I just found this site, I can't help but vent... and hopefully find solace.
I know talking things over with a supportive friend or family is critical to my recovery. I haven't been able to do that. My sister lives 700 miles away, she knows all the details but we can only talk or text sporadically. I went with my wife (her reluctantly) to a marriage counselor, but it was obvious she won't commit to anything except pursuing her own "happiness". I asked the counselor to do more individual sessions with me -- but for some strange reason she blew me off (something I can deal with later). The only other person I've talked to is my divorce lawyer.
My wife and I married in her country a few years ago. We have a young daughter, born there. We did well as a couple during our life in her country, and I felt we were building a future. We never had any big marital problems that raised red flags. I went through the entire complicated, time-consuming, expensive visa process for my wife to immigrate to the US and gain a green card. Her -- and my -- dream was to live in the US and give our daughter the advantage of a good education.
We've been in the US for a year. Within 6 months, my wife had "left the marriage" -- she reveled in the new life, the independence, the freedom. I can't say we drifted apart, it felt like we were driven. She became distant, sometimes abrasive, and found every excuse to be out of the house. The pandemic isolation didn't help, I know she looks at life in the US and thinks "boring, we don't go anywhere, don't see anybody, a horrible place to live." Her original country would be a lot worse, for pandemic lockdowns, but she doesn't see that.
Six months ago I felt something change, I caught her in little lies and she started going out "with work colleagues" after work. Her phone, her paystubs, her bank account, everything was top secret to me. I tried to talk to her..... asked her if she needed a change, if we needed to change, if she was looking for something more. She took off her wedding ring 6 months ago; I gave her a list of things I insist on (wear your ring, never drive drunk, call/text where you're going) but she ignored it. At that point I knew, when I catch her in a lie, it's the third strike.
I said I knew she was hiding things, she needed to tell me the truth. I mentioned a few of the lies she had told -- but she denied everything, then basically clammed up. The lies got longer and more frequent, but still deniable, until last month she contradicted herself between 3 lies and I pressed her for the truth. It took an hour until she admitted: she had a secret Tinder account, she had been meeting up with multiple guys she met on Tinder.
I know most of what she was doing: Taking days off work but driving to the building, parking and taking Uber to her hookups' houses (several times). Texting me "party night at colleague's house" but spending the entire night (texting "I had too many drinks, I'll sleep here") at a Tinder buddy's house. Going "shopping" on her days off, but sneaking out to guys' apartments (several times) instead. Even meeting her hookups in the parking lot at work. But I didn't know soon enough, I've pieced together all this after-the-fact. When I pressed her for the truth last month, she told me only about 10% of it -- and says "I've told you enough." And she lies still about these things, she's a whole new class of cheater but she's a liar through-and-through.
I know of at least 23 times she met up with her Tinder hookups, at least 11 different men. She only admits to 4 of them. This much truth came out over about 2 weeks, and my pain, distress, depression, and anger just built day-by-day. It's been 6 weeks since her admission, and I still can't sleep more than 3 hours a night.
Our daughter is a beautiful, happy girl, at an age where her imaginative world turns everything into a game or adventure. She should have two parents to keep up with her, direct her development and enjoy her childhood -- but her mother has been absent at least 6 days a week, putting her own urges as her only priority. Our daughter is already suffering, every day she asks "Where's mama?" "I want to play with her" "Will mama put me to bed tonight?", and she acts out her desperation for attention. It's inexcusable for my wife to upend our daughter's life. She has done permanent damage to her family.
I'm the stay-at-home "mom-dad", I take care of our daughter 24/7 while my wife works full-time and sneaks around. My wife would spend all her "daughter-time" running around and screwing strangers, chasing her own gratification while I tended to a toddler's every need. Because of the pandemic, I and my daughter hadn't left the house in 6 months, except for neighborhood walks (and me going grocery shopping every 10 days, alone, to protect against COVID-19). My daughter is my top priority. I've had a toddler pulling on my sleeve the entire time, I couldn't check up on my wife's whereabouts at night, I couldn't cheat even if I wanted to, my wife used me when I was anchored at home so she could be alone and screw around. She threw her daughter's needs out the window while she spent every off-work minute satisfying her own urges.
And she did this during a pandemic!!!! She works in health care, she obviously knows better -- she put her family at risk, her daughter at risk! Screwing multiple strangers when health experts tell us to limit exposure outside the family. She refuses to talk about what was in her mind when she left her daughter alone and made choices putting us at high risk of COVID-19. She has no motherly instincts, no concern for her daughter's health and well-being.
I contacted a divorce attorney 3 days after my wife admitted the basics of what she did. The papers will be served within a week (Sept 2020). My wife doesn't suspect anything, in fact from her point of view, I've been the model husband for 5 weeks. She hasn't expressed any guilt, regret, or remorse for destroying me, her marriage and her daughter's life. Instead, she most likely sees me as "begging forgiveness" since I've been trying to meet her every need and coddle her (she has said several times "I'm hurting, I'm trying to keep it together"). But her patterns of hiding and lying and "independence" haven't changed.
Live and learn. I feel used, she has a green card, she'll profit from the marriage, she still has her list of Tinder hookups. She'll soon have the complete independence she's wanted. But I'll be damned if I'm giving up my daughter to be raised by her.