I don't know what to do. I recognize there were problems in our marriage. I thought they were the type of problems where you're married 50+ years and there are ups and downs and you get busy with life and 2 very busy kids and it's something that happens to everyone. I've had bouts of depression ever since being pregnant with my first child. I admit that I haven't always been easy to live with. I would talk to him about our marriage and he would always say "don't worry babe, we will fix it", so I didn't feel an urgency to go to couples counseling or get help. Now he's saying I knew he was miserable forever. I know he's just trying to defend his actions. He's not an a**hole, or at least the old him wasn't. He was the greatest guy. Now he can't even tell me that he loves me more than this woman. He doesn't know who he will choose. I have 2 children, ages 12 and 8, and I have to protect then as much as possible. I feel like because I recognize that there were problems in our marriage, maybe this is eventually something that can be fixed and come out stronger (in a sense) in the long run. That would take so much work but maybe it could be done. Right now I'm sitting by like a fool letting him "process" and figure out what he wants... essentially whether he wants me or her. We've been married almost 14 years. He's known her 8 months. That's devastating. I can't even grasp it in my head. They've taken secret trips (he travels a bit for work so that wasn't hard), they've met in hotels in town, they've met in parking lots. How can he not see that isn't reality?!? That isn't love!! I'd be fun, too, if we could sneak around and feel like it was us against the world and be high on the new sex and feeling of being wanted by someone new.
So why do I sit and wait for him to make a decision? And how long do I wait? I go to therapy on Monday and I can't wait. I need some help. He has at least said he wants to go to therapy bc he needs help. I'll believe it when I see it, though. He really won't talk about this with me, won't answer my questions, is no ready to let this woman go. He says he has cut contact with her til he figures things out but I don't believe that for one second. I feel so foolish. I could write paragraphs and pages more because I'm feeling so many things. I know his brain is clouded right now. I know that affairs literally release a chemical into to brain that causes them to seem like they are on drugs. He's acting like he's high. Why am I waiting? For the kids? Because I'm scared? Because I think we used to be good and I recognize my role in where the marriage went wrong and just want that back? And if he does "choose" me, can I live with this?
Thank you for listening.
The best thing you can do is use reality to wake him up. That's no joke. An affair is a fantasy that pig headed narcissists use to escape their reality. It's easier than facing their spouse and doing the hard work to save their marriage...AND...these people have a way of taking the easy way out, in everything they do. I 100% guarantee you in the next few months you will uncover so much you never knew about him, it's not even funny.
Take your personal power back. He will see it as a strength and it will break his fantasy wide open.
So here's your steps for the next 2 weeks, and feel free to share with your counselor, I doubt she'll disagree.
1. Do not under any circumstances talk to him. Avoid him at all costs. If he's in the same house, find a room for yourself. If he knocks on the door simply say, "I cannot be bothered now." When you have rage or anger, write it in a journal that he can never see. Like a phone note or something. Then burn the pages. Or delete. Leave no evidence. And once you're done writing it out, let it go.
2. Hard as this is, focus all your energy and free time on your kids. Dad's the screw up here, not Mom. They will pick up real quickly on who has their back. In fact, now's the time to start telling your kids, "no matter what the future holds, I will always have your back and I will always love you. You are my priority in anything I do."
3. Make an appointment with a lawyer. Go see one, ASAP. DO NOT TELL YOUR HUSBAND. Tell them you want everything, and to beat him senseless. Another very smart thing to do is talk with friends, we all have them, and some are very tied into the community. If you know, for instance, your local prosecutor, ask him who the best defense attorney is. Go to see them first and tell them you want to use them, but you've already made a few consultations with others, so start the paper work, while you talk to others.
4. Make appointments with every attorney you can in the next 3 weeks. Tell them your story. Ask for priveledge. Tell them you are considering using them in the divorce. 90% of them have first free consultations. This is called Lawyer shopping and it will make it darn near impossible for him to find a good attorney.
5. Make a weekend planner. Next weekend you should have every thing written out that you will be doing. Going out to breakfast, spending the day at the park with the kids, whatever. Do anything to be away from the house with the kids and unavailable. Do not answer the phone or texts, unless it's "are the kids with you", then you say, "yes" and that's it!
6. Document EVERYTHING. Do not have your documentation available to him. He's lived in secret, now you do it. If he says he hates you, document. If he says the kids made him go crazy, document. I found texting notes to my work email, then sending weekly word documents to my attorney worked well.
7. Split the bank account. Do it monday. If you have direct deposit to your checking, change it to a new bank in your name only. Assume that he's going to rip you off and use your money to fund his new life. He no longer cares, so you have to defend yourself.
