I'm glad too that my now Ex cheated and continued to lie. I would have hung on in that marriage to the bitter end if that hadn't happened, unhappy and not valued. I gave up my family, friends, history and country to be with him. I lived in a part of his country that never suited me (I'm a city person, he's a country person). When I would complain about my unhappiness he would say, "That's the deal and I'm not re-negotiating terms." So, I struggled to find my place and make a life for myself. I turned myself inside out to try and make a marriage and life work for me and somehow stay true to myself and my values.
When I discovered my EX's A just four days after our 18th wedding anniversary, I was shocked, distraught, traumatised, anxious and paranoid. He said he never intended to leave me and said that he wanted to stay together and repair the marriage. He refused to get into IC, I started going immediately after DDay, twice a week. He would only attend MC.
We struggled on for a year. I was in turns depressed and angry and filled with the kind of pain that I never thought possible. The triggers, the grief, the heartbreak...it was terrible.
About a year into that hell, I ran a Dr. Fone scan on his phone and undeleted texts that revealed that he had violated NC repeatedly and had lied to me about it repeatedly. He even met the OW for a drink at a sports event they both attended. Which he of course lied about. I was done. I kicked him out and told the children what had happened and why we were divorcing. They were relieved. When we got together two weeks after that to discuss recent events, they asked him why he continued to have contact with the OW if it was a deal breaker for me and he said, "I didn't think I would get caught." That was probably the most honest thing he had said in years.
When I saw my therapist as an emergency apt following Dday 2 and the end of my marriage, she asked me how I was feeling. I said I was feeling shocked and sad and scared and overwhelmed. She said, yes and what else? And then it came to me, I was feeling relieved. I was profoundly relieved that the marriage where my needs were never taken into consideration and where my EX had some sort of sadistic need to hurt me was over. I tried, no one could say I didn't, but I was well and truly done.
Another year went by and I had sold the marital home and bossed the shit out my divorce process as best I could with my then STBXH dragging the whole thing out. He had become so unstable and irrational and basically distraught over the end of the marriage and his family life, that the kids said that they wouldn't see him anymore if he didn't get himself help. He wrote them letters saying that he wouldn't get help because he "needed to be true to himself." He had such a bad car crash that he totalled his car and was so concussed that he couldn't work. And he had the woman he was dating stay over a few nights while my son was there without discussing it with me. He was literally out of control. I felt that I couldn't get out from under the drama, it was so relentless and I feared would continue on unabated for the rest of my life. Finally, I uttered the words that I couldn't allow myself to say: I want to go home.
And with that I set in motion a chain of events that have led me to where I am today. I discussed this with the children and then my lawyer. I broke it to my STBXH who indicated fairly early on that he wouldn't fight me in court. I got my kids into schools, house hunted in another country, got a mortgage with out much of a prior credit rating having been abroad for 22 years, bought a house, bossed my divorced settlement, sold my electronic possessions in the UK, restocked in the USA, sold cars, bought cars, moved my self and my children back to my homeland. And I'm so glad that I'm here again. I missed so much of my *self* being in my marriage and I gave up so much of myself to try and keep it the family together until, when my EX had stripped me of any lingering loyalty, I put myself at the top of my agenda. For the first time in decades.
The kids and I are settling in to our new lives and have established routines and are putting down our roots. And we're doing it together. And for that, I'm the most grateful. I'd love to fall in love again but I'll be fine if I don't.
If you had asked me five years ago whether I would ever get a divorce, I would have looked at you like you were insane. Now, I honestly believe it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
For anyone reading this in a dark moment of despair, please don't give up. It will get better and the heartbreak you feel won't last. You will discover yourself again and reclaim your own life. No one deserves to be treated like this. You are worthy of love and the captain of your soul.