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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We were high school sweet hearts. Together for 22 years. Married for 15. Both graduated college, waited another 2 years to get married. Dated for 7 years. Waited 4 years after marriage to have children so we could really get to enjoy eachother and travel a littel before kids came along. She was a stay at home wife/mom up until about 3 years ago. She re entered the work force and fell in love with a MARRIED co-worker. Now I'm not playing the innocent victim here. Have never played that card. I was not the perfect husband. I got way too comfortable and kind of went into coast mode. We were together for so long, I just thought that that was the level we should be at. But with that said, I was a good husband. Never abused, drank or gambled. Just not enough I love you's, not being there as much as I should have emmotionally. ( her words, not mine ). So my question is, these are somewhat minor issues that if she would have came to me and talked we could have for sure worked this out. There was never a third person involved on my end. So its not like my heart or mind was on someone else. Instead of talking with me about this, what does she do??? She brings this D-bag to my home and introduces him as a friend. I drank tea with him on several occasions at my table until late at night. I was not threatend by this dude. He is kind of geeky, a high school drop out and does not make all that much money. Now nothing wrong with that, Lord knows I could lose my job today and make no money. I get that. So after a while i started getting a hunch about these two. I went on about a weeks search for my wifes cell phone but I could never find it. I realized that I had not seen her cell or heard it ring for weeks. While she would be in the shower I would look for her cell. Tore her underwear drawer apart, went through her car, her coat but could never find it. I finally did find it one night about 2 in the morn. Openned up her text msges and hit the kitchen floor on my knees and cried like a baby. 22 years, a great little family, two sweet kids whos life is changed forever. How can spouses do such a thing? What goes through thier minds when they are cheating? What do they tell people how they met? How do they look back on how they met? Here is how I see it - " Remember when we were both married to other people and we started cheating? Yeah sweet heart I do. Remember when we had to hide your car at the school so you could spend the night so your wife would not find out? Yeah cupcake, remember the look on our spouses faces when and the tears in our childrens eyes when we told them our family was no more? Wow, yes I do. Those were good times" I mean really, what do they have to build on? The trust cannot be there from day one. Oh how I hate her for she has done to our kids. We have been divorced for about a year and my heart still breaks for my kids.
 

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Wish I could tell you that your story, experiences and pain are unique. Unfortunately, they aren't. That however makes them no less tragic.

Odds are they won't make it. Very few affairs transition into healthy, loving relationships. Challenging to do that when your foundation is built on lies. But ... it is also unlikely that either of them will ever have the kind of introspection about their relationship that you alluded to.

That said ... how your kids do will have a great deal to do with how YOU choose to deal with this.

The more stable and steadfast you are able to be ... the better served your children will be, regardless of whatever the hell your ex is doing.

Take care of yourself.
 

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No, being stuck in a bad marriage sucks. Getting divorced and being free of it is great.

Problem is, you are still in "marriage" mode. You might be physically separated/divorced but you aren't there emotionally and mentally. That's the hard part and that takes time. :(

You'll get there but it involves moving on and letting things go. Not forgiving or forgetting exactly but not letting it rule your life and be in your head all the time. Give it time. It WILL happen.

Concentrate on being a good father to those two kids. That will help a lot. They need you more than ever, especially since their mother wasn't giving a damn about them when she decided to break her marital vows.
 

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@ Deejo - Thanks for the kind words. You know, when I think about it. it really does not matter if they make it or not. I am actually past the point of caring. That thought ate me a live for 6+ months. I had to finally let that go. Still just kills me that our family has just vanished in thin air. Love is a choice and and elbow grease. Why could she have just not come and talk to me about her getting feelings for someone else????

@ gals mom... I do my best to keep my kids the focus. But I am not whole right now and they can sense it. I have them this weekend and I picked them up from the ex mom-in-law, they had thier suit cases with them. Those [email protected] suit cases. I hate it. Hate that my kids are now bouncing back and forth between houses. NEVER wanted that for them and I think I would have stuck through ANY kind of marriage for thier sake. I do not bad mouth the ex in front of them.... much. But I do let them know what a scum the OM is. After I talked to his wife to expose the A, his reaction was to have porn sent to my work and home under my name. A real class act. I do not want my kids to welcome him into thier lives with open arms. So I do let them know what POS he is.

