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Marriage is the only contract you enter into with no clear understanding of the terms.

We all started that way at one point. And you won't be able to get specific advice from here, because divorce laws can vary so much from place to place. So consult a bunch of lawyers, find one that meshes well with you, and let them advise you on how to proceed. They'll tell you when filing is appropriate. They'll tell you what paperwork is important to have. Gather it up ahead of time before it mysteriously vanishes. Especially anything relating to your ex. Just because you consult a lawyer one day does not mean you are filing the next. But gathering information about the process is critical to your preparation. You may even find there are advantages to not paying down the debt. Who knows yet?

And yes, there are many horror stories about initially friendly ex-spouses turning nasty after the divorce process starts. Think about it. At one point, you never would have expected your wife to cheat. So now, you must acknowledge that you don't actually know what to expect from her in this divorce. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst, as they say.

People can get selfish about custody, and treat the kids like possessions they don't want to share. Money issues blow up like crazy - people would rather spend every last cent fighting and give it all to lawyers than let their ex get one penny. People go into denial. Delay delay delay for years by not providing key documentation. Hide assets. Make false domestic violence claims to try to get an edge in the process. The person who wants the house might damage it to drop the value so they can afford it. Or if the house has to go on the market, they might hold up the process of getting it ready so they can live in it as long as possible. Etc.
You know there’s also one other thing that happens a lot when a bs decides to D his WW. The WW accepts it and declares herself free to do whatever she wants! Going out with “friends” to bars, clubs, GNO, till early mornings. Neglecting kids, house, responsibilities...

T, you think you can handle seeing your stbxw stumbling in at 9am after being dropped off down the block by some dude?
 

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Discussion Starter #342
I don’t know. A lot of people said this before the poly. it didn’t happen.

I guess I will find out. I’m pretty worn out with the whole situation and pretty cynical.

also I don’t see a lot of daylight between what I’m posting on SI and here. It’s all but identical.

this is from my last post there:

Bottom line: She can read here if she wants. She's isn't going to gain some major new insights. I told her how I felt about wanting a divorce. That's where I'm at.
Post the letter.
 

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Discussion Starter #343
@Thumos

UGH! So much to cover and so little time!

#1 - You know how it was an epiphany that your WW slipped in "afternoon delight" and it was easy to fit it in, and all-of-a-sudden you realized like scales had fallen off of your eyes that "Holy Smoke it would have been this easy to do it with AP too!"? Well let me give you another epiphany that is going to blow your mind: you will NEVER, EVER be able to figure this out as long as you keep thinking about it logically and reasonably, because I can tell you with 100% conviction that while a person is actively involved in an affair AND as long afterward as they continue in that foggy, self-centered style of thinking, there is no common sense or logic to it. You keep trying to look for reason (Why is she doing <blank>? What reason does she have for saying <blank>?) and thinking there will be some reasonable reason that will make you understand like "OH! What THAT'S why she did that! Ah ha!" But in real life, being a wayward is completely illogical. I can say that because I was one, and trust me, I'm as logical a female as you'll ever meet, and I lost my ever-loving mind! Now I don't mean I was insane or mentally ill, but it just was not "reasonable." In fact, everything about adultery is very UNreasonable! So note to self: stop looking for reasonableness in crazytown. She is not thinking logically.

#2 - If the day ever comes that she does become a person suitable for reconciliation, you will be able to tell. Usually there is some life-changing event like a death in the family, a medical scare, a car accident--something that is a deep "come to Jesus" moment that CHANGES the inner core of the person, and it's not an instantaneous change, but it will be obvious that the fog is CLEARING. Usually, after the life-changing event, the person WANTS to change and be better, and they'll head straight to therapy or support groups or something to become a better person ON THEIR OWN BECAUSE THEY WANT TO! For example, some of the unreasonableness you have now will start to change to more and more and more REASON. There will be a clear DIFFERENCE in the person, and as an example, you would see her start to comprehend that her actions didn't "wound" you (from which you can heal....) but rather they "KILLED" you (can't come back from the dead). You'd see her act in a way that helps your triggers because she has compassion for what she put you through! Etc. If there has not been a life-changing event, then it is right and reasonable to continue to think that she has not changed and will continue "as is."

