Firstly, I will show her that I have been to see a lawyer and I am ready to start the ball rolling on the divorce.
Secondly, I will tell her that she needs to end all contact right now or move out. I am going to send her an official sounding email telling her this and I will tell her that the lawyer advised me to do that so I will have it in writing. I will tell her that when it comes to custody hearings, her actions will be weighed up so I need it documented that she is harming our family and going against my wishes with this. It's not strictly true that the lawyer advised that, but I am going for shock and awe tactics here.
I will also tell her that if she breaks the no contact or get out request (i.e. continues to contact him and wont move out) I will tell all her family and friends about what she has done. I'll frame it like helping an addict break their addiction by bringing it out into the open.
Hopefully this will all force her into facing up to the fact that what she has done has consequences and she cant just carry on having the best of both worlds.
One question. I thought I read somewhere on here about templates or example letters for informaing and exposing the affair to others, but now I cant find them. Does anyone know if something like that is available anywhere? I want to get the wording right so I dont come across as vindictive and petty.
I don't know about the templates, but if you go this route, of putting everything on paper, then I would stick with stating the facts as you know them, and then your needs. Stay away from blame. This would be both as a way to have the focus be on you. It would reduce defensive stances from your in-laws/friends, and my guess is that it would look better in court, if that is where you are going to take it.
So for example...state, My wife has had an affair for 10 months, and is choosing not to end contact with her lover. Although I am willing to work on our marriage, I can't do it as long as my wife continues to have contact with the other man. Her choice to remain with her lover is hurtful to me, and I believe ultimately hurtful to my children.
Something like that. You aren't calling her a bad mother. You aren't throwing stones. You are stating what the issue is and what you need in order for the marriage to continue.
Hope this helps.
(BTW - nice username...it sums up me in a nutshell as well)
It is not about taking the 'gloves off', it is about just being firm, creating boundaries, communicating them, and enforcing them. It is not a game or a match to win. You do not need to be afraid.
So, first, IMO I would not tell her you have seen a lawyer. There is nothing behind that statement. It is just words. What it does do in a negative way for you is tip your hand.
Second, as for an email, why 'official sounding'? Sounds like you are trying to scare her or something. What's the point of that attitude? You are stronger than that. Why reveal the fact that you will be watching and 'weighing' her actions? You again are just tipping your hand. All you will insure doing is getting her to be aware that she needs wear a nicer mask in order to get a better custody deal.
So my recommendation is a simple, clear email that states your boundaries. That you are not willing to share your wife.
So all you really need to tell her in an email is:
1. That you want to R and save the marriage.
2. She has a choice to make:
a. If she wants to R then she must go complete NC.
b. If she does not want the marriage/ does not want to R and will not go NC, then she can move out, and you will initiate an amicable divorce. You do not want to be married to her.
3. If she breaks NC then that is merely choosing option B, she can move out, and you will initiate an amicable divorce.
You tell her that you will be handling it fairly - and you will. YOU DO NOT tell her that you are building your case. You are building your case based on the truth and the facts. If you tip your hand she will distort the truth by changing her behavior to her advantage only. But you can not 'threaten' her back.
'Shock and awe' is not a marketing campaign nor a convincing your WW to change campaign.
It is a clear statement of your resolve to protect yourself in a fair and honest way. It is a clear setting of boundaries and that she has choices which have consequences. If she does not want the M, then it is better to get get that understood by you sooner rather than later. You are stuck still trying to change her mind. All you can do is communicate and enforce a firm boundary.
[This message edited by MC_Jack at 11:49 AM, August 14th (Wednesday)]
Do NOT tell her you saw a lawyer, she will turn it on you in a heartbeat, she will say that you aren't able to forgive, and what's the point in trying you are already thinking about D.
DO NOT threaten her. She will just think your are being a jerk.
Simply, Firmly, and in as few words as possible state the facts, and your requirements for her to stay in the house, and continue to be married to you.
If she chooses to "try to R" then you need to be hypervigilant for a while, until you are sure she gets it, and making threats will just convince her she needs to be more sneaky, this is where many WS's get their second cell phone. Trust us.
