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Divorce/Separation :
Fear vs. reality


Phoenix1 ( member #38928) posted at 7:59 PM on Saturday, March 7th, 2020


fBS - Me
Xhole - Multiple LTAs/2 OCs over 20+yrs
Adult Kids
Happily divorced!

You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending. ~C.S. Lewis~

posts: 9059   ·   registered: Apr. 9th, 2013   ·   location: Land of Indifference
id 8521281

CaliforniaNative ( member #60149) posted at 5:30 PM on Sunday, March 8th, 2020

My XWH had a 2.5 year affair after being with him for 17 years. He gas lighted me, stole money from the family, tons of manipulation, rug sweeping, threatened me .... horrible. I wanted out.


* I would struggle with finances

*My son would struggle with being a part of a “broken home”

* I would be alone

* I would be judged by friends and family


* The first one turned out to be the biggest lie I told myself. I just got a new job with greater earning potential and I have less debt then when I was married. I am much better off now then before.

* My son did get off to a rough start for the first 6 months. His grades went down as he struggled with dads infidelity and the breakup of his family. Today he is thriving- plays three sports and has straight As!

* I took some time off to heal and find myself again. Read a lot, hung out with friends and family. Dated 8 months after D was final ( so almost a tear and a half after he moved out). This was the most challenging tho. I met a handsome man close to my age and fell in love.

* No one judged me, at least to my face. He took one set of married friends and seeing how one of them supported xwh during the affair, I don’t feel comfortable around them anyway.

posts: 444   ·   registered: Aug. 13th, 2017   ·   location: California
id 8521447

Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 4:45 PM on Thursday, April 23rd, 2020

I've been separated for almost 20 months and in my own place for 8 months, so I feel like I finally have something to post in this forum.

Fear: I was terrified that I would not be able to afford a place, pay my bills, and feed my kids.

Reality: Growing up with a single mom who made very little has taught me amazing survival skills. What I used to mock my mom for, I now do religiously. I shop onlybdales, wash my Ziploc bags, make coffee to go rather than stop somewhere, pack a lunch if I'm going shopping,etc. I am amazed how much I save each month. Ad well, I lice and die with a day planner where I track my bills and all money coming out. I have saved enough each month to keep my legal bills down to a manageable amount.

Fear: I would be lonely going to bed alone every night.

Reality: Yup, I'm lonely every night, but it's not as bad as I thought. I know it's just till I fall asleep, and the morning is something that I take joy in, with the rituals I have developed. And it gets better as I start to enjoy living alone. I bought a used bed and a new matress with news pillows and sheets. There is no trace of my WW to be found, and it is liberating!

Fear: I thought I would be alone for the rest of my life, feelong like I was just a tired old man.

Reality: I'm a good guy, I have a career, I'm King, intelligent, healthy, open minded, and not completely unattractive. I never realized that those were atractive qualities and I have had interest. I had an on again off again relationship with an amazing woman. And even though it did not work out, it taught me that I can love and be loved again. It also taught me im okay alone. I can be happy with my own company and do most things alone now.

Fear: I was worried that my kids would prefer being with their mom.

Reality: that was just stupid. Their mother is a controlled crash. Chaos is the order of the day. Again, growing up has taught me to be an excellent single parent. I run a good household and take care of my kids. Most times, I need to remind my STBXWW to take care of things during her week. In fact, one of my kids said something to me that was quite telling. She said that mom was always glad to get rid of us at the end of her week, and I was always glad to get them. She's never been maternal.

I have my place, my soot on the couch, and my rituals. I make amazing meals on my alone weeks to give myself something to do. I walk, I run, I talk to friends and family. I keep busy. But most of all, I now have peace. It is a beautiful, wonderful word and I have it emblazoned on my favourite mug to enjoy every morning.

I'm an oulier in my positions.

Me:55 STBXWW:55 DD#1: false confession of EA Dec. 2016. False R for a year.DD#2: confessed to year long PA Dec. 2 2017 (was about to be outed)Called it off and filed. Denied having an affair in court papers.

