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Daily Share – I’m Torn Between Doing For Myself And Doing For Others

TDL_FB-iconI have had a difficult marriage due to the interference of my in-laws. I persevered in the marriage when actually I should have left a long time ago. I wish I had at times but I did not have the courage. Also, I knew that my husband was not a bad person – he just has no decent role model. My husband realizes now that he did not treat me very well and is trying his best to be a better husband. It helps also that we are now living 100 miles away from his family. I am no longer talking to his family at all. I still carry resentment and hurt about how I have been treated by them and I am very confused.

You see, now that things are looking up I keep getting presented with opportunities from really nice men who want to be with me. A part of me thinks why shouldn’t I put myself first. Why shouldn’t I be selfish and indulge in an extramarital affair? Why should I leave my marriage and upset my children when I could just enjoy the company of a man that adores me for some time?

All this time my husband – the man who vowed to love, honor and protect me – actually did none of that and listened to his own family instead who were influencing me incorrectly. He is working hard to regain my trust but is it just too late. Will I be able to forgive him? Am I angry at him or am I angry at myself for being such a coward? I was always taught that you have to make a marriage work. I am actually quite exhausted from making this marriage work but I don’t want to bring up my children alone. I do not have the strength or the life skills. I am so disillusioned and disappointed with life. I really do not see the point of why we are here. I talk to others and it’s like everyone is trapped.

I am lucky in so many ways, I have a supportive loving family, beautiful children, work… is it wrong to think of yourself for once? I have spent my life trying to be the dutiful daughter, then the dutiful wife and have felt guilty and scared when I have tried to break free and live life independently. I am not sure what it is that I want. And what is right for me anymore. Please help!

A TDL Reader

  • jill

    I think there are more options than stay or cheat. Cheating rarely solves anything and often comes with much regret and fallout. I understand your wanting affec tion, attention and kindness from other men…don’t think it’s worth it. It’s time to start rebuilding YOU first. Valuing yourself, loving yourself, honoring yourself. You sound very caring and loving towards your children. Let them see you taking care of you in healthy ways, not conflicted ways. How do you know you don’t have the life skills to raise your children alone, if need be. Where did you form this opinion of yourself and how has that shaped you and your kids? These limiting beliefs hold you back. Work to change them. I suggest reading Cheryl Richardsons book on Self Care or her “You Can Lead an Exceptional Life” book. She is wise, comforting, directive and supportive. You can also listen to her on Hay House radio on Monday afternoons I think…you can also call iin for advice. She is an exceptional life coach, Thinking of you and hear how drained you are…know you can rebuild your life in beautiful and meaningful ways. Don’t continue to sell your soul…build it! Best to you.

    • The Daily Love

      Thanks for sharing with our reader, Jill. -TDL Team

  • MeredithShay

    I completely understand wanting a relationship for the wrong reasons. But something that I have implemented in my own life has been to ask myself what I am trying to gain by a certain interaction. For example, I really want to be friends with someone but if I start off the relationship with a connection that is centered around gossip and hustling for acceptance, that is what the relationship WILL be based on. Sometimes it’s so hard to steer clear of the “easy connection.” Especially when we are inundated with the notion that if we want something, we should have it NOW! But good things take time. Trust is about seeing the person you are in a relationship with (whether it’s romantic or friendship), seeing a need and meeting it authentically.

    Whether you decide to divorce your husband, work it out with him, have an affair, or just do nothing, you have to figure out what kind of a connection you are desiring. Is it in alignment with what your core values are about yourself that you want in your life? You are worthy of an authentic and trusting relationship where you can love your partner and be loved in return. But those take time and a conscious decision to make it a priority by both parties.

    I hear and understand why you want love and acceptance, and I hope that you are able to come to a decision that brings you both. Wishing you clarity on your journey!

    With love,

    • The Daily Love

      Thanks for sharing, Meredith! -TDL Team

  • Melissa Moore

    I have gone through something similar…

    As women we give so much to work, our children, our households, our friends-we maybe overgive at times. We want to be admired by our husbands. It’s our number one need to be admired and heard by our man.So when it’s not met it leaves a void.

