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Guilt of divorce

Hiker posted 6/10/2020 16:41 PM

Has anyone felt justified in wanting divorce yet felt guilty at the same time for knowing the devastation it will cause to family, friends, life?

I don't believe my wife even accepts the idea that is where I am headed and in fact when I wanted a no contact separation in February she insisted we do an in house separation instead. COVID, loss of business equity and subsequent drop in income as well as college children coming home kind of put a stop to everything. Now I am wanting action again.

I will admit I don't hate my wife, still very much like qualities about her but due to 23 years of crap I have no romantic feelings for her anymore. I just want to move on but can't determine if guilt is some kind of warning sign

Thanks for the input

EllieKMAS posted 6/10/2020 16:54 PM

Divorce IS a disruption. No mistake about that. Especially when you've been with someone for a long time, the thought of changing the status quo is jarring. I don't think it is abnormal or bad to really stop and think about that and even have second (or third) thoughts.

Couple things - I think that giving people are naturally more prone to overthinking when the decision is something like this. Make sure that you are thinking of YOUR feelings and not family and friends. They are all gonna feel some kind of way, but their feelings are not your responsibility. Be concise and factual about things, but you don't have to protect anyone's well-being but your own.

Also, my advice is... if you're done? BE DONE. Rip the band-aid off and get it over with. I think too many times people fall into the trap of maybe - "maybe if I stay things will change" "maybe I can just...". I may be alone in this thinking, but I personally see no point in pussy-footing around once D is the thing. Get it done as quickly and amicably as possible and move on down the road.

Sorry you're having a rough spot, but I think your feelings are normal. Just take care of yourself.

Hiker posted 6/10/2020 17:14 PM

Thank you for that. Sadly it wasn't until 3 years ago and found out she was still in contact with original problem and knew this while I saw how she worked me that I finally had enough and started disconnecting with her.

All together been married 28 years and our kids have no problem idea. Not born when it started and too young to know during some of the worst of it. All now 20+ years old

Okokok posted 6/10/2020 17:39 PM


EllieKMAS is a bit more accurate: it's a disruption.

I'd even go easier and just call it a change.

When I walked this walk, I felt the guilt for a while, but it dissipated pretty quickly. Life got a bajillion percent better.

Can't speak to the adult kids thing...others may have better experience. But just be your standard, honest, strong self, and they will be fine. That's what they want and need from you, after all.

nekonamida posted 6/10/2020 17:41 PM

Ellie is right. To add to that, your family and friends are not the ones who have to live with her day in and day out. Their input matters a hell of a lot less because they don't have to live with the daily consequences of staying when you no longer want to. Additionally, it doesn't even sound like you have had confirmation that the A ever ended. If so, you've potentially been sharing your WW for 3 years. Gross if true.

The biggest thing you have over your WW is the truth when it comes to family and friends in a D. Be honest with everyone. Bring your kids together and tell them why you are separating. No need to give them all of the details but they are adults and will appreciate you telling them the truth. Honestly, you have no idea what they know and it's probably a lot more than you think given their ages during the A and how long the A went on for. They may be keeping your WW's secrets from you like you are from them. So don't go into this thinking they will be blindsided and devastated. They may be relieved. The best thing you can do is support them, remind them you love them, and don't interfere with their relationship with your WW from this point forward because they have the right to also feel angry and betrayed. She affected the whole family when she cheated and whatever they may feel about that will be just as valid as your feelings and should also be treated as something they have to work through and not suppress.

Hiker posted 6/10/2020 17:58 PM

All good thoughts and input thanks!

I am sure the kids don't know. They weren't born when this started and the oldest one was in 3rd grade when it resurfaced and we tried counseling. I confided in a friend about it before 2017 and they were shocked. Thought we were one of the best couples they knew of. In public and privately we generally get along quite well. With everything that's happened I have no trust for her at all and that killed everything. It's amazing how not telling someone you love them, not holding their hand, not celebrating anniversary etc changes your connection with them. I know there will be strong ripples and know I will be blamed- but as you all have said I just have to move forward.

That's what I was trying to do with the no contact separation but basically my wife refused. Then COVID joined us

Hiker posted 6/10/2020 18:09 PM

Also to respond to knowledge of affair ending. First she really never has admitted to anything to begin with. A long time of gaslighting me and me accepting it. Second- in 2017 we were struggling over a new person that I found out about in 2015. I thought the original jerk was gone but in 2017 I found out she was still in contact with him but using different means which is why I hadn't found out. So yes, at that point 2 different guys/situations were on the table and she was telling me I just couldn't let things go. Basically making me think I was crazy.

That's when I shut down. Didn't feel the need to look for any more evidence. So I have no idea where things are today. She screwed up in April of last year again and it lit me back up since other issues with other things had kind of quieted down

Phoenix1 posted 6/10/2020 19:07 PM

Has anyone felt justified in wanting divorce yet felt guilty at the same time for knowing the devastation it will cause to family, friends, life?

Sure! I was absolutely justified in wanting a divorce, but felt lower than a snake's belly with guilt at the idea that I would be the one to knock Xhole off the pedestal our DS (adult) had him on his entire life. I KNEW it was going to emotionally devastate DS (and I was right).

HOWEVER, I also knew that my own emotional health and well-being was just as important. It was killing my soul (literally) a little every day I stayed. The writing was on the wall and very clear it needed to be done regardless of the fallout.

Don't regret that decision one bit. Taking that initial step was the hardest part. The rest fell in place over time. LOTS of time.

Hiker posted 6/10/2020 19:32 PM

That's what held me back so long right or wrong. But in 2017 having info ahead of time and seeing first hand how I have been worked changed everything. Ironically one other thing I have found out is when one door of knowledge opens then a key is given to the next door and so on.

The information/knowledge overload can be overwhelming but it truly changed everything for me. With new vision I went back and looked at everything and boy did I see things differently. I went from thinking it was sporadic problems to realizing it was almost the whole time period just different degrees

The1stWife posted 6/10/2020 20:36 PM

You need to give your ejfhpermission to say “this is no longer the relationship I want and I choose to D rather than cheat”.

There should be NO guilt. You gave it your best. It just no longer works for you. It’s ok to move on.

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