Divorced 20

posts: 1787   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8535285

Hedwig ( member #74175) posted at 11:38 AM on Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

Doing this for future reference for myself and eventually also for others, I hope.

Fear: I will never trust anyone again to build a relationship with and open up my heart to.

Fear: I will never meet someone better, this was the best and that is saying a lot because this was not all good.

Fear: I will always feel sad about our relationship ending.

Fear: I will never get over him and never stop loving him.

Fear: I won't have children because I will not meet someone worthy to have them with after this.

Fear: Even if I meet someone and end up getting married to them, they will break my heart too. Nothing is forever.

One fear I had a month ago, right after I ended the relationship, I can already look back on.

Fear: I am afraid of being alone and having too much time on my hands.

Reality: My support system was there for me when I needed them, my friends and family and even colleagues made sure I was okay. I found new ways to keep myself busy and I can find joy in little thing like taking a walk or a hot cup of coffee. Just because I am going through a sad period right now, does not mean it will feel like this forever. I háve felt better and I trust I will feel better again.

Edited for grammar

[This message edited by Hedwig at 11:15 AM, May 12th (Tuesday)]

Dday - 10/2018
Caught them, EMDR helped
Ended the relationship after false R for 1,5 years

posts: 271   ·   registered: Apr. 8th, 2020
id 8541483

leebick ( new member #74495) posted at 12:44 AM on Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

I'm at the beginning of the journey. A little over 2 years ago I discovered WH (35 years together) having EAs with 2 women. OW2 is really out of the picture, but he's continued lying to me about OW1 ("It's just a friendship!"), including my finding out he has secret email and FB accounts, keeps a locked cell phone, etc. He doesn't think it's an affair but he lies to my face about being in contact with her. I have moved out of our bedroom and have told him we need to discuss how we will move forward. ANYHOW... I have no realities to match to my fears, but here are my fears:

Friends: Most of our friends are OUR friends, not my friends or his friends. Yes, I have a few close friends but our best friends are friends of US. Also, we live in a very small town where everyone knows everyone else. A D is going to be difficult, and I am pretty sure that folks around town are going to pick one of us to keep as a friend.

Daughter: She's an adult and going through a divorce of her own. She's told us that she thought that her STBXH and she had the kind of relationship that her dad and I do. Apparently she was closer to the truth than anyone knew... :(

Retirement: I am almost 64, WH almost 60. We are looking at retiring in about 5 years. Always thought he'd be the person on the other end of the couch with me, not a cat. I don't want to grow old alone.

Going it alone: I don't want to. I see my sister and my cousin struggling with loneliness, sadness, depression in their post-D lives. I saw my mother and brother both become bitter alcoholics, post-D. I see my sister throw herself out there, trying to meet someone, and they are all married liars. The nice, solid guys are all in relationships, all that's out there are losers. I don't want to be alone, but I also don't have the energy or desire to get back out there and meet someone. I have been devastated and shattered once... and once is enough... but I don't want to be alone.

SO those are my fears. Not sure I'll actually have to face them, as I don't know if we'll try R or not. Time will tell.

BW, 64
WH, 60 (EA for 3+ years)
Married 27yr, together 35yr

posts: 27   ·   registered: May. 30th, 2020   ·   location: Maine
id 8549349

Breakingapart ( member #74151) posted at 5:52 AM on Thursday, June 18th, 2020

It’s all fears right now....

Fear: I will be heartbroken forever and this sadness will never go away

Fear: I will never have my best friend again

Fear: I will have to lose time with my kids because of his actions

Fear: my kids will forever be affected by this.

Fear: my friends will get sick of my venting and sadness and I will be left alone.

