Hello everyone on SI. I want to thank you for letting me read about your lives for the last few months without posting. As all of you know, going through something like this is wrong on so many levels and I couldn't write it down. Over the last 5 months I've gone from the "Just Found Out" forum, the BS forum, the "Reconciliation" forum and now ended up here. Here's my story, and a few questions.
I had a long relationship with my now husband but part of it was long distance due to working circumstances. We had to travel to see each other over the course of 3 years and it was hard for both of us. We were engaged the final year of this and knew we would be moving shortly after getting married to finally live together. I knew the transition would be hard, especially for him, but I was hopeful. In retrospect there were some red flags during the engagement and I even tried to break it off/postpone things twice (including giving back the ring) but he always insisted that he wanted this, it would be better when we were together, etc. I believed that because I loved him so I went ahead.
Well, our first year of marriage was rocky at best. He went from a social, fun, intelligent person to someone who barely spoke to me after a day of work and would sit on the couch. He didn't know if he wanted to be married and he felt like he was stuck. I suggested counseling but he refused and continued to refuse until things got so difficult that we weren't even sleeping together. I finally said he could come to counseling and commit to working on our marriage or he needed to move out. No commitment came so out he went. He was torn apart and begged for another try. I told him the requirements were the same and he agreed to MC....twice. He said it wasn't working and then proceeded to sink into a deep depression. I didn't even see him for weeks at a time (except at work, where we barely spoke). He avoided social interactions, avoided me, and worked extra shifts. After a few months of this I started asking for a divorce. He said no, wanted to try again. So I agreed and slowly over the next 9 months things improved. We found a new MC, spent more time together, went on dates and he started staying over almost every night. It seemed like things were heading in the right direction but progress was slow. We would take a step forward and then 3/4 step back. He would show up late for things or not quite honor commitments but always had some excuse. It crossed my mind that he was cheating but I couldn't imagine how he could have met someone here (we work together and have the same friend circle and he has zero hobbies) so I dismissed it. This included a surprise trip out of the country that he told me about a day in advance, canceling my visit home to see his family, and another surprise trip to "check on his house" from before the move. After all that things were getting rough again but our MC told me to "lighten up" basically. Sure, fine. Then it happened. We were on vacation with my family, a trip he almost backed out of at the last minute (think almost bolted off the airplane at our *connection*). After we got there things went great...he was nice, funny, relaxed. Like the man I agreed to marry and had known 2 years before. We even had sex that night. Then the following morning I rolled over in bed to find a FB message from the woman he had been in a relationship with since a few months after our engagement. I was horrified but somehow managed to make it through the trip with my parents without a complete meltdown. That came later.
Our MC told him to find a new therapist since he had been lying to her, too. He begged for another chance with me, said he wanted to end things with OW and work on our marriage. I said, sure, let's see. So I allowed a few months to go by. He did end it with OW (as far as I can tell...could still be going on ) but he never really took reconciliation seriously and in the end had a lot of regret and I'm sorries but not a lot of remorse and action for change. His needs always won over mine and I actually got more hurt in the 5 months since D-day than I did immediately after. It was clear that he's never been accountable for his actions and is used to getting his way, no matter who gets hurt in the process. He is selfish, cowardly, and cruel and I've decided that if my choices are this BS of a marriage or divorce then I pick divorce. I'm still struggling with a few things and I thought y'all could help.
1. We have to work together for the next year and a half. There really is no way to avoid this without severe detriment to one or both of our careers. I'm not willing to compromise what I've worked for and work is the only thing he cares about so I know he won't either. We will have to see each other and work in the same area (though not together on the same thing) every day for a year starting 7/14. I'm struggling with how and what to tell people at work. My IC (previous MC....I won that one!) says I need to tell everyone why we are getting divorced with a few details so they will know that it's not my fault. WH has a way of playing the victim and I can just hear "I wanted to work things out...this is what she wanted." Plus (not to sound arrogant) I am definitely more attractive and personable than he is, especially than what he has become, so if anyone thinks of infidelity they will assume that I did it. Duh, just because I had more opportunities doesn't mean I took any of them; he had only one sad one but he sure went for it. She also thinks that the only thing I can really affect now is his reputation, something he values very highly. Is this good advice or will it just look like sour grapes? Or worse...will people somehow turn this against me?? I'm a strong woman but this whole thing has been a mind fuck that has completely weakened me.
2. How do I let go of the love and the dreams? I am an objective person and, while I have emotions, they are generally in check. I can think with my head over my heart any day but somehow I still cry over the death of my marriage and the death of the dreams/plans I had for us on at least a weekly and sometimes daily basis. This is something that none of my girlfriends really understand. Most of them want to kill him (and her!) and are busy thinking of ways to do it. Anger is helpful and I feel in control when I have that. But this other feeling is frightening, vulnerable, and paralyzing. HELP.
3. What are some good comebacks that you've used for the "well meaning" person who says something like "thank goodness you're young" or "be glad you don't have kids". Well, thanks, although I was a hell of a lot younger at 28 when we got engaged and I would rather be thinking about starting a family than ending a marriage right now.
OK, that's it for now. Sorry for the long post and again, thanks to everyone for being open. Seeing myself (and my WH) in your posts helped me confirm what I already knew: he's F-ed up and there is no saving him...I can either go down with him or set myself free. Either way I'm the one who hurts but with the later choice there is hope for the future.