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Divorce Support This forum is for discussing the emotional aspects of divorce: stress, anger, betrayal of trust and more.

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Old 08-06-2011, 10:27 AM
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Default I am devastated

If you look back on my posts I had a 25 yr relationship, 20 year marriage, end this year.

The breakup started last fall.

We'd always had our ups and downs, and the past year at the time had been seriously down - she lost her job, mine was at 11 for stress even for an already stressful job. her reaction to stress is to surround herself with clutter, mine is the opposite - to try and control and porganize everything in sight. A volatile mix, but we'd weathered the storms before.

After 3 months of bizarre counseling - she said things like "I don't want to speak about issues", "You can't change my mind I want to break up", "I recall all these things from the past and it was all your fault, and I don't accept your perspective or or explanations for why you may have acted that way as having any relevence or truth") I was frankly severly confused as to why we were even in counseling. I could not understand her adamance to not discuss issues, revisionist history of our life, and plain desire to just get past this counseling stage so we could break up.

Sometime around April I finally came to accept that we were separating. That I did my best. that we were talking from a commons where Ishe could not work things out.

After that, things got a lot easier - we arranged an amicable SA, signed at the beginning of July, we co-habit for now in the matrimonial home until we move into our separate places in the next few months.

The kids have had some issues - my 16 year old has the worst. She's developed an eating disorder. My 10 year old's grades dropped last fall, but my spouse said that was unrelated.

That should be all she wrote - on to a happy separation with respect and trust between us for the benefit of us and the kids.

Until yesterday.

I am your 100% trusting person when it comes to friends and family, yet.. yet... I actually began to think things were strage starting several weeks ago. I dismissed it as separation anxiety, paranoia, I even joked with my 19 yr old about it... Then I turned over stones I should not have, honestly expecting to be sheepishly guilty and find nothing.

She's been having an affair with another man since last fall. To be honest why should I care? We're already separated, we're already going our own ways. But I do care, and I do hurt, deeply down to my soul.

From what I can reconstruct it was a classic seductionof amarried woman - strike up a friendship, bond as confidants under pressure of a prorgam she was in, leading to more intimate and flirting chats, then to private chats. All the time sympathizing with the negatives and not the positives of her marriage, then presenting himself as an alternate sexual partner. My spouse tore a wide swath through men before we got together. Somehow I would have expected better from her. I would have expected her not to get sucked in, to recognize the game for what it was. Stupid me - just because I'd been in those situations onb the revceoveing end several times over our 25 years together and I had always honoured our bond and never let things develop.

Why didn't she just tell me and be done with it - it would have hurt no more than what happened? Why didn't she come clean in the counseling sessions... pretending to take the high road and mouthing the twisted reality in the privacy of counsel? Who of our mutual friends has she spouted these fictions to? Who of our mutual friends knwo about what was going on and didn't tell me? How could she think that the cost to our children was acceptable? What rigged scale of morality did she use?

What totally eats me up is that she will get 50% of my income for pretty much the rest of her life. That she won't need to work and likely won't even look for a full time job. That she will be this leech on me, this horrible, horrible leech, until the day I die. That this morally bankrupt man will perhaps some day be introduced to my kids as the new man of the house. That a man who doesn't morally respect the boundaries of marriage could be trusted. That this one's different - that truth and pururity can come from lies and deception.
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:20 AM
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Your relationship was over long before last fall. The "formal" date of separation is just a mathematical and legal convenience.

Re counselling, if there is a conflict, there are numerous methods and strategies to resolve conflict. There are also strategies to escalate conflict. Ignoring and letting it fester is a way to escalate it. Blaming is another. She was never trying to resolve the conflict, you see that but you don't see the core problem there: she was not your partner, she wasn't investing herself in the relationship.

There are 3 sides to every story, hers, yours, and the truth. I'm not saying you are insincere, but I am saying she has her own version of things. You both had responsibilities. You were too passive, from your story, and likely so was she. the relationship ended long before the separation date, as I noted above.