But the truth is what I really want is some movie style moment where she suddenly realizes what she is done, breaks down in hysterics and begs for foregiveness. Unrealistic, I know. Unlikely, I know. But thats what I want. I want my old life back.
And if it's true what people say about the fog, and the addiction aspects of the affair, can't I hold on to a little hope that this is possible.
I want to tip my hand because I want her to face the reality of what she has done while we still have time. I dont want to get to the end of this where we are divorced and living in seperate houses for her to have her reality check. By then it really will be too late.
Right now she wants to keep her affair and her old life with me by delaying the process and continuing to co-habit. I need to tell her I have seen a lawyer to make her realize that if this is what she wants then it is going to happen now and not some time in the future when it is more convenient for her. Maybe that will make her wake up to reality.
...truth is what I really want is some movie style moment where she suddenly realizes what she is done, breaks down in hysterics and begs for foregiveness. Unrealistic, I know. Unlikely, I know. But thats what I want. I want my old life back.
Sorry, but your old life is gone. This is a part of your life now, whether you R or D. I consider myself R with FWW, but in no way is my life today anything like my life pre-dday. This difference has pleasant and unpleasant aspects. Mostly, it is a loss of innocence, a loss of romance. To me, I think pre-dday is like watching a magic show, and post dday is like being the magician. It is the same show, but knowing how it all works takes some of the fun and awe out of the show.
You are doing well, take care of yourself and the kids.
[This message edited by Painfuljourney at 12:44 PM, August 14th (Wednesday)]
just to fine tune what I said in the context of your follow-ups...
...while we still have time. I don't want to get to the end of this where we are divorced and living in separate houses for her to have her reality check. By then it really will be too late.
^^^ you always have time. Why would divorce be 'too late'? You can always get remarried. There are a couple of WWs on this site that have gotten divorced then remarried their BHs.
I need to tell her I have seen a lawyer to make her realize that if this is what she wants then it is going to happen now and not some time in the future when it is more convenient for her. Maybe that will make her wake up to reality.
^^^ Telling her that you have 'seen' a lawyer won't do shit, IMO. Again, you are trying to influence her via threats as opposed to protecting yourself, creating and maintaining boundaries. Big difference. Divorce is a PROCESS not just flipping a switch.
Since she has said she does not want to be married, merely give her what she wants. File for divorce and have her served. At some point during the divorce PROCESS something changes, then you can always stop the process.
The facts: She said she does not want the M. She is having sex with another man. Your M is dead right now. Keeping the status quo as some form of hope is really just hurting yourself.
Brother, I can only imagine how hard it must be for you. Watching actions gives you the truth. Taking action wins you the day
again, good luck...
and go back and follow Abbandad's story again. I bet he would say that of all the pain he has suffered, the chain jerking after d-day was way worse than the A itself. There are a LOT of available women out there (and here of course who can testify to that fact). The chain jerking is just stealing months/years away from you.
What she is telling me she wants is to separate from me (because she is not happy in our marriage) but make it a gradual, amicable process whereby we co-habit until we come to terms with everything.
Truth is I can live with that, but only if he is out of the picture. This may have been where our marriage was destined to go anyway and I can accept that if need be. What I can't accept is the pain from watching her continue the affair.
So I am going to tell her all that.If she ends the affair we can do things in the best way for all of us, using counselling and mediation to reach an agreement on separation. But if she wont end the affair then I want things over with as quickly as possible and in the best possible outcome for me. Then it is up to her which path she wants to follow.
Wait, that's what she wants. What do you want? I don't think she gets to decide what she wants at this point. Take back some power. Don't let her walk all over you. She's manipulating you it sounds like. Not fair!
I dont want to be with this person that she is now. I want the chance to move on and find happiness. But I know that I can never fully get her out of my life because she is the mother of our children. So to give them and us the best possible future I am willing to go along with co-habiting while we get used to the idea of being apart and work out how best to do this. The truth is the change scares me so if we can do it gradually I would prefer that.
