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Newest Member: 39Robbo

Divorce/Separation :
Just responded to the papers my wife served me. Need advice on how to proceed.

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 Lurkster (original poster member #77252) posted at 2:27 PM on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021

On D-Day, I caught my wife's car parked in front of a male coworker's house. This was a coworker I had put a firm boundary around, telling her she can only have a professional relationship with him, no hanging out outside of work. She lied to me about who she was hanging out with this night as well as another night about a month prior where she also hung out with this coworker for 4 hours when she told me she was getting a "quick drink" with different coworkers. She didn't know I knew about any of this. When I confronted her, she immediately came clean about hanging out with the male coworker alone, but didn't say anything about being at his house. I didn't tell her what I knew yet because I wanted her to come clean on her own. The next day, she said she wants to separate, but wants to stay living in our house with me. Here, I finally told her about seeing her car at his house. She still denied it a few more times before coming clean. I told her to get out of the house and she did.

We talked a few times in the next couple weeks. In an attempt to be honest with me, she said she had thought about cheating while she was at the coworker's house, but didn't. It doesn't really matter if she did or not, my trust in her is completely broken and it was AT LEAST an emotional affair since I caught a glimpse of some flirty text exchanges between them way back in January. Even now, she still denies ever having an affair of any kind (SERIOUSLY?!). Finally, after talking for a couple weeks about our relationship, she determined that she did not want to put in the work necessary to save our marriage and said we should split up for good (I responded with "can I help you pack?"). She filed for an uncontested divorce so we can try to keep things cheap by not hiring lawyers. She didn't actually serve me until I told her to. So she did, I responded to the court, and now we're in this holding pattern.

Now, she's been coming by on her lunch breaks from work to grab things out of our house which I will be living in. She said she will run everything by me that she wants to take, but she hasn't actually done that yet. She already took a floor lamp and a handheld vacuum without my knowledge.

We also have two cats which she has said she wants both of (because she thinks she has less stability in her life right now due to not having a home to live in even though she has living arrangements with her girlfriend, even if they're very temporary), whereas I want one cat for emotional support through all of this instability that she has created, the same reason she wants them. I told her that her blowing up our marriage on purpose and serving me papers is what has caused this instability, that's why I want one of the cats (at least temporarily to see if they can be ok being apart), that our family and friends feel this instability too, and that her actions have consequences. Her response was that I want to separate the cats as a way to punish her, that I just admitted as much, that I've been spreading lies about her to our friends (which I've only revealed to them that we're getting divorced as well as some minor details. Nothing fabricated, all facts), and that I'm talking down to her like a child when I talk to her about consequences. WTF is going on?!

So, I contacted a lawyer firm this morning and am waiting to hear back from someone. I can't take any chances with this woman I used to call my loving wife to honor what she says about everything being amicable because she's always at the house when I'm not there and has already been putting up a fight regarding the cats. She could do whatever she wants every day while she's there so I need to cover my ass.

First off, because she still denies ever having an affair of any kind with this coworker, is there anything I might be overlooking? Next, should I contact my wife to not only tell her about me hiring a lawyer, but also to try to clear the air about her accusations towards me - trying to punish her, talking to her like a child, and spreading lies about her? I could say something like "You can believe whatever you want, but I need to speak the truth regardless. The truth is blah blah blah and that's the truth whether you believe it or not". I also am contacting my mortgage company to refinance, pay her off, and get her name off of the mortgage. Is there anything else I should be doing while we're in this holding pattern?

[This message edited by Lurkster at 2:33 PM, Wednesday, December 1st]

posts: 52   ·   registered: Feb. 4th, 2021   ·   location: CA
id 8701944
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fareast ( Guide #61555) posted at 4:41 PM on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021

Lurkster:

Follow through with seeing an attorney and then follow instructions when it comes to the D process. Protect your property as best you can. Perhaps get her to agree in writing on the property division. Your attorney can advise you on how best to proceed. Protect yourself financially.

I know this process is very hard and gets heated. But stop trying to get her to admit to anything. She is defensive and will never admit anything. She will always attempt to blame you to others. Tell the truth to those you wish. Simple and straightforward. Remember, the goal is to get out of infidelity. To reach a point where her actions no longer matter or what she says. The way to do this is to employ the grey rock approach. Don’t engage or reach out. She will only take the opportunity to lash out and blameshift. When you do need to talk you give an emotionless response. “Sorry you feel that way”. Don’t give her any ammunition to engage. Stay strong and work on healing yourself. Get IC, focus on your needs and your plan moving forward. Good luck.

