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Coming to terms

looking2future posted 5/26/2020 11:33 AM

Wife and I have been married for 10+ years and have 3 younger kids. A few months ago I found out that my wife had been having an emotional affair with her coworker. I have no idea how long it had been going on prior to that. When I first found out, there was evidence I found to prove that there had not be, at that point, anything physical between them. They both work for the same company but different states so they do not see each other frequently. Since DDay, she took a work trip to the city he works in but I have no idea if anything physical has happened. After I confronted her on DDay, I have been dead set on one thing: she cuts all personal communication with him. She has gone back and forth telling me how much she wants our marriage to work but also how she does not want to lose him as a friend. Still I reminded her that any communication was a deal breaker for me. Cue 3 months later, several promises that she has cut all communication for good this time, countless lies, and many discoveries of them still being in communication, here we are today.

After 3 months of her telling me that she wants our marriage to work out but then turning around and talking to her AP, I have decided that I have had enough. I have talked to several different lawyers and gotten a lot of advice but this weekend I am finally going to confront her with the fact that the only way forward for us is divorce. I am scared of what the future holds but I know this is the best decision I could make at this time. It is hurtful to know that her actions have not only destroyed our family, but also the family of her AP. The fact that they would choose their "friendship" over their own families.

I am scared to what her reaction is going to be when I ask for a divorce. She has always had the personality to get mad when I am mad about something. This is a response I can only figure is a manipulation tactic on her side to force me to not be mad. I have always been what I consider a people pleaser and it makes me anxious when someone is mad at me. I have been making good progress recently in getting over that anxiety but I worry it will be an issue in the future with her. I am also worried that I won't have the strength to move forward with the divorce if she tries to make an actual attempt this time. I know it is not true remorse but it has been hard to get over all those previous feelings I had toward her.

I have been out of the dating pool for so long, I have no idea what that even looks like. There is going to be a while before I am officially divorced but I am trying to remain positive on what the future means. In the meantime, I am going to be focusing on me and my kids. Determining what makes me happy and fulfilled. I am hoping that this time around, I can be a bit more picky on who my next partner is but I want to make sure I know what I want out of the relationship.

hcsv posted 5/26/2020 11:53 AM

Ex told me that AP was his friend and always would be.

I told him he was going to have a friend and not a wife because I wasnt going to be the third person in my own marriage after 35 years.

Ex wasnt going to all of a sudden stop sharing the intimate and most personal details of our marriage and family. with her. I wasnt going to live like that. I wasn't going to have her all up in my business and pretend like it's all ok.

I'm sorry that you find yourself in this situation. But I think you are doing the right thing. It doesnt mean you will eventually divorce but it does show her you are serious and wont accept him in your life or marriage.

Hedwig posted 5/26/2020 11:54 AM

I think you are doing amazing. There will be more people posting with advice soon, especially about the divorce and I can't do that since I was never married.

One thing I do want to say, though, is that I know there are a lot of women out there would love to have a faithful and caring man, who knows his own weaknessess (people pleasing) and is actively making progress in those areas. But heal first, please. No need to rush into things, I believe we are too vulnerable right after divorce/seperation.

All the best.

J707 posted 5/26/2020 12:55 PM

Wow! I gotta say, you're handling this well so far. 3 months is not that far out. You'll get great advise here from people who have walked this path. My ex was like yours, hated confrontation or accountability and switched it around to me. So you already know how shes most likely going to react. This isn't you're fault at all. Nothing you did or didn't do caused this. Be prepared for gaslighting, rewriting of the marital history, lies and blameshifting, especially if she always turns it back onto you, this will most likely happen.

Above there is a fear vs. reality. I recommend posting in there as well as here. She's willing to lose you for a "friend". No remorse, so far. Sometimes once they get hit with divorce papers they realize it's serious and wake up, or not.

Don't worry if you go the divorce route too and don't jump into anything right now or in the distant future. You keep focusing on yourself and your kids, they will need you! Don't worry about dating or what that holds. A good man with good values is an asset, focus on that later.

looking2future posted 5/26/2020 13:55 PM

Thanks for the kind words so far. It has taken me a lot of heart ache and pain to get to where I am so far today. I still have my good days and bad days but most of what keeps me going when I am down is to remember the lies and deceit she has done. Helps me to realize that she is not the person I married. She has become someone completely different in my mind, someone whom does not deserve my commitment and respect.

I am not planning on dating anyone for quite some time. I have joined a few local groups with similar interests as me to get out there and meet some new people. I know that it is going to be a long and difficult journey, but I also can see myself happy again when it is all over and that is what matters most.

