This looks like a pretty quiet thread, I guess those of us "abandoned" by our WS's are in the minority?
I discovered my WH's affair just before Christmas 2016. He was working abroad at the time and commuting back home via OW's country. I was like a poster child for how NOT to deal with the situation decisively, gave him "space", allowed him to cake-eat, told nobody, did the whole panicked pick-me thing. I did do some useful stuff during the deer-in-the-headlights phase such as saving photos, screenshots, emails, phone numbers, flight and hotel details, and getting us both tested for STD's. We tried a weekend away, but he got drunk, I got annoyed, and he disappeared to lick his wounds over how mean I was. I later found out that he had brought OW to this same city a few months before and when he stormed off in a huff, he went to the hotel they had stayed at and messaged her from there. In a nutshell, the A never ended.
A few weeks later, my mother came to my house and confirmed what I suspected. She and my father had discovered that WH's phone which he had borrowed from my Dad, was still sending all photos to the linked account on Dad's computer. There in all their glory were all my WH's photos. My poor parents never signed up for this cr@p!
That was the kick I needed to take charge, I would take no more of this disrespect from him. When he came home on his next trip, he arrived at the door without a key, claiming he had been mugged and lost his bags. Truth was he got drunk and passed out somewhere feeling sorry for himself. I wouldn't let him in that day, and told him I refused to be in a marriage while he continued his affair and he was no longer welcome to live with us as a family. Since he had been "mugged", I felt it was wise to change the locks in case he had left our address in his bags, so unfortunately for him, another one of his lies has meant that he can no longer enter our house.
Because I refused to be a doormat anymore, or in his words because I "kicked him out of his own home", he HAD to move in with the OW, in her country, where he has lived since his last foreign contract ended in June 2017. He doesn't speak her language, nor she his, so most of their communication was or is google translated. She is 40 and single without kids (for now ) He can't work in her country because of the language issue, and won't work in our home country because he wants to be with her. He was and probably still is like a teenager in love, making sappy Spotify playlists, sending her selfies of himself wherever he goes, taking pictures of the two of them on their frequent holidays and weekends away, and going clubbing again to recapture his youth.
Meanwhile, I have picked up the pieces of our shattered family life and started to make a new sculpture from the debris. We have three children, all living at home, two in college and one almost finished school. They are devastated. He has had almost no contact with them since he left. He doesn't know what to say to them, so he has taken the coward's option of just running away. We have had some sessions of mediation where he seems to think he is a victim and it's all my fault. At mediation he has told me I should have swallowed my pride and kept it a secret but because everyone knows he left he can't come back, he has called me a freeloader, and he has said that I have poisoned the children's minds against him (they are 22, 20 and 17 and can make moral judgments all by themselves, using the cold hard facts of his choices). He has also said he's not happy, she(OW) is not special, and that his sister said it would be a shame to lose the kids over this.
So this has been going on for 17 months now, but I think he has been off the rails for longer than that. He lost his job 5 years ago, jumped into a disastrous start-up and sunk all his redundancy into it until he had to leave and grab the contract abroad. It's easy to look back now and see that he was depressed and angry and lonely, but then, so was I. Left at home with three intense teenagers, no money and the roof over our heads threatened. Yeah, I was depressed, angry and lonely too, but I was too busy rolling up my sleeves and getting on with the business of keeping the show on the road to go have a sordid little affair to massage my ego.
So, life goes on. I'm managing, the kids are well loved, supported and sustained by my family and friends. I am getting my career back on track and am beginning to glimpse a different future from the one I always thought I would have, and it's not that bad, in fact, it's good. I'm not waiting for any miracle epiphany from WH but I can't help being disappointed that he is such a coward that he won't face me or his own children. I am frustrated that I will not get the opportunity to express my anger to him, that I will probably never get to see him suffer what he has made us suffer, that I can't tell him what I think of him and how he has shattered my heart and my world for something so avoidable if he had just faced his demons and asked for help. I know he doesn't have the emotional maturity, the self-awareness or the depth to address his actions. I doubt he ever will. I just can't believe it took me 24 years to see the real man I married, the one so shallow and selfish and dysfunctional and damaged and ugly on the inside that he lacks the integrity I thought was his core.
Not sure I really have a question here, other than wondering how others resolved their internal conflict when they never got the chance to "have it out" with their runaway WS?