[This message edited by fareast at 10:47 AM, December 1st (Wednesday)]

Never bother with things in your rearview mirror. Your best days are on the road in front of you.

posts: 2948   ·   registered: Nov. 24th, 2017
id 8701965
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taken4granted ( member #61971) posted at 5:23 PM on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021

Keep your chatting with her limited to finances and dividing property. If you can’t do that in person or over the phone, do everything in writing. I know this point is hard and highly emotional, but she doesn’t get to be emotional with you or you with her. Handle her like a coworker and treat it like the boss might read all your correspondence with each other. It’s a good way to stay rational and not fall for any crazy making bait.

"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything." - Mark Twain
Me: Living life! Him: Not my problem anymore
Married 15 yrs.
1 LTA, Many EAs from 2009 - ?
Dday 1 = 6/16/17
Last Dday = 1/4/18
Started loving myself 2018!

posts: 347   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2017   ·   location: OH
id 8701971
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 Lurkster (original poster member #77252) posted at 5:49 PM on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021

I need to stop caring about what she thinks of me. On top of property division, I really want to tell her about me hiring a lawyer and that I want to clear the air over the accusations she made about me that I mentioned.

posts: 52   ·   registered: Feb. 4th, 2021   ·   location: CA
id 8701974
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 5:58 PM on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021

Now, she's been coming by on her lunch breaks from work to grab things out of our house which I will be living in. She said she will run everything by me that she wants to take, but she hasn't actually done that yet. She already took a floor lamp and a handheld vacuum without my knowledge.

IMO Change the locks. She can ask for whatever she needs. When she complains remind her she failed to live up to the original agreement. You can't really expect a wayward not to be selfish on their own. The danger to this is technically she can likely still move herself back in and there's not much you can do to prevent that.

Having said that, getting yourself out of the marriage as fast as possible is your best course. If this means giving up both cats, giving her stuff she doesn't deserve, trust me you're better off . The faster you can eject her fully from your life and go full NC , the faster you can move on to your better life. Don't totally screw yourself but losing a few battles isn't worth the delay it'll cause to prevent. A few yeas from now you wont care much about the lamp or vacuum. I'm kind of hoping AP is allergic to cats myself.

I also am contacting my mortgage company to refinance, pay her off, and get her name off of the mortgage. Is there anything else I should be doing while we're in this holding pattern?

She'll need to sign a quit claim at the closing.

posts: 888   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8701976
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nekonamida ( member #42956) posted at 7:44 PM on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021

I would NOT tell her about the lawyer in your shoes. Not until you get solid advice from that lawyer. I would also fight to keep the cats. If she doesn't even know where she will be living in a few months, she has no idea if she can keep them or not. If she can't, do you really think you will be the first person she calls and not the shelter or someone else? It's kinder to the cats to keep them together and not have them go through so many changes in a short amount of time if possible. Maybe you can add a clause that you would be willing to re-visit it when she gets a permanent address squared away. It's likely that the divorce will still be going on anyways.

posts: 5081   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2014   ·   location: United States
id 8701990
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 8:46 PM on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021

I would definitely recommend giving up the cats. It’s not worth the battle and it will help you leverage the divorce process in that you created good will. You’re understandably angry, but wrt the cats, you can’t see the forest for the trees.

posts: 210   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8701997
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guvensiz ( member #75858) posted at 9:08 PM on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021

It doesn't matter what a selfish cheater and liar thinks about you. You are already in D process.

Don't try to convince her of the truth she lies about. She already knows much better than you do. The truth is she %100 cheated on you emotionally and %99,9 physically. Probably it wasn't their first when you caught her, you already were suspicious for months and warned her.

You're not in court and you're not going to send her to prison, so you don't need to give her the benefit from the doubt, accept strong logical possibility as truth. You shouldn't engage her on this matter, and don't hesitate to tell others that you are going to D because she cheated on you.

