While all this was going on over the past few months H has gotten harsh and irritable with the whole family to the point where when I put our 7-year old to bed he wants to know why Daddy is so mean. Our 3 year-old refuses to hug him because he yells at her and well for me he has nothing, and I mean nothing, nice to say. He even yells at the dog. I can take it, but I realize I need to defend the kids and have been getting on his case. *He* decided we need to go to a couple's counselor. I don't know, maybe he thinks the counselor will reign me in or maybe he wants to reveal the affair.
My husband has applied, and will probably get, a job where she works. He will find out next week. I think that if he goes to work there there is no turning back. Might as well get cozy with a divorce attorney. However, I probably can talk him out of it since it will involve a seriously stupid pay cut and a notches down in status. (OTOH it is a government job so stability will be important if he has to pay child support.)
1. Use your gut - does it seem like they are having a physical affair? I keep thinking well maybe I am reading this wrong, he is just flirting.
2. If he does not mention the affair, do I bring it up in counseling? If I am going to divorce I'd like more time to prepare. On the other hand I feel so, so awful.
3. Do I talk him out of the job change in case he wants to reconcile? Does it even matter if he wants to reconcile?
4. Since the affair has turned him emotionally abusive is the best thing for the kids and I for me to just end this?
Thanks for your advice. I am having a hard time right now and do not trust myself to make any decisions beyond what to cook for dinner. Unfortunately I have been keeping track of his communication with her to document his behavior in case of custody issues (missed teacher conference, kid sporting events, etc because he was busy with her) and I think stabbing my hand with a sharp stick would hurt less than reading another one of his messages to her.
Welcome and sorry you had to find us.
1. He's having an affair. Does it really matter if it's an EA or an EA/PA? It's not flirting. It's a betrayal of you, your marriage, and your entire family.
2. I don't have any advice as to when to confront since I never did it. But you have to confront sometime so you can set your requirements for considering R, if you are considering R.
3. You don't "talking him out" of a job change. Tell him if he wants to remain married to you, he cannot take a job where the OW works. Period.
4. It's up to you. If you want a divorce, it's your option. There is no requirement that you consider R after a spouse cheats. They've committed acts designed to end the marriage. It should come as no surprise when it does. If you are interested in R, consider what your requirements are before you confront. Tell the OW's husband, if she's married. See how your husband reacts to confrontation. If he seems like R material, you might give him a year or so to fix himself and then decide then whether you want to R.
Seriously, you do not have to take this.
And yes, it hurts like hell. He's betrayed you, your marriage, and your entire family.
Given what you've told me, this is exactly what I would do. I am a big believer in the shock and awe school because frankly, it works in getting things out in the open fast and cuts through the Pick Me, Pick Me dance immediately.
First, go see a lawyer, get the papers together for a legal separation/divorce, whichever is your preference at this time. In those papers, I would ask for child support, spousal support, physical custody of the children, and sole use of the house. Have those papers in your purse. Make two copies of your proof. The originals stay at your lawyer's office or any other place that he absolutely cannot get to them. One copy stays with your "serving" papers. The other is in an envelope hidden away in a safe place. Find out the contact information for the OWs BH.
Next, you need to confront him. If the appt. with the MC is soon, then that would be a good place. If not, then you pick the place and time. Please make sure that your children are out of the house. Then tell your WH that you know about his affair and this is his one chance to come clean. Don’t let him bluff, pull the confrontation off track, etc, just keep telling him that you have all the proof you need and this is his one chance to come clean. If he does, great. Hang onto those papers in case they are still needed and lay out your requirements for him to stay in the marriage NC with the OW, turning down the job offer, transparency with his devices, etc. If he tries to snow you, lie, or gets abusive, serve him the divorce/separation papers and tell him to call you at such-n-such a time to coordinate getting his stuff out of the house. He is not allowed, as per the papers, to go back in without your permission and you do not give it further, if he tries, you will call the police on him. And then get the locks changed and the garage locked down if he has an automatic opener.
No matter what happens above, right after the confrontation, get in contact with the OWs BH and let him know about the A. Offer him a copy of whatever information you are willing to share with him. Don’t tell your WH that you’re doing this, just do it.
I know that this seems like a really drastic response. Well, your WH has given you a rather drastic reason. He’s abusing your children emotionally as well as you, he’s betrayed you, he’s planning to go work with his whore so he has better access to her, and is planning on keeping you around as the housekeeper/child care provider/potential bed warmer when he’s not busy screwing around elsewhere. He sees you as weak. This is the time to be VERY strong and show him exactly what life is going to look like because of his choice to betray you.
Keep posting often. We’re here for you.
D-Day, June 10, 2012
I also want to emphasize telling the OWs spouse without letting your husband or her know you are going to do it. If you give them even 5 minutes, they will have done damage control. The only thing I'd do differently is that I'd tell the BH first before confronting your husband. He's likely to be warning her as soon as he knows you know.
So sorry you're here but your advantage is that you're getting excellent advice before the gaslighting starts.
Thanks for your responses -- I am curious what sort of person is promising R material?
If you do exactly as Skan describes I think you will know sooner than later. Just in case you haven't read it, here is the section on R -
If I had done the shock and awe method I would have at the very least avoided the months of destructive gaslighting and gone faster on my healing.
You know, being a jerk and having an affair is a lousy enough thing to do to someone. There's the sneaking, manipulating, lying, deceiving, gaslighting, cheating your family of time they could be spending together and making lifetime memories, and the list just goes on and on. It's just completely deplorable behavior. But when you start emotionally and verbally abusing your own kids and treating them like second class citizens - to the point that they're upset and unhappy and wondering why daddy is so mean and unloving - well that's just digging a crawlspace under your LOWEST point in life.
