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Newest Member: Watermelonhigh

Just Found Out :
Still reeling after D-Day revelations

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 Angie41 (original poster new member #84679) posted at 2:49 PM on Friday, April 5th, 2024

Yup Cooley2here, I think he has always been self-centered and selfish to an extent, but it's gotten worse in the last few years with the running obsession. I don't think he has the emotional maturity to grasp the pain and devastation he has unleashed, not just on me but the kids and all those who love us. I think he sees me now as weak and undesirable. But I've fought to be so strong through so many hard battles in life, like this, and I'm not weak.

Don't worry, I won't let him win these mind games with our kids. I will do my best to be my usual self around him with the kids present but alone, he will know how I feel. Thank you for your good advice in handling this situation. I will never forget how the ramifications of his choices are playing out in our day to day lives. A legal firm I contacted yesterday has come back to me, outlining the costs and steps involved. All feels very real and scary now. And so unbelievably sad. Thank you again!!!

posts: 32   ·   registered: Apr. 3rd, 2024   ·   location: Johannesburg, South Africa
id 8832272
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Sigyn ( member #80576) posted at 4:21 PM on Saturday, April 6th, 2024

Angie I'm so sorry you're here and that your husband put you through this. I just went through something similar with my "such a great guy" husband and 'loving marriage' that both turned out to be less than great and loving.

Whether your husband was depressed, had a mid life crisis, was dissatisfied with certain things in the marriage - all of those things are completely normal feelings to have that we ALL feel at some point in our lives and that we deal with by talking to our spouse and friends, going to therapy, doing some self reflection with the support of our loved ones. I'm sure you've felt dissatisfied with him or with specific parts of your life many times in the marriage, so you know what that feels like. You work through it in healthy ways. It's not like a sink hole opened under your house, or some other rare event that you couldn't predict - these are normal life feelings that people talk about all the time. So if he was feeling mildly dissatisfied with his life as he aged, it wasn't such a shocking event that he had no resources, no ideas about how to face it, no ideas other than to have an affair and keep secret tallies of your sex life (which is so violating in and of itself!). My ex husband and I had a very active sex life while he was out having affairs and it didn't stop him or slow him down in the slightest. There is no amount of sex that prevents someone who wants to cheat from cheating. I hope you never, ever feel like that's the price you have to pay for being respected in your marriage.

I'm glad you're enforcing boundaries for yourself with him. I had a lot of the same struggles while separated, with my ex expecting to come over for dinner, chat about work, download his day to me - all while I'm trying to keep my head above water to perform the most basic life necessities like eating instead of drinking my dinner, caring for my child, going to work. It's hard to enforce boundaries with someone who is determined to act like they're your friend and everything is normal and the horrific way they treated you was understandable. None of that is true. He isn't your friend, nothing is normal and he's absolutely 100% the perpetrator of the destruction of your marriage. You and your children are the victims.

But as hard as it is to enforce boundaries, you have to. In retrospect going no contact except for child care, scheduling and financials was one of things that saved my sanity in the long run. I was posting here at the time and I kept telling other posters that I wanted to keep things amicable - in retrospect I realize how impossible that was. My husband betrayed me, lied to me, destroyed our family unit and our marriage. There is no friendliness IN that. It's actually damaging and abusive to yourself, whether you know it or not, to attempt to communicate in a good-faith way with someone who just demonstrated that they have no good faith. You need to direct your goodness and love and kindness to yourself, and I'm not saying you have to be crappy to him, instead it's that the less unnecessary interaction you have with him at all (fake friendly or not), the more space you have for yourself. You need yourself right now. And a therapist, if you have access to one?