#3 You asked:


Okay to clarify terms: a therapeutic separation is like a healing separation or a trial separation, in that it's for a specifice timeframe and an agreement between the two to work on XYZ while they live apart ... in your case in order to achieve certain goals before divorce while living apart. There is no legal ability to enforce anything. You can write up an agreement "We agree to do this and that" but if one spouse chooses to just ignore it, there's nothing you can do. Since you'd still be legally married, just living apart, the law of property rights, etc. would be as if you are married.

A legal separation would mean the two live apart, and there are court orders that say "while you live apart, Spouse A does A or pays for A...Spouse B does B and pays for B" and there is a legal ability to enforce it if one spouse acts contemptuously because a court ordered it.

Finally, I don't know of ANY separation that can prevent a spouse from pre-emptively filing for divorce. @Thumos, essentially you'd have to believe the promise of a person who has spent the last four years destructively lying to you to the point that your marriage is destroyed...and giving you the wisest advice I know to give, I would not advise believing the "agreement" of a known fraudster. In fact, I would say to trust just the opposite: that whatever is agreed on, you can depend on that agreement to be a lie. I don't have a trust issue--I trust 100% in her dishonesty. What I DON'T trust (reasonably) is her honesty!



Then I would recommend a separation (let's just call it that), and you agree to move out of the marital house for your own personal recovery, and you agree to continue XYZ bills and pay down the debts, and you agree to 50/50 custody and nothing less...and then have that read by an attorney and legalized in court. I would recommend doing that immediately.



Okay--that seems potentially reasonable. Pursue separation then. The only distinction I'd make is making sure there is some legal piece to it, because if she does decide to get nasty and not live up to her promise, if there is something legal, it can be "enforced" by the courts. This way it's not YOU "being unreasonable" and expecting her to live up to her promise--it is SOCIETY telling her that she is expected to do as she promised.
AC, I agree about there not being logic involved but if you read some of the cruel things she did to him I think that shows her heart. I mean read the first page of that thread, I really believe this women is a narcissist of the worst order. I don't think she has the ability to get it and 3 years with all the anecdotes he has written about proves it.
 

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Sokillme asked me to post my wife’s message to me from yesterday.

This came after we talked at length earlier this week about my desire to separate and divorce.

I will say this is not sudden or completely new. She’s written a number of things like this over the past few years. So it’s not like she had a sudden epiphany - this is important to know bc some may have the impression she is hitting the panic button. That may be but probably this letter from her isn’t indicative of that.

Here it is:

Can we carve out time this evening to talk about how you were feeling this morning? I know we just talked all night and I know nothing has changed. My expectation is not to solve. That’s not what I mean. If you want to talk about exactly the same things that’s fine. Or different things. I welcome your suggestion that we get back into dialoguing as well.

We need to be done with rug sweeping (which is exactly what you said. I need to be done with moving on each day as if I’m not seeing the excruciating pain on your face like this morning. When I see it and I feel it, it needs to be talked about. Over & over again. You need that freedom and deserve the expectation that I’m willing to have as many conversations as long as needed. It hangs heavy in the air and feels suffocating.

Not that talking is going to magically “solve” anything but if it gives you a certain period of time where you feel “release” and “relief” from your pain that’s my goal. My expectations are realistic and specific as to the end game here. You’ve made it very clear and I appreciate your honesty.

Even through your pain & anguish you are being honest with me and protective of my feelings in that you are not sugar coating how you see our future. It’s a gift I do not deserve and it is precious to me that you still have enough respect for me to be brutally honest. I have to get to work now. I hope your day is productive and calm. I love you.
 

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You know there’s also one other thing that happens a lot when a bs decides to D his WW. The WW accepts it and declares herself free to do whatever she wants! Going out with “friends” to bars, clubs, GNO, till early mornings. Neglecting kids, house, responsibilities...

T, you think you can handle seeing your stbxw stumbling in at 9am after being dropped off down the block by some dude?
Yes. I mean if she goes down that path it just accelerates the process and I would document and lean in and push for primary or sole custody.