But I cant do that while she keeps up the contact with him. It's like an open wound to have that going on. I cant change the fact that it has happened but I can at least start healing if I know it has stopped.
...you know yourself better than I do...
...but I would think having to see her every day knowing that she is going to leave soon *when convenient for her* would be more painful than giving her the boot.
...like the notion of quickly tearing off a band aid vs. pulling it off slowly. or use hair removal as a metaphor...or like watching someone die slowly...
...even if she goes temporarily NC until she moves out *when convenient for her* it doesn't mean the A is over, that she respects you more, or that you are giving your M more of a chance. I think you are deceiving yourself, my man.
Why not just let her have the A, document how much time she devotes to the kids, etc. vs. time with the OM.
What does it matter at this point if she stays in contact with OM if you are going to file? The sooner she is gone, the sooner you are moving on. So, I am not rally understanding your take on it.
Anyways, be strong and decisive. Like PJ said, she is walking over you and you are letting her ...not sure why.
also, scareddad, NO REASON to be scared. I know it is hard to see that. Go to match.com or something else reputable for example and see how many people are looking for companionship. I don't envy you believe me. Your deal is WAY harder than mine. You sound like a great guy. It is all upside you you once you accept your sitch.
[This message edited by MC_Jack at 4:38 PM, August 14th (Wednesday)]
and go back and follow Abbandad's story again. I bet he would say that of all the pain he has suffered, the chain jerking after d-day was way worse than the A itself.
God, yes. At one time I could have--and likely would have--forgiven the affair itself. If true reconciliation had been accepted (I offered for nearly a year) I would gladly have worked on our marriage to save our family.
It was everything "around" the affair--the lies, betrayal, deceit--that killed the marriage and dragged me into an emotional hole I am only now (having begun divorce) dragging my battered body out of.
Do not wait until the shock of the affair is transcended by the shock and shame at yourself to be treated to such emotional abuse.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
I don't post much on SI anymore, and hardly ever in JFO, but your story caught my eye, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. Please pardon my presumption, but maybe you'd like some perspective from a child who grew up watching a situation very similar to what you're living with now.
My mother had affairs, and my father always forgave, or at least forgot, and my brother and I were the 'reasons' why he did, it was all about fulfilling a Christian image of marriage. In reality, it was about his fear of being alone, and his inability to face a future so different than he'd thought it would be.
The worst part wasn't when she'd leave generally, as devastating as that was; but in the times before, as she'd withdraw, as she'd justify her connection to another man, the way she'd scrabble desperately for any little thing she could use to make herself feel her actions were all right, even try to involve my brother or myself. That feeling of insignificance, of knowing that my mother was sick enough to be incapable of loving me, could use me and couldn't seethe damage she inflicted still hurts to this day.
What this has meant for me as an adult is huge. First of all, it set the stage and example for what I felt was an acceptable marriage - poor communication, disrespect from both parties, basically, that the only important thing was that it looked good from the outside. Read my story, you'll see how that worked out.
Now, working through the process of reconciliation has opened so many old wounds - my fWH says by having an affair he ripped the lid off the box I kept my old pain in, and it's so painful and hard to watch me try to sort that out.
You know who I'm the most angry with though? Not my mother, I've accepted that she is a sick, screwed up woman, damaged by childhood abuse and unable or unwilling to do the work that was necessary for true healing.
But my father, him I'm mad at. He used my brother and I as a shield to hide behind when he wasn't courageous enough to deal, and so we were hurt over and over again for years. He was the sane one, he was the one who was supposed to protect us, and he didn't, he couldn't, so he too put his selfish desire to pretend everything was all right above his children.
That sounds harsh, I know, but my parents are still together, still ignoring the past and living like strangers together, both seeming very unhappy, and both seeming very trapped. And once, my father said to me 'I often wonder what would have happened if I hadn't let your mother come home one of those times, where I'd be now; probably someplace better.' And then he clammed up and has never said anything about it ever again, except the advice a month from my DDay that my H and I should never think or talk about what he did again.
