I have been having the hardest time letting go, for good. And I know it has a lot to do with this jealousy, that this was MY husband and MY life. Wanting to fight for it, so no one else can have it.
And yet at the same time, I have not been able to say 'yes please come home, we can work on this together'. He's been away for 6 weeks, only have seen him twice. Been talking and in contact nearly everyday. But I just can't bring myself to get sucked back into his twisted lies.
I know this is a good thing, I shouldn't go back and try (again) to reconcile with someone I know now is a compulsive liar and cheater, possibly a sex addict.
But when I see him interacting with other women, I can't help but feel so damn angry. So terribly sad. It's so easy for him, to just move right along and get attention from dozens of females.
I have always been a loyal partner. I am such a chump. This makes me angry, but not angry enough I guess. I am still in shock this is who he really is, who he has been, over a decade of commitment on my part down the drain, and he doesn't seem to care.
Except he claims he does, and I won't let him come back home to work on things. So he starts looking elsewhere.
I feel like absolutely nothing. I made my life about him. I don't know who I am without him. I don't know what to do with myself.
Everyday I think about filing. But everytime I think of a reason to wait, procrastinate. He throws me a bone and I feel temporary relief. Until the next bit of evidence comes along to show me he's still that a--hole. I still have access to his accounts, emails - perhaps he knows and he's trying to hurt me. He's done this before. But I've also discovered that he's been using other cell phones and emails I don't have access to, and lied to me about it. This would be my life, should I let him come home. Still in the dark, and I would have to accept it. And I just can't.
But I can't seem to pull the plug either. It feels like I would be pulling the plug on myself as well, into complete darkness. That's how it feels - all darkness, no matter what I do, what decision I make.
Everyday I think about filing. But everytime I think of a reason to wait, procrastinate. He throws me a bone and I feel temporary relief.
Don't be fooled. I wish I had filed the first time I seriously considered it. Id be SO much farther along in the process of ending the marriage. Instead I've pissed around waiting for WH to do the "right thing"/ Yeah - hasn't happened and he already fucked up his first opportunity at showing good faith.
I feel like absolutely nothing. I made my life about him. I don't know who I am without him. I don't know what to do with myself.
BTDT have the t-shirt. I still don't know all the answers, but my IC is helping me learn about who I am without the role of my WH's wife. It gets better, but it's a slow process.
That's how it feels - all darkness, no matter what I do, what decision I make.
I know it's hard to imagine, but a certain sense of freedom starts to emerge - just a tiny bit, the more you get separated from your WS. At least for me it's been that way.
You can do this. It's OK.
Wait for The Lord; be strong and take heart, wait for The Lord.
I feel like absolutely nothing. I made my life about him. I don't know who I am without him. I don't know what to do with myself.
Be your own light.
I will tell you, filing for divorce was the scariest thing I ever did. It was for most of us. In these situations, it's not like the decision is mutual and we can say with honesty that we just "grew apart" but that we'll stay friends forever. It's not like it was coming for a long time and we both knew it. No. Not here. With infidelity, the decision to end the commitment was already made for us long before we ever knew it was even on the table. Our lives were unilaterally changed by the selfish, disgusting behavior of our wayward spouses. And if they remain unremorseful, we simply had no choice but to also end the marriage.
If you want to resign yourself to staying in a marriage full of that abuse toxicity, that's certainly your choice. But, there is no much more out there and you deserve so much better. I know it doesn't feel like it now, but getting out of this will make you free. You will be stepping into the light of your future. If you stay with an unremorseful cheater, you will do nothing but surround yourself with darkness and allow him to chip away at your soul a little bit every single day. You only get one life to live. Do you want his face to be the last one you see before you leave this Earth? Do you want your last thoughts to be, "I should have left him years ago."??
Listen, I had no clue who I was when this all happened. I still go to IC more than 3 years later to try to figure this all out. I'm a professional with an advanced degree and a good job. I have great friends and am not an introvert. At the same time, at the time that my exwh decided to blow up our lives, my world revolved around him and our family. We had little kids and had just bought our "dream house". We were working full time and trying to advance our careers. Everything I did was for my family. If I happened to get a facial every few months, that was a lot and it was what I considered doing something "for me". I didn't have time for hobbies or sports or "me time". When he left, I had no clue who I was anymore or what I wanted to do. It honestly scared the shit out of me.