And I'm not sure if things work differently in SA with the legal system, but I interviewed three attorneys before choosing one. In the early stages my instinct was to go with the attorney who said they thought I should try for the most amicable divorce possible (because I was desperate for normalcy) but after some good advice I got here, I instead chose an attorney who seemed to understand that my ex husband was manipulative and was just exposed for lying and cheating to everyone around him and that people like that will take advantage of anyone who thinks they're capable of good faith. At first I felt that this attorney was too aggressive, but it turned out her aggression was absolutely necessary because people entitled enough to wreck their marriage and betray their closest family will absolutely try to manipulate the divorce process to do further damage. Go for someone aggressive so that you don't have to be. xx

posts: 124   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022
id 8832518
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 Angie41 (original poster new member #84679) posted at 9:12 AM on Monday, April 8th, 2024

Thank you so so much Sigyn for all your help with this, taking the time and helping me 'see the light' with what I'm dealing with here through sharing your horrific story. I hope you and your child are doing so much better now!!! You sound so strong and that you've taken back your power and it's amazing to read about!

I'm so sorry you've experienced the same horrible betrayal and the Ex expecting to be BFFs after they've thrown a bomb on your and your children's lives. I don't know how they think this is ok and acceptable??? Are they delusional? For me, as you said, avoid all unnecessary interaction. If I never have to see him in person again, I will be very happy though I know that that is probably an unlikely scenario with kids. I won't be crappy but I won't give any more than I need to and not show/share emotions. I've read a lot on these boards about how the BS is expected to be friends with their abuser is such a common thing. It's been very helpful.

Absolutely what you said is so true - of course we have all have those feelings, especially in such long relationships - I know I did at points in my life - but it's how you deal with it together that shows your character and the love and respect for each other. Not an affair that obliterates everything anyway. It's just shown me the lack of respect, honour and love he has for me. And that is no one to be 'friends' with, nevermind fighting to be married to.

What you said about these people and their lies, betrayal, destroying the family unit and the marriage is very powerful. That is who I need to remember I'm dealing with here. Not the man I thought he was and loved. But a destroyer, not a builder.

Your experience with lawyers has strengthened my resolve.

I'm shopping around & while I don't have money to get into big fights and also hope to keep things somewhat amicable, I hope there will be some aggression from the legal team to try set this right financially and for my kids so he can see there are consequences to his destructive fantasy. He tells people 'we grew apart' and the decision was mutual and that's why I must pay half the divorce (if he ever initiates it). Yet we've never spoken about divorce in our entire marriage. It's just crazy.

Do I keep all my interactions with lawyers to myself? Or do I see him alone to come to some kind of settlement, which I'm not keen on doing. I'm also not comfortable with a sheriff arriving at his work with a summons as it doesn't sit right with me - on that day should I alert him the papers will be served?

He will probably be so relieved I did all the work and have paid for it myself. Or can I get him to pay in the settlement as to me, he wanted this and engineered it so he should pay for it. But then, I am feeling so desperate to get out of this limbo, I think initiating the proceedings is the 100% right thing to do for me and the kids.

Thank you so much for your excellent advice and being here for me - it means so much xxx

posts: 32   ·   registered: Apr. 3rd, 2024   ·   location: Johannesburg, South Africa
id 8832610
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Jajaynumb ( member #83674) posted at 10:41 AM on Monday, April 8th, 2024

100% keep all interactions with lawyers to yourself. This isn’t about being vindictive it’s about looking out for you and your kids interests. Do not reveal your hand, he will use it as leverage to manipulate you and the situation. This is strictly business now, he’s your enemy not your friend. If he’s blindsided and served at work that’s the way it is. It’s not your fault or your problem.

https://library.survivinginfidelity.com/topics/661294/worse-than-hell-yes-its-all-true/

posts: 174   ·   registered: Aug. 1st, 2023   ·   location: Europe
id 8832611
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Charity411 ( member #41033) posted at 2:25 PM on Monday, April 8th, 2024

With the exception of the running obsession, I could have written your post almost word for word. You have gotten some great advice.

