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Salvaging A Marriage

Question:

Dear Anne, I am married to a great guy and have been for 8 yrs. I’m a mom with two little girls and have been on Paxil for 3 yrs(due to inability to deal w/ my situation)which is this, I am not nor ever have been in love w/ my husband. I married for security reasons. He loves me dearly and I’ve tried to bond w/ him through our kids but, it’s just not there! Just when I had convinced myself that staying busy would help me not to lose it…I met someone out of the blue that I have developed feelings for (he doesn’t know I’m married) & I want to pursue a relationship with him (unattached) Am I to leave an almost ideal marriage for something that I know would make me happy but may or may not last? And what about my children( ages 3 & 6), is this really fair to them? I am torn and I don’t want to ruin my children’s’ lives. Please help!!!!

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
  • ‘Anne’ bases her responses on her personal experiences and not on professional training or study. She does not represent herself to be a psychologist, therapist, counselor or professional helper of any sort. Her responses are offered from the perspective of a friend or mentor only.
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  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.
Answer:

What a mess you’ve gotten yourself into! The price of your financial security has been an empty marriage that you would now like to leave. You are dealing with so much guilt and fear that you appear paralyzed. You want to leave your husband for a new man you have met but are concerned over the impact of this event on your children. You are quite right to be concerned over how an affair, divorce or separation would affect the children – it would hurt them. However, having them grow up with a depressed mom and parents who don’t love one another won’t help them much either. It isn’t clear what the right answer is. There are questions to answer that might help you clarify how to approach your dilemma. How will you support yourself and your children if you were to leave your marriage? It would seem fairly reprehensible to me if your plan was to live exclusively off of alimony and child support monies. How willing are you to be alone? You’ve met a man and want to be with him but this is not a guarantee that he will ultimately stay with you. Is it possible you are planning to move from dependency on your husband to dependency on this new man? If so, what if your new relationship doesn’t work out? Why haven’t you told this new man that you are married? He needs to know this and you need to tell him. My point works out to this. You shouldn’t even consider leaving your husband unless you are willing and able to live alone without him, at least for a while. Otherwise I am concerned that you are moving from one position of dependency to another. The grass always appears greener – but it isn’t most of the time. I hope that while you are figuring this all out that you will get yourself to a counselor (or the both of you to a marital therapist) so that you can discuss the problems in your marriage openly and honestly. I’m a great believer in salvaging marriages if at all possible.

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