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How do you reconcile yourself to the colossal unfairness?

FusedGlass posted 10/14/2020 17:31 PM

I haven't posted much here, as I've been trying to focus on healing. But we are slowly moving toward the end of the divorce process, and I'm struggling after today's meeting with my lawyer.

I don't spend much time these days comparing my life to WH's, or thinking about him and OW (he moved in with her as soon as he left me, about 1.5 years ago). But the divorce negotiations make it hard to look at all the numbers and see the vast inequities.

WH now lives in a two-income household, and they travel and do all kinds of things I can't afford. Once the divorce goes through, I'll likely be getting significantly less from WH, who will then have even more money to spend on all those extras, while I'll really be scraping by.

We have a teenage son who lives with me 100% of the time and sees his father very rarely. WH has never been particularly interested in being a father, and still isn't. After WH left, I finally came to understand that he had been emotionally and psychologically abusive for decades; I just couldn't see it until he was gone.

I have a pretty debilitating medical condition, which severely limits my ability to work and live a normal life. My therapist believes my health was directly impacted by the long-term toxic stress of living with WH. While it's possible I'll get somewhat better and be able to do more work, it's really unknown and unlikely to be a major source of income.

Clearly, it's good that I'm no longer with WH. I am thankful for my son and lots of things in my life. But I'm still dealing with the trauma of the affair, the years of abuse before it, and my challenging health. And on top of that, I'm looking at a difficult financial future. It's hard to see the massive impact of it all on me, while it appears that WH's life may actually improve from the divorce.

How do you reconcile yourself to the colossal unfairness of it all?

People keep telling me I'll feel so much better once the divorce is over, but will I really, even if my financial situation worsens considerably?

And, once we're divorced, we're still going to be tied by alimony (and obviously our son). My lawyer said I'll probably have to go back for an alimony review when my son is emancipated. So that'll be hanging over me, and it feels like the divorce will never really end if we're already planning to go back to court afterward.

Please tell me it will somehow get better.

Chrysalis123 posted 10/14/2020 20:03 PM

Well, infidelity sucks. It really does because your agency was stolen and then on top of it all these other bad things happen.

You know, in life, sometimes really crappy things happen like catastrophic injury, cancer, natural disasters, death......... and forever people in these situations eventually have to make a choice.

Dwell in the crisis for years and years....or dwell in the crisis for a time and then consciously make the decision to move on and choose life.

In my opinion it is a mental/emotional process to accept and then move on. It's a process to mourn and then choose life and to make the best of it.

It is fair? No. But what other choice do you have?

Relish your son. How fortunate you both are to have each other. Relish your freedom without that abusive asshole. Relish the alimony and hopefully it is funneled through the state. when court time comes it comes but that is years from now...so don't give it a minutes thought.

You are in the early days and it is super scary for all of us. You will be OK. One foot in front of the other, day after day until one day you wake up and realize you had not thought about it for a few days.

It will get better as you heal.

skeetermooch posted 10/14/2020 23:42 PM

You'll get there. You've got a lot of valid reasons to be pissed right now - your health, finances and the impression that he's skipped off into some new easy life.

I was in this boat when I divorced my son's narc father around 18 years ago. He had a trust fund, moved into a huge expensive house he paid for cash, married a woman 15 years my junior....I got no alimony or child support (he threatened to fight for full custody of my son if I didn't concede to this and having no money I didn't want to risk it). I had to take a shit job and move to the hood. But as my new life took shape and the empty spots filled in and I found my happiness - all of the envy or resentment or whatever it was evaporated. I was happy in my hovel. Without an ogre living with us, life was just sweet even if there were gun shots in the middle of the night and my car was ancient. I did the things I couldn't do married - dumb stuff like buying donuts for the kids sometimes and taking my son to disneyworld (after much scrimping and saving)...

The full journey from fetal position to dancing a jig was about 4 years, but every year was better than the last. It was less about "working towards acceptance" than it was building a new life, finding things to look forward to and work towards and lots of gratitude for my freedom. Believe me, there were times I winced when they'd pull up in one fo their $60k cars or I went to pick my son up at their sprawling three story home on the hill with the killer view - but I reminded myself of the cost of having that life - living with a monster.

I hope your health gets better in his absence. Be patient and take care of yourself with good food, nature, rest - whatever makes you feel at peace.

99problems posted 10/15/2020 01:39 AM

I am super struggling with this.
My stbxw's AP left his son 2000 miles away, just to be "superstepdad" to my daughter after we were separated for 60 days.
All I can say is that what I have to offer my daughter (Who is 7) is not replaceable by the flavor of the week. I have been a day in day out parent to that kid since the day she was born.
All of the disney vacations and candy won't replace who I am to my kid. I am Dad, hear me roar.
Roooooorrrrraaaar!
I love my kid fiercely, without hesitation or condition. Nobody will ever love her more. I can guaranfuckingtee that.

LadyG posted 10/15/2020 03:18 AM

I am only starting to come to terms about the colossal unfairness.

The financial unfairness is immense in my case and I too am afraid that I could be struggling into my retirement years.

Sure, I could be asset rich one day but absolutely cash poor now and for possibly the next 20 years.

