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Hi Everyone. I'm new here. Here's my story. I married my real first love a 30 years ago. Ours was the 'match made in heaven' type of love and I loved him immensely. To this date he is the only man I have ever loved or have been sexually intimate with.

He is a very affectionate man, technically skilled, tall, dark, handsome and well built, one who takes good care of himself and our home, and has many other positive attributes. He is very supportive of me and lends assistance whenever I need it. He often says that there isn't anything he wouldn't do for me. If I ask him to jump his answer will be ' how high?' He believes that he loves me immensely. We get along well. Arguments are rare.

There is one big problem. He is a cheater. I confirmed it with his 'first affair' 17 years ago. That devastated me. He was very remorseful and I forgave him and tried to heal. A few years later when I was just starting to complete my healing, I discovered a 'second' affair. He was more attached in this one than the 'first' one and it resulted in him leaving home for about 2 years, to 'sort himself out.' He didn't move in with her. He just said that he needed time to end the relationship and reflect on himself. During this time I filed for a divorce. At the first notice from my lawyer he suddenly 'woke up 'and quickly returned home. He apologized for his actions and promised to do right going forward. By then I had lost my love for him. But even though I had filed for the divorce, I really wasn't ready, due to family, emotions and other things. So I didn't go through with it.

I tried to give him another chance to see if we could rebuild love and trust, but in the ensuing years, I saw tell tale signs of inappropriate behavior (if not full blown affairs). He would explain them all away.

But recently (this week)I found evidence of a full blown affair which he is having at present. I confronted him and of course he denied it but that doesn't matter because I have concrete evidence. I'm not hurting about the affair because I am no longer in love with him. I told him that I will be divorcing him.The prospect of divorce weighs heavy on me because divorce, with all it's facets, is BIG. He doesn't want the divorce.

I want to wait until after the holidays to visit my lawyer. We continue to be civil towards each other as we always have been, but it's awkward. I can see that he is starting to get depressed, and my emotions are all over the place, but I'm fairly stable. So I need some advice. Should I get to a lawyer as soon as possible so that he can be served as soon as possible? Or should I wait for the next 6 weeks as I had planned. Are there pros and cons for either? Thanks!
 

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I am sad that you didnt end the marriage after the first or at least the second affair, especially as he basically left you. Interesting that he always appears remourseful if he thinks you may end the marriage and then cheats again when you dont do anything. You say he would do anything for you, except be faithful, truthful and respectful it seems.
I would do it now and if possible separate if you can. Ignore the fact that he seems low, he has had many years to stop cheating, its all on him. Dont let him plead, swear he will never do it again or in any other way try and manipulate you into carrying on this charade of a marriage.

Get it done now what is the point of waiting? In 6 weeks it could be well under way and you can get things sorted out sooner.
 

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There is one big problem. He is a cheater. I confirmed it with his 'first affair' 17 years ago.
I stopped reading when I got to this sentence. The words "first affair" and "17 years ago" told me all I needed to know. Why on earth you've wasted all these years on a serial cheater is simply beyond me.

And for the record, don't use the word "remorseful" to EVER describe a serial cheater. They lack the ability to have remorse and wouldn't know what it is if you shoved it down their throats with a shoe horn.

Call your lawyer. Today.
 

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You've already moved on. So what's the point to delaying moving on? It would be torture for both you and your STBX to prolong things; you're sending signals, he's getting depressed. Both of you need to move on and if you think about it, the sooner he starts his own grieving process, the sooner he'll be over it. I say this because it doesn't sound like you want to torture or punish him, and his character is such that he's a serial cheater and not someone anyone should marry, but who knows, facing the music could be good for his future as well.
 

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Sadone, thanks for responding. You are right. I know he won't change I don't expect that at all. I think I'm a bit naive when it comes to men. It took me this long to decide to divorce because I couldn't understand any of this. I thought that there was an answer and a solution but there are none. It's all about being slick, tricky and manipulative and those are pervasive behaviours. So I fear that with that personality, the delay can cause him to do damaging things the likes of which I have no idea. Plus, because we have remained civil I don't want him to think that I'm backing down. In addition, the waiting will be stressful for us both.

At the same time, it's the holidays and I'm very busy, and I don't want to spoil the season for my family including my mum and siblings. It is going to devastate them all because I have never shared my marital issues with them. They believe that we are the perfect couple.
I stopped reading when I got to this sentence. The words "first affair" and "17 years ago" told me all I needed to know. Why on earth you've wasted all these years on a serial cheater is simply beyond me.

