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Well, I think the responses you are going to get will be widely varied on this one, and no one can really tell you what to do, ultimately the decision will be yours to live with, but I'm sure you know that already.....

Speaking just for myself, I'm a very romantic, very passionate, emotionally driven person who feels things very deeply and needs rush and adrenaline and passion to feel alive. My soul and spirit would die if I were stuck in a marriage like yours. I know many many women make these kinds of situations work, but I never could. I could never, EVER be married, stay married, if the love, if the passion and the being IN love had gone.

I'm not sure if what you're feeling for this other man, if it's lust, infatuation, or love, or maybe you just like the attention. But let's put that aside for the moment. The real issue is your marriage, and that it just isn't satisfying to you anymore, and you want a LOT more out of life, out of marriage. And I think you're entitled to want however much you want out of marriage. I had a discussion with a co worker about this very subject yesterday, and she actually made me rather mad because we were talking to a guy who said his wife can smell things he can't and that led to a discussion on how men's noses just don't work as well and they aren't as sensitive as women's, in fact women can smell even stronger when they are pregnant, which led to a discussion about my ex boyfriend who insisted that if he couldn't smell something, then it wasn't there and I was crazy if I smelled something he didn't, instead of respecting me enough to say "hmmm I don't smell it but if you do, then maybe it's there...." etc. Which led to a discussion on her husband and the, what I considered to be, extreme lengths she goes to sometimes to get her husband to pay attention to her and to know she's serious about something. I made a comment that I probably wouldn't make a very good married person because I don't have a lot of tolerance for that kind of thing, I have high expectations and a short fuse when it comes to that, especiallyb ecause of my ex boyfriend always saying black just because I said white. And she said "well, since you know that, then just accept it like it is and be happy." She knows I'm not very happy with being single, but it made me really really mad because she was basically saying "this is marriage, like it or lump it, you're too picky (she's said those exact words to me before) so if you dont' want to settle, then dont' get married and don't whine about being single" What made me most mad about this was the notion that a person isn't supposed to expect more than that out of marriage. That men dont' listen, men are stubborn and even verbally abusive, passion fades, sex goes by the wayside, it gets dull and boring and passionless, and you may still stand each other's company, but you fall out of love, it just happens, and that's marriage, and settle for it.

But I refuse to believe that. I refuse to believe that I, or you, don't deserve anything better than the passionless, boring, unsatisfying existence you're living now. Not everyone gets to have a happy marriage, and like I"ve said so many times before, because falling in love involves another person's free will, and you can't control or really influence another person's free will, half of whether you end up happily ever after or not is completely out of your hands. BUT you can decide what you will and won't settle for in life, and as long as it's reasonable, you have every right to. And I think making love with, hugging and kissing and having a meaningful, deep, emotional intimacy with your husband is reasonable.

This other guy, like I started to say before, is not the issue. The issue is, you're not satisfied with what you have in your marriage, and your husband seems pretty set on not giving any more. Whether you run off with this other guy or have an affair, what you really need to do is to make some choices for your life. Do you believe there could actually be more to marriage than what you have now? Do you think you will ever get more from the man you're married to now? Do you really want more, and what are youwiling to do to get it as opposed to what are you willing to settle for?

One more consideration. I know a lot of women in your position choose to stay in their bad marriages "for the kids." Well, as someone who grew up in a home where the marriage was bad, and both parties were miserable in it, and as an adult child of a mother who I still need to talk to every now and again for advice or just for an ear, but who isn't there emotionally because now all she can do is talk about how miserable her life was, how she never got to really love, how she never got to travel, how rotten a husband my dad has been, how unhappy she's always been. I can't talk to her about anything really. I could say "so, how about those Rockies, or the Iraq war?" and within two sentences, she'll start in with "your father......" and it always, ALWAYS goes back to how miserable she is, how she should have left when she had the chance, etc etc etc. Do you want to be like that for your kids when they get older? NOthing but a sorry bag of bitter regrets? I think one of the best things we can do for our kids as mothers, is to be happy, fulfilled, self actualized people, emotionally and spiritually sated and filled up so that we can give to them. You can't give of yourself to anyone else when you're empty inside. My mom is pretty much empty inside now, and as a result, she's no good to anyone else, although she did come through for me emotionally this past weekend, finally, after much pulling of hen's teeth. But it was a long time coming.

Anyway, all this to say, looks like you're at a crossroads, and you have a decision to make. Can you fix your marriage? Is your husband willing to work on it with you? Is it worth trying to save? and if there is really no other man out there, is even being on your own, living on your own terms, with no one but yourself to answer to, and free to date around, be with who you want, even if it doesn't last, better than being in this passionless, unsatisfying marriage? A lot to think about. Like I said, I don't think anyone here can help tell you what to do, all we can do is help make you think. Good luck to you.





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