I totally agree that you should share nothing about consulting attorneys. You are still playing by the same rules of kindness, honesty, love and compassion that you used for the last 25 years of your marriage, and it's natural to want to do that. It would be easy to assume he will be the same and treat you fairly as you end your marriage, but I highly doubt he will. Mine didn't. He has forced you to be on your own, so operate in a way that protects your new solo life, and furthers the best interests of yourself and your children. You don't need his blessing or input.

I went through the same "we can be friends" thing also. Except he wanted to marry her and have me be the friend with benefits. I think they do this because they are so self centered, they think they are giving you the gift of their friendship, because they are certain you can't possibly live without them. It's also because he wants a measure of control over you. He'll get more of what he wants out of the divorce if he can keep you on the hook with friendship. It's not about him valuing you, it's about what he wants to get.

I think its great that you have someone willing to council you to give you the tools to cope with this. Take him up on it as soon as possible. Right now you have not only gotten the devastating blow of your life, but this blow has added an avalanche of things you have to do to rearrange your life. It's overwhelming. I was very suicidal when I went through it. And then I got incredible guidance from a counselor who taught me how to organize the insurmountable stuff into logical small steps that I could cope with one at time. It saved my life.

posts: 1730   ·   registered: Oct. 18th, 2013   ·   location: Illinois
id 8832629
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Sigyn ( member #80576) posted at 10:33 PM on Monday, April 8th, 2024

I'm shopping around & while I don't have money to get into big fights and also hope to keep things somewhat amicable, I hope there will be some aggression from the legal team to try set this right financially and for my kids so he can see there are consequences to his destructive fantasy.

Totally, this is understandable! And this is why you want to have an attorney who can be aggressive in the right ways. It's not like your attorney will do things you have no control over. You can discuss this with them in advance, you can read the things they write before they send it. But also at this time in your life where you feel like your trust has been massively violated, you have to have a degree of trust that your attorney knows how to handle certain things from experience, and when and where aggression is warranted. I had a hard time with that, but every time I let my lawyer do her thing, she was correct. I've only been divorced once and I still saw my husband as a person I'd loved - she had no emotional connection so she saw him more accurately, and so she knew better than I did how to work around his actions and manipulations.

He tells people 'we grew apart' and the decision was mutual and that's why I must pay half the divorce (if he ever initiates it). Yet we've never spoken about divorce in our entire marriage. It's just crazy

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My ex said this, too! It's their way of pre-excusing their affair, because once people find out people will obviously and correctly judge them for their awful behavior. But if they plant the seed that maybe the marriage was 'mostly over' and it was also mutual, then they can snake their way into the story that the worst of their sins was just dating a little too soon, just jumping the gun a bit rather than being seen as the cheater they are. When people told me this is what my ex was saying, I corrected them: "we weren't growing apart, I discovered he was unfaithful and I initiated a divorce." Because no. I will not be complicit in rewriting my marriage, ugly as the truth is. I don't know if you're comfortable saying that, socially, but it's outrageous they float that self serving story after everything they've done.

Do I keep all my interactions with lawyers to myself? Or do I see him alone to come to some kind of settlement, which I'm not keen on doing. I'm also not comfortable with a sheriff arriving at his work with a summons as it doesn't sit right with me - on that day should I alert him the papers will be served?

Yes, and I think you should initiate the divorce if you can, and if in your legal system there is an advantage to that. Your attorney will advise you about this. I'm so sorry again you're going through this. You didn't deserve it, and neither did your children. And it's really honorable of you to not want the sheriff to serve him at work, but that's not your fault - he made that potential reality an option when he did this. As it happens you can probably just tell them what time he's home (without kids there) and they'll do it at his house. Big hugs to you.

edit: yes, keep the attorney visits and all plans of action to yourself until you have a chance to make informed choices for yourself. Don't share those plans with him. He's not a team mate anymore.

