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Newest Member: M0771

Divorce/Separation :
WH giving up in favor of divorce

Topic is Sleeping.
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 Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 6:27 PM on Monday, August 7th, 2023

The End:

Appreciate you and your sweet words. It is really nice to hear, and I will not be too ashamed to admit that I NEED to hear things like this to kind of keep me going some days/hours/moments.

I have found a good community here who have helped in so many ways and you are a big part of that. Thank you.

posts: 271   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2023
id 8803610
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FunHouseMirror ( member #80992) posted at 5:47 AM on Tuesday, August 8th, 2023

I'm so glad your STBXH did the right thing and showed up to help. In a way, all the many many things you have to do right now are a blessing to you. It gets your mind away from the craziness he brought into your life, and forces you to focus on the here and now. I so wish none of this would have happened to you, but you are truly being a mother tiger, and taking care of what needs to be done. I'm so glad your parents are there for all of you. Keep going!

posts: 248   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2022
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 Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 6:19 PM on Wednesday, August 9th, 2023

FunHouse[/bold: Thank you for writing a kind reply to me. I appreciate the support.

Yes, he physically showed up and was mostly helpful. He still did some head-scratching things: only the saw the kids for dinner one night; went to airport four hours early (its a 20 minute drive); said he'd be at the house at 7:30am one day and didn't show until 10:00am; "went to pick up some sandwiches for lunch" for 1.5 hours leaving my almost-80 year old dad and I to completely unload an entire pod ourselves. But on the scale of reliability he fared better than he has since he set our family on fire a couple months ago. And now he is far away, in an empty house, all alone. Exactly what he wanted and is getting. My parents left on Monday and had been very helpful but it is also nice to have more room and space to set a new routine here solo.

The never-ending to do list is helpful. I am a productive, efficient person and really dislike having extra time on my hands, so having a lot to accomplish is helpful to keep me going in a lot of ways. But at some point the dust will really settle and then I will be forced to address everything: the emotions of being abandoned, the impacts on me and the kids of our family changing, the fact I was betrayed by him twice (and was friendly with the AP). I remain very ashamed by what he has done and my association to somebody who would do this; worried about my reputational harm from his bad behaviors; and feeling bad that my marriage failed. Local friends who know the details have been popping up asking to get together and I have been gently pushing it off. I also need to get in touch with about ten other local friends who don't even know I am here (you know, the 2-3 email per year friends or the strictly xmas card friends you fell off from when you moved away a decade ago). I am just dreading it, having to spin the sordid tale, and tell more people. Putting it off for now (and I am not somebody who puts things off).

TLDR; soon, very soon, I have to move from simply reacting to being effected by this devastation to actually dealing with it in ways other than logistical. And maybe that scares me too, that it makes it that much more final and finite that my entire life, the life I had and still yearn for, has been erased.

posts: 271   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2023
id 8803814
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SadieMae ( member #42986) posted at 7:35 PM on Thursday, August 10th, 2023

Hi Fold,
I've been following your story and so many people have posted helpful things, I haven't wanted to add another "amen" to the list. But I've been praying for you and your family and I hope you are settling well.

I just wanted to touch on this:

my entire life, the life I had and still yearn for, has been erased.

I can't imagine what you are going through, especially the short amount of time you went from being on one track and now being on a totally different track. But your life hasn't been erased. It's changed. It has changed drastically. But it is still there, it is still important, and you are still worthy of having an excellent life. It will be years before you understand the impact your actions will have had on your children.

I'm the child of whirlwind divorced parents. My father left home in mid-May, we discovered his affair in early June, and their divorce was final in early September. (As an added whirl-wind, he was remarried 2 days after the divorce was final). I was 17 when this happened. I have so much respect for my mother and the way she handled all of this, picked herself up, and kept on. It still amazes me.

You amaze me, too. You can do this! And your children will be in awe of you, too.

By the way, a book I found helpful after I was struggling with my new life after my WH's A came to life was "Who Moved My Cheese".