@ F on a leash. I hope time changes alot. But when I think about it, no matter if I find the most wonderful woman on earth, it still will never be the same as a whole family. The thought of a whole family around the holliday dinner table. Our kids, thier kids and a mom and dad. That will never happen for me or most of us on TAM for that matter. I an a huge family man and that is all I ever wanted. Now that is gone forever. How are we supposed to cope with that?
 

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@ F on a leash. I hope time changes alot. But when I think about it, no matter if I find the most wonderful woman on earth, it still will never be the same as a whole family. The thought of a whole family around the holliday dinner table. Our kids, thier kids and a mom and dad. That will never happen for me or most of us on TAM for that matter. I an a huge family man and that is all I ever wanted. Now that is gone forever. How are we supposed to cope with that?
You have to cope with it for your kids. Having a family isn't about being like the Brady Bunch or the Waltons. It isn't necessarily the picture perfect family of Dad, Mom, the 2 kids and the family dog. You can have a great family if there's love and support and good times.

It can be a father with two kids, a mother and a single child, grandparents raising their grandkids, blended families, etc..It doesn't really matter in the end what the configuration is, as long as it works well.

I've had far better holidays with my kids when their father wasn't with us. Why? Because it's stress free and fun. Don't fixate on what things SHOULD be but enjoy what you have and make the best of it. :)

Plus, holidays take up a very small fraction of your life. It's the day to day living that matters the most, not the 5 days a year that you would consider a "holiday". It seems that "holidays" cause more problems than anything else.

How many couples were miserable this past Thursday, February 14th because it didn't live up to their expectations and preconceived notions of what that holiday should be? Look through the various posts on this forum about V-day and you'll see that more people were angry, disappointed and saddened by this day then made happy by it. In the end I'll be willing to bet that most people would probably all be better off with less "holidays." ;)

You can't bring back the past, you can only forge ahead and make for a better future. Destroying the present isn't going to to help any.
 
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Sounds like you were traded downgrated
The Next Guy: Did your Ex-Girlfriend or Ex-Wife Downgrade? | Shrink4Men

I'll save you trouble of finding this out in therapy and just tell it like it is. She wanted to escape from her responsibilities and so she found a man that would ENABLE her. How do I know? Because the same thing happened to me. Yeah, I was a sailor who sacrificed it all for her and she left me for some emo D-bag who smokes pot and cigarettes, drinks too much, never completed school or citizenship, and will never hold a job for long and never be a good man to her or anyone.

You and I were replaced with a loser in a role of the "perfect relationship" that cannot be healthy. This man will hear how wonderful he is at first, but sooner or later she's going to find fault in him and tell him he's a creep and a jerk and responsible for her misery - which she has had since childhood from the sounds of it. This is why you always see that pretty woman who has it together with the loser she thinks needs her help. He's in need or rescuing, but anyone who helps only falls in the hole with him.

But divorce doesn't get worse, it's gets better.

You may have to lose some money, and shed a tear or two for your children, but there will be a time when you wake up and find all this money in your wallet and don't miss being in no win situations with someone who cheats on you and betrays her kids as well. She may have been worth fighting for years ago, but judge her not on the past only on who she is now.... And buddy, that woman you thought you knew doesn't deserve anything but the boundaries you can give her and the darkness that comes with it.
 

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Wow, that was painful to read. I am so sorry that she did that to you. :(

Ok, its time for you to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and let go of your DIVORCE. I know what its like to lose that picture of your perfect family, it hurts like fvck. BUT...you have got to stop dwelling on it for your kids' sakes! You must have a positive attitude about things, your kids will only do as well as you make things. My daughter's dad and I divorced back in 2000, and to this day, he will STILL whine about being a part time dad, and crap like that. He even went through another divorce after ours, and will still dwell on ours! I find it extremely pathetic, and it does nothing for our daughter, who is 16 years old now. She doesnt even want to stay with him any more because its miserable, and has been for years. DONT BE THAT DAD. You have got to put a positive spin on things, and learn to let the divorce go.
 

