Your STBXWW is truly a piece of work and really doesn't deserve you.
I want to say that I do admire how you've acted during this- this is fantastic modeling for your children as they grow. One thing I'm trying very hard is that I want to act as I would want THEM to react in a similar situation. If I had to give my daughters advice if presented this situation, what would I say/do?
By moving on and not accepting her BS, you are truly a wonderful parent- you are modeling healthy mature behavior and showing that you deserve and demand respect. Your WW will always be their mom, but they will also see what a strong dad/man is. Continued good luck to you!
BTDT. I won custody largely because when I was going through my divorce, my XW chose to go out on "dates" throughout the process. Her reasoning was that we were divorcing now, why couldn't she "date"?
Well, as I proved in court(had a PI follow her), when she had an opportunity to be with the kids, she chose time with the OM. I on the other hand, took every opportunity to be with them and spend quality time. As I argued in court, the fact that she had an affair and was continuing(Live in a no fault state) to was of no importance, her not spending time with the children as they dealt with the emotional turmoil showed that they would have a safer environment with me. I met their emotional needs and made them a priority.
A phrase you will become intimately familiar with is "In the best interests of the children". It usually is regardless of what state you live in. How is she demonstrating that? Take every chance you get to be with them. 180 the B&^%$ to the max and work on yourself. Make her a non-entity in your mind and document the hell out of her actions. Make the kids YOUR priority.
I‘m going to tackle this from a couple of angles:
Do you have any ideas about your WW plans for custody?
I for one don’t believe in making divorce harder than it has to be and I think that using the children as bargaining tools is… well… tasteless. No matter how this goes then we should all hope that 3 years from now your kids have a healthy relationship with both parents. So I for one am not going to suggest you seek sole custody, no- or limited visitation and so on. But you might want prime custody. IF this ends in D then 6 months from now you want your kids to be adjusting to a consistent, caring schedule with access to both of you.
I second the document idea no matter how amicable and friendly you are now. Even the most amicable of divorces tend to get nasty. On this issue it’s better to err to the side of caution. It’s a LOT better to be in a position of power and being able to negotiate final custody to the kids and your benefit, rather than having to accept whatever morsels she might offer.
In all this it’s imperative to be fair (well… seem fair), document and make accountable. So for example if you two discuss something you feel important then follow it up with an e-mail covering the issues. Gives you confirmation of what was discussed, when and how.
I said in one of my first posts you shouldn’t enable the affair. So don’t be so readily available to be at home. Consider telling her you are going out (and DO IT) or telling her that you two will take alternative weeks as the prime caretaker. No need to be petty; after all if she is hell-bent on divorce then dating OM might be in bad taste but within what she can do if she has no intention of R. But next Friday evening – YOU have plans. YOU be away.
Do NOT ask her to join you for dinner with the kids. That is the past. Your life as a happy family… is over. That is unless she asks for it back and you are ready to offer it back.
Please consider doing the Thanksgiving and Christmas talk sooner than later. I have to say that the date for the kids hearing (18 Dec) is awfully close to the family holiday. I would IMMEDIATELY address the issue with your wife that the sooner the children are told the better it would be. Consider suggesting you two talk to your MC about how to break the news.
EXPOSE EXPOSE EXPOSE. Tell your parents, her parents, your siblings, her siblings, her boss, his boss… (BTW – what IS their work relationship? Is he her superior?)
Coda; I have always given you hope for reconciliation.
There still is some but frankly it diminishes by the day. IMHO your best chance of R is still by standing firm on your basic requirements and forcing the affair into reality with all you’re might. WHEN your wife sees you are serious, WHEN your wife has to talk to the kids, WHEN she sees that the finances of the family goes haywire, WHEN she starts feeling pressure from siblings, parents, co-workers… WHEN OM refuses to commit to her, WHEN she has to be a single mom every other week… That’s when her shell will crumble.
But also know that maybe at that time it will be YOU that feels empowered enough to be content with divorce.
I will consider going out more. I'm just worried that she will use that against me if we get into a custody battle. So I have limited my time spent away from home and my children.
I have feeling she wants to see what the divorce settle will look like. Before making any final decision for her self. I just want to make sure I don't get screwed financially if we end up fighting in court. I have no intention in trying to get nasty about it. But I can't control what she does.
Also, I'm reasonably when she goes out, not everytime is to see the AP. It's easy to assume that, even for me because I don't trust her anymore. But I know Saturday, she did not see the AP (confirmed with AP's wife). Last week Monday, really did go golfing with her girlfriends. Some of it is legitimate work related networking.
I just hope I have not rushed things by filing for D. I still prefer to R if there is any chance. But I can't stand waiting if the Affair is still ongoing at any level. So until I get transparency from her about the affair, I'm not going to back down on the D.
I also told her we should start negotiating about custody, money & property division. And that the more we can agree together without going back and forth through our attorneys, the less expensive it will be. I reminded her that of course we can have our respective attorney's review our agreement to make sure it is fair for each party.