[This message edited by Sigyn at 10:35 PM, Monday, April 8th]

posts: 124   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022
id 8832710
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 Angie41 (original poster new member #84679) posted at 6:45 PM on Tuesday, April 9th, 2024

Thanks a mil Jayjaynumb - you're right. He's not my friend but my enemy now. That line rang through my head the whole day. I will not tell him one thing about me initiating the D - this is business now.

And however he is served the D summons, is how he is served. I've spent 24 years of my life considering him and look where I am today. Broke and alone and raising the kids by myself, for all intents & purposes.

posts: 32   ·   registered: Apr. 3rd, 2024   ·   location: Johannesburg, South Africa
id 8832816
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OhItsYou ( member #84125) posted at 7:03 PM on Tuesday, April 9th, 2024

Another vote here for treating divorce like a business.

If it helps, everytime you must make a decision, remind yourself of what you just said. " look at what being compassionate and caring towards him got me."

posts: 134   ·   registered: Nov. 10th, 2023   ·   location: Texas
id 8832819
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 Angie41 (original poster new member #84679) posted at 7:16 PM on Tuesday, April 9th, 2024

Thank you so much Charity411 and I'm so sorry about your near identical betrayal - it makes me so sad that it's almost word for word your story. As people have said here, this is the cheater's handbook. I wonder how they all know how to say the same thing. It's so bizarre.

I really hope you're doing so much better now and are healing from your trauma and have moved on to so many better things!

I never even thought of it the way you've described - that he is likely looking out for his own interests re the end of the M and now, in the D as that is what your Ex did. Mine kept saying 'you can have everything', 'I did this to you', but maybe it's just a ploy to play on my emotions and make me feel sorry for him.

You're so right, I don't need his blessing or input. He has put me here - in this place - not only physically but emotionally and has done the same to our kids. He is not my friend, he is my enemy. It's crazy to look at the man you spent so much of your life with and think that way but it's the reality check I need. That is a firm reminder of what I'm dealing with here.

It's insane your Ex did the same to you re the friends with benefits. Wow, the 'gift' of their friendship. No thanks. And here, me being the sucker that I am, still thought he did value me, that he still cared - even if it was 'as a sister'. But there is no love & no care - only HIMSELF.

I'm glad you've shown him you can live without him. What is it with their need for us to need them? My H mentioned that to me so many times in the last few weeks - 'I don't want you not to need me'. But I really don't. It's hard not to speak to your H every day and to instead rather actively avoid any interaction. Feels like I'm living in the upside down.

But I don't need him and have made that very clear. I truly miss the old him (or who I thought he was) but am actually getting on just fine without him, making important decisions every day and it's quite freeing (though daunting sometimes). I need to work on untangling my identity that has been so tied to his.

And with the kids, I always had him as 'back up' and now it's just me. That sucks and I do miss having someone in my corner when it comes to setting the kids right sometimes.

Thank you for the advice re the counsellor and I'm so sorry you also had suicidal thoughts. It really is such a tough place to be but I'm just glad you overcame it and that your counsellor helped you so much. I hope mine can do the same! Some moments you feel so strong and many more you feel so weak.

Sending you so much happiness and strength!!! xx

posts: 32   ·   registered: Apr. 3rd, 2024   ·   location: Johannesburg, South Africa
id 8832822
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 Angie41 (original poster new member #84679) posted at 8:07 PM on Tuesday, April 9th, 2024

Oh my gosh Sigyn, you sound just like me. Still seeing him as someone I love and still looking out for him, even as I initiate this D. But it's not about him. All these messages have made me realise that.

What you said makes so much sense - the lawyer is not emotionally invested like us and can see right through all the BS and manipulation and that is important to remember. I'm so glad yours did this for you!

I need to trust the lawyer and as you say, I can vet everything. This person will be on my team. I must not be scared to fight for my kids and get the best I can for them so that they can still have the same quality of life they had before. I'm also not aggressive by nature but whatever settlement agreement comes out of this will have such important implications for the lives of the three of us and I need to put that front and centre. It's not the time to feel sorry for him. His selfish choices have put us here.