    What was helpful for me was a book called, His Needs Her Needs . Because you do have needs that need to be met and it sounds like they have been neglected for some time. Your husband may not fully understand what those needs are or it maybe elusive to him? As men and women we also communicate differently too, so my fav. book on that topic was Men are from Mars.

    I have children too, so being selfish, my mind pictured a future step mom shopping with my daughter and tucking her into bed. It helped me to realize problems really don’t go away in a divorce, that new issues will arise that will have to be worked through. This didn’t prevent me from moving forward but help me see the reality of seperating. I stayed married. It was hard and tough to talk about the subjects that you know would trigger fights but they have to be worked out. Once those sore subjects are worked over, and forgiveness- I found a deeper love for my husband than I ever have.We just celebrated 13 years on Thanksgiving weekend.

    Only you know what is best for you. I wanted to share my story in case your heart is telling you to stay and you just don’t know how or why you would want to after so much pain.

    I wish you and your family all the best!

    • The Daily Love

      Thanks for sharing with our reader, Melissa! Wishing you all the best in 2014! -TDL Team

  • AnnaB

    if you didn’t have kids I would say, leave him first. Build your own life and then you will be ready for finding the right person. The part that is missing is build your life. Because you have kids, I didn’t catch their ages, you can still build you from within the marriage.

    I have been living a similar experience but without the kids. Feeling separate and unsupported by my husband, I too have had men approach me and felt very interested.

    I was honest with these men that I am married, there is no point in beginning anything new without honesty anyway. I went home and told my husband that I have been approached and have been interested and that unless I feel from him some meaningful caring for me in our relationship I would feel the need for us to separate. It started the dialog, we are both in therapy now and for you the main thing is you are a mom first. Certainly you have to follow your values but you elected the job to raise your kids with the support they need. That means finding your strength, not falling into the arms of another man because it feeds you to be desirable. You ARE desirable, and the person you need to prove that to is you. As long as your husband is not an abuser or abusive to your kids, go your own way if you need to within the marriage or go for couples counseling but what you will get from an affair is distraction and negative values being taught and ingrained in your children. When you had them it became your responsibility to do the best you can do to give them a good life. If they are 18, and off to college, no problem, get your divorce and move on. If they are younger, you need to evaluate if it is more destructive for them to be around him as a single man who is going off with bimbos while you cannot be there to protect them. Who is modeling the good example to them?

    you having an affair would reinforce to your children that they do not matter as much as their parents need to feel desirable. It will teach them that their own parents never learned how to stand on their own 2 feet, so why should they?

    If you divorce you will have more financial difficulty as well as still having him in your life as a negative role model for the kids. Only this way there is less you can do to protect them.

    Don’t model for them hopelessness, model for then that life is what YOU make it and that you will pick yourself up and find your own desirability within by exploring your own life interests without him if necessary and without any man having to show you the way.

    Find your own interests now so that when and if the time comes that you and your husband go separate ways you don’t have to adopt the lifestyle of a new man but have your own to bring into any relationship.

    Do something to develop you: go for counseling, a sport, the gym, an acting group, an art or writing class, expand your girlfriend network, find a group through meetup that does game night or meditation, do things with your kids.

    I understand feeling hopeless but there are ways to find your strength and power, that will change everything. A man cannot change that for you.

    • The Daily Love

      Thanks for sharing and offering some insight to our reader… -TDL Team

  • bebe

    Once? I did that, and found that the world did not stop spinning. I Just listened to Panache Desai- he said in an example with his father that people are playing the role they need to for you-you need to accept and nurture and love yourself. (it’s an inside job) Loving acceptance of oneself sets us all free-(you need not forsake your values. you know inside what the right thing is-now do what is right for you. it’s ok to receive and accept love and support.) i realize there is a chance of misinterpretation here. not saying to be self-ish, be self-ful. you needn’t live independently if you have a supportive loving family and beautiful children and work…why would you want to give that up? you have much more than many people. your hypnosis is that you cannot and have no life skills or strength? probably the first thing is to ask and ask and ask and find out what you do want and what you are willing to do to get that. who knows better than you? You deserve the best and that is why you are here. be a model for yourself and your children will get it, as well as the people around you who feel trapped. you can do it!

    • The Daily Love

      Thanks for sharing with our reader… Wishing you all the best in 2014! -TDL Team