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Just Found Out :
Wife has been having an 11 month affair, advice needed

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Buffer ( member #71664) posted at 8:05 AM on Friday, October 22nd, 2021

You have every right to be angered, hurt and feel abused by her actions, truly you do.

However, trying to psychologically abuse is never justified.

Pull your big boy pants up. Try to better your communication skills. If anger is overwhelming you. Do not text her anything. Don't let your reptilian brain take over. Deep breaths and think before you text or talk.

Let her know that you are in pain and lashing out is hurting you more than her. You can’t think of how to express this hurt to get your anger out.

Take your time before you respond to her. Your anger will rise and fall like the tides of the ocean.

No drinking alcohol, no drugs other than what your GP prescription has provided.

Exercise daily. Get Mr Anger under control. Once something has been said it can never be unheard.

One day at a time.

[This message edited by Buffer at 8:06 AM, Friday, October 22nd]

Buffer

posts: 1207   ·   registered: Sep. 24th, 2019   ·   location: Australia
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Sharkman ( member #56818) posted at 10:36 AM on Friday, October 22nd, 2021

She committed the second worst form of abuse that can exist in a marriage. If you are mad, then use the anger to make sure that you do not end up in stasis but you can’t let what someone did to you change the good parts of you.

And tell her that there is no going to Disney. She decided to unilaterally end the marriage and now you need to figure out what to do. She should know that she’s not an ideal candidate for someone like you - a person looking to start a new marriage.

posts: 1739   ·   registered: Jan. 11th, 2017
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Waggingthedog ( member #65793) posted at 10:37 AM on Friday, October 22nd, 2021

Hi Ark,

Essentially, when you call an attorney, you can ask for a consult often. Most attorneys don’t charge and some do. Sometimes you pay for an hour of time to get an idea of what’s possible.

An attorney takes your story on the consult, takes the desired goal, and then tells you both how likely it is to achieve it and how much it might cost.

An attorney also has likely seen this situation, and worse, a bunch. They’re not therapists. They can be nice but their job would be to shepherd you through the legal system.

Part of shepherding you through the legal system is knowing common pitfalls, and helping you avoid those pitfalls.

When I have a client part of the advice I give them, initially and even on the consult, is how not to make their situation any worse. That’s the advice you need, specific to your area. (Every jurisdiction is different. You need an attorney in your jurisdiction).

Looking at what you’ve written, you absolutely need to get the advice.

Say you come into the Emergency Room with a horrible injury. The ER might be able to patch you up and get you walking again but you’ll probably need specialists later on to get back on track.

You’re in the relationship/family law ER. You need a therapist for the mental trauma and a lawyer for the legal trauma (or at least a consult). After this point you can kind of start to figure out what you need in a more specialized fashion, but you need mental and legal help STAT.

I won’t say anything about the mental help. Not my area.

There are several things you need to consider here and you need to discuss with attorney(s) before going forward. As I see it (and this is not advice) you might want to look at these things:

1.) Custody issues - if you divorce then what does custody look like? What would the judge in your area do with it normally? What should I avoid doing? (Parental alienation, being "abusive" to mom in front of kids, not being as involved at school because of depression, document how/what you do, etc.). Do you want to get your kids into therapy now? This is essentially planning what you need to do if you file, and with a one year old it might be best to wait for a bit to file for "divorce".

2.). Finances - these can be simple or super complicated. At at consult a lawyer might say "in this situation you could avoid spousal maintenance, but in this situation down the line you might not be able to". Or filing now as opposed to later might impact an asset split. There’s a lot of discretion on the asset splits and normally it is agreed to anyway. You might want to wait until your WW has her stuff together and passes her professional program because that could impact child support. Basically a consult might give you an idea about the asset split, spousal maintenance and child support and timing, and when might be best to do this.

3.). Pitfalls - Protective orders are known to some in the legal community as the "Poor Mans Divorce". Essentially, one party goads the other into doing something violent. The police get called. Or they go to the judge and file an emergency order claiming something happened and they are scared. There are REAL cases where these orders are valid and necessary. However there are other cases where someone is abusing the system. I would consult a lawyer in your jurisdiction on how to protect yourself against a false one of these and a false charge of DV in general. Her statements the other day via text are concerning because I’ve seen stuff like that in my jurisdiction come up in those cases. Please also be aware that you have your own digital life and she has hers. I’d not log into her stuff anymore. Judges in my jurisdiction hate that and it could be considered a crime that can be used as a lever (where I am). So, now that you’re kind of separated, don’t do that again either. Talk to a lawyer about this where you are.