I will meet the lawyer next week and hope that she is really awesome and will fight for us to get the best 'deal' out of this toxic nightmare.

Even taking these steps this week has been so hard and I have felt so emotional, doubting myself but then realising this is realistically the only step forward. It hurts a lot and you think how did you end up here, how did your kids end up here. This time last year I was happily married and and my biggest worry was probably work deadlines or what to cook for supper. Now, I'm here in this scary, unknown place. It really messes with your mind and everything in your life before feels like a lie. That's what I'm struggling the most with - was anything ever real between us? Did he ever love me as much as I loved him? Was he always going to do this? I guess I can only know my love for him was real and that I was real & loved fully. It's so sad.

I hate that 'growing apart' thing too and can't believe your ex said the same thing. This is exactly what he told the kids and probably others. If the marriage was 'mostly over', I was never consulted about it or asked for my thoughts on it being over and us 'mutually agreeing to divorce'.

I think you're spot on - it's all about planting seeds and pre-excusing the affair. I love those three beautiful & powerful sentences that you use. I will use them too all the time when people ask!!! I, too, won't be complicit in rewriting my marriage to suit his twisted narrative.

Thanks so much Sigyn - here in SA I don't think it really matters who files first as far as I know. But from the outset, I couldn't bear the thought of me getting served with that summons and him ticking the box that said something like the husband and wife no longer love each other. That was not true in my case. But that's what he said he would tick!

I fought him on that and now as the initiator, I can tick the infidelity box! It's important to me. And I guess having some control and deciding my future, even though he is the one who really wanted the D, it can happen on my terms and will show him I won't put up with this horror anymore and am moving on.

It's insane that this is only two months after D-Day but it feels right, so scary but right in my heart.

Sending you big hugs and wishes for so much light, peace and happiness! xx

posts: 32   ·   registered: Apr. 3rd, 2024   ·   location: Johannesburg, South Africa
id 8832828
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 Angie41 (original poster new member #84679) posted at 8:14 PM on Tuesday, April 9th, 2024

Thanks so much OhItsYou, I will keep reminding myself of this every single day.

I'm so grateful to everyone who has posted here for taking the time to give me such valuable advice and helping me to see things so much more clearly. It really means so so much to me.

posts: 32   ·   registered: Apr. 3rd, 2024   ·   location: Johannesburg, South Africa
id 8832830
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Charity411 ( member #41033) posted at 4:36 AM on Wednesday, April 10th, 2024

((((Angie41)))). Hugs to you. Yes. I did end up astonishingly better off. Was it easy? No. Did I have screwed up relationships after him? You bet. But in the end, I have achieved the life he never did. And never will. He died a year an a half ago. Even though it was 30 years later, I cried. I cried for the guy I fell in love with. But he was never that guy. It turned out I was that person all by myself. And my life is just wonderful. Your will be too even if you can't see it now.

posts: 1730   ·   registered: Oct. 18th, 2013   ·   location: Illinois
id 8832889
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Jeaniegirl ( member #6370) posted at 5:27 AM on Wednesday, April 10th, 2024

This is all really hitting me financially. While he is living in our home, I am paying half the expenses there and it's a sizeable amount - half my salary - while he has contributed a small share to our rent in our new place.

_________________________________________________________

Angie, I HOPE you are still not doing this~ paying half his expenses while he probably plays house with the OW in YOUR home~

"Because I deserve better"

posts: 3731   ·   registered: Feb. 1st, 2005
id 8832892
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IntoTheUnknown ( new member #84554) posted at 10:39 AM on Wednesday, April 10th, 2024