Fear: I have lost my travel partner

Fear: I will live out my “retirement” years alone

Fear: I will have to work full time and not be here to cherish every moment I can with my kids

Fear: money will be a struggle and I won’t be able to maintain my kids quality of life

Fear: my kids will be exposed to OW

Fear: he will never come out of his fog and understand the hurt he has caused

Fear: that depression will overtake me

Fear: that I will never trust again

God...I feel like I could go on for days. I pray I can come back and look at this and write a whole new reality!

posts: 166   ·   registered: Apr. 4th, 2020   ·   location: Canada
id 8552209

Katz13 ( member #41886) posted at 3:14 AM on Thursday, July 2nd, 2020

Divorce paperwork is in process.

Fear: His new relationship will embarrass me and our son because it will be the talk of the town.

Fear: He will have a great fun exciting single life while I sit home alone, lonely, depressed, and anxious.

Fear: This will cause our son to become depressed and fail at school. My H will be a small part of his son's life since he said he only wants to see him two weekends a month.

Fear: Our friends will feel uncomfortable with the new situation and not want to do things together anymore.

Fear: Loss of two incomes will cause financial strain.

Fear: Overall boredom, wanting to stalk my H to see what his life is like.

I can't wait to revisit this in a year to plug in the reality. Trying to be hopeful!

posts: 130   ·   registered: Jan. 2nd, 2014   ·   location: USA
id 8556681

crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 7:44 PM on Thursday, August 6th, 2020

My new fears as I go through separation...

Fear: My kids will want to spend more time with STBX.

Fear: Starting over at 47.

Fear: My finances will be shot.

Fear: Of ending a 19 year M, I've spent 24 years with him and change is uncomfortable.

Fear: That my STBX will continue to lovebomb me and my feelings of guilt will overwhelm me.

fBS/fWS(me):50 Mad-hattered after DD (2008)
XWS:53 Serial Cheater, Diagnosed NPD
DD(20) DS(17)
XWS cheated the entire M spanning 19 years
Discovered D-Days 2006,2008,2012, False R 2014

posts: 8737   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8571107

crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 8:39 PM on Thursday, August 27th, 2020

It's interesting how my fears are subsiding as I am going through with the S.

Fear: My kids would spend more time with him

Reality: My kids spend equal time with both of us... separately

Fear:My finances will take a hit

Reality: I am getting support from my parents should i need help financially

Fear: Starting over at 47

Reality: I am free to do whatever I want at 47

Fear: That STBX will keep lovebombing and contacting me

Reality: I know what it is and can now ignore. His messages don't get to me like they used to.

Fear: Of ending a 19 year M, I've spent 24 years with him and change is uncomfortable.

Reality: It's bittersweet but it also had nothing to do with me and isn't my shame to carry. Change is uncomfortable, but also empowering.

fBS/fWS(me):50 Mad-hattered after DD (2008)
XWS:53 Serial Cheater, Diagnosed NPD
DD(20) DS(17)
XWS cheated the entire M spanning 19 years
Discovered D-Days 2006,2008,2012, False R 2014

posts: 8737   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8579903

 phmh (original poster member #34146) posted at 8:03 PM on Saturday, August 29th, 2020

CBS, so excited to read your most recent update - and it's only going to get even better from here! I've been divorced for over 8 years now and it's honestly hard to remember having any fears, as the reality has turned out so well!

Me: BW, divorced, now fabulous and happy!

Married: 11 years, no kids

Character is destiny

posts: 4993   ·   registered: Dec. 8th, 2011
id 8580691

takethelongview ( member #44822) posted at 12:31 AM on Tuesday, September 15th, 2020

I read all 18 pages. This fantastic thread should be pinned, because it is so critical for people in S/D.

This quote I found hopeful. "Even the bad fears sometimes turn into good realities."

There are a lot of proverbs across the world that boil down to "things that look bad at first, turn out to be less bad, and sometimes good." Really hard lesson to learn, especially for those of us in the club no one ever wanted to be in.

I am hopeful I am in the endgame now, 2.5 year separation, trying to get to the end, whatever the end looks like. I didn't fear most of what everyone else biggest fear is simple:

FEAR: I will have to work until I drop, because my XWW will take so much of my retirement, I will never be financially secure enough to retire.

