Many of you might remember to my original topic (Just coworkers - https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums/?tid=660608&HL=83140), in which we've discussed my story of getting cold-heartedly cheated on and betrayed by my STBXW. I just wanted to give you an update to that story and possibly focusing on the important life lessons I learnt so that my next relationship could be potentially more open, honest and more stable by noticing the obvious red flags earlier and handle infidelity much more efficiently.
Just to summarize: I was a newbie, a total beginner in this infidelity game. I never in my life could have imagined that my loved one, my STBXW could betray me and our family of three bright and beautiful young daughters. That she could remorselessly lie and cheat on me in cheap motels and apartments and then come home as nothing happened and act like as everything was alright and cause me a real emotional trauma and betrayal PTSD at the end. I made - despite all the warnings that you gave - the most classic mistakes, like doing the pick-me-dance to please her and win her back, smoking hopium all the time to 'save' the marriage 'for the kids'. None of that worked, actually it made things way worse to be honest.
While I was trying everything humanly possible to convince her that our family was at stake, our way of life was in danger by her actions, that she was going to traumatize the kids with a potential divorce, she did not care about anything. She basically kept on cheating on me, ignored me, refused to go the therapy, instead started a new diet and worked out way more and basically cut all communications with me. But interestingly she did not move out. She stayed in our house and at the same time she reduced her financial contributions to the household to an absolute minimum (way below 50%, more like 15%) which she defended by her lower salary. She never asked about how I feel about this situation in general, she just used our house as a safe harbor where she can eat-sleep and play with the children as nothing happened and then go to work. It was horrifying to experience this lack of empathy, coldness and cruelty by her. As if I did not exist, she treated me like nothing, like a somebody who runs the household, takes care of the children, pays the bills and makes sure our family functions at least on some bizarre way. She never thanked me that despite what happened I kept our family together.
The turning point for me, was when my children asked me about who was going to watch over them today, will be there any dinner tonight, what were they going to do tomorrow with me or with their mom. I saw desperate uncertainty in their eyes... Which I cannot forget to be honest. Which I knew I should stop because the situation hurts the children every minute. That moment I decided I will make the bold step and finally file for divorce. That sadness and frustration in my children's eyes was the last drop for me. It broke my heart actually. Then I suddenly realized I have to quit thinking of salvaging this marriage, quit living together with my selfish cheater wife and go on with the divorce as soon as possible and also, that she is not essential at all to my life anymore, but the my children and my wellbeing is what really counts.
So I started the divorce, we could - after a long battle - reach an agreement. We will have a shared custody, she will move out and buy a new house I will even help her in this, assets will be distributed to her a bit more, but the price she pays is that I won't have to pay any alimony and child support at all, only the common costs about children will be shared equally.
So my long story will end in a divorce. I've learned the following lessons I'd like to share with you:
- Don't do any pick me dance. Don't try to convince your WS to save the marriage/relationship.
- They should show true remorse, not just regret. This is essential for any reconciliation. (TBH I did not even see any regret on her).
- Don't stay for the kids. Yes, divorce will change them, but seeing their parents not talking to each other, experiencing the instability and uncertainty and the lack of love is WAY MORE damaging.
- Accept the fact the if somebody has cheated on you maybe more than once, it was a decision, not a mistake. They decided to betray you, lie to you and backstab you. How can you be with someone who purposefully did that to you? You will never forget that. Never. There is no excuse for this.
- If they continue doing the cheating behind your back, after you caught them, it is over. No more words and explanations needed. It shows total lack of love and respect. You will never win these back.
Yes, it took me 5 months to realize the above things. I was like under a spell, a false emotional attachment or bonding to someone who could not care less about me and the marriage and kid's future. Time to divorce and move on.
[This message edited by madmax76 at 10:36 AM, Monday, September 4th]