It's a work in progress, but it's not scary anymore. It's all about baby steps. But, those steps are toward something better. I don't know what just yet, but something better and something that I deserve.
Don't be afraid. He isn't going to change and these small crumbs that he throws you are to keep you down and in the position of weakness. He doesn't want you to come out strong because it's nice and comfy for him right now and that cake that he's eating tastes mighty good.
All of this stops when you say so. We were all afraid; more afraid than probably ever before. But, we managed and, if you make the decision that you know in your heart is right, you will manage too in the beginning. You will thrive after that.
I do feel like I'm taking baby steps. I got him out of the house, to stay with his mother 500 miles away, to have some time apart/alone. I feel stronger than I did after Dday 7 months ago.
But its this desire to just forget, to go back to the past where I was the one in control, the strong one, the one who felt like the relationship was finite and I would one day walk away, because I knew that he wasn't a good partner.
In a way, I was using him I guess. For whatever pseudo security I thought he would provide me. Of course it turns out, he's lazy, unambitious (even though he has tons of talent, connections and potential), and has exposed me to STD risks.
I feel all of these emotions: anger, pain, hatred, regret, sorrow... But if I step back from the emotions and try to be pragmatic, I am stringing him along right now in order to get my ducks in a row and get the best possible outcome.
Emotions aside, realistically right now, he could ask for spousal support. I've been considering telling him if we try and work this out, I want a post-nup agreement. If he refuses, then all of his huffing and puffing about his love for me, and he only wants me, wants help, needs my help etc. have no leg to stand on. Or, I get a post-nup and divorce his ass.
Anyone have any advice, or have post-nup experience? Wordings? Ideas?
Instead of trying to plan your whole existence yet to come without your WH, why not focus on what needs to be done FIRST. What actually needs to happen...this is not the time for big unnecessary changes. Just stick to the basics right now.
The way you are describing how you used to be "in control" sounds like the illusion that a lot of us lived with. I think you're confusing "in control" with "secure", "predictable", "stable"....afterall, if you had control, you wouldn't be here right now, would you?
You get control now by taking action and moving forward. You have to move away from the cycle of abuse.
If you make decisions from a place of fear, you will always LIVE in fear.
Very gently, I don't really buy the whole post nup spousal support argument. That sounds like bargaining. You are trying to convince yourself that it's a good idea to hand over your heart one more time to a repeat liar and cheat because that post nup will protect you. Here's the thing - a piece of paper isn't going to protect your heart, which is the part of you that wrote about feeling nothing but darkness.
If you really want to research the issue, see a lawyer to ask about the possibility of a post nup. Please also think very carefully about what you would be doing. Legally, it might be an ok idea. Practically and emotionally, it's not.
I feel unable to end the marriage for a few reasons.
One is indeed my feelings for him, which as others have mentioned I think is actually an illusion - the illusion of the man I thought he was. I am trying to come to terms with that. But its difficult when I'm still talking to him, when he speaks to me like he used to, the old familiar shoe. Its just small talk, what he's been up to, work etc., no mushy talk, no I love yous (well he's said that to me). In the back of my mind however I'm now constantly wondering which part of what he is saying is a lie, if not all of it, or omission, or trickle truth... Yet I still want to talk to him. I feel upset when he doesn't call. But also upset when I hear from him, when I catch him lying, when I know he's been hanging out with other girls, contacting them late night/early morning while drunk (booty calls?), changing passwords when he said he'd be transparent, hidden contact and deleted messages (I see before deleted), and who knows what else since at this point I've essentially revealed most of my secret access to his stuff by confronting him (though I no longer confront or point things out, as it's a useless struggle, and I know he's just taking things more underground and using other emails, phones, etc!). I just take note, and file it away, and try to pound it in my head that it is yet another reason to get mad and let go.
