“Almost divorced... and affair continues”
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I've been married 15 years. After our first and only child, our relationship really changed. The former intimacy and caring for each other eventually turned to fighting, resentment, and just not talking. There are a lot of reasons about our troubles that I won't go into here, but after years of unhappiness in my marriage and seeing no way out, and a lot of time thinking about it and planning for it, I confronted my husband with a divorce. All the signs were clear that our relationship was in distress, with me stating my unhappiness and that I couldn't do it anymore. But it was not clear to my husband that I was unhappy enough for divorce, and he just did not see it coming. He wants to work it out, and I struggled with doing that because mentally I was (still am) checked out and ready to move on. But I felt guilty on the impact on him and my child, and thought I should at least give him a chance so decided to stay. Since then, he's really trying and made some dramatic changes. And this is good, especially for his own life.

But in the meantime, I've been having an affair. (And did not disclose it when my spouse asked if there was someone else.) In desperate and unhappy times, through a series of events I had met someone a year ago, and we've been seeing each other regularly. He's also married with kids, and we've developed feelings for each other. I feel like I found someone really special. I know there is lust and attraction, but what I feel is true companionship, shared interests, and caring for each other. I developed feelings for him and him for me. We both think we have a chance of true compatibility compared to our current situations.

When I told him about my divorce looming, he made it clear that he's not ready for divorce, though one day he might be (until the kids leave, because of financial reasons, etc.). And though this hurts and maybe he won't ever leave, I just can't - and don't want to - give up our relationship. This is despite being at a turning point in my marriage where I'm supposed to be committed to working things out. But I can't imagine not having the other guy not in my life, even if it stays an affair. Maybe I'm fooling myself by thinking one day we'd leave our spouses and be together. And maybe this is really selfish and destructive. The thing is, I don't want to end it.

I feel like I'm now stuck. If I stay married, I feel guilty for my husband being 100% committed while I'm not, and this affects my putting effort into working on things. And if I divorce, what if I want more from the other guy and he can't give it to me, because he's not ready to leave? Or what if it's great because it frees me up to see him more? I also think if I divorce or separate, and worse case my guy doesn't work out (though I really want it to), what if I find someone who I'm happy with and is more compatible? I'm trying to wade through this with all the other downsides of divorce on my child, financially, etc. I'm not looking to be shamed here for the right or wrong of having an affair and continuing it on the brink of divorce. I'm just trying to find my own happiness. But I posted this, so obviously I'm struggling and interested in hearing perspectives and other stories.

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