REALITY: I'll let you know in 2028.

I am learning to abide. Tried to reconcile for 8 years. Separated 5 and finally divorced.BSDDay 2011

DD grown nowDD grown nowReconciliation was a mirage

posts: 277   ·   registered: Sep. 9th, 2014   ·   location: NC
id 8587554

99problems ( member #59373) posted at 6:40 AM on Friday, October 9th, 2020

Fear: my child will be negatively impacted by having to grow up in a broken home

Reality: 3 months separated, my child Is thriving and happier than ever from being removed from a toxic home environment.

Fear: I will be alone forever and miserable

Reality: I could have never been more miserable than I was living with a serial cheater, liar, and professional piece of shit. I am so, so much happier than I was 3 months ago its not even funny. I have also lost 60 lbs and feel great!

Fear: I won't have enough money

Reality: being poor isn't all that bad, I don't have that many expenses, and all the money in the world couldn't have made me happy before.

Fear: I won't get to have sex

Reality: I already wasn't having sex. And it's not really that big of a deal. It'll happen when it does or it won't, whatever.

Got me a new forum name!<BR />Formerly Idiotmcstupid.<BR />I am divorced, so not as much of an idiot now- 4/15/21,

posts: 1010   ·   registered: Jun. 26th, 2017   ·   location: Somewhere
id 8595827

Ultramarine ( member #44326) posted at 6:46 AM on Thursday, November 19th, 2020

Update, 2 + years after separation. Felt like processing some stuff tonight. So these are my fears from 2018 and reality today:

Fear: as a single mom of 3 with no child support, I will live paycheck to paycheck.

Reality: Divorce lit fire under my butt and I tapped into that to propel myself in my career. I am making the most of all of my family now and probably more than my XWH. I can afford to not think about monthly expenses.

Fear: I will never meet a good man AND allow myself to become close with him. I will always look over my shoulder. I will never feel safe in a relationship. I will die alone.

Reality: on the advice of my therapist, about 1.5 year ago, I dipped my toes into dating and met a guy. It took some patience on his part, but I did also open up and allowed myself to be vulnerable. I do feel safe with him and there is trust, respect and love between us that never existed in my marriage. I may still die alone because he’s 10 years older...

Fear: my kids will struggle and it will mess up their lives forever. I will always feel guilt.

Reality: this is the hardest one. All of my children have adapted to the new life. My ex and I turned out to be good coparents. We treat each other and our SOs with respect. Kids do very well in school. There are times when I am still hammered by merciless guilt... like when my youngest says that she likes being at my house better but she wishes dad lived with us, too... that still hurts like hell.

There was a period of about a year when all of the kids had a hard time sleeping, felt anxious and couldn’t focus at school. It wasn’t easy. But we are making it. I know I am there for them a lot more now, even with only 50% custody, than I was when I tried to just not drown in perpetual darkness of my marriage.

That about covers it.. I also worried about my XWH having a revolving door of women my kids would get attached to and then have to break up with, but it’s only been 2 so far. The last one has stuck around for over a year. Ironically, she is divorced over her husband’s infidelity. Oh well, not my circus. I’m just glad she seems to be decent.

XBS 39
XWH 38 (cerulean)
Three kids.
Married 11 years.
DDay x 8/20/14 , 6/27/18
I lost count. Happily divorced.

posts: 109   ·   registered: Aug. 1st, 2014
id 8610477

BentandBroken ( member #72519) posted at 3:26 PM on Thursday, November 11th, 2021

I remember reading this thread on SI when I was newly betrayed two years ago. 23 years together and it was over just like that. I was gutted. This thread gave me hope, and I want to give others hope now.

Fear: I was afraid of being alone
Reality: I tried dating for awhile and discovered I just wasn't ready. Now I am very happy being single and doing my own thing. I might date in the future, but it just isn't a priority for me now. I feel whole without being partnered.