Thanksgiving plans are already set, my father is coming to visit from out of town that week. I'll need to discuss Christmas with her. I guess I'll ask if she is still planning on moving out. If she is, then we need to figure out how to share the kids.
I have a question for anyone who has been in my situation and ended up divorcing. Did you really feel relief after the divorce? Or did you feel the sadness, loss, regret the same as when you found out about the A. I am so unsure if I am doing the right thing. I keep telling myself that I can't let me self be treated this way (my wife's cake eating). So my boundary is for her is verifiable NC with AP. The consequence is my moving forward (divorce). Some people are telling me I didn't wait long enough before filing.
Some people are telling me I didn't wait long enough before filing.
Are these people aware of the ongoing affair?
Are these people aware of the comments your wife has made about your relationship not fulfilling her?
Have these people offered a realistic alternative?
Look Coda – YOU have to feel OK with your decisions. Nobody here is entitled to judge you if you withdraw from the divorce or ask your attorney to slow things down. It’s totally your call and you need to feel comfortable with it. You could sit down with your wife and ask her if she’s happy with the divorce. If she says no then ask her how she thinks the marriage can work out while she’s in the affair. Maybe logic might work…
There are people that advocate allowing the affair to run its course. Statistically the chances are your WW and OM would have had a good run of 6-8 months and then THIS affair burned out. But that isn’t dealing with the underlying issue: WHY does your WW feel entitled to have an affair? If I refer back to statistics then IF this affair had been allowed to run its course then the stats say your WW would have another affair within 3-5 years. Sound like something to look forwards to? Sound like something you could accept? [This IS a serious question: Very many people live knowing their spouse is unfaithful and seem… OK with it… It’s not something I could do but then…]
Your wife has the power to end the affair. She chooses not to. To me that’s a sad but very clear message. Your regret… It sounds like you are looking at your burning house wishing the fire had never started. But it has. The flames are reality – your wishes just wishes.
Your wife has the power to end the affair. She chooses not to.
And ultimately... That was that. It took all my will, all my strength, from the bottom of my wrecked soul to file for divorce from the love of my life. I offered her the gift of reconciliation. She did not want it.
Now I am divorcing, and it is a nightmare. The demons that drove her to her affair now have taken over her being. Masks are off, and I see who she is. I also wonder if at the end of the divorce I will feel relief and have asked of the forum if I can expect this. While it is likely more complex a range of emotions, the collective response has been "Yes."
And I do believe it. Hang in there, Coda and continue to listen to these wise people. If I can survive, you can too. It gets better. Slowly, unbearably slowly. But it does.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
It is clear you are torn.
But why should you wait for a woman that is not willing to wait for you.
And spend everyday of your life as a reminder to her about where the greener grass grows.
You deserve better.
Go find it.
[This message edited by happyman64 at 7:48 PM, November 13th (Wednesday)]
But I asked her how she feels about me filing for divorce. She said she has anxiety/uncertainty about the divorce. I told her I believe the affair is still going on because her behavior (going out almost every night, still keeping the 2nd cell phone and 2nd laptop). She keeps denying that the affair is continuing.
I asked her to show me the second cell phone records to prove she hasnt called or texted him. Or just tell me that the affair is going on. She refused both requests and said let's just divorce.
It's the first time she actually said it to me.
I said okay, then I will ask my lawyer to request the cell phone records to prove that on the nights she went out, she had phone/text contact with him (to meet up) and I may even ask for more than joint custody for the kids. She panicked a little coming up with weak excuses like, its a waste of money, i'm just doing that to prove a point/satisfy my ego, the money could be used for the kids. So I know she is hiding something. Then we got into a long argument, mostly her blaming me for everything and me trying to defend myself. I shouldn't have argued, I know.
I'm not backing down and will continue the divorce process.
The only reason I can think she doesn't want me to know the affair is ongoing is that she wants it to look like we divorced not because of the A, but because of our bad marriage. I told her clearly that I filed divorce because of the affair. The marital problems I was willing to try and resolve if she wanted to.
Tonight she goes and talks to a lady friend who divorced. I hope she talks some sense to my wife. I don't think she talked to anyone besides the AP and the marriage counselor.
So if the OM throws her under the bus and chooses his marriage instead of life with a fellow cheater, burdened with three children, she isn't going to sacrifice an iota of pride by exploding in tears and groveling for forgiveness. She will allow the marriage to die and see how things go afterwards. After all from her perspective its all your fault anyway and the affair [which is still ongoing] comes under the heading of entitlement, considering the 'misery' you put her through.
All you can do is press on with the divorce; its the only course left open to you if you don't want to co-exist with her adultery.
After my divorce I felt relief. I also felt sadness, loss, and regret. I was relieved I no longer had to endure his A and all that went with it. I was sad that our 35 yrs of M was less important to him than his AP. The loss of the man I had loved for 35 yrs was heartbreaking. Regrets? I have no regrets as I did not break our M or our family. He did that. Does HE have regrets? I don't think he would admit it to himself or anyone else if he did. That kind of admission would indicate he realized he had made a mistake. He sure isn't going to admit that.