And for the record, don't use the word "remorseful" to EVER describe a serial cheater. They lack the ability to have remorse and wouldn't know what it is if you shoved it down their throats with a shoe horn.

Call your lawyer. Today.
[/QUOTE Thanks for your advice! I know it sounds insane but I was trying to figure this out. It took me a while to understand the personality of a serial cheater. He is otherwise such a nice person that I could not understand the evil in his character. So for the sake of my children and my sanity I forgave and pressed on through the pain in the hope that he had only made a mistake and was looking to turn things around. These ppl are super manipulative. I was very attached to him. It was hard to detach and it took a long time. Couldn't force it.
 

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Sadone, thanks for responding. You are right. I know he won't change I don't expect that at all. I think I'm a bit naive when it comes to men. It took me this long to decide to divorce because I couldn't understand any of this. I thought that there was an answer and a solution but there are none. It's all about being slick, tricky and manipulative and those are pervasive behaviours. So I fear that with that personality, the delay can cause him to do damaging things the likes of which I have no idea. Plus, because we have remained civil I don't want him to think that I'm backing down. In addition, the waiting will be stressful for us both.

At the same time, it's the holidays and I'm very busy, and I don't want to spoil the season for my family including my mum and siblings. It is going to devastate them all because I have never shared my marital issues with them. They believe that we are the perfect couple.

Congratulations, it sounds like you have made up your mind and you have decided upon a path forward. Good for you.

I would like to make a few suggestions. Get yourself to a medical clinic and get tested for any STI's right away. You are absolutely correct in that your soon to be Ex can only change himself and only if he wants to.

As to the Holiday's, for many of us, they are being put on hold this year due to Covid-19. If you go to family events, ask your soon to be Ex not to attend. When your family asks simple be honest and put on a brave face and tell them that you and your spouse are having difficulties in your marriage. If they try to tell you everything is OK, ask them if they have ever needed to be tested for STI's because of the actions of their spouse? That should get the point across without explicitly saying what the problem is.

When doctors are told how to present very bad medical news to people they are taught to reveal things in layers. Your marriage is terminal by your choosing and sharing that news with family should be done in stages. What you need is support from your family and if you can get it at holiday gatherings, go for it.

Now a final piece of advice, you need to do some individual counseling and introspection. You first need to work through the grieving process for the loss of your marriage. Then you need to forgive your husband. As you know he is a sick person who made bad choices. He won't likely change and will continue making bad choices. It is who he is and there is nothing you can do about it, except save yourself. To save yourself you have to let go and live your life. To really do that you need to figure out why you put up with such bad behavior on your part and learn how to set boundaries so in your future relationships you never let anything like this happen again.

Good luck.
 

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When doctors are told how to present very bad medical news to people they are taught to reveal things in layers. Your marriage is terminal by your choosing and sharing that news with family should be done in stages. What you need is support from your family and if you can get it at holiday gatherings, go for it.
I don't agree with that approach for a situation where nobody previously had a clue; in the medical scenario, there's usually some warning, it's not totally out of the blue. And even if totally out of the blue, context is already there, that it's a serious issue, because a doctor is involved.

I think the family needs to understand that it's not so-called "irreconcilable differences." It's not that you've grown apart over the year. I think it OK to say "There's been a history of infidelity issues that I've chosen not to talk about, hoped that he'd come around, but he didn't. This was just the last straw, that's all." That puts OP in a positive light, because she didn't bail, she gave it a try. And let's people know that she considered it a private matter so, if that's still the case, she can still say she doesn't wish to discuss it further, it's time to move on.

I have zero experience in this matter though. But, if my marriage were to break up, I would not say "yeah, we just grew apart, different directions" or whatever. I would state that there had been a cloud over the marriage from the beginning and intimacy suffered and a lot of therapy didn't fix things. It would be up to my wife to further explain if she wished. As it would be up to her husband to further explain if he wished.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Once a cheater, always a cheater. Don't wait, see a lawyer now and get the ball rolling. There are men out there, like myself, that CAN stay faithful.!!!.

JMHO.
Thanks for responding. I guess that all the bricks will come tumbling down once I file. I'm a very emotional person and I know how the stress if it all will impact my job. I go on holiday after Christmas, so in addition to the other reasons I outlined, that may be a more convenient time. I'm sure that they are faithful men out there. Probably few and far between. Last thing on my mind.
Congratulations, it sounds like you have made up your mind and you have decided upon a path forward. Good for you.

I would like to make a few suggestions. Get yourself to a medical clinic and get tested for any STI's right away. You are absolutely correct in that your soon to be Ex can only change himself and only if he wants to.

