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#3011946 01/17/20 08:02 PM
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I’m 48 and my late wife and I met when we were 22 and go married when we were 27. We had an ok marriage and she was a good wife and mother but there wasn’t much love between us. Intimacy died pretty quickly as did affection. I loved her as a person but wasn’t in love with her for a long time. We had kids and she was the best mother to them. Honestly, if I could have picked my mom, I would have picked someone like her. She was a nice person, a good wife, but there were never an sparks or chemistry between us. She was a great friend. I stuck by her and never ever let her know how I felt about our marriage or that I wasn’t in love with her. I stood by her side three years ago when she got sick and died two years ago. Took months off work to help take care of her. She eventually l passed away and mourned the loss of a friend but especially the mother of my children. Even though I hadn’t been in love with her I never stopped doing things to make her feel like I was. I think she died thinking I was still in love with her - and that’s ok. She never knew I wasn’t and I don’t feel bad because she never knew any different.

About ten years ago I got a job in a new ER (I’m a nurse). One of my coworkers and I became very close friends (this isn’t a story of adultery, calm down). She had a boyfriend and we talked about our relationships, problems, and how to fix them. Shes a great girl - beautiful, kind, funny, smart, and very sweet. We considered each other close friends, but she always send signals she was interested in me - spending down time with me, asking me to come chat with her whenever I’d walk by, finding little excuses to touch me, give me deep looks, her eyes would light up when I’d walk into work, etc... I ignored them but slowly began to fall for her - this was long after my romantic feelings for my wife had faded.

I kept these feelings bottled up, never told anyone. Never changed how I treated or took care of my wife. Took care of my family. My friend married her boyfriend, but we still remained close. We never did anything romantic, just talked, the four of us hung out as a couple once in a while. Her and I never hung out alone outside of work. Sometimes we’d have our lunch breaks together but they were spent in the break room. Even when she was married she never changed how she interacted with me. I was sad for myself but very happy for her. She’s Indian and married her boyfriend because she has been with him for a few years and “had to.” She always complained about him - stupid little things that I didn’t feel were worth complaining about and I’d call her out on it and try to help her. When my wife died, she comforted me more than anyone else other than my kids did. Like I said, she was always a very good friend.

About a year and a half ago she called me upset because she had caught her husband with someone else. Apparently he had only married her because he was expected to - like I said they’re both Indian and didn’t want to disappoint their respective families. She filed for divorce and I was there for her like she had been for me.

My kids are older (teenagers) so childcare was different than when they were younger. I have some time to be able to reconnect with friends, etc... About a year ago, my coworker and I began to hang out more often. We’d go hiking, to movies, to the beach, etc... More often than not, we’d just hang out at my house talking or watching a movie - nothing ever happened. A few months ago we were talking and I got incredibly quiet and sad. She asked me what was wrong. I showed her a poem by Rumi (I Choose to Love You In Silence). She looked confused and asked if that was how I felt about her. I couldn’t speak and just nodded my head “yes.”

She sat silently for a few minutes then began to cry. She started telling me she’d been in love with me for years, since a few months after we met but that she had kept it in because I was married and she had a boyfriend. She had no idea I’d felt the same way - I told her even if she had nothing would have happened and likely our friendship would have ended because I didn’t want an affair. We ended up talking for a few hours that night and eventually just decided that it had been too long and too painful and we should just give a relationship a shot.

We’ve been together a few months now. My kids and her get along quite well. They’ve asked me if we’re going to get married and I told them we had talked about it and that in all likelihood we would be. They were happy about that. In April her and I are going away for a few nights to Hawaii. It’s our first trip together. She’s never been and I’ve been there a few times. I’ve booked us a private catamaran dinner cruise and plan to propose to her on the cruise. She knows I plan on proposing but doesn’t know when and thinks it’s still a year away.

In terms of my kids, they both know about my plan to propose. They are both supportive and like her very much.
The kids are 16 and 17. The days of my actively raising them are coming to an end. They've been raised to be independent and take care of themselves. They work, get good grades and will be going away to college - one plans on following in my footsteps to become a nurse, the other is joining the Navy to become a medic with the eventual goal of becoming a doctor.

