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Does financial disparity give a WH more power?

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Northerngal posted 10/31/2019 07:10 AM

If I had walked out or served my wh early on he would have gone after me like a pit bull. Because he was so into projecting all his bad choices on me. For a period of time, everything was my fault. His image was important. Lying was necessary because I was unhinged (so unhinged he left 3 children with me 24/7 without ever check8ng on any of us). I wasnít supposed to find out, so that would have angered him and he would have punished me. He didnít even like the ow, but she was easy and willing and had her own $$ play going on.

He has said that keeping that mind set was the easy option. He was raised by a mother like that, she flits around from shiny to shiny. Always the hero or victim, never at fault. Blaming me was easy and I took it. Telling himself something new and shiny was better than the mess he had made at home. I was fucked when he was behaving like that. Like a child he would have punished me for his choices being exposed and being shitty. But he did the work and took all accountability. But initially? He would have gone apeshit to ruin my ďcushy, spoiled, ungratefulĒ life. He was nuts at being found out and for being a punch line. When he saw the mow for what she was, he became the angry victim ďhow dare she use me when Iím bigger and smarter and the one using herĒ. It was a scary time, and I went into it already broken and weak by months of mental abuse and gaslighting and lies. So my ability to react with strength was totally hobbled.

I think some cheating spouses stay in that mindset and punish financially etc. And live bitterly. ďNot my fault that I cheated etc, sheís a crazy bitch, do you see why I had to leave/cheat/whore/hide money? Sheís nuts! Poor me.Ē do agree that a betrayed breadwinner having to give half of retirement etc to a cheater is awful. Itís part of the lottery that getting married is. But so unfair. Iíve made sure my name is as a business partner on everything and he willingly did it. So I own as much as he does should we divorce.

cocoplus5nuts posted 10/31/2019 07:33 AM

There is a financial disparity, in general. Women are more likely to end up living in poverty with their children after a divorce, even with child support. Things are improving in this area for women who have professional careers, but not for women with low paying jobs or who are sahms.

hikingout posted 10/31/2019 08:46 AM

My sister and I are not close, but when this question came up I thought of her. Years ago, her husband cheated (it was proven to be EA only). She has imbalances already - anger, anxiety, depression. I have never been to a holiday at her house where she doesn't explode and tell everyone off and kick my mother out.

I say all that because if I had really taken her seriously when her H cheated 5 ot 6 years ago, I would have understood she wasn't being crazy about that aspect, and that her response was actually on par with anyone who had been betrayed. It would have been a yielding factor for me in many ways, to understand the devastation it causes, but to me this was just more of the same obsessive and over the top stuff that had always been there. I regret my advice to her and not being there for her better.

BUT, what made her not divorce him was he was the breadwinner, and they still had two kids at home to raise. She would never have been able to afford the car she drove or the house she lived in even with spousal or child support.

However, a lot changed since now and then and while she still has a lot of mental issues that she has to address with medication and therapy, they actually are super solid and both very happy they didn't get a divorce.

In my situation, H and I actually are quite blessed in the income department, and in the investments we have made as well. Neither of us would have suffered at all financially if we had gotten a divorce. And, while I didn't have that reason, there were other reasons at the beginning that were not ideal as to what kept us together. We both feared what it would mean for our adult children. We both had a lot invested, had a pretty easy going marriage before and didn't want to throw it away. But, make no mistake, neither of us were doing it because we had any warm fuzzy feelings. I am pretty sure that for a long time, he didn't even like me any more much less love me.


So, what I am trying to say is, in some cases, sure that might be what keeps people together at first, but I don't know that it stays that way long term. For others, I am sure it does stay that way long term and then the children are raised and people go in their own direction after that. There are all sorts of glue in a marriage that it doesn't mean that it's always a bad thing that one of the glue sources kicks in for some time stronger than another - IF the couple can come out the other side and both be happy in the situation moving forward. I am sure financial restraints keep some people married long past the point of healthy in many situations - but that happens with infidelity and without.

[This message edited by hikingout at 8:48 AM, October 31st (Thursday)]

Rideitout posted 10/31/2019 09:56 AM

he didn't even like me any more much less love me.