I think she sees herself as too “mature” psychologically to do that but I’ve been proven wrong before
 

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I'm also going to ask about a therapeutic separation agreement, which would then give us an egg timer for when a mediated settlement would be finalized. My understanding is it is or can be legally binding if the spouses agree, but is different from a trial separation -- and allows the betrayed to move out of the home without giving up property rights etc. It also prevent wayward from filing for D preemptively or at least that would be my hope based on what others here have warned about WW's going ballistic.

The home has been a nightmare trigger for me these 3.5 years. Normally, the wayward would move out of the home, but in the case where the betrayal happened in the home, it is recommended for the betrayed to be out and away. This would be a relief and a sojourn for me while the rest of the details then could be worked out.

My final thought is that a therapeutic separation could be framed somewhat differently for the kids and allow us to walk up to the idea of divorce without the shock and awe approach.

I think the time for shock and awe has passed, frankly. If I was going to do that, it should have happened in early 2017.

I would also think this type of therapeutic separation would protect me from the false DV scenario we always hear about, since I wouldn't be in the home.

I don't know if anyone has any thoughts on this or has heard of one.
I moved out of our marital home only after we signed a “pendente lite” stipulation. This way, my actions have no affect on the outcome of custody or marital property. I had to get out of the house for my own sanity and safety. Now I look like the ‘good guy’ to the court for doing so and protecting the kids from more arguments between mom and dad. So you can get out too, without fear of jeopardizing your assets. Just do it right. Also, I know you want an amicable divorce through mediation, we all do. Just know that just because someone agrees to mediation, either party can opt out at any time for any reason. Just be prepared for the worst. Even though you see it as 50/50 custody, no alimony and an even split of the assets, even if the law is on your side, I guarantee she sees it differently. That disconnect is what causes the divorce to become, more often then not, contentious. You’re not even factoring in the ‘vindictiveness, scorned wife’ role she will play because you ended the marriage. That will crop up also, especially after she speaks to her female friends about what a sht*ty husband you were all these years.
 

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Discussion Starter #348
So the letter doesn't say much. She is open to talk. Sounds like her words are basically mirroring your own. I think your plan to separate makes sense. At some point if you are going to do this you are gonna need to look forward, and stop looking back. Really I know it feels like it, but looking back isn't going to make the pain go away. It is obviously still there as she mentions it.

Even if you had a brain scan and knew exactly all the things that happened that isn't going to make this better. In fact it works like a rash, you think that scratching it makes the itch goes away but it's temporary and it is worse afterwords. You really do know enough.

She did because she could and she wanted too.
Her personal pleasure was more important to her them you or your family, and pretty much still has been.
They did it as many times as opportunity and desire let them but once was enough.

That is probably the best you are going to get, and trust me this is enough.

Dude there is a great life awaiting you. There is peace of mind, hope, joy, contentment. But it's not in looking behind, it's in having hope for your future.

Your wife is not the only women in the world. The world is full of very good ones.

Continue to give yourself the courage to have hope for your future.

Look it happened, it was terrible, but 3 years or mourning is enough.
 
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1. Pedente lite is great practical advice. Had not heard of this before.

2. I'm also talking separately to someone who did a therapeutic separation agreement to avoid a charge of abandonment. His situation was a lot worse than mine and his wife had conducted a year-long affair.

3. I do have several witnesses where's she said if we divorced, she would not seek alimony. I'm not sure that matters and I don't expect this forum to provide me with legal advice, but it's an interesting data point. I would think it would be difficult to seek alimony considering that.

3a. Also she makes the same income as me and may in fact make more this year. Nota bene she DID NOT make as much as me 3 years ago. So in that sense, I feel vindicated for sticking it out. Where I live, if it's a 50/50 custody split there is no child support. There would be no empirical basis for a judge to grant anything but a 50/50 split.

4.
Dude there is a great life awaiting you. There is peace of mind, hope, joy, contentment. But it's not in looking behind, it's in having hope for your future.

Your wife is not the only women in the world. The world is full of very good ones.

Continue to give yourself the courage to have hope for your future.

Look it happened, it was terrible, but 3 years or mourning is enough.

Thank you sokillme. Great pick me up and I needed it this morning. I do know (or sense) that I will be much better off physically and mentally being on my own. For one thing I won't be in the home where all this happened. I won't have to see the POSOM on a regular basis (the chances of the affair rekindling are slim to none - the OM has too much to lose financially at this stage). I just had to see him again yesterday driving around town, and of course I triggered hard.