8. Cancel all your credit cards. Do it today. Don't waste time and don't listen if they offer you lower rates. In fact, let them take the penalties on you. If cards are in both your names, just ask them to take your name off the card.
9. Do not, under any circumstance, pay for anything that is only in his name, and do not give him any cash. Tell him if he wants money he can go to the other woman. She's his priority, not you. Again, this is to shove the fantasy in his face and wake him up.
10. You have one job for the next year. It's to nail his ass in court. Seriously. Even if you reconcile, you need to get your ducks in a row right now. You will have to make the decision if he's sincere when he breaks it off with OW. And he will. But, I caution you, do not pay one bit of attention to his words. It's how he uses you. He's a liar. You know that now. What you must do is watch his actions. If he breaks up with her, then comes back, set down all the criteria. Tell him he has 4 months to do X, 5 to do Y, and he will agree to a laundry list of things. He will do them until you change your mind and readjust. You are in control. 100%
Cash is your friend. Don't write a lot of checks. ATM withdrawels are a wonderful thing. Start socking away 50 bucks a pay and throw it in your box of old shoes in the attic where he hasn't been in 5 years. Then start hiding shit. Drives them crazy. Sell stuff on Craigslist. You're married, so you need the money, sell it off.
All this said, you need to take these steps even if you decide you want to reconcile. Figure this out quick. He is already planning his escape, just like my ex-wife. So I let her screw up. After a month I finally figured out how scramble brained she was. Don't assume your husband is that dumb. He's already hid money.
If you have visions in your head of the two of them together, remember they are your visions. Yours. Change the channel. Make the visions brown or green. Make their faces purple or stretch them into super tall goofy people. It's a sufi mind trick. In three weeks if you do this every day, you won't have the visions, just the anger from the betrayal.
Finally, do yourself a solid. Eat. Force yourself. Everything tastes like chalk, but do it anyhow. Sleep. Seriously. You have to. I suggest you find some calming jazz. I used Pat Metheney to go to sleep. Put it on the IPod, then focused all my energy on the songs, exhaustion took over and I slept.
Good luck. If you need any other tips, let me know. You are a stealth fighter now. Tell him nothing. Beat the hell out of him. And if he wakes up and wants you back, then go from there. Have a plan Ms. Don't be the victim here, be the victor, regardless of whether you take him back.
Me: fBH 46
Her: exWW 42
DDay: Nov 1, 2012
Divorced: September 17, 2013
Please, accept NO blame in your H's affair. He did this because he is broken and chose a very destructive method to soothe himself. No marriage is perfect. Cheating, however, has never been a solution to any problem, ever. It is cowardly and selfish, and again - not your fault!
He is saying he's been miserable forever. That's part of 'rewriting the marital history' and is extremely common. This is so he can feel justified in behaving so disgustingly. If he admits he wasn't unhappy, that the marriage was good, and that you are a good person, well that makes him a real piece of shit, doesn't it? Cheaters are very good at twisting the truth so that they aren't the bad guy. Don't believe it. You were in that marriage too. You know what it was like. You know the truth, even if he's trying to cover it in shit.
You are in a terrible spot right now. You want your marriage, but you want your H to realize how terrible what he's done is, not sit and consider his options. You aren't an option, you are his wife. You are the mother of his children.
Others will have ideas on how you should handle his indecision. Me? If I were you, I'd make the decision for him. I'm not an option, I'm a wife. I don't wait to see if I'm picked. If that wakes him up great, problem solved. If it doesn't? Well I made the right choice then didn't I?
Again, others will have ideas that aren't that harsh, and I admit it's a lot easier to say that when it isn't me.
I will recommend you start the 180 immediately. It's for you, not him, but it has woken up many a 'confused' spouse. You can find it in the healing library, faqs for the BS, #11.
We're here when you need to vent, or cry, or have questions, or anything else. You are not alone.
I actually did go to a lawyer yesterday, and I did not tell him. I wanted to know my options and I don't want to be snowed over again, if I can help it. My big problem, I'm completely financially dependent on this person. I'm a stay at home mom, I didn't quite finish college, so no degree, and I've let him take care of every single bit of the finances always. I sound like a moron. I am actually a smart person but those things make me sound like a complete idiot. I have gone to the ATM to take money out a few times already. I have started a locked journal on my phone whenever I have random thoughts. Our kids are very involved in travel sports, so he is out of town with one child this weekend while I'm in town with the other. Next weekend both boys are out of town in the same place, so of course we were all supposed to go and stay together. That can't happen, but I can't leave him alone at home, either, or I would go absolutely insane. Today I cleaned out all the drawers in the guest bedroom (where he has been sleeping) and am putting all of his clothes in the room in laundry baskets so he has no reason to come in my room. I'll give him one opportunity to get anything else he may need.