As to the Holiday's, for many of us, they are being put on hold this year due to Covid-19. If you go to family events, ask your soon to be Ex not to attend. When your family asks simple be honest and put on a brave face and tell them that you and your spouse are having difficulties in your marriage. If they try to tell you everything is OK, ask them if they have ever needed to be tested for STI's because of the actions of their spouse? That should get the point across without explicitly saying what the problem is.

When doctors are told how to present very bad medical news to people they are taught to reveal things in layers. Your marriage is terminal by your choosing and sharing that news with family should be done in stages. What you need is support from your family and if you can get it at holiday gatherings, go for it.

Now a final piece of advice, you need to do some individual counseling and introspection. You first need to work through the grieving process for the loss of your marriage. Then you need to forgive your husband. As you know he is a sick person who made bad choices. He won't likely change and will continue making bad choices. It is who he is and there is nothing you can do about it, except save yourself. To save yourself you have to let go and live your life. To really do that you need to figure out why you put up with such bad behavior on your part and learn how to set boundaries so in your future relationships you never let anything like this happen again.

Good luck.
Thank you so much for this guidance. I am totally lost as to how to proceed.
 

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I don't agree with that approach for a situation where nobody previously had a clue; in the medical scenario, there's usually some warning, it's not totally out of the blue. And even if totally out of the blue, context is already there, that it's a serious issue, because a doctor is involved.

I think the family needs to understand that it's not so-called "irreconcilable differences." It's not that you've grown apart over the year. I think it OK to say "There's been a history of infidelity issues that I've chosen not to talk about, hoped that he'd come around, but he didn't. This was just the last straw, that's all." That puts OP in a positive light, because she didn't bail, she gave it a try. And let's people know that she considered it a private matter so, if that's still the case, she can still say she doesn't wish to discuss it further, it's time to move on.

I have zero experience in this matter though. But, if my marriage were to break up, I would not say "yeah, we just grew apart, different directions" or whatever. I would state that there had been a cloud over the marriage from the beginning and intimacy suffered and a lot of therapy didn't fix things. It would be up to my wife to further explain if she wished. As it would be up to her husband to further explain if he wished.
Thanks so much for listening and giving me your thoughts. I am a novice at this thing. Appreciated!
 

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Sadone, thanks for responding. You are right. I know he won't change I don't expect that at all. I think I'm a bit naive when it comes to men. It took me this long to decide to divorce because I couldn't understand any of this. I thought that there was an answer and a solution but there are none. It's all about being slick, tricky and manipulative and those are pervasive behaviours. So I fear that with that personality, the delay can cause him to do damaging things the likes of which I have no idea. Plus, because we have remained civil I don't want him to think that I'm backing down. In addition, the waiting will be stressful for us both.

At the same time, it's the holidays and I'm very busy, and I don't want to spoil the season for my family including my mum and siblings. It is going to devastate them all because I have never shared my marital issues with them. They believe that we are the perfect couple.
Starting a divorce doesn't take much time and you dont even need to tell your family for a while, but I think you should. I fear you are making excuses not to do it.
 

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Thanks so much for listening and giving me your thoughts. I am a novice at this thing. Appreciated!
I am hoping to maintain my own status, not as even a novice, but a pre-novice. I hope to not move to advanced status, ending up divorced. Doing so will not mean I have succeeded and you have failed though. It is your husband who failed; you leaving is regaining your life. That is the ultimate success story.
 

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Holiday celebrations are different this year and you could make the beginning of a new start by filing now. Maybe he wants more time with his current AP anyway.

It takes great courage to give up your dreams for the future. There is rarely a good time to begin divorce. Progress towards standing up for yourself should be a special New Year's gift. You may no longer love him, but there is likely underlying pain/sorrow/grieving for the way you have been treated and the death of relationship resulting.

Do not forget that actions speak louder than words--both his and yours....... I speak from experience.
 

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Long before I got divorced, I read that January is known as Divorce Month. The holidays are out of the way, new start with a new year, etc. I didn’t file until a little later in the year but when January 2 rolled around I was ready to get over with. You likely will be too.
 

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Long before I got divorced, I read that January is known as Divorce Month. The holidays are out of the way, new start with a new year, etc. I didn’t file until a little later in the year but when January 2 rolled around I was ready to get over with. You likely will be too.
Excellent point. The tax year starts January 1 and usually joint income tax filing in the USA are lover than separate tax filings. When you talk to a divorce attorney keep asking questions about what are the tax implications regarding the timing of the divorce being finalized and the sale of assets (both as income from retirement savings distributions, to capital gains on home sale, etc.)
 

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Congratulations, it sounds like you have made up your mind and you have decided upon a path forward. Good for you.