Me: BW D-day 3/9/2014
TT until 6/2016
TT again Fall 2020
Yay! A new D-Day on 11/8/2023 WTAF

posts: 1418   ·   registered: Apr. 3rd, 2014   ·   location: Sweet Tea in the Shade
id 8803925
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 Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 2:31 PM on Friday, August 11th, 2023

SadieMay: What a kind statement to make. Thank you. The kindness of everyone on the boards has been so incredibly appreciated.

I am very sorry that you experienced such a big upset to your own nuclear family as a child. To have that happen so suddenly, your parents separating and divorcing and your dad remarrying so, so quickly... it must have been really hard for everyone. I admire your mom for forging ahead. And she obviously did an amazing job raising you to be so considerate and empathetic. I know I am not the first or last woman to be forced into a brand new life they don't want, and it is encouraging to know others have made it work. Thank you for the book recco. I think I read that for work a long time back but it is worth a re-read I bet.

I also really value your words about still having a life worth living. I know I do, deep down, because making a good life for the kids where they are happy, supported, safe, and loved is the driving force. Kids are resilient, but they also deserve a stable, happy, special childhood and like all moms, single or not, I will work to provide that.

I have less of an optimistic lens for myself and my future and happiness. But that may be because I am more of a realist/diet pessimist. I've been profoundly betrayed by the person who was supposed to protect me and my family, was pushed out of my home, had my financial health plummet, been physically sick all summer from stress, lost my community, career, and social circle. I have to rebuild but feel paralyzed in a lot of ways and don't see anything positive about where I am, in all senses. Maybe that will change in time, but when I think about the future, I picture this sad Grey Gardens situation, lol. I'm already dreading when the kids grow up and go to college that I will be all alone without anybody, probably still in this sad rental. It feels insurmountable, that I will ever feel anything but sadness, fear, and numbness. And regret, wistfulness. Across from my rental is a $2.4 million dollar home. It is beautiful, with a huge yard and backyard play equipment. The owners are a professional couple with kids who seem a little older than mine. The kids and I sit at our dining table for dinner and can see their house and goings on while we eat. And it makes me so damn sad. Here I am alone with the kids in a rental apartment without a husband, without their dad, without income. And we have this nightly "show" steps away of what I used to have: a home with two parents, with kids playing with their dad before dinner, with friends stopping by to socialize the other night, presumably stable finances to afford their beautiful house. It feels like I have been pushed back to the start of the "game of life."

posts: 271   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2023
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SackOfSorry ( member #83195) posted at 5:58 PM on Friday, August 11th, 2023

The show across the street might be a re-run, could be exactly the kind of unreal life you were living but didn't know it yet before DDay. Don't assume that show is a good one.

Me - BW
DDay - May 4, 2013

And nothing's quite as sure as change. (The Mamas and the Papas)

posts: 120   ·   registered: Apr. 11th, 2023
id 8804118
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 Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 7:04 PM on Friday, August 11th, 2023

Sack of Sorry: This is true. And it crossed my mind. But they look blissful and maybe I am just drinking gasoline to stay warm a bit...

I am still really in the stunned stage still. Somehow. I mean, I have "accepted" everything: him cheating, him not wanting to try, his abandonment, the divorce, the financial downturn, moving across the country, searching for work, being a single parent, the speculation from the fallout of his behavior, losing friends and reputation. But I remain shocked. Like I wake up in the morning and for a sweet, tantalizing few seconds everything feels "normal," and then I remember it all.

posts: 271   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2023
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Abalone123 ( member #82896) posted at 7:23 PM on Friday, August 11th, 2023

Fold, you are allowed to mope, feel sad about your situation. You aren’t asking for the moon, just a happy family life with some sense of security and normalcy. I am not going to tell you to look at the positive in all of this, but you will in your own time find your "normal". It might be a different normal from the family across living in their million dollar mansion but It will still be a stable peaceful one. Hang in there till that happens, one day at a time . You got this !

posts: 284   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2023
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 Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 5:03 PM on Monday, August 14th, 2023