Catwoman posted 5/26/2020 14:05 PM

At this point, since your mind is made up and you are seeing that this is your only option, what do you gain by "asking" her for a divorce? You can go ahead and file the paperwork and then present her with a fait accompli.

I would go ahead and get my legal ducks in a row, file and then let her know that you have filed and ask her how she wants to receive the paperwork (be sure you know if you can or cannot serve her and what constitutes proper service). If she's going to use anger as a manipulation tool, take the tool out of her toolbox now.


PS: I wouldn't worry about dating right now. You'll want to get settled and stabilized first and that will take a while. Are you in IC--I recommend that as well.

josiep posted 5/26/2020 14:36 PM

Keep a few things in mind as you work your way through this. You have been betrayed. That betrayal nullified the marriage for all intents and purposes. You now owe her nothing. Nothing at all. Not respect, not kindness, not courtesy, nothing. Now, knowing the type of person you are, I know you will continue to be decent toward her but the point I'm getting at is, you don't owe her anything and you must make all of your decisions based on what's good for you (and by extension, for your children). You should exercise, perhaps go into individual counseling, eat healthy, hang out with your kids as much as possible, visit your family, take your kids to visit family (to the extent possible in view of the virus), learn a new skill for work or for a hobby, start a new activity with your kids, altogether or as individuals. IOW, stay busy by focusing on yourself and your kids. What your WW does is of no concern to you - she's decided to be a free agent, she's made her choice and now she gets to experience it. Wish her well on her new life and move on.

You don't need to talk to her about the divorce, just have her served with Divorce papers and then tell her whatever she wants to say can go to your attorney.

fooled13years posted 5/26/2020 14:49 PM

It would appear as though she has made her decision

countless lies, and many discoveries of them still being in communication

and now it is okay for you to make yours.
she took a work trip to the city he works in but I have no idea if anything physical has happened

I am so sorry to tell you this but it is more likely than not that she went there to take the relationship, and that is what it is, to the next level.
I have been out of the dating pool for so long, I have no idea what that even looks like

Don't even think about that for the near future.

You need to concentrate on yourself and your children now.

When the time comes for you to think about dating again you will know what to do.

Bigheart2018 posted 5/26/2020 15:12 PM

Dear looking2future,

Iím very sorry you found yourself in this situation. You are receiving some good advice to consider by the members here on SI (both male and female). I have one point to add for your considerationÖ. Please donít let FEAR overtake your mind and heart. Stay strong toward the goal you have chosen with strength. Stay true to yourself and your kids!!!


[This message edited by Bigheart2018 at 3:12 PM, May 26th (Tuesday)]

HalfTime2017 posted 5/26/2020 16:01 PM

L2F: it took me about as long as you to wake up to the situation brought onto us by our unfaithful spouse. As you continue to move forward, it will be clearer. You're still early days.

As for telling her, you don't tell her shit. Don't share anything with her. If you are going to D, she is now your enemy. Who shares their battle plans with the enemy? NO ONE.

I'd suggest you also get your ducks in a row, meaning all the financial details, custody details and documents that need to be wrapped up with your attorney and get things right and complete. Then, you just serve your wife. No need to warn her. She never warned you about potentially having an affair did she?

I was also married for 10 yrs, but I was late 30s when this all went down. Being a father does NOT hinder your dating prospects at all. So don't be concerned about that for now. Just focus on the kids, finalizing your D, and the whole dating thing will work itself out as you get back out there and do things you enjoy.

Lastly, b/c you have issues with confrontation, I would handle things thru your attorney or email only. There is really not much need to discuss the affair any longer. Just the details of the divorce, which should be handled by the attorney or email so that you can start documenting everything to your advantage. If your ex gets mad, you should in advance of all this get a VAR on your body. Don't let her hang a DV on you.

Cooley2here posted 5/26/2020 16:10 PM

Does his wife know? I hope she does.

looking2future posted 5/26/2020 19:24 PM

Yes, the AP's wife knows. I found her on Facebook and told her everything and provided her with the proof she needed.

LadyG posted 5/27/2020 23:43 PM

I had no idea what an EA was until reading this forum.

Any EA is damaging. Itís really the ultimate betrayal. Itís the hardest part of the A that I am struggling to come to terms with. STBX WH has had far too many of these and most led to PA.

Had I known about the EA, I possibly would have been DIVORCED sooner. Hindsight... you obviously have some Foresight and I commend you for being determined to end this now. 🙏🏼

Catwoman posted 5/28/2020 06:35 AM

Regarding EAs, there is a school of thought that says an EA is merely a PA that hasn't had the opportunity to become a PA. In many cases, that's pretty accurate.

Just food for thought. Adults generally want to take relationships to their logical and physical conclusion.


looking2future posted 5/28/2020 07:11 AM

Cat, I am very aware that if given the opportunity it will (maybe has) turned physical. I know this because of what I read between the two of them which is also how I know there had not been anything physical up until that point.

