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Q: Gal needs Unbiased Opinion for Middle Age Dilemma !!! ( No Answer,   10 Comments )
Subject: Gal needs Unbiased Opinion for Middle Age Dilemma !!!
Category: Relationships and Society > Romance
Asked by: jazzin-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 15 Aug 2005 17:22 PDT
Expires: 22 Aug 2005 18:09 PDT
Question ID: 556137
Separated from hubby 2 years now (was married for 19, no kids).  Got
hooked up with former 1st love who is divorced, no kids, fun,
exciting, romantic, passionate, take-charge type of guy, opens doors,
musician, artist, singer (those are hobbies/his passion) and he has a
full-time job.  BUT lives 1,000 miles away so we have a long distanced
relationship & plan visits every 2-3 months.  Tough, yes.  His home
needs major repair & he drives a 1994 junk,  has no retirement funds,
only VA insurance, no dental, no life insurance.  He collects antiques
and has no money so I suspect he has a problem in that area.  Lives
paycheck to paycheck and since he is a counselor - doesn't make much
money to begin with.  I think he lived a very IRRESPONSIBLE life and
now he has found me and is trying to get his stuff together.  (too
little, too late ???)

He taught me his art and between his 10 years worth of artwork and my
7 completed piece we have fun and have the art and music in common. 
We have dreams of selling the art, entering artshows, putting it in
galleries.  He loves to shop with me, we go to museums, shows,
concerts, dinner, make dinners together, play our music together, have
jam parties, and communicate very well and our private life is great.

Problem - I am still married, though separated & supporting myself
while hubby lives in our paid-off home in Connecticut.  Hubby wants to
reconcile & have me move back, he doesn't like living alone he said. 
He loves me, I gather, but the thrill has fizzled out in that regard. 
Its a cozy, no brainer relationship. I moved out due to lack of
intimacy - to put it mildly.  We have 2 homes, nice cars, still get
together for family things & still go out with other couples who know
our situation.  He is calm, stable, can take him anywhere, he mingles
well, he isn't assertive, isn't aggressive - not exciting and rather
boring.  If I don't make the plans, nothing happens.  I pull the
wagon, so to speak, and he just sits back for the ride.  Together we
are financially set but I feel so unfulfilled in life with him.  No
intimacy at all, he talks about his job constantly and even admits he
thinks he's boring.  Just doesn't rock my boat anymore .  I seem to
feel this is probably the case for most after being married for so
damn long.

My life would be so much easier if I worked on the marriage -
basically just not renew my lease & move back home. I have to make a
decision BY SEPTEMBER 1ST.  If I go back, I have to give up boyfriend,
only fair thing to do all the way around.  I could work part time and
just do whatever I want.  Ideal situation would be boyfriend on the
side & Husband who is like brother to share home with so I don't have
to pay this damn rent while he lives in our paid-off home.  I hang out
with husband all the time, we go to dinner or we will cook one another
dinner.  I'm not dating other men, although I've been asked out a lot.
 Hubby wants MORE, if you know what I mean and I don't think I can go
there - its been too long that we've been just "buddies", ya know?  I
like the friendly tone of what we are now.

Since boyfriend is long-distance relationship - ever visit is awesome
and like a new venture.  It keeps the things fun and exciting b/c we
aren't with one another enough to get involved in real-life issues. 
Its a fantasy, I guess.  Since it involves plane travel its tough to
make last minute arrangements if a party invitation comes up - lots of
drawbacks PLUS he has gotten very jealous, possessive, suspicious and
I think he has some "issues" like spending every dollar he makes so he
lives HAND TO MOUTH, no money in the bank, his parents gave him that
house with a contingency on it so he doesn't own it to sell it - just
to live in it.  A real Art-sy mentality so material things don't
really matter.

Now we fight all the time because I feel like i'm on a bungie chord...
I go out and he calls to find out where I've been, was I with other
men, if I go dancing then he drills me over the phone whether anybody
danced with me.  When we are in one another's presence, this stuff
doesn't happen.  Its now becoming annoying b/c I guess I'm really torn
because this relationship is 2 years already and I don't see any
progress.  He can't save money and, therefore,  can't move to my
state, I won't support him - he would have to get a place and we'd
live separately to see how this would even work out if we saw one
another more often (vs the 3-5 times a year).

Two very different men, very different lifestyles.  Right now I told
BF that I can't be in a relationship, I need to make a decision and
stick to it.  He does NOT know I hang out with husband. I'm Seeing a
therapist who said I'm not a mess,I just don't know what I want.  I
guess I want my cake and eat it.