I would like to make a few suggestions. Get yourself to a medical clinic and get tested for any STI's right away. You are absolutely correct in that your soon to be Ex can only change himself and only if he wants to.

As to the Holiday's, for many of us, they are being put on hold this year due to Covid-19. If you go to family events, ask your soon to be Ex not to attend. When your family asks simple be honest and put on a brave face and tell them that you and your spouse are having difficulties in your marriage. If they try to tell you everything is OK, ask them if they have ever needed to be tested for STI's because of the actions of their spouse? That should get the point across without explicitly saying what the problem is.

When doctors are told how to present very bad medical news to people they are taught to reveal things in layers. Your marriage is terminal by your choosing and sharing that news with family should be done in stages. What you need is support from your family and if you can get it at holiday gatherings, go for it.

Now a final piece of advice, you need to do some individual counseling and introspection. You first need to work through the grieving process for the loss of your marriage. Then you need to forgive your husband. As you know he is a sick person who made bad choices. He won't likely change and will continue making bad choices. It is who he is and there is nothing you can do about it, except save yourself. To save yourself you have to let go and live your life. To really do that you need to figure out why you put up with such bad behavior on your part and learn how to set boundaries so in your future relationships you never let anything like this happen again.

Good luck.
Excellent point. The tax year starts January 1 and usually joint income tax filing in the USA are lover than separate tax filings. When you talk to a divorce attorney keep asking questions about what are the tax implications regarding the timing of the divorce being finalized and the sale of assets (both as income from retirement savings distributions, to capital gains on home sale, etc.)
Thank you for the advice. We don't do joint filing but I'll still reach out to my tax adviser.
 

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Congratulations, it sounds like you have made up your mind and you have decided upon a path forward. Good for you.

I would like to make a few suggestions. Get yourself to a medical clinic and get tested for any STI's right away. You are absolutely correct in that your soon to be Ex can only change himself and only if he wants to.

As to the Holiday's, for many of us, they are being put on hold this year due to Covid-19. If you go to family events, ask your soon to be Ex not to attend. When your family asks simple be honest and put on a brave face and tell them that you and your spouse are having difficulties in your marriage. If they try to tell you everything is OK, ask them if they have ever needed to be tested for STI's because of the actions of their spouse? That should get the point across without explicitly saying what the problem is.

When doctors are told how to present very bad medical news to people they are taught to reveal things in layers. Your marriage is terminal by your choosing and sharing that news with family should be done in stages. What you need is support from your family and if you can get it at holiday gatherings, go for it.

Now a final piece of advice, you need to do some individual counseling and introspection. You first need to work through the grieving process for the loss of your marriage. Then you need to forgive your husband. As you know he is a sick person who made bad choices. He won't likely change and will continue making bad choices. It is who he is and there is nothing you can do about it, except save yourself. To save yourself you have to let go and live your life. To really do that you need to figure out why you put up with such bad behavior on your part and learn how to set boundaries so in your future relationships you never let anything like this happen again.

Good luck.
Thanks for the advice on STI's but thankfully that would be the least of my worries. We haven't been intimate for seven or eight years. He developed ED and after a few failed attempts to be intimate with me did not want to embarrass himself anymore. He tried treatment/pills that didn't work. I decided that as a good wife I would stand by him and have a sexless marriage, although I have a perfectly normal sex drive.When I married I signed up for commitment.

But it appears that somewhere along the line he found pills that do work for him but he never told me. Other women 'benefitted' by that. He is intimating that the fear of failure with them would not be as great as the fear of failure with me, although he hasn't admitted to anything. I don't know why he would say that. When he failed, although I was disappointed, I very gently assured him that we could get through this together. But even though I've had to deal with being sexless (and it's not easy) for years I'm glad that we weren't intimate or I would be worried sick about STI's now.
 

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Thank you for the advice. We don't do joint filing but I'll still reach out to my tax adviser.
I got divorced a couple of years ago, and I have a really close friend who does IRS criminal investigations.

You file with your legal status as of 12/31. Even if you file today it's unlikely you'd be divorced by 12/31 so you'll still file married filing separately for 2020.
 

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I would file today. As stated by someone else you don't need to tell anyone in the family until you are ready, best to get the process started.

Consider this...you decide to wait a month, he gets in a car wreck, or he gets an illness, suddenly you decide to wait again. Then maybe there's a tragedy in his family, or he starts drinking, so you think maybe you should wait until he heals. Guess what? Suddenly another 5 or 10 or 17 years have passed and you are still married to a serial cheater.

Give YOURSELF the holiday gift of peace in your heart.
 
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