I’m so happy. I don’t consider myself overly emotional but I’ve caught myself tearing up a few times about how happy I am. I’ve found someone who I feel is my other half. Someone who instinctually knows me and how I feel without me saying anything. I’m the same way in terms of her I can instantly tell if something is bothering her.

My question is, since we've only been together six months, is it too soon to propose? Knowing her, she wouldn't think it was too soon. I'm not having any doubts about the relationship, just about the timing of the proposal.

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I am not saying that your relationship with this woman is a bad idea, but to make a success of it, you should give the demise of your first marriage some thought.
You obviously fell out of love with your wife and lost your physical and emotional connection with her. This is quite a normal occurrence in couples with small children, who do not follow Dr. Harleys rules. These rules are designed to help you fall and stay in love.

So having fallen out if love with your wife, which is in most cases entirely reversible by following the program here, you naturally felt attracted to a nice and empathic person at work, although your moral compass rightly told you you should keep a distance, which is commendable.
These kinds of situations automatically ceate a contrast effect in the brain and make your partner at home seem less desirable and attractive. A person with less strict morals than you might have succumbed to the temptation and had a physical affair.

Although you chose not to go down that road, it is important for all future relationships, to recognize and realize what the dynamics in your first relationship where. Goody2 has provided you with useful links. For it does mean, that by providing each other with emotional support and spending relatively undisturbed time at work, this amounts to what we call an emotional affair, even if you, as a person of integrity, never meant to harm your marriaage or hurt your wife.

Please take a moment to reflect about these things and then decide on further actions and on how to make sure future relations do not go sour.

Although it is very important to find a compatible partner, it is even more important to set your relationship up for success by following the rules provided by Dr. Harley.

Good luck and God bless,

Happyheart


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Originally Posted by FinallyHappy48



My question is, since we've only been together six months, is it too soon to propose? Knowing her, she wouldn't think it was too soon. I'm not having any doubts about the relationship, just about the timing of the proposal.


Hello FinallyHappy, welcome to Marriage Builders. There is nothing wrong with asking her now. But I do see some serious red flags that you should know about. Happyheart sees the same thing I do. Your marriage with this new woman will end up the same as your last unless you change your marriage habits. You fell out of love with your wife for a reason: you stopped doing the things that created romantic love. You also created a new point of comparison with this new woman. If a homeowner doesn't do basic maintenance on his home, it eventually falls apart. In your case, your house fell apart from neglect and you saw a beautiful, shiny, brand new home making the old home look even worse.

Romantic love doesn't happen by accident, it happens by design. You don't understand how romantic love is created and this relationship will meet the same fate.

Before you get married, I would educate yourself on how romantic love is created and MAINTAINED so you don't make the same mistakes. Here is an article on romantic love, Basic Concepts but I would suggest you pick up the book Fall in Love, Stay in Love, by Dr Harley. They sell it cheap here or you can get it on amazon.

The other red flag is your inappropriate opposite sex friendships. A married person shouldn't be sharing their personal lives outside of marriage. It is obvious this woman was meeting your emotional needs for years and that is part of the reason you fell out of love with your wife. Your marriage was completely neglected and the contrast effect of this new person was too great, so naturally you fell out of love. The reason you knew you fell out of love "loved her but not in love" is because you had a new point of comparison. When one need is met outside of marriage, the others are soon to follow. If you don't tighten up your boundaries, it will happen again.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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I've heard this story before. It's very similar to DIeCast and AviationNut. Wives who were basically a waste of space while the husband was wonderful, and an Indian co-worker who is the bee's knees - and words to the effect that"this isn’t a story of adultery, calm down". Next we'll get "well Dr Harley is only one man, and I don't know why you follow his opinion so slavishly". These just seem to be stories concocted so that the forum can be told of Dr Harley's shortcomings.


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We are locking this thread due to multiple aliases used to deceive.


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