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Should I stay or should I go?

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Branca posted 5/8/2014 19:10 PM

Please bear with me as this will be a long one - I'm feeling conflicted and I would like to hear 'the collective wisdom of SI'.

WH and I grew up two different countries. We lived in my country (a small, affluent country) until 2011. During this time, we always planned to move to his country (a small, third-world country). We bought a house, had two kids, and worked really hard to pay off the mortgage fast so that we could move to WH's country and start a new life there, and so the kids would also know their dad's heritage and culture.

We sold all our belongings and rented out our house, and moved in 2011 to where we are now. It has had its ups and downs, but overall been great for the kids to know their dad's family and so on. In the last year, we made the decision to move back to my country (planned for June 2015) because unfortunately the schools here are terrible and we decided we owed it to our kids to give them a better education than what is here. Still, we've had going on 3 years here and that's been good.

Then came D-day #1! caught WH red handed with flirty FB chats with a woman who he once kissed as a teenager. I guess they had unfinished business.

Then came D-day #2, 7 months later. This was another EA which crossed into physical (a couple of kisses, if he is to be believed) which occurred over a period of months in 2011. That was the year I was working my butt off to make OUR dream a reality (moving to his country).

I have a pre-existing health condition, a hormone imbalance, which affects my menstrual cycle, in particular terrible PMS. I have found it hard to access appropriate treatment (and dietary measures) in this country, but prior to D-days I was accepting that I'd just live with it until we moved back to my country, where better help is available.

Since D-Days, I have really struggled. I am not myself. I am feeling terrible as a parent as I'm often too tired to be pro-active in parenting. I feel my health issues have worsened. My coping ability is shot. I think many of you know how this feels.

My dilemma is really about if I should leave this place ahead of schedule to go somewhere I can get better support, medical care and also counseling. The kids will also immediately go into better schools, which is good for them.

But WH and I had this plan to go in June 2015, which included a special 3 week holiday in New York with a friend, which we were all looking forward to. If we went early, this could not happen, so it would be disappointing but I'd get the support I need sooner.

Also, my dream of being here (and all the things we hoped to accomplish) is kind of dead to me now.

Just today I raised the issue with WH that I am thinking of leaving sooner. He was quite upset at this thought, but acknowledged that this situation we find ourselves in is his fault, so he basically said he knows he has to accept my choice - he won't try to make me stay longer if I don't want to.

But he feels strongly that he needs to spend longer here with his aging parents - they are one of the reasons we came here, to support them. So now we're looking at the option of separation, with the intention that he'd join us a few months later.

So we have a couple of options.

1. I wait and stick it out here for another year, try to start our R with online help (no face to face counseling), possibly buy recommended books online. Then move in June 2015 as originally planned, and have our NY holiday on the way. Our daughter will have to suck up horrible school in the meantime.

2. I make arrangements to leave as soon as practicable (likely August 2014) and take the kids with me. I will be able to access counseling and medical care, and the support of my parents, but I will also be a solo parent for a few months as WH has said the earliest he's willing to leave his parents would be January 2015. No family holiday in NY.

If I leave early, it means I get to escape a lot of the tying up of loose ends from our work and projects here, which WH will have to do. He can cope. I feel it would be fair for him to have to deal with it. The aftermath of what he caused.

The kids would miss him. I wonder if the separation might do us some good (we'd still be in touch online) or if it would set our R back. It might give me some time and space to process my feelings and also for us to communicate thoughtfully in writing a lot more.

Sorry for the short novel I've put you through (if you've got this far)... my feelings are telling me I just wanna get out of here, and away from this horrible phase of my life, but I'm not sure whether to trust that. Probably as D-Day recedes into the past I will calm down and cope better.

So, any thoughts from someone who's thinking clearer than me?

Skan posted 5/8/2014 20:44 PM

That's a tough one. That's a really tough one, with your DDay #2 being so recent.

I would tend to be in the GO category, if for no other reason, to establish residence in YOUR country if R is not possible. Because health-wise, you do not want to be stuck in a country where you can not get adequate medical care nor your children adequate schooling, if you end up divorcing and the papers decree that you not move the children away from WH. Tactically, for the long-term possibilities, I see that as being the best for you and the children.

If you do that, what is your WH offering to you, to convince you that he won't immediately go on a Mystical Magical Old GF F-Fest while you're gone? Is he willing to live with his parents? How does he propose to be accountable? This is something that you need to talk over with him. But frankly, even if he doesn't have a good plan, I'd still go. For all the reasons in the paragraph above. I would not want to be stuck in a 3rd world country for the next 18-20 years, just so you could see your children.

Branca posted 5/9/2014 07:25 AM

Thanks Skan.

The question of 'how can he be trusted to behave himself' if I am in a different country is a hairy one.

Right now, my gut is telling me this would be ok, although my mind says that knowing how so many WS behave, I shouldn't trust him for one minute.

He is showing genuine remorse now, finally. He would spend a lot of time at his parents' house if we were away, but would have to sleep here at this house as it is a requirement of his work - we live on the work premises. I raised this issue with him last night and he offered to find a house guest to stay so that he would not be alone. I suppose I could vet the house guest. There might be other things we can do as well.

His parents know about his A's as I told his mother, and they have already given him a lecture about his behaviour, so they would be doing their bit to keep an eye on him.

If he is dead set on cheating again, or simply 'can't help himself', I say let him. The truth will come out somehow and there'll be hell to pay.

I believe that he has chosen me and the kids with no hesitation, but his issues are about boundaries. He's one of these cheaters who successfully compartmentalised so that all the while he was playing around behind my back, he thought he was fully engaged in our marriage and never stopped loving me or feeling committed to me. I think being caught has been a wake-up call for him, and I believe he wants to do the right thing. But as we sadly know, only his actual behaviour over time will really prove his capability to be faithful.

Yeah, the divorce question is one I hadn't thought so seriously about since we are both currently dedicated to R. But if divorce is to become a factor, I would MUCH prefer doing it in my country. I know how things work there. Here in this country, getting any kind of bureaucratic paperwork done is a nightmare.

I don't feel especially conflicted about being separated from him for a few months.

I do feel conflicted about the kids being separated from him for about 5-6 months - but I suppose quite a few kids have parents who are away for work for this long.

I also feel a bit conflicted about having everyone miss out on the NY holiday, but logically I tell myself that is unimportant compared with the issues we're dealing with now. If that holiday is so important, we can just save up and go a few years later.

doggiediva posted 5/9/2014 07:57 AM

I have to agree with Skan...R can happen long distance if need be for the next year..
If I were in your shoes, I would want to establish residence in my own country ASAP , instead of moving back in 2015 as planned..Some of these countries have D laws that favor the male-father, without any respect for women, no matter what the situation is..
IMHO you are gonna need to be in your own country with your kids and watch your WH's behavior from here (if US is your home)..
I don't think your WH can be trusted with your life at this point..I know R is easier when the couple lives under the same roof, but in your case it may better to have the safety of being in your own country and be near your family while you deal with A aftermath..I would hate to see you be under the control of your WH or have to make some kind of dangerous escape from where you are at and have to rely on Embassy or other outside help to make your way back to your own country..

[This message edited by doggiediva at 8:11 AM, May 9th (Friday)]

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