Those are the main areas you want to cover with a lawyer.

My guess is you’ve got a couple options:

1.) Continue to be separated without legal process until you can coexist. This could impact custody and the asset split in both good and bad ways. This you need to discuss with a lawyer.

2.) Get a legal separation with a custody arrangement, but don’t file for divorce yet or wait out the divorce timeline (there is a lot of variation here). A legal separation may be good, or bad, depending on your jurisdiction.

3.) File for divorce and see what the timeline is.

In no event would I say you’re ready to be in her presence if you can avoid it. But you need to be in the presence of your kids. How you accomplish this is something you discuss with a lawyer.

Finally, please be aware of this. This situation is terrible. It’s blinding pain and you expect the world to see it and realize it.

Maybe some people will, but the court system…

Every family court in the country probably started off with lawyers and judges that were really cool and awesome people. After a year.. they see some stuff they can’t unsee. Abuse, physical, mental and sexual horrific stories are so common… they get jaded. To function in that environment you basically have to become emotionally numb. They’ll hear your story, but they probably have seen that story before and have two or three stories that they’re dealing with that day that are worse. Much worse. Kids are the innocent victims so they rightly get the focus in any situation. And that’s as it should be.

This is emotionally devastating to you, but the kids still have lives to live. They’re time doesn’t stop because of your pain. And you are in pain. You have to find a way to protect yourself while still sparing them and remaining they’re stable parent. It’s not easy, but necessary.

A lawyer may tell you to wait. A lawyer may tell you to file. A lawyer may tell you to do a legal separation. A lawyer may tell you to hold off and do X Y or Z before making a decision. Pay a lawyer for some time to get your legal bearings and how to preserve your safety. This should be your first thing you do. If you’ve talked to some and don’t get answers then ask to buy an hour or two of their time, go in or call and tell them what you’re dealing with and get advice. They’ve seen this, and worse, before. Get someone that specializes in family law. Consult multiple attorneys if you can and see which plan makes the most sense.

There are a thousand moments in any type of case where there can be tipping points. If your anger has you lashing out (understandable though it may be) then you need some cold hard reality splashed on you. That anger can be used against you in many ways. She’s lied to you for a year to get what she wants and smiled to you doing so. What else can she lie about? Serial cheaters that can do that are, for lack of a better term, scary. They can lie on a level you can’t comprehend. So you have to assume they’re capable of it again. And here, with those texts, while they’re not 100% proof of this, could very well indicate she’s planning to again. This is where the danger comes in.

So, until you get that anger under control, you need to be away from her. Here are some good phrases to use to keep you on the right headspace:

1.). "I am still just too hurt to have a productive conversation about our marriage right now. I am working with a therapist to process this extreme trauma in a healthy way."

2.) "I love the kids and I want the best for them. I am trying to figure out if I can process what’s happened to us and if we are better together for them or separate."

3.) "I can’t discuss the affair right now. We can discuss the kids and need to. Please be aware that I am so incredibly hurt by what you’ve done that it’s going to take a long time for me just to accept it, and then probably a time to determine if I can move past it. I want to try to move past it, but I also want to be honest in that I don’t know if I can. We need to focus on the kids and I need to work through this on my own timeline. Please allow me that space to do this work."

You get the idea.

Then, take that anger to the gym or hit the road running.

No booze. No drugs. No fighting.

Vent to a therapist or a trusted family member kr friend… NOT her.

Focus on work and kids.

But, before all of this… CONSULT A LAWYER.

Again. Don’t take this as legal advice. You need advice from someone that does family law in your area.

posts: 75   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2018
id 8694492
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Waggingthedog ( member #65793) posted at 11:07 AM on Friday, October 22nd, 2021

Also, please excuse the spelling mistakes. The above was typed before coffee.

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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 12:12 PM on Friday, October 22nd, 2021

Ark - I’ll say this as gently as I can. You MUST pull your head out of your ass immediately. Everything that’s been said is true. Call a lawyer and start the D proceedings immediately. It takes forever to get this process going so do not worry about the holidays, etc.

Your WW had an affair during her entire pregnancy. Is this registering with you? Now she’s blaming you for the A. Do you get this? All of her texts, as has been said, are classic DARVO. She’s a selfish narcissist. People on here have seen this a hundred times. You can’t see it because you’re caught up in it.

If you didn’t realize this about your WW before the A, understand it now, she is toxic and dangerous. She is not R material. She wants you to heal quickly which allows her to rug sweep and blame shift. Your children will be better off in an environment where one parent isn’t being abused and being controlled and manipulated.

