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Divorce/Separation :
Husband actively cheating & I’m staying (for now) Anyone else been here?

Topic is Sleeping.
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 MTeach77 (original poster new member #83810) posted at 2:25 PM on Wednesday, August 30th, 2023

Hi all, I’m new here. I learned of my husbands affair a month ago, on our 16th anniversary. It’s been a whirlwind of emotions and decisions since then. Let me preface by saying we haven’t been "in love" for quite some time, and have essentially been roommates. He works all the time and I threw myself into our kids. No excuse for cheating. At all. He does not want to lose me or our family, however has admitted he isn’t looking to end the affair. I went to a divorce lawyer, and boy was that a reality check. I am seeing a therapist and working on healing, I’m putting on a front at home for our kids. And for now, I’ve decided to do nothing. I do work full time but couldn’t sustain this lifestyle without his income. The decision to leave and divorce is too big for me, RIGHT NOW. I’m taking it one day at a time. Right now I’m choosing comfort, for myself and my kids. I’m also open to filling my voids with someone else too, to keep myself happy. This prob all sounds crazy but I guess I’m wondering if there’s anyone else out there who can relate. Fortunately my best friend has found herself in this exact situation and she’s about 5 years ahead of me in the process. Coexisting in a loveless marriage, she has a boyfriend, and doesn’t care what her husband does. While it’s certainly not ideal, or what I would have chosen, my husband and I don’t fight in front of our kids or subject them to anything of the like. The affection is obviously lacking, but my kids are at an age where divorce will be emotionally awful for them. Ugh.

[This message edited by MTeach77 at 2:30 PM, Wednesday, August 30th]

posts: 2   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2023
id 8805982
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BrokenheartedUK ( member #43520) posted at 2:55 PM on Wednesday, August 30th, 2023

Hi and welcome!!!

I’m sorry you needed to find us but here we all are.

I can understand why you’re staying put for the time being. You are in the very early days of a major trauma and it’s going to take a long time to dig out. They say here it takes 2-5 years to recover from infidelity. Read up in the healing library and start educating yourself.

If your WS is still actively cheating, you need to start to implement the 180. This is to enable you to get some detachment from him to figure out your next steps. Stop doing his laundry and other domestic chores.

I would not recommend staying long term in this marriage regardless of your lifestyle. It’s no way to live. I know that D is terrifying, I get that but your kids are better off in a household that isn’t loveless. Go see another couple of divorce lawyers and start to work your way towards shaping that. Get your ducks in a row. Continue with the therapy to process and get some clarity in this situation.

Big hug. I know this sucks.

Me: BS
He cheated and then lied. Apparently cheaters lie. Huh. 13 months of false R. Divorced! 8/16 3 teenage kids
"The barn's burnt down
Now
I can see the moon"
-Mizuta Masahide

posts: 3412   ·   registered: May. 24th, 2014
id 8805986
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annb ( member #22386) posted at 3:09 PM on Wednesday, August 30th, 2023

Hi, welcome to SI.

One of the main goals of this site is to get you out of infidelity.

Your husband has his cake and is eating it too. Close the damn bakery, please don't allow him to disrespect you one more minute.

If he wants to have a girlfriend, let him have her, just not while he is married to you or anyone else for that matter.

Do you know who this woman is? Is she married?

Whatever you do, do not go looking for someone to comfort you. Two wrongs don't make a right and you will just be using another person to fill a void.

Gently, You cannot heal while you are living in the midst of this limbo hell. I suggest you meet with another couple of attorneys, get your ducks in a row, and present him with divorce papers. It might just give him the push off the fence he needs.

Your children will be better off with one stable parent who has their back instead of one who is dropping a nuclear bomb on their lives.

Implement the 180 as suggested. Do not do anything for him, cook, clean, laundry. Not a thing. Discussions only about finances and the children.

I'm sorry he is destroying your family, but please find the courage to show him you refuse to be abused by him any longer because cheating IS emotional abuse.