When you marry it is not just a romantic relationship, it is a legal, financial contract. The longer you maintained the contract, the more expensive it got and the more responsibility you took on for her.

I think the law is unfortunate when it claims that both were partners in a relationship, but at the end of the relationship only one person has any responsibility to the other. This is a fundamental flaw with the structure of spousal support.

I will be flippant and sarcastic, maybe she should continue to come over and clean your house if you are going to come over and continue to support her. That is ridiculous of course, but the law claims that she now has 0 responsibility to you, that you have 100% responsibility to her, even though it is based on an idea that you both contributed to each other during the marriage.

However there is nothing you can do about it. Some of your earnings go to pay for the Prime Minister's bar bill. Some will go to your ex. That is the way of it. Fundamentally you need to accept this and forget it because holding on to bitterness over it will only destroy you.
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:32 AM
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Story of our lives, bro. What helped me was not to think about it. I pretend I make less money and am trying to adjust to a smaller income. I feel horrible saying this, but the femine in Africa helped me in a weird way. I was feeling sorry for myself and then realized how good I really have it compared to what some other people h ave to go through. I wrote two sizable cheques to two charities and am content now.

If you take teh "I did nothing to deserve this" approach, you'll be miserable and depressed. Just accept the new reality and forget about it. Your new income is what it is.
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:37 AM
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I think that part of my problem (I can't speak for anyone) is that I tried so many things and even though he did horrible things (cheating etc) I still feel guilty ..... it's the guilt that's killing me. I don't even know why I feel guilty - I never strayed - I held it together. i recently had a conversation with his cousin who I am incredibly close to and she said she had no idea that for all these years I was going through this and I told her it's because I hid it - humiliation. I guess I just have never felt "good enough" - if I was, why would all this terrible stuff happen. THAT is what I have to get over.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:08 AM
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samej:

I'm very sorry for your loss. I'm sorry you're having a hard time dealing with things.

Just to look on the positive side...regarding this:

Quote:
That this morally bankrupt man will perhaps some day be introduced to my kids as the new man of the house. That a man who doesn't morally respect the boundaries of marriage could be trusted. That this one's different - that truth and pururity can come from lies and deception.
Two things:
1) You are your children's father...that won't ever change....ever. I guarantee that you can't be replaced by anyone. So don't worry about him taking your place, can't and won't happen.
2) How do you know he's morally bankrupt? If you and your spouse were separated and she met someone new...it sounds like you had a long term marriage and she wasn't "flighty" by nature. How do you know that she hasn't simply met someone who better meets her emotional needs? It is perfectly normal for two people who don't work on their relationship until too late to grow apart and seek new, more suitable partners.

The reason I'm asking is just because I know that having the involvement of new, stable, good people is never a bad thing for children. The more people children have in their life that are concerned for their well-being...the better. Your wife has been a mother for a long time and I'm sure that she loves her children....trust that she may have picked a new person who may be a positive influence in your children's lives. I know this is probably a very difficult thing to do since you're still feeling withdrawal symptoms from your marriage but think about it more before you close your mind to the possibility that this decision might be a good thing for both of you and your children. You may find someone far better suited to what your needs are also...and that person may also be a positive influence in your children's lives.

Things change, people change...Change is the only constant in life. How you embrace those changes define who you are. Keep an open mind and an open heart. You have my very best wishes...I truly hope that you get through this heartbreak and come out the other side with peace of mind.
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pursuinghappiness View Post
2) How do you know he's morally bankrupt? If you and your spouse were separated and she met someone new...it sounds like you had a long term marriage and she wasn't "flighty" by nature. How do you know that she hasn't simply met someone who better meets her emotional needs? It is perfectly normal for two people who don't work on their relationship until too late to grow apart and seek new, more suitable partners.
He said that this man and his wife had been having an affair together, and that this was one of the reasons she didn't want to work to mend their marriage through counselling.