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Thanks for the advice. This is a really great site. I know what everyone said above is true. But I guess I am just in pitty party mode... My parents have been married for 60+ years. They had nine of us kids and they still hold habds to this day. I wanted that soooo bad. Maybe not the nine kids part, but the 60 years. My ex knows my family history, relatives that are no longer with us today. Any woman I meet now will have no idea of most of my family history, will never know my grand parents, ants and uncles that have passed. I really have been doing well the past 5 months, just recently fell into this fog and have been having a pretty rough couple of days. I know it will pass, just sucks now. Poor me....... I hate this feeling.
 

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But divorce doesn't get worse, it's gets better.

You may have to lose some money, and shed a tear or two for your children, but there will be a time when you wake up and find all this money in your wallet and don't miss being in no win situations with someone who cheats on you and betrays her kids as well. She may have been worth fighting for years ago, but judge her not on the past only on who she is now.... And buddy, that woman you thought you knew doesn't deserve anything but the boundaries you can give her and the darkness that comes with it.
:iagree: :iagree: Wow..that's one of the best written posts I've ever seen! Awesome! :smthumbup:

And so true...
 

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Agree, great post and very true. The thing is, she wanted out so bad and so fast she did not even hire a lawyer. We have 50/50 custody so I pay no child support, kept my 401K, kept all the four wheelers, camper, trailers, tools and what not. She told me in Oct '11 she wanted a divorce and the divorce was final Jan '12. What makes it really hard on me is she has so much regret. She has told me often that she made a mistake and wishes now we would have seperated to think about it. She really is a good person. She wanted the family life as much if not more than I. Last summer she sked me to go on vacation with her and the kids. At first I said yes but changed my mind the day before. She called to ask me what time I was picking her and the kids up the next day, I told her I changed my mind. She went silent and hung up the phone. She called me me a few days later and said she cried for 3 hours straight because I was not going. She said she really looked forward to spending time with me and being a family again if only for the week. Last July on a Sunday night I had the kids. We were all sleeping in the living room. About 2 in the morn, who I that was my daughter woke me up and asked if she could sleep with me. I said yes, get in and don't wake your brother. Turns out it was the ex! She laid next to me crying saying over and over again how she was not good and she did not know if she was going to make. To this day, when we do kid pickup/drop off, she will put the kids in her car and get in my truck and cry saying how much she misses me and how unhappy she is. I used to get sucked into this and get my hopes up for R. She at one time a few months ago asked me what it would take to get us back together. I said it would be tough but we can start to talk about it. Only to see her go cold again and it never went much farther. She has done this to me at least 3 or 4 times. I don't bite on it anymore. I just tell her that we will both be fine. I need to stick with boundries. I have told her in the past that I do not want her in my house. She will stick to it for a few days, but than she is right back to coming in without even knocking. I try to be tough on this but damn its so hard. We were together so long its tough to think of us used to be. What is going through her head? She is so unhappy yet she has not taken any steps to change ANYTHING. I think if I were I would say hey, I have made an appointment to MC. Would you like to go? I am going with or without you. But she has not done this. All idel talk and crying. I don't get it.
 

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So whatever happened to the other man? :scratchhead: Sounds like "Plan B" didn't work out so now she wants back to "Plan A?" Why was she so eager to blow away her marriage, her family, etc, etc, in the first place? I think the fact that you were high school sweethearts and got married young may have had something to do with it. That's often a recipe for disaster because often one or both start wondering 20 years later what they missed out on. That's what a "midlife crisis" often is. Some, like myself, buy red convertibles and spend lots of money, others have affairs. I think the sports car is the better choice. ;)

My sister was like that. She married her first boyfriend and never went out with or knew anyone else. She had 3 kids and one day she asked what it was like to sleep with someone else. So how to you rectify that? I haven't talked to her in over 10 years so I don't know if she ever tried to answer that question.