TJ, but I wouldn't necessarily assume that. I never "didn't love" my W, not at D-day, not when she was lying/TT, and not in my worst moments of despair and pain. I absolutely f*cking HATED what she did, both to me with the A, but also throughout our marriage. The only thing that kept me here was that I never stopped loving her. I think it's somewhat common (not you personally, but for some) that the WS "falls out of love" with the BS, but I certainly hadn't fallen out of love with her. Yes, she was acting sh*tty to me, and our marriage was crumbling, but not because I didn't love her.

hikingout posted 10/31/2019 10:05 AM

Oh, I didn't quite mean it that way, RIO. If my husband and I didn't actually love each other I don't think that we would still be together. He has in fact shown me the greatest gift of love by staying with me and trying to work through this.

I think he did love me, I think there were times he was certainly angry and he didn't like me. It doesn't bother me or him to talk about it that way, after 20+ years of marriage we are both clear that the "warm fuzzy" feelings of love can kind of go back and forth, but neither of us define the "warm fuzzy feelings" to be what love really is. There are peaks and valleys with every relationship without infidelity. So that's really what I was referring to. The confusion and dissonance of some of the earlier times past DDAY.

My entire point was that in the beginning there are often (not for everyone) different reasons we point at as to why we need to stay and stick it out. Financial, kids, religious views, feeling like we owe it to ourselves to see if it can be worked on (this was largely ours) They evolve as time goes along. For my H, I think feeling vulnerable now to say he stays because he loves me is a beautiful thing. I had numbed myself so much I couldn't really connect to everything for some time, but that was never about him or what he had to offer me. Once I was able to really get everything back and out look at it, I would have been devastated to have lost him. It would have changed the course of my life for the worse, and that has nothing to do with money or anything else other than he is truly who I want to spend my life with.

I guess this was a long winded way of saying, sometimes financial is a reason people stay, but as long as that doesn't keep being the reason sometimes ANY reason can result in a happy ending. It doesn't always happen that way, but it can and does.

[This message edited by hikingout at 10:15 AM, October 31st (Thursday)]

Thanksgiving2016 posted 10/31/2019 10:08 AM

Yes it does. And he knows that when he decides to cheat. I believe he also uses it, ironically, as a reason not to D during the cheating.

36yearsgone posted 10/31/2019 10:42 AM

I think the issue, at least in the short term, is how financial disparity affects the choice to divorce or separate.

Certainly the SAHM, BS, can go to court and may be awarded child support or alimony. Then they have to collect.

There can be a lengthy amount of time between actually receiving CS or alimony. In the meantime, the Female is at D-day and beyond, trying to decide what to do in light of her spouse's affair. If she doesn't have the finances she may be forced to remain under the same roof, in an abusive situation (at least emotionally), with little hope.

ramius posted 10/31/2019 11:00 AM

In my area, home of Microsoft Starbucks etc. Prenups, post-nups, any-nups are becoming more common.

Techie guys coming up in the field are hitting the point of making some money. But they see what their middle management and upper management bosses Iíve gone through with divorce. They are wising up and not putting all of their future assets at risk with a bad contract (marriage)

So they are either paying lawyers a lot of money to get strong agreements (itís expensive to write a prenup that holds up) or they refuse to marry.

Not a great way to start a married life, but what choice do they have at this point?

hikingout posted 10/31/2019 11:16 AM

There can be a lengthy amount of time between actually receiving CS or alimony. In the meantime, the Female is at D-day and beyond, trying to decide what to do in light of her spouse's affair. If she doesn't have the finances she may be forced to remain under the same roof, in an abusive situation (at least emotionally), with little hope.

I can appreciate what you are saying, but I would say that there would be an equal pull for many of these women towards what they might feel (could be misguided) in terms of keeping the family unit in tact for the children as well. So, even if they had inherited money or had a wealthy parent to get them back on their feet, the conflict of ending a marriage is much greater than that because the next stipulation can and would kick in. In my situation, my BH had none of the obvious ones, but had the self imposed vision of just not giving up. I think we can't assume that when the finances ARE there that they wouldn't choose to stay anyway using some other criteria.

The truth is this same thing applies to the WW's. I get that they are not the victim, but as BFTG pointed out many, many of our WW's are SAHM's. I believe some of them had exit affairs because they didn't have the means to leave a situation they should have left with out the affair. I am not condoning their affair, I just see a certain percentage of them as feeling a bit stuck with a severely unhealthy BH.