It is completely devastating to think that a man who interfered with and is at least partly responsible for the end of their marriage could end up in a fatherly role towards the poster's children. Someone who could do that is indeed morally bankrupt in my books. If he genuinely cared about the wife in question, and her children's well-being, and was a remotely decent human being, he would have advised her that she should sort out her marriage but that he would be waiting if she chose to end it. Not engage her in an affair.
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:20 PM
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Rioe:

No...he said this...

Quote:
She's been having an affair with another man since last fall. To be honest why should I care? We're already separated, we're already going our own ways. But I do care, and I do hurt, deeply down to my soul.
That's why I was asking.

Its pretty commonplace for one spouse not to recognize separation as a point that the other partner may start dating. And while, I understand that that partner may be having trouble letting go...the other person might not be...for a million reasons that happen in marriages that fall apart. By the time I was separated, I was completely indifferent emotionally to my stbx spouse. For me, it was dead and over. Divorces can take years and years...its unreasonable to expect that both partners wouldn't try to start working towards their new life.

And frankly, she doesn't have to agree to counselling. It sounds like for her the marriage had ended for her. A lot of spouses try counselling after the marriage is already unrecoverable. I know my stbx did...when I first asked to go to counselling years before, he told me it was too expensive and that he considered it stupid. When he did want to finally go...for me it was pointless...why work to save something that you don't want to save? Marriage isn't a prison sentence...she's allowed to get a divorce and start seeing someone else.

In the end, you can do one of two things...you can work towards ending the bitterness and anger and find positive things or you can be judgemental and angry and hold on to it for as long as you want. But doing the latter that is more of a punishment for your children and you than it will be for your spouse.

Frankly, I had a bad marriage all the way through...long before my separation date and I'm so glad its ending. However, I truly hope that my stbx finds a decent person to be with that makes him happy and is kind to my children...but that's just me.
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Old 08-25-2011, 03:56 PM
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Rioe has it right - she started the affair before she even brought up separation, and hid the affair through 6 months of attempted reconciliation. At this stage of grief he captures my feelings about "the other dude" exactly. I'm struggling to see the other side of things.

Now it's like I've started the entire grieving process over again. I think I am grieving over the destruction of the image of the person I thought I spent 25 years with - that imaginary faithful and morally unimpeachable wife.

And yes, I am concerned about my children and the influence this man may have on them in the future. All is not fair in love and war especially where 3 children are involved.

I have said I forgive her to her and friends, but I cannot find forgiveness for him. And just saying the words "I forgive you" doesn't instantly heal the grief I feel.
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:26 PM
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"I am affected, not because you have deceived me, but because I can no longer believe in you."
- Beyond Good And Evil, F. Nietzsche
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:10 PM
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samej and Rioe:

Sorry if I misread that post regarding the actual date. But it does bring up an interesting argument regarding the how marriages end because I know in reality they're often times very dead before the legal separation date. Sometimes, the date is more of a technicality than any real marker of marriage dissolution.

That being said, it might have been better for you had she waited....at least it would maybe have been "cleaner"...but really does it matter? In a long marriage, does a partner really just drop it all without the marriage being beyond saving anyway? And if she had waited 3 more months, would you feel completely differently about the relationship and/or about him? Maybe she made a mistake because she was lonely and unhappy in rushing into a new relationship or maybe he really is the person she needs to be happy? I don't know the answers to those ?'s, I'm just asking them.

I still maintain that you might want to try to be open-minded (not now, I can tell you're still grieving)...but later, maybe you'll find he is a nice person. The bottom line is that you can't do anything about the relationship or about the relationship he may have going forward with your children...so is it worth finding out who he really is? I can imagine that you're going to be in for a long road of hardship if she ends up having a longterm relationship with this person and you can't find a way to be at peace with it.

Again I'm very sorry for your loss...I wish you happiness.
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