And regardless of whether she loves me or I love her, I won't have to be around the human source of all of my pain 24/7.

I know there are plenty of quality women out there. I've already met them. I know I could set up at least one or two dates almost immediately if I wanted to. I'm not sure I will right away. As you say I've been processing this for 3 years, but some time to be in solitude and also focus on being a good dad would probably serve me well.
 
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Probably why failed poly?
Maybe. Who knows.

There are a lot of possibilities about why she failed the poly on the sex question. The mind can develop an endlessly spooling movie reel of possibilities. One other tangible possibility is that she accepted his invitation to come to an empty townhouse his daddy owns on a certain night in question. I have slowly sussed this out. She denies it, but it seems likely.

As sokillme pointed out below, I've really been torturing myself for three years about this for no good reason. It's unlikely I'll ever get the real story. I think that's ChumpLady's point - that at some point you gotta cut your losses in this kind of thing and stop choosing to be entangled with a disordered person who would do this to you in the first place.

By the way I've read ChumpLady's book twice so it's not new information for me. As you can tell, I'm a bit of a paralysis by analysis personality as well as a perfectionist. Two really bad qualities for getting trapped in limbo.
 

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Discussion Starter #351
1. Pedente lite is great practical advice. Had not heard of this before.

2. I'm also talking separately to someone who did a therapeutic separation agreement to avoid a charge of abandonment. His situation was a lot worse than mine and his wife had conducted a year-long affair.

3. I do have several witnesses where's she said if we divorced, she would not seek alimony. I'm not sure that matters and I don't expect this forum to provide me with legal advice, but it's an interesting data point. I would think it would be difficult to seek alimony considering that.

3a. Also she makes the same income as me and may in fact make more this year. Nota bene she DID NOT make as much as me 3 years ago. So in that sense, I feel vindicated for sticking it out. Where I live, if it's a 50/50 custody split there is no child support. There would be no empirical basis for a judge to grant anything but a 50/50 split.

4.



Thank you sokillme. Great pick me up and I needed it this morning. I do know (or sense) that I will be much better off physically and mentally being on my own. For one thing I won't be in the home where all this happened. I won't have to see the POSOM on a regular basis (the chances of the affair rekindling are slim to none - the OM has too much to lose financially at this stage). I just had to see him again yesterday driving around town, and of course I triggered hard.

And regardless of whether she loves me or I love her, I won't have to be around the human source of all of my pain 24/7.

I know there are plenty of quality women out there. I've already met them. I know I could set up at least one or two dates almost immediately if I wanted to. I'm not sure I will right away. As you say I've been processing this for 3 years, but some time to be in solitude and also focus on being a good dad would probably serve me well.

You want to know a shock. There is going to come a point where you see that guy and it won't cause pain or even trigger you. Now you will want to punch him in his face but you won't feel a sense of loss like something was stolen from you. At that point you will accept that your wife is who she is and it would have happened eventually.

I don't think you should run out and date if you don't want. It make sense to get adjusted to your new life. See what that brings you. It's OK to believe it might be something really great you know. Stranger things have happened.

Peace will be enough. And I promise you will get that.
 
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Thumos, I’m really pulling for you through off of this. I was you up until a year ago. Filed in December. It’s hell on earth, but thinking about infidelity is no longer an issue. Like someone just wiped it from my brain. I’ve got my life back. I’m enjoy myself again. I’m happy. I’ve got my friends back, my income back and I have a gf whom I enjoy spending time with who never cheated on me. I hope you get your clarity soon brother.
 

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Thumos, I’m really pulling for you through off of this. I was you up until a year ago. Filed in December. It’s hell on earth, but thinking about infidelity is no longer an issue. Like someone just wiped it from my brain. I’ve got my life back. I’m enjoy myself again. I’m happy. I’ve got my friends back, my income back and I have a gf whom I enjoy spending time with who never cheated on me. I hope you get your clarity soon brother.
Amen brother. People just don't realize this fact. When you divorce them, you just don't care anymore who she is screwing, who she screwed, how many times, none of that.

You just don't care. That is a great place to be...
 