As Fareast said, it's best to get rid of her as soon as possible. But, tactically, I suggest you pretend resisting a bit rather than giving her everything she wants. Your WW still has a blaming attitude, this type of people also want to hurt the other person as much as possible during the divorce. If you give her all she wants smoothly, she will want more. See, the only thing you're objecting to is one of the two cats, and instead of being fair about it, she's pushing you. So pretend insisting on things that really doesn't matter, then give up, so she thinks she has gained something and hurt you.

[This message edited by guvensiz at 9:11 PM, Wednesday, December 1st]

posts: 620   ·   registered: Nov. 14th, 2020
id 8702004
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Tigersrule77 ( member #47339) posted at 9:12 PM on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021

In regards to telling her about talking to a lawyer, I agree with the others that there is no need. Unless the attorney is going to represent you in court, keep it to yourself. You are paying someone for advice. That is all. The way your STBXWW is acting towards other things, she will interpret this as an attack. More excuse for her to portray you as the bad guy.

Her response was that I want to separate the cats as a way to punish her, that I just admitted as much, that I've been spreading lies about her to our friends (which I've only revealed to them that we're getting divorced as well as some minor details. Nothing fabricated, all facts), and that I'm talking down to her like a child when I talk to her about consequences. WTF is going on?!

What is going on? She is trying to manipulate you and paint you as the reason for the D. Don't let that bother you. That WILL be her narrative. So what? People who know you will listen to your side and know the truth.

You need to focus on grey rock and communicate with her as little as possible.

In regards to the cats, only you know if it is worth it to fight over. I also would recommend no, but it your choice.

posts: 1582   ·   registered: Mar. 27th, 2015   ·   location: Maryland
id 8702005
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 Lurkster (original poster member #77252) posted at 5:58 PM on Friday, December 3rd, 2021

Here's an update...

Wife came to stay the night in order to cuddle the cats for the night. She got in late so we didn't get a chance to make a list of property division (probably intentional on her part). While she's there, we get into the cats. She says that she had been too passive throughout our relationship and just went with whatever I said. Now that I want a cat, she's putting her foot down and is saying she is now thinking about fighting me for the ownership of the house. I just want an emotional support animal just like her and I told her that. She's blackmailing me?!

This entire year, I had been sensing a change in her behavior and feeling my marriage slip away despite my best efforts to repair it so I grew very anxious and insecure over it. Jealousy and suspicion over the male coworker didn't help things, either. Last night, she went into how my insecurities this past year are my own internal issues from childhood and to not blame her for them. All I wanted was to feel safe again and she failed to do that.

Who is this chick? I married her?! I'm just more angry and confused now. Where do I go from here?

ETA: I originally told her that I was trying to make peace with giving the cats up, but then changed my mind because I could really use an emotional support animal right now. She said that she has paperwork (that I haven't seen) that says she gets both cats. I need to see official documentation of that because they weren't in my service papers.

[This message edited by Lurkster at 7:22 PM, Friday, December 3rd]

posts: 52   ·   registered: Feb. 4th, 2021   ·   location: CA
id 8702441
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guvensiz ( member #75858) posted at 7:00 PM on Friday, December 3rd, 2021

You are jealous and have insecurities from childhood. You accuse her of nothing. But somehow, regardless of all that, she plotted to be together with the person you suspect, lied to you, went to his house, and supposedly didn't have sex but even considered cheating on you with him. She continued to lie to you, thinking you didn't know about them. I couldn't understand why she needed it as an innocent person.
What a coincidence! Where has such a realistic paranoia been seen?
Discussing with a cheater/liar won't do you any good, it will just drive you crazy. Detach yourself from her. She is truly a hopeless case.

posts: 620   ·   registered: Nov. 14th, 2020
id 8702448
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nothisfriend ( member #53171) posted at 7:06 PM on Friday, December 3rd, 2021

One of the problems that I had was that WXH had OW whispering in his ear about what he was "entitled" to. She was divorcing her BS at the same time and had been through a previous D so she knew what she was doing while we were still fumbling.

Your STBXW could have someone whispering in her ear. It also sounds like she doesn't like you showing her that you are the victim; that status is reserved for her to justify her actions. So, for shame on you for taking her place in the universe and get back to being the bad guy. Bad guys don't get to have emotional support animals.