You can mark everyone’s words here, if you don’t move now, you will be back here in a few years snd say I wish I had listened to the people on SI.

Start the D process immediately. You can always pull back later.

posts: 176   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
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Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 6:40 PM on Friday, October 22nd, 2021

What do I need to ask my attorney specifically?!

Guys, I’m still in limbo. I’m still in shell shock. I’m up and down minute by minute. I know divorce RIGHT NOW. Would kill my chances at bonding with my new born. But it would also KILL my 8 year old right before the holidays.

Look, I get it. I'm not divorced. But what I can tell you and what other BS's (mostly) who stayed with their spouses longer term can tell you is that our wayward spouses DID NOT act like your wife is acting. My WW was all over the map, but mostly she was weeping, getting literally on her knees, begging for forgiveness, and telling me, her mom and her sister she would do anything to save the marriage. Now later, my WW started trying to rugsweep, dragged her feet on disclosure, failed her polygraph and so on. But that came later.

Your wife is acting in the most disingenuous, cold, calculating and manipulative way possible. We can see through this. You need to act. You need to move.

What do you need to ask the attorney? Ask them to start the filing process. Now. It takes a good long while for a divorce to move along. If your WW pulls her head out of her ass and shows you she is reconciliation material, you can always call it off. But that is NOT where this is headed right now. Filing will not "push" her to abandon you. She has already done that. It will not prevent you from bonding with your child, either. You have rights. Protect those rights.

We all feel strongly your WW is setting you up -- and if she's in control, she is going to screw you more than she already has -- and that, brother, will in fact make it harder on your kids.

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

posts: 4390   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8694656
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nekonamida ( member #42956) posted at 7:05 PM on Friday, October 22nd, 2021

Thumos has great advice. He has BTDT and is still going through it.

Here's the rub - can you have a holiday season where there is no fighting in front of the 8-year-old? If she knows, she's being exposed to this and THAT is damaging hands down. And will continue to ruin the holidays more for her if it continues. It will forever be that one bad holiday season where mom and dad fought and pretended to be happy despite clearly being miserable whether you get a D or not. I've known former children who lived through those. Some of whom had parents who divorced soon after. No one says, "Wow. I'm so glad my parents did that." They just ruminate on how terrible it was that their parents wanted to separate but felt like they couldn't. Separate but calm holidays trumps shit show Christmas morning any day of the week.

Give yourself some time. See how Halloween goes. See what she does while apart for a few more weeks. Decide if the two of you can come together and be civil for her sake or not. And if not, stay separated.

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Trdd ( member #65989) posted at 7:21 PM on Friday, October 22nd, 2021

No one is arguing your WW's A wasnt particularly bad. But the trend I am seeing is split in how we are seeing her current behavior.

Some think she is doing nothing right, being hugely selfish and showing no good signs.

Others, me included, are seeing some positive signs from WW. Not perfect, but positive like full tech access, apologizing, saying she wants to try to fix this etc.

Could you perhaps summarize how you feel she is behaving now?

Not that good behavior means you dont pursue D, but you might get better advice here if we see it clearly.

posts: 405   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8694666
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ChamomileTea ( member #53574) posted at 7:42 PM on Friday, October 22nd, 2021

Your wife is acting in the most disingenuous, cold, calculating and manipulative way possible.

On what basis do you assert that this WW's post DDay behavior is calculated and manipulating??? If it's her request that the OP stop being verbally aggressive/abusive with her, then no... I totally disagree. Most women, even if they were sorry, would stand up to that.

I do think it's a little too early for genuine remorse. I think the OP would be wise to step back and take his time making a decision about what he wants for his future. I think he'll need time to observe whether his WW can ever become a safe partner for him. He's got so much to process in this betrayal, and like most of us on DDay, we feel pressure to make a decision that we really DON'T have to make yet.

You'd be very wise, Ark, to pay particular attention to Waggingthedog. Be smart and protect yourself. In addition to what he's said, bear in mind that in many jurisdictions, "condonation" can take divorcing on grounds off the table. A return to the marital bed or continuing to live together after a certain length of time can be viewed as "condoning" the affair and be seen as tacit forgiveness. So ask your lawyer about it or look it up and see if it applies to you. Find out what your financial situation might be. Decisions are less scary when you have more facts.

Anyway, just remember that you're going to be okay. Believe it and it will eventually be true.

