6
   

Is it the person, the situation, or both?

 
 
Reply Thu 5 Dec, 2013 06:17 am
I am married, previously "happily", now a bit tense. Here's why. We have infants, we got a nanny. She's 25 (I'm 40). She's a smart woman, she's interesting and always happy to engage with me, she's entertaining (at times despite herself), and we have a lot in common. In a lot of ways, she loves things that I would have done myself at that age (or later) had I had any kind of self-confidence and/or hadn't been lost in my own little world. Getting to know her has made me realize that there are a lot of things I can still do, that I am interested in...whereas my wife and I have always had excuses.

Since I met this woman I have tried a whole bunch of new things, some I liked, some I didn't. The point is I'm involved in life again, which I think is healthy for me and is also great for the kids. Unfortunately, my wife hasn't gotten there yet...I don't actually think she even remembers or knows what interests her outside of the 2yo anymore, and I don't think that's a good thing or even necessary because the kids are highly portable and interested in anything. I love my wife, but have grown increasingly close to the nanny to the point where I think about her non-stop, borderline obsession. It's not good.

I should mention a few other things. (A) She recently got married, (B) Nothing is ever going to happen, (C) I truly do love this woman, though after months of trying to "figure it out", I'm pretty clear that it's not definitively romantic, physical, OR platonic. It's at a level somewhere I've never even heard of before, in the middle of that triangle. OR, DO I love her or am I just making more of an infatuation? And is it the person who interests me, or the fact that she is there and I am around her possibly more than I am my wife, and that my wife is in a different place than I am right now?

BTW, I work at home, and my job is pointless, so I have ample time to "take breaks" as it were. I go downstairs for a soda and end up there hanging with her and the kids for an hour and a half, without noticing the amount of tie that's gone by. On top of that, I just "feel" a certain way when she's around. It's not "weak in the knees" or anything, it's hard to describe but it's a cross between excitement and comfort. When the weekends start, I find myself anxious for them to end, since she'll be back to work on Monday.

I haven't always handled this situation well, I put a lot of energy into getting to know this woman at times at the expense of my wife. And when I talked to my wife about there being more to life, I may have mentioned how I discovered that (more specifically, from whom). There's some bitterness there although she blames me, not the nanny. "Lost touch with reality" I believe she's said. I counter that I don't want to live in that reality, because I don't think we have to. She'll say "the kids come first" but I think SHE should (wife), we should show the kids we love each other and they should see and participate in things we like.

There's a lot going on here but to summarize: (A) Love my wife, (B) Wife is not engaged in life outside of kids and we are co-existing more than being "happy" together, (C) Don't want a relationship of co-existence, (D) Love the nanny, I think, but not in any way I've experienced before, (E) Not sure if it really is a "love" thing or a situationally-driven infatuation of sorts, which matters because I don't want to spend time, energy, and marital resources trying to maintain a relationship that isn't because I feel strongly about the actual person.

So what is going on here, please?
 
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Thu 5 Dec, 2013 06:40 am
What's going on here is you're smitten with the nanny (quit saying nothing will happen, etc. You're hoping it will. Don't deny that).

You pay attention to her at the expense of your wife. And then you wonder why your wife is checked out.

Here's an idea. You've got a nanny. How about actually using her for the purpose for which she was intended and get some time away, just you and your wife, and try to talk and reconnect. And apologize for being so inattentive.

And seriously consider replacing this 25 year old in love with life who you can't stop goofing off work for, with a guy or an older woman, and you might find your wife is suddenly fascinating again.
0 Replies
 
Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Dec, 2013 06:48 am
@toiletduck,
In middle age it is common to re evaluate past choices and decisions. Depending on your choices you could end up losing your wife. It is not good that your looking forward to seeing the nanny on Monday instead of enjoying the time you have with your wife. You need to set out time to share enjoyment with your wife. Do you do anything together outside of parenting? If you are no longer happily married you need to decide wether you want to do something about it or not. Counseling is a good place to start...believe or not they are. Ot there to convince you to stay married. They simply help you sort out thoughts and feelings. Don't wait until you begin resenting your wife ( unless you already do). Things can get ugly if you can't be honest with yourself. I'm planning on seeing a counselor myself. I believe loving somebody is a decision. Sometimes we look for "evidence" to prove to ourselves that we are right...to avoid feelings of guilt or shame.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Dec, 2013 07:39 am
@toiletduck,
Do yourself a favor and remember...that woman you married is your love and your lover. You made a commitment and infatuations like you're now having pass quickly (if your lucky).