It's hard, but just know that aliens have invaded her body and the wife you thought you knew doesn't exist. Maybe she never did? But remember - this is a stranger and not to be trusted.

Me: BS 50 (at the time)
Him: WH 53 (at the time)
D-Day: 10/25/15
Married: 5/14/1988
One son, age 18 (at the time)
D final 9/13/16

posts: 1260   ·   registered: May. 11th, 2016   ·   location: Illinois
id 8702449
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Catwoman ( member #1330) posted at 7:22 PM on Friday, December 3rd, 2021

You've hired an attorney, so there is no reason to try and work something out with her unless and until you know what your rights are and what you can reasonably expect out of a divorce. I would not agree to ANYTHING at this point.

Hand over the paperwork to the attorney. They will file an appearance, and she will be notified if she is pro se. Expect her to throw a hissy about the attorney. Ignore it.

Right now, refuse to engage with her. Get your attorney on it and let him/her take care of things. That's why you've hired them.

Cat

FBS: Married 20 years, 2 daughters 27 and 24. Divorced by the grace of GOD.
D-Days: 2/23/93; 10/11/97; 3/5/03
Ex & OW Broke up 12-10
"An erection does not count as personal growth."

posts: 32986   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2003   ·   location: Massachusetts
id 8702453
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LostInHisFog ( member #78503) posted at 11:49 PM on Friday, December 3rd, 2021

Disengage from her absolutely and change the locks or install a camera in your house, it’s likely she will just take both cats at this stage.

Her new lingo shows she is seeking external help, could be a lawyer of her own but her language has changed.

You must keep your cards close now, stop trying to engage with her and share. Talk to your lawyer without her knowledge, mention the blackmail mention the coming into the home and removing items you never discussed about and her wanting the pets even though the likelihood is she won’t be able to have pets in a rental, she needs landlord approval and even as support pets it’s harder to get the ok for cats for fear of damage. Talk with the lawyer about what you want, be honest, like keeping the house and cats (don’t seperate them now she has threatened the house) and get the lawyer to work hard on achieving that. Forget about trying to be fair here, she was unfair this entire time, protect your self interests now.

Work with the lawyer to get the best outcome, stop trying to engage the ex, don’t even mention you have a lawyer until things are in motion, it’s already getting ugly.

And for the love of god please please start acting/responding to her like she is recording everything you’re saying, there is so many new accusations baiting remarks she is tossing your way, you need to start playing it safer or she will screw you over. She is not your friend.

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

posts: 265   ·   registered: Mar. 14th, 2021
id 8702501
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nomudnolotus ( member #59431) posted at 1:48 AM on Saturday, December 4th, 2021

just a thought on the cats. If the cats have been together for a very long time it will be quite traumatic for them to be separated. Cats don't like a lot of change.

Have you thought about getting yourself a new cat or kitten? This way it would be easier on the two cats you have, stop the fight about the cats and your new cat would have no association with all this mess. There are so many cats and kittens that need a home.

posts: 203   ·   registered: Jun. 30th, 2017
id 8702517
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DigitalSpyder ( member #61995) posted at 5:03 AM on Saturday, December 4th, 2021

I need to stop caring about what she thinks of me. On top of property division, I really want to tell her about me hiring a lawyer and that I want to clear the air over the accusations she made about me that I mentioned.


That will come with time and space. I'd stop letting her come over. She left and that privilege expired when she did so.

Property division needs to be handled via your attorney and decided on by the court. If fact, let everything be handled that way. She'll find out soon enough that you have one.

Post Tenebras Spero Lucem

posts: 370   ·   registered: Dec. 28th, 2017   ·   location: South Carolina
id 8702534
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 Lurkster (original poster member #77252) posted at 1:15 PM on Saturday, December 4th, 2021

Thanks for the replies, everyone.

Her name is still on the mortgage so I can't change the locks or force her not to come over. She can come and go as she pleases and there's nothing I can do about it for the time being.

It absolutely tears me apart reading that she is my enemy, that she may have never been the woman I thought she was, and to not engage with her anymore. Everything in me wants to shake her and say "Don't you understand?! Snap out of it!" I miss her so much, but did I fall in love with an illusion? Has my entire 12 year relationship with this woman been a giant lie? I know this may be getting way ahead of myself here, but how can I trust another woman in the future that she won't turn into this imposter more than a decade later? How can I trust myself to accurately judge future women I date?