That is inexcuseable and unforgiveable. I am SO sorry that you're forced to deal with this every day and that your poor children have to be hurt on a daily basis, all so your selfish husband can get his cheap little thrills with his married girlfriend.
Shame on him.
If HE'S the one who requested marriage counseling, that's pretty strange. It's extremely rare that an actively cheating spouse would desire MC because they want to reconcile. From what I've read here over the years, I think if a cheating spouse is requesting MC, it's probably for one of two reasons - either they think it's a better place to break the news that they want to leave because they think a therapist's office is neutral territory and are hoping the therapist will help them deliver the news, or they're trying to be able to justify their leaving by attending gratuitous therapy sessions just so they can say "they truly gave it their all before they left the marriage."
Castellana, I'm really sorry you find yourself here but you'll find a wealth of information both in the articles as well as from those of us who've been down this road (and some of us, many times).
Castellana, it would be incredibly naive to assume that in the space of a whole year, these two have only met for dinner at the Olive Garden and maybe had coffee at Starbucks, occasionally. Any time two grown adults have the opportunity for some private face time, they'll take advantage of it. I guess your husband is worried about his lackluster performance between the sheets since he needs a written instruction guide on how to please a woman. WTF??
Do what skan said. Do not waiver from that. Do not fear you are over reacting or that it doesn't have to come to that. It is exactly what most betrayed spouses would do if they could do it all again. Most of us weren't strong enough to do it right and that sets a difficult tone for any healing.
Seconding (thirding, fourthing) Skan's advice. He is undoubtedly physically involved with this woman and has clearly checked out of your M and his relationship with his kids. There is no excuse for that so do not spare him. Line up what you need to in order to file for D (this does not mean you can't R in the end!).
I'm inclined to show up to the counselor's holding your peace and waiting to see what he has to say. Maybe he intends to confess, or to blameshift, or ... ? Who knows what goes on in the wayward mind. Choosing how to show you cards isn't easy and I haven't been in your situation--I just suddenly knew, asked, and he confessed. Absolutely one of the worst feelings of my life.
This isn't easy. Hang in there and take care of yourself. You will be okay.
He doesn't understand what a gift he has in you.
I don't have time to get the divorce papers together before the MC appointment but I think confronting him and giving him the choice right there is the way to go. I have the attorney's appointment set for the next day.
I'm not sure what to do if he confesses right there in the MC's office. I can tell you it won't be hopping in WH's lap and giving him a smooch. But I think it will be a huge relief to get it out in the open. Hopefully even if we can't fix the marriage WH can get his act together for the kids.
You've received some great advice from Skan. I agree with it 100%. However I have a few other suggestions:
1) Stop the marital counseling. Useless if he is still in the affair. Might be useful later however if he repents. I would NOT suggest exposing the A at the marital therapist. This is not a good venue. See more below.
2) Gather some more evidence before confronting. Do you have any emails, pics, text messages between them both? You will need something good and juicy to put in the D papers. If he uses a desktop computer, install a hardware based keylogger (Keygrabber is a good one). If he uses a laptop then install a software based logger (Spectorsoftw SpectorPro) is a good one. Go to walmart and buy a few VARs and install them in his car and around the house where he talks to OW. Turn off the beeping function and turn on the voice activation feature. Keep these hidden even AFTER d-day to see if he is being truthful in keeping no-contact with OW. Finally if you have the money consider getting a PI
3) Expose expose expose. Exposure is the best weapon you have to bust up this fantasy that these two love-birds have. Expose to OW's husband especially. You may need to hire a PI to find out who he is. Ensure that when you expose the OW doesn't intercept (esp if they share the same email). Best way to expose is in person. Also expose to close mutual friends, family members and/or religious leaders that he respects. Expose OW to her friends, family, etc as well. Keep it short and sweet and tell the folks you are exposing to that you want their help in saving the marriage and that WH has strayed. Consider posting the slut on cheaterwebsites so that others will know her true ways.
4) Right after the exposures start, then immediately confront. Do it on day when he would least expect (best time is when kids are in school). Try to have someone trustworthy that you know around in case he gets violent. Show him the D papers. Don't divulge all of the evidence you have, else he will try to just try to circumvent you.
The day of exposure is known as D-day. He will either 1) massively break down and come sobbing back to you or 2) Be indifferent and want to move out of the house with OW. There is no way to predict what will happen. But I promise you that the best chance you have of saving your marriage is to bust up this affair as soon as possible. YOU and only you can decide later if you want to R with him. He needs to show tremendous amount of remorse for his selfish actions.
Keep coming back here and post. We will tell you what to do next. You came to the right place.
If you have the OWs name, you will find the BH eventually. I'd spend the money to have a PI dig up that info. It would probably take them less than an hour and would be money well spent. Heck, you might be able to hire that PI to find and then deliver the info! Again. Don't tell your WH that you're going to do it, just do it.
(((hugs))) Hang in there. This is horrible and it's totally unfair. It's especially unfair to have to be so strong when you feel so shattered. We all know that. Keep coming back for support.
He doesn't realize what he is doing to them. It will mean a lot to them to see and hear you telling him to stop and that he is out of line. Make sure they witness your protection of them. They don't trust him now, show them they can trust you.
OW gave him that book? It's kinda funny in a way. He's not even good enough, as is, for his whore. I wonder if he felt humiliated when she gave it to him? He's nothing more to her than a tool.
When is MC?
[This message edited by BtraydWife at 12:45 PM, March 3rd (Monday)]