You made that life choice ...so stick to it. It will most likely prove to be your greatest life choice..without the artificial distraction of a care-free unburdened young lady. Her freedom and other charms are attractive but keep your head on your shoulders

Because this nanny is in your home and is highly sociable and available to you (in an odd sort of way) you've got access to another person and their interests. In some ways, you seem starved of stimulus. maybe you can change your job in some way to break up your boredom with it? it is clich├ęd but your sounding like you might be having a classic midlife crisis.

Perhaps you should focus on a hobby or sport outside of the home...or something that frees your wife to do the same. After all, that is what hiring a nanny allows....some added freedom to pursue a few outside activities and some non-baby/toddler activity.

Getting married and having young toddlers can make anyone a bit narrow-focused and maybe feeling a bit trapped. People process this in different ways. Some folks lose the ability to view the outside activities beyond their child as a worthwhile. Develop other interests but particularly work on activities that either involve your wife and allow her to develop her outside-of-the-home self, too.

Let the distraction of this infatuation pass. If you had indulged it, it might prove to be one of the costliest errors of your (and your young family's) new life.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Dec, 2013 07:53 am
@toiletduck,
Good luck with dodging this bullet, TD. It ain't gonna be as easy as some of the good folk are intimating. In fact, it is going to be damn hard.

Without a very close up look...any advice given here is problematic, at best.

Unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing on this planet as enjoyable, satisfying, or compelling as the craving for someone else!

Once again: Good luck with dodging this bullet.
Ragman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 5 Dec, 2013 08:01 am
@Frank Apisa,
I see no one here claiming or intimating that this will be easy for this OP. In fact, quite the opposite. The nature of typing reasonable but concise answers will sip coffee at breakfast is to compress and sometimes reduce. Life and life's problems aren't so simple ...especially problems of the heart.
0 Replies
 
toiletduck
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Dec, 2013 09:35 am
Thanks for the responses so far.

One thing that contributes to this is yes, I am hopelessly bored at work. The wheels have fallen off recently, it wasn't great to begin with but now the only stimulating conversation I get during the day is with the child care. Seriously even if I talk to a co-worker for some odd reason, our nanny is still by far the most intelligent person I will have spoken to during the work day.

Fortunately I will be changing jobs shortly and not working from home as much. I know this is an absolute necessity but it kind of upsets me a little, to be honest. Anyway, it will be interesting to see the difference this makes.

As far as "admit, you WANT something to happen", I actually really don't. The weirdest thing about this is how fast it all developed, and the stages I've gone through here. I've been to:

1) She's the nanny, have a nice day (about a year)
2) Wow, she's pretty cool, very interesting person, a friend (maybe 1 month)
3) Umm...what's going on...I'm emotionally attached here (1 month)
4) Now I'm also physically attracted to this woman (another few weeks)
5) I think I might be in love with this woman (at least 1 month)
6) Check that, I'm not in love with her, but I do love her, not sure how (now)
a) Does it matter, or can I just accept this is what it is, nothing more?
b) Is it okay to love her on some level if my primary focus is my wife?

Her wedding was very challenging for me. Not because it felt like I was somehow "losing my chance for good", but I think I was as nervous as she probably was for it to go well, almost like it was my wedding.
Germlat
 
  2  
Reply Thu 5 Dec, 2013 11:30 am
@toiletduck,
Quit lying to yourself. If your wife posted this about another man..there would be no doubt in your mind
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 5 Dec, 2013 12:10 pm
@toiletduck,
I have no idea about the other side of this serious issue.. and not hearing your wife's take on this. makes for a non-objective view. This way you choose to diagram this involvement and analyze this on a timeline is clinical...and it disturbs me a bit.

furthermore, some sniffing around her the aroma of narcissism is rearing it's ugly head perhaps, as well.
Quote:
Her wedding was very challenging for me.


All I can do is warn you about the dangers of fantasy and self-delusion. At age 63, I've gained a little wisdom about life and human relations.

Be more aware of your own power to self-deceive. Right now... try not to trust your own judgment. Your aren't seeing your current emotional pathway clearly. Change your job and let that help re-orient your energy but also keep the focus on helping your wife more. And seeing the world through her eyes and let her feel your love and your undivided attention.

Stop focusing on the short-term sensation and look to the future...which you are deeply invested in already.
Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Dec, 2013 12:43 pm
@Ragman,
What concerns me is not his present self delusion, but the fact that if he doesn't realize what's at stake. He will simply transfer this energy to someone else at his new workplace. Never giving his marriage a fighting chance.
Ragman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 5 Dec, 2013 12:47 pm
@Germlat,
nodding
0 Replies
 
toiletduck
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Dec, 2013 02:34 pm
Fair points across the board. Although I do not agree necessarily that I will just transfer my energies to someone else at a new job. That will certainly test my theory that it's the person here in combination with the situation. I don't think I would be here if this was just anyone, but then again, I'm not sure.