HELP.  I need a very unbiased opinion.  We are all in our later 40s.

Clarification of Question by jazzin-ga on 15 Aug 2005 19:53 PDT
I also read tons of books (i.e. Dr. Phil's, Michelle Weiner Davis)
have been to 2 therapist and 2 marriage counselors(with him) AND we
completed the Retrouvaille weekend for troubled marriages along with
the 6 followup Fridays nights AND attended 5 CORE meetings which are
all a continuation of the Retrouvaille commitment.   Him?  He reads
nothing, quit individual counseling saying there isn't anything wrong
with him.
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Gal needs Unbiased Opinion for Middle Age Dilemma !!!
From: zodiacman-ga on 15 Aug 2005 19:19 PDT
Dear Gal Seeking Unbiashed Opinion,
Having read your story, here's an opinion, take it for what its worth.
I think you should forget about the former first love, break that off,
nip it, nip it, nip it, and walk away. I also think you should return
to your Husband of 19 years, and try to rekindle the original match.
It sounds as if he still loves you, still wants you, still enjoys your
company. Perhaps your leaving was a wake-up call for his emaotional
involvement. But I would also suggest that you two start going to
Church together to find a Higher One than just yourselves. You see,
inside of you is a "God Shaped Void", and only God can fill that void.
People try to fill that void with all kinds of other things: work,
affairs, material riches, wordly pursuits, and so forth. But only God
can feel that void, because he made you, and knows you better than you
know yourself. He knows everything that you need and desire.
   So my opinion is  that forget the BF, go back to your husband, and,
even more importantly, begin a spiritual quest by going to a good
Christian church somewhere near you. Find a church where they are
preaching and teaching from the Bible, where there is an openess, and
a warmth, and where the people love each other. If you let God into
your life setting, HE can recover your marriage and help make
something beatiful out of it. And I think your should invite your
husband to go with you. It will at least give you something different
to talk about and think about. And if GOD were to work in his life, he
would also be better able to be the kind of man/leader you are
yearning for.
for what its worth,
Subject: Re: Gal needs Unbiased Opinion for Middle Age Dilemma !!!
From: stressedmum-ga on 15 Aug 2005 19:30 PDT
You're asking for unbiased opinions, so expect plenty of opinions from
people whose bias is towards maintaining the marriage no matter what,
and the security and "safety" that goes with having a husband who,
albeit a responsible, good 'provider' is not passionate or 'out there'
or exciting; or from others whose bias would be towards getting in
touch with your inner wild woman and running off with your lover to
live happily ever after in a bohemian, passionate but impoverished
life with a man whose irresponsibility drives you crazy yet who
represents youth and excitement in many ways.
From what I've read, you sound very confused and can see good and bad
in each of your men. (Pity you can't 'meld' them into one perfect
man!) Seriously, this is something you have to decide for yourself,
based on your experience and your expectations of what will constitute
a happy life for you. If I was trying to sort out my life in such a
way, I'd try and look ahead to five years into the future and try to
decide with whom I'd rather wake up in the morning; with whom would I
rather travel, go out, share secrets, share tragedies, share
happiness, laughter, tears, health etc. Only you can answer that. And
once you make your decision, honour it and be true to the life and the
man you've chosen: don't expect or believe perfection from anyone,
including yourself. You might want to change aspects of your husband
or your boyfriend, but you too have to change -- you need to change
*together* -- because you are enabling the very behaviour that you
find so unbearable.

Which brings me to Dr Phil. (He talks about 'enabling' behaviours and
'teaching people how to treat us'.) I recommend that you read up on
how to make an informed decision. Personally I find Dr Phil's tv show
quite different from his website. The site is a terrific resource with
heaps of work sheets and information sheets on many matters including
relationships. Go to and take plenty of time to
browse as there are many, many links. Well worth a look.

Best wishes and I hope you make the decision that will make you and
your partner happy.
Subject: Re: Gal needs Unbiased Opinion for Middle Age Dilemma !!!
From: byrd-ga on 15 Aug 2005 19:43 PDT
Please go to this site: and
thoughtfully READ what is there - all of it - before you make a
decision. I honestly believe it will provide you with the help and
guidance you're seeking. Best wishes to you at a difficult time in
your life.
Subject: Re: Gal needs Unbiased Opinion for Middle Age Dilemma !!!
From: steph53-ga on 15 Aug 2005 19:47 PDT

You won't get any negative opinions from me...

I was where you were in late 2001...

Too confused to see where I was and where I wanted to be...

I looked over at my husband one nite..and realized I had nade a HUGE
mistake just by marrying him... I was looking for 'companionship' at
the time of my marriage and didn't want to live alone at age 45!!!