That said, I'm always amazed at these people who just go off and have affairs like it's nothing. I've done some bad things in my marriage but at least my conscience is clear on that one. That was always the line I never could walk across. Not just for my husband, but for my kids and my own self respect. Breaking marital vows isn't like going on a diet, eating a bowl of chocolate ice cream and saying "Oops, I'll go back on the diet on Monday". It's serious business.

It sounds like you don't trust her and are seeking to keep separate from her. Good idea! If you ever did seek to reconcile I wouldn't do it without MC and a good long separation. I was separated from my STBXH for over 2 years and for a lot of that we did indeed act like a married couple. We did the family vacations, had a sex life, spent time together. But even when he asked to me to live with him again I refused. Mostly because I LIKE living alone. That saved me. Moving back in with him would've been a horrible idea.

In the end I was the one who filed for divorce and I'm content and happy with that decision. But I wouldn't have felt that way had I filed right after separating. A lot of people urged me to do just that but I knew I wasn't mentally ready. I knew I would've been a mental and emotional basket case if I divorced right away. I needed those 2 years to sort things out in my head and heart. Had I done it then I would been miserable and conflicted and consumed by the past instead of moving forward.

Now I can deal with the divorce and my STBXH in a logical and clearheaded fashion. This is good because he's definitely thrown some emotional bombs at me in the past 3 months that had I been less grounded emotionally I might've reacted to in a bad way. I think the main reason we are cordial and able to coparent my son now is because I was able to keep the lid on my emotions and think out things rationally. Had I been in a vengeful and angry state it never would've happened.

Divorce is a tough situation. You have to be somewhat impersonal and business like. It's an unemotional, legal act that requires clear thinking. If you do it too soon you wind up like your wife. It shouldn't be a rash or vengeful act. It needs to be well thought out and impersonal. So I'm glad I had those 2+ years to sort it out. When I made the decision to divorce, I knew I'd given it the time and thought process that was needed.

When I said I was going to do it I wasn't angry. It was a matter of fact statement. I think it took my H totally off guard at first but even he admitted it was something that wasn't totally unexpected.

I think you are handling this situation VERY well. You admit to missing the life you had, that you still love your wife and part of you still wants her but you realize that what you want and what you can have are two different situations. Your ex is doing a good job of assuming that you are a fool but you obviously aren't. You have a lot more respect for yourself than that. :smthumbup:

I personally could never fully trust a spouse who cheated on me and I certainly wouldn't be handing out second chances without a lengthy separation, counseling and getting to the nuts and bolts as to WHY your wife cheated on you. If she did it once what's to say she won't do it again? I would want to be emotionally separated before I'd even consider putting things back together again. If you are emotionally detached then you might find that you are inclined to just keep things the way they are.

Of course my situation is a bit different. I'm was married to an abusive alcoholic and I never missed living with him. Our family life wasn't all that great when we were married and IMO it's a lot better now. In a way my decision was very easy and straightforward compared to others who assumed that they were in a happy marriage and woke up to find that their spouse chose to be with someone else. That's gotta hurt. :(
 
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I completely agree with freak on a leash's comments above.

My STBXW and I are very close, very friendly but she knows that after what she has done that there is zero chance of reconciliation. I was at where you were at before when I found out about her cheating.

Finally I got my head clear and have been separated almost a year which is the required time to wait in my state to file. Our D will be pretty easy and businesslike because we get along pretty well.

Now that I am emotionally detached, I have NO DESIRE to get entangled in that mess again. I need to work on me and am really enjoying being single and a single dad. My girls and I enjoy stress free time together as I am their primary parent. Yes, we do include mom in SOME of our activities so that the girls can see that mom and dad get along and love them first.
 

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I have some recommended books for you Movingon. First on my list is "Stop Walking On Eggshells" by Paul T. Mason and MS NDI Randi Kreger. This is all about borderline relationships good and bad and how to take back your life when the one you're with makes you feel worthless and miserable. Even if your wife isn't BPD a lot of the rules for dealing with her right now still do apply.

