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I was married for 15 years with 3 boys 9, 11, 12. Last Christmas, I found out my wife was having an affair with the neighbors brother. It was one of the most painful things that ever had happened. I tried to work things out with my wife, as I wanted my family. I did not want to have to give up half the holidays with my kids.

We started counseling but it was a waste of time as she was gone by then, but I did find out that one of my neighbors, her ‘best friend’ not only knew my wife was having an affair, but also conspired in helping it along.

During the whole mess, it gave me an opportunity to be a better man, and father and I relished it. There was little that I could do to save my marriage. I tried my hardest, but she was in love with a man 10 years older. She is 45 and I am 42.

The whole divorce thing was horrible. To the lawyers, it is not your life, you are just another case so know the law and don’t fight losing battles. In Maryland it is a 25$ fine for adultery and they don’t give a damn who did it, you just split your assets 50-50. Since I was the bread winner, I was screwed.

She cheated on me. She gets alimony and refuses to work 40 hours a week. She gets child support for kids that have asked to live with me only but the court will not allow for it until they are 16 in Md. The law is the law. It doesn’t believe in fair or unfair, it is just guidelines. It doesn’t care who is right or wrong. It just follows guidelines.

I realized this very early in the process so I knew I would have to give her half. My wife moved out, last March but still was able to go into our house technically and stole money from my closet. She stole $10,000. We refinanced the house. I gave her $10,000 and had my own, which she took when I was out of town… Yes it was stupid to have it in the house, but I was moving it from a safety deposit box.

Over the course of the divorce, I never wanted, but now I am glad it is done, my now ex wife had my neighbor call the department of social services on me to try and have the kids taken away. The neighbor who called is the sister of the man she had an affair with. She stole money from me, took everything of value out of the house when I was on travel for work. My kids found notes of her affair with the nighbor’s brother, her friend purposefully ran into me with her car and now to top it off, my ex wife is now screwing my other neighbor as the one on the other side cut her loose. I wish I were making this stuff up. I got the kids Christmas morning and she dropped them off and went right in his house and slept there for a couple of days. I am selling my house to get out of my ‘trash’ neighborhood… Just FYI, my house is 6000 square feet. This is not a poor neighborhood but it lacks in values in so many ways.

What I have learned through the whole process is:

1. You can wish the world was better, but you cannot change people. They are who they are and no matter what you do, if they are to change it’s up to them. All you can do is focus on making yourself a better person.

2. The law is not rigged but it is not helpful. The judge has no idea who is lying so be calm. If you are going to get screwed, then its not the laws fault so there is no use in crying about it. Just accept it and move on or waste tons of time and energy fighting a losing battle.

3. In a divorce you will lose. There are no winners. You will lose something. For me I lost half my savings and half my time with my kids. I am the one who takes them to all the practices and games and pays for all their school stuff and sports, but that really doesn’t matter. The law doesn’t care. Come to terms with it and minimize the pain.

4. Even in the darkest times, God has been good to me. There are several times when I thought how my life was good except for just one thing.

When a spouse cheats, they have no respect for you. They don’t care about what they are doing to you or the family. It is selfish, but it is their choice. You can’t do anything to change them. That has to be done on their part.

As for me, the divorce was extremely painful. I tried to make it work but I was blindsided by it way to far into it to ever have had a chance. I am not perfect and things leading up to the divorce, well I did have my share of faults and blame, but it could have been worked out if both people want it to. It takes 2 to get married but 1 to get a divorce. I have met a beautiful woman. I am going to counseling because honestly, having 2 of your neighbors doing your wife and now ex wife, well that just isn’t right to me. Be strong. Invest in yourself with the Bible, self help books, the gym etc… Get straight with God, yourself, and your family and things will work out for you. They may not be what you wanted, but if I got what I originally wanted, I’d probably more miserable right now. I have traded up in the world. My girlfriend is beautiful and I have a much stronger relationship with my kids now. The time we spend together is valuable so we always try to make the most of it. God bless and be strong.
 

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I feel so sorry for you.

It is my opinion that a spouse why betrayes another is not entitled to get custody of the kids or gain anything from the settlement. But the laws sadly not only protect the betrayer but in many cases reward them.
 

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I am paying alimony for 3 years... I was dead set against it on a moral ground, but my lawyer told me even if I fought it I would have to probably pay her anyway because of salary discrepancy. So I acquiesced.

As for her stealing the money. I confronted her. My kids were in the house and they knew what happened. I have been open and honest with them about us not getting back together etc... I have tried to not have them deal with things but their lives were really shattered by this whole event too. I filed a police report, but because my ex's name was still on the deed I could not do anything about it.