I also feel disgusted by him. I never want to sleep with him again. Why would I when I have no idea where his dick has been?! I know he attempted to hook up with call girls last month, who knows if he did or not, he would never tell me. Can't trust him whatsoever! I don't want to have to send him for STD testing every freakin month, or myself for that matter.
But I also feel that anger and jealousy, knowing that there are women practically in line to get with him. In my head, I feel like - fine, let them have him, good riddance and good luck. But I still feel that protectiveness of he's mine, this is MY life. But again I know the reality, that it never was truly and only mine, as he's been spreading out his attention our whole relationship. Taking whatever attention (sexual or otherwise) he could get. He says it was because he was molested by his grandmother growing up, and he has issues because of it. Whatever, I could care less about that at this point. He's not taking responsibility, its just another excuse.
Overall, I think it is truly fear. Fear of letting go. Fear of the divorce. Fear of being alone. Fear I will always be alone. Fear of what others will think of me (what he's been telling them). Fear of losing all those 'friends', that are really going to take his side because of who he is and his reputation (famous musician). Fear of the future. Fear of insecurity. Fear he's the best I could get and I'm making a mistake... On and on.
And it's funny because I have always been known as the strong, independent girl out of everyone. Not necessarily a risk taker, but head strong, strong willed. I feel like the complete opposite of that right now. Like I've been totally beaten down into submission. My sister thinks its literally abuse, manipulation. I'm having a hard time taking back control. I don't like where I am or who I am right now. But I don't have a vision of what I could be. Everyone says I have infinite possibilities, infinite opportunities, I can reinvent myself. I just want to crawl into a hole.
I do feel worried about an unfavorable divorce settlement, and its also partially why I'm still talking to him. I'm trying to figure it all out and not knee-jerk react. Yes I currently make more than him. And I've had consults with a few lawyers. All have said he can ask for support. I think that is so ridiculous and unfair. Some people seem to think he wouldn't stoop that low after all he's done. I wouldn't put it past him.
Mostly my family wants me to do it on my own, not waste money on lawyers. I'm concerned that my WH (who is too stupid to do it on his own) will get one anyway and they'll get hard core on me. So then I figure I should just use a lawyer to begin with, but waste the money? I'm considering quitting my job. Or I hope I get fired. I hate it anyway. I only took it because I was trying to better OUR situation, get us health insurance and benefits cause WH said he wanted a family. I gave up owning my own business and a lovely apartment I loved in an area I loved for HIM, all for what. To be cheated on repeatedly while I was interviewing and looking for a new place to rent. And to find out it wasn't the first series of indiscretions. (though I may had never found all this out otherwise, huh?)
You're right though, I know I am bargaining. I am bargaining with myself to justify staying, even if for a bit longer, but I don't know why when I am so disgusted by him... I guess I think practically - maybe the album we just released under the LLC I created will have a song licensed to a commercial, it will be worth it! There's potential! Maybe he'll magically realize that he only needs one women, and if I don't hang on it will be someone else! And of course, my self-doubt speaking here - maybe this is the best I can get!
On top of that, a few days ago his mother (recently widowed) was diagnosed with cancer and is having surgery next week then maybe chemo. Imagine me filing right now and serving him, oh boy would I be the biggest bitch ever, he would tell everyone.
I really need someone to tell me what to do. 2x4 me, go ahead. I've been reading and re-reading and re-reading all of your replies and trying to really digest it. Again, I feel like I've made some progress, but I am still so stuck. Do I tell him to come move his stuff out? File? No contact? Keep talking to him?
[This message edited by alleyk at 11:42 PM, July 1st (Tuesday)]
Here's the thing - you need to really dig deep and figure out what is going to make you start feeling like you're back in control. No one can tell you that but you.
For me, it was filing for divorce and getting his name off of my assets and keeping to NC so I could start to detach. The more distance I had from him, the more I was able to sit with myself and my grief so that I could start to come out of it little by little.
What you're doing right now, IMO, is placing yourself firmly in a state of limbo. He's not doing that. You are. He's not living at home and he's doing nothing, from what I can tell, that looks anything like trying to R. What he says doesn't matter. He's not doing anything. He's not going to IC, or MC. He's not making the efforts to talk to you and tell the truth and give you 100% transparency. He's running away and hoping you will just sweep it under the rug and forget. If you remain in limbo, this is how you will feel - how you feel today - every day of your life.