(No worries, we talk and deal plenty, still in IC, still in MC)
You are at the point where you can do what so many fail at - you can truly protect your children, right now, and for the future. It would be very nice if your wife would step up and be a good parent, either through R or a reasonable divorce, but right now she can't or won't.
But YOU are enough, you taking a stand for yourself and your children is enough to protect them, to help them in the future when they look back and realize that you loved them enough to put them first, and enough to take care of yourself so they could have a good strong father.
What you need to do is not petty, not vindictive, and not selfish. it is the right thing to do, as a father, and as a man.
Hope this helps a bit, you seem strong, and I think your kids are lucky to have you.
But Iím not walking from our dream, it grows as I begin. Royal Wood
I am just trying to use whatever leverage I can to have her break off contact with OM
You saying this means that you're not listening. We are what? At 5 pages of people pouring their hearts out- trying to help you?
Go back now. Read your entire thread and listen for the wisdom of folks telling you NOT to try to control her, change her, or do any of that.
You can keep trying to find levers to change her actions till the sun comes down, but it's not gonna work.
I see a thread titled "I should have listened" in your future.
I am just trying to use whatever leverage I can to have her break off contact with OM because that is just twisting the knife in me right now.
2x4 - the above quote is complete & utter vindictive bullshit. You're solidly in the bargaining stage of grief. None of your dramatic movie tactics are going to work. I predict each one will spectacularly backfire on you & fuck you many times over.
Get a grip. Clear your head. Move forward with honesty & integrity.
She's made it clear she wants to D.
From my personal perspective having been there done that... I see only you loosing by telling her. She knows what's up and will behave accordingly. However if you don't tell her clearly lay down your expectations and prepare for her failures then you gain the upper hand in putti g your kids first. This isn't about revenge this isnt about a winner. This at this point is about being a dad, and leading by example. Teach them that it's not acceptable to be a choice in a marriage that you come first and when you dont there are horrible consequences.
If you tip your hand she will adjust her behavior to make her look like the victim and the good guy. You know she's not but will the courts? Will your kids? Not if you allow her to control the situation and call the shots.
Please listen to us. We have been there. We have learned from our mistakes. Our advice isn't to help you get revenge rather to help you be in control of a very tough situation.
Before you do anything, ask your wife one question. If your children were being treated by their spouse the way she treats you, what would she tell the adult child?
I asked that of my H. His answer was to tell the WS to leave. His kid did not deserve to be disrespected that way.
He never acknowledged that he was disrespecting his wife. He had to know it, based on his advice.
I took his advice, and told him to leave a week later.
I feel for you, you can't control her. there is one thing I have learned going thru this ( warnind 2x4 coming) YOU CANT MAKE THEM DO ANYTHING. You can lay down consequences for their actions, but make them do something -nope. Plenty of BS's have filed only to have the WS hold things up by not giving financials, incomplete information etc.
Living in a no fault state does have some advantages- while possessions may be split equitably-children are not possessions. Be the stable parent, the one the kids look to emulate in a crisis. If I wasn't so aware that I was being watched while teaching my kids how to handle a crisis. I would have never had the courage to do half the things I did in order to protect myself and them.
Your situation changes when you are ready to change it. She sounds quite happy with the status quo, you are the only one not happy. I am willing to bet before to long your kids will start being unhappy also. Kids have a way of picking up on our feelings, especially if mom is off, and you are the one taking care of them.
Good luck. Not doing anything - is a decision. It just doesn't sound like its going to bring you any happiness. You deserve to be happy too.
Sorry to see you here.
I have read all the posts and you have recieved a lot of good advise, especially from MC_Jack.
My only comment is this keeps dragging on because you haven't yet accepted the marriage you once knew is gone. You can not recover it. It has been detroyed. You are being kept in this toxic relationship because you have some faint glimmer your marriage can be saved
This is a hard realisation I had to come to. Especially thinking she has some mental problem (thought the same).
You need to start looking after your self. If it means cutting her out of your life then do it.