As for the cats, I'm wondering if I should just give them up (the thought of which kills me) and get a whole new animal who can be completely independent of this whole mess.

[This message edited by Lurkster at 1:19 PM, Saturday, December 4th]

posts: 52   ·   registered: Feb. 4th, 2021   ·   location: CA
id 8702565
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keptmyword ( member #35526) posted at 8:14 AM on Sunday, December 5th, 2021

It absolutely tears me apart reading that she is my enemy, that she may have never been the woman I thought she was, and to not engage with her anymore.

Trust me and the others who have been through this.

DO NOT engage with her any more about anything except the divorce.

DO NOT send any text messages without first ensuring that your words cannot be used against you in court.

Most conversation with her regarding the divorce should be through your attorneys

Assume any conversation you are having with her is being recorded for the purpose of using your words against you - even if not court admissible.

Avoid being anywhere with her where there are no other people/witnesses around.

A woman can make a simple call to the police, falsely claim you have been violent or threatening with her, and you may find yourself prohibited from entering or even being near your own home.

As others may have said, she is your enemy at this point.

I thought as you do now - how is it possible that the woman that I thought I was "the luckiest guy in the world" to be married to could now be my enemy?

My XWW had a facade put up during our nearly 9-year marriage - but one can only keep a facade up for so long.

It was when I got a look behind the facade, and saw just how ugly she was behind it, that she became enraged and became my enemy.

Your wife knows you have seen behind her facade and saw what she hates the most - the real her - and no one is ever supposed to see that.

That’s why you are experiencing this callous anger and contempt from her.


Has my entire 12 year relationship with this woman been a giant lie?

My nearly 9-year marriage was a giant lie.

I loved what she pretended to be - some one who acted in a way so that I would view her as ideal so that, in turn, I would tell her all the things she liked to hear.

Some can keep up an act like this for weeks and some can for decades.

I know what you are going through and yes, right now it’s very difficult to wrap your mind around how irrational it all is.

The sooner you get through this and extract yourself from her narcissistic world of duplicitous shit, the sooner you will be able to look at it from the outside and see her for what she is.

And, the sooner you will understand just how empty she is and always was - and you won’t care anymore.

It has nothing to do with you.

Filed for and proceeded with divorce.

posts: 1149   ·   registered: May. 4th, 2012
id 8702683
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 12:09 PM on Sunday, December 5th, 2021

I don’t know if your entire Marriage was filled with lies or if this is a recent development due to the affair.

Just know the person you married - kind & loving — is not the person you are Divorcing — liar and cheater.

You can resolve the pet issue and her "coming by" like this. She has until X date to get All of her "stuff". Including the cats. You then obtain your own pet that she has no claim to.

Change the locks. If she gets mad — and over reacts - call the police immediately. Then get a restraining order so she’s not able to come to the house.

She’s not in control of this situation or YOU. Stop allowing her to call the shots.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 11162   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8702687
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Stevesn ( member #58312) posted at 1:01 PM on Sunday, December 5th, 2021

Honestly yes, if it would make the divorce go quicker and easier, I suggest you give her the cats and find a new one to rescue and love. There are many that need a good home.

If it were me, I’d tell her something like:
I love you and you broke my heart and my trust and your response is not to care about how you hurt me, but to tell me I am crazy for feeling that way after what you know you did.

It’s clear to me that you don’t love me. You only care about saving your own face and not the pain I am in.

So I’ll listen to what you are saying and let you go. You can be with him or whomever makes you happy. I don’t want to make you pretend to stay with me and be unhappy.

So let’s finish the divorce as amicably as possible and we can each move on and I can work alone to heal from the pain you have caused me.

With that in mind, you can have both cats. I’m hoping we can now finish this divorce and move on.

That’s it. Then stop engaging. Find the path of least resistance. She’s not a candidate for R with how she has approached this time after DDay. So work to not have to spend done extra minute. Buy her out of the house, change the locks. And move on.

Then find a new pet to love. They will be most appreciative.

I wish you well.

fBBF. Just before proposing, broke it off after her 2nd confirmed PA in 2 yrs. 9 mo later I met the wonderful woman I have spent the next 30 years with.

posts: 3265   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2017
id 8702692
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