And, I would say many who R'd or is working on R on this board has felt they were still "stuck" or "sticking it out" for reasons that aren't financial but aren't the idealist's reasons for staying. But, in those cases where the work was done to the individuals & relationship many could feel satisfied with the result. It really depends on how you feel about R in general to how you might project your feelings onto what keeps others together. We have some who didn't R that assumes it requires rugsweeping. We have some who didn't R that it wouldn't have mattered to them if they had to go live in a cardboard box. There are others that R here and you wonder why it is they keep trying. And, there are many who are here, reconcilied, and glad that whatever the reasons were at the beginning that they changed.

[This message edited by hikingout at 11:18 AM, October 31st (Thursday)]

hikingout posted 10/31/2019 11:35 AM

Also letís not forget there are many, many bhís here who openly say they can afford to pay child support and live in their own and also donít want to see their kids less. So itís not a situation just women face. While I agree women are more in this position than men in frequency, there are men here experiencing the same exact thing.

36yearsgone posted 10/31/2019 11:39 AM

Also letís not forget there are many, many bhís here who openly say they can afford to pay child support and live in their own and also donít want to see their kids less. So itís not a situation just women face. While I agree women are more in this position than men in frequency, there are men here experiencing the same exact thing.

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true

KonaGal posted 10/31/2019 11:42 AM

I think the issue, at least in the short term, is how financial disparity affects the choice to divorce or separate.

Certainly the SAHM, BS, can go to court and may be awarded child support or alimony. Then they have to collect.

There can be a lengthy amount of time between actually receiving CS or alimony. In the meantime, the Female is at D-day and beyond, trying to decide what to do in light of her spouse's affair. If she doesn't have the finances she may be forced to remain under the same roof, in an abusive situation (at least emotionally), with little hope.

How many women don't have their own bank account with enough money to put an attorney on retainer? A decent amount. There are a lot of up front costs with getting a divorce.

KonaGal posted 10/31/2019 11:46 AM

My STBXH earns 2.5x what I do. He'll be paying me spousal support for a few years and child support for longer, but that is also finite. Sure, we'll split marital assets, some of which because he earned more than me he put more money into. But when all is said and done, he'll still be way better off than I will be. I strongly disagree that just because the flow of money will be toward me that I have more power in this situation.

Thissucks5678 posted 10/31/2019 23:12 PM

I was a SAHM. It was the worst decision I ever made. I think it absolutely contributed to resentment and a power imbalance in our relationship. Since Iíve started working full time again, I think my WH has a much greater appreciation for everything I did when I was a SAHM. He had no idea how much I took care of lol.

When dday hit, it was definitely one of the many factors I took into account. There were so many and we have some assets that I thought I would be ok, so it wasnít a deciding factor, but I took it into account.

cocoplus5nuts posted 11/1/2019 06:40 AM

then the children are raised and people go in their own direction after that.


Lots of Ms end at this stage for many different reasons. A lot of people stay in unhappy Ms until the kids are grown, even without infidelity as a factor.

A BH who has the means to leave and chooses to stay, even if it's for less than ideal reasons, still has a choice. Many BWs, especially SAHMs, don't have that choice. I'd like to hear from SAHD BHes. I think there's probably still a disparity there because men have a higher earning potential and, usually, don't get full, physical custody of the kids.

I stayed initially because I didn't have enough money to leave and didn't have anywhere to go and I didn't want to completely flip my kids' lives. That didn't really have to do with keeping the family unit intact. My kids had been homeschooled all their lives. Never been to childcare or school of any kind. Never even had a babysitter outside of family.

If my kids had been in school, I would've kicked my fch out. If I had been working, I would've kicked him out. Because neither of those were, I was stuck. I did start working on a 5 year plan to leave. It worked out for me wrt R, though, so I'm still here. Although, I'm not quite at 5 years.

HO, you could go back and apologize to your sister now.

Loukas posted 11/1/2019 07:10 AM

A BH who has the means to leave and chooses to stay, even if it's for less than ideal reasons, still has a choice. Many BWs, especially SAHMs, don't have that choice.
You could have put your kids into school. You could have gotten a job. You could have left for less than ideal reasons. You had a choice. You chose not to. Donít use your kids as an excuse.