Second on my list is Women's Infidelities 1 and 2. This book will piss you off with how the woman in #2 rationalizes everything away and the author/shrink takes her side. That's the only bad part, the best thing about this book is it helps you get into her head and understand how her reasoning works - Childish to say the least.

I can explain a few things here is you have any questions, but above all you need to remain calm and take this on stategically. Or else you lose you temper, she cries bloody murder in court and gets her kids to go along, and you're screwed. So do your homework now and you might be able to pacify her so she doesn't attack your wallet and your visitation rights because she is upset.

Even if you wanted her back you need to stay with your boundaries right now and act like you're moving on. Trust me on this I've see couples reconcile who had kids and were all above 35, and even if the betrayed was desperate to win their SOs heart back they had to abandon them for a period of time first and let the wayward experience life on their own.

And FYI, if this was her first affair it's not going to be her last. The first one is always to test out single life, the "Tester". She's not going to come back just yet until she hits rock bottom and her kids don't want to be around her.
 

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Finally I got my head clear and have been separated almost a year which is the required time to wait in my state to file. Our D will be pretty easy and businesslike because we get along pretty well.

Now that I am emotionally detached, I have NO DESIRE to get entangled in that mess again. I need to work on me and am really enjoying being single and a single dad. My girls and I enjoy stress free time together as I am their primary parent. Yes, we do include mom in SOME of our activities so that the girls can see that mom and dad get along and love them first.
You pretty much described my situation. My STBXH and I get along well enough now, assuming he stays sober. Presently, he seems to be making an effort to do so but then again, he has before too. At least he's going to AA now. That will make it easier to deal with the divorce proceedings and raising our son together.

But to be with him for any real period of time? I have no problem spending small amounts of time with him and my son but my daughter can barely stand to be in the same room as him so situations such as holidays and vacations will probably be separate, especially since he's ruined so many family events over the past few years.
 

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I wrote this article last night for someone else, but I think it applies to you better.

Are you a sleepwalker? Some drift along for years not feeling passionate about anything. There's no pain, no anger, no special flare that makes them unique. And one by one they shut off their emotions until all that's left is a joyless assigned role of worker or parent. Why else do you think cheaters say they've never felt so alive in the arms of their lover? It's because they've been so withdrawn from themselves that they link every feeling of being worthwhile to the other person.

If you've been married for decades never having known other options before you committed, it's very possible you've been suppressed by your spouse for which she resented you for it. She had to have you and no one else but you in the beginning, and now that she has you completely and unconditionally she doesn't want any part of you. This is where "Nice Guys" fail every time because they reward their partners with unconditional love and affection when they clearly overstep their boundaries.
BTW, I freakin hate that term "Nice Guy" - A nice guy is good man, the way it's expressed most often describes a desperate manipulated subject who seeks approval.

That is why the first step in either reconciliation or recovery is to divorce yourself from your wife and stop giving her reassurance that you might take her back if she behaves. You do this best by ignoring her as much as you can for 8-12 weeks so she can feel what it's like to be abandoned due to her own actions. She's got to feel like she blew it this time and you're not coming back. This is your first boundary on your new list.

In that time I urge you to find a hobby you can be passionate about on your own. It has to be something you enjoyed before you were married that you would still enjoy now. Don't pick up bird watching or stamp collecting if you know you will never be able to do it for the rest of your life. And it has to be something you can feel proud of, your wife can't be a part of, and something that doesn't focus on anyone but you. Say for instance you picked up a musical instrument again but practiced alone when your kids were asleep. Well your wife couldn't take that pleasure from you when she's got the kids like she could if you made your hobby a family event.

Pour your heart into this hobby and every emotion you've been repressing until you feel that..... I like to call it the "f*ck it" feeling, because you reach a point where you say "f*ck it. I don't need to worry over this anyways". I should also mention you want this hobby to be something you can feel proud to show off to a potential date. I don't consider masturbation or playing videogames and creative skill though they are kind of one in the same. You'll be using this in the future when you start to date without doing it to have sex or when you see your wife again over one of those just friends dinners. I know, I know, it's weird but exes always seem to want to do romantic-like things together when you can't stand them any longer.