In retrospect...

I went to see a lawyer in August 2001 and realized that I stood to
lose thousands of $$$'s if I left with no real reason...

Bottom line?

I paid to get out and find my happiness...

I'm still in the "find myself" stage at a ripe old age of 56 but you know what?

It was all worth it..

If you have doubts and a new person whom you would like to "explore"..go for it!!!

Life is too short to agonize over...

Subject: Re: Gal needs Unbiased Opinion for Middle Age Dilemma !!!
From: human12-ga on 15 Aug 2005 20:59 PDT
Well, I'm not sure there is an unbiased opinion (everybody has a
history and opinions are shaped by an odd conglomerate of influences.)

I've been married 25 years and over the last 10 years both my wife and
I have experienced the desire for the green grass over yonder, not
just sexually but in a larger context of life as it seems to be with
you.  To cut to the quick I'm not sure we're out of the woods right
now.  I'm tired of her "remake" and her need for control and I think
more of myself than to simply tolerate it endlessly.  But I don't know
where the end of my patience is and there are genuine, historical
roots in her distancing herself from what we were as a couple.  The
very thing in her I find most frustrating is something i adnmire; her
independent mindset.  I'm not threatened by it but I need to adjust to
it and it can't be her license to do anything without regard for the
impact on "us".  I tend to be (try to be) more of a "learn from that
lesson and go on" person; she retains things and reacts.  I'm not sure
how forcfully to state that I think it is possible to go through the
tough times if we address the issues, articulate the issues very
specifically, head-on rather than float in a fog of discontent.  There
was once something that drew you to your husband and perhaps floating
through  life has even distanced himself from the better angels of his
nature.  Perhaps he also wants more to life but can't seem to find the
way ("how can I find the marrow I once thrived on in life...?")

Perhaps together you could take an inventory (I'm sure you have
personally, emotionally) of what exactly has changed, where you are
compared to where you were when things were better.  Perhaps making it
a point of discussing the exact nature of your discontent (no
judgement here) and see if, after looking intently into the mirror and
each other's eyes and hearts, you might see where the disconnect began
and how to find what was once, pressumably, something worth marrying
for.  You mentioned the extesive counseling but perhaps one-on-one,
make or break, we get through this or we end it face-to-face may help.
 If either you or your husband cannot see something worth fighting
for...I can't see continuing (this from a Christian who has a hard
time admitting to the possibility of ending it.)  I believe, in my
attempted "unbias" opinion, there is an allure that promises something
greater than we currently exerience but is possibly a counterfiet for
what can result after fighting through the very real, unpleasant
realities of losing perspective of what we have and that threatens to
robs us of a true, though less romanticized, deeper joy. have a deadline and need answers or suggestions.  Since you
and your husband are "buddies" and are not antagonistic toward each
other, I would not make a rash decision to part but agree to live
together, even platonically.  I know you mentioned that he wants more.
 How badly does he want more?  Not as a disingenuine tool but do you
"make him want to be a better man" type thing.  If niether of you can
find the roots, the origins of what you had, or if you simply lack the
interest and \ or energy to put more into it, ending the legal
relationship may be the last resort.  In my opinion, divorce promises
much like a bankruptcy, a clean slate and freedom.  But if the root of
what led you there in the first place hasn't changed, you may not find
it a panecea but another place to visit in the future.

I think you know there isn't much of a future (except as a
distraction) with your former boyfriend.