Big hugs....

posts: 12149   ·   registered: Jan. 10th, 2009   ·   location: Northeast
id 8805988
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OnTheOtherSideOfHell ( member #82983) posted at 4:04 PM on Wednesday, August 30th, 2023

In my opinion, if the household isn’t toxic, you’re healing and Can find happiness, and you both know the reality or your relationship/situation I see no problem with this arrangement. Love in a marriage is wonderful, but it’s not all a marriage consists of. If the situation allows you all to be financially secure and still be happy then go for it. You define your marriage, not society or tradition. I’ve seen many marriages of convenience. If you can honestly be happy in this situation then why not?

posts: 192   ·   registered: Feb. 28th, 2023   ·   location: SW USA
id 8805989
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ThisIsSoLonely ( Guide #64418) posted at 1:21 PM on Thursday, August 31st, 2023

I have a friend who has been in a situation you describe for a long time (like 20 years). I can honestly say two things about it - their kids, who are now adults did indeed know what was going on. I hang out with one of the kids (now in her 30s) socially from time to time and she has a hard time talking about the situation - but it's clearly bothered her even though she shrugs it off. She has a difficult time with serious relationships, which she admits is in part due to her upbringing. The second is my friend, is very much on her own emotionally, and still, after all that time, wishes her WH would just leave. It's like they are in some permanent game of chicken where both of them want the house and the stability but really wish the other person would move in with someone else so they could have it to themselves and have some peace. Somehow money and the house has become the prize, that both of them know they will never win. They have separate bedrooms, the sex hasn't happened in those 20 years, and while they have had relationships, not much comes of them as not many people want to date someone who still lives with their spouse AND has no intention of leaving.

Just be careful in thinking you are able to hide this adequately and don't believe it does not affect your children - just about everything you do effects your kids one way or the other. I also think that for the average person, existing in a relationship that is loveless and where both people are dating other people but pretending they are still together is a huge strain. For me I don't think it's sustainable. Then again, also for me, money isn't worth it in the long term. It is one thing to live the 180 for a short term - I cannot even imagine being able to do that as a more permanent arrangement (and I did in house separation for over a year). Why? Because I don't have the ability to emotionally detach fully when I was around my WH.

Only you know if this is something that you can do. Full disclosure - I think "staying for the kids" is generally a bad idea. As a kid of a divorce related to an affair, the biggest favor my parents did for us in the long term was to physically separate. More full disclosure: I think it's pure torture to live in limbo so I have trouble advising someone to stay in it long term. I can't even imagine staying where my WH was actively staying in his A and basically telling me to deal with it if I wanted to stick around. I could not have done it.

Finally, what happens to all that stability if your WS's A becomes serious (with thisAP or someone else) and he wants to leave you? This could happen at any moment, despite what your WS says? What do you do then? It seems you are banking on the assurances of someone who can't be trusted - it's a risk I for one wouldn't take.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 1:29 PM, Thursday, August 31st]

You are the only person you are guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with. Act accordingly.

Constantly editing posts: usually due to sticky keys on my laptop or additional thoughts

posts: 2329   ·   registered: Jul. 11th, 2018
id 8806053
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 MTeach77 (original poster new member #83810) posted at 2:08 PM on Thursday, August 31st, 2023

I appreciate the responses and feedback. I honestly have no idea what I’m doing or where this is going, but for now I know I’m choosing to stay put. Not for him, not for our marriage, but for mine and my kids comfort. They definitely won’t know about the ongoing affair. Hell, he’s kept is hidden from me for a year. I can be certain he won’t leave for her. She’s literally a kid, half his age. (Well, she’s not a minor I’m exaggerating but you get the drift. ) And tbh if he did leave me, my decision is made and I start the process of moving forward. Taking it one day at a time…

posts: 2   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2023
id 8806057
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inmisery1 ( member #30905) posted at 11:35 PM on Sunday, September 3rd, 2023

Nope, I've hung in there for years, the 1st one was in 2012, I know of at least 3 others and multiple dating sites. I waited for my kids to graduate, then until I qualify for medicare and now until he starts collecting Social Security, if I leave before that I'll have to wait 2 years to collect spousal benefits, we moved around a lot for his job, I had to stay home with the kids, so not a lot of benefits of my own. He just filed last week and is retiring in February. Ive been waiting until I'm reasonably sure I'll be OK financially. It's painful, but I'm not interested in dating so I chose to stay until I'm in the best possible position financially to leave. I have grown children I'm pretty sure they know he cheats or at least suspect it, I'm going to tell them first, the only thing that'll surprise them is that I finally worked up the courage to be on my own. They love him, but they don't like him very much, he has a drinking problem and anger issues when he drinks.He embarrasses them when he slurs his speech and passes out on the couch in front of their friends. Do it when it works best for you or not at all if you like.

posts: 341   ·   registered: Jan. 20th, 2011
id 8806451
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 10:00 PM on Monday, September 4th, 2023

There are so many ways this situation could blow up and get messy. The more people that are involved in a relationship, the more complex it becomes.