I would strongly suggest that you get to a good IC to help you sort this out. Life is in turmoil right now. That doesn't mean it won't get better, but there has to be some movement and if he's not going to do it, the only other person who can make the moves is you.
As an aside, don't quit your job and throw yourself into a financial tizzy until you have straightened out the marriage situation. That's like cutting off your nose to spite your face. You want to work so you can support yourself. If you really want to quit because you hate the job, you need to ask an attorney whether a court would ever impute your current income in a divorce. In other words, if you quit a good paying job to work part time in a retail store for a significantly lower wage, you need to know whether a court will use the prior income - the income that you have the potential to make - as the benchmark for a possible spousal support calculation.
Also, I'm a lawyer so I know how we talk. It didn't sound, from what you described, that any of the lawyers you saw said that he would GET spousal support. They said he could try to ask for it. Big difference. Anyone could sue anyone at any time and they can ask for the friggin moon if they want. Doesn't mean they will get it. That's what you need to know - what are the chances that he would actually get support if he asked? If he gets it, how much would he get and for how long?
The bottom line is that you need to rally the troops and get a good support system going to help you through this. You need to think practically instead of with all of your emotions.
If you think about it practically, you will come to the conclusion that this guy is toxic. He's had multiple affairs and it doesn't seem like he's doing much to convince you that he's going to stop anytime soon. You unfortunately are the only one who is going to be able to figure out what to do about that. If you stay, this is your life. If you go, you don't know what's out there, but I can promise it won't be filled with a lying, cheating, unambitious douche who has zero respect and real love for his wife and himself.
maybe I'm just meant to be in this marriage and I should resign myself to the existence I chose.
I shouldn't go back and try (again) to reconcile with someone I know now is a compulsive liar and cheater, possibly a sex addict.
Do you have kids? If not, it will be really easy for you to move. I wish I could have moved, but I can't. I felt the best when I was halfway across the country visiting my friend. If I would have been able to move, I would have.
Marriages that start this way, stepping over the bodies of loved ones as the giddy couple walks down the aisle, are not likely to last.
Thank you, very truly, for taking the time to respond, and for your kindness and insights. I really appreciate it...!
I know, I'm not in control right now, at all. I know that still talking to him everyday right now, even about random day to day stuff keeps him in control, keeps me as 'an option' I guess. I'm still giving him advice on gigs, money, how to reply to people. He's still utilizing me. But we still have this business we own together.
I also feel like talking to him gives ME some control too. Not that he's going to change, but I can still somewhat guide the way things go down. He always takes my advice because he thinks (knows) I'm smart. Even as I'm playing dumb / not bringing up that I know who he's talking to etc., it makes me feel like I am navigating him and the situation to a certain extent. At least until I know and feel comfortable filing and moving ahead with that. If he's playing me right now, I can play him too. And if I can get past the hurt/sadness emotions and get to the anger, then I can navigate the divorce process and come out better for it.
Cause you're right, he's not doing anything to show me he wants me or the marriage. Its like he's waiting for me to come back around, crawl back into the darkness and let him have his cake and eat it too. I can't tell if any of these other women he talks to / hangs out with are "friends", or if he's trying to be romantic with them... perhaps lying about me and where we stand - I probably will never know unless I contact them (and even then they may lie, but worse I look like that lunatic wife that calls his friends!) He's probably telling them I'm a terrible wife, wasn't there for him, he wants out but doesn't know how to say it... probably all the typical crap a cheater tells a OW.
I have been seeing an IC, but I don't seem to benefit much from it. It hasn't helped me make any decisions. In fact I felt more stuck in limbo seeing them.
As for the lawyers, they computed that he could get $1k/mo for 2-3 years, if he succeeds. Chances are he could, just based on incomes, in our no fault state. Of course, I could argue that he has high earning potential himself with talent he's not utilizing because he's lazy and drinks everyday. But that means lots of legal fees and time to fight it through to the end. Someone told me to just file without a lawyer, then if he lawyers up and asks for support etc, then lawyer up too and fight, but wait for him to go that route first. Don't know if that's a good idea...