My STBXWH is an abusive narc who wants to walk away from this smelling my roses.

All the retirement plans were dependent upon our marriage continuing, something that I cannot reconcile now.

I can only wait and bide my time for now.

So, I choose to move forward to my self healing and hope that the trauma of the past will not cloud my judgement when signing off on our financial settlement.

I am ready to divorce yesterday but that doesnít suit my WH.

To be clear there are 5 of US in this divorce outcome. Thereís WH - V - ME+3 children and he still wants more than 50%.

barcher144 posted 10/15/2020 14:05 PM

I honestly try not to think about it.

She had the affair... that drove me into depression... and she used my depression (and dishonest allegations of domestic violence) to get a favorable financial ruling (temporary) from the judge and a favorable custody ruling (temporary) that led to a favorable permanent custody recommendation from the custody evaluator. I make double what she makes but I am now bring home about 25% of our combined income... I can barely break even, while working as a handyman to help make ends meet.

All of that is one big shit sandwich, right? Well, if you offered me the deal to stay with her or to deal with I am dealing with... I'll offload her every time. I might not have as much material stuff, but I have my sanity back... the important people in my life are honest with me... and I am happy. I have also learned that I can be a great dad with 30% custody.

So, you can look at what you lost... but I try to look at what I have NOW. I'm happier now than I was with her. And with any luck, I'll get a much more reasonable ruling from the judge after our trial and then I'll get some of those material things back.

FusedGlass posted 10/15/2020 15:06 PM

Thank you all for the replies. I appreciate it, and I'm doing better today than last night.

Chrysalis - Thanks for the perspective, and also acknowledging that it will take time for me to get there.

skeetermooch - I think you're right about creating a new life for yourself. This one is still very much a work in progress for me, but I'm trying to do it. Knowing it took 4 years for you is helpful.

Idiotmcstupid - Your daughter is incredibly lucky to have a dad who loves her like you do, and no AP or material thing could ever replace you.

LadyG - I'm sorry you're going through this too; hope your divorce can happen soon.

barcher - I usually try not to think about it too; I think yesterday was one of those days it just got to me. I hope your trial result is favorable.

I too am much better off without STBX than with him here making life miserable for all of us. Thanks for the reminder to stay focused on that and the wonderful people in my life. I'll try to take care of myself and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

josiep posted 10/16/2020 09:33 AM

I spend a lot of my counseling sessions discussing this very thing. My financial and health situations aren't bad as such so I'm fortunate that way. But the injustice of it all still eats at me and it's my biggest hurdle to feeling the peace and serenity I seek.

Even though your feelings about this aren't as frequent, I would still encourage you to find someone to talk to about it all because I can vouch from personal experience that the sense of injustice/unfairness is the very thing that will keep you down and prevent you from rising up again. Maybe you have the great American novel inside you. Or maybe a hit song. Or maybe your parenting style is poised to present the world with the most awesome adult human ever. Or maybe you'll just be that nice lady on the street that makes everyone else feel happier and safer because you're there. Who knows? The point is, this is your chance to bloom and in spite of your health and financial burdens, there are 70,000+ people here who can all vouch for the fact that you have the right stuff. Just getting from the point of DDay when your life shattered to the point that you can speak so eloquently and clearly is proof that you're made of the right stuff. Just keep plugging along and I believe good stuff will come your way.

I think for so many of us, we lose ourselves in the effort to hold our marriages together. Many of us think everything is fine but most of us can look back after the fact and realize we were in denial or surviving on hopium. So we keep giving more and more of ourselves, we give up our dreams, we forget who we are. Our talents freeze in place; our hearts keep a protective shield around themselves and so we end up not even knowing ourselves. People tell me to concentrate on doing what I want to do. Problem is, I don't even know what I want to do.

Thank you for posting your query because it has actually helped me a lot because it made me stop and think and remember to focus on myself and what I do have than about XX and what he took from me.

P.S. I did go to the beach yesterday. I even put sunscreen on my upper chest/neck area twice. I got sunburned anyway. My mood when I saw it after my shower was "Oh, Hell, why did I go to the beach? I shouldn't have gone." But now, after thinking about what you wrote and pulling my philosophical wandering thoughts to the forefront of my head, my mood is now "Hey, chick, you live near the beach, a lifelong dream so do it more often. But girl, you need to get better sunscreen."

[This message edited by josiep at 9:44 AM, October 16th (Friday)]

ThisIsSoLonely posted 10/16/2020 10:58 AM

I have reminded myself a million times that this mess was all part of life, and

LIFE IS UNFAIR

It just is. People get sick, are maimed, hurt, betrayed, trampled on, die, having done nothing to "deserve" it. Some people seem to struggle endlessly whereas other seemingly nasty assholes do not. Why??? Why did the tree fall in the campground and kill the woman in the neighboring tent sleeping a mere 10 feet away from me and yet nothing happened to me? I'm pretty sure her friends/family thought about how unfair that horrible accident was for her...but why her? Why not me instead?