Does the OW know that you know and is fine with it? Does your husband know that you have a man on the side and vice versa? Is your side piece married or single?

You can’t assume that your husband won’t leave you for OW at some point. You don’t know how he feels for her and what he’s promised her. My step grandfather had a much younger mistress for whom he dropped my stepgrandmother the second their youngest child graduated high school.

Even if OW is fine with being a side piece now, the longer their relationship goes on, the more likely it is that she will expect more from him. Most women aren’t content to spend holidays alone and watch all their friends get married while they remain a dirty secret indefinitely. She may force him to choose and he may choose her.

You may not be able to or want to leave your husband now, but you need to get your ducks in a row and prepare for divorce, whether that happens tomorrow or 10 years from now.

BW, 40s

Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 1944   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8806539
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BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 10:49 PM on Monday, September 4th, 2023

I agree that even though you are choosing this, it can change at any time. So you need to make sure you are financially ready. Get your ducks in a row and work toward a place where you will be comfortable if you D. His AP could approach one of your kids, or come by the house, or get pregnant, or who knows what. So plan accordingly. I know you are saying this is for RIGHT NOW, but plan for a different ending at any time. You do not have to rush to D—- but do plan for that possibility.

Also, i wonder what you are modeling for your kids. Is a romance-less relationship what you want to model for your kids? They learn how to be in relationships by watching you.

Infidelity sucks. I wish you weren’t in this position at all.

Me: BS 57 (49 on d-day)Him: *who cares ;-) *. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

posts: 5981   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8806542
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SacredSoul33 ( member #83038) posted at 5:33 PM on Tuesday, September 5th, 2023

In my opinion, if the household isn’t toxic, you’re healing and Can find happiness, and you both know the reality or your relationship/situation I see no problem with this arrangement. Love in a marriage is wonderful, but it’s not all a marriage consists of. If the situation allows you all to be financially secure and still be happy then go for it. You define your marriage, not society or tradition. I’ve seen many marriages of convenience. If you can honestly be happy in this situation then why not?

I agree.

I agree that even though you are choosing this, it can change at any time. So you need to make sure you are financially ready. Get your ducks in a row and work toward a place where you will be comfortable if you D. His AP could approach one of your kids, or come by the house, or get pregnant, or who knows what. So plan accordingly. I know you are saying this is for RIGHT NOW, but plan for a different ending at any time. You do not have to rush to D—- but do plan for that possibility.

I also agree with this. I would stack cash like crazy and put it somewhere where H can't access it.

Remove the "I want you to like me" sticker from your forehead and place it on the mirror, where it belongs. ~ Susan Jeffers

Your nervous system will always choose a familiar hell over an unfamiliar heaven.

posts: 1287   ·   registered: Mar. 10th, 2023
id 8806607
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ThisIsSoLonely ( Guide #64418) posted at 6:34 PM on Tuesday, September 5th, 2023

As gently as possible, you don't know this won't (or hasn't already) happened:

They [kids] definitely won’t know about the ongoing affair. Hell, he’s kept is hidden from me for a year.

There have been quite a few people on this site who have found out via their kids, some times those kids have been "forced" to keep it a secret from the other spouse even.

Others have chimed in on the she's younger, he won't leave for her already. I won't go on about that except to repeat you don't know what is going to happen. Plan accordingly.

You are the only person you are guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with. Act accordingly.

Constantly editing posts: usually due to sticky keys on my laptop or additional thoughts

posts: 2329   ·   registered: Jul. 11th, 2018
id 8806612
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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 7:07 PM on Tuesday, September 5th, 2023

If you are staying put for now and your H is cheating, it may be best to tell him that at this point you understand he does not want to end his affair.

But you hope that he understands when you tell him that it goes both ways, and if you should meet someone then you will be honest with him and let him know before anything happens.

Then you are not cheating. You are adhering to the new rules of an open marriage.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.

posts: 13927   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8806616
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Shehawk ( member #68741) posted at 12:21 AM on Tuesday, September 26th, 2023

" It seems you are banking on the assurances of someone who can't be trusted - it's a risk I for one wouldn't take."

I took this sort of risk and it turned out very badly for me. In my case it was false R. I personally wish I had left the first time I found out he had sex with someone other than me while married. But every person on here has to make decisions that are best for their situation.

I am sorry you found yourself betrayed. It’s a tough place to be in dealing with I.

"It's a slow fade...when you give yourself away" so don't do it!

posts: 1650   ·   registered: Nov. 5th, 2018   ·   location: VA
id 8809384
Topic is Sleeping.
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