Just responded to the papers my wife served me. Need advice on how to proceed.
On D-Day, I caught my wife's car parked in front of a male coworker's house. This was a coworker I had put a firm boundary around, telling her she can only have a professional relationship with him, no hanging out outside of work. She lied to me about who she was hanging out with this night as well as another night about a month prior where she also hung out with this coworker for 4 hours when she told me she was getting a "quick drink" with different coworkers. She didn't know I knew about any of this. When I confronted her, she immediately came clean about hanging out with the male coworker alone, but didn't say anything about being at his house. I didn't tell her what I knew yet because I wanted her to come clean on her own. The next day, she said she wants to separate, but wants to stay living in our house with me. Here, I finally told her about seeing her car at his house. She still denied it a few more times before coming clean. I told her to get out of the house and she did.
We talked a few times in the next couple weeks. In an attempt to be honest with me, she said she had thought about cheating while she was at the coworker's house, but didn't. It doesn't really matter if she did or not, my trust in her is completely broken and it was AT LEAST an emotional affair since I caught a glimpse of some flirty text exchanges between them way back in January. Even now, she still denies ever having an affair of any kind (SERIOUSLY?!). Finally, after talking for a couple weeks about our relationship, she determined that she did not want to put in the work necessary to save our marriage and said we should split up for good (I responded with "can I help you pack?"). She filed for an uncontested divorce so we can try to keep things cheap by not hiring lawyers. She didn't actually serve me until I told her to. So she did, I responded to the court, and now we're in this holding pattern.
Now, she's been coming by on her lunch breaks from work to grab things out of our house which I will be living in. She said she will run everything by me that she wants to take, but she hasn't actually done that yet. She already took a floor lamp and a handheld vacuum without my knowledge.
We also have two cats which she has said she wants both of (because she thinks she has less stability in her life right now due to not having a home to live in even though she has living arrangements with her girlfriend, even if they're very temporary), whereas I want one cat for emotional support through all of this instability that she has created, the same reason she wants them. I told her that her blowing up our marriage on purpose and serving me papers is what has caused this instability, that's why I want one of the cats (at least temporarily to see if they can be ok being apart), that our family and friends feel this instability too, and that her actions have consequences. Her response was that I want to separate the cats as a way to punish her, that I just admitted as much, that I've been spreading lies about her to our friends (which I've only revealed to them that we're getting divorced as well as some minor details. Nothing fabricated, all facts), and that I'm talking down to her like a child when I talk to her about consequences. WTF is going on?!
So, I contacted a lawyer firm this morning and am waiting to hear back from someone. I can't take any chances with this woman I used to call my loving wife to honor what she says about everything being amicable because she's always at the house when I'm not there and has already been putting up a fight regarding the cats. She could do whatever she wants every day while she's there so I need to cover my ass.
First off, because she still denies ever having an affair of any kind with this coworker, is there anything I might be overlooking? Next, should I contact my wife to not only tell her about me hiring a lawyer, but also to try to clear the air about her accusations towards me - trying to punish her, talking to her like a child, and spreading lies about her? I could say something like "You can believe whatever you want, but I need to speak the truth regardless. The truth is blah blah blah and that's the truth whether you believe it or not". I also am contacting my mortgage company to refinance, pay her off, and get her name off of the mortgage. Is there anything else I should be doing while we're in this holding pattern?
62 comments posted: Thursday, December 2nd, 2021
How does anyone stay in a serious, committed long-term relationship and marriage? Part rant, part reflection, and part serious q
I'm in the process of divorcing my WW (though she still doesn't admit to having any kind of affair) so I'm feeling lots of anger, sadness, confusion, and obviously in pain and will likely be in this state for some time, but maybe you lovely people at SI can help me out with this.
