I don't know if I deserve advice but I would appreciate it. About a year ago, I became disillusioned with married life. I had doubts over my feelings for my wife and I was unsure if she still loved me. I felt we were two different people and that my marriage was just draining the life from me. There was no excitement and we seemed to fight a lot especially after the birth of our youngest child who is now two.
I decided to join an online dating site just out of curiosity and maybe for the thrill of chatting to other women. I joined never intending to stray but after a few weeks I got talking to a woman who lived not far from me. We clicked straight away and chatted online most nights.
After about a month we trusted each other enough to swap numbers and we began to text on a regular basis, discussing ourselves, our problems, every-day events and sexual fantasies.
She said that she was only ever once in a sexual relationship and it wasn't a good one and it had been a while since she had had sex. I admitted that my own sex life was dull and even though I should have thought better, I suggested we meet.
I was delighted when she agreed and for the next five months we met on a regular basis in a hotel or in a secluded area to chat and have sex. It was thrilling, exciting and fun. I was hooked. I found myself having feelings for this woman and she admitted that she liked me as well.
She knew from the start I was married and I know it didn't sit too well with her at times, but, like me, I guess she enjoyed the thrill and excitement also. A few weeks ago, she admitted that she was set up on a date by her sister. She got on well with this man and about a month ago, she texted me to say that she needed a break. She wanted something normal again.
I respected her decision and told her that I would miss her but deep down I'm heart broken and think of her everyday. I even hinted that we could have started dating if I decided to leave my wife. I check my phone regularly on the chance she may have texted me to say she missed me.
While I was seeing her, my wife noticed I had become more distant and, during an argument, I admitted that I was unhappy. She was shocked and upset that I was unhappy and ever since has been jumping through hoops to make me happy.
I know now she loves me very much and I should love her but feel sometimes there is no spark between us.
She is a great mother to our children and we are married five years. I'm in my late 30s, have a good job, a lot of friends and a pretty good social life, but yet I feel depressed at times and miss this woman terribly.
I feel like a love-sick teenager and at this stage just want to get back to normal, rebuild my marriage and move on.
Do you really want to rebuild your marriage? If you do, then it's up to you to put the effort into it. So far you have almost jeopardised everything to reintroduce some excitement into your life. Hard as it can be for many of us romantics to accept, marriage can be, and is, hard work. You get out of it the effort you put in. This last year you have behaved like a love-sick teenager and it's time to face up to the fact that you are a married father with young children who is teetering on the brink of throwing it all away.
There is a reason affairs are so intoxicating. The thrill of having sex in unexpected locations with someone who's new and unknown to you. The adrenalin pumping with the fear of being caught. The sex is not routine and familiar and you don't have to listen to complaints about not taking the bins out afterwards. Of course this is thrilling. Leave your wife for this woman and do you think you would have the same feelings five years down the road and a couple of children later?
Having children is more challenging than many parents will admit and one of the toughest tests of a relationship. With a child who is only two the last couple of years have likely seen plenty of sleepless nights and not too many date nights. It is common when it comes to the second child for a couple to forget about putting effort into their own relationship. The first problem is having the time to do so. Sometimes it's easier when you're exhausted just to head straight to sleep and before you know it, the romance starts to fade.
Just as you can fall out of love in a relationship, however, I believe you can also fall back into love. The thing is the person you met and fell in love with is different from the woman she is today. So are you. She is a mother now, too, with responsibilities to two others aside from you. You need to grow to also love the woman she is now just as the person she was then. Love comes in many forms and in the case of a marriage, it's not just sexual love, but companionship, romance and unconditional love.
Becoming disillusioned with married life may also be an indication that you have become disillusioned with your own life. Take your wife out of the equation for a moment, is this what you imagined your life would be? When you start off in married life, you have an idea of how you want things to be but routines and responsibilities can mean we don't always have the life we imagined. That's natural.
Falling out of love with your wife might also indicate that you have fallen out of love with yourself. That you are disappointing yourself. No one is going to be able to tackle that but you. The admission of your unhappiness to your wife has shown just how much she loves you.
What else can you do to make your life fulfilling? Going to the internet and having online sex chats is always going to be a short-term and ultimately meaningless thrill.
Are there other activities or challenges you can set yourself. Could it be that you're in a slump because you see your life now continuing like this for the next few decades with little change. If so, set new goals. Join clubs, voluntary organisations, sports clubs.
Think about the dreams you had before and figure out if they can still be part of your life today. Try to appreciate all the great things you have in your life right now.
If you think you simply can't do that, because you feel too unmotivated or depressed, I would suggest you go and see a counsellor and chat things through. If the problem really does lie with your marriage, then they will likely recommend relationship counselling to figure out if both of you can work things out. You've been given a second chance to turn things around here. Don't throw it away without giving it your best shot, both for your sake and that of your whole family.