My kids are doing well. It was rough for every one. I had to be done with the whole thing to understand where I am.

My lawyer was good. She was honest and fair.

I was angry for a long time. I took it out on the bench press at the gym. The gym gives me a routing to release the anger and keeps me occupied. I went from benching 175 to 275 so it has been good.

Sometimes life just gives you lemons so make lemonade. They also taste good with vodka... There was nothing fair about it. The law is not fair, it's the law and I am glad it's not about being fair, because she might have been a very convincing liar in court.

My kids know that when they turn 16 they will come live with me permanently. My child support payments will become their college payments. Divorce financially is ruining.

I met a girl who is great with my kids. They cling to her because she hugs them and they get the affection from her the wish they had from their mom. My girlfriend is beautiful and sweet and helps me with things like telling me I should separate lights and darks in the wash and simple things like that. I was used to mowing and cleaning, and fixing, but laundry not so much:) Not I cook and clean and laundry and mow and rake and cook and bake and everything.

I read a lot of these boards and their are a lot of bitter scorned women out there. Being bitter will not help you in anyway, and it isn't always the men. I'd say half the cheaters are the women. Its the people who dont have morals and respect and are just extremely selfish.
 

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What a horrible story. Sorry you have to go through this. Just be glad you only have three years of alimony because in some states it would be for life.

Has the WW ever shown remorse or regret for what she has done?
 

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The Ex blames me for her affair. She told me that if was giving her what she needed it would not have happened. I listened to her and I didn't deny that I wasn't Ward Cleaver. She had been pretending to be happy for months, so she said. I hate to say it, but I am a guy. If you are telling me you are happy and act happy when I am around, I think you are happy. I know it's crazy but I am just not that sophisticated.

To this day, she treats me like I am a POS. I spend more time with the kids. I cook for them, make them good meals, talk to them etc... I am close to them. When she takes them out, she has to bring friends and alcohol along. It is what it is. I am building a good relationship with my kids and I have some very real examples of what not to do.

If you constantly blame someone else for what you have done, then you never look at yourself and honestly assess what you have done. I don't think she can honestly look at herself. It's ok. It's her choice and her life and she has already alienated 2 of our 3 kids. I don't feel sorry for her because she was given so many opportunities to stop and see what damage she was doing to everyone, but she never did. Now she has to live with what she has done and it's not going to be easy for her.
 

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You are handling a horrible, horrible situation the right way. I liked your comment about making lemonade. Just be sure to limit the voka LOL.

You actually did make 'lemonade'. You are getting more fit, your relationship with the kids is great. You are taking care of yourself. It would have been far too easy to fall into depression You are being a MAN. She is being a ... a... well we all know.

She HAS to blame you. There's no way she's going to say out loud that it's her fault. But you know what?

She knows. She knows it's all her. That's why she medicates with alcohol.

She is very mad at you because in her warped thinking you "let" her fall into sin and debauchery. She hates herself so much she punishes herself by letting other men demean her. She's a mess and will be for a long, long time.

She tries to force herself to 'look happy' in front of you. It's to try to forgive herself and justify what is unjustifiable.

Keep doing well. It's the best "revenge" as they say.
 

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You are handling a horrible, horrible situation the right way. I liked your comment about making lemonade. Just be sure to limit the voka LOL.

You actually did make 'lemonade'. You are getting more fit, your relationship with the kids is great. You are taking care of yourself. It would have been far too easy to fall into depression You are being a MAN. She is being a ... a... well we all know.

She HAS to blame you. There's no way she's going to say out loud that it's her fault. But you know what?

She knows. She knows it's all her. That's why she medicates with alcohol.

She is very mad at you because in her warped thinking you "let" her fall into sin and debauchery. She hates herself so much she punishes herself by letting other men demean her. She's a mess and will be for a long, long time.

She tries to force herself to 'look happy' in front of you. It's to try to forgive herself and justify what is unjustifiable.

Keep doing well. It's the best "revenge" as they say.
Perfectly stated.
 

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Count down the days for the alimony. She is in for a rude one once that one ends and she sees a fiscal cliff then.

Thumbs up for the bench press. Go get a loyal woman. Preferably hotter and younger. Success is the best revenge. She sounds like one of those who will eat her heart out when she finds out you are banging a hotter younger woman. Btw. By younger I mean 32 to 36 not 22 years old.
 

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3 years worth of alimoney on a 15 year marriage?

You got away cheap.

The rest of it.. splitting everything in half, splitting time with the kids 50/50, yes that's how the law works and if you think about it, that's not unreasonable. regardless of who earned more money during the marriage.

Face it marriage is a business arrangement and you've gotta split the proceeds.