Just a suggestion while were on the subject about hobbies. Before you consider anything new I want you to ponder these three questions.
Is this something I love?
Is this something I'm really good at?
Is this something that will help others?
You can't keep a hobby you don't love, you can't keep a hobby you know you're terrible at, and you can't fully enjoy your hobby if other's can share the experience with you. Fo instance let's say you picked up fine dinning but you were the only one to ever eat your creations..... Don't you think other people might like a taste too?

One last tip!

I don't care how in shape you think you are. Unless you're a gymnast or a free runner you need to workout daily and strengthen your cardiovascular system. Divorce can be absolutely heart breaking and that amount of pain has been DOCUMENTED to cause heart attacks. So get it together or risk dying before your time.

Tears are the medicine that keep the soul alive.
 

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Agree, great post and very true. The thing is, she wanted out so bad and so fast she did not even hire a lawyer. We have 50/50 custody so I pay no child support, kept my 401K, kept all the four wheelers, camper, trailers, tools and what not. She told me in Oct '11 she wanted a divorce and the divorce was final Jan '12. What makes it really hard on me is she has so much regret. She has told me often that she made a mistake and wishes now we would have seperated to think about it. She really is a good person. She wanted the family life as much if not more than I. Last summer she sked me to go on vacation with her and the kids. At first I said yes but changed my mind the day before. She called to ask me what time I was picking her and the kids up the next day, I told her I changed my mind. She went silent and hung up the phone. She called me me a few days later and said she cried for 3 hours straight because I was not going. She said she really looked forward to spending time with me and being a family again if only for the week. Last July on a Sunday night I had the kids. We were all sleeping in the living room. About 2 in the morn, who I that was my daughter woke me up and asked if she could sleep with me. I said yes, get in and don't wake your brother. Turns out it was the ex! She laid next to me crying saying over and over again how she was not good and she did not know if she was going to make. To this day, when we do kid pickup/drop off, she will put the kids in her car and get in my truck and cry saying how much she misses me and how unhappy she is. I used to get sucked into this and get my hopes up for R. She at one time a few months ago asked me what it would take to get us back together. I said it would be tough but we can start to talk about it. Only to see her go cold again and it never went much farther. She has done this to me at least 3 or 4 times. I don't bite on it anymore. I just tell her that we will both be fine. I need to stick with boundries. I have told her in the past that I do not want her in my house. She will stick to it for a few days, but than she is right back to coming in without even knocking. I try to be tough on this but damn its so hard. We were together so long its tough to think of us used to be. What is going through her head? She is so unhappy yet she has not taken any steps to change ANYTHING. I think if I were I would say hey, I have made an appointment to MC. Would you like to go? I am going with or without you. But she has not done this. All idel talk and crying. I don't get it.
I am so sorry she is putting you through this. You are being very strong, keep it up! :smthumbup:
 

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In that time I urge you to find a hobby you can be passionate about on your own. It has to be something you enjoyed before you were married that you would still enjoy now..
:iagree: :smthumbup: Hobbies are awesome! My hobbies are what kept me going through years of a bad, lonely marriage as well as now. With the exception of kayaking, which I got my husband into, I did everything on my own. He wasn't interested in doing much with me. I've done everything from racing and showing cars, road trips, 4 wheeling, hiking, skiing, camping...

So basically nowadays I'm just continuing to do what I've always do but at least now it's hassle and guilt free.

Hobbies give you a way to keep yourself busy, be passionate about something in a constructive way and meet new people. :)
 

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You know after my wife left I started working out like I used to, without her whinning about being helpless on her own or complaining about something or another. I lost a pound a week for 6 months straight before the mediation and looked fantastic. I can't tell you how many books I read and video games I played, but until I got rid of her I thought I was going crazy and couldn't think straight for very long. A bad relationship will do that to ya!
 
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