You say you're unsure if you're doing the right thing by filing. Understandable... for many of us, D is the last thing we ever want. However, the flip side: Why on earth would you want to continue a M with a WS who cares so little for you, who cares so little for her children, but cares first and foremost for an AP whom she hardly knows ? Is this the kind of woman you want to be married with ? Why would anyone want that ?
I wonder, the people who are saying you didn't wait long enough prior to filing: how many of them have been betrayed by the one person on earth whom they loved and trusted the most ? Unless they've lived it, they really have no idea what they're talking about. I certainly didn't.... until I lived it.
So your wife is still lying and ok with the divorce.
So give her what she wants.
Separate yourself from her infidelity.
Do yourself a favor.
Let everyone know why you are divorcing. Expose the Affair to her family and the OM's family.
Your wife needs to feel consequences Coda.
And why not ask for more custody. You are already the childrens primary parent.
Stay the course. No arguments with her.
give her what she wants.
There are better woman out there Coda.
I read your whole thread and I'm so pissed off for you and your kids. They are about the same ages as my three. They need an honest, compassionate, supportive mother not a lying, selfish Vulcan. Your wife must be truly messed up to throw away her integrity and her intact family for Mr. Sleazy Adulterer.
I would continue to give your kids as much of your time and attention as possible. They need to know that they have one dependable, giving parent who puts them first.
My fWH is a child of divorce. His mother was cheating with a MM and she left. His father didn't want the kids either. They got the message that they were worthless, and my H did not deal with it in a healthy was until after d-day.
Your kids are going to need you to be their rock. I'm sure they already sense the tension, fear and anger in your home. The more you can show them that you love being with them and that you can handle whatever emotions they throw at you, the better.
I would also tell your kids the truth in an age appropriate way. They need to know that they can count on their dad to be honest because their mom is unreliable and even lying to herself.
I think you should be proud of how you have handled all this so far. The fact that you keep reaching out for advice shows how healthy you are, and the fact that you filed for D shows your self-worth. How could you stay married to a woman who shows no respect for you, your marriage or herself?
Things have calmed down at home. I noticed that she is telling me where she will go if she leaves the house. I went out on Saturday night with friends and I met the APs wife to talk. She is telling me her WH is really trying to delay the their divorce, giving all kinds of excuses for the reasons why. He asked her why she is such a rush.
My wife didn't make the appointment with the MC to discuss how to tell the kids we are getting D. She has not brought up anything about the marriage/divorce since our last argument on Thur. I'm not going to bring it up either.
She has not brought up anything about the marriage/divorce since our last argument on Thur. I'm not going to bring it up either.
She is telling me her WH is really trying to delay the their divorce, giving all kinds of excuses for the reasons why. He asked her why she is such a rush
They have to be from another planet. Such selfish obsession with their own needs and no consideration for the spouse they pledged marriage vows with.
The OM and your wife seems to be cooling it a little right now. It may have suddenly occurred to them what they are about to lose. They must be really annoyed at you and the AP's wife for tarnishing their romantic fantasy. They had their passionate affair and their convenient marriage and now they have to give up one of them. Maybe thats where your wife's recent anger is really coming from.
If we do end up in D, I'm not looking to screw her financially. I just hope she doesnt try to either.
I just want what is fair.
I know my wife was upset about me telling his wife. She even wrote about it in a letter to me saying now she is a "wanted woman" and the AP's wife and kids know who she is now.
[This message edited by coda87 at 4:47 PM, November 18th (Monday)]
I still see hope for reconciliation. If I didn’t then my sole advice to you would be to keep calm, focus on the big picture and make this divorce as amicable as possible given the circumstances. Early on I suggested doing three things: Make the affair hard, make the marriage attractive and make leaving the marriage hard. I suggest you focus on all three. It sounds like she has no clue how hard divorce will be for her and the family.
For example her comment about not enjoying the exposure…
I know my wife was upset about me telling his wife. She even wrote about it in a letter to me saying now she is a "wanted woman" and the AP's wife and kids know who she is now.
I question why she feels bad about the OMW and kids knowing who she is. It’s as she doesn’t realize that her actions have consequences. She’s afraid of how a third party will perceive her without really seeming concerned about how those closest to her will perceive her. I think it’s a valid idea to ask her how she thinks her parents, siblings, in-laws, children etc. will see her when the marriage ends in divorce because of her insistence to remain in infidelity. And YES – you should not be quiet about the true reasons for where you are headed.
You have already been advised to be honest with all stakeholders in the marriage. In your shoes (I think) I would insist on the children being told in an age-appropriate way why their family is being split up. This is something you should talk about with the MC, but I feel strongly that they deserve the truth in a non-judgmental and non-confrontational way. It’s not that you expect them to take sides (in fact you discourage that) but it’s HER job to make amends and improve the relationship with the kids and others.