Thanks for your support, Abalone. I know that I won't have what I did before. That is part of the crush, isn't it, for all of us? That many of us were living the lives we wanted, for the most part, and are forced to do a hard restart, losing so much stability in all senses. It's a really hard side of things for me to deal with: we had so much that was positive in our lives and so much potential, and it has all been destroyed. I feel in so many ways that I've been tossed backwards 15-20 years in my life, and I may spend the rest of my days striving to achieve what we had together just a couple months ago. We had been looking at houses to buy, at doubling our income within a year, at being set for retirement. And all of that -- poof -- is gone. Plus all the other stuff: the nuclear family stability, the social circle, the community. All swept away by the actions of somebody who only cares about himself.

Yesterday, the kids and I went to a get together at their new school for incoming students in one of their grades. There were maybe 25 families there and it was nice to meet some people but, I kid you not, there was not ONE parent there solo. Everybody was paired up and many knew one another from prior school years, the neighborhood, etc. People were friendly but not entirely inclusive, which I get. I felt that I really stuck out being there solo (and I was surprised TBH, one of the reasons I chose the neighborhood was because I thought it would have families with different makeups). I also was asked several times what brought me to the area and had to answer those inquiries on the fly. This was something I had been dreading: the "oh.... I see" or "Ah, OK!" replies back that are awkward, can feel judgmental; coupled with darting eyes to my ring finger. Just another "first" I didn't want to have to have, but was, is, inevitable.

I am trying to remind myself that this is not a race. That I have to rebuild and rework my plan and do it solo. That I may not achieve the things I want to achieve, and may never return to the stability I once enjoyed. I may not ever be in a position to purchase a home. I may not have the opportunity to find a partner who treats me well or to trust anyone for that matter. I may just pour into the kids and into work, whatever that winds up being, and find as much fulfillment there as I can, fully knowing I may never feel truly happy, at peace, or content. Because there is too much to worry about when you have so much suddenly on your plate without your spouse to back you up in any way. I will work to make as much as it work as I can. There is not another option, is there?

posts: 271   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2023
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Beachgirl73 ( member #74764) posted at 2:24 PM on Tuesday, August 15th, 2023

Oh, Fold,

Your posts always touch my heart. You write with such insight and clarity. This is such a hard time for you. I hope you are now reaching out to trusted old friends and sharing what you’re going through. Also, I hope you are continuing to get IC support.

When you are a bit more settled you might want to meet up with single parent groups in your area. It’s nice to make some friends that aren’t partnered up to do things with and share experiences. I know I often feel awkward around couples. Even though they may be friendly some women view single women as a potential threat, even though I do NOTHING to provoke that. I’m extra cautious to not appear threatening in any way. I’m sure you are as well. It just seems to go with being a single woman…unfortunately.

You continue to inspire me with your strength and resilience. I have good feelings about your having a good future, possibly better than before.

Sending a hug.

posts: 139   ·   registered: Jul. 3rd, 2020
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tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 9:31 PM on Tuesday, August 15th, 2023

Lady you are so strong.
I think I may have commented on your thread early on, but man you are marching forward with strength.

Your head is spinning most days I am sure, but you are truly knocking it out of the park, getting these firsts done, and moving on w/ life.

One thing my Gma always said, when I was worried about what others thought, that helped me was this.

"If you knew how little others thought of what you are worrying on, you wouldn't worry" meaning most people are so caught up in their own stuff they don't even think half the things you are concerned about, and don't notice. So be that brave warrior you are, and keep on keeping on.

Me: FBSHim: FWSKids: 23 & 27 Married for 32 years now, was 16 at the time.D-Day Sept 26 2008R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 20203   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8804510
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 Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 10:33 PM on Tuesday, August 15th, 2023

Hi BeachGirl: You're sweet to comment. I check the forums frequently and it is always nice to see a note from you.

I am seeing a new Zoom therapist (for last couple of weeks, someone licensed in my new state as my prior IC was not). But I lose benefits in a couple of weeks so will have a gap in service until I get my temp benefits set up.