Sorry that you are here Angie.My story is so similar to yours right down to the running.My WW is having a affair with AP she met at exercise class were a few would go running at times,male and female. I never suspected anything of it,married 25 year and been together for 37 years . Would give her so much time and freedom and trust which was I guess my only regret. Says they have so much in common and are soulmates and how much we grew apart 🤷‍♂️.We pretty much done everything together minus the spin class and running,even grocery shopping together every week. I get the I still love you friend thing also and how I believe that they do all these things to try to justify their actions.I’m glad you have been able to move forward so quickly,my story is going on a year now where she’s not here with me and our 15 year old daughter,I’m basically doing everything for her.Right now I’m filling out paperwork to start with the divorce process and it’s so hard and stressful to think that this is what your life has become a big shit show and basically your life’s story doesn’t mean anything.My whole problem is that I still love her very much and that’s why it’s so hard to end it.Basically she’s made this whole mess on her own and leaves me to clean up afterwards.And yah I even did all the housework too.

posts: 7   ·   registered: Mar. 4th, 2024   ·   location: Eastern US
id 8832901
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 11:21 AM on Wednesday, April 10th, 2024

On the financial issues:
As far as divorce goes then generally part of the settlement is how the attorney costs are covered. This will come from the marital assets, and a judge will determine the "fair" amount if there is not a mutual agreement. This is done to prevent what you seem to fear: That a financially strong partner can subdue a weaker one by "out-lawyering" them.
In simple terms: If your legal costs are 1000 and your husbands are 2000 because he made lot’s of frivolous demands and claims AND the marital assets were 100000, then a judge might decide that 1000 for each of you is paid from the marital pot, but your husband pays the extra 1000 from his own pocket, leaving 98000 in the pot.

Regarding day-to-day finances: Keep a VERY detailed account of your spendings. List housing, utilities, food, clothes, fees... EVERYTHING. This will help you manage your finances, and chances are your attorney can get some of that cost from your husband.
Ask the attorney about temporary spousal support. Ask about your obligations towards joint payments – like for the family house.

Remember: Knowledge is power
And...
All legal advice offered on this site – MINE DEFINITELY INCLUDED – should be taken at face-value, and that’s about zero. Get anything suggested validated for your area.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 12484   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8832904
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 Angie41 (original poster new member #84679) posted at 8:16 PM on Thursday, April 11th, 2024

Thank you so much Charity411. I'm so glad to hear that you healed and made a beautiful life for yourself! I really draw such inspiration from your story. That your ex was never the guy you fell in love with and how you did it all by yourself really speaks to me. I feel the same way about my H now.

I saw my counsellor today and he was telling me how I must use the rejection for redirection and imagine my future as a beautiful garden, filled with hope, faith, love and peace. And how I need to plant those seeds for a stunning new life. I really loved envisioning that and told one of my best friends what the counsellor said. And she told me that H is a weed that has no place in my new garden! I really like this analogy! Thank you for all your support and hugs and I will heal from this and nurture a new life, best wishes to you xxx

posts: 32   ·   registered: Apr. 3rd, 2024   ·   location: Johannesburg, South Africa
id 8833134
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 Angie41 (original poster new member #84679) posted at 8:22 PM on Thursday, April 11th, 2024

Yup, thanks a mil Jeaniegirl - this is why I'm going for this divorce lawyer consultation next week - to understand what my rights are regarding this. He's living his best life and nothing has changed for him as I'm still paying half the bills, which I don't think is fair as I'm the primary caregiver to our children and he gave me very little financial support for the kids expenses this month (the first month since we moved out) and this whole nightmare was all his doing - his choices and decisions he has made. Meanwhile, the credit card debt is escalating (from his spending) and it's in his name but it's a joint account so I need to find out legally whether I can demand that any expenses racked up after separation are for his account, not jointly. Thanks again! xx

posts: 32   ·   registered: Apr. 3rd, 2024   ·   location: Johannesburg, South Africa
id 8833136
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 Angie41 (original poster new member #84679) posted at 8:51 PM on Thursday, April 11th, 2024

So sorry IntotheUnknown, my heart is so sore for you and your betrayal is so eerily similar to mine. It sounds like an absolutely unbearable situation and I can feel the deep love you have for your wife.