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longsadstory1952 ( member #29048) posted at 7:42 PM on Friday, October 22nd, 2021

She swears up and down she will do anything, then plays hide the ball all the way to the poly, refuses to let him look at her phone, and writes a "you are abusing me" text. Oh, and there is the "trying to end it" canard. Sorry. Just no.

And how does apologizing begin to ameliorate her behavior? How does that fix the nudes in her fuck buddy's possession?

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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 7:44 PM on Friday, October 22nd, 2021

You should do what is right for you. But limbo is absolutely the worst and unhealthiest for you.

Truthfully, you should file. Don't worry about the timing. It takes a long time and the process can be stopped. But you need to take back your power, you need to show her that you will not be manipulated, she cannot rugsweep and DARVO you, and her reaction to the divorce will give you a lot of information right away.

The process can be stopped but you need to be in control of this marriage and your life and mental health. She plans to keep all the power.

She is doing what she can to claw back the control by guilting you and your soft-heart will give her the advantage. Separation also gives you the ability to focus on you without her right there in your face. If she actually cares about your healing, she will be a good co-parent and give you the space you need. I don't expect that is what she will do. If she actually cares about your healing, she will be PATIENT.

I think she will absolutely freak out when she sees her manipulation is not working and this is why you should be proactive. You CAN stop the divorce process. You won't be divorced by Christmas. Your wife can choose to make this easier for your 8 year old. She can also choose to make is miserable, just like she chose to destroy your family. Unfortunately you cannot control her but you can control your reaction by taking control and standing up for yourself. You would not want your daughter to accept this treatment from a partner. It isn't good enough for you either.

Please take the others' advice and have a VAR on you at all times. Her text reads as if she is being coached.

[This message edited by clouds777 at 7:45 PM, Friday, October 22nd]

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Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 7:50 PM on Friday, October 22nd, 2021

On what basis do you assert that this WW's post DDay behavior is calculated and manipulating??? If it's her request that the OP stop being verbally aggressive/abusive with her, then no... I totally disagree.

The phrasing of the lengthy text "memo" was quite calculating and the consensus here is it was a set up.

She has also carried out DARVO, one of the worst manipulative mind games narcissists typically deploy.

[This message edited by Thumos at 7:52 PM, Friday, October 22nd]

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

posts: 4390   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8694673
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 7:57 PM on Friday, October 22nd, 2021

You are pressuring yourself to make a decision you are not in a position to make right now.

Slow down. Breathe.

If the holidays are important than you have made a decision to stay in the home through Christmas.

So that is the next 60 days. You have a temporary plan.

Nothing wrong with preparing for a D (post nup and attorney are all good steps for now) but seeing how you feel in a month or so. You may be surprised that the Wife has changed and R is possible. Or you may realize you cannot R and it’s time to move on.

In any event have a well thought out plan for each scenario.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

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Marz ( member #60895) posted at 8:20 PM on Friday, October 22nd, 2021

Only you can keep yourself in limbo.

posts: 6791   ·   registered: Oct. 3rd, 2017
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M1965 ( member #57009) posted at 8:23 PM on Friday, October 22nd, 2021

ChamomileTea:

On what basis do you assert that this WW's post DDay behavior is calculated and manipulating???

CT, I very much respect your opinions, your energy, and the way you always try to see the best in any situation. However, if just one - from many - example of calculated and manipulative behaviour is required, there is this:

Then she went on to text about all the things we can still have.. like going to Disney world with the new baby. Buying a new house and watching her run down the halls. Taking our oldest daughter to graduation together… all that. And how "worth it" it will all be if we stay together.

This is a woman who cheated physically throughout her pregnancy until just twelve days before the child was born, now using that same child as a human shield to hide behind and emotionally blackmail the man she betrayed so grievously in an attempt to stop him divorcing her.

It is nothing to do with her objecting to being called names.

posts: 1213   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2017   ·   location: South East of England
id 8694681
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HouseOfPlane ( member #45739) posted at 9:21 PM on Friday, October 22nd, 2021

What do I need to ask my attorney specifically?!

You need knowledge on all outcomes so you can make informed decisions and protect your kids and yourself. So, dividing property, joint custody options, checklist of steps to D, potential tactics to anticipate if ugly, routes to take if amicable, behaviors now that are smart to protect yourself, etc.

Become an expert in all aspects of divorce.

DDay 1986: R'd, it was hard, hard work.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver

posts: 2750   ·   registered: Nov. 25th, 2014
id 8694689
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LostInHisFog ( member #78503) posted at 9:31 PM on Friday, October 22nd, 2021

There is never a good time to start S or D, holiday season is less disruptive to kids than trying to do it during the school year. Having said that D is a lengthy process, the only time I have read of a short D was from prepared BS who had dealt with infidelity before and had their ducks in a row in case it happened again as well as fairly newly married couples who had no kids.