I have a good group of close friends who know "the whole story" by now and am fortunate to have daily check ins with several via text and phone calls after the kids are asleep a couple of times per week. My BFF who lives in a neighboring state is coming in for the weekend and I have a friend coming from out of state in September and another in October for visits which is nice. I still have a ton of people who don't know anything, even that I have moved to the same city they are in in some cases. In time I know I will have to disclose more (even just the basics without the gross details). But I think I want to wait until the divorce is finalized and maybe I am a bit more settled, when I have some more answers to the questions to come (what are you doing for work, do the kids like school, have you met anyone in the area). All of that is still up in the air mostly. And I also dread having to admit the marriage failed and I've come slinking back here. I know it is not my fault but I am super ashamed by all of this and it has such an ick factor to it I feel anxious even thinking about having to go into detail if that makes sense. I also found out that the investigation will be disclosed to the media in the next month or two so am anxious about that but glad to be nowhere near the scene of the crime or the alleged criminal.

I do hope to forge some new connections here. I joined an online single parent group but it is mostly people complaining about their exes (nada wrong with that!) so I have not engaged. I am not hot enough to be a threat to any married couples -- I mean, I am middle aged, unemployed, and with young kids and a ton of recent baggage. I am not threatening in the least :) But, I know it can be weird for couples to embrace friendships with single people so am not planning on being flooded with social invitations anytime soon from people I may meet around the area.

But we will see. I am just working on getting more settled without losing my mind trying to job search, keep my shizz together, and entertain kids for 14 waking hours a day sans help. So..the glamourous life for sure. Thanks for checking in, friend.

posts: 271   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2023
id 8804516
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 Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 10:38 PM on Tuesday, August 15th, 2023

Tushnurse: Thanks for your sage advice, and that from your grandmother. I know I am not interesting enough t be gossiped about as much as I feel I may be. Here at least. When the media gets the full scoop on what my WH is accused of then I know that the military community will scrutinize. But I will be far from military people and can block the websites and news sources until it dies down.

I value your supportive words. I am head above water most days but treading mightily and it feels like dry drowning most days. All days. I am still emotional at least once a day, try to wait until I am alone at night to do it if I can. But there are triggers all over the place -- seeing nuclear families at the park the other day like I mentioned or the couple across the street from me -- and I know that will happen and I will be sad and overcome at times.

posts: 271   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2023
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SackOfSorry ( member #83195) posted at 2:28 AM on Wednesday, August 16th, 2023

And I also dread having to admit the marriage failed and I've come slinking back here.

Considering that 50% or more marriages fail, it's hardly anything to be ashamed of anymore. Gosh, I think of my mom who got divorced in the 70's - I literally knew no one at all who had divorced parents. Surely, they existed but not in our small community. I didn't meet anyone with divorced parents for years after their divorce.

You certainly did not slink back! You chose where you wanted to go, to people that you know. It's entirely understandable and tons of people do it. Hold your head up, and remember that you did nothing wrong!

Me - BW
DDay - May 4, 2013

And nothing's quite as sure as change. (The Mamas and the Papas)

posts: 120   ·   registered: Apr. 11th, 2023
id 8804536
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 Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 10:02 PM on Wednesday, August 16th, 2023

Sack of Sorry: This is good perspective. 50% of marriages don't make it. And the odds were worse in my case as military marriages have a 60% rate (and it was his second marriage). I guess I was foolish to think I wouldn't be on the wrong side of the percentage when I had the same odds as everyone else, though I am sure we all felt that way at some point.

I do feel like I did middle of the night escape from the old state and then just showed up across the country. And while I did technically choose to come here, I didn't want to come if that makes sense. I didn't know where to go, and just knew I could not stay where I was. It doesn't quite feel like moving home and in with my parents (for one, they don't live here and I am not from here) (and second, I know several who have done just that so no shade there)....but it also doesn't feel like a good, positive move. And likely that is because every time I have moved, it has been intentional, exciting, and for a positive reason: moving to a brand new city for grad school, then moving to a different city after I got engaged and with a job promotion, then moving abroad several times. Each time is was an adventure and something happy. And this move could not be further from that.

posts: 271   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2023
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Beachgirl73 ( member #74764) posted at 2:21 PM on Friday, August 18th, 2023

Hello Fold,

I’ve been thinking about you and hoping you are getting settled a bit. You’ve been so busy getting everything organized for your separation and move that it may be that now that things are a bit calmer everything is hitting you. You’d be inhuman if it didn’t, imo.