It's so horrible that she left you like this to literally clean up all these messes that she created. I really hope that your divorce will bring you the peace and healing that you need because this sounds like an untenable situation for you and your daughter.

My heart breaks for you and the pain that you both are in. Just remember, as much as your life feels like a big shit show right now, as mine does, you have loved your wife deeply and fully, probably much more than she deserved, and you can leave your marriage with your head held high, knowing that you gave your all, and continue to do so, even now in this nightmare you're in that she created.

And that maybe if she doesn't feel the same way about you (or possibly anyone else) it's all on her. Even with my H, I think it's more that they love themselves the most and just can't love deeply the way we do. As someone wisely posted here, these are broken people. And you're so right, as so many people have said, the 'friends' thing is totally to justify their affair and make it seem like you're all good with what they've done because their happiness comes first. It's really sick. Today, I got a 'how are you' text from H and truly didn't know how to respond to that. He's asked me a couple of times and I usually just ignore it and move onto the kids' logistics.

In the brief time since my D-Day, I've felt all that pain that you have felt for a whole year, how it kills you and breaks you, tears you apart, inside. For me, I can't believe it's only been two months and I'm already initiating the divorce. Feels so unreal. Like I've stepped into a parallel universe. But as hard as it is to let go of my marriage, our family unit (as in the four of us), he's already done that and I'm just beating him to it with the legalities to make my life and healing easier.

I wouldn't even say that I'm at the final stage of grief - the acceptance stage - because I don't think I'm there yet and likely won't be for a long while. Many days, tbh, I still feel like I'm only in the first stage (shock and disbelief), but rather going forward with this divorce is knowing that I can't fight to be with someone who doesn't truly love or respect me.

And knowing I deserve more than that and so do my kids. I am now living in a sham of a marriage and as the third person in my marriage and that is not right. I value marriage too much to let it mean so little and that's why for me, as hard as it is, letting go of it feels right in my heart.

Sending you so much strength and just keeping you and your daughter in my prayers.

posts: 32   ·   registered: Apr. 3rd, 2024   ·   location: Johannesburg, South Africa
id 8833144
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 Angie41 (original poster new member #84679) posted at 9:11 PM on Thursday, April 11th, 2024

Thank you so much Bigger for your terrific advice. What you wrote about how the legal costs are covered in the settlement makes so much sense! All I know is I can't afford any long-drawn out legal battles with my H and just want to ensure the best outcome for my children in the settlement.

I truly don't know much about how divorce works but as you say knowledge is power. I will ask the lawyers I meet with about temporary spousal support, if it's a possibility, and will definitely keep a record of expenses and properly begin to work out the costs of caring for the kids daily, over and above the shared expenses of school fees, medical aid, rent etc.

I'm going to take this slowly and carefully and will meet the first lawyer next week who sounds really awesome (unfortunately here in South Africa there is no free first consultation and it's quite pricey to get one) and take it from there. Hopefully she will be the right lawyer. Thanks so much again!

posts: 32   ·   registered: Apr. 3rd, 2024   ·   location: Johannesburg, South Africa
id 8833152
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 Angie41 (original poster new member #84679) posted at 7:56 PM on Monday, May 20th, 2024

Hi everyone,

This is really more of an update post. And so sorry if it's a bit long.

Firstly, thank you to everyone who commented on my post - reading your truth made me better see my own and the advice you all offered has been invaluable.

Shortly after my last post, I went to see a divorce lawyer, which was incredibly hard and I was in tears almost the whole time, as it didn't feel real to be sitting there, initiating a divorce I never wanted. But I'm glad I got the legal advice and know my rights and how to protect myself and my kids. All I need to do now is the maintenance agreement and just trying to raise funds for that as it's quite a bit of money I don't have at the moment.