I guess to me, especially at this point in time EA vs PA does not make much of a difference at all in my desire for a divorce. If it were to turn into a PA before the divorce in finalized, I am not sure I would even want to know.

looking2future posted 5/28/2020 08:34 AM

The past few weeks I have been so strong and determined that divorce is the only way forward. While I still know that to be the case, I had a bit of a set back yesterday. I was talking to my wife over the phone and basically saying that we need to have a heart to heart this weekend. Based on her responses I have a feeling she is also going to be telling me that she wants a divorce. While I should be ecstatic that she feels the same way, as hopefully we can do it as quickly and easily as possible it really hurt. It hurt to know that she is not going to be hurt about me wanting a divorce. I wanted her to feel a little bit of grief and remorse for what she has done and the pain that she has caused. It is upsetting to me that might not ever happen, that she just gets to move on with her life like this is just a phase for her. Maybe I am over thinking this whole situation but I want to be mentally prepared for the conversation ahead. I do not want to show her "weakness" or show her how much I am hurting inside because of what she has done. She is not deserving of those emotions from me.

Stevesn posted 5/28/2020 09:18 AM

Just like you canít control her actions you canít control or potentially even know how she feels.

What she says and feels may be two different things.

I understand the pain caused if she also wants a divorce. The thing is, she is fooling herself. I donít know if the AP is also divorcing and they expect to be together soon, but I doubt it is that cut and dry. But even if that does happen, I promise you, that life together for them will not be the bliss they are looking for and someday, if not today or this weekend, she will realize that she made the wrong choice.

And when that does happen, I hope you are so far down the path of happiness for yourself and even with someone else, that you donít care anymore to know it.

You are on the right path for someone with an unremorseful wayward spouse. The moment you start the D process is the moment you start to get your life back.

looking2future posted 5/28/2020 09:24 AM

Stevesn, Thank you so much for your reply. That is exactly what I needed to hear this morning!

josiep posted 5/28/2020 11:59 AM

Naturally, you should handle this however you feel is right but I want to remind you that you owe her nothing. Nothing. You do not have to sit down and have a conversation with her and it's probably better if you don't because you'll come out of it hurt. I can tell you right now that she'll have rewritten your marital history and she's going to paint you as the evil one who has destroyed her life and caused her pain and unhappiness. AND, she'll tell you that she's been feeling that way for a long time. In fact, she'll do her best to convince you that those bad things you've done are what caused her to look elsewhere for validation. It's all Textbook Cheater 101. She'll cry and you'll end up feeling guilty and maybe even sorry for her. And then she'll tell you she wants all of your money, 100% custody of the kids and your pension.

Truly, there's nothing to talk to her about. Just go see a lawyer, find out the system there for filing for divorce and the likely outcome for your situation and what things you need to do to prepare. Sometimes it's wise to transfer marital savings accounts into just your own name for the time being, for fear that she'll empty them out and leave town. Protect yourself. (edited to add: I did this and sent my STBXH a note showing the transaction and the new account number and told him I wouldn't touch any of it until the divorce was resolved. I reminded him that he could trust me but sadly, I couldn't trust him anymore and I especially couldn't trust the 3rd person he'd introduced into our marriage.)

It's usually good to pick your attorney wisely. Talk to some friends or coworkers and ask who's the most skilled divorce attorney in your area. Have consultations with all the best ones because then they can't represent her if she tries to hire them.

There are thousands and thousands of us who have walked this path and trust us, we've seen it all and I'm pretty sure every betrayed spouse on this website would agree: Do Not Trust your STBX. Don't take the chance. This is now a business transaction and your lawyer will handle the details. You cannot handle the details because you are emotionally vested. Let your attorney do it all going forward. Tell your attorney you want everything you can get. I went for 70% of our assets and got it. I don't feel guilty at all because I'm 70 yrs. old and I need financial security. He's got his Whoreen to share expenses with and so I need more. And, as I told my kids, I won't live any differently than I ever did and if the day ever comes that he's desperate for money, I'll give some back. But in the meantime, it's under my control to protect my life, health and future. Because the sad truth is, no one else is looking out for you so you need to do it for yourself.

I really think you should avoid talking to her because nothing good is going to come from it. I can also guarantee you that anything you say to defend yourself will be met with scorn and get blown off. Nothing you say will get through to her, she's closed off and has built walls to keep you out. Sad but true. And the weird thing? It all has nothing to do with you, it's all about her and her sick self. A sick self that you can't fix but you sure as heck can protect yourself from.

[This message edited by josiep at 12:02 PM, May 28th (Thursday)]

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