Striver posted 11/1/2019 08:19 AM

My ex WW does great. Of course, she married her AP. Two incomes now. Three actually, he retired from his cop job and doubtless has a full pension. She is still SAHM. With less momming now that kids are in school and not with her 3 days a week. Which is her preference. Stands to inherit a lot of money too. Me not so much.

I suppose with no fault WS stand to do better, as they are the ones choosing to have the A. Bad finances, just don't have the A. BS don't have that choices.

hikingout posted 11/1/2019 08:35 AM

Coco,

I know the SAHM thing is a real reason, I wasn't really debating the validity of that. My point was really - sometimes no matter what the reason to stay was it can and often does change.

Not for everyone, but my point is there are numerous reasons that aren't the ideal "I am staying because I love him/her", in fact I think by reading here that seems to be more the minority of posters at least right after DDAY. It isn't a predictor of having a successful R or a happy marriage later. I wasn't really debating the validity of the reason or whether it was real or not. I would offer that for *some* of these women, maybe not you and maybe it's even a minority, that with little kids even if they could go back to work the reason they would begin to question it would be about not breaking up the household for the kids. I think that the decision to end a marriage is a really hard one to make and it makes people ask themselves a lot of questions. That's why I used my husband as an example - not because I thought it was the same - because I thought that even he who had none of these restraints found a reason to concentrate on. (He wouldn't again in the future because cheating or any sort of lying would make the decision clear to him). In other words, I think it takes a lot of clarity to go through with the divorce and a lot of people don't land on that clarity right after dday - and as a result some of these marriage end up making it. If everyone didn't have something holding them there, we would land on something like a 90% divorce rate after infidelity, and that's just not true.

Many of the men are not SAHD's, but do not make enough income to keep two households running. Their wife who cheated are SAHM's, and while some might say "well go to work" or whatever sometimes she still will not be able to contribute enough where his spousal support/child support is taken down enough where he can keep the lights on at both homes. We have a lot of men here in that situation, as well as an added big group of SAHM's over in the WW forum. So, I think there are a lot of BH's here who are in the same position as some of the SAHM's in terms of being able to leave their cheating spouse.


I have apologized to her, but she doesn't know about my A. She is unstable, and my husband doesn't want for her to know about it.

[This message edited by hikingout at 8:36 AM, November 1st (Friday)]

36yearsgone posted 11/1/2019 09:45 AM

You could have put your kids into school. You could have gotten a job. You could have left for less than ideal reasons. You had a choice. You chose not to. Donít use your kids as an excuse.

Loukas:

I don't think this is necessarily true. Every person's situation is unique.

Charity411 posted 11/1/2019 15:06 PM

You are asking specifically if it gives Wayward Husbands more power. I guess in my head the short answer is yes. The more complicated answer is how did the betrayed wife get there.

In my generation when we were young and stupid and decided to get married and start a family, we did that operating under assumptions that society has handed us. An idealized vision of the family unit where dad earns the living and mom stays home and creates household bliss. And all is right with the world. Until it's not.

I did not want to be a SAHM. My reasons were a Phil Donahue special on divorce in America, and my own mom that cemented my point of view. The special was about no fault divorce taking over and divorce rates skyrocketed. I remember it featured a woman in her late 50s who had been left for the OW. She had never worked, lived a very nice lifestyle with her husband raising their 4 kids, and now was left abandoned trying to find employment and living in a tiny apartment.

My own mom didn't work, and never learned to drive. My dad took care of all the finances and gave her a weekly allowance to buy groceries. Then my father dropped dead when I was 19. I watched my mother devolve into chaos. She'd never written a check in her life, had no idea where any paperwork was, and couldn't drive. She was in her mid 40s. I vowed I'd never be either of those women.

I think when anyone, female or male, decides to forego learning the skills to earn a living, they are giving up their own power. They're not necessarily giving it to the WH or WW. They are just giving up their own autonomy. It's almost like you are agreeing to be the appendage of another person. Appendages can be replaced, but they are useless not attached to what makes them work.

I am in no way critical of anyone who decides the to be a stay at home parent, which is largely the reason betrayed spouses on this site feel powerless to leave. Being a single parent is very hard financially. I did it. I just think that when you decide to do that, you need to rid yourself of the notion that having a plan B, whether that's your own bank account that you keep funds in for a rainy day, or keeping up with your skill sets so you have options in the event of disaster is somehow disloyal to your spouse. It's smart, not disloyal. And in this generation women have more options.

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