My wife and I started out with Big Love for one another and Dreams to match. We got married started a business and had a child together. I could see signs before that we argued about dumb stuff but figured it was just natural couple stuff. But after having our child we immediately went into a sexless marriage as defined as 10 times a year or less. This became progressively worse.To give you and idea, we had more sex in about a week and a half of our relationship in the beginning than we've had in the 5 years since she gave birth. Sadly the stress of having a spirited child caused anxiety in my wife, along with other stressors, which manifested as being overly critical, judgemental, nagging, demeaning, berating, and later on disdain, which caused resentment in myself.
At first I waited figuring she just needed to heal. But after nearly a year I realized this was something else. I tried to talk to her about it, that I was starting to watch porn. I wanted to tell her I was thinking of stepping outside the marriage but she shut me down by telling me as she often did, that she didn't want to talk about it.
I circled around the idea for a while and eventually engaged in some short meaningless affairs. It was wrong of me but I figured this is what men must do in a sexless marriage, that many cultures men have mistresses. Regardless I felt terrible about it and after about a year's time stopped. The sexless marriage and mental abuse ramped up and after two years of being faithful I slipped again one time, not fully but enough, but immediately stopped.
Since that time I focused all my sexual attention to my wife and stopped watching porn. This seemed to help with stopping the affairs. I told myself even if there was zero sex I'd still be faithful. I finally figured it out.
Then a year or so later it all blew up when see told me she was thinking of separation. We did shortly thereafter where she lived in a different room. This went on for 6 weeks. She seemed resolute about not reconciling. Plus she had an emotional intrigue, that though she would not admit to it was obvious to me.
Long story short after we went to this birthday party for a friend she b-lined to go hang out with this guy. I got seriously triggered and drank too much as a result. I decided to tell her of the affairs when we got home because I thought she had been having affairs, possibly with this guy too. I told her hoping she would fess up, but she denied everything. In fact the first thing she told me was she wished I had not told her. She told me this three other times. Also some days later she admitted she was actually thinking of reconciling but by telling her obliterated any chance of that happening. This just killed me. My intention was to heal the relationship not scuttle it.
Later she admitted she cried in this guys arm who is basically her emotional intrigue. She has since moved out and gotten physical with this guy. It dries me crazy that my own stupid actions have greatly facilitated this. She most assuredly had her part in this and ultimately had turned her heart away. If the situation were reversed I would have tried to reconcile because I'm in love with her. This is the real difference, a disparity of feelings. But nevertheless I so wished I had the chance to reconcile with therapy, retreats, trips, date nights, etc. Ultimately the relationship was not properly maintained for her. It was all fixable, but we allowed our mutual dysfunctions to get in the way.
I say this to guys and gals, but mostly the guys, it simply isn't worth it. If you love your wife, even if she is withholding, don't cheat, get help, make time for one another, and channel your sexual energy towards her, not porn or mental images of other women.
And women, know that withholding, not communicating about serious relationship problems, and allowing yourself to get resentful is also a very destructive thing to do. Work together to make time together. Go to therapy, relationship retreats, date nights, trips without the kids, etc. Most relationship problems are fixable. It just takes two to make it work.
So now it's 6 months later and on the verge of working out the details of the divorce. She lives in the same neighborhood as does this guy and my child which we share physical custody with. I can't get away from her, him, all the associations, etc. Basically I've been in living hell most of this time, except the very beginning when I thought there was some chance to reconcile. I've suffered so hard that at times I feel like I'm having a mental breakdown. It is so not worth it. If you love your spouse don't make the same mistakes I did. I write this to help people learn from my mistakes. The lessons are so hard. It's simply not worth learning it personally. Learn for me. Prioritize making time for one another. Communicate openly from the start, and don't cheat, but if you do stop immediately. Realize not all truths need to be told. Get back the relationship back on track by sincerely trying to work it out.