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I really need some objective advice here. This is a pretty long story.

My husband and I met when we were in high school (we are now in early 20s). Fell madly in love, etc etc. My first year in college he told me he had doubts about us staying together. We were too different, didn't want the same things out of life, etc. I was devastated and convinced him things would be fine. A few months later he had a life-altering experience (long story) and realized he wanted to be with me. We got engaged shortly after.

Around that same time I met "Rich" and it was love at first sight for me, although it honestly did not take away anything I felt for my husband. It was like two entirely independent things, I can't explain it. Rich and I became very good friends. Nothing ever happened between us, we just talked and emailed, although we were aware of what was between us. I never wanted to hurt my husband, and he was okay with the friendship because I don't have that many close friends. Rich and I were so much alike and had so much in common. He gave me the conversation and attention my husband could not. I want to stress again that my husband was perfectly okay with Rich and knew everything.

Anyway, my husband and I had problems even through our engagement, but we continued to stick it out. He had bouts of depression and unhappiness, followed by great times where I felt so loved. Our marriage was one drama after another. So many nights I asked him what I needed to do, pleaded with him to love me unconditionally, to let this marriage be okay. It was terrible, I walked on eggshells to keep him happy. Throughout this he refused to go to counseling.

Then he switched jobs, which we thought would be the key to his happiness. Well, he was happier, but still not content with our marriage. I still needed to work on things, we were too different, etc. At this point Rich and I also considered ending our friendship because we had acknowledged that we loved each other, that it had gone too far. And it had. I was willing to give up that long friendship in hopes that it might help my marriage. Husband knew everything, and still didn't want me to give up the friendship. I fought for it as hard as I could. We even went to counseling once, and it was a disaster.

Well one day my husband finally tells me he wants a divorce. It's over he said. It's over, it's over it's over. I asked him again and again if he was sure. He was. It was the worst day of my life. I packed some clothes and drove 2 hrs back to my parents. A few days later I contacted Rich, who was horrified. Long story short, in a few days I began rebuilding my life and decided to very slowly begin a relationship with Rich. I was still sad, but I felt free. The struggle was over. Husband calls me a day later, says he is so sorry, wants me back. This is the pattern. I make the hardest decision of my life to go back to make my marriage work. He promises to go to a counselor. But I must end all contact with Rich, he doesn't want to share me with anyone. Which in my mind is fair. At first he is haunted by the thought of what I gave up and what he did to Rich, but then gets over it.

Fast forward to the present. Although nothing has really changed, husband seems fine with everything, he is A-okay with our marriage now. In fact, he refuses to go to counseling again, because he says there is nothing wrong now! I, on the other hand, am not. I live in fear that it is a matter of time before he changes his mind. Every argument makes me cringe. I have distanced myself from him. I no longer have the will to keep fighting for my marriage. I still love him. We still have nothing in common, and due to his work I see him only for a few hours in the evening every day. I've tried to get us to do more interactive stuff together other than watching TV, but I am tired of pushing for it.

Even when he is wonderful to me, I just feel like it is one of his "highs." The novelty will wear off soon enough, and once again he will be mad at me for something.

Meanwhile, as much as I try I can't get Rich off of my mind. It's not just how close we can to being together, it's the fact that I have lost one of my best friends. I feel like there is a huge void in me.

So now I am at a crossroads, and my husband has no idea. I love him so much, do not want to see him lonely, do not really want to go through a divorce. But I don't know if I am ever going to be happy or comfortable in this marriage considering the trauma I have been through and what might have been. I am a Christian, I know divorce should not be an option. I have tried to take Rich out of the equation, but I simply cannot ignore him. I am just tired of trying to make it happen, trying so hard, putting up with so much. Sometimes I just feel like I want to live on my own, learn to be an adult and live my own life. My husband has told me repeatedly he just wants me to be happy, and I want the same for him. We are two different people from when we first fell in love, I realize that now. But I still love him and do not want to crush him.

I know this is so long, but I needed to get the whole story out. I am going to be talking to a counselor this week.

[This message has been edited by kateytwo (edited 02-03-2003).]

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