Fear: Finances. I had quit my job at his request 6 months before Dday. For many months after Dday I couldn't work. I could barely function. Resume gaps are not good in my field.
Reaity: I found a new job with a higher salary and more vacation time. I can afford everything I need and many things I want.

Fear: Losing my home.
Reality: I bought him out of the house and did some inexpensive remodeling to make it mine. I feel safe and happy here.

Fear: I would love him and pine for him forever.
Reality: Boi, bye! Now that I know the "real" xWH, what did I ever see in him?

Fear: Being the 5th wheel in my social circle.
Reality: While my social circle has shrunk (because I chose not to be around Switzerland friends and cheater enablers) I am still included in activities with my remaining friends incuding married couples, and I feel welcome and comfortable with all of it.

Fear: Keeping up with house and car repairs on my own. While I can say lots of horrible things about xWH, he was very handy and kept everything ship shape. Well, at least until the discard phase.
Reality: Friends have stepped in to help, and I have several "handy man" contacts that I utilize on a regular basis. It's not that hard, really. I am managing just fine.

Fear: No one can be trusted.
Reality: Still working on this one. I have better boundaries now and I'm not afraid to "nope" someone if I get even a hint of toxic behavior.

Fear: I would be sad forever. I struggled with suicidal ideation for many months after Dday.
Reality: I am happy and grateful for my life!

Fear: I would have to stay medicated and in therapy forever.
Reality: I am still on a low dose of anti-depressants, and may be able to wean off soon. If not, it's really no big deal. If I have to stay on meds the rest of my life, it will be OK. My final IC session will be in January of 2022.

Fear: I would never be normal again.
Reality: I found myself again. I enjoy being out in nature. Hiking, biking, snowshoeing, you name it. I have time to read and I've made good use of the neighborhood lending library. For the longest time I couldn't focus enough to read anything! Now I can't get enough of books and articles. I shopped consignment stores to buy clothes that fit after the betrayal weight loss. And I have been fortunate enough to travel, with several upcoming trips on the books.

Don't lose hope, fellow betrayed spouses. The journey is hard, no doubt, but you can survive and thrive. The personal growth you will experience is worth the pain. At least that has been my experience.

20+ year relationship; Never officially married
Dday November 2019
4 wonderful grown children
WH multiple APs, currently involved with married COW
Kicked him out on Dday and that was that

posts: 329   ·   registered: Jan. 9th, 2020   ·   location: Michigan
id 8697975

wantnomore ( member #71871) posted at 1:37 PM on Sunday, February 13th, 2022

Fear: my two older kids are out of HS now, but my youngest still has a couple of years to go. I'd hate to have to uproot her and move her to a different school. I don't think WW or I can afford the house alone, so it will have to get sold and we'd both have to move.

Fear: Finances. I put in my retirement papers over a month ago, DDay was 2 days ago. There's no going back. I'll have a pension but I'm worried about having the financial wherewithal to have a house and live comfortably.

Fear: Loneliness. Before the facade she provided these last few was lifted, I was really happy with her. I'm afraid that at 56 I won't find someone else and that I'll wind up growing old alone.

Fear: I will miss her. I will miss seeing her when I wake up, hugging and kissing her when I leave for work, random texts through the day just to see what's up, random phone calls when she's bored at work and wants to
talk, snuggling up next to her after the day is done.

Fear: The process. I am not looking forward to the months ahead. I don't want to divorce, but I need to.

I look forward to updating this on the other side, hopefully with lots of good realities.

[This message edited by wantnomore at 7:24 PM, Sunday, February 13th]

Me: BH (57)Her: STBXWW (52)DDays - 9/10/01, 10/15/19, 7/3/21, 2/11/22.I'm dumb, but I do learn eventually. D started 11/11/22

posts: 140   ·   registered: Oct. 18th, 2019   ·   location: Great Lakes region
id 8715849

Allidoiswin ( member #44274) posted at 8:51 AM on Sunday, February 20th, 2022

Loving every bit of this thread. Staying focused on a future that you aren't wasting on someone else is where it's at.