How are things going with the children? Is your soon to be ex husband in frequent contact with them or is he starting to pull away even more?

I’m hoping things are progressing well for you in the divorce and job hunt, even though it’s still early days.

I admire your strength, but it’s okay to not always be strong. What you’ve been through would bring most people to their knees, myself included. I hope you are trying to put some joy in your life. You deserve it!

Sending another hug. ❤️
Beach girl

posts: 139   ·   registered: Jul. 3rd, 2020
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 Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 6:56 PM on Friday, August 18th, 2023

Hi BeachGirl: Thanks for your note.

The kids are doing well. They have seemed to adjust fine, like the house for the most part, are getting excited about school and fall sports I've enrolled them in. Their dad texts me asking if they can video chat twice a week. They don't really talk about him much between calls, but it has kind of been that way due to his prior travel schedule, so doesn't seem to be a challenge for now. He has a booked a flight to see them in about four weeks.

Something I've found a little interesting is that WH and I used to send each other pics of the kids constantly, you know how most couples do, and obviously now he has none to send so isn't sending any. And I am just petty enough not to proactively send any to him. So in the three weeks since we moved (and five weeks to include his casino road trip plus move) he has never asked me to send him a photo of the kids. Maybe he has enough old ones on his phone or thinks the video calls a couple times a week are enough. Just strikes me as a little odd.

I have a call with my attorney this afternoon to review the draft agreement. We are eligible to finalize next week with the courts. I am anticipating some back and forth on some of the terms. I am not going after his pension or separate 401k, but if he fights me on the childcare costs I have added in or does something hinky when it comes to alimony I will totally play dirty. I have a long list of ways to do it, and the easiest is to remind him that I have a healthier savings account and nothing but time if I need to stretch out the proceedings, while he has very little cash flow and I know wants to eagerly close this chapter ASAP.

Job stuff continues. Waiting to hear outcome from final interview for job I am not qualified for. Half heartedly applying for others. I feel both somehow underqualified and overqualified for most of what I see; definitely lacking professional confidence; and feeling not too optimistic. I go between thinking I should apply for "real jobs" (six figures, benefits, in person downtown) and if I get one then scramble for childcare, or cobbling together low-pay 1099 gigs that are flex even though I will literally be making income that puts me under the poverty line. It is discouraging and TBH, I have let it take a bit of a backseat the last week as I've been a little under the weather and the stress of the move, plans, logistics, managing the kids 24/7 (week #5 without any camps or anything and seriously am exhausted) has been heaping up. I meet with my volunteer career mentor next week so am hopeful there will be some good guidance from her. I'm still not sleeping well or eating much but am hydrated, getting nutrients, exercising, and weaning myself off my nightly does of Tylenol PM. I am lucky to have good friends who check in daily/weekly. And you guys here. This little forum has kept me afloat so much.

posts: 271   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2023
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Abalone123 ( member #82896) posted at 7:10 PM on Saturday, August 19th, 2023

Fold, You seem to be carrying the shame and burden of everything that is happening while the perpetrator of that is living it up. How unfair is that amongst other things. Don’t feel the need to let anyone know why you have moved, what your marital status is until you feel comfortable talking about it or know them well enough.
You probably see " happy" marriages all around you because you feel the loss of your own marriage. One of those happy couples could be someone like me and my WH with a marriage riddled with cheating , lack of intimacy and communication. The wife could be someone like me that just shut her mind off over the years and buried her head in the sand. She appears happy in her perfect marriage but has spent years crying in the shower, the only place where she gets to confront the harsh reality of her marriage.
Don’t feel like you took a step back in your life. This is a new phase.

posts: 284   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2023
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 Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 7:35 PM on Sunday, August 20th, 2023

Hugs to you, sweet Abalone.

