Excellent, insightful and profond advice from both Ruth and Goody. What else is there to say?

 
Old 08-20-2005, 03:55 PM   #6
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honeybunchxxx HB User
Re: What am I doing?

My husband doesn't seem the least bit interested in intimacy or sex. He'll hug me and give me pecks on the lips, but I want to be cuddled, have my face and hair stroked, be gazed at, and deeply kissed, even if we don't actually have intercourse yet. I am pretty open with him and tell him this and he keeps responding, "we'll get there," but there is no progress. If I attempt to come on to him he will intentionally shift gears to avoid it.

Like right now... earlier today I asked him if we could spend a quiet night together and he agreed. After he worked for a few hours in the yard I suggested he go take a shower so we could spend some time together and "relax/cuddle" before it gets too late. Right now he is laying on the couch, still filthy, and he said he wants to watch the end of a show on TV and then still has to go change the oil in his car before he showers.

His disinterest effects my ability to feel attracted to him. How much rejection can a person take until you are just turned off. It makes me feel very sad. I suppose this is why all the excitement and arrousal associated with a crush feels so good. Just knowing or even imagining that someone out there wants to be stroking, gazing, and deeply kissing me makes me feel good about myself.

I wish it were easier...

 
Old 08-20-2005, 04:08 PM   #7
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evy38 HB User
Re: What am I doing?

Maybe it's time to tell him how close he is to loosing you.

 
Old 08-21-2005, 08:29 AM   #8
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Ruth6:11 HB UserRuth6:11 HB User
Re: What am I doing?

If the marriage you are in isn't what you want, and you have tried some marriage counseling (together or without him if he won't go) then deal with ending that.
BEFORE the flirting and teasing and dating while you are still married.
Quote:
how can I convey that I am not looking to "cheat on my husband" but rather interested in establishing a friendship that could potentially blossom into something more.
Those two things are the same thing pretty much.
What it seems like is that being single is scary so you wouldn't want to ditch your marriage (for lack of a better word) until you're sure that the "friendship" with another man is going to "blossom.

Do you see that there is only one issue?
Whether you want to save your marriage.

If you don't then you need to get out of the marriage before you cheat (emotionally or physically). All the guy you are with is going to know is that you are the type of woman that goes out behind her husband's back - probably not what he really truly wants.

If you DO want to save your marriage then make THAT your goal! Not "friendships" with other men. Counseling. And if he won't go YOU go without him. One person can't change without the other one having to adapt to the changes.


Evy, great point!

Last edited by Ruth6:11; 08-21-2005 at 08:29 AM.

 
Old 08-21-2005, 08:40 AM   #9
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SophiaM HB User
Re: What am I doing?

But what will counseling help, forgive me for being the devil's advocate here? As I recall, this poster has posted a while ago about the same problems with her husband. Nothing seems to be getting better and this man has no sex drive, apparently, and no interest in showing her any affection. 15 years with NO SEX?!! And there's no physical injury or illness that prevents it. You might as well be single. At least you'd be free to find a guy who finds you desirable and wants to be affectionate and romantic with you. Did you have sex prior to the marriage at all, or has the marriage been pretty much "uncosummated" for 16 years?? It's so selfish on the husband's part to not want to touch his wife in any amorous way. I personally can't imagine how she stayed faithful for as long as she did and that she still wants to work on the marriage.

 
Old 08-21-2005, 08:47 AM   #10
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goody2shuz HB Usergoody2shuz HB User
Re: What am I doing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybunchxxx
My husband doesn't seem the least bit interested in intimacy or sex. He'll hug me and give me pecks on the lips, but I want to be cuddled, have my face and hair stroked, be gazed at, and deeply kissed, even if we don't actually have intercourse yet. I am pretty open with him and tell him this and he keeps responding, "we'll get there," but there is no progress.
Honey, we are creatures of habit. Somehow over the past 15 years you and your husband have somehow managed to avoid intimacy. You had it once but for such a short period of time. You cannot expect to change it back so easily......sure it will take communication and openess, however, I think that the two of you may need some guidance on how to get back there. Seems that on both your parts, as described in your post, you have built up defense mechanisms to avoiding intimacy and passion in your marriage. Now you must learn the way to break through that wall that you have built. You built it for protection and now must learn to take it down which will expose your vulnerabilities which may leave each of you feeling uncomfortable when trying to reestablish the intimacy that you have kept from each other for so long. There will be a "walking on eggshell" feeling as you take down the wall but with enough love & committment you may be able to get through it and bac to one another.

Ruth is right once again......you cannot get through this by creating another relationship simultaneously.....either salvage what you've got or cut your losses and then move on to another. It's time to be open enough with your husband to allow him to do what he must do to come to this decision along with you.....as advised by Evy Let us know what happens ~ Goody

 
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