You could do this about all kinds of stuff. I was OBSESSED with the unfairness of things - I could not get over it for the longest. I recall that WH and I went to a casino about 6 months post d-day (nevermind that it was all false R then anyway) and within 10 minutes of getting there he had won like #$3,000. And I remember thinking "are you fucking kidding me???" this asshole wins after everything he has done???

But really, you have to let the unfairness aspect of it go - because fairness doesn't govern life in the least unfortunately. Unfairness has been there all along...it's just when the unfairness wheel lands on us that we really see the unfairness for what it is. It's been there the whole time.

FusedGlass posted 10/18/2020 11:18 AM

I think for so many of us, we lose ourselves in the effort to hold our marriages together. Many of us think everything is fine but most of us can look back after the fact and realize we were in denial or surviving on hopium. So we keep giving more and more of ourselves, we give up our dreams, we forget who we are. Our talents freeze in place; our hearts keep a protective shield around themselves and so we end up not even knowing ourselves. People tell me to concentrate on doing what I want to do. Problem is, I don't even know what I want to do.

Josiep, thank you for your very eloquent response. I so relate to this, and I think you're exactly right that these two things are connected. Just like you, I slowly lost myself in my marriage, to the point where now I don't even know what I like or want.

I am in individual therapy, as well as a divorce group, and both have helped immensely, though clearly I still have work to do!

I think one of the very first things I had to work on was self-care -- not only did I not know what that was, but I thought self-care and selfishness were the same thing. This has improved over time and with practice. Getting to know myself -- what I like and want for myself -- is one of the next steps, and then eventually I'll be able to visualize and create that new life for myself.

Good for you for going to the beach! Yes, great that you can do it, and definitely invest in better sunscreen so you can keep going.

*edited since I accidentally hit submit before I was ready!

[This message edited by FusedGlass at 11:28 AM, October 18th (Sunday)]

FusedGlass posted 10/18/2020 11:45 AM

ThisIsSoLonely, thanks and I take your point that life is fundamentally unfair.

But I think where I get stuck is in the NOT-randomness of this particular situation. Someone who was supposed to love me intentionally hurt me, over and over again, and then not only seems to have no consequences at all, but gets to go off and have a (financially) better life than I do.

I feel like someone needs to write the book, "When Good Things Happen to Bad People." That's what I'm having trouble with.

I realize the only way out of this is to focus on myself and my own life. I am working on this (see above), but it is painfully slow.

One of the other unfairnesses is that he has a specific shiny new person/life to focus on, while I need to rise up from the wreckage and create a brand new life. I know it's possible I can create something really great, and likely much better than his obviously dysfunctional relationship. The issue is, that future is just blank right now, so it's hard to get excited about something I can't identify yet. I think I can get there, but I can also feel how much time and work there still is ahead of me.

I appreciate your saying you were stuck in the unfairness too, which gives me hope that I'll get out of this as well, in time. I am thankful that I am not spending so much time there was I was in the beginning. It's just days/moments when I spiral into that, but I do come out of it again and get back to work on my own own life. Such a marathon this is.

phmh posted 10/18/2020 14:23 PM

I totally remember feeling this. We did not have any kids, but after we were married, he told me he wanted to go to med school and asked me to support his dream. I made good money, so supported both of us (for example, paying his tuition instead of investing in my own retirement) while doing the vast majority of the work to keep our household going. Our agreement was that after he was done and practicing medicine, I no longer had to work a demanding corporate job and could do something else. I held up my end of the bargain -- for 11 years -- and 6 months before he was to finish his fellowship and finally really practice, he had his affair. My state's divorce laws would not acknowledge what I had paid toward his schooling (even though he would have been several hundred thousand dollars in debt without me) and I still had to split everything 50/50. It was so unfair. Plus, he had a girlfriend, whereas I'd given up my friends during my marriage to keep the peace (he's got anti-social personality disorder), just found out I was losing my job, etc.

I remember talking to my IC about this, and she said "I'd so much rather be you than him." And I'm thinking WTF? He's now a doctor, tons of money, gets to start over, has a girlfriend, etc. And she reminded me that I have my integrity and that I now had the opportunity to make for myself the life that I always should have been living.

The first outside clue I had that my IC was right was when he e-mailed me asking for naked pictures because he was divorced from his hot wife and had settled for an ugly girlfriend (MOW). Of course I said no, and just shook my head at what a sad, pathetic person he is. I'm completely NC, but he had to move out of the city he wanted to be in several hours away because all the hospitals in town knew that he was sleeping with coworkers while neglecting his patients. And I started to internalize how irrelevant he was to my life. I had been taken by a con artist, but was given the opportunity to start again.

And I did! I found a great job, studied for some certifications, got promotions, made friends, found hobbies, bought my dream house, etc. It takes a while, but the best revenge is a life well-lived, and while he has absolutely no idea what's going on in my life, and I have no idea what's going on in his, I can pretty much guarantee that I am much happier than he is, because he is so disordered that true happiness is beyond him, and I'm to the point where I wouldn't change a thing about my life (other than covid).

You've got this. Focus on you. Keep taking steps forward to make him an irrelevant part of your past life - something that you survived so that you could thrive on the other end and live the life you always should have had. I know you can do this!!!

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