But it’s still fresh and you pace this how you want, just keep yourself in good health and avoid the alcohol, you need a clear head and alcohol has lead BS into worse situations during the holiday season.

I edit because I'm fluent in typo & autocorrect hates me.

posts: 220   ·   registered: Mar. 14th, 2021
id 8694692
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ChamomileTea ( member #53574) posted at 9:34 PM on Friday, October 22nd, 2021

This is a woman who cheated physically throughout her pregnancy until just twelve days before the child was born, now using that same child as a human shield to hide behind and emotionally blackmail the man she betrayed so grievously in an attempt to stop him divorcing her.

I do appreciate the complements, M1965. Thank you. I can't agree though that we're seeing anything here which is out of the ordinary for WS's. There's an "ick" factor to her cheating behavior as you pointed out above, but there's been no 'emotional blackmail' regarding the baby. It was the OP who posted that he feels like he won't be able to bond properly if he leaves. As to the red flags regarding a potential D/V claim, yeah.. it's warranted that Ark pay attention to that. It's happened before to other BS's. But can we definitely claim that we KNOW what his WW is thinking or planning?.. of course not. Occam's razor tells us that "entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity". The most likely explanation is that the WW simply doesn't want to be called filthy names like whore or cunt. Who would? Can we guarantee there's not something more nefarious going on?.. no, we can't. Hence the word of caution.

Ark has told us that he doesn't know what he wants to do yet. He needs some support and advice while he decides. I don't think it helps him if we treat supposition as fact or infer meaning where there is no proof. Believe me, the shock and trauma will do enough of that for him without our assistance, and we know that because we've all been there.

I'm not promoting R over D or anything like that. All I'm saying is let's stick with the facts. Those are already bad enough that they don't need to be embellished.

ETA:

She has also carried out DARVO, one of the worst manipulative mind games narcissists typically deploy.

You know as well as I do, Thumos, that the vast majority of WS's have likely engaged in some DARVO, particularly in the early days. It's part and parcel with having your attitude and worldview ass backwards like we tend to see in cheaters.

As far as consensus goes... no, I don't agree with that. There's no proof that Ark's WW was maliciously setting him up.

[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 9:40 PM, Friday, October 22nd]

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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 9:45 PM on Friday, October 22nd, 2021

OP, did you get the var?

posts: 3780   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8694696
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Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 10:03 PM on Friday, October 22nd, 2021

You know as well as I do, Thumos, that the vast majority of WS's have likely engaged in some DARVO, particularly in the early days. It's part and parcel with having your attitude and worldview ass backwards like we tend to see in cheaters.

As far as consensus goes... no, I don't agree with that. There's no proof that Ark's WW was maliciously setting him up.

OK, CT, point taken. I disagree and so do others, but you make solid points.

Now let's re-focus here on what Ark should do instead of the finer points of what a malicious adulterous abuser is thinking or not thinking.

Let's say she's not a narcissist (though she is certainly acting like one). Fine. Either way, she's completely untrustworthy and has amply demonstrated that. She's writing lengthy text memos that seem coached.

He needs to protect himself.

If she's setting up a D/V claim, or even just a custody battle nebulous "abuse" claim, well, that's pretty f'ing Machiavellian and sick. She didn't even know if the baby was his (circumstantial evidence seems to indicate she didn't really care, and thought the baby might be her AP's) and now she's holding the baby's future over his head. That much seems pretty certain. And someone who would do those things after spending a year cheating on her husband should not really get much credit for anything here on SI.

So with that said, Ark needs to protect himself, his rights, his future. You pointed out the laudatory comments of Waggingthedog (who does believe she is being cunning and manipulative if you read what he said).

Bottom line: Ark, you need to take action. Believe your eyes. In front of you is a woman who betrayed you for an entire year. Nearly 365 days of lies. And she's not saying much to give you a hell of a lot of confidence that she even sees how deeply toxic this all has been.

You need to get that VAR. Go to BestBuy and get one, the $50-60 Sony version. Put it your pocket and carry it around, rise above the name calling (trust me, she knows exactly who she is, she's shown it to you, and she knows what you think of her), go grey rock on this woman, and file.

[This message edited by Thumos at 10:12 PM, Friday, October 22nd]

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

posts: 4390   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8694697
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