And maybe this is my gutted self-esteem talking, but I don't feel that smart or capable right now. I hate my job because I don't feel like I'm successful at it. But I don't know what I would be successful at. I don't have an advanced degree. I've bounced from different jobs and industries my whole career, so I have no direct career path. And as I said, I only took this job as a way to get us to a different/better place, I never planned on it being long term, or saw a career path in it for me. I essentially put my chips into my WH, to make him my business (which I have been doing for many years) to be 'our' business, and to make him successful. It was nice to do that for so many years, travel around with him and take care of his business - we were a freakin team. Or so I thought. Now I feel like an old appliance. I don't feel confident at all.
The thing is, some years he made good money, consistent jobs etc. The last few years he wasn't, and it was becoming frustrating that he wasn't stepping up. So I felt I had to. To take one for the team. Turned out he was quite comfortable staying out late, napping all day, and letting me do the work. He told me in MC he was 'comfortable' where we were. Yea I'm sure he was, now that I know he also was getting some on the side.
See, and now I feel angry again! Why can't I stick to that?! I've been rallying my troops (a few close friends and family members) for months now, and they all want me to get out and file. They all see the toxicity for what it is. I do to. But these emotions are so damn hard to get past.
I/we have no kids, luckily. I mean, I know I should feel lucky because that frees me up, gives me more choices. Yes I could move anywhere I suppose, and I've been considering many places. I/we just moved here last year for this job I got (to get US in a better place) and the only thing I can really think of is moving back, to where I was comfortable and its familiar. It won't be the same, and he'll be in the same area. But at least I have a couple friends there, some connections, and could start over. Some tell me that's a good idea, others no. But the idea of staying where I am makes me feel sick, like it's tainted by everything that's happened this past year. And the idea of packing up and going somewhere new, where I don't know anyone, feels like I'd just be more lost then I am now.
But yea, it is a pattern, I just didn't know until 8 months ago (after 10 years)... as I mentioned, he's a somewhat famous musician. More like a semi-well known side guy that has famous friends. And this is how a lot of these guys are. Philanderers and alcoholics, traveling the world with girls/groupies ready for them in each city, with the wife at home taking care of biz. Is that how I want to live? Hell no. I was always under the impression he was loyal and faithful to me. Turns out I was dead wrong. And when I started asking him to step up and be responsible when he was home for a while, he upped his philandering game - told me he thought he could be a gigalo, thought he was losing me and just went out to replace me. Yuck. At first he claimed it was just the one OW, and only time he cheated our whole relationship. Then I found out there were others. Then I found out there were others in the past. Then there were hookers. It's all so sickening I was so naive.
[This message edited by alleyk at 7:18 PM, July 3rd (Thursday)]
Honey, you have already said that you know what kind of life he is going to offer you - nothing but laziness, alcohol, affairs, loneliness, and you doing the lion's share of the real work that it takes to keep everybody afloat. Thank God you didn't have kids with him because, trust me, you would be just like a single mother anyway.
If that is not the life you want, get out. You will find your way when it comes to a job, a career and a home. If you want to go home, go there. If that will make you feel more comfortable, do it. You will not be stuck anywhere - rent an apartment where you have a support system and if it sucks, go back to the drawing board. The point is that you will only have to fend for yourself once you land this plane. That's so much easier than having to carry that dead weight of a wayward you have dangling around your neck now.
Get a new IC - one who makes you feel empowered and helps you to figure out your decisions. Sometimes, the IC you have just doesn't click.
Hire a lawyer. Even if you could handle this by yourself, do you want to? Are you in the right frame of mind to think about paperwork and court appearances and all the what ifs? A big part of hiring an attorney is so that he/she can ease your mind and take the burden of handling the case off your shoulders. Your lawyer will speak with him and/or his attorney. You won't have to talk to him or negotiate with him and have emotional conversations while trying to get the business done. The possibility of a short-term financial hit is no reason not to let a professional handle it and get it done.
You are smart and capable. Keep telling yourself that and keep telling yourself that you are worth way more than your wh is willing to give. This stops when you say so.