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Hi everyone. I have a long story I'd like some feedback on ... my wife of 12 years has been engaged in an EA to an old love for six months now; they exchange 500+ text messages a month, she spends all her free time at the computer,

My wife has a history of abusive behavior, rages, etc. and my oldest is a special needs child which is affected by much of this. Prior to the affair she said she felt trapped here and told the kids she was going to leave... she's been very emotionally unstable. We've had CPS come visit in the past due to her leaving marks on him during a scuffle, but then had the investigation dropped when they said everything was fine.

I have seen some of what she's exchanged with the OM, sending pics, him saying he'll explode when they finally get to have sex, discussing finances, and worst of all *how they'll raise our boys ** ...aka MY kids.

Since the CPS visit and the start of this affair she's done a 180 and is suddenly the role model mother, and I think she's either afraid of jail or the OM is helping her manipulate the process... I'm glad for the kids sake, but now I'm stuck in a holding pattern fearing that if I file for divorce the courts will give the kids to her anyway because the chance of sole father custody is low, and I am absolutely repulsed at the idea she wants to introduce this creep as a father figure.

.. I can't prove the abusive rages aside from old journals -- it's been six months since her last episode and the kids are starting to forget the old her. I would change jobs or even take a break altogether to raise these boys by myself without this nonsense, but I recognize they need a mother too... I'm stuck in this permissive awful day-to-day where I don't confront what we both know is going on, while the clock is ticking and she may pull the plug at any minute.

In the meanwhile, to further complicate things we have recently moved to the US, and while waiting for our green cards she is on a visa that will "expire" the minute we get divorced (but the kids ones won't). Good for me, bad for the kids..., or maybe not I don't know. I also am required to travel for work (about 20%) which obviously would have to go.

She has toned down the affair somewhat and even said that she is capable of staying together "just for the kids"... I don't know if she is just buying time, or what but in any situation she's either leading him on, or asking me to be permissive.

I have read the dobson book "love must be tough" and agree with the principles, yet taking a stand could lead to the kids being under the influence of the OM even more than now.
He's treated his soon-to-be-former-wife like crap and is leaving her for my wife even though my wife hasn't officially committed to going yet - he pressured his wife into two abortions, is openly hostile and messed up in ways I won't go into yet.

Anyway, I really don't know what my chances are that I could get custody of 4 boys when they are so young, but also am not willing to live permissive of an affair like this, and so goes the merry-go-round I've been on for the last six months... My every waking moment is sick with the options in front of me - they're all bad.

ideas?
 

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Go see an attorney and take those journals, hide them. While most fathers don't end up with 100% custody, these days neither do mothers. Your situation is complicated with the visas. However, two people I have known that recently got divorce ended up with 50/50 custody and if either parent is to move out of the county forfeit those rights. You may also be able to prevent her from leaving the country with those children. You need to know what your rights are.

If the OM has any record of violence, it could be used against her. The soon to be ex-wife could be an ally for you too, perhas you should try talking to her.

In any case, I think you need to see what you can do to get those kids away from her and only an attorney can tell you if that is possible but I doubt they will give her 100% custody, they'd have to have a reason for that. Staying in this marriage doesn't seem like and option and guess what? She's using those kids against you!
 
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