As far as the kids go, you might have been able to make a case for custody by trying to make the argument that you're the better parent but I'm sure you've been advised that since you're the primary breadwinner and she's been the primary caregiver, you have to pay and she gets primary custody. That's how you two agreed to the arrangement during the marriage, that's the status quo for the courts to make post marriage determinations.

So stick it out for a few years, eventually the kids may figure it out and when they come of age you get the kids one at a time along with gradually reduced child support, and she gets nothing.

Not sure how God figures into this and why you thank "Him" for the good things that happen yet hold "Him" blameless for all the crap you've been through but that's above the context of this thread so never mind.
 

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This is a moving post. I feel so good that you are getting your life in order. You have a lot of living to do and I know you will enjoy it. Congrats on the new woman in your life.

Keep praying and look out for His work in your life.
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I did a search on alimony in California. Marriages longer than 10 years are considered long duration and the courts often not only retain jurisdiction to extend alimony beyond the original ending date, but it's not uncommon for courts to award lifetime alimony with a typical amount being at least half the marriage duration.

Count your blessings.

Edited to add

I thought the Op was in California, my mistake
 

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Discussion Starter #15
In Maryland, alimony is meant to be rehabilitative. She can have a 40 hour a week job. She is skilled and has a college degree. She doesn't want to give up her social life or do the things that I do to earn money, i.e. travel, work 20 hour days at times. I would have fought permanent alimony till I was bankrupt. She got roughly $200,000 and I am so broke now it is sad, but its fine.

I have a trebuchet in my garage. I built it with my son for his science fair project and we went to the world championship pumpkin chunkin contest in Delaware. It was a lot of fun.

I met a much younger girl. She is 42, but born in March as opposed to January for me. Divorce isn't about win or lose. It's not about revenge. My girlfriend is beautiful but more she is loyal and genuine. Lets face it in 20 years we will both be 60 so no one will care. I wanted someone I wanted to be with when I'm 62 not 42. Don't get me wrong, I have 3 boys and they fuss over who gets to sit next to her on the couch or at dinner and I have to wait my turn. I want her all to myself but they love her affection too soI give over a bit more than I'd like. She is beautiful, not just pretty but that is not why I am attracted to her. (It sure as hell doesn't hurt) Funny aside, I was at my kids soccer game and afterwards, my son told he that he didn't know if the guy my Ex was with was his grandpa or my mom's boyfriend. That did make me laugh even though it is a bit petty.

As for God, brother if you think God wants you to be miserable then you need to find a new church. Even in the darkest times of my life he blessed me. I read what I was supposed to be doing. (Courageous is a great movie for men who want to be better fathers) I have been working hard at being a better father and husband. The 'crap' in my life will come and go but his work and knowing that he loves me and my boys and even my ex wife is really powerful. Happiness is not permanent. It is fleeting, but I have been blessed with opportunity, friendship, a loving girlfriend etc...

I just found out last week that my girlfriend has stage 2 cancer. I have faith that she will make it through this episode and even if something were to happen to one of us tomorrow, I am thankful that I had this time on earth to spend with someone who loves me. That is what life is all about. We all die someday. I tell my boys, you may not be able to choose your circumstances but you can choose your actions.

I have been given a new perspective on life with all the 'crap' I have been through and my girlfriend is going through her own hell. With what happend to me and how I look at the world, I am the answers to her prayers. I will love her and take care of her no matter what. The world isn't just about you. I never asked God for what I wanted, I asked him for what he wanted me to have and it seems I was put where I was for a reason. Someone in the world really needs me right now and I have been molded to be who I am for her right now. I sure as heck am not perfect but I have something of value to offer. That wasn't an accident. It was grace.
 

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You have other legal options

There are other areas to file suit in---such as Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

Look it up---look up the elements-----you will see you can file agst your X, and you can file agst her lover

You will do what you will do---but justice can be served if you are willing to pursue IT ALL THE WAY
 

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DUDE!
God has a special place in heaven for guys like you!
I would have to say that you are in for some great rewards for the crap that you just went thru this past year.
He even gave you a hot chick, and there was a reason for that....it sounds like she is going to need a cat like you in the next couple of months.
Your kids will also be a great reward for you in the future...that a given.

While there mother dies alone in a trailer full of cats and cat boo only to be found by the mailman, your kids will grow to respect you while they resent there mother and the women she has become. Sorry man thats just how it works, you hear about it in the news all the time. Not trying ot be mean, but why else do these kinds of poeple have this happen enless it was something they did in the past.

You my friend will die surrounded by alot of loved ones...not surround by dogs eating your flesh cuz they haven't been feed and no one cares cuz you were such a duch in the past. You know what I mean?
 
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