Seriously, how do people do it? People, by their nature, are so fucking fickle and volatile that they can just be like "I'm out of here" out of nowhere despite telling you they love you. That's why I think the phrase "I love you, but I'm not in love with you" is such bullshit. When it comes to romantic love, saying you love your partner means you're IN love with them. They mean the same goddamned thing! If you don't love me, then you're not in love with me, PERIOD. Is that me trying to apply logic to explain away an emotion? People are chaotic and are growing every which way all the time that it seems like there would have to be some cosmic miracle in order for people to be married for 50+ years nowadays. Are traditional things like marriage and lifelong monogamy going by the wayside? Maybe it's society that's given people the idea that LTRs are becoming obsolete, that vows are bullshit (which I'm inclined to believe now because they're just words), that you can cheat and shatter someone's heart, but that's ok because there's another bus every 15 minutes. Everyone's replaceable, no one really matters, and every man and woman for themselves. I hope this bitterness doesn't stick around.
Up until this divorce, my main love language was "words of affirmation". Now, I realize that talk is cheap. I was never much of an "acts of service" guy, but I am now. Fuck words, SHOW me you love me, not just say you do. Of course, her lying about who she was hanging out with on D-Day, having one-on-one time with her male coworker alone in his house, and lying to me about it all wasn't my fault (I can't call it an affair though because my sweet, caring, loving wife won't admit to such a thing. Did I mention that already?), but it's my fault for not seeing my wife's ACTIONS that communicated that she didn't want to put in the work necessary for our marriage to thrive. She kept saying that things between us were great and that it was my jealousy, insecurity, and anxiety that were messing things up. Even when my spidey senses tingling that some fuckery was afoot and driving myself crazy over it (due to her gaslighting of course). I don't want to be pointing the finger at my wife for everything. I want to grow and become better. I know I wasn't perfect either, but overall, I thought I was a pretty good husband, though my wife might disagree. My wife's words and actions weren't congruent, but come on, she's my wife, the one person whose words I should believe because there's blind trust there for that person and they have the same for you. That kind of trust is fucking beautiful to me, almost sacred.
Fuck, she needs to stop living rent free in my head now. WE'RE GETTING DIVORCED! IT'S FUCKING OVER! GET OUT OF MY HEAD, JESS!!!
It may be hard to believe given that I just had that outburst, I'm a pretty gentle, sensitive soul. Maybe society is what instilled that into me. A Nice Guy, perhaps. I got soft, lost my assertiveness, didn't prioritize myself enough, and got complacent in my marriage. I'm sure that happens to the best of us, but maybe I let it go on for too long and my wife lost attraction for me. I must have lost my masculine edge along the way, which led to her loss of attraction and her ultimately checking out of the marriage before I had a clue. I did give her countless opportunities to communicate with me about it, but she didn't take them.
I'm 34 in a few weeks. We were only married for three fucking years and she didn't want to work on things when the first big hurdle in our marriage presented itself. When the going gets tough, she gets going - grade A marriage material there. In the aftermath of D-Day, she said she's questioning vows and the whole of marriage as an institution. I feel like a fool. How could I have misjudged someone that I was with for a third of my life? How can I trust myself with looking for red flags and judging whether or not future partners will be long-term material or not? I don't know what's fucking real anymore!
Speaking of not knowing what's real, maybe I need to find God or something. My wife and I are pretty agnostic, but every successful marriage that I know of thus far has some religious element to it. God seems to give them direction, purpose, and a rock solid guide to how one should show up in their marriage and life.
I could go on for hours making this post, but there needs to be an end at some point. How do people stay in successful LTRs and marriages for the rest of their lives? I'm at a loss for so many things right now, but this question is bugging me.
7 comments posted: Wednesday, December 1st, 2021
How much time is enough to figure out if WW to figure out if she wants to salvage M?
Edit: Oof, I should have proofread that title before posting lol
I had a whole long thing typed out giving our backstory, but maybe I can really distill it and ask a more general question instead...
DDay was two weeks ago with the relationship slowly deteriorating for the last year due to WW not communicating that anything was wrong the entire time. She says she needs time and space to figure out what she wants. I argue that she has had a year to figure that out and an additional 2 weeks since DDay. How much more time does she need? I'm mid 30s and not getting any younger. I'm not going to put my life on hold and stay in limbo for someone who doesn't want to work on the marriage as much as me or someone who STILL needs time to figure stuff out. I have better things to do with my life.
What do you guys think? How much time is enough to give to a WS?
67 comments posted: Tuesday, November 9th, 2021