So I guess I've taken a few steps to protect and empower myself a little bit. The complete dependence is tough. Adds the whole "what am I going to do with my life" aspect to the life already out of control.
The eating... I can not freaking eat. I've lost 9 pounds in a week. I try to eat a few bites here and there but God is it tough! Food literally makes me feel sick. The brain is a bizarre thing.
The steps he's listed are 100% accurate. The doing things without H and not talking? That's a lot of the 180. I recommend that for the plan regarding your behavior.
Regarding the finances and lawyers? DO IT. If you think "Oh, he'd never do that!" then ask yourself which part of your brain expected him to get a girlfriend. He is acting in unusual (to you) behaviors, so prepare for the worst, because that may be what you get.
The idea of speaking to as many lawyers as possible is a great idea. Talk to every shark in a 100 mile radius. Don't leave him with ANY good alternatives.
Get your own bank accounts and take 50% of what is in your joint account. Once this is complete, and you are positive your direct deposit is going to your new account, hand him everything that you have that relates to the old joint account and tell him you are now out of that account. Mark the date so that anything that happens after this is on him. Also, check to see how much he's spent on this affair for dinners, hotels, etc. Add that amount back to the account before dividing it in half. That money was HIS, not joint money. So add it back and then take half. Show him what you've added back and why, and how much you took. He won't fight this. Who would?
So, expect the worst. Hopefully that isn't what you'll face, but there are thousands of stories of WSs doing things that are cruel, selfish and completely out of character.
Another comment GotMyLifeBack made was that you will uncover a lot more about your spouse in the next few weeks/months. This is SO true. You will uncover things you had no idea about. I was with my H for 14 years when DDay hit. I have learned more about him since DDay than I learned in 14 years of cohabitation/marriage. Be prepared for that too. Porn addiction? Gambling? Secret accounts? Websex? Be ready for anything, because you're going to find it.
If you can't eat, drink some boost or ensure, and take vitamins. Drink water, and get rest. You will need strength, and calories do help the brain function better. An A already sends one into a hazed reality. A lack of nutrition only compounds that.
And again, you aren't alone.
Take money now and start hiding it. Get as much as you can. A lawyer will really be able to give you advice here and help you start the ball rolling.
Your agreement with your H for you to stay at home has put you in this position. He was a party to that decision, and you are not 'out of luck' just because he says so. But you need to be prepared in case he tries to do just that.
A BS taking precautions can sometimes make a WS lash out. After all, WSs are selfish and entitled, so anyone fighting back is ruining their fantasy of being so desirable and having 'such hard choices' to face. Your best bet is to not let him know of your plans or actions. Hide what you are doing until the last possible minute.
And since you are a SAHM....guess what? Now you can get alimony & child support from his ass if you end up divorcing.
I am so sorry you are here but it is a great place to be in the circumstances. Be tough!!!!! You & the kids deserve better.
If you think this is your problem you're wrong. This is his problem. A marriage is a partnership, which he smashed with a nuclear hammer. Talk to your lawyer. Don't soft soap it either. Tell him to file for temporary spousal and child support, and tell him you are completely dependent on this guy, and want the house and a boatload of alimony. This is not your fault or your issue. You trusted. Most states have equations for spousal support based on the term of the marriage. Since you are married over 10 years you'll get approx 1/3 of that time in spousal support and child support until the kids are grown. You don't have the issue here, you just need to go on the offensive. The next 12-18 months you will have a job. It's called divorce. If you choose to reconcile, the wheels can be stopped at any time, but for now he needs reality and the shock. He's expecting you to be weak, to get his way, and to fold at every turn. Conquer him with your strategy, your resourcefulness, your patience, and your resolve.
One key note here, silence is the key. Right now you're an emotional mess. Don't engage him. Do not. He's not your therapist and he's not your husband right now. He's a 20 year old mentally. He's in "love" with a phantom. It doesn't exist. So your job is to think clearly, think of everything you can in a day, then get to your discipline fast. Do not for one minute blame yourself, or get depressed. He's sick in the head. You are not. You are in the right.
God has your back. SI has your back. And all of us have your back.
Kick his ass back into reality.
So glad I found this forum. It's reassuring to hear real advice and know that I'm not alone. Thank you.