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3. I do have several witnesses where's she said if we divorced, she would not seek alimony. I'm not sure that matters and I don't expect this forum to provide me with legal advice, but it's an interesting data point. I would think it would be difficult to seek alimony considering that.
Her chatter is not anything close to a binding signature on a legal document. There are lots of precedents and legal guidelines about who gets or doesn't get alimony, and what she mentioned socially doesn't have anything to do with it.

3a. Also she makes the same income as me and may in fact make more this year. Nota bene she DID NOT make as much as me 3 years ago. So in that sense, I feel vindicated for sticking it out. Where I live, if it's a 50/50 custody split there is no child support. There would be no empirical basis for a judge to grant anything but a 50/50 split.
Her making the same money as you, or more, is the key factor about if she can get alimony or not. Document her income - make copies of her pay and tax info before you lose access to it. Be prepared for her to drop her hours ("oh, I'm under so much stress, I can't work full time anymore") or even quit entirely, to make her income seem smaller.

I'm curious - is she putting the same amount of effort into paying down the debt as you are right now? You realize that if she's spending her income on herself, and you're spending yours on joint debt, you aren't doing yourself any favours.
 

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If you two earn the same amount and share custody 50/50 then there probably will be no spousal or child support. There would be no reason for it.
 

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If you two earn the same amount and share custody 50/50 then there probably will be no spousal or child support. There would be no reason for it.
Unfortunately, not in NY. Spousal support goes by income, so yes. However, child goes to the parent that gets residential custody, even if that parent makes more money than the other and the visitation is 50/50.
 

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Maybe. Who knows.

There are a lot of possibilities about why she failed the poly on the sex question. The mind can develop an endlessly spooling movie reel of possibilities. One other tangible possibility is that she accepted his invitation to come to an empty townhouse his daddy owns on a certain night in question. I have slowly sussed this out. She denies it, but it seems likely.

As sokillme pointed out below, I've really been torturing myself for three years about this for no good reason. It's unlikely I'll ever get the real story. I think that's ChumpLady's point - that at some point you gotta cut your losses in this kind of thing and stop choosing to be entangled with a disordered person who would do this to you in the first place.

By the way I've read ChumpLady's book twice so it's not new information for me. As you can tell, I'm a bit of a paralysis by analysis personality as well as a perfectionist. Two really bad qualities for getting trapped in limbo.
Damn, Thumos. Nearly half way to a thousand posts in less than two weeks over here, and really nothing has changed since the post-poly conversation with your WW.

I think what is most frustrating for posters both here and SI was your lack of willingness to place the onus of reconciliation on her, rather than you carrying it. In other words, if your wife were truly remorseful, she would be willing to crawl a mile through broken glass bathed in saltwater to earn your trust. Those seem to be the only reconciliations that not only survive, but actually thrive.

But let's face it: you have no idea if she would do so because you weren't willing to make her do so. Rather, you have gone through some modicum of threats and saber rattling. And her response to those threats has been to complain that the glass shards will cut her, and that the saltwater will burn. You have to hand it to her: she knows how to work you.

Notice the phrasing: "will". "Will"...because she won't. Or maybe it's "can't", but in this situation, it matters little. They are synonymous.

This leads us to what we (including you) all know: she ain't worth it.

So what is really left in all of this? Sure, you are paying down debts, getting your ducks in a row, etc.

You have to understand, however, why one would be reasonably skeptical of what you are now doing given this has been a 3 1/2 year debacle. Count me among them.

Frankly, Thumos, I still hear fear from you. I posted something similar to you in SI some time ago. Until and unless you address your fear, little will change. Furthermore, you will never truly have healthy levels pride and self love until you are willing to make the hard, yet necessary choices despite your fear.

Love yourself enough to refuse to tolerate the intolerable.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

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I'm curious - is she putting the same amount of effort into paying down the debt as you are right now? You realize that if she's spending her income on herself, and you're spending yours on joint debt, you aren't doing yourself any favours.
Yes she is. We are being very aggressive with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #360 (Edited)
Yes she is. We are being very aggressive with it.
I think she knows the writing is on the wall. Don't be surprised that she detaches very quickly. In a sense she detached a long time ago.

Loyalty is never a WS's thing.
 
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