God bless; words are cheap.  I hope you both find something that you
currently do not see.
Subject: Re: Gal needs Unbiased Opinion for Middle Age Dilemma !!!
From: just_us-ga on 15 Aug 2005 23:19 PDT
I believe you know the answer here. Our first loves will always be
just that, first loves. It's normal to feel excitement in spending
time with him. The challenge of finding time makes it more stimulating
still. However, you have already pointed out that you have been seeing
him every only every 2-3 months for two years and said he can be,
"jealous, possessive, suspicious and I think he has some "issues" like
spending every dollar he makes so he lives HAND TO MOUTH, no money in
the bank, his parents gave him that house with a contingency on it so
he doesn't own it to sell it - just to live in it." A relationship
needs a solid ground to build upon. The traits and issues you describe
are warnings to you. You've observed them personally and during brief,
irregular visits with him. Consider it a glimpse of the future, should
you chose to divorce your husband and marry your boyfriend.
On the other hand, we have your husband. You describe him saying, "We
have 2 homes, nice cars, still get together for family things & still
go out with other couples who know our situation.  He is calm, stable,
can take him anywhere, he mingles well..." Have you condidered
rekindling the spark with him or at least moving home and giving it a
try? Spend some of your money on vacations or other fun stuff. Go to a
counsellor alone if he won't go. After all, you are the one that left.
Work on yourself first, then possibly your husband will give it a try
as he watches your progress.
I empathize with you because I feel you really wanted to start fresh
with your first love. I understand that longing and I am sure others
to as well. However, your first love doesn't mean he is your only
love. It sounds like he would be better in memory than real life.
Good luck!
Subject: Re: Gal needs Unbiased Opinion for Middle Age Dilemma !!!
From: badger75-ga on 16 Aug 2005 11:10 PDT
IMHO, when your emotionally and financially stable "husband" realizes
that possibly you are neither, he may move on as you have. That might
leave you with a "first love" 1,000 miles away and a world of possible
trouble. But maybe not. How does one put a price on excitement?
Subject: Re: Gal needs Unbiased Opinion for Middle Age Dilemma !!!
From: myoarin-ga on 16 Aug 2005 13:38 PDT
Hi Jazzin,
Have you reread your question  - as though someone else had written it?
"Distance lends enchantment", but everything you are saying says:
without distance it won't work.
First love, revisited ....  We all dream of it!  (Well, many do, in
case someone objects to "we all".)
Your therapist is right in my opinion; you are not a mess.  You seem
to have portraited each of you three very clearly. Just read your
question again.  It sounds like you have got a very nice husband:
patient, you enjoy each other's company, do things together.  Twin
beds, separate rooms?  If it doesn't work out  - pity, but for sure,
you are telling us that YOU KNOW it won't work out with  the
One man's opinion.  Good luck, Myoarin     
Subject: Re: Gal needs Unbiased Opinion for Middle Age Dilemma !!!
From: alex101-ga on 16 Aug 2005 16:13 PDT
You know what you want.  It's just that you prefer a fantasy to your
reality and you won't look at where you are or what you have
objectively.  It's a very common mix of self delusion and denial. 
It's much harder to take an honest look around.

You aren't confused.  Your boyfriend is an insecure, irresponsible
loser.  You said it, not just me...and you know it can't work.  Why do
women fool themselves like this ?  Wait...I don't want to know.  Ditch
him and chalk it up to a self indulgent, enjoyable but dishonorable
and ultimately destructive escapade...unless you can't accept any
responsibility for your life and the choices you make.  In that case,
I'm just a judgmental narrow-minded jerk.

Your husband is boring and routine but I have news for you.  If you're
bored, you're boring too.  It's unavoidable.  You do want your cake
and to eat it too but look at your focus.  It's all you.  Marriage
isn't a cake walk.  It gets old.  Neglected, and we all take it for
granted at some point, mold will grow and it will become unappetizing.
 Would you be excited about living with you ?  Maybe, maybe not.  It
sounds like your husband was pretty reliable for a lot of years. 
That's worth some consideration if nothing else.
Instead, you've been on a thrill-seeking self-indulgence that was fun
but has no hope of working and it never did.

I don't know if you and your husband can fix your marriage.  I don't
know if it's worth saving.  It may be too far gone and you might be
better off without each other.  I don't know.  There's a lot to be
said for a couple decades of love and loyalty and reliability.  Ok,
he's not Mr. Excitment anymore if he ever was.  That happens.  Some
couples find a comfortable place with each other and stay together
forever.  I think the feelings of enfatuation fade never to return the
same way.  That's ok though because it has to be.  It's the way it is
for everybody.  If thrills are what you want, the butterflies in the
stomach, you'll need to change boyfriends every so often.  However,
you'll be old soon enough and, on this road, you'll be alone or in
relationships that never work out - like the boyfriend.  We are all
free to make a mess of our lives.  At some point, the friendship and
shared history become more significant than the butterflies for many
couples.  They stay together and are happy even if not all the time. 
You and your husband may have let your relationship wallow too long to
save.  Could be.  It doesn't sound like it though.  Your husband
sounds still committed to some degree.  You just sound self involved. 
Maybe you'll save your marriage; maybe you won't; maybe it's better if
you don't.  I can't know.  However, you asked for unbiased opinions
and that's mine.  You'll take an honest look or you won't.

Good luck to you.
Subject: Re: Gal needs Unbiased Opinion for Middle Age Dilemma !!!
From: wengland-ga on 16 Aug 2005 20:38 PDT
"[...]quit individual counseling saying there isn't anything wrong
with him."

That's your answer.  It has to be a two-way street.  You're done. 
File for divorce, live the unexplored life.  Yes, you'll die young,
uninsured and broke, but happy.

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