Me: 43 WH:47 3 kids "One foot in and one foot back. It don't pay to live like that. So I cut the ties and jumped the tracks, never to return again."

posts: 53   ·   registered: Jul. 28th, 2014   ·   location: Dirty South
id 8717495

YankeeGal ( new member #78558) posted at 8:05 AM on Monday, April 11th, 2022

Fourteen years today I got the ILYBINILWY speech after 30 years of marriage. To say I was blindsided is an understatement. I thought I would die of despair that night and I had never felt so scared. And what followed was seven years of me being lied to, gaslit, blamed, bullied and emotionally tortured until I finally got enough help to see my worth so I could leave. I was a stay-at-home mom who moved her home and family every 3 years in support of the ex’s job and who was told by him that he would bankrupt himself just to make sure he didn’t have to pay me support. Yeah, Mr. Honor and Integrity regularly threatened me with homelessness all because I wouldn’t rugsweep and keep my mouth shut. The fear was overwhelming.

Every year on this date I reflect on the memory of exactly where I was in my kitchen when I got that speech and I momentarily feel the excruciating pain that coursed through my unsuspecting brain and body. But not this year. This year I bought my very own lovely little home in a highly desirable area where I wake up happy and peaceful every day. I’m happy to say that all my fears of what would happen to me as I faced life alone were just that, fear. It wasn’t reality. Although it was emotionally hard, I survived, thrived, and am living my best life. I have family who love me, more friends than I’ve ever had and the piece of mind that all the ex’s threats were just horrible, hateful, empty angry words that emboldened me rather than breaking me.

Take that big, bully ex! Happy reality wins!!

posts: 20   ·   registered: Mar. 24th, 2021   ·   location: California
id 8729118

robinbird12 ( member #80235) posted at 2:52 PM on Friday, April 22nd, 2022

Fear- my wealthy WH will screw me in our settlement. I will be poor and my ex will be incredibly rich, and I will be jealous for life in addition to struggling and miserable

Fear- my ex won’t let me take me out kids to my home country, even though he never took care of them. I will either have to abandon my children or be a poor single mother in a foreign country with no support system

Fear- I was the problem in our relationship (he was an alcoholic narcissist so probably not) and I will never be in a healthy relationship. I will be alone forever.

Betrayed Wife, 39

2 preschool age children

Year long affair, he left me for the OW in Feb 2022

Divorcing, no contact, separated by an ocean thank god

posts: 52   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8731170

DailyGratitude ( member #79494) posted at 9:35 PM on Saturday, May 28th, 2022

Fear- that my xWH will marry a wonderful woman who my kids end up loving. And they travel together while I am all alone
Fear - that my XWH will treat his next wife with respect and love that I never received. I blame myself for my XWH’s behavior toward me. That it was because I wasn’t enough, I wasn’t his type, I didn’t know how to have fun, I was too uptight, I was this that etc
Fear - that XWH will live a happy life while I continue to live in pain of being betrayed and abandoned
Fear - that I will never get over the pain of being betrayed and abandoned. That i will be forever broken
Fear - that I will die a bitter woman. I know this is within my control but these days I can’t regulate my emotions. They are all over the place

Me: BW mid 50’sHim: WH late 50’sMarrried 25 yearsDday: EA 2002 PA 9/2021Divorce 10/2021 (per wh’s request) WH left to be with AP

posts: 314   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8737656

morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 2:41 PM on Wednesday, June 15th, 2022

I asked him to sign a post-nup where he would cover the difference between whatever job I could find and the job I was giving up if I had to divorce him for future infidelity. If he didn't cheat, this wouldn't come into play. He refused, stating that it was punitive, and I should just trust him to be faithful. laugh

laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh

I needed a giggle this morning. Thanks for the update. I'm glad your life is going so well!

posts: 454   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8740316
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