- 5 years ago
I have been married to my husband, J, for just under 1 year. We were together for 6 years before we married. In the year before our wedding, I had a lot of doubts that I stupidly ignored and did not address. These doubts stemmed from the fact that J and I started dating when we were only 17. I went away to college and this should have been my time to have fun and just be young, but within 1 month J had moved to my new city and I realized that he didn’t really want me to do ANYTHING that a typical college student would do. We “settled down” quickly and moved in together, combined finances, and bought big items together like furniture. J is a very practical person and wanted us to start living like “adults” immediately, I suppose, even though looking back I was still very much a child.
There were some things that I had issues with from the start that I should have brought up to him, but didn’t. One BIG thing was the fact that he made me feel ridiculously guilty if I ever wanted to go out with (girl)friends without him. He acted utterly rejected and hurt, and didn’t understand why I didn’t want him to go. No girls want someone’s boyfriend tagging along on EVERY outing, so I eventually lost every friend I had.
Another example was, on one of the VERY few occasions I was “allowed” to go somewhere without him, I came home in such a great mood and began telling him about my night, which included me having ONE drink…not even close to enough to get drunk. He was so upset that I would have the audacity to have a drink when he wasn’t there that he CRIED, and made me feel like I was the worst person on earth. Just to note, I was of legal drinking age by this point as well.
I wanted to study abroad but he didn’t want me to go without him. I contemplated changing schools but he didn’t want me to go without him. When I did change schools, so did he.
I don’t know why I went along with these things, but he is so level-headed and practical, he just always comes across as RIGHT. For some reason I suppose I felt there was no other option for me, I had found the person who I was supposed to be with. We had a stable, comfortable life, and wasn’t that the way things were supposed to be?
A few months before J and I started dating, my “most serious” high school boyfriend, “C,” had broken up with me. I was devastated, but I was able to distract myself with J and try to move on. I had lost my virginity to C, and J had a HUGE problem with this. He made me feel incredibly guilty and wrong for not “saving myself” for him—when I didn’t even KNOW him when it happened! He said that he felt like C had stolen something from him.
A few months into my relationship with J, C and I started talking periodically, just as friends. Every now and then (maybe once/twice a year), we would meet, just to talk. I never told J because I knew he wouldn’t let me go. But C was my old friend and I wanted to see him and I didn’t feel like that had anything to do with J. This was honestly the ONLY thing I did within our relationship without his compliance.
Like I said before, J and I gradually built a very stable, uneventful life. Day-to-day life was fine, but I was feeling SO trapped. One night I was having a particularly bad time and I met C. I cheated on J that night. C and I didn’t sleep together, but regardless, too much happened. I decided that I would never tell J and my punishment would be the guilt that I would carry with me my entire life (this was my 19 year old way of thinking). C and I stopped talking for a very long time after this.
I began thinking about leaving J, but I had no idea how. I had no money and no where to go, and I guess I just couldn’t fathom throwing away the life that we had. I dreamed about packing up and leaving while he was at work, but I never did anything.
Years went by and life went on, and things felt okay with our relationship again. J then proposed to me. I said yes and immediately threw myself into planning our wedding. I honestly had a strange feeling about it all, but felt like this is what I was “supposed” to do.
It wasn’t long before C contacted me on Facebook and we began talking again. We started talking a LOT. And before I knew it, it wasn’t my wedding that I was excited about or my future husband, it was my conversations with C. I began doubting my decision to marry J because I knew I wasn’t happy, but I didn’t know what to DO, and I was scared.
I tried to talk to him about this but he just blew me off. He has a way of cocking his head to the side and smiling and saying “aww,” when I try to address my feelings with him…as though I’m a child. He has NEVER validated my feelings or emotions or made me feel as though it’s okay to even HAVE feelings or emotions. He is not an emotional person himself and I suppose he doesn’t want me to be either. This is why it has always been so hard for me to bring issues up to him because he doesn’t feel that he is being anything other than loving and caring to me.
One night I forgot to put away my journal and j read it and found out about the cheating and potential feelings for C, and also that I was having doubts about marrying him. He was obviously confused, upset, etc. but his response surprised me. He wanted me to have sex with him and after, he wanted to continue our day as we had planned. I remember standing in my kitchen sobbing making him french toast. Then he never wanted to speak of this event again.
C and I chatted randomly, I knew I had some sort of a crush on him but I didn’t tell him, though I did tell him I would like to see him one more time before my wedding. He told me that was probably a bad idea (it was) and that was that. I got married 2 weeks later.
Things have been okay, though lately I had begun feeling a lot of resentment toward J. I feel like he has held me back in life and I will never be ANYTHING other than “J’s wife.” During college I didn’t accept internships or research opportunities because I would have to spend time away from J and he didn’t want that. I graduated with zero experience or marketable skills, and have not been able to begin a career even though it’s been 2 years and I SO DESPERATELY long to have something that is just MINE.
Now something has happened. I have begun to have real feelings for C. We’ve admitted to each other that we never truly got over one another…and I slept with him. I don’t know what to do. I have nothing outside of J, I am completely dependent on him (something I swore I would NEVER be). I don’t even know if I want to continue to work things out with J because he won’t listen to me or accept that there are problems,even though I should probably be fighting for my marriage.. In fact, he would be completely blindsided because I honestly do not believe that he realizes I’m unhappy, even though I’ve tried and tried to tell him.
Reading over this, my relationship sounds so horrible but day-to-day life really is fine. My family LOVES J. He is hardworking and honest and takes care of me. Everyone would be SO disappointed in me if I mess this up. Plus, is it fair for me to completely turn J’s life upside down when he gets no say at all?
What on earth do I do? I have messed things up so badly.