I am carrying a lot of guilt and shame for certain. While I fundamentally know that I did not cheat, I did not end the marriage, I did not do anything wrong, I still feel addled by the weight of the ickiness of everything. I feel enormously embarrassed and like a lot less than I used to feel, and that I was not enough, certainly not worth being faithful to or respectful of by him. Just the reality of what I am feeling, deeply, even if I intellectually know that it was not my doing.

Who knows what is really being felt by him, but he is definitely applying this crazy optimistic filter to his life (well, what I witnessed him doing when we lived under the same roof). The gambling trip, sending the smiling selfies to his friends, meeting up with buddies for drinks, reading fiction and watching his blooper videos and sports, researching these never-going-to-happen job opportunities. And he has no job while still getting income, no wife or kids to have to deal with, nothing but wide open free time with no responsibilities.

I do definitely seem to be zoning in on the happy marriages around me (seemingly). Because I had it and I miss it and I want it still. Desperately. I miss wearing my wedding rings, I miss saying "my husband," and I miss having and feeling and being viewed as having the stability of a partner who is by my side. It is just a lot of jarring changes that are now actually happening vs. waiting for it to happen.

Every situation is different, Abalone, including yours. There are many, many good, necessary, important reasons to try to make a marriage struck by infidelity work. We know from so many here that it CAN work, it can even sometimes be better than before, and it can take work but can happen. And I will venture to say that even if a relationship is still a struggle in the aftermath of affairs, and has fractures and setbacks, that there can still remain enough there to make it a life that can be happy, even when there may be more downs than ups some times. You have to do what is right for you (or the kids), and what is right at one time may always be right or may change with time. The important thing is to continue making the best decisions you can given the information and circumstances you're given. For all of us, right?

posts: 271   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2023
id 8805023
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Landslide1920 ( new member #83685) posted at 8:39 AM on Monday, August 21st, 2023

Fold,

I've read this entire thread and am struck by how strong, focused and resilient you've shown yourself to be (even when, or even especially when, you don't feel strong) throughout this incredibly painful experience and the aftermath you are having to navigate and help your children navigate.

I'm about 2 months past DDay with my WH. We've been living together during that time while I decide what to do, and it's been so hard. I relate so much to what you're going through. You are putting into words so many of my feelings. I also have small children with my H and am struck by the selfishness, lack of respect and what feels like a total lack of love by my own WH to have done this to me and our kids. Similar to you, my WH has a child (teenager) from a previous marriage. And had multiple instances of infidelity in that M (red flag I discounted back then).

Who knows what is really being felt by him, but he is definitely applying this crazy optimistic filter to his life (well, what I witnessed him doing when we lived under the same roof). The gambling trip, sending the smiling selfies to his friends, meeting up with buddies for drinks, reading fiction and watching his blooper videos and sports, researching these never-going-to-happen job opportunities. And he has no job while still getting income, no wife or kids to have to deal with, nothing but wide open free time with no responsibilities.

I'm so sorry he's showing such little regard for you and your children. You all deserve so much more. My WH seems to also be acting mostly fine with our lives crumbling, too. He hasn't been doing much to "save" our M. He likes to play the victim (which I see now) and is immature. Your STBXH seems similar.

You previously talked about your STBXH not even managing to get the POD ordered in the correct size. I was shaking my head in (sad) remembrance because my WH is like that. After DDay he asked to get MC together and also said IC would help him. I said that was fine, but he needed to find the MC and IC and book it. It didn't happen until I brought it up multiple times and even had to help. I had been trying not to take it on, since it's just another thing that I have to handle. By the time I did intervene, it was over a month past DDay.

You've got this and you're doing great. How are you settling in? Any update on the job hunt? I'm sure that's incredibly stressful.

posts: 35   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2023   ·   location: USA
id 8805069
Topic is Sleeping.
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