Is this unhappy marriage my “karma” in life?

I had an affair with a married man in my early 20s. I ended the affair after six months and have not had affairs with married men since. I’m now in my late
30s and in an unhappy marriage. We have two wonderful children but we are just not connecting emotionally anymore. He is not abusive physically. But I am not in love anymore and I suspect I never have been. I also am the family breadwinner and I think this has contributed to my gradual loss of respect for him. I havent cheated and I dont think he has either. Im just lonely I guess. And unhappy. Is this my “karma” for my past sins? I cant get over that thought.

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Instead of thinking that way, why not do whatever it takes to try and salvage your marriage? Your two children deserve two parents that love each other. I would suggest marriage counseling.

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Is he taking care of the kids? Is he a good father?

I absolutely agree with this.

Love is not a feeling, it is a choice. If he is basically a good man and father, not abusive in any way, and married of his own free will, he sounds worth loving. It’s YOUR choice to do the work to learn how to love him. A good marriage counselor can help.

One suggestion that may or may not apply to you, and I apologize if it doesn’t apply. Stop reading romance novels and stories, and avoid (!!) watching Hallmark specials, romantic movies and romantic TV shows, and romantic plays. They are fun and fluffy and relaxing, but they are NOT reality, and for someone who is trying to learn how to love a spouse, these fantasies are very discouraging and may make it difficult for you to learn how to love your real-life husband.

You can do this! You can have a happy life with your husband! Choose to love him!

One more time–if he is abusive, then forget all of my advice and do what you need to do to stay safe and keep your children safe from him. This includes mental and emotional abuse as well–even if he doesn’t hurt you physically, he is still an abuser if he deliberately hurts you mentally and/or emotionally. Stay safe!!

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No such thing as karma. If karma was true everyone would get exactly what they deserve in life and that is just not true. Bad things happen to good people all the time and good things happen to bad people. Karma is not a Catholic teaching.

So no, this is not karma getting back at you.

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I had relationships all over the place and all across the bounds of morality, and I never thought that being unhappy in a relationship was a payback for sins, because it’s not. It simply means there’s an issue with the relationship you’re in.

“Karma” is not a Catholic concept. You’d do well to stop thinking like that.
I’m also not seeing how this marriage is a consequence of your actions in having a past affair.

I would suggest you seek marital counseling and also individual counseling for yourself.

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I agree with your comment, but would add that it can be very helpful to look at the problems in past AND present relationships. What in your own outlook, expectations, actions, etc might have contributed to your either seeking out dysfunctional relationships (i.e. with a married man) or not making a relationship work?

OP, you’ve gotten some great advice about ditching the idea of “being in love” and instead choosing to love. I’d also encourage talking with your husband–not going “I’m not in love with you; I’m lonely and feel unfulfilled and resent being the breadwinner,” but “I’m interested in connecting with you more. How can we take care of the bond between us?”

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There’s no such thing as karma. You need to go to counselling if you want your marriage to succeed, and you need to stop thinking in the way you are thinking.
Clearly you have some sort of residual guilt for the affair and perhaps that is part of the issue but you also admit that you have lost respect for your spouse.
You say you don’t connect emotionally but that won’t change until you make the effort to connect emotionally again. Love is not a feeling, it’s a choice. You need to put some work into your marriage and stop thinking that it’s some kind of cosmic payback for something you did years ago.

Perhaps you should go to confession if you haven’t already and find a good marriage counsellor. These issues won’t fix themselves and you’re both going to have to have some uncomfortable conversations if you want to fix your marriage.

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Any ‘Karma’ attaching itself to you is NOT of God! If you have made a good confession, your sins have been forgiven!

But, are there any things that have happened, in recent times, that may be making you feel that your marriage is beyond repair? Do you feel that you’re ‘unworthy’ of a good marriage? That your husband is undeserving of your love?

If so, first make a good confession; make sure you aren’t holding on to any undeserved guilt. What made you want to marry your husband? Think of these reasons. Cultivate good feelings towards your husband.

(Note: If there have been any instances of physical, emotional, or verbal abuse that your husband has made towards you, or your children, address that first: Your children, and you, don’t deserve that, ever!).

Once your sure that no one is being abused, speak to your priest. And a marriage counselor. And, forget about any ‘karma’. Which, in some ways, is extremely un-Christian, as Jesus died to save us from our sins. We can offer our suffering to God, but we can’t replace Him. You have a problem in your marriage; that is what you should be working on now, not any strange concept from other religions.

God Bless!

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“Karma” is not a Catholic concept, of course. However, the so-called “quarter-life” crisis is a real thing that can happen to younger people, where you second guess your life choices.

It is also important to be able to share moments with your spouse, even the hard ones. This builds intimacy. Conversely hiding what hurts you destroys intimacy.

For instance, does your husband know about the affair. Do you feel like you can share that with him? You may feel like you are sparing him something painful, but if you cannot share things that are bothering you with your own husband, that breaks down trust and leaves you both feeling distant.

If you don’t know how to discus you feelings with your husband, therapy may help you identify obstacles to communication and build skills to address this. You could consider couple’s or individual therapy depending on how willing your husband is. Of course, the affair isn’t necessarily exactly what’s bothering you, and therapy may help you discern your own feelings.

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