I have to go look up narcissism again, but I also think I disagree with that.

The self-delusion part is interesting to me. I don't necessarily think this is wrong, but I'm curious as to what you think I'm deluding myself about? That I don't want her "like that"? That I love her but am not in love with her? That I love her at all? That I can take a different tack than 99% of the world would?
Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Dec, 2013 04:32 pm
@toiletduck,
Missing the forest for the trees.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Dec, 2013 06:33 pm
@toiletduck,
I've just read the thread so far, and I somewhat get you.

I am, though, a crabby person who sees people marrying for all the wrong reasons and then dealing with it forever, so never mind my opinion.

I'll just say that I think it is good you are thinking about all this. Your views may change, but you're thinking on it.
0 Replies
 
Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Dec, 2013 07:18 pm
@toiletduck,
Your delusion lies in the fact you have emotionally invested in a relationship which doesn't exist. She just married which tells me she is in love with someone else. While you're fantasizing about her during the weekend ..she more than likely having phenomenal honeymoon sex with her beloved. I'm not saying stay married..I'm saying you desperately need to sort out your feelings.
toiletduck
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Dec, 2013 09:04 pm
@Germlat,
Well, Germlat, thanks for that smack in the face. No, seriously, thanks. Because it didn't really bother me to read that...I hope she is having a great time, and I hope it IS phenomenal.

I doubt I can clarify this in any meaningful way, but right now I am not fantasizing about her, I am just thinking about her all of the time. There is a difference and I think it's important. It's not a "what is she wearing" or "what is she doing" thing, it's a "you know, she'd probably like this" situation.

I'm guessing I'm emotionally obsessed, but don't want to admit it, so I'm looking for other "labels". I would just like to mean something to her. I feel like a 15yo and I really did not see this coming.
Ragman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 5 Dec, 2013 10:03 pm
@toiletduck,
You seem to justify this and rationalize it away in any way possible to suit your need. You are fantasizing but it's to avoid the 'trap' of marriage that somehow doesn't suit you now that a child requires some sacrifice and some stricture of your ideal marriage or relationship scenario.

Your job got boring..so you can change that. However something that requires some really deeper character-requiring demand, is not something you know how to do or willing to work on.

This is not a clinical experiment that you can analyze from a distance and propose some social theories from arm's length. You really owe it to your young family (if not yourself) to get in the trenches and work this out,.

Get counseling or some sort of help as your only kidding yourself. Narcissism is not an attractive quality.
toiletduck
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Dec, 2013 05:29 am
@Ragman,
I AM getting counseling. My therapist told me to recognize what I am feeling and, if it's a good feeling then accept it for what it is, in context, and stop trying to question it. Which means also, don't try to make it into more than it is. Whether it's romantic or some sort of other transcending emotional relationship I want, though, I'm having trouble with the last part of that, even though logically I definitely get it.

I looked up narcissism. A lot of people throw that word around, I'm not saying you are a word-thrower, but by definition I don't see how I'm narcissistic. I'm just a person with an addictive personality, in a relationship rut, who met someone I have some kind of connection with that's rewarding to me. Maybe if my own relationship wasn't marked by diverging interests and beliefs, this wouldn't have become all of the questions it has. But, it is.

Lots of comments say I should focus on my wife, and is it any wonder why she's checked out? Try having twins without anyone warning you to take care of your own relationship first. You'll realize too you've lost touch with your partner when you come up for air in 15 months. I recognize this, my wife is too. People can change a lot, or re-prioritize the components of what they already are, in a short period of time. And the kids? I maintain it's NOT GOOD for them when they are made the first and only.

These are not social theories. These are observations on what I am living, as I was told to make, in my counseling.
Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Dec, 2013 01:18 pm
@toiletduck,
You do t have to stay married! I'm not suggesting that's the end goal. Take the time to analyze how you really feel and what...that's all. I being a middle aged person have met many with regrets.
0 Replies
 
Nom de plume
 
  3  
Reply Sat 7 Dec, 2013 12:14 am
@toiletduck,
You need to seriously ask yourself a question. Do you want to get a divorce and only see you kids every other weekend? Thats where you are heading. Also, the nanny just got married. She is 15 years younger than you and MARRIED. She is only being nice because you are her employer. She probably goes home at night and tells her hubby what a big fool her boss is. You are setting yourself up for a huge embarrassment. Pull yourself together and get real. You are living in a fantasy. Just because a young lady is nice to you is no reason to act the fool.
0 Replies
 
 

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