We have been separated now for four months with the kids and I living in our own place for the last two months and him living in our old house. My WH knows I have gone to see the lawyer and that I'm proceeding with the divorce that he has 'wanted for years' despite never communicating a word of his unhappiness to me until D-Day in January.

I have been so good with limited contact with him and haven't seen him for a month or spoken to him in person, other than communicating on WA about our kids/finances. I make sure I am not here when he fetches the kids. I know I can't do this forever, at some point I will have to try to do better for the kids sake but for now, I cannot see him in person as I feel like I'm having a panic attack. I want to be a good example for my kids and have grace with him but it's very hard emotionally.

Very recently, our 11-year-old daughter came to me in tears late one night and told me how she feels so numb to everything, cries herself to sleep every night, has thoughts of self-harm and suicide. It totally & completely gutted me. It really and truly broke me and my heart and for the first time, I felt an intense hatred for him and what he has done to our kids.

I'm so worried about her and I don't know how to fix this. Our son, who is 15, has also expressed similar feelings, but is more closed up about his feelings but I know he is hurting. Both kids are in counselling and I'm doing everything I can to support my kids through this. My kids and I have fun and lots of laughs and are making so many good memories together. I do my best to distract them from all this chaos that has been unleashed onto their lives. Sometimes, it feels like we are three broken people living in this tiny apartment - that we are just the collateral damage and debris of his horrible choices.

I decided to go sit down with my WH and tell him what is happening with our kids - that they are not 'fine' as he seems to want to believe but as the counsellor said, are experiencing trauma. They would never be in counselling if it wasn't for his poor choices. He seemed surprised that they are not as resilient as he has convinced himself they would be, that they are 'fine' when they are with him, and said he is worried and that this is very serious, but seems at a loss of what else to do.

I don't know what he can do either. I just told him he needs to always put his kids first and to be there for them but is missing out on their day to day lives and for that, I actually feel pity for him. It all makes me feel so alone and I don't know how I can be strong enough to get the three of us through this, especially my kids who have had their lives blown to pieces.

Talking to him was so strange and surreal. He told me that he realises now that he should have spoken to me about his feelings long ago. And that he doesn't blame me for anything. This is quite a U-turn from D-Day and the weeks that followed where all my flaws were cited in the rewriting of our marriage as the reason for the affair/divorce. Is he gaslighting me, by saying all the things he told me on that cruise from hell and in the weeks that followed, that he never said them??? I know what he said because it's seared into my heart and will never forget them but now he denies ever saying them.

He now says it's all him and not me and that he is numb to everything and everyone and 'broken' about this divorce that he wants and still wants. That day I actually felt so sad for him but is this real or is he playing me? Why would he be doing that??? I felt manipulated in the house after D-Day and wonder if this is more manipulation.

He has also completely denied now that he is having an affair, even though he told me many times he is having an affair, he told me on the cruise it's an EA (now he claims he doesn't even know what an EA is) and told me his AP is a big part of why he wants a divorce' and there's just so many signs to me that this is more than an EA. Especially now, that we aren't living together. I doubt he's sitting at home alone, wiping away his tears.

Now he just claims that she is a friend that he has feelings for and fantasises about. He has now basically denied everything he told me on that cruise and in the weeks that followed, that tore me to shreds. But he still wants the divorce and is now denying the affair.

I know this marriage is dead now but I wanted to ask anyone what is going on in this man's head that could explain this?

He tells me he misses me so much as I'm his best friend and how much he misses the kids as the house is empty without them. How he took us all for granted. But he still wants the divorce.

Also, while I have completely avoided pain shopping, I eventually did find out a little about his AP. She's 35, he's 45 so must be a huge ego boost for him. And they've done many many runs and who knows what else together. I truly don't want to know any more about this darkness and toxic stuff he has brought into our lives.

Any insights into what goes on in a cheater's brain would be so appreciated. Thanks so much for reading.

posts: 32   ·   registered: Apr. 3rd, 2024   ·   location: Johannesburg, South Africa
id 8837179
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